Thursday, November 20, 2008

Give, Listen, Dance, Smile

11-20-85 aka 11/20/85 aka 85-11-20 HJK Convention Center, Oakland (California, not NJ!) SBD mp3 download not all 320 kbps

Grateful Dead wagon wheel and roses100 Days of the Dead

Day 58

Time to Give

When the idea of 100 Days of the Dead first occurred to me back in late August/early September, it was intended to not only be about posting a fairly significant amount of shows over the last 100 days of the year, but also about somehow raising some money for a few charities that are important to me and I hope might touch your heart, as well.

Okay, well, that didn't go over as planned but the idea to get people to give a few bucks is still very much with me... that idea is ALWAYS with me. I don't dig selfishness. We're all selfish, maybe that's human nature... but do we all have to be selfish to the point where the lives of others means nothing? Too many people in this world suffer... and they don't have to. The thing is, we can't rely on governments to fix things and help everyone.
Governments are corrupt and broken and just plain stoopid so they aren't going to get diddly-squat accomplished. It's up to us to help each other.

So check it out, if you're sitting there reading this, please think about checking out the REX FOUNDATION. Rex is the Grateful Dead's very own non-profit charitable organization so it's kinda exactly in line with this blog and these tunes, eh? Don'tchya think?! Yes, it is, I'm a-tellin' ya!!

"The Rex Foundation aims to help secure a healthy environment, promote individuality in the arts, provide support to critical and necessary social services, assist others less fortunate than ourselves, protect the rights of indigenous people and ensure their cultural survival, build a stronger community, and educate children and adults everywhere."

Yes, I know, many of us have already given significantly to the Grateful Dead over the years, and some of our dollars have probably gone to the Rex Foundation. But here in the end of 2008 and on into 2009, they're not done yet. They're pushing forward and hoping to be able to give even more in the future. What they want to achieve can't be done without the generosity of many, without your generosity. For a long time they gave us so much GRATE music that continues today with Grandpa Phil and Grandpa Bobby carrying on and brothers Mickey & Billy still drumming to their heart's delight. Many of us listen daily to the Good Ol' GD, we're so blessed with so much sweet music from them. It's time to bless back!

Look, I'd be willing to bet that everyone reading this has an 5 extra bucks that could be used for something greater than ourselves. One does not need to donate a hundred dollars. You don't even gotta give 20 bucks to help make a difference. Organizations welcome every single dollar they receive... yeah, donating even just a dollar or two is a good thing.

Check out Rex or won't you please think about giving today to something else that might mean something to you? Thanks! There are so many great non-profits out there doing great things to help others in need... they can't do it alone. Last time I checked, just to make sure, money doesn't grow on trees. It's up to us to make a difference.

How about some tunes... from 23 years ago tonight...

Grateful Dead - November 20, 1985
Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center
Oakland, California

1st Set: Jack Straw, Peggy-O, C.C. Rider, Stagger Lee, My Brother Esau,
High Time, Beat It On Down The Line-> The Promised Land-> Don't Ease Me In

2nd Set: Iko Iko, Lost Sailor-> Saint Of Circumstance-> Terrapin Station->
Jam-> Don't Need Love-> Drums-> Space-> Stella Blue-> Sugar Magnolia

Encore: U.S. Blues

Unlike in the Compendium review, I didn't think Jack Straw was that "rip-roaring." My interest picked up ten-fold with Peggy-O; while not perfect it was very enjoyable. C.C. Rider, too. I'm really lovin' Bob & Brent & Jerry here. Oh yeah... Jerry's playin' is so nice; what a crescendo they reach and you can hear on the soundboard that the crowd responds... they know the boys are in quite a groove.

A somewhat kinda sorta semi-unusual, one-time only occurrence occurs hereabouts in the latter part of the first set on this night: if my intense research as a Grateful Dead Setlistologist is correct, this is only the second time in the 80's (and last time ever, out of about 30 total) that BIODTL, Promised Land and Don't Ease appear in the same show. Big deal, right? Well, this is the only time they've been played back-to-back-to-back like this. Neat, huh? Yes, it is, I know you're agreeing with me!! It almost didn't happen, it appears. If you listen really closely, you can hear them trying to decide what song to play. The Music Never Stopped perhaps? Jerry briefly noodles the opening notes, just a few seconds worth, there's confusion, more Jerry noodling (unrecognizable what it is,) one of the drummers gives a 5-beat start to BIODTL but it goes nowhere, laughter, crowd reaction, and Mickey (I believe) yells out, "Now what the fuck are ya doin'?!" If ya wanna hear it, I'd suggest a REALLY loud stereo or use headphones and check at about the 7:15 point at the end of the High Time track.
Good stuff, I just wish the mics were open. Anyway... it's a pretty fun three-song combo to close out the set. Never heard it before (those three in a row like that) so that makes it a little extra cool to me.

Kickin' off the second set is a smokin' Iko. Thank... you... Jerry! You've just gotta love the emotion he puts into it! Do your legs work? GET UP AND DANCE!!!! This song is PERFECT for burning calories around your living room!

Sailor-> Saint is picture perfect but... well, during Sailor there's a spot where Bobby drifts and dreams from singing to rambling: "Got to pay for being free, that's what they say. Everyday ya gotta watch it. The thing we gotta know about freedom is, there's two kinds, at least. There's freedom from..... and there's freedom to. Kinda like freedom [unintelligible... yada blah yada blah yada whatever"] Definitely a moment For Bob Fans Only. Saint of Circumstance definitely makes up for that! Here's another beautiful spot in the show where the band works up to quite a nice crescendo! So nice!! And Terrapin, too. The Jam afterwards is filled with a lot of excellent Jerry. Mmm!

After a really good Don't Need Love comes to an end, Jerry stays onstage and plays with Mickey & Billy for about a whole two minutes. Kinda neat. Drums is brief before Jerry's back out and leading Space into the end of the show. I don't know why but it feels like they wanted to get this night wrapped up without much gusto. Towards the end Sugar Mag does pick up some nice steam and really rocks albeit sorta just briefly. U.S. Blues does a good job to keep up the Wanna Keep Dancing! feeling. Good to finish up the set and the show like this, methinks! Overall a nice end to a good show.

On sound quality: I gave it 4½ stars below. It's essentially nearly perfectly suitable for a Dick's Picks/official release.

Let's see what the Compendium has to say about the show:


The Kaiser Auditorium was a great hometown venue for the boys, where they played more than a hundred shows, starting in 1967 till overflow crowds caused city fathers to ban them in 1989. There were lots of nooks, crannies, and winding hallways, and it was relatively small, seating only 7,900.

This three-show run kicks off with "Jack Straw," which has some technical problems for Jerry at the beginning but quickly gives way to a rip-roaring version. Other highlights include a lovely "Peggy-O," some nice Hammond sounds from Brent and guitar work by Jerry in a powerful "C.C. Rider," a sweet "High Time" and a cookin' "Promised Land" > "Don't Ease." A marvelous high-energy first set.

The second set opens with a pleasing "Iko" followed by a beautiful "Lost Sailor" with Bobby adding emphasis by simply speaking one of the verses. "Saint of Circumstance" leads to the always welcome "Terrapin" followed by a nice jam with some great Bobby (!) guitar licks. "Don't Need Love" features some really sweet guitar lines from Garcia. Post-"Drums" > "Space" offer us only "Stella" > "Sugar Mag," and Jerry's vocals on Stella are pretty rough. "U.S. Blues" ends this above average show.

transcribed from:

The Deadhead's Taping Compendium Volume II, 1975-1985 [guide to Grateful Dead music]
The Deadhead's Taping Compendium, Volume II:
An In-Depth Guide To The
Music of
the Grateful Dead on Tape, 1975-1985
[out of print]

Source: Soundboard>
Cassette Master> FLAC

Audio Quality:
11/20/85 HJK @

an AUD source for Downloading
and the SBD for Listening Only

or... Download The Show Right Here

GD Nov 20, 1985 Oakland -- Part 1
Part 2 -- GD 11/20/85 HJK


Annie said...

this was such a great run, in a favorite venue.

Adam said...

Thanks again Zoooma. I know a lot of people pick '85 as a peak year for the Dead, and for some reasons it is very good. Other than the 6/28 and 4/8 shows, I can't say that I often pull out '85 for whatever reason. Maybe if I had a better copy of 6/25, or maybe this one will cause me to change my mind. And keep up the factoid search, I love that s*#t! Adam

Anonymous said...

thank you thank you thank you

Robbierole01 said...

1984-85 Are my Favorite DEAD Years!!
A little Sloppy,A Little Induced BUT Definately "OUT THERE!!!"
Some of the Trippiest Stuff Out There.
Gotta Love "em.
P.S. Your Site Rocks, Its so much easier Downloading from here than Streaming from the Archive.
Thanks a Ton!!!

one says one number and the other another
but they were set at the same time. Hmmm...

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated