Monday, November 17, 2008

Instrumental Dead... sort of

11-12-72 aka 11/12/72 aka 72-11-12 Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall, Kansas City not Missouri! SBD mp3 download not all 320 kbps

Grateful Dead dancing bear head outline only
100 Days of the Dead

Day 55

Grateful Dead - November 12, 1972
Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall
Kansas City, Missouri

1st Set: Me & Bobby McGee, Deal, Black-Throated Wind, Cumberland Blues,
Bird Song, Mexicali Blues, Box Of Rain, Beat It On Down The Line, Candyman,
Truckin', Casey Jones

2nd Set: Bertha, Me & My Uncle, Tennessee Jed, Playing In The Band,
Stella Blue, El Paso, Friend Of The Devil, Big River,
He's Gone-> Not Fade Away-> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad-> NFA

Terrible recording. It's kind of interesting, though.

Right from the top, Bob's vocals on Me And Bobby McGee are barely audible. Same is true for drums and no keys can be heard. What's loud and clear is Jerry's guitar, Bob's rhythm and Phil on bass (though he's not that dominant in the song.) There's also some noise present (a light hiss) even during the "music." The very same is true on the next couple of tunes. Why's this interesting? It's like Weir-Garcia play the Dead instrumentally -- 2 guitars only, oh, and Phil, also... but in this "mix" Garcia is prominent, Weir second and Phil's there, too.

Cumberland Blues introduces us to a fuller band sound for the first time. Billy's drums are front and center and then vocals are, as well. Nice but it doesn't last more than 3 minutes before more problems arise.

I actually like Bird Song here. You can barely hear Jerry singing (the recording is back to that again along with next to no drums or bass and no keys) but Garcia's guitar is -- well, every single note is prominent. Every... single... note. Bob's rhythm is less so (maybe 50% of what Jerry's at) but helps fill in the sound. I gotta say, Jerry & Bobby shoulda played more shows together. Jerry & John Kahn? Bob & Rob? Screw that... Garcia-Weir! (Yes, yes, they did several times and/or with an additional player on bass but not the same. And they shouldn't necessarily have done it acoustically. This is gorgeous... almost.)

For Box Of Rain I was going to say this recording doesn't do it any justice (hoping it might be interesting like Bird Song.) Then I thought it's kind of neat to hear mostly just Jerry. Then I went back to -- ahh, it's crap. Jerry's playing is okay and beautiful at times, but overall... eh. BIODTL actually gave me a chuckle, yes, a chuckle, for the very brief single beat start... but it's not doing anything for me in this odd quality. Candyman has a nice Jerry solo but without all the instruments and with Jerry's vocals so low in only one channel, it's mostly boring. Truckin', too... some sweet Jerry but it's not like that throughout. The jam is nice to listen to and he really shines here but most of the song is...not there.

In the second set, early in Tennessee Jed, I finally, for the first time this show, heard Keith [on piano.] It was for only a very brief moment but he is indeed present on this night. (The recording just doesn't make him audible 99.9% of the time.)

Playing In The Band is the first time I've been truly disappointed here. It seems like it's pretty nice, and it's easy to dig Jerry's guitar, but the whole sound isn't there so a judgment just can't be made on the whole song.

Oh, but wait, this recording ROCKS!!!! Donna was in the band at this time and her wild scream at the end of Playin': 85% inaudible! Very cool! And so is Stella Blue. Maybe the quality problem is growing on me (becoming less of a problem as I listen.) The fact that vocals are so so low and that these songs practically resemble instrumentals isn't bothering me so much. But one more problem does pop up in Stella Blue and again a little in FOTD -- an annoying clicking sound.

Not Fade Away has me feeling like I did during PITB -- what a shame 'cause this sounds really nice, at least Jerry does 'cause that's primarily all that's heard. It's not all him, there's some Weir, some Phil, some Billy, but they, combined, are like 40% of the sound while Jerry's the rest!

So this isn't a good recording. Along the way there are bound to be some like that. Ya know what this is? it's a good show when you're out in the garage workin' on the engine of your '72 VW and music can't be what's most important at that moment. (It's good background music.)

And look at it this way -- putting this up now means there are more good sounding shows still to come!

Source: Soundboard Master Cassette> Cass2> DAT> CD>

Audio Quality:
11/12/72 Soldiers & Sailors
Memorial Hall @

The SBD for Listening Only

or... Download The Show Right Here

GD Nov 12, 1972 KC -- Part 1
Part 2 -- GD 11/12/72

At least the show's got a cool poster!


Adam said...

I like this post. It reminds me of the days when I became familiar with the term "Picky Deadhead." Until the advent of digital trading, a "tape" like this would be considered a keeper by anyone who wasn't a "Picky Deadhead." You have to accept that what you got is what you get and, in the immortal words of Pigpen, "don't go programmin' it baby!" These are the kinds of shows that truly allow you to appreciate what a consistently great job the tapers did over the years. Thanks Zoooma! Adam

Zoooma!! said...

Hey Adam! Thanks for the comment on this show... and on every show you comment on!

It's funny, I had no clue about the problem with this recording before I picked it... but I wanted to go ahead and post it anyway. While there's no Aud source that's better to listen to for this show, it is true that tapers did a great job over the years... for what shows we don't have a SBD for (or a very bad SBD) we might have a decent AUD and to me that's great! (And it means we have a LOT more Garcia to listen to!) And while I wasn't a very picky Deadhead (and am still not), this show would've sat in my tape rack and probably never gotten another listen again. I'll probably never play this recording again, but I'm actually glad I gave it a couple listens. And I also really dig the fact that in the future, I have one less bad quality recording to listen to!

Paticus said...

You know, every time I hear a PITB from the Keith/Donna era, I always hope that i am going to suddenly fall in love with Donna's wail during it-it has yet to happen. i really do like her voice on a lot of things though.

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

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated