Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dead in Frogtown

I happened to notice Turner Classic Movies this morning was showing in order:

David Copperfield

Hmmm... Scrooge in February? That's cool and I actually wanted to watch it 'cause who says you can't watch Christmas movies only in December... right, Sugarmag (who just recently watched The Santa Clause 3 with her kids?!)

Anyway... Copperfield, Tale of Two Cities, Scrooge -- what do all of these films have in common? Anyone? Anyone?? Bueller??? CORRECT: they all star Matthew Broderick! No, wait... they're all from works by Charles Dickens. Yeah, that's it.

Mark Twain and a frogHmmmm... must be Dickens' birthday or somethin' and TCM was doin' a little commemoratin' and rememberin', etc. That's cool. But ya know what? I prefer Mark Twain, thanks.

Hmmmmm... speaking of Mark Twain, how's about a little Grateful Dead?!

Now how in the world did I go from Mark Twain to the Grateful Dead? Anyone? Something to do with a young Samuel Clemens and a frog, a jumping frog... in a town called Angels Camp. (Now, I didn't actually have to spell it out for ya, did I?!)

Grateful Dead tie dye Steal Your Face~MNS-2009-Volume-012Grateful Dead tie dye Steal Your Face
Grateful Dead -- August 22 1987
Calaveras County Fairground
Angels Camp, California

Mountain Aire Music Festival -- David Lindley & El Rayo-X then Santana opened

Grateful Dead ticket (GDTS) - 8/22/87 Calaveras County Fairground, Angels Camp, California [borrowed from www.psilo.com]

1st Set: Touch Of Grey-> Little Red Rooster, Tons Of Steel,
Friend Of The Devil, My Brother Esau, Tennessee Jed,
When I Paint My Masterpiece-> Bird Song,
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl*#, In The Midnight Hour*

Set 2: Hell In A Bucket, When Push Comes To Shove,
Estimated Prophet-> Eyes Of The World-> Drums-> Space->
The Other One-> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad->
Throwing Stones-> Turn On Your Lovelight

Encore: U.S. Blues
* with Carlos Santana -- # 1st Time Played since 9/19/70 (over 1,100 shows!)

Even though it starts a little bit Audience-sounding, this is not a bad recording. I'm a-thinkin' there was an unneeded mic open because at 1:20 of Rooster, some adjustment is made and a little of that extra crowd noise dissipates; the soundboard clears up a bunch at that point. There are a couple rough patches here and there, notably at the beginning of Bucket but overall this is pretty sweet.

Without a doubt, Carlos on Schoolgirl is the first set highlight! Well, at least for me. Very cool the way Weir introduced him and they go into something not done since Pigpen. It's a nice set basically all the way through but the end just shines! Midnight Hour rocks the first half to such a great close.

Bobby, during Estimated, really begins to go off with some screamage that puts quite a charge into the crowd. Sound guy Dan Healy begins tweaking his mic a little and I think Weir just kinda runs with it, in a manner of speaking; he's actually kind of subdued but he really works it and gives the song quite an added layer of life.

I'm not gonna spend a lot of time reviewing this one. After a few listens so far, I really just want to Press Play on it again. It's good stuff with barely anything bad to say about it. I've posted the Deadhead's Taping Compendium review below, if you're interested.

Oh, and a side note: I tried to locate a copy of the Santana opener which I wanted to include in this post for folks to also download... but Crikey!, not an easy find for 8/22. Had I gone and posted 8/23 then that'd be a different story but one show at a time, a'ight?

Bob Weir & Jerry Garcia - Grateful Dead 8/22/87 Calaveras County Fairground, Angels Camp, California ob Weir & Jerry Garcia - Grateful Dead 8/22/87 Calaveras County Fairground, Angels Camp, California

transcribed from:

The Deadhead's Taping Compendium, Volume III:
An In-Depth Guide To The Music

of the Grateful Dead on Tape, 1986-1995
[out of print]

The opening show the boys played at the Mountain Aire Music Festival in August of 1987 comes charging out of the gates thanks in large part to Mr. Phillip Lesh. After a rousing "Touch of Grey" opener with strong vocals by everyone and thunderclap bass blasts, the band heads right into "Little Red Rooster" without a breath. Phil's blasts have become even louder, like funky soul squalls, and Bobby works, and then overworks, the slide effect. "Tons of Steel" falls flat musically after a long break in the action even though both Brent and Phil are both singing their hearts out. Jerry finally steps forward with "Friend of the Devil" laying down beautiful cascades of notes while Brent adds scintillating fills on the keys. The whole band is subtly clicking while Weir rasps and hollers the morality play of "Brother Esau." The "Tennessee Jed" that follows is not bad but is nothing special, though Brent is again playing his ass off! "When I Paint My Masterpiece" is perfect, though. It is one of those versions where Jerry sings the harmony part from the get-go and it provides the ardor that pushes this one over the top! The beginning of the jam in "Bird Song" is sloppy and rather tentative, but they dive back in and recover nicely with an atmospheric and spiraling, albeit short, glide toward the horizon before returning to earth and the vocals and wrapping it up.

In putting the final touches on set 1, the Dead put an old friend on the spot with fine results! Bobby announces that they've been friends with Carlos Santana a long time and they call him out to see if he, and they, can remember the next tune. A slinky "Good Mornin' L'il Schoolgirl" that would shame any of the reworked 1995 versions follows with Santana stepping out early and crisply while Billy, Mickey, and Phil provide the sleek backbeat. Garcia and Santana then trade licks while Weir belts out the chorus. The only disappointment here is that the song just dissolves with no real ending proper. A spirited "Midnight Hour" that has Bobby and Brent going back and forth vocally while Jerry and Carlos do likewise on guitar shows that they remember this one, too, and it caps a fine set of music!

A rocking "Hell in a Bucket" kicks off set 2 thanks to Weir's extra vocal antics and manic screams that push Garcia to add some fire to the solo at the end of the song. A fat and sassy "When Push Comes to Shove" gets the toes tapping thanks to Phil's chunky thump, Brent's spine-tingling dance down the keys, and Garcia's emphatic singing. The band shifts into cruise control for a good part of "Estimated Prophet," even with Weir's vocals being rather subdued. The jam ups the ante some thanks to Lesh, and Healy's hijinks with Weir's vocals at the soundboard, which seems to jump-start the rest of the band, too, as they wade into "Eyes of the World." It is a peppy, fluid version that flies right along despite a couple of cases of the chorus mumbles by Garcia. There is a strange, tribal bell beat that Brent works into the post-"Eyes" jam before the drummers take over. They continue the rhythm of it and stretch it out a bit but are quickly rejoined by Jerry and Bob as a winding "Space" unfolds. The "Other One" comes quietly slithering out of "Space" but keeps building in tension and volume. Garcia is flickering lead lines and the rest of the band is right there with him, lurking on the edge. The dark clouds drift away as the first strains of an infectious "Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad" kick in and the whole band jumps on the moment. There is another interesting touch by Healy to the "Throwing Stones" that follows. He adds a slight echo effect to Weir's voice that makes the song sound even more foreboding, and the band's playing is angry and emphatic. Ah, but never fear, Jerry cuts through the ending chorus and they end the set with an enthusiastic "Turn on Your Lovelight" that struts right along and would put a smile on even the most curmudgeonly face. And just in case there are any Grinch-like characters still sulking about, they throw in a bouncy "U.S. Blues" encore for good measure!


Grateful Dead poster - 8/22/87 Calaveras County Fairground, Angels Camp, California (with Santana) [borrowed from www.deadlists.com]
8-22-87 aka 08-22-87 aka 8/22/87 aka 08-22-87 aka 87-08-22 --
Source: Soundboard> Master PCM>

Audio Quality:
8/22/87 Angels Camp
@ the Internet Archive:

the Soundboard for Listening Only

Bob Weir & Jerry Garcia with guest Carlos Santana - Grateful Dead 8/22/87 Calaveras County Fairground, Angels Camp, California

Keith H!
Hey Now, here's your request! I didn't forget!!
It took me a little while but I'm happy to get this up for ya!


henryband said...

Thanks and I hope you don't stop posting Dead shows.

RDOwens said...

I used to have both shows on tape. They were played heavily. I thought these were two hot shows.

My college roommate told me that when he first saw Carlos, it was the best show he had ever seen. Even better than the current 100+ Dead shows he had under his belt at the time.

It would be a few more years b4 I saw Carlos. Very good stuff. Europa is among my favorite songs ever.

Adam said...

Hi Zoooma! Thanks again for another hot show. I, like RDO, had/have this show on cassette. It's a decent audience recording, but it never got a lot of play after the first few weeks after I got it. I can't wait to hear it again and see if it brings back any memories. '87 was the year of the guests (The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Dylan, Santana, The Neville Brothers, Spencer Davis, Ramblin' Jack Elliot and David Nelson). Many of the "guest" shows lacked focus (in my opinion). After reading your review, I'll have to pay attention to this one and see if I can get that vibe you describe! Adam

Adam said...

I don't know that this is the place to post this, but I am about to get erked that the official Jerry site has been offline since long before Christmas. What is up? Does anyone know? If you have any info, please post it for me. I've looked and looked at dead.net but I can't find a thing. Thanks! Adam

RDOwens said...

I saw Spencer Davis in Philly. I agree, lack of focus.

Anonymous said...

yes this is a smokin show,had it on tape since 1988,another fine show you let us get from you ,THANKS!
the guy from INDY,IN

Keith H said...

Thanks for this show!!!I really appreciate you getting this for me, I cna't thank you enough. I have some great memories of this show. I remember between all of the sets and bands, there was a vintage air show. Planes all over with smoke trails......I had to call in sick from my job to go to the show, and I'm glad I did. Thanks again!!

Scott Bernstein said...

Thanks for this show

Timmy said...

Absoltely sublime. Thanx once again for treats that are rare & sweet. As far as that Jerry site, I assume it can bbe traced back to the Estate dictator, Ms. Debora. Somebody send her a bunch of flowers for Valentines Day & maybe she'll get in a better mood to release Jerry's Spirit...

steve said...

Great show, thanks for posting.

I was there, first Dead show in 5 years, and whoa! I still remember the band landing in a chopper right behind the stage. Wish I could get a tape of the El Rayo X set, they're hard to find live.

thanks again,


Anonymous said...

Many thanks for this one Zoooma!

Anonymous said...

one of my favorite tapes and now I look forward to hearing this one again.

The venue I enjoyed for 2 years during the Sierra World Music Festival was a dusty one and my throat seeks water just thinking about it.

I've always wonder what they do to make the frogs jump so far at the annual frog jump at this venue, I was really amazed at the distance this little frogs can hurl themselves.

Respect Zooma and Sugar Mag

So Cal Reggae DJ

Anonymous said...

Hi Zooma! Thanks for share your musical archives and books transcription, it´s imposible from here have access to it. Excuseme for my bad english. Gustavo from Argentina

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

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated