Friday, February 20, 2009

Live Dead that's almost Live Dead

Grateful Dead Skull & Roses

Grateful Dead -- February 14, 1969
Electric Factory -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1st Set: Good Morning Little Schoolgirl,
Dark Star-> St. Stephen-> The Eleven-> Turn On Your Lovelight

Set 2: Morning Dew,
Cryptical Envelopment-> The Other One-> Cryptical->
Death Don't Have No Mercy

This is the first of two nights at the Electric Factory in Philly in mid-February of 1969. The second night sounds better than this one but this is the one going up now and the other'll get posted whenever. The reason for this is I'm saving the best for last. Putting up the best first would mean there'd be less to look forward to in the future. Bahhhhh, don't want that. So the first night first.

The sound is unfortunately kinda crappy here. Actually, at about 3:something into Dark Star it kinda sorta cleans up and ain't too bad. Certainly this is listenable and enjoyable, just not the cleanest soundboard, ya know.

The date of this show lies almost smack dab in the middle of the dates when Live Dead was compiled from. All of the song versions here are so close (or practically identical) to what's on there. So why have this then? Why not?! It's incredible music, man!! That's why!!!

transcribed from:

The Deadhead's Taping Compendium, Volume 1 [for Grateful Dead music!]The Deadhead's Taping Compendium, Volume 1:
An In-Depth Guide to the Music of the Grateful Dead
on Tape, 1959-1974 by Michael Getz and John Dwork

[out of print]

A very washed-out version of this soundboard emerged in the early nineties batch of 1968 and 1969 soundboards. In 1994, a significant upgrade began circulating. This is not one of the greats from 1969. Still, it's an interesting show. The band is clearly warming up for the recording of Live Dead. Many of the arrangements we've come to know and love are being hammered into place. The show also gives us a glimpse at the remarkable transformations the band was working on "Dark Star." We still hear many traces from 1968. T.C. echoes Pigpen's organ part at the start. Jerry's opening leads could have come straight from the Hartbeats. Although "Space" doesn't find a place in this jam, the band does introduce the "revolving jam" to "Dark Star" just before the second verse, which moves smoothly into a terrific "Saint Stephen." This one is hot, every bit the wild romp of Live Dead. "The Eleven" and "Turn On Your Lovelight" are fine, very close to their Live Dead arrangements. "Turn On Your Lovelight" suffers from an internal chop. The band loosens up considerably in the second set. An elegant "Morning Dew" gives birth to a powerful jam. Then comes a potent and freewheeling "That's It for the Other One." This is what I listen to this show for. After Bob muffs the "Spanish Lady" entrance, the band builds a wide-ranging jam between the verses. The "Cryptical" reprise jam opens with Jerry's guitar singing sweetly, then roars after the vocals end. Jerry, Phil, and T.C. build to a climax, then they quiet and slow to "Death Don't Have No Mercy." This is fairly sleepy until Jerry's fiery solo.


There was more to the Compendium review (a few sentences worth) but it all had to do with songs that are not truly from this show. Here's what Deadlists says:
It seems unlikely that the show ended with Death Don't. DeadBase IX's list concludes with Alligator> Caution, and this may be correct, but the tape of Alligator> Caution> And We Bid You Good Night in circulation mislabeled "2/14/69" actually belongs to Fillmore West 8/22/68.
2/14/69 Electric Factory @ SBD for Listening Only
Audio Quality:

Source/Lineage: shnid=6286
Soundboard> Master Cassette> Cassette> Cass(?)> DAT> CD> SHN
Part 1 - Philly 2/14/69 2/14/69 Philly - Part 2
2-14-69 aka 02-14-69 aka 2/14/69 aka 02/14/69 aka 69-02-14 Electric Factory


Ron H. said...

Thanks Zoooma! I love this era! Speaking of era's, any chance of tracking down and posting Swing Aud. 2/26/77?
That show can get anybody's mind off the Obama horror show! : )

Thanks again!
Ron H.

henryband said...

Keep the 69 Dead comin'! Many thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Sound quality is not too bad.

Adam said...

Hi Zoooma!
Thanks again for your generosity with the posts. The Compendium certainly gives this show a pretty uneven review. I can't wait to give this a spin and see for myself. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a bad Dead show in '69. It may not be romantic, but it rocks! Happy Valentines day indeed.

Swahanfan said...

Thanks as usual Zooma! Even though this one ain't the most beautiful flower in the bouquet sound-wise, the music more than makes up for it.

It's funny, I've heard from original scenesters that the band could be unbelievably bad too during '68 - '69, but I have yet to hear any evidence of this (one guy told me about a show in San Francisco that was going so poorly that Phil just started banging away on Jerry's Pedal-Steel in frustration.)

Ah well, I guess I'll just have to keep listening to all these shows that provide ample evidence that the Dead were the greatest live band period (with apologies to James Brown.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks again--love the early Dead stuff!

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

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated