Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Grateful Dead Terrapins by Stanley Mouse

Grateful Dead -- February 26, 1977
Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino, California

1st Set: Terrapin Station, Minglewood Blues, They Love Each Other,
Estimated Prophet, Sugaree, Mama Tried, Deal,
Playing In The Band The Wheel
Playing In The Band

Set 2: Samson And Delilah, Tennessee Jed, The Music Never Stopped,
Help On The Way
Slipknot Franklin's Tower,
The Promised Land, Eyes Of The World
Dancin' In The Street

Encore: U.S. Blues

Happy Birthday, Terrapin Station! Well, that's what I mighta said had I posted this when I wanted to back on Feb 26th, a few weeks ago. There's only one or two known recordings, if I'm not mistaken, of a go at Terrapin which happened within a week or two before this first show of 1977. The album wouldn't be released until July so here on this night, at the Swing Auditorium in Southern California's Inland Empire, would be the very first public appearance of the wonderful Robert Hunter opus known as Terrapin Station. Also, I do believe this is the only time, out of over 300 performances, that the song opened a show. And what a beautiful version it is. It's forced, in a way, very studio like, and not very free... but gorgeous none-the-less.

What's also interesting about these first live Dead tunes of '77 is here's the debut of Estimated Prophet. In my book Terrapin gets the glory but Estimated sure did become a mainstay, a tune that was done consistently up to the very end. It also became a great vehicle for the band to launch into a bit of Spacey Jam Land before Drums so this is a significant First Time Played! (But Jerry still wins over Bobby.)

All-around this is an exceptional show to kick off what is thought by many (but argued by others) to be the Dead's best year of playing.

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]

The Dead showed sheer balls by opening their first show of the year with "Terrapin," which they had been putting together in the studio during the weeks preceding this show. Although a bit tame by the standards of later versions, I can only imagine how the unsuspecting audience must have reacted to this opening salvo, but the Hunter-Garcia epic never appeared first in the lineup again. Rather than peaking early, the band went on to give a long first set that also featured the debut of "Estimated," and closed with a sublime "Playing" sandwich with "The Wheel" as the lunch meat. The second set was strange. Opening with solitary songs, a fine "Help on the Way" > "Slipknot!" > "Franklin's" appeared mid-set. After a Berry break with "Promised Land," they finished up with a fine, if brief, medley consisting of "Eyes," disco "Dancin'," and "Around and Around," closing with a rather anticlimatic "U.S. Blues."


ARCHIVE HEADPHONESGD 2/26/77 @ the Internet Archive
the SBD for Listening Only
Download The Show Here

Audio Quality: Source: shnid=93808
Lineage: SBD Master Reel DATs -» CDR -» SHN (w/Aud patches)
GD: 2/26/77 - Part 1Part 2 GD: 2/26/77
Part 3 - Swing Auditorium
2-26-77 aka 02-26-77 aka 2/26/77 aka 02/26/77 aka 02-26-77 Swing Auditorium


Ron H. said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Zoooma you made my day. Christmas on the day after St. Patrick's.

Ron H.

Anonymous said...

Big thanks for this one Zooma!

I used to have really good auds of this and 2/27 from back in the day. Those tapes were my homework for when I saw 6/4/77 at the Forum in L.A. a few months later (although both songs didn't turn up at that show until the second set.)

By the way, my older brother went to both shows but I couldn't join him because I still lived at home and couldn't convince mom that I had it together enough to go on a road trip as a 12th grader! Ah memories.

Solid call about the relative rankings of Estimated and Terrapin in the Dead firmament. I remember at the time thinking they were both great, but they were so unlike anything on Blues For Allah (I'm not sure if that's true anymore.)

But I'm rambling now so I'll close with my thanks once again for a really great pick!


btsacto said...

Thanks zooma! I can't wait to hear this. Setlist looks outstanding.

btsacto said...

Wow. Just WOW. This is one of the better sounding recordings of the Dead I've listened to in quite some time!!!

Am I in the minority if I really don't care for Donna Jean's singing? So far on this show, she's good and additive.

Jerry's playing is fucking awesome!

Timmy said...

Excellent. After reading the comments, here, I can't wait 'til I am listlessly listening to this show, as I drive somewhere. Anywhere, USA... I also really like Swahanfan's heartfelt comments.

Anonymous said...

a very nice show in 77, worth the upload/download. one of the best years for the band,70,71,72,73,80,85,87,88 are worth it also.
the guy from INDY,IN.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Timmy!


Keith H said...

Thanks Zoooma!! This is just what I need to hear after a long workday.

Get well soon!!

Keith h

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

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated