Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Dead At the Creek '89.

Hey now it's me, Sugarmag. I have been super busy with school lately and it is hard to find time to listen to music and write about it because mothering my kids and being a grad student takes every bit of me. Tonight I started to feel better about a class that is really challenging and then I got to the point where I had to stop and put it aside and sleep on it. Since I was studying earlier I still had a messy kitchen that I did not want to leave until morning so I decided to listen to Deer Creek from 1989 and I am glad I did. I need this music in my life. It recharges me and I think that somehow it will help me do better tomorrow.

Sugarmag's Zoooma-designed Steal Your Face -- I love you, Babe!Grateful Dead -- July 15, 1989
Deer Creek Music Center
Noblesville, Indiana
Sugarmag's Zoooma-designed Steal Your Face -- I love you, Babe!

1st Set: Bertha, Greatest Story Ever Told, Candyman, Walkin' Blues,
Peggy-O, Queen Jane Approximately, We Can Run, Bird Song

Set 2: Foolish Heart, Victim Or The Crime Crazy Fingers
Truckin' Smokestack Lightning Drums Space
China Doll All Along The Watchtower Stella Blue Sugar Magnolia

Encore: Brokedown Palace

I've been meaning to post this show for the last week or so because it was a request from Adam. I like Adam because the shows he requests are always really good and I really appreciate his drawing my attention to them. We should start a regular feature around here called Adam's picks! Also, I asked people to vote on what they want to see more of and so far Brent is the winner, so here you go. This show is often overlooked because it was just a couple of days before Alpine Valley, which was released as Downhill From Here.

I love shows with Brent and this is a great one. As I was listening to the beginning of this show, I had several thoughts. First of all, I love Brent's sound. The other thing I thought is that for a band that is known for loose jazzy jams, these guys sometimes play really tight. This Bertha is an example of what I mean. Every member of the band is just so on and they are paying attention to the music and to each other. Lately I have been noticing the drums when I listen The Grateful Dead-In Greatest Story, listen to the drums! Also, again, Brent sounds great. I like his back up vocals and I love his playing. Candyman...Walkin' Blues-I love Jerry in Walkin' Blues. I think Jerry messed up the words in Peggy-O but that's ok. Queen Jane has really grown on me over the years and it sounds really nice on this night. Every time I start to write something like, "Jerry is such a great guitarist" or "I love Brent's sound," I start to listen more carefully and I notice again the parts I take for granted-Phil! Drums! These guys are so good! In a lot of ways Queen Jane is nothing special, it's just one of them first set Dylan songs, but it's so good. It's the Grateful Fucking Dead! I really like We Can Run. Brent can be a little cheesy sometimes but I like him a lot and I like this song. For one thing, it sounds great and for another thing, the message is powerful and moving. My daughter reminded me today how important it is to reuse and recycle. From the mouths of babes!

Bird Song is one of the highlights of this show for me. I love Jerry and Brent's leads together but again, every time I start to single out a single member of the band as great realize that what is so great about it is all of these guys playing together. But wow, Jerry! I love a good Bird song Jam and this is a great one.

I had to listen to this show in two parts because I just don't have the time I would like to sit and really pay attention to a show. Here I am on Sunday night listening to set two: starting with Foolish Heart.

Foolish Heart starts out sounding a little disjointed, at least to me, but it gels nicely in the end. I like that analogy a lot, actually. As I was listening to this I was thinking about this song and I googled the lyrics because I never understood all of them. The lyrics are really good, check it out:

Foolish Heart

Carve your name
Carve your name in ice and wind
Search for where
Search for where the rivers end
Or where the rivers start
Do everything thats in you
That you feel to be your part
But never give your love, my friend,
Unto a foolish heart

Leap from ledges
Leap from ledges high and wild
Learn to speak
Speak with wisdom like a child
Directly from the heart
Crown yourself the king of clowns
Or stand way back apart
But never give your love, my friend,
Unto a foolish heart

Shun a friend
Shun a brother and a friend
Never look
Never look around the bend
Or check a weatherchart
Sign the mona lisa
With a spray can, call it art
But never give your love, my friend,
Unto a foolish heart

A foolish heart will call on you
To toss your dreams away
Then turn around and blame you
For the way you went astray
A foolish heart will cost you sleep
And often make you curse
A selfish heart is trouble
But a foolish heart is worse

Bite the hand
Bite the hand that bakes your bread
Dare to leap
Where the angels fear to tread
Till you are torn apart
Stoke the fires of paradise
With coals from hell to start
But never give your love, my friend
Unto a foolish heart

Wow. I love Robert Hunter so much. The part of Foolish Heart I like the best is when the jam comes together and they hit that note after "A selfish heart is trouble, But a foolish heart is worse!" and I really like the jam after that before the last verse, before "bite the hand, bite the hand that bakes your bread..." The end is really good, too. I like that song a lot. After that Victim was good, and I really liked the transition into Crazy Fingers. Sweet. Even on the soundboard you can hear the audience reaction. I am listening to it again and I think Jerry just blew my mind. After Jerry blew my mind, they fucked up the lyrics but so what? Like I told Zoooma on the phone, as much as I love Robert Hunter lyrics, the lyrics are sort of an after thought. When Jerry plays like that, he can screw up the lyrics all he wants and I won't hold it against him.

What is it about Truckin' and why do we love it so much? Zoooma mentioned that to me, how you might wonder why people don't just say, "Oh yeah, Truckin' again, whatever." It's one of their signature tunes and they play it with gusto on this night. I love it too, especially when they play it like this. Great transition into Smokestack. I am imagining being there and turning to a friend to say, "Smokestack!" I am lovin' the way Jerry is playing it and loving the way Bob is singing it even more. "Oh, stop your train, let a poor boy ride, callin' yes I do Let a poor boy ride, let his foot step on..." I love Bob. Cool pre-drums jam after that. The "Close Encounters" during space is interesting and worth paying attention to. Fun stuff.

My friend Ethan was at this show and he said that since it was less than a month after the Tiananmen Square Massacre (the way he remembered it, it was about a week, but memories are funny that way) China Doll was especially poignant. He said you could have heard a pin drop. Watchtower was a high point of this show for me. My friends over at Lost Sailor's Pub listened to the second half of the second set with me during a Listening Party over there (that's where people log into a chat and listen to a show at the same time and hang out and chat about it, it's fabulous fun and all the cool kids are doing it so stop on by!). I really dig Jerry's playing in Watchtower. During the listening party, Kochman said, "Ooodles of noodles!" and I LOLed. Nice transition into Stella Blue. Sugar Mag at the end sounds like every other Sugar Mag. By that I mean: 1. I am getting tired and the band probably was too, and 2. Sugar Mag is a great song! There is just nothing here that I noticed that makes it stand out but that doesn't make it any less good. Brokedown at the end is sweet. I love Brokedown.

Ok kids, this was a good show. I guess I liked it more than the guy from the Taper's Compendium but I think being more critical goes with the territory of taping a bunch of shows and being less critical comes with the territory of being me. Grab a download here if you like...

This is cool, check it out: people hanging out at Deer Creek in 1989 (this show!)

Grateful Dead ticket - 7/15/89 Deer Creek Music Center, Noblesville, Indiana (borrowed from

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 Midwest has always been my favorite place to see the Grateful Dead. Instead of the laid-back coolness of the West Coast or the intensity and crowds of the East Coast, you got a very mellow scene with the focus on the music (this of course changed in dramatic fashion at this very venue at a later time). The band also seemed to be inspired by the midwestern "whatever" and, with the pressure to perform seemingly off their heads, they could whip up a healthy dose of what the Grateful Dead were all about. Indianapolis qualifies as one of those places where the Grateful Dead could almost be counted on to pull of a stunner. The shows of 10/27/73 and 6/30/84 immediately come to mind. This show, while not quite in that category, certainly had some of "those" moments; unfortunately it also had some of those "other" moments that showed the Grateful Dead daring to play on the brink and "OOPS" falling off.

The first set is notable for a high-energy combo of "Bertha" > "Greatest Story." "Candyman" brings down the energy and the tempo and it remains that way through the rest of the set until "Bird Song." While not the longest "Bird Song," it certainly is quite exploratory, venturing off into the nether regions before coming down to earth. This is a harbinger of the second set, which is full of tasty and lengthy jamming but also with its share of gaffes, both minor and major. The set opens with "Foolish" > "Victim or the Crime" (the last time this combo was played in this order), and all is well, Jerry's solos are soaring; "Victim" is starting to gel into a tune that the whole band can wrap their talents around. (I always felt that "Victim" was a dissonant mess until the band "stole" the tune from Bobby.) During "Crazy Fingers" one of the worst Bobby gaffes I had ever seen occurs; he sings the wrong verse not once but TWICE, throwing the whole band off. The song practically deconstructs right before our very eyes. They manage to pull it together in time for a short jam into "Truckin'." What follows is one of the most intense and powerful transitions into "Smokestack" that I think I have ever witnessed. Starting in the spring of this year (I think) Jerry had started to take MIDI guitar on the road with him, which he would pull out during the "Space" segment to play with. The greatest (or luckiest) song prediction of my Grateful Dead touring career occurred here at Deer Creek. While out in the parking lot before the show I stated that Jerry was long past due for a Close Encounters "Space" and that he would play one "tonight." All of my pals yucked it up. During this particular "Space" Jerry whipped out his MIDI guitar and laid us on with a full-blown Close Encounters "Space" that had my jaw, and those of my friends, agape. Again, this peak is followed by Jerry trying to start the "China Doll" with the MIDI guitar, which he proceeds to blow up with an enormous "BZZZT," which jolts the audience and is heard clearly on the soundboard tape. Jerry manages to get things sorted out in time to whip through "Watchtower" but saves enough of himself to leave us with a poignant "Stella Blue," which has one of the nicer ending jam/Jerry solos that I have heard.

So, that is the story with this show: moments of great power and inspiration with some major screw-ups. Some people just can't through the mistakes to see the pearls within. The DAT tape that I have has at least one analog generation on it and is slightly overrecorded at points. Not the best-sounding tape but not the worst either. I had a great time at this show, and this is a tape I'll pull out when I want to laugh at Bobby, listen to a great "Truckin'" > "Smokestack," or relive the great Close Encounters prediction of 1989.


GD 7/15/89 @ SBD for Listening Only 2 AUDs for downloading
AUD: shnid=97691♦ AUD: shnid=96609

(Zoooma says:) I was happy with the Nak300 aud source (96609)
but then I listened to the Nak550 source (shnid 97691) and wow,
it's definitely crisper and worth a listen!


Source: shnid=97307 Audio Quality: SBD
Lineage: Set 1 + Encore: SBD -» Master Cassette -» CD
Set 2: SBD -» Master Cassette -» DAT -» Cassette -» DAT -» CD
Part 1 Deer Creek 7/15/89
7/15/89 Deer Creek Part 2
7-15-89 aka 07-15-89 aka 7/15/89 aka 07/15/89 aka 07-15-89 Deer Creek Amphitheater


TheNWRA said...

Thanks for posting this, sounds like it'll be good. It'll be on my iPod tomorrow, Cheers!

Anonymous said...

good show, worth the upload for sure! come on now folks ,leave a comment,if you upload this show.
feed-back is always nice .
the guy from INDY,IN.

Adam said...

Thanks for yet another GRATE post! It made me all giddy inside to know that my picks are making people other than me happy. It kind of reminded me of the late-grate Dick Latvala and so of the undeserved heat he took when the Dick's Picks series was just getting started. "Dick couldn't pick a pumpkin." Bah! Just put on DP #4 or #7 and TRY to say that with a straight face! (Insert perma grin here :-) ) That being said, I will only say that I'm flattered and thank you for your kind words SM. I simply try to request stuff I know a little about (had/have set one and/or set two on a cassette; have an audience, but would love a soundboard; oh how I'd love to fix that 'snag") and want to know more.

At present, I've really been enjoying the LOM shows with Martin Fierro and the JGB shows in late '75 with Nicky Hopkins. That era where the Dead were on such a roll and then stopped in late '74 really inspired (love the word choice here on Inspiration, Move Me Brightly...!) Jerry's efforts outside the GD. If anyone out there isn't familiar with the JBG in this area, Zoooma has at least a couple of shows posted you need to check out NOW.

I do enjoy your blog immensely, and would be happy to contribute in any manner you see fit. At present, I'll just keep on loving the posts and commenting until I hear differently.

And now, I have some KICK ASS GD from 1989 that I need to, in the immortal words of the mighty Pigpen, "CRANK UP!"

Thanks again,


Rob said...

Definitely an awesome show Sugar, thanks for suggesting it that night. Thanks for bringing it to the Pub. We did the post-space, but the whole show is well worth the time!

Regarding Tieneman Square, that occurred in April of '89 (I think), but nevertheless, it is still a good point to make.

That Watchtower is easily in my top 2 watchtowers (funny, I can't remember the other one right now!).

Sugarmag said...

Hey now The NWRA and Guy From Indy, thanks for stopping by and commenting and I'm glad you dig the show. I had fun writing the post.

Adam! I do dig your picks. Funny what you said about Dick's Picks, I like Dick's Picks and I have a bunch of them, I like listening to CDs in my car so I often grab a random one on my way out the door. I am so not picky, I can grab any random show and listen to it and think it's grate, drivin' with it loud, windows rolled down, singing along...:) I do think that if they want people to buy them they could package them with more pictures like From the Vault which just seemed a little more worth paying for because they came with "stuff," ya' know? I like having pictures and stories as part of the package. I don't dig those compilation albums that they've been coming out with as much, although I was kind of thinking about purchasing a Pure Jerry release. I'm a sucker for that stuff.

Yeah those Legion of Mary shows and JGB are great, now I think I need to listen again. Anything you're looking for? Are you interested in writing up a show sometime? It would be fun to include your comments in a post. Think about it.

Rob! Thanks for coming over and reading what I wrote and thanks for listening to the show with me. That Watchtower was really good.

Anonymous said...

Hey there,

Thanks for the tunes. I remember listening to this show the day after and loving it. I was on my way to Alpine Valley and was camped next to a taper who was more than happy to share his fresh tunes. I remember thinking I wish I had stopped for the show on the way to Alpine. After hearing it again I am still glad my first Dead show was 7-17-89.....

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

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated