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This Week In Grateful Dead History #23 (Week of 7/1)

Welcome to the weekly newsletter that brings you the most interesting and significant facts from Grateful Dead History, along with reviews of the music for the week ahead! The idea is to give all you Heads a "Heads up" on the interesting and cool stuff the Grateful Dead were up to on this week in history! So tell me what you think!

Happy 4th of July! I hope you all enjoy holiday and get a chance to relax with friends and family. Stay safe and have fun and blow some shit up! Here's the highlights for Issue 23, for the week of July 1st, 2024, so check it out:


July 1st

  • 7/1/73 Universal Amphitheatre, Universal City, CA - This is the 3rd of a 3 show run. The band sounds a little tired and there isn't a lot of energy but it is '73 so every song is well crafted and enjoyable. Highlights include "China Cat > I Know You Rider" and "Truckin' > Other One > Wharf Rat > Bobby McGee".

  • 7/1/78 Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO - Officially released on July 1978: The Complete Recordings which is the only place to hear this wonder long single-set performance from a soundboard source. That source is actually from the Betty board tapes, and the tapes of this performance and the several that follow in the next few days have a very interesting history in themselves. The official release is the culmination of a multi-year effort to acquire the master tapes of this show and many others. You can read about that fascinating (and honestly, tragic event that never should have happened) here and here: For this show, the Dead were billed for Willie Nelson's Fourth of July Picnic event, along with Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter. This is a gem of a performance but you won't find any deep space exploration or long extended jamming. That said, the highlights are an energetic "Bertha > Good Lovin'", "Terrapin > Playing > Estimated > Wharf Rat".

  • 7/1/79 Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, WA - A fine show with good energy and some great moments. 1st set highlights are "Half Step > Franklin's Tower" opener, and "Passenger" set closer. 2nd set highlights include "Sugaree", "Terrapin > Playing", "Truckin > Around" and a fun "Shakedown Street" encore.

  • 7/1/80 San Diego Sports Arena, San Diego, CA - Last week I attributed 6/30/80 as the show where Bobby was arrested for interfering with an arrest of someone else. That was wrong, it was actually this show. The story goes that Bobby didn't like the way the cops were treating the wife of the promotors as they were arresting her on drug charges and he must have said the wrong thing and wound up in jail himself. Read about it here: Anyways, the band put on an excellent performance, which was a good thing seeing as they wouldn't be back in town for a few years! 1st set highlights are "Jack Straw > Franklin's Tower > El Paso", and "Lazy Lightning > Supplication". The second set kicks off with a hot, tight "China Cat > I Know You Rider" which might be one of my favorite versions, followed by a rare and standout "Peggy-O". "Uncle Johns > Playing" is very nice and contains some nice jamming. All the Post-D/S songs are well played, but to me the highlights are "Wharf Rat", "Good Lovin'" and the double encore "Alabama Getaway > Johnny B. Goode". I like my transfer of this show which is SHNID 125844 ( At the time (October 2013), the only other circulating version of this show was SHNID 9361 and my DAT tape sounded better to my ears so I transferred and uploaded the torrent to circulate it since this is such as good show. There are now some new transfers in circulation such as Jerry Moore's 2nd gen soundboard cassettes (SHNID 139309) and a Charlie Miller/Scott Clugston transfer of Tim Dalton's tapes (SHNID 141396) all of which sound pretty good but seem to have many of the same issues with cuts and changes in sound quality throughout the show.


July 2nd

  • 7/2/71 Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA - This would be the Dead's final performance at the Fillmore West. The venue closed down two days later on July 4th, 1971. The Grateful Dead gave an excellent performance for this show, which was also broadcast on KSAN,. KSFX, and KMET. The first tapes that circulated were from the broadcast but a Pre-FM soundboard tape started circulating in the late 80's. 1st set highlights include "Bertha", "Bobby McGee", "The Rub", "Deal", and "Good Lovin'". 2nd set highlights are "Sugar Magnolia", "Sing Me Back Home", "Cryptical > Drums > Other One", "NFA > GDTRFB > NFA". I like SHNID 136638.

  • 7/2/88 Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, MA - 1st of a 2 show run. An excellent show with a high-energy first set, followed by a more mellow second set (although there are some intense moments). Overall the playing is very good. Songs are well crafted and delivered with passion. 1st set highlights include the first four songs of the set: "Iko > Jack Straw, West L.A. Fadeaway, Memphis Blues". "Memphis Blues is a totally amped up version! The 2nd set is much more mellow but excellent. Highlights are the whole pre-D/S segment "Crazy Fingers > Playing > Uncle John's Band > Terrapin" and the post-D/S "Morning Dew". A very nice 24/96 UltraMatrix soundboard recording (SHNID 150683) is my favorite for this one.

  • 7/2/89 Sullivan Stadium, Foxboro, MA - This is an excellent show with an unusual song selection, with a few songs in the first set that are typically played in the second set, and vice versa. 1st set highlights are a rare "Playing" opener (last of only 7 times they ever did that) which is on the shorter side but still very tight. That segues into a beautiful "Crazy Fingers" with a nice long easy transition into a smooth "Wang Dang Doodle". Other highlights are a passionate "To Lay Me Down", and a jammy "Cassidy". The 2nd set kicks off with an only-time-ever "Friend Of The Devil" opener. It's a nice long meandering version with excellent solos by Brent and Jerry. "Truckin' > He's Gone" follows and then a nice "Eyes" that takes a minute to catch on but quickly falls into a groove with some energetic jams and solos.

  • 7/2/94 Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountainview, CA - This show stands out because of the song selection, but the playing is very good as well. Give it a chance! The first set is shorter but opens with an incredible and rare (2nd of only 2 times) "Music > Sugaree > Music" sammich. The only other time they performed this combination was 8/7/82, which was also a first set opening sequence. I think this version is better than the one from '82. The band is totally in sync and they nail the transitions. Proving once again that they could still create some magical moments! The rest of the set is very good but nothing beats that opener. The 2nd set opens with an excellent "Help > Slipknot! > Franklin's". Other highlights are "Truckin' > Smokestack > He's Gone".


July 3rd

  • 7/3/66 Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA - Officially released on 30 Trips Around The Sun. Here is a rare early recording captured in stunning sound quality for the time (thanks Bear!). Pigpen as a bluesman really shines here and you get a some of that early primal Dead, too. Highlights are "Dancin'", "Viola Lee", "Big Boss Man", "Cold Rain & Snow", "Tastebud", "Cream Puff War", "Gangster Of Love", "Midnight Hour".

  • 7/3/78 St. Paul Civic Center, St. Paul, MN - Officially released on July 1978: The Complete Recordings. Another show that, prior to the return of the Betty Board tapes in 2016 only circulated in average audience recordings. Of the audience recordings I like SHNID 120130 the most. This show was not well known but since the official release, we get to listen to the performance in spectacular sound quality which brings out all the juicy details. No, this isn't the most incredible '78 show out there but it is a step above the average ones. 1st set highlights are "Minglewood Blues", "Ramble On Rose", "Mama Tried", pretty "Peggy-O" and "Deal > Music" to close the set. 2nd set highlights are "Scarlet > Fire", "Dancin'" and "Stella Blue" (Jam Anthem version).

  • 7/3/88 Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, MA - Officially released on 30 Trips Around The Sun. Overall a nice show with some great moments and a couple of "flat", but short moments. The first set is all delivered with energy and passion. "Bucket > Sugree" opener smokes. "Tennessee Jed" is dialed up several notches and there's a perfect, long, jammy "Bird Song" to close the set. The 2nd set opens with an amped up "Touch Of Grey". A groovy "Hey Pocky Way" that has Brent going nuts on the keys comes next. The rest of the pre-D/S segment is good with some flat moments. "Eyes" is really short and uneventful, unfortunately. Post-D/S is much better and the energy returns with a blistering "GDTRFB" which transitions into a crowd-pleasing "Miracle". They keep the momentum going and the energy high with a fine "Dear Mr. Fantasy > Hey Jude Reprise" to close the set. Then a rare "NFA" encore suddenly appears out of nowhere when they surprise the audience with "I'm gonna tell you how it's gonna be!" No, drums to signal the beginning of the song, and they just hit you with it, which is kind of cool.


July 4th

  • 7/4/81 Manor Downs, Austin, TX - This entire show is outstanding. Being it's 4th of July, the opening selection of Jack Straw with the "Leaving Texas, fourth day of July" lyric is just perfect.. but Bob throws a wrench in there and sings "T for Texas, fourth day of July" LOL! Classic, I guess. Anyways the crowd goes nuts and the energy is through the roof. Other first set highlights are a hot, powerful "Rooster", "Minglewood", and "China Cat > I Know You Rider" to close the set. The 2nd set opens with a scorching "Stranger". A rare electric second set "Bird Song" comes next. They only played "Bird Song" in the second set 3 times, all in 1981, and this was the second-to-last time. This version has a very nice exploratory jam. A nice, long "Playing" is up next. After "Space" comes a fine but average "NFA > Wharf Rat" which then transitions into one of the craziest versions of "Sugar Magnolia" ever. No wonder this is a Jam Anthem version.

  • 7/4/84 Five Seasons Center, Cedar Rapids, IA - Another excellent and fun Forth of July show that has a bunch of energetic moments. The first set kicks off with a blazing "Stranger". a hot "Cumberland > BIODTL" is later in the set and they close with a raging "Bucket > Don't Ease" that get's everyone's heart pumping. The second set kicks off and is dedicated to someone, but I can't understand what Bobby says because of the heavy delay effect that gets applied to his microphone the moment he says the name. Oh well, if anyone knows please email me. I'd like to put a note in the book. They launch into an excellent "Help > Slipknot! > Franklin's Tower". Other highlights are "He's Gone", "Wharf Rat", and a rousing "Around & Around > Good Lovin'" to close the set. An obligatory but hot "U.S. Blues" encore closes out the show.

  • 7/4/89 Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY - Officially released on Truckin' Up To Buffalo. This is an excellent show, and my typical "go-to" 4th of July listening selection but I'll probably change it up this year after doing all this research, lol. You can't go wrong with the "Bertha > Greatest Story" opener but the "Cold Rain & Snow" that follows simply smokes. The "Looks Like Rain > Deal" set closer is the other highlight, in my opinion. The 2nd set opens with a powerful and well-executed "Touch Of Grey" which flows into an incredible "Women Are Smarter". Then things get weird. A fine "Ship Of Fools" melts into a rare "Playing Reprise". An outstanding and powerful "Terrapin" follows. The post-D/S highlights are a Jam Anthem version of "Watchtower" which segues into a powerful "Morning Dew". A nice "NFA" closes out the set, and the obligatory "U.S. Blues" encore takes you home. I recommend blasting the encore while launching your fireworks for the full effect.

  • 7/4/90 Sandstone Amphitheatre, Bonner Springs, KS - The Dead hadn't played Kansas City since 1985, so this was a highly anticipated show for the local scene. It was also one of the hottest shows on record with a peak of 104. 1st set highlights are "Cold Rain & Snow" opener, "Half Step", "Loose Lucy", and "Loser > Promised Land" to close out the set. 2nd set highlights are all of the pre-D/S segment: "Victim > Foolish Heart > Just A Little Light" which segues cleanly into an oddly-placed "Scarlet > Fire" that had the tapers in a panic as they were estimating how much tape was left and hoping to avoid a nasty tape flip. Other highlights include "Gimme Some Lovin' > Stella Blue" and "U.S. Blues" encore.


July 5th

  • 7/5/78 Omaha Civic Auditorium, Omaha, NE - Officially released on July 1978: The Complete Recordings. Here's another obscure '78 show that has now seen the light of day, along with the other shows in that box set thanks to the return of the Betty Board tapes. And thankfully we have it because this entire show is excellent. 1st set highlights are "Sugaree", "They Lover Each Other", "All Over Now", "Lazy Lightning > Supplication" and "Deal". 2nd set highlights are "Samson", "Estimated > Eyes", and "Truckin' > Iko > Around".

  • 7/5/81 Zoo Amphitheatre, Oklahoma City, OK - This whole show is superb. Both in playing, singing and (IMO) song selection. 1st set highlights are a super Fat-N-Funky ™ "Shakedown Street". This is one of those thick-grooved versions, just oozing with funk. It seems like Phil has some extra "fuzz" on his bass. This segues into a hot "Promised Land", and I love how Jerry keeps the envelope filter going on his guitar for the beginning licks. He realizes it's still on and turns it off unfortunately, because I kind of like that effect on this song and would like to hear more of it. Oh well. Other highlights are a sweet "Candyman", and a hot "Let It Grow" closer. 2nd set highlights are "Music Never Stopped" (Jam Anthem version), "Sailor > Saint > He's Gone" and "Other One > Stella Blue".


July 6th

  • 7/6/87 Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, PA - This entire show is outstanding. There's high energy, care and attention given to every song. This is also one of those shows where the interaction between the band and the audience is next-level. I like the UltraMatrix tapes of this one to get that full effect (Charlie Miller's SHNID 142086 is 24/96).1st set highlights are "Stranger > Franklin's Tower" opener, "Minglewood", "Big River" and "Stagger Lee". Set 2 opens with another one of those Fat-N-Funky ™ "Shakedown Street" versions. A blazing "Samson" is up next and it carries the momentum through. After that, Bobby and Jerry announces the Neville Brothers are joining them on stage and the crowd goes crazy. They launch into "Iko Iko > Day-O (first performance) > Women Are Smarter" and it's full on Cajun Zydeco Joie De Vivre that has the crowd dancing Fais-Do-Do for the next 20 minutes. Laissez Le Bon Temps Rouler! This would be the only time this combination of songs was played, and 1 of only 4 times that "Iko" and "Women Are Smarter" are played together. This segment naturally leads into "Drums > Space", after which the Grateful Dead's first performance of "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" without Bob Dylan emerges. This is a gorgeous version, full of emotion from Jerry. Then the Neville Brothers return for an outstanding "Good Lovin'" and "Johnny B. Goode encore.


July 7th

  • 7/7/78 Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO - Officially released on July 1978: The Complete Recordings. The first of two infamous shows at the incredible Red Rocks Amphitheatre. This entire show, along with 7/8 are excellent performances. This is the band's first appearance at this beautiful venue, and every song is played with extra love. Highlights are "Jack Straw", "Candyman", "Friend Of The Devil", "Tennessee Jed", "Peggy-O", and "Music Never Stopped" closer that has a final jam that climbs to incredible heights. Second set highlights are "Scarlet > Fire", "Dancin'", "NFA > Nobody's Fault But Mine Jam > NFA", and "U.S. Blues". But again, there aren't any bad moments here.

  • 7/7/89 John F. Kennedy Stadium, Philadelphia, PA - Officially released on Crimson White & Indigo. This whole show is excellent and contains energized playing and total synchronization among the band members. I also like the song selections. The firs set kicks off with a rousing "Bucket > Iko" and it's clear that the band came to impress. Other highlights are "Ramble On Rose", "Loser", and "Let It Grow > Blow Away" to close the set. Set 2 opens with a very fine rendition of "Box Of Rain", which leads directly into a groovy laid-back "Scarlet > Fire". A powerful "Estimated" comes next, which showcases Bobby's strong vocals and Brent's keyboards playing. A beautiful early (8th) version of "Standing On The Moon" emerges from the outro jam. This powerful version features emotive singing by Jerry and is one of my favorite versions. Post-D/S highlights are "Lovelight" and "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" encore.


BTW, If you're not yet familiar with Jam Anthem versions of songs you can read all about it in Deadology II by Howard Weiner. Check it out here along with all his other great books.

And that's all for now! Of course, if you want to follow along in your very own copy of my book On This Day In Grateful Dead History: A Daily Listening Journal I still have some copies available here. Once they're sold out, I will have to decide whether or not I'm going to have more made. The costs of printing and shipping have gone way up in the last few years since I had them printed so I'm not sure if it's worth it or not. So get one now while you can!

Peace out my good people. Until next week!

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