Monday, April 13, 2009

Grateful Dead -
Scarlet Begonias
Touch Of Grey
Fire On The Mountain

Performed July 13, 1984
Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA

Thinking a bit about the article that was printed in the NYT the other day... I don't care much for the "best show ever" discussion, but I am interested in this "Survival of the Fittest" idea - that the crème de la crème rises to the top. If a show was widely circulated in the days before the Internet, does that make it a great show? Obviously 5/8/77 is a great show, and the soundboard that circulates, the Betty Board is also of such amazing quality that if you care at all about the Grateful Dead, it is required listening. The show is also from a period in which the Grateful Dead are generally accepted to have played at their near-best if not their best. Regardless of whether or not it is one of their best performances, I get a kick out the fact that every Deadhead knows where Barton Hall is, and the mere mention of Barton Hall triggers a recollection of the date 5/8/77.

In my earliest days of trading tapes through the mail, I ended up with 7/13/84; only Set II if memory serves me correctly. It sounded funny to me back then. A little thin, and a little fast - and quite a contrast to the Dead that people probably initially hear - the Dead of 67-72, or the late 70s. It is a fun tape, but not one I would throw into my tape player too often. I also think it was widely traded, and I am unsure why. Maybe it was the placement of the fairly recently (within 2 years) composed Touch of Grey, or the Dark Star encore, but otherwise the rest of the show is, in my opinion of course, ho-hum. I do like the jam between Scarlet and Touch, and in general the Fire is played very well. Maybe it was the venue, which is right up there with the Frost Amphitheater as perhaps the best places to see a show. But that too, is a point for discussion.

Anyway. Emmett posted the Scarlet > Fire from 5/8/77 about a year ago for those of you who would like to compare.

Coming tomorrow - a post containing all 44 live performances of Easy Answers.

BONUS BEATS, from the same show. I was reminded that this song from the first set is also worth a listen. Thanks, Rich.


emmett said...

I had this as an early tape too, but taped off the "Deadhead Hour", I think. I always liked the Scarlet>Touch>Fire. I think it was a commonly traded tape b/c the sound quality was good and probably the soundboard surfaced shortly after the show occured...

Liberty said...

44 versions of Cheezy Answers!!!
mmmm sign me up dude!!!