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Poster: c-freedom Date: Dec 24, 2022 6:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: top 5 for 1971

Hey Brother Jim,
So good to hear that you are deep into the Archive in a systematic way.
good to know that you are feeding your HEAD!.
Right on about the band plugging away rotating the Dark Star and Other One and seeing them thru every once in a while dropping in a cowboy tune in the middle!
It is not until the middle of Europe 72 (off the top of my head) that Dark Star and the Other One are played in the same set.
It is really cool to listen to them stretch PITB over time.
When they made room for Donna to sing her part then it opened up the entire middle of the tune and after that working on going into Uncle John’s.
I think Keith deserves some credit in the same way as Brent did in getting Garcia
Fired up. It seems to me Jerry really liked having a nice piano counterpoint in the mix.
Hornsby a good example of that while Vince may be not so much.
I get torn between listening to the early years and or my time period from 84 on and musically I almost always stay pre-76
And as much as I dig Mickey I like the 71-74 with Billy
For the clarity of sound.
Thanks for reaching out and posting.
I will keep an eye out for you reviews in the Archive.

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Poster: Jim F Date: Dec 24, 2022 9:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: top 5 for 1971

Please don't, I hate stumbling across my ramblings from 2006 when I look up a source. Thankfully most the stuff I've left reviews on are all OCD sources by now.

Onto the semantics: I assume you mean a Star and an Other One in the same set post-Keith, as it obviously happened quite often in the Live/Dead era. I've always wondered what band talks were like on those tours in 71-72, did they consciously discuss "okay we did Dark Star last show, Truckin>O1 is due tonight?" Doesn't sound like our band. But they were consistently making those songs 30-45 minute centerpieces of the shows, you have to think there was at least some minimal planning and discussion. And how does a Dark Star randomly appear in a first set on 11/15? Whose idea was that? Or the handful of shows without either song, was that a conscious decision, "guys, let's not do the big half hour weirdness thing tonight." And why? We'll never know I guess.

Discussing keyboard players can be dicey, usually a criticism of the era in general gets taken (or devolves into) as "Keith is better than Brent" and all that. I'm not really a fan of the 80s and 90s. Part of it is Brent's sound but it's just a piece. But I think we all agree that when Keith joined something really magical happened. The band didn't need to be reinvigorated in 1971like they did in 1979, Keith joining feels more like an evolution than it does a second wind. Which is odd, Keith definitely had to "fill" the bigger shoes with Pigpen gone, but I've never felt the sense that Keith "saved the band" the way people feel about Brent (or Bruce for that matter). Whatever the case, this band was a new beast in Fall 71. I love that tour, certain shows get played by me every year around their anniversaries, Fall 71 and 72 shows always take precedence over anything.

Anyway I've been mostly quietly and systematically listening to this music for decades and should know enough by now to stay out of that debate. At least I didn't bring up Donna...

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Poster: c-freedom Date: Dec 26, 2022 7:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: top 5 for 1971

Hey Jim,
Yes 1971 to 1978
Dark Star>Other One
From what I can gather
Harding Theater-11-7-71
Bickeshaw 5-7-72
Winterland 12-31-78-one of my first tapes!
and that is it from 71 to 78
I credit the 12/31/78 for getting me on board.

This post was modified by c-freedom on 2022-12-27 03:50:28

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Poster: Reade Date: Dec 27, 2022 11:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: top 5 for 1971

I've always wondered the exact same thing. There's a solid structure to the '72 performances in particular that seems to belie the amount of conversation we know wasn't happening around setlists every night. A real mystery.

As for '71 Dark Stars, I'll also never know how that one pops up in that first set. But you're right Keith was a great fit initially, and Fall of '71 was his breaking-in period. Dark Star in particular then got stripped down only to be eventually built back up over time as he settled in. Suffice it to say '71 was a transitional period for the improv centerpiece, with a lot of the rules (or 'structural poles' as Jerry put it) getting thrown out with Keith's arrival, with new ones added over time.