1967 is a year full of misdated shows and questionable tapes; I was doing reviews for a few of these shows on the Archive, but decided I should write a post covering the whole year. This won't be one of my usual musical posts - simply an attempt to clear up some of the confusion with 1967 Dead dates.
The reason we have so few shows from '67 is because Bear was not with the band. He visited them at Rio Nido in September, and recorded the 9-3-67 show, but otherwise most our other shows of the year were haphazardly captured by other anonymous tapers. We even have the earliest Dead AUD tapes ("1-27-67" and 9-15-67), though both are for fanatical Dead freaks only.
Bear started taping the Dead from the early Acid Test days, but split from them after the July '66 Vancouver shows (which is why there are so few recordings from the second half of '66) - he returned in June '68 when the Carousel closed. We have some of his June '68 recordings (undated) in this set:
The first misdated show we come to is 1-27-67....immediately when we notice the twenty-minute Viola Lee, the half-hour Alligator>Caution, the swirling New Potato, it's obvious this show can't be from January!
In fact, it has an odd correlation with 10-22-67 - Morning Dew and New Potato Caboose are the same versions as on the 10-22-67 SBD, though from an AUD source. (The rest of the setlists don't match, though, which is puzzling.)
There is also another link to October....the surest way of dating many 1967 shows is to listen to the Alligator. The earliest versions start with Jerry's guitar intro and go straight into the jam after the song. After Mickey Hart joins, we can hear a change in 11-10-67 and the fall '67 studio session - Alligator now has a drum intro, and a drum solo after the vocals.
This "Avalon" Alligator is at a midway point - it starts with the drum intro, but dives into the jam after the vocals without a drum solo. So it has to come from after 9-15-67 (the last version with the guitar intro), but before 11-10-67....basically late September or October.
Our next problem show is 5-5-67 - only a few songs here so it's harder to pin down, but I don't think it's from May. (Early Deadbases claimed it was 9-29-67, which was nonsense.) We have a couple clues that it's from later in the year:
The Dead are supposed to have started playing Alligator in June, and this is similar to the other early versions from 6/18, 8/4, 9/3 and 9/15 - it starts with Jerry's guitar intro, not with the drum intro. (It also resembles the 8/4 and 9/3 Alligators in that it stops without going into Caution.)The New Potato also has a much longer jam than the 8-4-67 New Potato - I think 8/4 is the earliest New Potato we have, since it seems less developed.
So my guess is that "5-5-67" is actually from August/September '67 sometime.
There has also been a dispute over whether the 6-18-67 Alligator>Caution actually comes from that date, since Bill Graham speaks from the stage after Caution. But it is from Monterey. Not only is the general sound & vibe the same, but it has the same rotten harmonica player who was in Cold Rain & Snow! (He's not Pigpen, by the way - Pigpen's mike was dead for the start of Alligator - but he might have been familiar with the songs since he seems to be trying to play in the right spots.)
I think this is the earliest Alligator we have. What puzzles me is that the Alligator blazes into Caution.... The next few Alligators all just stop with the vocal reprise; we don't have another Alligator>Caution until 9-15-67.
By the way, the Hollister copy of this show on the Archive is badly cut, so this is the link to use:
There are a few other corrections to make in the 1967 files as well:
The "12-5-66" studio session on the Archive actually has a few instrumentals from the first album sessions in January '67 - Minglewood Blues, Cream Puff War, Sitting On Top Of The World, I Know You Rider, Cold Rain & Snow, and King Bee (which is mistakenly listed as The Same Thing).
The "2-12-67" Smokestack Lightning>King Bee is actually from the 11-19-66 show.
This raises another issue, though - is 11-19-66 actually the correct date? Apparently Dick Latvala said that show was actually from 3-17-67 Winterland! I haven't seen any other confirmation; but it makes sense to me, since the playing in that show seems too developed for November '66.
For now, though, I'll leave that show in its accepted place of 11-19-66, lacking any other proof.
Neal Casady's rap with the Dead on 7-23-67 has a treacherous file on the Archive - if you check the link, there's only two minutes of it!
Fortunately, an 8-minute copy (still incomplete) is available as filler here, and you can hear the Dead's earliest Lovelight behind Casady's rap:
(Possibly an even more complete copy is available elsewhere, that I haven't spotted yet.)
There's a studio session labeled "10-20-67" on the Archive (which has an incomplete Viola Lee from 1-14-67 as filler) - but a better-quality copy of the same session is here:
This date has also circulated as 11-19-67, but the actual date is unknown. (Unfortunately there is also an instrumental Other One suite>Death Don't Have No Mercy, and a 45-minute session of Lovelight rehearsals, which are not yet on the Archive.) However, this copy does have a unique, very bluesy studio version of Smokestack Lightning from an old vinyl bootleg.
And finally, "10-31-67 Winterland" is a fake; the music is actually from 11-10/11-67.
So to sum up - here is the list of our actual 1967 Dead shows, in accurate order:
1-14-67 Be-In -
3-18-67 Winterland -
8-4/5-67 Toronto (2 songs each) -
9-3-67 Rio Nido (and a bit from 9-4) -
9-15-67 Hollywood Bowl AUD -
"1-27-67" AUD (Sept/Oct)
10-22-67 Winterland -
11-10/11-67 Shrine (the first two shows recorded for the Anthem album)
There are also a few other pieces of interest from 1967:
4-67 - Garcia & Lesh appear on a KMPX radio show to chat with DJ Tom Donahue and play various music they've been listening to - this show is kind of like a Phil & Jerry mix-tape.
4-8-67 - A show on KPIX-TV covers the San Francisco music scene with songs from the Grateful Dead, the Wildflowers, and Quicksilver Messenger Service - Ralph Gleason interviews Garcia, and the Dead do a short live Cream Puff War.
7-67 - This is a long interview with Garcia from sometime in summer '67. The sound isn't very good, but it makes me wonder why there aren't more interviews on the Archive?
11-14-67 - Studio outtakes of Dark Star & Born Cross-Eyed. (The Born Cross-Eyed might not be an outtake, but the actual single version, since it has a bit of Feedback from a live show added as a surprise coda at the end.)