August 18, 2009

The Mind Left Body Jam

In the early '70s the Dead would sometimes play thematic instrumentals that seemingly sprang fully-formed out of nowhere in the midst of jams and then disappeared again. Some of these, sadly, were played only once - including the "Beautiful Jam" in the 2/18/71 Dark Star -
http://www.archive.org/details/gd71-02-18.sbd.orf.107.sbeok.shnf
the "almost-China Cat jam" in the 8/14/71 Other One -
http://www.archive.org/details/gd71-08-14.sbd.ladner.21268.sbeok.shnf
the lovely, unusual cross between Bobby McGee and Bid You Goodnight that pops up at the end of the 3/22/72 Caution (available on the Rockin' the Rhein bonus disc) -
and the long, tantalizing "almost-Spanish jam" in the 7/25/72 Other One.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd72-07-25.sbd.cotsman.7046.sbeok.shnf
But other instrumentals would pop up in show after show, eventually to be named by collectors.

One of these was the Mind Left Body Jam, a simple passage of four descending chords that was named because of its similarity to the main riff in 'Your Mind Has Left Your Body', a song on Paul Kantner's album Baron von Tollbooth and the Chrome Nun. Garcia was in the studio a lot with Kantner around this time, so it could have just been a shared riff. If you check out the PERRO sessions from January 1971, there's one quick & basic instrumental which clearly starts with the same chord progression; a year later the theme popped up a few times in the Dead's '72 shows. (Kantner and his Airplane crew recorded 'Your Mind Has Left Your Body' in Nov/Dec '72, with Garcia and Mickey Hart.)
The connection has been disputed since - commenters have pointed out similar riffs in other songs - and as Phil said, "it's just four chords." (He decided to call it the "Mud Love Buddy jam" in the Dick's Picks 12 release and denied that it had any name or origin.) But I think Garcia's slide playing in the jam is eerily similar to his pedal-steel playing in the studio song; and the name is quite appropriate, so the Mind Left Body tag has stuck. Most of the times it was played, Garcia's delicate slide playing resembled the Goin' Down the Road instrumental in somehow combining feelings of grief, bliss, and transcendence.

Its first appearance in a Dead show was in the 3/5/72 Good Lovin', one of the great versions of Good Lovin' from that year; while Pigpen raps, they slip in and out of the melody, which is performed much like it will be in '73, with Garcia on slide and Weir playing fingerstyle.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd72-03-05.sbd.miller.20739.sbeok.shnf

It was then used again in the awesome finish to the 4/8/72 Dark Star, but with a totally different feel; at some shows their creative intuition is so high they can take familiar themes and transform them into something new, and here the chords are blended into a 'happy jam' at Sugar Magnolia-tempo, one of their finest moments.
(Now included on the Steppin' Out set, though I preferred the sound of the old tapes; reviews-only at http://www.archive.org/details/gd72-04-08.sbd.giles-jeffm.2534.sbeok.shnf )

(A similar moment comes at the end of the 3/23/72 Dark Star, when they enter the Feelin' Groovy jam that was a frequent part of Dark Star for years; but in this Star it's combined with other elements and turned into a Sugar Magnolia-type jam.)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd72-03-23.sbd.goodbear.137.sbefail.shnf (there's also a Miller source)

The Mind Left Body theme makes another appearance to conclude an equally triumphant Dark Star on 9/21/72; this is one of the most forceful, uplifting versions, and very different from how they played it later.
(Dicks Picks 36; reviews-only at http://www.archive.org/details/gd72-09-21.sbd.masse.7296.sbeok.shnf )

It then took exactly a year-long break, as far as I know, until popping up again at the end of the 9/21/73 Other One. Garcia starts it with a repeating riff, and here the band plays a rather brief undeveloped version in a rollicking upbeat style, before going back into the Other One theme.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd73-09-21.sbd.miller.17410.sbeok.shnf

As they started the fall tour, their jams became much 'deeper' than they had been, and in the 10/19/73 Dark Star they take the audience on quite a journey. After the verse, they go into a rather threatening space in which Lesh plucks deep notes while Weir gently strums beneath him, and Garcia makes melancholy wah-wah sounds. But the sad feeling lifts as the Mind Left Body theme starts; they develop it at length, with Garcia playing different variations on the melody, first on slide and finally in fingerpicking style - this is a top version. From there they go into a strong 'tiger jam', and drop again into an introspective space. Overall there's a very heavy feeling with some striking transitions in mood; this is the approach they'd take in their jams for the rest of the year.
(Dick's Picks 19)

The 10/25/73 Dark Star starts with some ominous bass rumbles to announce the impending journey. (Interestingly, the next few Stars also start with little bass solos, perhaps to settle the audience down or set the mood.) This time the Mind Left Body theme comes near the start of the Star - after a few minutes of noodling, Weir starts the chords using the 'phased' guitar tone that he'd normally use for this jam. Garcia picks gently at it for a couple minutes, but this time it doesn't have the shifts in mood, and they just drift out again; usually they bring the Mind Left Body theme up at the end of a long jam, and here perhaps it was too early in the jam to carry any weight. But they make up for it; immediately after the verse, a deep Space ensues with some huge feedback screeches from Lesh, so it's quite a jolt (or relief) when the jaunty Eyes chords start up.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1973-10-25.set2.sbd.cribbs.34837.sbeok.flac16
( http://www.archive.org/details/gd73-10-25.sbd.vernon.14451.sbeok.shnf has more reviews, but is lesser quality)

The 10/30/73 Dark Star is very slow and deliberate; though not as famed as other Stars on this tour, it's very good and heavy. This time they're deep into the Star before Garcia starts the Mind Left Body theme with fingerpicked chords, and the rest pick it up immediately. There's a difference here: usually after the four descending chords, they do an extended 'grounding' chord (just as in the China>Rider 'Groovy' bridge), but here they stick to the four chords. They also slow down, with Garcia switching to slide, and it becomes a very slow, sad version which goes into the Dark Star theme. After the verse, they again slow down into near-silence and spacy dribblings; Lesh hints at Stella Blue, but Garcia decides to stay in space for a while before finally starting Stella.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd73-10-30.sbd.powell.16818.sbeok.shnf (there's also a Miller)

The 11/11/73 Dark Star is justly revered as one of the best; it's definitely a super version with some fantastic playing. At the conclusion, as they drift around in a frenzy, Weir blazes into a very fast Mind Left Body. Garcia is eager to play, and the band is hot and creative, giving this jam a joyous effect similar to the '72 Stars - another top version. Unusually, they give the theme an actual 'ending' this time, like a song, before starting Eyes. It's also interesting that from now on, the Mind Left Body theme moved out of its usual place in Dark Star and could be found in any of the second-set jams; it was used in only one more Star.
(Now available, finally, on the Winterland set; reviews-only at http://www.archive.org/details/gd73-11-11.sbd.schlissel.14105.sbeok.shnf )

11/20/73 has a fine jam, with Truckin'>drums & bass>Other One. After the 'tiger jam' which is often the signal for things to start winding up, Weir starts the Mind Left Body chords and they play a quick, fast version; Garcia's notes are keening as usual, and after a few passes they go into Stella Blue.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1973-11-20.set2jam.matrix.vernon.83165.flac16 (among others)

12/2/73 is famous for its meltdown; in an already-unusual set, the Playing in the Band seems steady enough until all hell breaks loose onstage and unearthly shrieks and groans flatten the audience and subdue the music into ashes. But from the silence, Garcia softly fingerpicks the Mind Left Body chords and they lift spirits again with a long, beautiful version that is somehow simultaneously sad and joyful.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd73-12-02.aud.vernon.17278.sbeok.shnf (SBD on Dick's Picks 14)

12/18/73 features a Dark Star jam coming out of the Weather Report, which I think they'd done just once before on 11/30. This one is very sweet and jazzy; Garcia hints at the Mind Left Body first, and they enter a rather short 'alternate' version of the theme, with the four chords played in a different rhythm. It's mostly a Garcia/Weir duet, since Lesh is very quiet and doesn't seem to be adding anything. When he comes in, he's thinking of going into the Other One, but they continue with Dark Star; after the verse he has his revenge, bombarding the audience with some alarming feedback which builds until the whole band are playing loud, hair-raising screeches. Garcia & Weir then quiet things down again, playing a gentle melody which seems like it might lead back into the Mind Left Body theme (see note), but instead they stop for a drum solo.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd73-12-18.sbd.hamilton.12214.sbeok.shnf

(The melody Garcia starts playing but aborts is familiar from a couple other Dark Stars - the mighty version from 12/6/73 in which he plays the lilting riff repeatedly while Lesh booms out galactic Feedback; and the end of the 2/24/74 Star where a similar riff is played at length, to great effect.)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd73-12-06.sbd.kaplan-fink-hamilton.4452.sbeok.shnf
http://www.archive.org/details/gd74-02-24.sbd.windsor.199.sbefail.shnf

The Mind Left Body theme continued its progress in 1974, a year in which the jamming reached a new level, with the Dead flitting easily from theme to theme. It first appeared in 5/12/74, a show with a very fine Other One>jam. (I think it's underrated in the reviews.) Here the Mind Left Body finds its usual place at the end of the jam, and is a standard version with Garcia on slide; but Keith is playing very discordantly, which seems to distract the others, and they stumble into Row Jimmy.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd74-05-12.sbd.sacks.2224.sbeok.shnf

5/19/74 has a classic Truckin' jam which goes through many themes. Lesh wants to start Not Fade Away, but Weir has other ideas and starts the Mind Left Body. Though Garcia is on slide again, he has a distorted tone this time, which gives the jam a different edge; Weir plays the chords in a staccato way, and they quickly turn it into a funk jam which segues smoothly into Not Fade Away.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd74-05-19.sbd.clugston.6957.sbeok.shnf

6/16/74 has another Mind Left Body jam, closing the jam out of Truckin'. They ease into this one a little uncertainly, so it's a rather loose and playful version, not as emotive. Garcia plays a waspy slide while Godchaux clatters around on the Fender Rhodes, and they segue smoothly into Wharf Rat.
(Road Trips vol. 2 no. 3, bonus disc, track 6)

6/28/74 is renowned for its half-hour jam coming out of the Weather Report. Much of it is a Garcia/Weir duet with Lesh sitting out for some reason, like some of the '83 spaces. The Mind Left Body theme comes up not long into the jam, with Garcia playing a similar chord variation in his 'watery' tone, and Weir joining in with the familiar chords. This is a very long, top version, with Keith adding some xylophone-like chimes. Then they veer into a Dark Star direction....
http://www.archive.org/details/gd74-06-28.moore.weiner.gdADT18.16038.sbeok.shnf (SBD on Dick's Picks 12)

7/31/74 has a very hot Truckin' jam that travels far and wide. Garcia rips into the Mind Left Body chords; it's a long, bouncy, upbeat version, and Garcia doesn't want to let go, so he continues it with a kind of quasi-Mind Left Body variation for a while, playing almost Chuck Berry-style. Finally the band slows down and Garcia turns on his 'watery' tone, seemingly laid-back until they start sliding into the Spanish jam - this becomes pretty remarkable, as Garcia plays a 'tiger' while the rest of the band is doing the Spanish jam! Then they go back into the Mind Left Body jam again briefly, before settling into Wharf Rat. There were only two shows in which the Spanish and Mind Left Body jams were combined like this.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd74-07-31.sbd.ziggy.1019.sbeok.shnf (sbd - there's also a Miller)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd74-07-31.degen.weiner.gdADT.7363.sbeok.shnf (aud)

9/14/74 has another of the long Truckin' jams common to that year; it has a short version of Mind Left Body at the end, which they keep slowing down until it segues into Wharf Rat.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1974-09-14.28353.sbeok.flac16 (set 2 w/ reviews)
also http://www.archive.org/details/gd74-09-14.sbd.miller.30653.sbeok.flacf (aud/sbd)

(On 9/18/74, in the first couple minutes of the Caution jam, Weir is playing the Mind Left Body chords, though the others aren't really following him.)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1974-09-18.sbd.miller.20675.shnf

On 10/17/74 they blended jam themes again in a long Other One, first doing the Spanish jam with Garcia on slide, and then merging seamlessly into the Mind Left Body in the same tempo. It's a good version, with Lesh adding some nice bass runs.
(Now available on the Grateful Dead Movie CD set, in echoey sound, and also on the bonus DVD.)

The Mind Left Body theme wouldn't fall silent for long - just a few months later, it became one of the building-blocks for The Music Never Stopped, as heard clearly in the jam at the end of track 11 here:
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1975-02-28.sbd.smith.93779.sbeok.flac16

Occasionally in the '80s and '90s, the theme would recur in a few shows - but that's a story for someone else to write....

*
Postscript - One reader comments -
A few sightings of the MLB jam post-'75:

- In 1976, the MLB theme showed up in the end jam of The Music Never Stopped a few times. In particular, check out the 9.30, 10.2, and 10.3.76 performances.
- In 1978, the MLB jam became intertwined with Weir's interpretation of Got My Mojo Workin' a couple times. These jams would have the descending 4 MLB chords as the first part of the jam, with the Mojo theme in the place where the rocking second part of the MLB jam had been in '73-'74. Check out 10.18.78 out of space (in the Mojo jam) and late in the 10.22.78 Not Fade Away.
- On 9.6.79 the MLB jam made its last '70s appearance; Garcia plays the theme as the intro to Stella Blue.
- In the '80's and '90's, the MLB jam showed up usually with only the first part of the jam recurring, sometimes with bandmembers also riffing on Dear Prudence. Some examples include 11.29.81 out of He's Gone, 12.30.83 out of Space, 3.10.85 out of Smokestack Lightning, 3.22.85 out of Terrapin, 3.24.90 out of Terrapin, 8.17.91 briefly before drums, 9.25.91 out of Space, 6.8.92 out of Corrina, and 3.10.93 out of Corrina.
I'm sure there are others that aren't listed here... There is another list of Mind Left Body appearances in the comments below.

30 comments:

  1. Nice information on the sweet Mind Left Body Jam! I think 10/19/73 (Dick's Picks 19) is my favorite for it's focused exquisite beauty and precision.

    Runner-up would definitely be 10/17/74 (Grateful Dead Movie) because it's adventurous and epic, but never goes off the deep end, plus it's on DVD!

    The 3/24/90 you mentioned is cool, too, mysteriously titled as 'Mud Love Buddy Jam' on Dozin' at the Knick. The 6/26/74 works pretty well, too, and is also titled 'Mud Love Buddy Jam' on Dick's Picks 12.

    Do you have a favorite? I will definitely check out some of the other shows you mentioned. Awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the comment. I mentioned in the descriptions which versions I thought were the best. Actually 6/26/74 doesn't have a Mind Left Body jam; it's just the Feelin' Groovy jam they did between China Cat & I Know You Rider that year. (My China>Rider post has more details.)
    Latvala simply mislabeled it.

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  3. You're right. I'm sorry. I knew the Mind Left Body Jam you referenced on Dick's Picks 12 (which is in the track titled 'Jam' on disc 3), but then when I looked at the track listing I got confused. You're damn good!

    You mentioned the sound on the Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack as irritating. Are you referring to the extreme echo/reverb of the sound?

    At first I thought it was cool giving the drums a little more depth and power, which a lot of '74 tapes lack. I assumed a lot of it was due to maybe the cavernous sound at Winterland, but then the Winterland '73 box set disproves that theory, because it doesn't sound echoed at all.

    Then I heard how powerful and present the drums sound on Road Trips Vol.2, No.3 (6/16 & 6/18/74) without all that echo effect. This is surprising considering the source of the Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack were multi-track and the Road Trips are 2-track.

    Whatever they did on Road Trips Vol.2, No.3 is magic to my ears!

    Thanks for all the great work on your blog. I'm really enjoying it!

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  4. Yeah, the sound on the GD Movie soundtrack is quite cavernous. Now of course the original recordings are famously screwed up - on some of the original tapes, Weir is barely heard in the back somewhere, there's a loud audience presence, things just aren't right & the usual clarity of Dead tapes is missing - Bear hated these tapes & wanted to junk them. I don't know why the Dead didn't just put their usual crew of Kidd Candelario or Betty Cantor in charge of the sound-mixing, but apparently someone from the film crew did it.
    Anyway - as far as the drum sound, if you check out one of the extras on the GD Movie DVD, Jeffrey Norman actually discusses how he mixed the drum sound for the soundtrack, showing how he 'beefed it up', which is quite interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  5. A couple more versions found!

    9/18/74 - in the first couple minutes of the Caution jam, Weir is playing the MLB chords, though the others aren't really following him -
    http://www.archive.org/details/gd1974-09-18.sbd.miller.20675.shnf

    9/6/79 - as they go into Stella Blue, Garcia pulls the MLB theme out of nowhere and plays it Stella-style - very nice -
    http://www.archive.org/details/gd1979-09-06.sbd.miller.79749.flac16

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've never seen this mentioned anywhere, but check out a Chick Corea tune called "Captain Senor Mouse". Its the same tune!

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  7. There's another Mind Left Body jam on 6/16/74, closing the jam out of Truckin'. They ease into this one a little uncertainly, so it's a rather loose and playful version, not as emotive. Garcia plays a waspy slide while Godchaux clatters around on the Fender Rhodes, and they segue smoothly into Wharf Rat.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Zephyr on the Transitive Axis forum has done a complete list of the Mind Left Body jams with comments, which I'll include here:

    Here's a pretty thorough list of all the known MLB jams, no matter how brief. Debatable teases were moved to the end of the list.

    04/08/72 At the tail end of DS; fantastic, but still evolving - call it a robust Neanderthal version.

    09/21/72 The real deal: fully developed and pretty much from out of nowhere, 4/8 notwithstanding. It starts 7 minutes from the end of DS.

    09/21/73 A full year later, pulled from the bog covered with rust and incomplete. It lasts for two minutes or so starting at about 10:30 in The Other One.

    10/19/73 Far more complete than 4 weeks earlier, running about 5+ minutes at the end of DS (tracked separately on DP19).

    10/25/73 A tasty jewel that emerges about 5 minutes into DS and dissolves slowly after about 5 minutes.

    10/30/73 Slo-mo splendor starting about 12 minutes into DS; it comes to a virtual stop after 3 minutes and then DS starts back up.

    11/11/73 At the tail end DS a crazy-gorgeous intro leads to 6 minutes of MLB fantasia; juiced!

    11/20/73 It arrives for real about 2-and-a-half minutes before Stella, but they tease it for a few minutes before busting it out.

    12/02/73 The seven minutes prior to going into He's Gone. This, for me, is the King Kong of MLBs. Holy Toledo!

    12/18/73 Jazzy but brief, it starts about 8 minutes into DS and ends about 90 seconds later.

    05/12/74 A 2-minute MLB wraps up The Other One; sweet slide from Garcia.

    05/19/74 This version provides a 3-minute wrap-up to one of the more inspired 15 minutes of jamming the Dead ever played. The complete jam links Truckin' to Not Fade Away. Garcia sound never sounded more sharply serrated.

    06/16/74 The 3 minutes of jamming prior to Wharf Rat. Fun and funky, they pull off a tempo change-up in the middle that's pretty amazing.

    06/28/74 If Beauty could kill, this version would slay anyone who ever listened to it. On the official GDP track called "Jam," after WRS; the MLB starts 5 minutes in and runs for 5:30 before morphing into a DS jam.

    07/31/74 This version runs nearly six minutes starting about 18 minutes after Truckin' begins. It's an interesting blend of mellow and snap, crackle, pop.

    09/18/74 A minute into the Caution Jam Weir starts playing his part while Lesh plays Caution riffs and Garcia skitters all over the joint. Extremely diffuse and a harbinger of most versions to be played in the '80s and '90s.

    10/17/74 Coming right after the Spanish Jam this 3-minute version is MLB's final hurrah as a full-fledged jam for a long time.

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    1976: When the band hits the road again in 1976 the MLB jam, along with a lot of other familiar elements of Dead shows from 1974, has been jettisoned. On some level, though, the jam gets incorporated into The Music Never Stopped. The distinctive chord progression is easily distinguished in many version of TMNS from this period: 9/30, 10/2, and 10/3, to name a few. Beyond this wraith-like existence, and in spite of the various sightings that are about to be cited, the jam all but disappears from the repertoire.

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  9. 10/18/78 This is a pretty good one, excitingly played as a mash-up of MLB and a "Got My Mojo Workin'" jam. How do they do that? It keeps veering away from MLB, but the Garcia brings it back and Weir reinforces it. Very cool. Icing on the cake is a long, lustrous intro to Wharf Rat.

    10/22/78 Starting at 17:30 of NFA, this version resembles the version from 5 days earlier but has a stronger Mojo component and a less focused MLB aspect. In the plus column, though, it features some guitar work from Cippolina (though I doubt he was familiar with the jam).

    09/06/79 On their way into Stella Blue the Boys take a delightful detour into a one-minute MLB jam. It's pretty clear Garcia and Weir know what's going on, but Mydland probably had no idea an iconic jam was being revisited. The Stella that follows is spectacular, with an outro jam for the ages.

    11/29/81 In the midst of a very good post-He's Gone Jam, Weir and Garcia find themselves playing a nicely drawn-out MLB jam that goes for about 100 seconds. It starts at 8:45 after the last vocals. The entire jam (12 minutes) is really wonderful.

    06/24/83 This is another solo outing, this time by Weir. Unlike 4/9/83 (see below), though, Weir gives it a pretty good workout. He bangs away at it for a solid 3 minutes after St. of Circumstances wraps.

    12/30/83 Coming at the end of post-drums Space, this is the genuine article, featuring participation from all three guitarists and running nearly four minutes. The last minute is especially nice: delicate and divine. After it wraps and they begin a build up to Truckin,' Weir drops back into the riff for a few seconds and then unleashes his whistle. It's a hoot.

    03/10/85 Evolving from post-Smokestack jamming, this is a full-band version that develops nicely for a while but gets handicapped by Garcia suffering some sort of brain cramp about three minutes in. Up to that point it had been building a nice head of steam. But Garcia suddenly just starts repeating a single riff over and over, quieter and quieter, until Lesh and Weir finally bail. Garcia, in some sort of hypnotic stupor, keeps playing the riff for another few minutes. Weird. Disappointing. The first three minutes, though, are really nice. The next five minutes are nice, too, in an "oh well" kind of way.

    03/22/85 Appearing after Terrapin and running about two minutes this version suffers a fate similar to the previous version: Garcia locks into a repeating riff that goes nowhere. He finally starts playing lead, but it's a PITB riff, and the MLB is suddenly gone.

    03/24/90 This version (the 7+ minutes after Terrapin) is the first full-blown revisitation since 12/30/83 and the best one, by a wide margin, since 1974. Twenty-one years after the fact it is still easy to understand why this chunk of music electrified Deadhead Nation in the spring of 1990. It starts modestly, though never tentatively, and just keeps building in both complexity and virtuosity. To me, this is a prime example of the band's amazing ability to take something simple, or something deeply familiar or routine, and work it up into a near miraculous tour de force. The version it reminds me of most is 6/28/74.

    09/25/91 This one lasts only about a minute, during the intro to That Would Be Something. I wonder, though, if Welnick was aware that "Mind Left Body" was the tune being played, since he, perhaps grasping for something familiar, starts playing Dear Prudence riffs. It's a fun passage, especially when you're left to wonder if Welnick's licks inspired Garcia to pull out McCartney's That Would Be Something for it's maiden voyage.

    06/08/92 Garcia starts toying with it at 7:45 of Corrina, but it doesn't truly emerge until about 9:30. The full band never really coalesces around it, and it dribbles off in static repetition.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Versions that are Really Weak, Just Barely There, and/or Entirely Debatable:

    03/05/72 Deeply embedded in Good Lovin’, the boys supposedly play the first MLB jam at this show, but this is for MLB archeologists more than anyone else. Very primordial, a mere hint of what's to come, and a little hard to pick out,

    07/21/74 An eensy MLB tease happens about 19 minutes into PITB. The MLB is just Garcia for about 20 seconds, while the Spanish Jam that follows runs less than a minute. Nevertheless, it's an energized couple of minutes that deserves at least a passing mention.

    09/14/74 The last 1:44 before Wharf Rat; this version is less a jam than a novel segue. Not much to write home about.

    11/25/79 I not sure why this date is on the list. Either I completely missed it, or it refers to the 10-20 seconds of music leading into Stella. If that's it, I would call this a miss. Fantastic 2nd set, but no MLB.

    04/09/83 This debatable MLB happens in the final 45 seconds of the outro jam from Throwing Stones. Garcia starts playing a very MLB riff which morphs into a decidedly Black-Throated Wind riff before finally settling into Black Peter. Nobody joins him, so calling it a "jam" is a stretch.

    10/20/84 Per Duderino: "Another one that probably falls more in the "snippet/quasi" category, but listen to 4:30 in Smokestack (clocks in at 12:55 on this recording, only about 4 minutes are actually Smokestack) Bob introduces the MLBJ theme which continues briefly then gets spun off in another direction, they tease it a little more for the next few minutes. Also worthwhile because it is a coooool jam."

    10/31/84 If this is even real, and I would say it isn't, it happens during Space just before Dew. Really, though, it's just Weir playing descending chords. Garcia is playing music from inside his own head and Lesh isn't on stage at all.

    03/29/85 This is another disappointing batch of not much. Coming before Baby What You Want, a bunch of descending chords give this 2-minute "jam" a veneer of MLBness. Lesh sits it out, and no one else has much to say. It feels more like a "we're replacing equipment" vamp than anything real.

    07/16/90 This is another "kinda/sorta" version. If you drop the needle about nine minutes into Truckin' you'll hear a jam that bears a faint resemblance to a MLB jam, but not all that much. It's ends just before the 11-minute mark, but did it ever really happen? On the other hand, the overall jam, judged on it's own terms, is pretty good.

    08/17/91 In the Gone Jam? Really? Somebody please help me here. This was a face-melter of a second set, with Lesh going full-bore avant garde during the post-He's Gone jam, a righteous Drums/Space and... Dark Star > Morning Dew? Yes! MLB? Not so much. If anyone can set me straight, please do.

    03/10/93 This one resembles 6/8/92, coming at the tail end of a Corrina jam, starting at about the 8-minute mark. This one, however, is far more diffuse and is really just Garcia, and even Garcia is just barely toying with the faintest vestiges of the jam.

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  11. The 6/28/74 is my favorite, as it is just a massive collection of jams. You can clearly hear the MLBJ morph into a Music Never Stopped jam, and I absolutely love the My Favorite Things jam that takes place before the Dark Star jam. The 6/26/74 jam mislabeled as MLBJ is pretty good, but more astounding the the jam in China Cat before the first verse. And of course the wonderful Eyes encore. Jerry kills it, but Phil DESTROYS his solo.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I found a cassette tape Fillmore West 06-07-69 song list has 12 songs including Dark Star and St. Stephens and an Acoustic W/Janis Joplin and 8 other tapes
    Boston Mass 71
    Cambridge Mit 70
    Winterland 77
    Buffalo ny 77
    S.F. 75
    RFK Stadium 73
    Kezar SF 2 Tapes 73
    Not sure what to do with them if they are just run of the mill prob just toss them not a big Dead Fan but I know there are more Dead Fans out there then the population of Texas any way if you have any insight drop me a note

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    1. Well, those are common shows (and good shows), but there must be plenty of ways to pass them on - post on craigslist, have a yard sale, drop them at a goodwill or someplace, and so on.... Maybe some deadhead near you still listens to tapes!

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  13. I made a mistake!
    I wrote that the 10/25/73 Vernon copy was "to be avoided since it's missing a big chunk of the Star."
    There is a tapecut in the middle of the Tiger jam. However, it's on all copies - the Dark Star is the same length on all sources.
    (I think the newer 10/25/73 source I linked is still an upgrade to the Vernon copy, though.)

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  14. Anyone notice the similarity between this riff and the riff for "You're All I Need To Get By" by Marvin Gaye?

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    1. According to a sheet music book i have, "Motown Showstoppers," which seems pretty reliable per playing the tunes, "You're All I Need to Get By" is made up of a chord progression of A, B7, Dm6 and back to A, over and over. It thus incorporates a descending notes pattern of F#, F and E (starting with the B7, with the B note continuing into the next chord), which is very similar to the pattern in Mind Left Body, though it's based around a different chord progression (and in MLB it starts with a G note). So yes, definite similarity. The same string of notes as "You're All..." can also be found in the "There's a band out on the highway..." part of The Music Never Stopped, again with different chords.

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    2. To clarify what i wrote on 10/18, in MLB the string of descending notes is made up of four notes, G, F#, F, E, whereas in the other two tunes discussed the descending string only has the latter 3 of these, F#, F, E.

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  15. Found another mistake here -
    The lilting riff Garcia plays in the middle of the 12/6/73 Dark Star is not the same as the one at the end of the 2/24/74 Star. Though they're kind of similar, they are two distinct melodies.

    He does tease that 12/6/73 melody for just a few seconds near the end of the 12/18/73 Star, but decides not to go there again, alas.

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  16. Led Zeppelin clearly used this riff 4/1/71 - Paris Theater, London, during the "Whole Lotta Love" medley. The show was recorded for BBC, released commercially and many bootleg versions also exist. My version* has it at 9:00 into the medley track, used to transition out of "It's Alright Mama". Wiki page indicates the released medley is missing 7 minutes. I'd link to the song, but can't find it posted without some copyright blockage. I'm no Zep expert, but I immediately recognized the MLB riff when I heard it. Maybe Zep did it other times?? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_Sessions_(Led_Zeppelin_album)

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    1. Not hard to get a copy of the show if you google around for it.

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    2. Not to worry, I have it and it comes at 10:30 in my copy. It's just a transitional riff Page plays for a couple bars (about 8 seconds), then the band goes immediately into "For What It's Worth," so it's not really a distinct theme...don't know without researching just how often Page used it as a "That's Alright" outro.
      But it does indicate just how common this type of descending-note sequence is, musically!
      Nice authentic Scotty Moore-type solo from Page in "That's Alright," too...

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  17. Phil Lesh & David Gans talked a bit about the "Mud Love Buddy Jam" in a 1996 interview - Gans asked Phil about the name:

    LESH: Apparently, in the Deadhead community, that particular little theme, that little chord sequence has been known as the "Mind Left Body Jam."
    GANS: Well, I can give you a little more background than that. Originally, John Scott, the editor of DeadBase, originally called that thing "Heaven Jam," because he thought the chord progression resembled "Heaven Help the Fool."
    LESH: Okay.
    GANS: I, and other "scholars," said, "Huh? I don't hear it." And we complained to him, and then he decided that it derived from "Your Mind Has Left Your Body," which is a Paul Kantner/Jefferson Starship piece from ["Baron Von Tollbooth and the Chrome Nun"].
    LESH: But it's just - it's like a chromatic sequence of chords. It's only four chords in the whole thing.
    GANS: And it's something that turned up off and on throughout the '70s, and I guess later, that you guys would play, and there are some really legendary instances of it, but it never seemed to me to have really a formal structure; it was just kind of a flavor and a set of --
    LESH: No, no, it's just those four chords.
    GANS: But it was *never* done the same way twice.
    LESH: No, right, and if we ever use it again it'll have a different name.
    CUTLER: So we knew we had to come up with a name for this thing --
    LESH: -- for publishing reasons.
    CUTLER: We were doing the mixing; we were just like fooling around, going through different names, and one day I was sitting at the board with Phil and I don't know, it just came out of my mouth: "Mud Love Buddy." I don't *know* where it came from. And he laughed, and he said, "That's it!" And that's it... But, it's totally a goof, you know.
    GANS: Who decided to name "Spinach Jam" on the last "Dick's Picks?"
    CUTLER: The infamous Dick Latvala named it.
    LESH: Spinach Jam...

    ftp://gdead.berkeley.edu/pub/gdead/interviews/Lesh-Cutler-10.17.96

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    1. I always assumed the Mud Love Buddy name was someone's mis-hearing of "Mind Left Body".

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  18. Light into Ashes --

    This is far and away the best essay on their music I have ever read. Incredibly useful too. I have snagged a number of shows with jams I especially liked from your lists.

    I also had a pleasant surprise reading at the end of the Mind Left Body Jam essay. I went to the Hampton 3/22/85 show. That was back in the days when I didn't have many tapes (I had about 80 that were ripped off the summer before) and not nearly the resources that are available now. I recall thinking that 3/22 was much hotter than 3/21. I specifically recall being really, really happy to hear a Spanish Jam (I didn't realize they had broken it back out and played it occasionally played it the past couple of years -- thought it was reemerging from the old days. I also recall really liking the Terrapin and now I know why. I wouldn't have known the Mind Left Body Jam back then -- didn't have any tapes with it on it. But, since it went on to be pretty much my favorite Jam that they ever did, not surprising I recall liking the Terrapin.

    I had a copy of the show -- both old tapes and digital. I listened to the old cassette tapes a decent amount back for a couple of years following the show. I grabbed a copy of it digitally pretty much just because it was one I went to; I would probably never have gone back to listen to that show if I hadn't seen your essay. Thanks!

    I just listened to some stuff from one of their Shrine November 67 shows. I recall thinking that they were going into and out of a lot of different jams/songs. I'm going to give that one a listen again and keep my ears open for jams that you haven't referenced here -- though your lists are just amazingly good. You definitely get a Guru award from me -- make that a High Guru award.

    Thanks!

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  19. I meant to put this in the Thematic essay, but you get the idea.

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    1. Thanks for the comment.
      The Nov '67 Shrine shows were just before they started doing distinct thematic jams, but you may hear a couple familiar riffs in the Alligator jam there...

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  20. Thanks for sharing. Your discussion and dissection of the band's material and performances seems to be "just exactly perfect".

    darkstar67

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  21. Irritating sound on The Grateful Dead Movie? Not quite! There are 3 audio options available: the original mix, the 5.1 mix (the "irritating" ones) and the stereo track, which is pretty dang good, if I remember correctly. The Other One sequence is on DVD2 even, which *only* has the stereo option.

    That whole sequence was the most mind blowing thing I've ever used "mind blowing" for ever in my life, so maybe I'm a lil biased and defensive.

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    1. OK, it's not that bad actually. I changed it to "echoey."
      I've just never been thrilled with the October '74 recordings, though Jeff Norman did quite a restoration job for the release.
      I favor the Dark Star sequence on the 18th, myself!

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  22. I made a few small corrections in this post.

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