June 19, 2010

Some 1968 Redates

Old tape collectors remember how many tapes from the early Dead-trading days came bearing wrong dates. For years, the correct dates for many tapes remained a mystery (and some are still in dispute) - this is especially true for the first few years of the Dead's career, when time and chronology vanish in the mists of the sixties....
Here I'll just note a couple date corrections for early 1968.

Charlie Miller has noted on deadlists: "The songs listed for 3/31/68 are actually from 1/22/68."

It's true. You can check for yourself:


It's even the same recording - you can tell most easily in the feedback>Goodnight. The SBD of 1/22 cuts out in the middle of Caution (at about 3:15), and resumes with the (incomplete) second part of the "3/31" AUD Caution (starting from the 4:15 point of that tape). So Miller's file of 1/22 is actually missing the vocal part of Caution that's present on the "3/31" recording.
Some enterprising soul can do a more complete patch of Caution using the extra four minutes in the "3/31" source. But there is still a big chunk missing - including most of the vocals - in the gap.

[UPDATE: I've changed my mind about this - see the Comments. The older copy of 1/22/68 has the actual end of the show.]

Aside from the strange misdating, I think this fragment illustrates that the Dead were "audience-taping" their own Anthem shows at the same time they were recording SBDs. I know I read an interview somewhere where it was said the Dead set up room mics at those shows, to try to better capture the live sound - I can't find the interview now, though. [see Comments]
This also raises the possibility that our 3/68 Carousel "audience" recordings were ALSO taped by the Dead themselves. It's long been a mystery how such a series of high-quality audience tapes could come from the lo-fi days of early '68, but it makes more sense if the Dead arranged the taping themselves. (A Bear experiment, perhaps? - he was the Carousel soundman at the time, and had every motivation to record.)
Those who might scoff at the idea that the Dead, with all their piles of tapes, would set up audience mikes at the same time they were taping the SBDs, should recall that even years later in summer '73, Garcia was still having Kidd Candelario make "AUD" recordings of some shows alongside the SBD reels! These are a couple examples that have surfaced:
From the notes: "Reels dubbed in 1979 by Will Boswell from Jerry Garcia's personal collection. Original recording made by the sound crew at the soundboard."

Miller has also noticed that on Dick Latvala's 1968 DATs, Latvala attributed our 3/26/68 recording to the 3/29 Carousel show.
I'm not positive about this - no songs are duplicated, but the sound isn't quite the same. The "3/26" tape has much less echo than the later Carousel recordings.

In any case, our "3/26" show is definitely NOT from the Melodyland in Anaheim, as the Archive file claims! (Though the band had played there earlier that month.) The Dead, as far as we know, did not play the Carousel or anywhere else on March 26. So presumably the "3/26" tape comes from one of the Carousel dates of 3/29 - 3/31 - though it could be from any unattributed show that month.
(More details on the Dead's March '68 schedule are here -
http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2010/04/grateful-dead-tour-itinerary-march.html )

Our Seattle shows dated 1/22 and 1/23/68 are actually from 1/26 and 1/27. (Apparently they were misdated on the original Dead reels, as the new Road Trips material still bears the date "1/23".)
This has been conjectured for some time - deadlists, for instance, has a note about the dating question:
"No documentary evidence (posters, reviews, newspaper ads, etc) has been found for shows there [in Seattle] during the Quick and the Dead tour, other than the two on 1/26 and 1/27. Joe Jupille researched the University of Washington Daily and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspapers and only found an ad for QMS and the Dead on 1/26 and 1/27 in the 1/26/68 edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer... He turned up no mention of other Quick and the Dead shows at Eagles Auditorium."
If there were shows on the 22nd and 23rd, they weren't in Seattle. (For clarity's sake, though, I still use the old "1/22" label!)
This post on another blog covers the issue fully, so I'll refer you there:

Our Spanish Jam fragment dated 1/27/68 - is indeed from 1/27, and completes the Spanish Jam that is cut on our "1/23" tape.

It's not totally certain that this is the same performance (and it has been debated), but I think it's very likely, especially once the dates match.
The "1/23" jam cuts off just as the Spanish theme is heating up. 1/27 picks up at almost the same point in the music, with apparently little missing. It's true that it makes for a very long Spanish jam (at over 18 minutes, by far the longest of the tour) - but consider, it's the last song of the show, and they do seem to be dragging it out quite a bit. The length includes a fair bit of space - and the next longest Spanish jam, from 1/17, also comes at the end of a set.
It's been pointed out that at the end, you can faintly hear Garcia saying, "See you next time we're in Seattle" (though I can't make out the next words) - which pretty much confirms that this tape fragment captures the ending of the 1/27 show, as that was their last Seattle date on that tour.
The biggest argument against the match is the different sound mix. But the sonic difference isn't that great - one listener found that the 1/27 tape has the stereo image reversed from the "1/23" tape. Simply switch left to right when you compare sources, and they're much more similar.
I'm not too troubled by this discrepancy. As we've seen, the "3/31" tape, sounding completely different from our 1/22 recording, nonetheless turned out to be exactly the same show, from a different source! And nobody could have known until Miller gave us the complete 1/22. And there, too, the Caution has that tapecut so we have a gap in there as well.... (This is a tour especially prone to tapecuts and short reels.)
In the case of 1/27 though, we can't really be positive that the Spanish interruption is just a tapeflip and not two separate performances, unless a more complete source turns up. But my feeling is it's the same show.


  1. Charlie Miller has released his copies of the Carousel 3/29 - 3/31/68 shows - he notes, "there is a lot of audience mixed in with the soundboard." If true, that would make these early 'matrix' tapes, rather than strictly 'audience' recordings. It does confirm that the Dead made these tapes, though!

    3/31 remains a fuzzy date... Miller notes that the "date and song order are uncertain" (it now includes several songs from the old 3/30 tape) - and he's opened up a can of worms by including the same /Caution>feedback>Goodnight that he put on 1/22/68 (per Latvala's notes).
    So the date of this section is still ambiguous! Although I was thrilled to find that the 1/22 show was nearly complete - now I'm not too certain. Maybe Latvala was just guessing, and this is from 3/31 after all...

  2. I'm now thinking that attributing the piece of 3/31/68 to the missing end of 1/22 was a mistake...
    For one, the mix sounds a lot like the other Carousel recordings. It also appears to be a 'matrix' - note the mix change in the Caution (the drums suddenly become more upfront about 3:30 in). As it happens, the 3/31 Dancing in the Streets also shows obvious mix changes in Miller's new source - the 'audience' sound drops out as they go into the solo and it switches to straight SBD for the rest of that track.
    Another dating clue is that we don't have any other sung Bid You Goodnights until mid-March '68.
    So it looks like the inclusion of this piece on Miller's 1/22 file was someone's mistake. I'll leave my post intact, though.

  3. I FINALLY found the quote I'd been looking for about the Dead 'room-taping' their winter '68 shows...
    It was Garcia, in a 1968 radio documentary on the Dead:
    "We recorded some of those shows using an 8-track machine for the band, and then using a 4-track machine for the room, so that we had 4 tracks of the room, various parts of the perspective of the room...one corner over here, one corner over here, one in the middle, done lots of different places... In mastering, we had the 8-track and the 4-track playing simultaneously. We'd mix them together and cross-fade them, so as to get partly the sound of the band, partly the sound of the hall, reverberating...it gives you a sense of enfolding space."
    So that's where the "audience" 4-tracks of those March '68 Carousel shows come from.

    The transcript of the documentary is here -

  4. It took me too long to correct this, but our tape of '6/19/68' is actually 2/19/69. (One less '68 show!) Separate post about that in January 2011.

  5. Another redate! (Or rather, a return to the correct date.) I found out our "11/6/68" studio rehearsal is actually from December '68 - which illustrates how easily knowledge about these Dead tapes can be forgotten or overlooked.

    Deadbase X makes this comment on the session: "What's obviously going on is that the rest of the band is teaching T.C. the material."
    Listening again, this is indeed blatantly obvious. Pigpen is not on organ, and not at this rehearsal at all.
    Since TC didn't join the band until 11/23, clearly the 11/6 date is incorrect. I had this session with the date of 12/10/68, which is very likely to be the true date.

  6. Just for the sake of easy reference, I'm posting here my Archive notes on the set of undated 1968 Vault reels that circulates:
    http://ia700201.us.archive.org/2/items/gd68-xx-xx.sbd.vernon.9426.sbeok.shnf/gd1968-xx-xx.9426.txt (the text info file)

    Disc 1 (excerpt 1, tracks 1-11) is an unknown show from May/early June '68 at the Carousel.
    (This also circulates separately as "May '68", and I think it's also the extra filler on one of the 8/23/68 Archive copies.)

    Disc 2 - excerpt 2 (tracks 12-13) is from 2/15/69.
    Excerpt 3 (tracks 14-19) is an alternate mix of 2/3/68.
    Excerpt 4 (tracks 20-21) seems to be from an unknown '69 show, but it's too short to tell.

    Disc 3 (excerpt 5, tracks 22-30) is 8-21-68.
    (I'm surprised the 'Mystery Reels' compilers didn't notice this one - but there has been some confusion in the past over this August run, some dates being mixed up - especially 8/22, where old tapes were simply 8/24 rearranged...)

    Disc 4 - excerpts 6 (tracks 31-35) and 7 (tracks 36-41) are both from June '68. The Stephens are practically identical to the Stephen on 6/14/68. (What little we can hear of the first Stephen on disc 1 seems to come from a little earlier in the song's development, since the final jam isn't worked out.)
    Since the Dead were clearly taping their June '68 shows (part of the 6/14/68 sbd was discovered & released on a GD bonus disc), it's a shame so little survives, but at least we have these fascinating pieces.

  7. I should mention, although Miller's copy of 1/22/68 has 3/31/68 tagged on at the end, the older copy does seem to have the actual ending of 1/22/68 - after the Caution tapecut at 3:14, we get //Caution (1 min)>Feedback (5 min). No telling how long the full Caution went.

  8. Ok, so the comment above in which you're referring to 1-22-68 is actually part of the other "1-22-68" (.which seems to be 1-27-68) and not a piece of an unknown show that actually took place on 1/22?

    As far as "1/23" (which seems to be 1/27) this version ( https://archive.org/details/gd1968-01-23.sbd.finney.4528.shnf ) has a St.Stephen>Eleven>Drums (27 min w/ a tabla player) since St.Stephen wasn't being played this early this is not from Jan...any ideas where this might be from, plus Road Trips 2.2 includes songs from "1/23" including: BIODTL,Hurts Me Too, Dark Star>Chinacat>Eleven & Lovelight...any ideas if this combined with what Charlie Miller has up for "1/23/68" ( https://archive.org/details/gd1968-01-23.sbd.miller.97343.sbeok.flac16 ) might actually make up the entire 1-27-68 Eagles Auditorium show, any insight as to correct order of setlist?

    1. Yes, I just use "1/22" for convenience - I believe our "1/22" tape comes from 1/26, and "1/23" from 1/27. There's no accounting for the misdated labels.
      The older copy of the "1/22" tape has the actual ending of the show, which Miller mistakenly replaced on his transfer.

      The Stephen>Eleven>drums on that old copy of "1/23" is filler from 9/20/68.

      I would guess the "1/23" material on Road Trips 2.2 is from the same show as the circulating "1/23," that seems logical. What we had is from the end of the second set, so I think the Road Trips songs are likely from the first set, probably most of the set. (Note that before both Viola Lee & Lovelight, the band comment on dancing.)
      According to newspaper reports, Lovelight was the Dead's first song on 1/27. (It's anyone's guess what order the other songs were in.) On both nights, the band urged the audience to dance; on 1/27, though, inspectors were requesting the audience to stop dancing (as we hear before Viola Lee). The band played two sets each night.

    2. Thanks, not sure how I missed that 9/20 show. Appreciate the research and clearing some of these dates up in general, thoroughly enjoy your stuff !

  9. Love reading these postings & comments -- great insight on this (and everything else)!

    Really wish that whoever made the initial transfer of the “1/23” tracks from the vault tape for inclusion on Road Trips had taken note of the sequence in which they appeared on the reels -- because even though the machine was clearly paused between songs, they’d still be in the appropriate order. Considering that we KNOW that the first set began with Lovelight, and that we KNOW (or presume) that the second set ended with TIFTOO > Clementine > Caboose > Born Cross Eyed > Spanish, and that we KNOW that Dark Star > China Cat > Eleven were sequential and were located somewhere between those other two passages … if we simply knew where the other three tracks were located relative to these on the vault reels, we could probably figure out something pretty close to the actual running order.

    On top of that, my personal guess has always been that Viola Lee Blues was likely the second song of the first set, if only because the stage banter that precedes it so strongly suggests that it occurred immediately after that incident (e.g. “is that lady still here?” and “the cops say you can’t dance” and “well THAT was short lived”). No way to know for sure, of course, unless Lovelight & Viola are two sequential tracks on a single reel. But if that WAS the case, then all we’d need to figure out is where to stick BIODTL & Hurts Me Too, and we’d know the whole sequence.

    The really frustrating thing about it all, of course, it that this isn’t an un-knowable thing: the vault reels exist! It would theoretically be possible for someone to go in and figure out this bit of info … it just isn’t very likely to happen.

    Speaking of vault reels … I was wondering if anyone has any insight into how long one of these professional-grade four-track 1968-vintage reels was. “Short” obviously sums it up … there seems to be a reel flip about every 30 minutes in most of the shows (or show segments) from this tour & the general period … but not exactly 30 minutes. Sometimes seems to be about 32-to-34 minutes between reel flips. Do professional grade tapes have a little “extra” on the ends?

    I ask primarily because if we knew this, we might be able to infer something about which tracks from 1/23 are parked on the same reel. For example, Viola lasts something like 22 minutes – so if this was a 30-to-35 minute tape, there are only a handful of things that could have been on the same reel (e.g. the Dark Star>China>Eleven segment wouldn’t fit). Of course, they might have used different length reels or flipped early, so it’s tough to take that sort of speculation very far.

    The other thing that I wonder about is the notable absence of Alligator & Caution/Feedback –since they were taping these shows for possible use on Anthem, it’s fairly clear that there was a certain subset of songs that they made sure to run through almost every time. I figured that the most likely possibility was that because the show had a defined time limit (9pm-to-2am, according to the playbill & city ordinance), and because they were sharing the bill with another band (Quicksilver), and because the show was clearly stopped for period of time by the license inspectors, they simply ran out of time. Might have omitted these by chance, then … or might have intentionally done so since they’d nailed Alligator & Feedback the night before (i.e. “1/22” or “1/26”).

    What we have from 1/23 (1/27) is over 1:45 long, which might well be a whole show for that era (Carousel show of 2/14 was longer, but that was on home turf). Is it possible, though, that there are some tracks on the recently-discovered reels used for Road Trips that didn’t get released, or that (drool) there’s yet another 30 minute reel out there in the ether somewhere with an Alligator > Caution > Feedback that opened the second set?

    Speculation is fun! Keep posting this terrific stuff.

    1. It is frustrating that the contents of the Vault reels are locked in secrecy. I wonder if we will ever know even the dates of all the reels that have been returned to the Vault recently.

      Lemieux said that the rediscovered '68 reels were not the original show masters, but compilations of individual songs or sequences from various shows - no complete shows. So quite possibly on these reels, songs from a show may not be in order.
      He also said the only piece they couldn't fit was a ten-minute Alligator (no Caution) which was dropped due to sound issues - didn't say what date it was, though.

      Reels could vary tremendously in length, but say a 10.5" reel at 15 IPS, or a 7" reel at 7.5 IPS, would each be about 32-33 minutes. Per deadlists, most of the NW-tour Anthem shows were recorded on 7-inch reels at 7.5 IPS, but 2/14/68 and the Lake Tahoe shows were on 10-inch reels at 15 IPS. So yes, that would be about the standard time per reel, but perhaps more investigation is needed here. I wouldn't be surprised if they used a variety of reel lengths.

  10. Aaahhh ... the reels are a compilation. I hadn't realized that -- and it explains a lot. I guess some things about a 46-year-old show probably aren't knowable.

    Not quite sure who would make a compliation reel like this or why, but I'm sure glad they did. Everything on it that was released on Road Trips was a gem, and -- in sequence or not -- we still have all-or-almost-all of at least one show from the "Great Northwest Tour", which gives a lot of insight into what these events must have been like (I imagine that they blew people away in a place like the Seattle of 1968). That 1/27 performance was a hell-of-a-show, stem-to-stern!

    Thanks again for all the research and background info on those tapes -- thanks also for the info on reel lengths & speeds (helps my thinking on this a lot). Love reading your posts (& replies to other posts) -- keep 'em up!

    Johnny D