January 8, 2010

The Dead's Early Thematic Jams

This is a short guide to the various themed jams the Dead did in their early years. I've listed a lot of them here & there before, so some of these are repeated from previous posts. But I thought it might be useful as a handy reference for others, to have all the early jams gathered together in a brief introduction.
Note that this guide stops at 1974. There's also a good overview of many of these jams in the first Taping Compendium.

In no particular order....


The Feelin' Groovy jam is basically four chords based on the 1966 Simon & Garfunkel song, and was frequently done in Dark Stars from '69-'72. This first appeared in Dark Star in late '69 - in '73 it migrated into the middle of China>Rider, with a rather different feel and an extra 'bridge' section added. (A lot of people also call it the "Uncle John's Jam" since the four chords are very similar. There's not that much resemblance between the Dead's chords and Paul Simon's fingerpicking, even if his song was the inspiration - with most of these jams, the Dead just used the basic song chords as a starting point, with Garcia creating his own melodies.)
The first Feelin' Groovy jam appears in the 9/26/69 Dark Star, around the 11-minute mark, unfortunately hard to appreciate due to the sound quality:
Since it's an audience tape, most people probably haven't heard it - but this one from the Dark Star a month later is well-known:
- and just a week after that it had one of its best performances:
Feelin' Groovy appeared in many Dark Stars thereafter, too many to link - almost every one through 1970. Some of the best-loved versions might include 1/2/70, 2/13/70, 5/15/70, 9/19/70, 10/21/71, 4/14/72, and 5/25/72. (In 2/13/70, Garcia comes closest to quoting the melody of the Simon & Garfunkel song.) From the end of '69 and through '70, Dark Star had a particular format: after the first verse the band would evaporate into space, explore weirdness for a while, then slowly return back to melody - and here the Feelin' Groovy jam (or sometimes the Tighten Up jam) would emerge, like bright joy after the darkness. (Sometimes though, they mixed things up or weren't in the mood, and you sometimes catch Garcia refusing to enter a Feelin' Groovy jam even when Lesh is trying to drop one in - for instance, repeatedly in the 2/14/70 Dark Star.) Over time the Stars changed, and became more dense and complex, particularly after Keith joined - a couple fine examples of '71 Feelin' Groovy jams are 7/31 and 10/21/71. The '72 Stars got jazzier with more jamming elements and meltdowns, and the Feelin' Groovy jam often became more brief and fleeting - sometimes just a hint from Phil (as on 8/27/72).
All these appearances are in Dark Stars:
One reader has written a comprehensive descriptive guide to these Feelin' Groovy jams in Dark Star:
Feelin' Groovy almost never appeared in the Other One, with one prominent exception - 4/11/72:
Late '72 saw the end of its stay in Dark Star - one instance is 10/18/72, a classic version at the end of the Star, after the Philo Stomp:
By contrast, from 11/13/72 we have an extremely fast version in a Star filled with intense meltdowns:
The last time I recall Feelin' Groovy being played in a Dark Star is 11/26/72, a great version that should be known by more people - the end of the Star has a bass solo>Feelin' Groovy>Tiger meltdown - Garcia's tone in the Feelin' Groovy is just amazing:
A couple times the Feelin' Groovy jam would appear 'solo': on 10/2/72, in the post-Truckin' jam it's one of the themes after Nobody's Fault But Mine and is played very loosely, leading up to Morning Dew:
And on 2/24/73 it's part of the jam coming out of Eyes of the World (unfortunately the more complete audience tape isn't on the Archive), and follows a long bass solo - Garcia initiates it and they play it very sweetly, segueing into Sugar Magnolia:
http://www.archive.org/details/gd73-02-24.sbd.elliot.11929.sbeok.shnf (mislabeled as a Truckin'>Nobody's Fault jam, and cuts off just before Sugar Magnolia starts)
The first time Feelin' Groovy entered the China>Rider transition was on 3/16/73; and there it would stay over the next two years, with many exciting versions as it became increasingly jammed-out - a couple examples would be the Dick's Picks of 6/26/74 and 8/5/74.
One unique variation happens in the 3/31/73 show - after toying with the Spanish Jam in the Other One, out of the Other One space they suddenly shift into Feelin' Groovy, and from there head naturally into Rider without bothering with the China Cat:
After 1974, Feelin' Groovy mysteriously disappeared.


The Tighten Up jam was a very common Latin-style jam theme in 1970. It's often called a proto-Eyes jam since Weir plays two repeating jazzy chords that are rhythmically similar to the opening of Eyes of the World; but they were commonly thought to be from Archie Bell & the Drells' 1968 tune.
This has been debated, though - some people have pointed out that there's also a similarity to the intro of Chicago's 1969 song 'Beginnings'. And it turns out there's even a stronger resemblance to the 1968 Young/Holt Unlimited tune 'Soulful Strut,' which has similar chords and piano melody. I've come to think that this should actually be called the 'Soulful Strut' jam since that could be the main inspiration for the Dead; but in this post I'll leave the name as the better-known Tighten Up jam.
One writer analyzes the chords here:
Its first appearance I'm aware of was on 8/30/69, where Weir plays the chords as Garcia's changing a string during Dark Star; it gets a full band performance on 10/25/69. After that they played it steadily for a year, in many Dark Stars and after March '70 in most of the Dancing in the Streets. They apparently dropped it in 1971, except for a surprise appearance on 10/31/71. As we'll see it was normal for the Dead to use a jam-theme interchangeably between two different songs like that, and Tighten Up works well in both of them. (It's surprising it took so long for them to play it in Dancing, since it's similar to the usual Dancing two-chord jam pattern - on 12/11/69 for instance, the Dancing is extremely close to a Tighten Up.)
These are the performances I've found so far; I've probably missed a few (I think there are some in Lovelights as well), but this is the most complete listing available.
10-25-69 Star - http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-10-25.sbd.jagla.81.sbefail.shnf
11-2-69 Star - http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-11-02.sbd.goodbear.1125.sbefail.shnf
12-26-69 Star - http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-12-26.sbd.murphy.1821.sbeok.shnf
1-2-70 Star - http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-01-02.partial-early.sbd.86.sbefail.shnf
3-1-70 Dancing - http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-03-01.sbd.hanno.4641.sbefail.shnf  (AUD - SBD is available here: http://www.dead.net/features/tapers-section/march-18-march-24-2013 )
3-21-70 Dancing - http://www.archive.org/details/gd1970-03-21.late.aud.lee.pcrp.21779.shnf
4-3-70 Dancing - http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-04-03.sbd.cotsman.4283.sbefail.shnf
4-12-70 Dancing - https://archive.org/details/gd70-04-12.sbd.kaplan.3820.sbeok.shnf  (also released on Fallout from the Phil Zone)
4-15-70 Dancing - http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-04-15.sbd.kaplan.14354.sbeok.shnf
4-24-70 Star - http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-04-24.aud.hanno.19531.sbeok.shnf
5-2-70 Dancing - https://archive.org/details/gd1970-05-02.sbd-fm-aud.unknown.108955.flac16 (and Dick's Pick)
5-6-70 Dancing - http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-05-06.sbd.gans.94.sbefail.shnf
5-8-70 Star - http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-05-08.aud.miller.32056.sbeok.flacf
5-24-70 Star - http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-05-24.sbd.hanno.6481.sbeok.shnf
6-6-70 Dancing - http://www.archive.org/details/gd1970-06-06.sbd.miller.86951.sbeok.flac16
6-24-70 second Star - http://www.archive.org/details/gd_nrps70-06-24.aud.pcrp5.23062.sbeok.flacf
7-12-70 Dancing - http://www.archive.org/details/gd1970-07-12.aud.unknown.sirmick.24663.sbefail.shnf
9-17-70 Star - http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-09-17.aud.remaster.sirmick.27591.sbeok.shnf
10-5-70 Dancing - http://www.archive.org/details/gd1970-12-17.sbd.unk.87356.sbeok.flac16 (mislabeled; also released in the 2/4/70 Download Series)
10-24-70 Dancing - http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-10-24.sbd.hollister.103.sbeok.shnf
10-30-70b Dancing - http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-10-30.sbd.cotsman.20044.sbeok.shnf
11-8-70 Dancing - http://www.archive.org/details/gd1970-11-08.aud.weiner.28609.sbeok.shnf
10-31-71 Star - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4jOqjRA49c (and Dick's Pick)
(I might add that Deadlists claims there's a Tighten Up in the 2/2/70 Star, but there isn't. It is teased at other times, like in the 9/18/70 Dancing or 10/17/70 Dark Star.)

The Tighten Up and Feelin' Groovy jams have often been confused, even by Latvala who should have known better! There were Dark Stars where they did both of these jams, but the 1970 Dancings generally have Tighten Up jams, not Feelin' Groovy jams. The easy way to check: is Weir repeating two chords or four chords?
Sometimes the two themes are done back-to-back. They were introduced into Dead jams around the same time, and for a few months they're often paired in Dark Stars, as in 10/25 and 12/26/69, then again in 4/24 and 5/8/70. (After that they went their separate ways.)
In particular, check out the Dark Stars from 11/2/69 or 1/2/70, which have the same structure after the first verse: - a space, weird & wild, - then the Feelin' Groovy jam, almost sounding more fully developed than it was in later years with different variations, and when that dies down, - the Tighten Up jam, again done fully & at length; when this is done it's time for the second verse.

This was an older (outdated) website covering some of the Tighten Up jams:
One reader has written descriptive reviews of all the Tighten Up jams:


The Mind Left Body jam originated in the PERRO sessions, where we can hear an early, faster version of the four descending chords. Paul Kantner took this riff for his 1973 song 'Your Mind Has Left Your Body,' which Garcia played pedal steel on. Garcia in turn adapted it into a Grateful Dead theme, which first showed up on occasion in '72, but started regularly entering the jams in fall '73. It added a transcendental feeling to many shows up through '74 - these are some of the most notable jams:
4-8-72 Dark Star
9-21-72 Dark Star
10-19-73 Dark Star
10-30-73 Dark Star
11-11-73 Dark Star
12-2-73 Playing
5-19-74 Truckin' jam
6-28-74 WRS jam
7-31-74 Truckin' jam
10-17-74 Other One
In 1975 the MLB theme was turned into the bridge section in Weir's Music Never Stopped (some 1976 versions of that song have particularly pronounced mini-MLB jams); but in later years it made some infrequent appearances in unexpected places.
Sometimes the MLB jam is mistaken for Feelin' Groovy - on Dicks Pick 12, Latvala even called the China>Rider transition the 'Mud Love Buddy' jam, which is misleading. The segue jam in the '73/74 China>Riders is definitely Feelin' Groovy, not MLB - Latvala just messed that up. (For instance, on DP12 the jam from 6/28 IS the MLB jam, but doesn't get named!)

I go into much more detail about this theme with more examples, links, and jam descriptions in the Mind Left Body post -


Weir based the Spanish Jam on the song 'Solea' on Miles Davis' album Sketches of Spain, sometime in late '67 when the Dead started recording Anthem of the Sun. As it was, a little bit of the Spanish Jam actually got on the album, in the form of a short Davis-flavored trumpet break from Phil in the middle of Born Cross-Eyed (after the verse, "Think I'll come back here again, every now and then, from time to time"). For a moment, it seems like Garcia and the band are about to break into the Spanish Jam, but they quickly cut back to the song....
In any case, the Spanish Jam debuted on the Anthem tour of early '68 and was played regularly - but, was soon dropped from the setlists (along with Born Cross-Eyed). Weir kept it in mind though, and it made a surprise reappearance at the 2/11/70 allstar-jam show, out of Dark Star. It then disappeared for three more years - was revived for two shows in March '73 (tied with Dark Star again on 3/24/73) - was dropped again - and, once again, emerged from nowhere in another Dark Star jam on 6/23/74. Finally the Dead felt ready for it, and played it frequently through the rest of '74. However, aside from one show in '76, the Spanish Jam remained unheard for several years after the hiatus, until another revival on 5/6/81. After that, it appeared now and then, from time to time in shows up to the end in '95, making it one of the longest-lasting Dead jams.
Here is an older post with a brief history of the Spanish Jam:
And here are some more examples of notable early Spanish Jams not linked in that post:
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1968-01-17.sbd.cotsman.11795.shnf - the first

 UPDATE: I've done a more complete post on this theme: 


The Main Ten was a ten-beat Mickey Hart riff the Dead started playing in mid-'68. It popped up in shows now & then for a couple years, when they felt like taking an excursion. It also appeared on Hart's first album Rolling Thunder. It's strange to hear this riff today, when it's so identified with Playing in the Band, but in its original incarnation it embodies a mysterious, otherworldly feeling.
The earliest performance we have is from 2-19-69 (mislabeled):
It resurfaces, surprisingly, in a couple '69 Dark Stars:
4-11-69 in Dark Star (short, at 10-minute mark) -
4-15-69 in Dark Star (short, at 17 minutes) -
11-8-69 (in the Caution) - Dick's Pick.
12-5-69 (after the Uncle John's jam, segueing into a lovely Baby Blue) -
5-3-70 (for completeness' sake, a short bit inside this Lovelight - although the band can barely be heard, it's interesting to hear the crowd clapping to the beat) -
6-7-70 (a mystical groove in-between the great Cryptical outro and the first Sugar Magnolia) -
11-6-70 (inside the Good Lovin') -
11-8-70 (out of Dark Star, and into Dancin' in the Streets) - http://www.archive.org/details/gd1970-11-08.aud.weiner.28609.sbeok.shnf
In early '71, the Dead decided to turn the riff into a complete song, and merged it into Playing in the Band, which debuted on 2/18/71. It's credited to Weir/Hart/Hunter - presumably Hart originated the Main Ten, Weir added the other sections of the song, and Hunter wrote the lyrics. (Weir also turned Hart's "Pump Song" into the Greatest Story Ever Told.) Playing was a catchy tune which wouldn't become a 'jam' number for another year, but it lost the spooky feel that the Main Ten had.


The Seven is another riff from the experimental days of '68, and there are very few tapes. The earliest Seven riff is played briefly by Garcia at one point in the long 5/21/68 Carousel jam. There are a couple Sevens in the Hartbeats Matrix shows on 10/8/68 and 10/10/68, and there's a short one coming out of the Viola Lee on 3/21/70 (they had sometimes teased it in '69 Viola Lees) - but the best is on the AUD recording of 9/29/69, it's very tight!
http://www.archive.org/details/gd68-10-10.sbd.miller-ladner.4513.sbeok.shnf (Hartbeats practice)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-09-29.aud.early.hollister.79.sbeok.shnf (out of Doin' That Rag, into Good Lovin')
http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-03-21.early.lee.pcrp.20184.sbeok.shnf (brief, out of Viola Lee & into Cumberland Blues)


One jam that switched places over the years is the 'We Bid You Goodnight' jam. This is unique as a song the Dead would jam instrumentally during Alligator, and then sing a cappella at the end of the show after "feedback"! It was introduced during the Anthem '68 tour - Garcia had been listening to Joseph Spence & the Pindar Family's version and liked this song.
The earliest sung version we have comes from 3/16/68. [One copy of 1/22/68 has it tacked on at the end from a later show.] The earliest instrumental Goodnight theme I recall is in the 2/24/68 Dick's Picks show, 5 minutes into the Alligator, played in Garcia's usual staccato fashion at the time.
By '69 the instrumental Goodnight theme frequently appears in Alligators, played a lot faster than it was later. I looked up a few shows where it's tracked separately and easy to find:
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1969-02-15.sbd.goodbear.2175.sbeok.shnf - Alligator
http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-11-01.sbd.cotsman.6298.sbeok.shnf - Alligator
http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-12-12.sbd.gerland.10988.sbeok.shnf - Alligator
http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-12-30.sbd.miller.28469.sbeok.shnf - Alligator
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1970-01-03.sbd.gmb.97743.flac16 - Eleven>Alligator (following a brief China Cat tease)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-02-05.sbd.hanno.9184.sbefail.shnf - Eleven>Caution (here Garcia almost takes it into a China Cat riff)
In 1970, as Alligators grew rare, the Goodnight jam starts showing up in Not Fade Aways, including 8/18, 9/18, and 9/20/70 - a few examples:
[It also appears in the "11/10/70" Not Fade Away, but that was a false label for 9/20/70.] 
Starting in October 1970, it became the 'bridge' between Goin' Down the Road and Not Fade Away. This brings us to the birth of Goin' Down the Road - with so many shows missing from fall 1970, we're lucky to be able to hear it take shape from the start.
On 10/10 they start playing Goin' Down the Road instrumentally in Not Fade Away, but they never sing it:
On 10/11 it emerges as a separate song - but they don't play the Goodnight theme afterwards, instead they jump straight from "don't want to be treated this way" back into NFA:
On 10/17, the Goodnight theme ends Goin' Down the Road for the first time:
And at our next show, 10/23, the Goodnight theme returns in the same spot - and it's a nice version, as they're already stretching it out before returning to NFA:
After this, it closed out pretty much every Goin' Down the Road for the next four years and beyond. I particularly like the versions from late '71 when they extend the two-chord jam going on after the Goodnight theme. One example is the 10/31/71 Dick's Pick, not as 'pretty' as some others but jammed out to four minutes.
There is one more version I must link, though a short one - on 11/19/72, for the only time (?), the Dead closed a show with the Goodnight instrumental:


Garcia was quoting Donovan's 1967 'There Is A Mountain' long before the Allman Brothers were formed, most often playing it for a bar or two in Alligator jams. I think the earliest instance is in the 9/3/67 Alligator; and you can hear it at 9:00 in the Alligator on the Anthem album, or briefly at 12:00 in the 2/14/68 Alligator. Melodically it sounds similar to the Bid You Goodnight riff, so it's interesting that both of these pieces were born in the Alligator jam - there are many early Alligators where Garcia seems constantly just about to play one of these.....
It's tricky finding good links for it though, since he always plays it as just a brief tease, and there's little point in directing you to long Alligators just to find a few seconds of a melody. But one place where it has its own track is 11/6/70 after Goin' Down the Road:
A couple other places where Garcia is playing, not necessarily the exact riff, but an extended jam in the Mountain Jam style, include the 6/4/70 Midnight Hour -
- and six minutes into this expansive Not Fade Away, which in this poor AUD recording sounds like a distorted wah-wah rendition!


Then there's the 'Darkness' jam from the 1969 Youngbloods song which was done a few times in 1970; the most well-known version is in the 9/19/70 Not Fade Away where it's very clear. (They also do the China Cat riff in that NFA, which they did frequently (and at greater length) in the fall of 1971.)
The earliest example is the 9/6/69 jam after the Jefferson Airplane show, where Garcia plays this theme around the 17-minute point.
Other places it was played:
http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-05-07.aud.weiner-gdADT04.5439.sbefail.shnf (in the Lovelight, which includes several theme-jams in a row)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-05-24.sbd.hanno.6481.sbeok.shnf (in the Lovelight, briefly)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-06-06.sbd.ashley.2172.sbeok.shnf (in the fantastic Alligator jam, following the Bid You Goodnight riff)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1970-09-19.mtx.chappell.SB14.31510.sbeok.flac16 (Darkness/China Cat jam in NFA)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-12-12.sbd.clugston.5985.sbeok.shnf (after Goin Down the Road, goes into the Stephen riff, very low-key)
http://archive.org/details/gd71-04-13.sbd.unknown.32015.sbeok.flacf (in Good Lovin')
It made a surprise return on 7/31/71, which could be the last version:
http://www.archive.org/details/gd71-07-31.winberg.weiner.5678.gdADT05.sbefail.shnf (AUD) - after Goin' Down the Road, comes uniquely out of the Bid You Goodnight jam (the SBD was released on the Summer '71 Road Trips)


My own favorite jam was done very few times - the instrumental version of Uncle John's Band, which is just lovely, but was done only in November '69:
http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-11-01.sbd.cotsman.6298.sbeok.shnf (in the Alligator jam - brief, following the Goodnight theme)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-11-07.sbd.kaplan.19783.sbefail.shnf (in Dark Star)
https://archive.org/details/gd1969-11-08.sbd.wise.17433.shnf (in Dark Star) - The most famous version, on Dick's Picks.
12/5/69 has a very short Uncle John riff preceding the Main Ten, but because it's cut by the AUD taper, it's impossible to tell whether this is the Jam or part of the full song, which had debuted the previous day.
This is one of the only jams where we have a recording from the Dead's home rehearsals, a long standalone version from the fall of '69 (very poor, distorted sound, but taped by Robert Hunter I think), which has the Dead exploring the Uncle John's jam at length - and also John Dawson's first version of Friend of the Devil, before Garcia sang it. Priceless stuff, highly recommended! (One track is labeled a "Feelin' Groovy" jam, but both the jams are based on the Uncle John's Band riffs.)


The Dead sometimes played the China Cat riff aside from the song, in moments of jamming exuberance in '70/71.
Our first example actually comes from a year earlier, when China Cat was out of the rotation - in the great Alligator jam on 2/7/69, shortly after the drums, Weir starts up the China Cat riff and the band grabs it. Garcia seems to be trying to remember how it goes, and he eventually drags them back to Alligator.
The China Cat jam was an occasional occurrence in 1970 when the band was in a good mood - in these shows, notice how often the Dead tend to string together various common themes:
http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-01-03.sbd.ret.19440.sbeok.shnf - in the hot Alligator jam (briefly, China Cat jam>Bid You Goodnight riff)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1970-03-21.late.aud.lee.pcrp.21779.shnf - in the Not Fade Away (Stephen riff>China Cat jam)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-05-07.aud.weiner-gdADT04.5439.sbefail.shnf - in the Lovelight (a great jam that includes the Stephen riff>Darkness riff>jam>China Cat jam)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-06-04.sbd.miller.12135.sbeok.shnf - in the Midnight Hour (briefly - it follows a very Mountain Jam-like passage)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1970-09-19.mtx.chappell.SB14.31510.sbeok.flac16 - Darkness>China Cat jam in Not Fade Away
Later in '71, China Cat jams became a regular feature in Not Fade Away. By late '71 Not Fade Away was hitting a new peak and becoming more jammed-out than it had been in early '71, and some of the best versions come from this tour. These are the Not Fade Aways with China Cat jams in them:
and a later one - http://www.archive.org/details/gd72-04-14.sbd.hurwitt.8828.sbeok.shnf
The China Cat riff would sometimes pop up in later post-hiatus shows too, particularly in Franklin's Tower, where it fit nicely.


It's already been mentioned a few times in these notes, but frequently in 1970 the Dead would break into the St Stephen riff in the middle of a jam. This was more a 'tease' than a jam really, since they usually just jab at it for a few moments and then move on....sometimes it sounds like Lesh is pushing it but Garcia doesn't want to go that way. But these are the most notable occurrences:
3-21-70 Not Fade Away - http://www.archive.org/details/gd1970-03-21.late.aud.lee.pcrp.21779.shnf
5-7-70 Lovelight - http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-05-07.aud.weiner-gdADT04.5439.sbefail.shnf
6-4-70 Not Fade Away - http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-06-04.sbd.miller.12135.sbeok.shnf
7-12-70 Lovelight - http://www.archive.org/details/gd1970-07-12.aud.unknown.sirmick.24663.sbefail.shnf - (tracked separately - this is one of the best 1970 shows, and one of the worst tapes....)
10-24-70 Good Lovin' - http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-10-24.sbd.hollister.103.sbeok.shnf
11-11-70 Hard to Handle - http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-11-11.aud.cotsman.17081.sbeok.shnf (the jam comes very close to St Stephen, but doesn't quite go all the way)
12-12-70 Not Fade Away - http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-12-12.sbd.clugston.5985.sbeok.shnf
4-26-71 Good Lovin' - https://archive.org/details/gd71-04-26.sbd.murphy.4991.sbefail.shnf
4-29-71 Alligator jam - https://archive.org/details/gd71-04-29.sbd.frisco.16782.sbeok.shnf (just a brief tease; also released on Ladies & Gentlemen)
In 1972 the solos in Greatest Story Ever Told often edged close to St Stephen territory - one famous full-blown Stephen quote (complete with Donna's wails) happened here:
9-28-72 - http://www.archive.org/details/gd72-09-28.sbd.bill.12657.sbeok.shnf
A couple later examples are in the Greatest Stories on 5/20/73 and 5/17/74.


This was a blues song Garcia was fond of (done by Blind Willie Johnson, among others), and we have one full performance from 1966:
Nobody's Fault resurfaced as a jam inside New Speedway Boogie for a few shows in 1970, including 5/14/70 and 6/13/70:
http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-06-13.sbd.hanno.9079.sbefail.shnf (brief, but this New Speedway is notable for having piano!)
Once New Speedway was dropped, you'd think that would be the end of it, but Garcia managed to slip Nobody's Fault into the Truckin' jam starting in late '72:
And for the next two years, Nobody's Fault would become a regular part of many a Truckin' - some two dozen in fact - sometimes sung, sometimes just jammed. Two released examples are the 12/19/73 Dick's Pick and the 6/16/74 Road Trips bonus disc. The last one played was this:
Nobody's Fault would very occasionally pop up afterwards - for instance on 10/12/77 out of Truckin', 6/4 and 7/7/78 in Not Fade Away, 1/5/79 out of Truckin' again, 5/4/81 and 9/3/85 in the 'space' slots, and about once a year in the '90s.....


The Philo Stomp was a stomping bass solo Lesh did in fall 1972. It may have started to take shape over the summer, as he often did rather aimless solos from Truckin' into the Other One; but all of a sudden in a series of October '72 shows, it emerges full-blown:
http://www.archive.org/details/gd72-10-18.sbd.weir.7295.sbeok.shnf (in Dark Star)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd72-10-24.pset2-sbd.hamilton.159.sbeok.shnf (in the Other One)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1972-10-28.sbd.finney.160.shnf (in Dark Star)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1972-11-13.aud.cotsman.7518.sbefail.shnf (in Dark Star)
11/13 is the best example. After that, Lesh's long solos in Dark Stars tend to meander:
In 1973 the Philo Stomp got deconstructed a bit and played in more fragmentary fashion, so you'll find pieces of it in various Phil solos (like the 6/10/73 Dark Star) but not really full-fledged versions. 
From 1973, here are a couple Dark Stars that end in more organized, interesting bass solos:


Caution started out in '65 as an imitation of Them's "Mystic Eyes". It had been a regular jam-piece in Pigpen's days, usually following Alligator, but sometimes as an instrumental theme inside Viola Lee jams. (I talk more about that in my Viola Lee Blues post.)
By the time Pigpen left in '72, the Dead had developed it enough so that they could have kept it as a jam theme even without him; but they decided not to. Somehow a couple Caution jams still slipped into the end of '74, very loose and jazzy:
9-18-74 (out of Truckin') - http://www.archive.org/details/gd74-09-18.sbd.miller.20732.sbeok.shnf
10-19-74 (out of He's Gone, into Truckin') - https://archive.org/details/gd74-10-19.sbd.miller.21927.sbeok.shnf (also released on the Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack)
In later years, Caution would be very rare indeed, but sometimes it would burst out of a He's Gone jam - on 10/27/79, 5/12/80, and 5/6/81.


Slipknot was just a riff in '74; in the studio in '75 the Dead would work it into the "space-jazz" section of a new suite. So it's interesting to hear the Dead (particularly Garcia) toying with this new riff in some '74 shows, seeing what they could do with it. Also note how far removed it is from the more melodic, accessible jam-riffs they had done in previous years!
(Although....the Slipknot riff closely resembles the Seven riff....)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd74-02-22.sbd.patched.sirmick.21539.sbeok.shnf (in Playing)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd74-02-23.sbd.clugston.3382.sbeok.shnf (in the Other One)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd74-06-20.sbd.clugston.2179.sbeok.shnf (19 minutes into Eyes)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd74-07-25.sbd.miller.12656.sbeok.shnf (21 minutes into Dark Star)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1974-10-20.sbd.smith-lee.GEMS.97193.flac16 (14 minutes into Eyes)

'73 and '74 saw the jams opening up in all directions. There are a number of gnarly riffs that get repeated from show to show (particularly by Phil), but without names or identities they're hard to pin down. The repeating-riff jam at the end of Eyes in these years is very similar to Stronger Than Dirt, and often gets called that, but I think it's a distinct piece. Stronger Than Dirt may have evolved from it, though - check out the Eyes>Dirt from 8/13/75 (One From The Vault) to hear the difference from the '73/74 Eyes jam.
[Stronger Than Dirt, confusingly, is also known as King Solomon's Marbles or Milkin' the Turkey. Most of these jams were not named by the band - here they gave too many names!]


There's a particular jazzy Phil riff in 6/8 time that he plays a lot in '73. Sometimes Phil just lightly touches on it and it dies quickly, sometimes Weir joins in with a counterpoint, sometimes the whole band plays with it for a while. I think it's an original riff, rather than (as some say) a Footprints quote, but it's kind of like an early version of the Stronger Than Dirt riff.
One reader wrote a post on this riff, giving it the title of the "Elastic Ping Pong Jam" and using the 6/24/73 Dark Star as a notable example:
Early, undeveloped versions of it show up in late '72, I think as early as September. Phil plays this line extensively in the 11/17/72 Other One, starting about 9 minutes in and continuing it on & off for a couple minutes - then he keeps repeating it occasionally in the rest of the jam.An interesting comparison can be made with the 11/19/72 Dark Star - around 8:50 in the Dark Star, Phil starts playing what is recognizably the old Coltrane 'Greensleeves' bass line he'd used for Clementine in '68. It's a similar phrase (it's also in 6/8 meter), but at a very different tempo. The early "Ping Pong" riff in the Other One two nights earlier speeds along at a faster tempo, in 5/8 time (as usual in its early versions). A similar line, but I don't think it's the same - it's possible that one riff developed into the other, in the way that many of Phil's bass lines in '74-75 sound related; or possibly they're independent and just sound similar, since Phil favored that kind of riff. One theory is that this jam further evolved into Stronger Than Dirt/King Solomon's Marbles. 
Here's a partial list of where it shows up in '73:
12/31/72 - https://archive.org/details/gd72-12-31.prefm.vernon.20559.sbeok.shnf - start of the Other One after the bass/drums break 
2/26/73 - https://archive.org/details/gd73-02-26.sbd.kaplan.1208.sbeok.shnf - Dark Star (starts about 10-11m in)
2/28/73 - https://archive.org/details/gd73-02-28.sbd.weiner.15386.sbeok.shnf (and Dave's Pick) - Other One (around 4:40) -- These early versions start as 5/8 and switch to 6/8.
6/10/73 - https://archive.org/details/gd1973-06-10.sbd.miller.tobin.patched-89730.90979.flac16 - Dark Star (after the bass solo)
6/24/73 - https://archive.org/details/gd1973-06-24.sbd.miller.99852.sbeok.flac16 - Dark Star (after 6:20)
6/29/73 - https://archive.org/details/gd73-06-29.sbd.cotsman.11617.sbeok.shnf - Other One (around 3:25)
9/11/73 - https://archive.org/details/gd1973-09-11.113051.sbd.GoodBear.flac16 - Dark Star (about 10-11m in)
10/30/73 - https://archive.org/details/gd1973-10-30.sbd.miller.32367.sbeok.flac16 - Dark Star (at 6:20)
I'm sure more examples can be found - I haven't tried to find all the different renditions, so this list is still in progress. As far as I know, this jam dies away in late '73. 
Some more comments on it here:

A complete list of performances of this jam is now here:


There may well be other distinct jams that they didn't do enough times for us to identify - the Alllmans-like Jam in the Other One of 7/25/72 is a great example, which sounds so composed it's hard to believe they only did it once - also the "Beautiful Jam", done only during the 2/18/71 Dark Star, which is quite unique, almost a song in itself. (I don't think it's closely related to the Tighten Up jam, though others hear it that way.)
Also check out the portion of 3/22/72 that was released on a bonus disc: in the jam at the end of Caution, there's a quiet part where the Dead play a mysterious instrumental theme that sounds like a lovely, unusual cross between Bobby McGee and Bid You Goodnight, but is definitely an unknown tune.....one of those haunting moments.

The "Beautiful Jam" in the 2/18/71 Dark Star -
the "almost-China Cat jam" in the 8/14/71 Other One -
the instrumental after the 3/22/72 Caution -
and the long, tantalizing "almost-Spanish jam" in the 7/25/72 Other One.

And finally, here is a listing of other various one-time-only jams the Dead played over the years, not related to their usual pieces.
This isn't the place to cover the big '74 jams out of Truckin' or Let It Grow, or the instrumental-only versions of Dark Star or the Other One, or the odd instrumental cover like Hideaway or various tuning riffs; and I've decided to skip the occasional soundcheck jams (though they can be interesting).
I also decided to leave out the Seastones '74 sets and Hartbeats '68 shows, since those were covered in this post:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1966-XX-XX.sbd.GEMS.81254.flac16 - generic Blues Jam with Jorma & Jack Casady
http://www.archive.org/details/gd66-03-19.sbd.scotton.81951.sbeok.flac - Slow Blues Instrumental (They also cover Freddie King's "Heads Up" at this show.)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd66-03-25.sbd.unknown.38.sbeok.shnf - Instrumental
https://archive.org/details/gd1967-07-23.aud.sorochty.125462.flac16 - Lovelight instrumental into Space, behind Casady's rap 
http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-05-07.sbd.cotsman.6028.sbeok.shnf - Instrumental after a jammed-out Me & My Uncle (sadly cut)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1969-04-21.sbd.miller.88465.sbeok.flac16 - Foxy Lady jam (brief)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-04-15.sbd.kaplan.14354.sbeok.shnf - Santana-like jam after drums in the Other One
http://www.archive.org/details/gd72-10-09.sbd.vernon.5249.sbeok.shnf - short blues jam with Grace Slick
http://www.archive.org/details/gd73-07-27.aud.weiner.gdadt26.26363.sbeok.shnf - Watkins Glen Jam. (AUD version, since SBD has a small cut)
https://archive.org/details/gd1974-06-18.sbd.miller.89690.sbeok.flac16 (and Road Trips) - It's A Sin jam. (They had done the song a number of times in '66 and '69, but I don't recall other instrumental versions.)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd74-06-23.sbd.cribbs.16780.sbeok.shnf - Jam into Ship of Fools (Similar to the 6-26 jam into China Cat.)

I also did a post on 1972 melodic jams in particular (some well-known examples being in the 3/23/72 Dark Star and the 4/11/72 Other One):

I'm sure there are other unique jams I've forgotten, so feel free to add examples!

These are some youtube links to the original songs (links updated 2016 but may be out of date now).

More Tighten Up connections -
This is Archie Bell's original version:
This is Chicago's song Beginnings, with a similar intro:
And this is Young/Holt Unlimited's song Soulful Strut:

Now here, from years later, is a tune called Hypnotize from Kingfish:
Hmm....that riff is a bit similar, isn't it?
(Kingfish listeners at the time might've thought they were copying Eyes of the World...)

Feelin' Groovy (S&G on TV):

A couple other '60s covers of Feelin' Groovy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKktd7TQ4ag (Kooper/Bloomfield) 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dz4mgJRB4yY (Harpers Bizarre)  

Your Mind Has Left Your Body (Garcia on pedal steel):

Solea (Miles Davis - chords start around 2 minutes in): 

Darkness Darkness (the Youngbloods):

There Is A Mountain (Donovan live on '60s TV):

Mystic Eyes (Them live! - the Dead copied this note-for-note in Caution):

Nobody's Fault But Mine (Blind Willie Johnson):

Hideaway (Freddie King live on TV - Garcia was especially fond of this tune):

I Bid You Goodnight (Joseph Spence & the Pindar Family):


  1. I found a link to the original Tighten Up page!


    Some nice reviews & timings, and a different take on Tighten Up....

  2. Hi there. I see this was posted a while ago but I have a question. There is a thematic jam I don't know the name of. It is in the 4-26-72 Other One. I know I have heard it other places but not sure where. Any clue what I'm talking about? I dont think you have it listed above.

  3. What point in the Other One are you referring to?
    There's a little Phil theme after 18:30 that was a Clementine bass line in '68. Otherwise, I don't recall any specific themed jams in that Other One, though a lot of it of course is similar to the other Europe '72 jams.

  4. A correction for the Main Ten -
    The '6/19/68' show is now known to be 2/19/69, so that's now our first known date for the Main Ten. I have to think, if it had been composed earlier, it would have shown up in one of the '68 Hartbeats shows, so perhaps this riff started much later than I thought.

  5. I forgot to mention - when Garcia joins the Jefferson Airplane for the 9/6/69 Family Dog jam, he plays the Darkness Darkness theme in there too, around the 17-minute point.

  6. I found the earliest Seven jam!
    Garcia plays it somewhere in the middle of the really long Carousel jam with Jorma, Jack and Mickey on 5/21/68. Out of nowhere, and it fits right in. (Brief, though.)

    I also read somewhere that the 5/7/69 Dark Star supposedly has a Seven jam in it - but listening again, I didn't hear one.

  7. There's a particular jazzy Phil riff that he pushes a lot around '73 - a good example is early in the Dark Star on 6/24/73. I haven't attempted to find all the different renditions. Sometimes it dies quickly, sometimes Weir joins in with a counterpoint, sometimes (as here) the whole band plays with it... I can't place whether it's an original riff or a jazz quote. But it's almost like an early version of the Stronger Than Dirt riff.

  8. I'm very tempted to believe that the 6/19/68 show (2/19/69) was recorded much later than February 69. The show starts with a Lovelight>Not Fade Away>Lovelight sandwhich. However, the band did not start playing NFA until 12/69. In addition, they didn't start combining NFA with Lovelight until around 3/70. Perhaps this was one of those mysterious "early shows" that they were doing in 1970? Early 1970 of course.

    -Rob Purificato (Brotherbuttcrack@aol.com)

  9. Listening to it now, it does sound, at the very least, un-Feb-69-like. Jerry's tone on this recording sounds nothing like the live/dead era Jerry. Also, (I'm only on the 2nd lovelight right now, its been a while) as of yet, I hear no Tom Constanten. Also, The way the Dead play here sounds so comfortable. It sounds like they're playing in a small venue with all of their friends. The crowd chanting (in lovelight), as well as the way dead are completely fearless in their playing (the jamming in the end of lovelight, going into NFA sounds like they're just having fun) and they are having fun by the sounds of it. On a wild guess I might even say that perhaps the Pranksters were a part of this show. What do you think?

  10. (sorry in advance for the flood of writing) There is some organ an the end of lovelight. But it does sound more like pigpen than Tom. And it's probly Pigpen because You don't hear it until the end, until after Pig came back to the mic (and probably onstage- judging by the "Hey Pigpen, where are you? Get the fuck over here!" comment that was made earlier in the song.


  11. Interesting, thoughtful comments - but, after writing a whole post on this show, I'm still convinced that it's 2/19/69:

    I think the style is a lot closer to early '69 than to early '70; it really doesn't sound like 1970 at all to me (especially the NFA).
    They almost did NFA on 4/23/69, but stopped because they were out of tune or something, so it's not improbable for them to try it in Feb '69. (For that matter, the Main Ten starts showing up in Dead shows in April '69 too.)
    And you're right about it being a comfortable venue for the Dead, as it was in the Carousel. I think my post explains the looseness & Pranksterish chanting.
    There are various mixing problems on the tape, so the organ is not really audible til the second-set jams. I don't know who's playing, it's not necessarily TC or Pigpen.

  12. Aw man, how could I forget about that post?!

    Haha wow. I would have to agree with you on that one. Very nice article btw.

    Looking forward to whatever you're cooking up.

    Good Day,

  13. The Tighten Up jam may be misidentified...

    People listening to a couple of the '69 jams have noticed its resemblance to the Chicago song Beginnings.
    You can compare Weir's chords to the intro of Beginnings:
    or to Tighten Up:

    I'm on the fence, as there are resemblances to both (it's a very similar pattern), but the Tighten Up jam may actually be the Beginnings jam!

    1. It sounds like "Tighten Up" to my ear.

      And recall that Pigpen would sometimes encourage the rest of the band to "tighten up" as things got a little weird in a drawn-out "Love Light," echoing Archie Bell's delivery.

    2. Has anyone ever asked Weir or the others about this? Since it was a jam that they returned to multiple times it's possible that they would have some recollection of its inception.


    3. No,I don't think the band members have ever been asked.
      Not that they might remember too much anyway. There's one '80s interview where Mickey Hart is asked about the Spanish Jam, and reminded that it drew on a Sketches From Spain piece:
      "God! Those things just come out! Those are really not planned. That really comes out when we are jamming. I forgot even where that came from! I didn't even think about that, but you're right, that's where it did come from... I knew I recognized it from someplace!"
      (from Swing 51 #7, 1983, Garcia article)

    4. what are some examples of the "Insect Fear Jam"
      This was mentioned in the Skeleton key dictionary, but they gave no examples

    5. Well, people's definitions may differ; I think of it as another name for the Tiger Jam - which wasn't a thematic jam, just a term for the band's scary meltdowns when Garcia's screeching on wah-wah & Lesh is scraping his strings & everyone's making alarming noises; very common in '72-74.
      Other people think of it as a name for the Phil/Ned interlude in '74, but I suppose any atonal space could get tagged with the name.

      Now that you mention it, I wonder how the name "insect fear" originated. The first time I've seen it used was on Mickey Hart's 1972 album Rolling Thunder, where Garcia was credited with "insect fear" on the 'Pump Song.' (Mickey later also recorded a radio play called "The Bugs" about an insect invasion, which included music from the 11/28/73 experimental performance.)
      How & when that term started being used for the Dead's spaces, I'm not sure.

    6. Insect Fear was a comic book published in 1970-71 with comics by R Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Spain, Kim Dietch, Gilbert Sheldon, etc - lots of underground comics favorites The stories were in the style of 1950s EC comics, which Garcia was a big fan of. Wouldn't be surprised if he'd read them.

    7. That's an interesting connection - Jerry would certainly have known about it.

      I don't know when Dead noise meltdowns started being called Insect Fear jams by fans, but the term was in use by the band pretty early on, as evidenced by the Rolling Thunder credit (apparently referring to Garcia's guitar effect on 'Pump Song'). It also appears in Rock Scully's book Living with the Dead, referring to several things:
      Anthem of the Sun: "In the section after 'That's It for the Other One,' we use UFO landing sounds and other strange noises. It's a forerunner of the space jam. And a lot of this stuff - just plain guitar weirdness - the Dead do live. We have this box called the Insect Fear Device, that you can plug the guitars or microphones into and play or sing through it, and it makes all kinds of unearthly sounds." (p.127)
      Garcia's solo album: "Beautiful songs mixed in with weird electronic music... Some of the best cuts are banded with Insect Fear craziness. 'To Lay Me Down' is a gorgeous little song, but it's surrounded by 'Eep hour,' which is just scary, and the interlude, 'An Odd Little Place.' I don't know why he's even putting it on there." (p.211)
      1974: "Another kind of musical interlude was introduced, Phil and Ned Lagin's - what else to call it? - Insect Fear Interlude. Phil...thought to himself, why can't I play my music during intermission? This led to the Assault of the Grisly Outer Space Noises." (p.283)

    8. With no better place to comment on this, I'll note it here: on the studio 'Pump Song' on Mickey's Rolling Thunder album, Garcia quotes a passage from Peter Green's 1970 instrumental album End of the Game.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hT6sgkZ76og - Pump Song, the solo outro from 3:30-3:50
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kT1C2VPjdo - Hidden Depth (from End of the Game), after 1:10, especially the passage at 2:30 which Garcia quotes.
      It's a brief & fleeting phrase, and not exact, but Garcia's tone is so close to Green's I don't think it's coincidence.
      This also happens to be my favorite piece that Peter Green ever played, so it's nice to see that it struck Garcia too.

  14. I believe there is a Tighten Up jam in the Dark Star from 10/17/70 Cleveland that has just surfaced, starting around 10:30.

  15. I don't think that counts - they start heading that way but don't go through with it, so that's just a tease.

    The 10/17/70 show, however, does have the first known Bid You Goodnight ending to Goin' Down the Road.

  16. THANK YOU for this fantastic blog, it's Dead Heaven:) You may enjoy this 90 in-depth master class on the original Dark Star, phree: http://youtu.be/rs_4TQLycQI

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    Dave Frank
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  17. Great article. I wanted to point out that the "Mind Left Body" jam made a reappearance in "The Music Never Stopped" circa summer 1990 and may have become a permanent part of the song after that (I heard it at 7-12-90 and 9-25-91).

    1. Hmm, I don't really hear it too clearly in those versions.
      It had always formed the bedrock for the bridge chords ("There's a band out on the highway"), and there are some versions from '76 where they really do a mini-MLBJ in the Music Never Stopped jams.

  18. Don't know if you're following 30 Days of Dead over at dead.net, but yesterday's selections was the Feelin' Groovy Jam -> Sugar Magnolia from 2/24/73 (more is in the vault than circulates, apparently). You mention above that there's an AUD tape from the show, and deadlists.com notes 60min. of AUD tape containing the Truckin' through Sugar Mags portion. But as far as I can tell, that audience tape doesn't circulate on the web (on Archive or elsewhere). Have you heard it? If so, do you have any idea how we could get it into circulation?

    1. I also talked a bit about this show in my post on incomplete shows from Feb '73. The second-set SBD snippet on the Archive is mislabeled as being Truckin'>Nobody's Fault (deadlists repeats the error, for some reason) but it's actually the post-Eyes jam.
      The Sugar Magnolia in the Vault snippet isn't on the Archive copy (which cuts off just at that point), but unfortunately a big chunk of the second set is missing from the Vault - Lemieux wrote:
      "Unfortunately, reel #5 is missing from the vault, but what’s on reel #6 is certainly worth hearing: Jam>Bass Solo>Jam>Sugar Magnolia. Too bad the 46 minutes that precedes this jam is missing, but at least this excellent jam remains."

      The AUD was reviewed in the Taping Compendium, but I've never heard it. My guess is the quality is pretty poor and very few people (outside of the top collectors) have it, or else it would've made it to digital by now. (Lots of AUDs mentioned in the Compendium or deadlists have similarly disappeared.) A mention of it in the Lossless Legs forum brought no response. So, unless someone who has the show gets reminded about it & has the desire to transfer it to digital, we're out of luck.
      But the situation isn't hopeless - I heard recently that someone's planning to transfer a complete AUD of 2/15/73 to digital, and I just worked to bring an alternate AUD of 7/12/70 to light too; so these things do keep trickling out.

  19. The Dark Star played on 12/18/73 contains a 'Mind Left Body Jam' that should be added to the list. Commencing at the 8:0l mark, and spanning to the 9:27 mark, this version is less defined than some of its contemporaries; however, the lush, subtleness of this one is no less charming. While it's not as fully realized and definitive as the epic 6/28/74 version (the yardstick by which all others should be judged), it nevertheless deserves its rightful place in the MLB canon.

    1. I didn't think that was one of the standout Mind Left Body jams; at any rate, I just listed the most notable versions here, but there's a more complete listing in my Mind Left Body post, and 12/18/73 does get covered!

  20. Right on! I feel obliged to delve deeper into your many posts, as I've found virtually everything you've written thus far quite invaluable.

  21. Found another Darkness Darkness jam - in the 4/13/71 Good Lovin', 14 minutes in:

  22. best find on the internet, ever!

    1. Agreed! Unreal depth. Thank you Light Into Ashes. So much to consider.

  23. I'm listening to the 10-25-1969 Winterland Dark Star. Does this Dark Star not also contain a brief Feelin' Groovy Jam into a Tighten Up Jam? This would make a total of 3 Dark Star's containing a Feelin' Groovy and Tighten Up Jam. I admit that the 11-02-1969 and 01-02-1970 versions are much more developed.

    Thanks for all your work. Really love your site.


    1. Actually, I did not try to track how many Dark Stars had both Tighten Up and Feelin' Groovy jams, but it is certainly more than those three. Offhand I would say most of the 1970 Dark Star Tighten Ups are also accompanied by a Feelin' Groovy jam, though not necessarily back-to-back like in these early versions.

  24. When I first heard The Music Never Stopped I was immediately reminded of this song:


    So maybe we should call the MLB jam the YAINTGB jam...

    1. "You're all i need to get by" is a progression involving A, B7, Dm6 and back to A. All these chords include an A note, and they involve a descending pattern of E,Eflat,D and C#. For MLB, the chord progression which i've found to best work in all keys (it was played in A, D and E) is A7, D/E, Dm/E, A. All the chords share an E note, and there is a descending pattern of G, F#, F and E. So, indeed, similarities. I got the chords for YAINTGB from Motown Showstoppers.

      There is a jam which was called "Epilogue" on Europe '72, came in the wake of Truckin' and ahead of the Other One. It often popped up in Dark Stars of the era, notably 8/24/72 (excellent version of both the jam and DS, underrated and overlooked due to the version of three days later) and the 2/26/73 Dark Star (DP 28), likewise great versions of both. Has it ever attained a name of its own other than "Epilogue"?

    2. "Epilogue" sounds like passages in a lot of Dark Stars, but I wasn't able to pick out any particular themed jam in it. At any rate it doesn't go by another name.

  25. Some early 1970 Dark Stars feature another two chord pattern by Weir (A7 - G7), for instance 2/2/70 starting around 12:00. I believe some mistake this for Tighten Up and it does sound like a more aggressive variation on Tighten Up. Not sure if it occured often enough to deserve its own name.

    1. I think that pattern's too scanty to single out as its own jam (and not sure how much it occurs outside of early '70), but Dark Star did have some other recognizable themed signposts from time to time - like the "sputnik jams" so common in '69, or Phil's 6/8 riff that keeps popping up in '73 (for instance, around 6:30 in the 6/24/73 Dark Star).

    2. Ha, 6 years later. I usually refer to that one as the '1970 Dark Star theme.' I believe it turns up as late as October, I have it in notes from 10-17-70.

  26. One reader wrote a post on Phil's jazzy 6/8 riff that pops up so often in 1973 shows - giving it the title of the "Elastic Ping Pong Jam." Well worth reading:

    Some further comment on it here:

    Early, undeveloped versions of it show up in late '72, for instance in the 11/19/72 Dark Star; but here's a partial list of where it shows up in '73:
    12/31/72, start of the Other One
    2/26/73 Dark Star (starts about 10-11m in)
    2/28/73 Other One (around 4:40)
    6/24/73 Dark Star (after 6:20)
    6/29/73 Other One (around 3:25)
    9/11/73 Dark Star (about 10-11m in)
    10/30/73 Dark Star (at 6:20)
    I'm sure more examples can be found. As far as I know, it dies away in late '73.

    1. Phil plays this line extensively in the 11/17/72 Other One, starting about 9 minutes in and continuing it on & off for a couple minutes - then he keeps repeating it occasionally in the rest of the jam.

    2. In the 6/10/73 Dark Star, Phil takes a bass solo before the verse, is it possible that this same riff is played in that jam?

    3. Phil's bass solo in the 6/10/73 Dark Star is based on the "Philo Stomp" (which got deconstructed a bit in '73 and played in more fragmentary fashion), but the jam after the bass solo, when the guitars return, starts with the "elastic ping pong" riff.

    4. Thanks for the reply, I love this particular jam, but seem to have some trouble tracking all the variations (I don't have any music education). Still, I'll be on the lookout for more versions.

    5. I don't have any music education either; I know almost nothing about music, which this site makes glaringly apparent. You can learn what to listen for, though. All you need is ears!

    6. An interesting comparison can be made between the 11/17/72 Other One and the 11/19/72 Dark Star.
      Around 8:50 in the Dark Star, Phil starts playing what is recognizably the old Coltrane 'Greensleeves' bass line he'd used for Clementine in '68 - it's a similar phrase to what would be the '73 jazzy 6/8 riff (it's also in 6/8 meter), but at a very different tempo.
      Compare to the early "Ping Pong" riff in the Other One two nights earlier, around 9 minutes in - that one speeds along at a faster tempo, in 5/8 time (as usual in its early versions). A similar line, but I don't think it's the same.
      It's possible that one riff developed into the other, in the way that many of Phil's bass lines in '74-75 would sound related; or possibly they're independent and just sound similar, since Phil favored that kind of riff.
      Other listeners could weigh in on this.

    7. Other One 6:22 Elastic Ping Pong:


    8. There's a complete list of this jam's appearances here:

  27. The elastic ping pong jam is very cool. The writer of that blog suggests that this jam served as the basis for Stronger than Dirt/King Solomon's Marbles, and that may well be. Dirt/Marbles is in 7, however, so some further evolution would have had to occur. But, both the ping pong jam and Dirt/Marbles are in B minor. Further, the ping pong jam does remind me very much of the jam they did on 3/23/75.

    Also, the genesis of this jam may have begun as early as April 11, 1972 in Newcastle. Listen to Truckin' at 15:37-16:05. Phil quotes the bass line to Wayne Shorter's Footprints quite clearly (in D minor). Footprints is in 3, so it's not much of a stretch to work that into the ping pong type of jam. Some of Phil's opening licks during the 6/24/73 ping pong jam have a clear relationship to the Footprints bass line.
    In any case, great stuff.

    1. Some people have suggested before that this jam might have been based on Footprints -

      I am not so sure - Phil had a lot of related bass-lines going on in '72-75, making it hard to say whether one theme turned into another over time, or if they're distinct but just sound similar.... But over time, listeners will probably turn up more to study in this family group of Phil's jazzy riffs.

  28. The end of Eyes at the Curtis Hixon in Dec 73 could be an even earlier Slipknot - just Garcia and only a flirtation shortly past the 10 min mark.

  29. Thank you for this excellent post. Great work all around. I am curator for 1969 & 1970 on Deadlists. You are right that I am mistaken about 2/2/70. There is no "Tighten Up." I can no longer play the cassette I originally timed but on Dave's Pick's Six a jam starts at around 12:50 of Dark Star and runs for about a minute -- this is probably what I was referring to. Is this jam "feelin Groovy" according to your terminology? Jim Powell

    1. Definitely a "Feelin' Groovy" jam! That was a very common theme jam in 1970 Dark Stars, usually following space... But they'd sometimes do a "Tighten Up" jam instead.

    2. One big problem that you are sorting out here -- with the aid of 25+ years of previous research by many heads -- is the question of names for the jams. Personally, I still don't hear any relation between the so-called Feelin groovy jam and the S&G tune -- but as long as we all agree to call a given jam by the same name, we can proceed. So, fine -- and thanks. JP

    3. Some people also don't hear any relation between the "Mind Left Body" jam and the original Kantner song - Lesh himself denied the connection (it's also similar to Marvin Gaye's "You're All I Need To Get By," among other songs). There's also some question about whether the "Tighten Up" jam actually came from "Tighten Up" (it also resembles Chicago's "Beginnings").
      So these things can be debated; but by now the names have stuck, and are at least useful as identifiers. (In past years, people mixed up jam names indiscriminately, with Latvala himself confused about which jam was which.)
      I think other little Dead themes circa '72-74 are lesser-known simply because no one has given them names yet!

      The "Feelin' Groovy" jam is also commonly called the "Uncle John's Band" jam, since the chord progressions are similar (the two jams also originated around the same time in fall '69) - the Dead's "Feelin' Groovy" goes D-A-Bm-A (or D-C#m-Bm-A), while the "Uncle John's" intro goes G-D-C-D (or G-Bm-C-D).
      As for Paul Simon's song, I've seen several different chord variations in various sites and can't say which is the most accurate. There's admittedly little resemblance between the Dead's chordal playing and Paul Simon's fingerpicking, even if his song inspired the jam. And with all these jams, the Dead clearly just used the basic chords as a starting point, Garcia coming up with his own melodies. Nonetheless, in the most well-known "Feelin' Groovy" jam, the 2/13/70 Dark Star, Garcia's melody is so close to the S&G melody, he really seems to be quoting the song.
      The first Deadhead's Taping Compendium also has a useful little article on the jam.

      A couple other '60s covers of Feelin' Groovy that bring out the descending chord pattern:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dz4mgJRB4yY (Harpers Bizarre)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKktd7TQ4ag (Kooper/Bloomfield)

    4. I love how in depth you have gone into the thematic jams. There are so many and they are clearly at the very essence of the GD. I must point out that the Feelin Groovy Jam is completely different from the UJB Jam. 11-7-69 and 11-8-69 both have an UJB Jam where they play the melody line of the lyric of UJB but never actually sing any of the song. While there are many examples of Feelin Groovy, some more fleshed out than others, these might be the only examples of the UJB Jam. All of these thematic jams that you mention are tremendous and all worth listening to. Thanks for all the time you have taken to reference all those links. Well Done.
      Oh and I don't see any mention of 8-30-69, an awesome example of a one of a kind thematic jam. One of my personal favs

    5. And I also don't see 6-24-70 on your list. Not only is this one of the most amazing shows but it is an example of a Feelin Groovy Jam and the Dancin Jam, which you refer to as Tightrn Up, in the same piece. Wonderful stuff

    6. Thanks for the comments. I agree that Feelin' Groovy is quite distinct from the UJB Jam, which they only did in November '69 and I have a separate entry for. A lot of old tape collectors mistook them, though, so you'd often find the middle jam in '73-74 China>Riders called a "UJB Jam."

      I now call the Tighten Up jam the Soulful Strut jam! There are a few Dark Stars from late '69 to '70 where they do both jams - on 6-24-70 the Feelin' Groovy jam is quite fleeting before Garcia cuts it short, he doesn't really play it, probably why I left it off this list.
      I'm wondering which jam on 8-30-69 you're referring to? They do the first Soulful Strut in that Dark Star, but maybe you're thinking of a different part.

  30. One listener mentioned another possible source for the Tighten Up/Beginnings jam: "Soulful Strut," released by Young-Holt Unlimited in 1968.

    The familiar chord pattern is definitely there...

    1. There is a FG tease in the China-Rider transition at Alpine 1982. Jerry instigates it, but gets little to no support and aborts after one run-through. Are there any other mid or late period FG jam teases?.

    2. Unlike the Mind Left Body theme, which resurfaced a few times in later years, Feelin' Groovy was completely dropped by the Dead. I'm surprised to hear there are any FG teases in the post-'74 years at all. But maybe other teases are lurking somewhere...

    3. After some more listening...no one knows what song (if any) inspired the Dead's "Tighten Up" jam, but I'm now leaning more towards thinking that Soulful Strut, rather than Beginnings or Tighten Up, was the main inspiration. Musically it seems to be the closest (especially with the piano melody), and the Dead acknowledged studying funk tracks like this over the years, from Junior Walker's 'Cleo's Back' in '65 to the Meters' 'Hey Pocky A-Way' in '75.

    4. Just writing as I believe that I am the "one listener" to whom you refer as I posted my belief that the song Soulful Strut was the source of the excellent jam on the Darkstar from 10/31/71 from Dick's Picks 2, posting as Charlie 3 on the deadnet 30 Trips Around the Sun boxset thread on September 21, 205. The jam is so distinctive that I knew I had heard it before, and then later while listening to some soul music the song Soulful Strut came on and it was a eureka moment. Lots of great stuff on your thread here.

    5. Oops, meant to type September 21, 2015, not September 21, 205. Charlie 3.

  31. I've updated this post with many new additions and links.

    1. In a year not known for its Feelin' Groovy jams I believe I have detected one from 1971. The date is 8/14/71 and the location is in the Other One jam. It starts out quite similarly to the 4/8/72 "Mind Left Body" (which is a stretch to begin with). After this MLB tease, if you want to call it that, they start up a pretty pronounced Feelin' Groovy jam. Maybe this can be added to the list of The Other Ones with FG jams, including 4/11/72 and 3/31/73.

      -Enjoy Every Dead Sandwich

    2. This little jam in the 8/14/71 Other One flirts with China Cat, Tighten Up, and Feelin' Groovy, without really committing to any of those themes. It's one of the great moments in '71, but sadly the Dead don't expand on this passage and return to the Other One all too soon.

    3. You're right it definitely flirts with multiple themes. But Jerry plays some very sweet Groovy notes at 5:10-5:15 in the jam. They hit on it again at 5:45, this time with the supporting Weir chords. I think this is just as much a "Feelin' Groovy" jam as the tease from 8/27/72; the quick segue from Dark Star>The Other One from DP16; the random occurrence in 4/29/72; and just about any other FG that is only around a minute long as well.

      Perhaps this jam from 8/14/71 is a little more theatrical and inspired than the average Feelin' Groovy.

      Anyways that's my two cents. Thanks for the response and also the links to my posts.

  32. What a treasure trove! Thank you for compiling these jams in one place.

  33. Listening to the 6/10/73 Dark Star again - the opening jam drifts into spaciness, and after about 7:30 the band drops out and Phil plays a variation on the Philo Stomp (it sounds a bit like he's trying to remember it, so it's a little clumsy). Just the drums are with him, but when he wraps up around 10:00, he starts up the repeating 6/8 riff so common in '73 (he'd also pushed it earlier in this Dark Star), and the guitarists join in. After about a minute this gradually turns into a bouncy little melodic jam that's one of the highlights of this (or any) Dark Star. Then at 13:30 Garcia heads back to the Dark Star theme and the verse.

  34. ""Beautiful Jam", done only during the 2/18/71 Dark Star, which is quite unique, almost a song in itself. (I don't think it's closely related to the Tighten Up jam, though others hear it that way.)"

    The interesting thing about "the Beautiful Jam" and the "Tighten Up jam" is that we have the same two chords serving different functions. Once the Beautiful Jam gets going, it's | Bm / / / | A / / / |.

    In contrast, the Tighten Up jam is | A / / / | Bm / / / |. But the difference is that the Beautiful jam is really vi - V in the key of D Major while the Tighten Up jam is I - ii in the key of A Major (and is a reharmonization and transposition of the original Tighten Up chord progression of I - IV in F# Major). The only difference here being that the note G# is used during the Tighten Up jam while he note G is used during the Beautiful jam. Well, that and the feel is a bit different. This is just GoGD modal jamming using basic transitions in different contexts. Very fusion-based.

    1. Actually the Tighten Up Jam chords are Amaj7 and Gmaj7 (notes: G B D F#) instead of Bm (notes: B D F#), which have almost the same notes.

    2. Tighten Up/Soulful Strut is most certainly AMaj7 Bmin. The root motion of A to G simply is not harmonically consistent with what they are playing.

  35. No problem! I would add that based on a recent conversation over on one of the big music forums, that your contention that "I've come to think that this [Edit: meaning Tighten Up jam] should actually be called the 'Soulful Strut' jam since that could be the main inspiration for the Dead; but for now I'll leave the name as the better-known Tighten Up jam" is spot on. My point about the chords being a reharm of Tighten Up were predicated on the jam actually being derived from Tighten Up. I'm fully convinced that this jam should be known as the Soulful Strut jam. But can the GoGD community withstand such a massive paradigm shift? ;-)

    1. I suspect many people visit this page to look up the "Tighten Up" jam, so it might alarm them to find the name changed! Especially since it's gone by that name for decades.
      Nonetheless, I think "Soulful Strut" was probably the Dead's inspiration, so I'll be calling it the Soulful Strut jam in the future. It'll probably take a long time for the new name to become common, if it ever does.

      What I'd really like is a better name for Phil's "ping pong jam" so common in '73... I don't like "ping pong" as a label, it doesn't evoke anything for me like other Dead jam titles do. Suggestions welcome!

  36. The "Elastic Ping-Pong jam" is no doubt the genesis of King Solomon's Marbles (or, if you prefer, the nebulously-defined Stronger Than Dirt or Milkin' the Turkey). There are various snippets from late '72 through about mid-'73 in 4 (really more like 8 to get the whole phrase in), 5, 6, and 7 (KSM's is in 7). I suppose the "Proto-Turkey Dirt jam" is not much of an improvement, hmmm?

  37. I would add, Mr. Lightintoashes, that I love what you've done here. A great repository of information and, in some cases, opinions. I would submit that the jam out of Dark Star on 4/8/72 is not "Mind Left Body," which has chord changes not only in the pedal that leads back to the top, but in the descending jam itself. I don't hear Mind Left Body on the 4/8/72 phoenix of Dark Star, but is does share a rhythmic feel with Mind Left Body. So, maybe it is in an early form; can't be sure. But 4/8/72 is lacking the harmonic structure of Mind Left Body; it's all in A Major.

    BTW, I wish you had a yahoo-based connection option, but until then, I guess I'm anonymous.

    1. I hear the end of the 4/8/72 Dark Star as a close ancestor of the Mind Left Body jam, most noticeable in what Weir is playing. The early proto-Mind Left Body versions that they played before fall '73 aren't the full theme, just the descending line played in different ways. Then in October '73 it became a more full-blown structured jam, an identifiable theme in itself rather than a riff played in passing. At least that's my take on it, though I'll defer to the more musically knowledgeable!

  38. One listener has mentioned that the Dead's Spanish jam is closer to the popular song Malaguena than to Miles Davis' Solea (which was also based on Malaguena).
    The original composer, playing Malaguena on piano: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2ksNyyuViQ
    The Dead could have heard many versions in the '60s - from Stan Kenton's jazz arrangement, to flamenco guitarists, to surf-guitar adaptations.
    So were they actually inspired by the Miles Davis album?

    There is proof:
    - Jerry was known to have been listening to Sketches of Spain back in '61.
    - Phil was asked about the Spanish jam in '81 and answered, "That was our Sketches of Spain take, it was part of our act at the time. Sketches of Spain was one of those classic albums, at one time you could walk down any street in a college town and hear it floating out of almost every window."
    - Phil also wrote in his book that the Spanish jam was "a four-bar pattern we'd borrowed from the Miles Davis/Gil Evans album Sketches of Spain."
    - Mickey was also asked about the Sketches of Spain inspiration, and replied, "I forgot even where that came from! I didn't even think about that, but you're right, that's where it did come from... I knew I recognized it from someplace!"

    As far as Dead jams go, you can hardly find a more direct source. The drum pattern in the Spanish jam particularly seems to be based on Solea, though the chords tilt more towards Malaguena. No doubt the Dead were aware that was the source of the Solea chords, though it's impossible to say whether they listened to any particular version.
    I've assumed in the past that the jam was Weir's idea, but other than his playing the chords, there's actually no reason to think so.

  39. Hello - I am currently listening to every 1969 show, and I came across a very brief segment of Phil playing the 'Feeling Groovy' riff. It's around 9:15 on the Charlie Miller transfer of 4-5-69 at the Avalon. It lasts for about 30 seconds, and no one picks it up, but its pretty clear.

    This period of 1969 seems to be a trasitional phase, as Dark Stars often have a longer improvisational section between the verses, less reliant on the same 'set pieces' they employed earlier in the month. The 'verse jam' where Garcia jams on the verse melody while the band plays the verse changes, is absent for the first time on 4-4-69, and though it makes later appearances, the band continues to explore other themes, including the Main Ten on 4-11.

    Ianua Ditis

    PS - love your site

    1. Good catch! Very brief, but it fits into the moment - the Dead wouldn't make a jam out of Feelin' Groovy for months to come, so it was still just a short quote. Possibly there are other examples over the next few months in '69 too.
      It's interesting that Lesh plays it first, since over the next few years he seems to be the one who started it most often.
      John Dwork wrote of the brief Feelin' Groovy passage in the 8/27/72 Dark Star: "Despite this version's brevity it is nonetheless significant, for as they float in and out of it, one can clearly see Phil in the film breaking into a delicious smile, eyes brimming, nodding to Jerry in deep satisfaction... The Feelin' Groovy jam was just as special to the band as it is to the listener."

      Dark Star was always in a transitional phase! But it was definitely opening up in mid-'69 to more space, more varied jams, and new themes. More on that another day.

  40. Garcia does some very energetic Mountain Jam-ming in 4/23/69.

    1. Yes, it comes in the jamming after the Eleven, after Garcia plays the Bid You Goodnight theme. It's actually fairly close to how the Allmans would play Mountain Jam. It's still only about 30 seconds long, though.

  41. David Crosby may have partly based his tune 'Tamalpais High' on the Dead's 'Main Ten' theme (with the meter changed).
    It's particularly evident in this If I Could Only Remember My Name outtake from December '70:
    It's less apparent on the album version, though, where the main riff is a bit different. Possibly Crosby's original idea was different, but playing with Lesh & Garcia during the album sessions brought out the Main Ten resemblance in the song.

  42. One listener has pointed out that the Darkness, Darkness jam is very similar to the Darling Corey melody Garcia plays in the 11/20/70 show:

    Although the Darkness jams aren't Darling Corey jams (the melody is different), the resemblance is striking.

  43. With the release of Dave's Picks 26 this month, we can now hear the Feelin' Groovy jam in the Other One from Albuquerque, NM 11/17/71.

    1. Yes, a rare occurrence in the Other One (about 8:15 in) - as is often the case, Phil seems to initiate it, but it only lasts about 20 seconds before they move on.

  44. A listener points out that there's an early Philo Stomp in the 7/16/72 Other One, starting at 14:30, lasting about half a minute.
    (Just as interesting, around 12:45 Phil plays an early version of the end-of-Eyes of the World repeating riff they would do in '73.)
    It's likely more little Philo Stomps turn up in the Other Ones over the next month, but I haven't checked for them yet.

  45. There's quite a bit of Mountain Jamming on 1968-08-21, Alligator Jam. And note that on 1968-08-23 at (12:55 on the Two from the Vault bonus track) it is Pigpen who starts the theme...

  46. I've just noticed that Santana plays the same Soulful Strut-type riff near the end of his "Incident at Neshabur" (from the 1970 Abraxas album). One live example is here, after 3:40 -

  47. Note for thematic jam spotters:
    In the three-minute 9/6/91 Dark Star, Garcia briefly plays the "Beautiful Jam" theme from 2/18/71 in the second half.

  48. I just found a nice "And We Bid You Goodnight Jam" for the encore on 9/16/87 MSG. Jerry busts it out as the crowd is chanting "Not Fade Away", and the whole band jumps in! It then segues int Black Muddy River. So nice!! https://archive.org/details/gd87-09-16.sbd.hinko.22797.sbeok.shnf/gd1987-09-16d3t06.shn

  49. I think a person doing the monologue "trucking down the line" during the lead-in to the Main Ten 8-11-1969 remained unidentified? Whitegum and deadlists failed to identify him.

    1. It's a mystery to me. Ken Babbs & John Dawson have been suggested; I won't hazard a guess, but it's similar to Babbs' recitation in Green Grass of Home on 5/31/69.

  50. I have them playing Soulful Strut on 1969-08-30

    1. I see you mention that in the late TC piece

    2. I mentioned it here too! On that date it's more of an embryonic precursor to Soulful Strut (and doesn't have that Garcia melody on top), but still recognizable.

  51. Does "The Seven" call up Gabor Szabo's "Gypsy '66" for you at all? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOUjhNFQ_QE

    1. Well no, only in the most vague sort of way. I'm sure Garcia listened to this Szabo album but I don't know if we can point to a direct borrowing.

  52. Do you have a timestamp for this? "http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-11-01.sbd.cotsman.6298.sbeok.shnf (in the Alligator jam - brief, following the Goodnight theme)"

  53. In the 3/16/68 Alligator, at 5:40 Garcia plays a brief bit that sounds a lot like the "Darkness, Darkness" jam of 1970. Since that song didn't come out until 1969, I'll chalk it up to a remarkable coincidence.