July 28, 2011

The Other One 1976-1979

[Note: This wasn't meant to be a standalone post; it was actually a forum reply to someone who posted about how much the Other One changed from '67-74. But as it got longer, I thought it could stand on its own - though it's just a short chunk of Other One history!]

The story of the Other One in its early years is well-known - but I don't think anyone's ever told the story of its development over the next few years. The Dead's style still went through several significant changes in the four years from '76-79. So this is meant to be an initial attempt, looking at a few examples of the most notable versions.

To sum up the earlier history: there were a few turning points in the Other One's early development -
One was in 1968, when the jamming in the suite (mainly the Cryptical part) was considerably expanded mid-year. I suspect they were intentionally performing "short" versions of the suite in the Northwest tour, knowing they had to fit it on an album side, but there's definitely a blossoming by the August shows.
While Cryptical reached its full maturity early on, the Other One section continued to grow in length & density until by itself it could top 10 minutes. This was fortunate as by late '69, they were already tiring of the Cryptical section (usually favoring a short segue to Cosmic Charlie), and through 1970 Cryptical tended to get shorter, until in 1971 it disappeared.
Without its bookend, the Other One got relocated, usually coming out of Truckin' after late 1970, and often just stopping after the second verse. While it could go into any number of songs, in 1971 the preferred post-Other One song became Wharf Rat.

1971 was also the other big turning-point for the Other One, since in the early part of the year they started developing spacier sections where they'd leave the rhythm and wander off in other melodies, so it became musically much more varied. Also in Aug '71, they started interpolating Me & My Uncle in it, a crucial step - while they'd done 'sandwiches' like that before, they tended to be short-lived or not repeated. This changed not only the way they could play the Other One, but the way they could arrange a set & other jam medleys.

Plus, the possibilities for the Other One expanded enormously once Keith arrived - and, for once, the Dead jumped on these possibilities immediately. Within a year, they were jamming out the Other One for a half-hour on end, and it became a diverse centerpiece of the set where they could travel through a variety of jam themes.

In 1974, the Other One was already thinning out - only 8 versions, and several of those were little more than thematic starting-points from which the Dead ventured into a series of other distinct jams.

During the hiatus, the Other One shows up once - 8/13/75. The Dead's playing was going through a lot of changes that year, and a few things are immediately notable: this Other One is an instrumental, and it's only five minutes long, sticking closely to the main theme. Once they start to drift out, they quickly pull themselves back in for a tight performance of Sage & Spirit. Evidently this was a band that didn't want to keep repeating the expansive jams of yesteryear...

They didn't do the Other One in June '76, but it returned in July. They were no longer doing the giant, rambling jams of 1974 - most of the Other Ones from this year stick mainly to jamming on the theme for 10 minutes or so. (This is almost a reversion to 1970 in form - the last year there were two drummers.) The music is more mild & temperate in '76, and Jerry sticks to his sweeter tone. No longer is the Other One an excuse to launch into parts unknown - on the other hand, Jerry frequently spaces out after an Other One jam and starts quietly meandering, often to end up in a ballad. (These spaces would turn into Jerry's extended solo spots in spring '77.)

They did Other One sandwiches a few times in '76 (where another song is stuck between the verses) - 7/17, 7/18, and 10/2.

On 7/17 for example, the actual Other One is kept pretty brief, for after the first verse they head right into a minimalist, dreamy Space that patiently winds its way into Eyes of the World. (This illustrates one important thing about '76/77 - that the Other One is no longer the central part of the set, but one element in a much longer medley of songs & transitions. In this case they come back to the second Other One verse after Eyes, but more often they just drop a verse when moving on.)

This is a relatively short version that starts mildly and gains steam. After the verse, the music dissolves into a Jerry & drums interlude (kind of like the spring '77 solo-Jerry pieces) which slowly transforms into a little mini-meltdown (one of the last ones they did in the Keith era, I think). It's rare to hear one of these in '76 - even rarer when Jerry starts a rather rusty Morning Dew, the only one of '76.

This is one for people who like their Phil loud; it's also relatively quiet & exploratory. It starts off with a long Phil/Jerry/Keith exploration, which tumbles into a little dissonant passage, then quiets down and slowly meanders back to the Other One. Weir sings just the second verse; the band leaves the theme and goes back to quietly pitter-pattering for a while until Jerry starts Ship of Fools.

This is probably the best Other One of the year - starts out very fierce and stays that way. The band really plays with bite and rarely leaves the main rhythm - there's a very cool bit at the end of the middle jam where Jerry starts quietly straying off and Phil comes back in with a crash. (This time the post-Other One ballad is a fine Comes a Time, the last version til May '77.)

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1976-09-27.sbd.miller.87664.sbeok.flac16 is perhaps the second-best Other One of '76, but it's time to head into 1977 -

This one falls into three parts - the intro is (as often in '77) more peaceful & mellow than an Other One should be. After the verse, though, they heat up and pick things up into a fine frenzy. Then they calm down and, without another verse, move into a Bach-like Jerry/Phil duet as an outro into Stella Blue - one of the most unusual sections of any Other One.

One of the spacier Other Ones of '77, this one meanders around for a while, dominated by Jerry's persistent noodling - the band keeps threatening to actually start the song, but Jerry's out in the zone, so eventually they drop out and let him drift in the clouds by himself for a few minutes. Then suddenly, they storm back in and do a hot & furious verse with Jerry turning on the distortion, quite the change in dynamics, before cooling things down again for Stella Blue.

This one (another one-verse version) is more energized, and has a nice climax in the middle. Here they stick to the rhythm throughout, without many variations, and Jerry is prominently in the lead here - many of the Other Ones of '77 are similarly stuck in one gear, so are closer to 1970 in the band's style (though much mellower) than to 1972-4. At the end, though, Jerry wanders out into an unaccompanied quiet space again to set us up for the ballad, in this case perhaps the slowest Stella Blue ever.

Smooth, burbles along uneventfully until Jerry drifts off into space again. This one's notable because after the Wharf Rat, the band comes back into the Other One - the last Other One sandwich til I don't know when. (There are some more energetic Other Ones from the spring, like 5/1 or 5/9, but they tend to be shorter and feel incomplete, as if the band was hurrying on.)

This one's pretty good, more tense & biting than usual for '77, and the constant riffing off the rhythm is rather hypnotizing. (Compare to the 10/30 Other One, which for me stays too calm & mellow - Jerry tries to steer the band into a climax there, but it isn't cohesive.) After the song there's a slow drift into Black Peter, but by fall '77 the long spacy-Jerry sections we heard in the spring are pretty rare.
(Another thing we see in fall '77 is some very short five-minute Other Ones (11/1, 11/4) - however, those also happen to be the most energetic, with a distorted Jerry storming through them. One pattern that seems to hold for the next couple years is the hotter the Other One, the shorter it is...)

This is one of the most extended from fall '77. They tease the Other One for a long time out of drums, and build up very nicely to a dramatic verse. The band's style is a little more hard-edged than it was in the spring, on its way to the more rocked-up '78 attack - notice how Jerry plays with the Other One riffs in the middle jam, and the reentry to the second verse is done unusually well!

Heading into '78, we see the Dead in full attack mode in this Other One, Jerry distorted and the band pounding away. Note the big climax before the second verse, something they really got into in '78. This Other One, unusually, segues into Truckin' - and this Truckin' is insane, they just shred the closing jam for six minutes straight.
Very similar is this one from a few days later - http://www.archive.org/details/gd78-01-10.sbd.cotsman.14523.sbeok.shnf
I get a sense of much more energy & excitement in these early '78 Other Ones than we'd heard in '77 - these hark back not just to 1970, but to 1968. As in many of these versions, Jerry drifts for a bit after the verse before settling on Wharf Rat - back in the old days, they'd go straight into another song, but in this period they liked to provide more of a cushion.

A famously forceful version. It starts off hot but standard - and the jam between verses is very brief, barely leaving the usual Other One riffs. But what happens in the last minute before the verse is Dead legend - Jerry suddenly takes off into a sustained trill as the band CRASHES back down, one of the most explosive moments they ever played.

This one is similar in its dramatic approach, but it's no match. The Dead try three times to get that crashing climax - most unusually, they even do it AGAIN after the second verse - but they botch the timing the second two times....

This one's not too notable in itself (other than having an unusual predrums setlist placement between Estimated and Eyes), but it also illustrates how the Other One is becoming more of a brief uptempo energy burst, rather than an extended exploration. The calm meanderings of yore are usually gone in favor of a more straight-ahead rock approach, as Jerry riffs away almost '68-style.

But there were other times in '78 when the Dead did jam out more...

This has a very interesting free jam after drums (a little reminiscent of the 12/30/77 jam), out of which the Other One comes. The jamming is more leisurely and drifting here, Jerry shooting for audience hypnotism as in early '77... By the end of the jam they get quite spacy as on 1/22, even heading towards a meltdown; but Jerry pulls up and decides it's time for Wharf Rat rather than the second verse.

Well-known and very well-done - the middle jam almost goes freestyle, reminiscent of the early '70s. For my purposes here, it's enough to note the transitional phase that gives this Other One its particular shape: while it has the tougher, dramatic '78 playing style, this Other One still has the form of the longer, noodly '77 versions - the end-of-song Jerry solo-spaceout we'd gotten in '76/77 now culminates in the Close Encounters episode. Note how completely out of place St Stephen is here - one of the only times the Other One space didn't go into a ballad.
(You can also compare this to the very similar, but less inspired, 1/17 version: http://www.archive.org/details/gd78-01-17.sbd.cotsman.14555.sbeok.shnf )

Included partly because here, in the middle jam, we can hear Jerry's shift to the really-fast-little-notes playing style he favored in '79, which gives the late-'78 Other Ones a different flavor. Otherwise this Other One is not really notable in itself - except that it's a rare predrums version, so instead of going into another song, after the second verse they do this great free Space led by Jerry and the drums, with Phil adding feedback and finally everybody screeching madly away like it's 1973 again.... This is the kind of thing they should have played under the pyramids! (After drums they do come back with a lovely, spare Ollin Arrageed jam, also well worth hearing.)

The most extended version of late '78, I found it rather plodding in the way that a lot of late '78 is. Even the climax before the second verse sounds a bit perfunctory this time around. The best part is after the verse, when Jerry speeds up and they seem to be going into another jam, before Jerry cuts it short. Note that here (and on 12/19/78 Jerry switches back & forth between his usual longer note rhythms & the quick notes.

And finally, heading to 1979 -

One of Keith's last Other Ones - the Other One comes out of Drums as it often does, but we're starting to see the "space" section with Jerry's warbles stretching out a little before the Other One proper starts. Also in this period, the Dead are doing a dramatic re-entry from the verse back into the middle jam - Phil really likes to slam on those chords. Jerry particularly wails in the jam here, though it's kept short.

Keith's last one - you can hear Keith clearly here, and how percussive he is. Here the Space is quite long & adventurous for '79, and it slowly evolves into the Other One. This gives the Other One a very calm feeling, similar to early '77 - on the other hand, this version ends up being pretty tepid, one of the ones that simmers but never boils. By this point, I feel the musical range of the Other One was so limited, it was more satisfying when it was quick & rough than when they prolonged it with more noodling.... But in these two versions, we get two sides of the '79 band: one crunchy & energetic, one placid & spacey.

In '79 the Other One either came out of Drums>Space or He's Gone. Here we have a full-fledged Space with odd noises that leads to the Other One. This is Brent's second one, and he's still relatively restrained, mainly just chording. The rest of the band goes nowhere quietly, so this is pretty unexciting, though they try to beef it up for the second verse.
This one from a few days later - http://www.archive.org/details/gd79-05-08.glassberg.vernon.18876.sbeok.shnf (a bass-light AUD) - sounds notably hotter, although (or because) the jam is kept very short but purposeful, so this is one of the mini-Other Ones that would become more common. In '79 Garcia still drifts for a while after the second verse before starting the ballad - on 5/5 he segues to Wharf Rat, but on 5/8 there's a neat, independent little spiraling jam after the Other One, a predecessor of the post-song jams that would come frequently in '79, and here it goes into the only China Doll of '79.

This plucky version grows out of He's Gone, something that became much more common in '79. Brent & Phil are getting more involved with the jamming, so the jam finally heads in a different direction as we hear more interplay and building tension in the jam. After the climax though, we don't get a second verse but it peters out into Drums.

A famous one, coming again out of a speedy He's Gone jam. Phil is quite perky and up-front here, and we get two separate bass intros - this Other One is rare for having a big explosion before the first verse! Garcia has been sharp and zoned-in during this set; unfortunately, the jam is rather minimal before Phil brings back the intro for the second verse. We get a quick, big meltdown right after the verse, though, before the drummers take over.

Once again, out of He's Gone - by now, the band is really seeming more unified in these Other One jams, creating a big swirl of sound. (Part of it is due to Phil being more prominent in late '79, part of it due to Brent being more integrated with his organ sustains than Keith was with his choppy piano chords.) The Other One itself is extremely brief; the song is over within five minutes - once again though, the shortness of the jam seems to be a positive, as they really dig into this one and tear it up! After the second verse, they continue in the Other One vein, as Garcia isn't ready to stop - the music skitters, becomes more agitated & dissonant, and the band takes it into a nice mass freakout that fades out for Drums.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1979-12-26.sonyECM250.walker-scotton.miller.89187.sbeok.flac16 - follows the same pattern.

Yet again, the momentum of the post-He's Gone jam seems to have a beneficial effect on the Other One, which comes cascading out. It's another strong version for '79 - after reaching one climax in the jam, this time the Dead decide not to cut to the next verse but keep going (for a couple more minutes). The song is still very compact (done in under 7 minutes), but the band keeps charging ahead after the verse into a more exploratory percussive jam, almost harking back to '73. It starts out great for a few minutes, but trickles out very slowly for Drums.

So I'll end there, at the dawn of the '80s....
To briefly sum up - the Other One went through a variety of forms in '76-79, but overall became more condensed and shed the spacier elements. Though the varied jams of '72-74 were gone, the Other Ones of '76/77 often still have quiet space sections which, in '78/79, shifted to the post-drums Space. While there was still sometimes an extended jam in late '79, it came attached to the end of the song, and in 1980 it too disappeared. While on the other hand, the frequently mild & mellow Other Ones of '76/77 are gradually phased out by harder-rocking versions in '78/79. So in a way, the Other One kind of returned to the original 1967 conception of a quick, frenzied blast that would soon segue to the next tune.

July 19, 2011

The Grateful Dead Song Graph

We have something different for this guest post:
“Dr. Beechwood” has created a very nice chart and accompanying essay on the Dead’s original songs, which I would like to share here.
Appended below is also a list compiled by “Vapors” of the various long-unplayed songs (covers and originals) that the Dead revived after Brent joined, which complements the essay well.
I hope these may be of use to followers of the Dead’s ever-changing repertoire!

Note: This is a low-res Thumbnail image - the downloadable full-sized version was at http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/60257224 (Now deleted.)

A new updated graph with more songs is now available:

by Dr. Beechwood

The Grateful Dead played hundreds of different songs during their career, but a majority of these were covers. The number of original songs is much less, and some of their originals were only played a few times. This song graph, with songs ordered by the first times played, shows how new songs were added to the repertoire over time.

The majority of the Dead’s original compositions, over 70, were from the Garcia-Hunter team. The next most common songs (about 20) were those by Weir and Barlow. Only two originals were on their first album: Cream Puff War, one of just a few songs with both lyrics and music by Garcia, was played in 8 surviving shows in 1966 and early 1967; and The Golden Road, listed as a group composition, survives in only two known versions in 1967.
Given the incomplete record of the early shows, it is certain that these were played more often; but as no versions are known from 1968 when the tape record is more complete, they were apparently out of the repertoire by then.

The chart starts with the songs that were included on the Dead’s first albums; many songs that the Dead discarded by 1967 have been left off.
Garcia was likely responsible for most of the lyrics on these band-composed songs; lyrically there’s a family resemblance between many songs here. Some of these are “original” only in the most imitative sense (mainly Pigpen’s songs), but others are quite nice mid-‘60s pop songs, and this would make an interesting compilation. By date of first appearance:
Mindbender (Garcia/Lesh) – Nov 65
The Only Time Is Now (GD) – Nov 65
Can’t Come Down (music GD, lyrics Garcia) – Nov 65
Caution (GD/Pigpen) – Nov 65
You Don’t Have To Ask (GD) - early 66
You See A Broken Heart (Pigpen) - early 66
Standing on the Corner (GD) - early 66
Tastebud (Pigpen) - early 66
Cream Puff War (Garcia) – early 66
Cardboard Cowboy (Lesh) - June 66
Keep Rolling By (GD/Pigpen) - July 66
Down So Long (GD) - Nov 66
Alice D Millionaire (GD) - Dec 66
Golden Road (GD) – Jan 67

The band were later embarrassed by these early efforts, one reason all of them (except Caution) quickly disappeared. 1967 was not a prolific year for songwriting.
Once the first album was finished, Lesh wrote New Potato Caboose with his friend Bobby Petersen; the band would play it live from mid-’67 to summer ‘69.
Later that summer and fall, Weir and Kreutzmann worked out The Other One, while Garcia composed Cryptical Envelopment on his own; and the two were joined together. (Later they would be separated again – The Other One was performed steadily through 1995 in at least six hundred performances, while Garcia dropped Cryptical after 1971 except for a brief revival in the summer of ’85.)
And by the end of 1967, Weir had put together the strange and short-lived Born Cross-Eyed, which only appears on our live tapes from January to March ’68. It was to be his last songwriting effort for two years.

But a new voice appeared in mid-1967. Although Robert Hunter is most closely associated with Garcia as a songwriting partner, his inaugural collaboration was Alligator: Hunter mailed the band a verse from New Mexico, and Pigpen wrote a second verse and put together the music with Lesh. The song debuted in June 1967; it was played until late 1970 and had a final performance at the closing of the Fillmore East show on 4/29/71.

Garcia invited Hunter to come stay with the band, and the first song he wrote with Garcia and the rest of the band was Dark Star, in September 1967. This debuted in late ‘67 and was played regularly through 1973. After only six versions in 1974, it was trotted out sporadically with five versions between 12/31/78 and 7/13/84 (my second show). After being revived on 10/9/89, it was played an average of six times per year from 1989 to 1994, and the final version was on 3/30/94 at the Omni in Atlanta.

Early 1968 saw the first flurry of Hunter/Dead compositions, as several collaborations debuted around the same time. China Cat Sunflower, another lyric Hunter had mailed from New Mexico, was transformed into a song by Garcia; it would prove to be one of the longest-lived of these early tunes, being played steadily through 1995 save for a hiatus between 10/20/74 and 2/3/79.
Lesh took the second part of Hunter’s lyrics and arranged The Eleven, which was first joined to China Cat but by mid-’68 became appended to St Stephen, where it stayed until being dropped in mid-1970.
Lesh and Hunter also cowrote the unusual Clementine; sung by Garcia but infrequently played on our 1968 tapes, it would also vanish after January ’69.

Then in spring 1968, Garcia and Lesh arranged St Stephen from Hunter’s lyrics. This would become one of the Dead’s most popular songs, but had a stop-and-start performance history as the Dead became weary of it. It also, for the time being, proved to be the last “band-composed” song for a while; as in mid-’68 Hunter began writing songs with Garcia exclusively, and Lesh (like Weir) became an inactive songwriter for the next couple years.

Robert Hunter was the only lyricist for the band from 1968 until 1972. The Garcia-Hunter collaboration was incredibly prolific with new songs being introduced every year from 1967 to 1979, but the golden age of their partnership would have to be the years 1968 (5 new songs) to 1975 (4 new songs). After the '74-'76 hiatus, their output decreased dramatically with only 23 songs introduced over the next 19 years.

In 1970-71, Hunter wrote several songs with Weir. The Weir-Hunter collaboration was short-lived, but they produced several of the Dead's most frequently played classics, including Playing in the Band with 581 performances, and Sugar Magnolia with 596 renditions. Jack Straw, the last of the early Weir-Hunter compositions, debuted in late 1971 and, after a gap between 10/20/74 and 5/3/77, was played frequently as a first-set tune. Greatest Story Ever Told followed a similar history, with a slightly longer hiatus between ’74 and ’79, but very common thereafter. The regular encore tune One More Saturday Night is credited to Weir only, but Hunter probably came up with the title (Gans interview, 3/2/04). Hunter finally became fed up with Weir rewriting his lyrics (see McNally, p. 393); fortunately John Barlow arrived just then, and started writing songs with Weir in late 1971.

Hunter wrote one song with Keith Godchaux, Let Me Sing Your Blues Away. This had only six performances during the September 1973 shows where they played with the horn section.
Hunter also wrote two songs for Pigpen – Easy Wind in 1969 (which was played from August ’69 to early ‘71), and Mr. Charlie, which he cowrote with Pigpen and the band played from August ’71 to May ’72.
And Hunter wrote another song with Phil Lesh in 1970, Box of Rain, which after one known performance that year (9/17/70), returned in October 1972 and was played 48 times in ’72-73 before a 13-year break. When it came back in early 1986, it was subsequently played over a hundred times, including its final version as the last encore at the last show.

After Hunter arrived, the Dead wrote few songs as a whole band. Mason’s Children, written by Garcia/Lesh/Weir/Hunter, was one attempt that debuted in December ’69, but only made it through February ’70 with 17 performances, and was not released on album.
Their next try was more successful - Truckin' debuted in August '70 and is credited to Garcia, Weir, Lesh, and Hunter, and of course is another frequently played song with 519 performances. The band put this aside after the hiatus that began in October '74, playing it once at the Lindley Meadows 9/28/75 show where Phil instructed the audience on the proper pronunciation ("It's not 'Trucking'. The name of this tune is 'Truckin'."). Then, surprisingly, they didn't play it at all in 1976 or in the first half of 1977. It was resurrected at the 9/3/77 Englishtown Raceway show for the 2nd set finale and remained a show staple until the end.

Slipknot, an instrumental credited to the whole band, was developed in 1974 live jams and found its place as a transition between Help On The Way and Franklin’s Tower in 1975. Played until 10/11/77, the suite was then dropped until 3/25/83 and played for the next couple years, but then dropped again after 9/12/85, until being revived again on 10/8/89; it then stayed in the setlists through 1995, for a total of 110 performances. (Part of the Blues for Allah suite is also credited to the whole band, but it was played only three times live in 1975.)

Bob Weir was never as prolific a songwriter as Garcia. The Weather Report Suite, which debuted in September 1973, was a medley of three parts: an instrumental intro Weir had been toying with for some years, Part One (written with Eric Andersen), and Let It Grow (written with John Barlow). The first part was only played in ’73-74; but Let It Grow was played steadily through 1995 (typically as a first-set closer), save for an odd hiatus in ’78-79.
Songs like Cassidy, The Music Never Stopped, Estimated Prophet and many later Weir tunes became frequent fixtures in Grateful Dead shows – since Weir’s songs were fewer, they were played quite often, while many of Garcia’s songs were more spaced out in the rotation. It was also quite rare for Weir to stop playing his songs, whereas some of Garcia’s songs would often be dropped for long periods.

Phil Lesh’s songs remained infrequent after Box of Rain. Unbroken Chain and Pride of Cucamonga, written with Bobby Petersen for the Mars Hotel album in ‘74, were ignored in live shows (at least until Unbroken Chain belatedly appeared in 1995). His instrumental composed with the drummers, King Solomon’s Marbles, was played only in the four 1975 shows. One of his songs for Terrapin Station, Equinox, met a bitter fate, being left off the album and never played live. Passenger found a better reception, remaining in the setlists from 1977 through 1981. After that, Lesh was not heard from again until the ‘90s, when he offered several new songs that were not well-received.

Mickey Hart also had an interesting role. Several of Weir’s songs were based on Hart’s rhythms – Playing in the Band, Greatest Story, and much later, Corrina in the ‘90s.
Fire on the Mountain is a unique case – written by Hunter and Hart as a rap-style song during Hart’s hiatus in the early ‘70s, an instrumental version appeared as Happiness Is Drumming on Hart’s Diga Rhythm Band album in 1976, and was played once by the Dead on 6/28/76. The song Fire was adopted by Garcia for the band in ’77, immediately attached to Scarlet Begonias, and only rarely played apart from Scarlet thereafter.
The Hart/Kreutzmann team also created the King Solomon’s Marbles instrumental with Lesh in ’75, and part of the Terrapin Station suite in ’77. Bill Kreutzmann rarely received song credits aside from Hart – but he was co-credited for the music on Weir’s Other One, and on The Wheel and Franklin’s Tower with Garcia.

Other members of the Dead also contributed some songs. After a long songwriting drought, Pigpen wrote Operator in 1970, but we have only four known performances that year. His song Empty Pages was even more short-lived, being played only three times in August ’71. Mr Charlie (with Hunter), Chinatown Shuffle, and Two Souls in Communion were more successful, being played steadily until Pigpen’s last shows in May ’72.
Keith’s one song contribution was followed by two songs from Donna, Sunrise in ’77 and From the Heart of Me in ’78. In later years, keyboardists Brent, Bruce and Vince also wrote some songs which will not be considered here.

There were few songs on the Dead’s studio albums that were never played live by the band. The Weir-Hunter-Hart song France, from the Shakedown Street album, is one – another is Lesh’s song Pride of Cucamonga from Mars Hotel. What's Become of the Baby, though technically not played live, was played on the PA at the 4/26/69 show while the Dead added feedback. Rosemary barely squeaked onto our live tapes, being played at one known show on 12/7/68; and the At A Siding section of Terrapin Station was also played just once, as an instrumental on 3/18/77.

A few dates deserve mention for having multiple song debuts at a single show.
8/18/70 was a show with four debuts on tape (Truckin', Operator, Ripple, & Brokedown Palace).
2/18/71 saw the first versions of five new songs (Bertha, Greatest Story, Loser, Playin', & Wharf Rat), and Bird Song and Deal debuted the following night.
On 10/19/71 they introduced six songs: Tennessee Jed, Jack Straw, Mexicali Blues, Comes a Time, One More Saturday Night, & Ramble On Rose.
The record for new originals at a single gig is 2/9/73 at Stanford, with seven songs - this time all of them Garcia/Hunter songs: China Doll, Eyes of the World, Here Comes Sunshine, Loose Lucy, Row Jimmy, They Love Each Other, and the early version of U.S. Blues entitled Wave That Flag. What is surprising about this show is how strong these first versions are, particularly the Eyes.

The graph ( http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/60257224 ) shows the years on the x-axis and the songs, in order of first-time played, on the y-axis. The leftmost point for each song indicates the debut date and provides a record of how frequently new songs were introduced into the Dead's repertoire.
As one can see, the period 1968-1975 was the most prolific time in the band's history. Following the '74 hiatus, fewer new songs were introduced each year. Long gaps with no new Garcia/Hunter songs included late '79 (Althea, Alabama Getaway) to late '82 when Day Job, West L.A. Fadeaway, and Touch of Gray were introduced, and then another drought from late '82 to the late '86 shows after Garcia's coma, when they brought out two new Hunter songs, Black Muddy River and When Push Comes to Shove. Four more Garcia/Hunter songs followed in ‘88/89 – Believe It Or Not and Built To Last did not last past March 1990, but Foolish Heart and Standing On The Moon became regulars until the end.

In the last five years, the final new Garcia-Hunter songs were presented: So Many Roads in February ’92 and the last three (Liberty, Lazy River Road, & Days Between) debuted at two shows in March of '93.
This period also saw the first Dead version of the Garcia Band song Reuben and Cherise (originally from the 1978 album Cats Under the Stars), played four times in early '1991.
Another song more closely associated with the Garcia Band, Mission in the Rain, was played by the Dead five times in June of 1976 and then shelved permanently. As Garcia wrote fewer songs in the later years, Weir and Lesh stepped up.

Many of Hunter’s songs with Garcia and Weir were played throughout the Dead's history, but some were played only a few times. These include: Mountains of the Moon, Doin' that Rag, Mason's Children, Till the Morning Comes, Blues for Allah, and If I Had the World to Give.
While the first two songs were played often in early 1969, Mason’s Children lasted only two months (though it was also recorded for the Workingman’s Dead album), and Till the Morning Comes was only played during the fall of 1970. Blues for Allah made it into only three 1975 performances, and likewise If I Had the World to Give was played just three times in 1978.

Other Garcia/Hunter songs were played frequently in the early years and then either more rarely afterwards, or ignored for years before coming back and being played frequently in the '80's and '90's. Dark Star is one classic example.
St Stephen is another: after years of dormancy following the Halloween 1971 show, Stephen was resurrected in 1976-1977, played four times in 1978, once in 1979, and three times in October 1983. It was soundchecked at the 12/8/94 Oakland show but was never played after the fall '83 tour.
Cosmic Charlie and High Time were regulars in 1969-70 but both abandoned by 1971; they were busted out in early 1976 after several years of inactivity, but only High Time stayed in the rotation til 1995, while Cosmic Charlie received just six performances in 1976. (Despite Garcia’s complaints about the song, hopeful fans kept waiting for it to reappear ever after, only to have their hopes dashed on 2/27/94.)
Crazy Fingers was sadly abandoned after 9/30/76, not to return until 7/18/82; after eight performances in ’82-83, it was absent for another year before coming back to the regular rotation on 4/4/85.

New Speedway Boogie had an extremely long period of dormancy, spanning a 20-year period between 9/20/70 and 2/19/91. From then it was played periodically until the end.
Similarly, Attics of My Life wasn't played at all between 10/28/72 and 10/9/89; Loose Lucy was absent between 10/19/74 and 3/14/90; and Bird Song was also neglected between 9/15/73 and 9/25/80.
After the 34 versions of Here Comes Sunshine in '73 and early '74, it rose from the ashes in late 1992. (Cryptical Envelopment is another example, last played on 9/23/72 and briefly revived for five performances in 1985.)
Ripple, dropped after April 1971, came back for the acoustic sets of 1980-81. It wasn’t played again until 9/3/88; rumored to be the result of a Make-a-Wish Foundation request, this was the first electric version played since 4/29/71, and sadly the last.

Even some frequently played songs experienced some periods where the band laid them aside for awhile. 1978 in particular saw a drought in Garcia’s songs, especially the ballads - it's remarkable how many Garcia songs were played only once, or not at all, in 1978, even when they'd been regulars in '77:
Uncle John's Band wasn't played for a couple of years, between 10/6/77 and 12/26/79.
Brokedown Palace (played five times in ’77) was also skipped entirely between 10/14/77 & 12/26/79.
China Cat Sunflower wasn't played after the '74 hiatus until 12/29/77; but despite being dusted off just in time for ‘78, again it missed the whole year until being revived on 2/3/79.
High Time was dropped after three shows in May '77 and not done again until a surprise reappearance in the Godchauxs’ last show, 2/17/79.
China Doll (played only three times in 1977), wasn't played at all in 1978, and was only played once in 1979 (May 8) before its 1980 acoustic-set revival.
Even Might As Well, played five times in ’77, was skipped entirely in 1978 before being played twice in February 1979, then dropped again til August 1981.
Morning Dew, played five times in ’77, was only played once in ‘78 (4/15/78), and not played again til 11/8/79.
Comes a Time, played five times in May ’77, was also only played once (5/16/78), then once more on 2/9/79, before returning to the rotation in May 1980.
The Wheel was also only played once (2/3/78); it didn't appear again until 2/17/79, and then disappeared again until August 1980.
St Stephen also disappeared for most of the year – it was played twice in January 1978, and then on December 30 & 31.

There were a lot of Hunter/Garcia ballads that were not played often, but stayed in the rotation into the 1990s. These rare performances could be the highlight of a show if you were lucky enough to see one.
To Lay Me Down has an interesting history because it was only played four times in 1970, then revived several times: 1973-1974, then 1980-1982, it was played once on 10/17/83, then brought back again in 1988-1990, and it's final version was on 6/28/92.
Comes a Time followed a similar pattern: played often for one year from 1971-72, revived for another year in 1976-77, then revived again for seven performances in 1980, it was finally brought back in 1985 and played until 1987, then played only five times in the 1990s.
China Doll, a very frequent song in 1973-74 and in the 1980 acoustic sets, saw six electric performances in 1980-81 before being laid aside for a year. Though a regular song from 1983-87, it was played rarely in the late '80s and early '90s, only about 4-6 shows per year. Only one in 1988 and one in 1994.

Some other mostly "first-set" Hunter/Garcia songs that became rare in the late ‘80s include They Love Each Other, which was only played 1-3 times in each of the years from ’86-’89 and '92-'94, and never in 1995.
It Must Have Been The Roses, while always in the repertoire save for Brent’s first year in 1979-80, was played only 1-5 times a year each year from 1983-1995 (except for a little burst in ’87).
Dupree's Diamond Blues was played throughout the first half of 1969, then revived for six performances in 1977-1978, many more in 1982-1988, then played only once in 1989, once in 1990, and a final version on 10/13/94.
Casey Jones was absent between 10/17/74 and 10/2/77, and after a few years was dropped again in 1982 – save for two performances in 1984, it wasn’t played after ’82 until 6/20/92, and was brought out four times in the next year, the last time on 3/27/93.
Might as Well was played frequently in the ‘80s up to mid-'86, four times in 1987, twice in 1988, then not again until the 6 times in 1991 and a final version on 3/23/94.
Alabama Getaway was played steadily from 1979-1989 and then vanished until it was broken out for four times in 1995.
(Stagger Lee is a rare reversal of this trend – while quite common in the last ten years, it was not played at all from 1980-1984 except for two performances in ’82.)
Black Muddy River was played from 1986-1990, then dropped in 1991 until 1995, when it was revived in the Dead’s last month and played three times, including as the first encore at the final show. When Push Comes to Shove was only played from 1986-1989. Built to Last was only played from 1988-1990 (all but two times in 1989). Believe it or Not was played only six times in 1988 and once in 1990. (And Day Job was, of course, banished from live shows after 1986 by the fans’ request.) It is interesting to see how many songs were dropped from the repertoire or played more rarely after Brent died.

While many of Garcia’s songs became uncommon, Weir had fewer songs to choose from and often played them to death. So Weir's songs tended to stay in the rotation, but there were a few exceptions.
Black Throated Wind departed the stage between 10/19/74 and 3/16/90. My Brother Esau was frequent from 1983-87, but then disappeared. The last Lazy Lightning was on 10/31/84, and the last Lost Sailor was on 3/24/86. The songs usually paired with these, Supplication and Saint of Circumstance, continued to be played until the end, though Supplication was usually just a jam, and was only played four times in the 1990s after the 4/13/86 show.
Money Money only lasted three performances in 1974. The instrumental Sage and Spirit was played only twice, on 8/13/75 and 10/31/80; and the instrumental Heaven Help The Fool was played only during the 1980 acoustic shows.

Finally, there were a few old songs that didn't debut until the '90s. These include Reuben and Cherise, played by the Jerry Garcia Band starting in 1977 but played by the Dead four times in 1991; Salt Lake City, a Weir/Barlow tune soundchecked once in 1978 and played once in Salt Lake City (of course) on 2/21/95; and Unbroken Chain, written in 1974 for Mars Hotel and not played live until 1995. It has the distinction of being the last of the Dead’s songs to be debuted live.

Although the graph omits the earliest Dead originals and the Brent and Vince songs, it provides an interesting glimpse into the song production and song selections throughout the history of the Grateful Dead.

Graph was created using an Excel X-Y chart. The x-value is the date of the show, and the y-value is a number assigned to each song in order of debut (e.g., Jack Straw is the 50th original song they debuted). Graph was imported into Adobe Illustrator for formatting and saved as a PDF.
Sources include: deadbase.com, deadlists.com, and "A Box of Rain: The Collected Lyrics of Robert Hunter.”
Thanks to the Grateful Dead Guide for an opportunity to share this with you.


http://www.scribd.com/doc/60257224/Dead-Songs-Graph [deleted]
[The graph is easier to download from this page, though you’ll have to either log in through facebook or sign up at scribd.com to download.]

See also:

Jeff A. aka "Dr. Beechwood"
spinifex67 AT yahoo DOT com



Here are a couple extra notes on performance patterns:

Just as most of the Aoxomoxoa songs were quickly superseded by newer material in 1969, it’s surprising how many Garcia/Hunter “classics” from 1970 were little-played by the Dead once more new songs started coming in 1971:

High Time – dropped after 7/12/70, not heard again until 1976.
Friend of the Devil - played only once in ’71 (4/25/71), didn’t return til 8/20/72; then skipped between 12/11/72 and 9/18/74.
Dire Wolf - only played twice in April ’71, then not again til the Europe ’72 tour.
Candyman - only played twice in ‘71 (2/18 and 10/24/71), then not again til 10/28/72.
To Lay Me Down – after a few performances in 1970, not played again til 11/9/73.
Ripple - also dropped after 4/29/71 (though they rehearsed it with Keith on 10/1/71).
Attics of My Life – not played after 12/27/70; rehearsed with Keith on 9/30/71, but only played twice in 1972; rehearsed again in 1976, but left unheard until 1989.
And from 1971:
Bird Song – after 8/23/71, dropped for a year; although rehearsed with Keith on 9/29/71, wasn’t played again til 7/18/72 (then only lasted another year, to 9/15/73).
Comes a Time – dropped after 10/19/72, gone til ’76.

There was also a major break in the Dead’s tour history where their song repertoire had to be reconsidered and re-learned: the long touring hiatus from late ’74 to early ’76. A few long-unplayed “oldies” returned in 1976: St Stephen, Cosmic Charlie, High Time, Comes a Time, and Candyman (which had only been played once in 1974). And along with several new songs, the Dead also finally started playing The Wheel, which had appeared on Garcia’s solo album five years earlier.
On the other hand, many songs that had been regulars in ’74 were temporarily dropped, and took surprisingly long to return. Here are the dates of their post-hiatus debuts:

Ramble On Rose 9/23/76
Bertha 9/25/76
He’s Gone 10/15/76
Uncle John’s Band 12/31/76
Brokedown Palace 5/1/77
Jack Straw 5/3/77
Mexicali Blues 5/9/77
China Doll 5/19/77
Truckin’ 9/3/77 (though it was played on 9/28/75)
Dire Wolf 9/28/77
Black Peter 10/1/77
Casey Jones 10/2/77
China Cat 12/29/77 (though not played again for a year)
Dark Star 12/31/78
Greatest Story 2/17/79
To Lay Me Down 9/26/80
Cumberland Blues 8/27/81

After the Godchauxs left the band and Brent joined in 1979, there was much less of a change from their standard setlist pattern. But a few songs would also be neglected for some time: Dark Star and St Stephen, for instance, the band had half-heartedly played only three times in Keith’s last months and were in no hurry to revisit. These are the dates other songs returned:

Dire Wolf 8/31/79
Cassidy 8/31/79
Greatest Story 8/31/79
Ramble On Rose 9/2/79
Let It Grow 9/2/79
Casey Jones 11/2/79
High Time 11/10/79
Uncle John’s Band 12/26/79
Brokedown Palace 12/26/79
Comes a Time 5/10/80
The Wheel 8/17/80
It Must Have Been The Roses 9/25/80
Might As Well 8/12/81



(a list by Vapors)

There were a number of songs that returned to the repertoire during the Brent years that had not been performed for varying periods of time. Some are more significant than others, but I have attempted to list them and provide some interesting info. This has been percolating in the back of my mind for a while. So here goes, without caveat or disclaimer except to state that this is by no means necessarily intended to be ‘complete’. The research is my own and based mostly on objective facts, rather than subjective music quality. Although I have struggled to be as accurate as I can with the resources available to me, there are likely to be some errors.

This was an academic exercise that I wanted to attempt, mainly driven by the great joy I experienced being in attendance when the band broke out a cherished and rare song from the old days. I originally was going to have the subject be ‘Revivals and Breakouts’ but quickly realized it would be too much. It is tricky to be as accurate and informative as possible - which is certainly easier today than it was before the advent of the internet - because some of the data out there is inconsistent and conflicting.

This does not cover the ‘jams', and focuses on the Brent years, although a few post-Brent 1990s revivals (and a few from the last days of Keith) have also been included.


Perhaps a starting point should be the acoustic shows in the fall of 1980 - at the Warfield, Saenger and Radio City shows, and the subsequent acoustic sets from 12/6/80 Mill Valley, 12/31/80 Oakland, 4/25/81 Berkeley, 5/22/81 Warfield, and the two Amsterdam shows in October 1981. A number of songs were brought back that had not been played for some time. Some of the songs performed were never played again (Dark Hollow, Rosalie McFall, I’ve Been All Around This World, Heaven Help The Fool, Little Sadie, Sage and Spirit) but many of the revivals made it into future (electric) rotation.

BIRD SONG . . . Last played on 9/15/73 - opens the first acoustic show at the Warfield on 9/25/80 :
On 11/30/80 it moved back to the electric sets, and was played every year thereafter :
Here’s a good one from MSG 10/11/83, which also features the first of three Brent era St. Stephens :

CHINA DOLL . . . Played post-hiatus 3 times in 1977, once in 1979 with Brent : (Nice transition back into Playin’)
Returns acoustically on 9/26/80 and is performed until 1994. (It also returned to the electric sets on 11/30/80; see 10/11/83 Bird Song link for another one.)

DEEP ELEM BLUES . . . This traditional song was played regularly in 1970, and at one rehearsal with Keith on 9/30/71. It was then played again once on 11/17/78. (This show also includes the first Dark Hollow since 4/29/71, among other rarities.)
Returns next in the acoustic sets on 10/4/80; first electric set 11/28/80 and is performed electrically ten times through 1983.

IT MUST HAVE BEEN THE ROSES . . . Very common in the Keith years, this song’s first Brent performance was on 9/25/80. It moved to the electric sets on 11/26/80, and stayed there til 1995.

LITTLE SADIE . . . Played a few times in the 1969-70 acoustic sets, this traditional song was played only once in 1980 (in an acoustic set that also included the only Sage and Spirit since 1975) :

MONKEY AND THE ENGINEER . . . This Jesse Fuller song was played in 1969-1970, and returns for the 1980 acoustic sets on 9/25/80. Next played on the David Letterman show 4/13/82, and only once more (in the second set) on 2/12/89.

OH BABE, IT AIN'T NO LIE . . . This song by Elizabeth Cotton debuted on 9/25/80, and was played only in the acoustic sets, excepting 3/23/84 when Jerry opens the second set with it, while Bob has equipment issues.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN . . . This traditional song was last sung in 1966 by Jerry - Bob revives it on 9/26/80 and it is played fairly infrequently through 1984, most often in 1982. First 1980 electric performance :

THE RACE IS ON . . . This George Jones song was played in the 1970 acoustic sets and frequently in 1973-74; last played 10/19/74. It returns in the acoustic set on 9/27/80, and is played through Amsterdam.
Next played in Sacramento on 5/3/86 and is performed just five more times after that, once per year.

RIPPLE . . . Last played on 4/29/71 – returns for the first Warfield show on 9/25/80 and ends all 27 acoustic sets this year, and also the 1981 acoustic sets. But it was only to be played again once, as the encore on 9/3/88 :

TO LAY ME DOWN . . . Last played 10/19/74 – returns to open the acoustic set on 9/26/80. It made rare appearances through 1992; not played at all during 1984-87, and played the most often in 1981 and 1988. Lakeland 11/28/80:

Moving on from the acoustic sets ……


ATTICS OF MY LIFE . . . Last played on 10/28/72 in Cleveland, and rehearsed on 5/28/76 but not played that year; it is revived after 17 years in Hampton on 10/9/89, and played on occasion through the last tour.
(This show also features Dark Star and Death Don’t Have No Mercy mentioned below.)

BABY WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO . . . Played once before on 9/7/69 at the Family Dog with other friends, this Jimmy Reed song is performed with Etta James, the Tower of Power horns, and Matt Kelly on harp at the NYE show in Oakland on 12/31/82.
Played again three times in 1985. (See 11/8/85 She Belongs To Me link to hear Brent sing it.)

BIG BOSS MAN . . . This Dixon/Smith song was originally recorded by Jimmy Reed in 1960; a frequent Pigpen standard and last sung by him on 5/25/72 in London. It is revived on 12/26/81 with Jerry singing and played very rarely - 15 times in all - through the last tour.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1981-12-26.sbd.miller.83996.sbeok.flac16 ( Eleven jam also played here)

BIG BOY PETE . . . Last performance was on 9/20/70. It was played acoustically at the Rambler Room (Loyola College) 11/17/78 and revived once on 11/21/85 in Oakland :

BIG RAILROAD BLUES . . . Last played 10/19/74, revived on 2/17/79 during Keith and Donna’s last show.
First Brent performance 12/7/79. In rotation through 1995, performed less frequently in the 90s.

BLACK THROATED WIND . . . Last played on 10/19/74, it returns on 3/16/90 and is played through 1995.

BOX OF RAIN . . . Last played at Watkins Glen on 7/28/73, it returns in Hampton on 3/20/86 to end the first set. Stayed in rotation right up through the last show.

BROKEDOWN PALACE . . . Last played on 10/14/77 and revived on 12/26/79. Played through the last tour, almost always as the encore.

CASEY JONES . . . Last played on 10/17/74 and revived on 10/2/77, it is played with increasing infrequency up to 8/3/82, returns for two 1984 performances, put away again until 6/20/92 and only performed three more times after that.

CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER . . . Last played on 10/20/74, it is revived once on 12/29/77, and not heard again until four performances from the Godchaux’s last tour (starting with 2/3/79). Played regularly thereafter.

COMES A TIME . . . Performed in the years 1971, 1972, 1976 and 1977, it is played once each in 1978 and 1979 (5/16/78, 2/9/79), and then 7 times in 1980. Here’s the first one with Brent :
Broken out again for the twenty year anniversary shows at the Greek Theatre on 6/14/85.
( This show also features the first of four performances of Keep On Growing, a tune from the Derek and The Dominoes album Layla. )
Played 11 times in 1985, 7 in 1986, twice in 1987, and very rarely after that – only five performances in the ‘90s.

CRAZY FINGERS . . . Played twice in 1975, nine times in 1976. Made its glorious return in Ventura on 7/18/82, played seven times that year, once in 1983 and not heard again until Providence 4/4/85. It then stayed in the repertoire through the final tour in 1995.

CRYPTICAL ENVELOPMENT . . . Played regularly from 1967 through 1971, Cryptical is last heard on 9/23/72 (the only 1972 performance). Makes its triumphant return at the Greek on 6/16/85 :
It is played twice more on the summer tour – Cincinnati 6/24 and Merriweather 6/30 - then in Ventura 7/13/85 and finally Kansas City 9/3/85.
( Keep On Growing also played here, not to mention a mind bending Shakedown. )

CUMBERLAND BLUES . . . Last played on 10/18/74, Cumberland makes its return in Long Beach 8/27/81 - the recording from the next one (8/30/81) is somewhat better - and is performed up until the last show 7/9/95.

DARK STAR . . . Played regularly from 1967 through 1974, it is revived on 12/31/78 at Winterland, and played twice in January 1979. Next played on 12/31/81 where it starts off the third set :
Emerges again as the encore at the Greek on 7/13/84 :
- and is put away again for over five years until the Warlocks show in Hampton 10/9/89.
It is thereafter performed occasionally through spring 1994.

DEATH DON'T HAVE NO MERCY . . . This Rev. Gary Davis song was last played on 3/21/70; it is brought back after almost 19 years for four shows; 9/29/89, 10/9/89, 10/19/89, and 4/2/90 :

DON'T EASE ME IN . . . Traditional song last played on 8/6/74, it is performed again three times in Feb 1979 and regularly thereafter.

DUPREE'S DIAMOND BLUES . . . Put away after 7/11/69, Dupree’s is next performed at four shows in 1977 and then two in 1978. (The first was 10/2/77, linked above with Casey Jones.)
Returns as the encore in Oregon 8/28/82 - performed regularly through 1985, it is performed with less frequency through 1988, and only three times thereafter.

FROZEN LOGGER . . . Played briefly a few times by Bob during equipment issue breaks (lastly on 8/25/72) he tries it one time again on 9/7/85.

GOOD MORNING LITTLE SCHOOLGIRL . . . A Sonny Boy Williamson song last played 9/19/70 and brought out on 8/22/87 with Carlos Santana sitting in.
Played only seven more times (in the 90s).

GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD . . . Last played on 10/18/74 and revived on 2/17/79 (linked above with Big Railroad Blues). Next heard again on 8/31/79 with Brent and played through the last tour.

HARD TO HANDLE . . . This Otis Redding song was last performed on 8/26/71, and it is played two times more as an encore with Etta James singing and the Tower of Power horns on 12/30/82 and 12/31/82 in Oakland. (The 12/31/82 show is linked above w/ Baby What You Want Me To Do.)

HELP ON THE WAY / SLIPKNOT / FRANKLIN'S TOWER . . . Performed from 1975 through 10/11/77 (although they continued to play Franklin’s by itself) - it is revived on 3/25/83 in Tempe. Played fairly often in 1983 and 1984, twice in 1985. Returns next at the Hampton Warlocks shows on 10/8/89 and stays in rotation until 1995.

HERE COMES SUNSHINE . . . A regular in 1973, this song was last played on 2/23/74. Revived on 12/6/92 (due to Vince’s encouragement), it was played through 1995.

HEY BO DIDDLEY . . . This was played a few times in 1972 as part of the Not Fade Away medley (5/23, 7/16, and 8/22/72). It made a surprise return out of the Not Fade Away encore on 2/11/86.

HEY JUDE . . . Played twice before on 2/11/69 and 3/1/69, this Beatles song is heard again (just the reprise ending) after Dear Mr. Fantasy at Red Rocks 9/7/85 (linked above with Frozen Logger). It appears in the same format again 14 times in 1988, 9 in 1989, and 4 in 1990. (The only time Brent tried singing the whole song was 3/22/90.)

HIDEAWAY . . . This Freddie King instrumental was played once on 11/7/71 and then only once again on 6/21/89 at Shoreline (with some technical difficulties) :

HIGH TIME . . . After the last taped performance on 7/12/70, High Time is revived on 6/9/76, played nine times that year and three times in 1977 (lastly 5/26/77). Revived on 2/17/79 and next performed with Brent on 11/10/79 - played somewhat infrequently through 1995.

I JUST WANT TO MAKE LOVE TO YOU . . . This Willie Dixon song was played once on 11/29/66, twice in 1984 and then once more in 1995.

IT'S ALL OVER NOW, BABY BLUE . . . This Dylan song, performed 22 times 1966-1974, last played 2/24/74; it is revived in Seattle on 8/14/81 and stayed in rotation as an encore (some exceptions during the 1987 Dylan tour) through 1995.

IT TAKES A LOT TO LAUGH, IT TAKES A TRAIN TO CRY . . . Played once (with Allmans help) on 6/10/73, this Dylan/JGB standard appeared again in a Dead show on 5/12/91, and was played six times over the next year.

KING BEE . . . Last sung by Pigpen on 12/15/71, this Slim Harpo song is next sung by Bob two times; 12/8/93 and 3/31/94.

LA BAMBA . . . This Ritchie Valens song made a brief appearance in Good Lovin’ on 11/11/70 and is played four times in 1987, also in a Good Lovin’ sandwich.

LOOSE LUCY . . . Last performed at Winterland on 10/19/74, it returns to the repertoire on 3/14/90 and is played through the last tour.

LOUIE LOUIE . . . This song was originally written and recorded by Richard Berry; the remake by The Kingsmen became quite popular. Performed on 9/7/69 by Jerry with some of the Jefferson Airplane, and then an instrumental tease on 6/7/70. (Bob: ‘Hey man, none of us knows that song.’) Sung by Brent five times in 1988, once more in 1989.
1989. http://www.archive.org/details/gd1988-04-05.sbd.miller.91234.sbeok.flac16

MIDNIGHT HOUR . . . First played in 1966, last played 4/29/71, and put away until 12/31/82 when it is one of the encores played with the Tower of Power (linked above with Baby What You Want). Next played as another New Year’s encore with Rick Danko and Maria Muldar :
Played infrequently, more often in 1985-1986, until 1994. ( Played with Santana on 8/22/87 – see above Schoolgirl link.)

NEW ORLEANS . . . Played three times in 1969-70 (last time 11/8/70), it is revived once on 6/21/84 (with The Band) :

NEW SPEEDWAY BOOGIE . . . Originally played from December 1969 to September 1970, this post-Altamont song was revived on 2/19/91, and played through 1995.

REUBEN AND CHERISE . . . Not a revival but a breakout, this JGB standard since 1977 was first played by the Dead on 3/17/91. They played it only four times that year before returning it to the JGB.

THE SAME THING . . . A Willie Dixon tune sung four times by Pigpen in 1966 and 1967 :
It is performed one last time on 12/31/71 :
And revived by Bob on 12/28/91. Played hence through the last tour.

SHE BELONGS TO ME . . . This Dylan song was played once on 1/7/66 (according to Deadbase) and next in Providence on 4/4/85. Played a total of nine times in 1985 only.
Here’s one from Rochester 11/8/85 :

SMOKESTACK LIGHTNING . . . A song by Howlin’ Wolf (Chester Burnett), last sung by Pigpen on 3/25/72 and isn’t heard again until the instrumental jam out of Truckin’ on 4/9/83. It returns with Bob singing (and no harmonica) on 10/9/84 and is played occasionally until 1994.

ST. STEPHEN . . . Played 1968 through 10/31/71, the mighty St. Stephen is reborn, at a slower tempo, on 6/9/76 and was played throughout 1976 and 1977, four times in 1978 and then in Nassau on 1/10/79. It reappears at MSG on 10/11/83 (linked above w/ Bird Song) and is only performed two more times – 10/15/83 and 10/31/83. Here is the Hartford rendition :

THAT'S ALL RIGHT MAMA . . . This Arthur Crudup song had been played by the Dead once with the Allman Brothers on 6/10/73, and appeared once more in the first set on 4/18/86 :

TURN ON YOUR LOVELIGHT . . . This Malone/Scott composition was first recorded by Bobby Bland in 1961. Last played in London on 5/24/72, Bob brings it back for one 1981 appearance in Amsterdam on 10/16/81:
Next performed twice in 1982, it is brought back again on 7/7/84 and stays in steady rotation thereafter.

UNBROKEN CHAIN . . . OK, not a revival since they hadn’t played it live before. It first appeared on 3/19/95 to end the first set, and was played ten times that year.

VISIONS OF JOHANNA . . . One of the few songs that was first played in the Brent years and revived in the ‘90s, this Dylan song was first played by the Dead twice in 1986, then brought back on 2/21/95 and played six times that year.

WALKIN' BLUES . . . Played once on 10/7/66 (according to Deadbase), this Robert Johnson song’s next performance is on 5/28/82 (with Boz Scaggs singing), to be followed by four in 1985. In 1987 it enters regular rotation through 1995.

WALKING THE DOG . . . Written and released by Rufus Thomas in 1963, the Dead played it twice in 1970. It returns for a rare appearance on 3/29/84, then three 1985 performances. It is next (and last) heard on the Letterman show 9/17/87.

WE BID YOU GOODNIGHT . . . Last heard at Winterland on 12/31/78, it is sung again at Alpine Valley on 7/17/89. It makes six 1989 appearances, four in 1990, and a final performance in Boston on 9/26/91.

WEREWOLVES OF LONDON . . . Played 9 times in 1978, this Warren Zevon song was brought out for Halloween in 1985, 1990 and 1991.

THE WHEEL . . . Played regularly from 6/3/76 until 10/30/77, it is performed once in 1978 (2/3/78) and once in 1979 (2/17/79). Returns to regular rotation on 8/17/80.

List Taken From:



The Dead's Original Songs, Listed By Number Of Times Played

[The numbers on the graph don't always match with the numbers on other setlist sources, especially for the earlier songs, as there's often some variability in counting. Deadlists.com is the most accurate place to find performance numbers, but this gives an idea. Of course all songs before 1971 are undercounted, as there's no way to tell how many performances don't survive.]

Playing in the Band 602
The Other One 597
Sugar Magnolia 594
China Cat Sunflower 559
Truckin’ 519
Jack Straw 474
Mexicali Blues 441
Tennessee Jed 433
Deal 423
Looks Like Rain 415
Bertha 394
Wharf Rat 394
Estimated Prophet 389
Eyes of the World 383
Sugaree 361
Brown Eyed Women 348
Loser 345
Black Peter 343
One More Saturday Night 339
Cassidy 332
Uncle John’s Band 332
Stella Blue 328
He’s Gone 327
US Blues 324
Ramble On Rose 316
Scarlet Begonias 316
Casey Jones 314
Friend of the Devil 304
Terrapin Station 302
Bird Song 296
Greatest Story Ever Told 280
Candyman 277
Let It Grow 276
Row Jimmy 274
Althea 272
I Need A Miracle 270
Throwing Stones 265
Mississippi Half-Step 258
The Wheel 258
Fire on the Mountain 253
Dire Wolf 237
Music Never Stopped 233
Dark Star 232
Cumberland Blues 228
They Love Each Other 227
Ship of Fools 225
Saint of Circumstance 222
Franklin’s Tower 221
Hell in a Bucket 216
Brokedown Palace 215
Touch of Grey 213
Feel Like a Stranger 207
St Stephen 165
Shakedown Street 163
Box of Rain 162
It Must Have Been The Roses 159
Black Throated Wind 158
Stagger Lee 146
Lost Sailor 145
Crazy Fingers 144
Alabama Getaway 141
West LA Fadeaway 140
Cryptical Envelopment 135
High Time 133
Supplication 125
China Doll 114
Might As Well 111
Lazy Lightning 110
Slipknot 110
Help on the Way 106
My Brother Esau 104
Passenger 99
The Eleven 98
Loose Lucy 98
Victim or the Crime 96
Foolish Heart 87
Dupree’s Diamond Blues 80
Corrina 77
Picasso Moon 77
Standing on the Moon 76
Black Muddy River 66
Comes A Time 66
Here Comes Sunshine 66
Lazy River Road 65
Alligator 63
To Lay Me Down 63
When Push Comes to Shove 58
Keep Your Day Job 57
Liberty 56
New Speedway Boogie 56
So Many Roads 55
Caution 53
Weather Report Suite Prelude 52
Attics of My Life 48
Mr. Charlie 48
Weather Report Suite Part One 47
Easy Wind 45
Easy Answers 44
Eternity 43
Days Between 41
Cosmic Charlie 41
Ripple 39
Doin’ That Rag 37
Sunrise 30
Chinatown Shuffle 28
From the Heart of Me 27
New Potato Caboose 24
Wave to the Wind 21
Built to Last 18
Mason’s Children 18
Heaven Help the Fool 17
If the Shoe Fits 17
Wave That Flag 15
Two Souls in Communion 13
Mountains of the Moon 12
Childhood’s End 11
Unbroken Chain 10
Born Cross-Eyed 9
Believe It Or Not 7
Cream Puff War 7
Let Me Sing Your Blues Away 6
Clementine 5
King Solomon’s Marbles 5
Mission in the Rain 5
Till the Morning Comes 5
Operator 4
Reuben and Cherise 4
Blues for Allah 3
Empty Pages 3
Golden Road 3
If I Had the World to Give 3
Money Money 3
Sage & Spirit 2
Rosemary 1
Salt Lake City 1

Comments, corrections and additions are welcome!

July 10, 2011

The Dead Quote Coltrane

This started out as a couple comments on older posts, but I thought it might be better as a post on its own.

In the second half of '68, the Dead added a new section to Clementine with an interesting guitar/bass unison riff.
For example, you can hear it at 4:15 in track 11 here:
or at 6:10 in track 3 here:

It's been pointed out that this riff sometimes recurs in Lesh's playing in later years - for instance, you can hear it a bit after 18:30 in the 4/26/72 Other One.

It turns out this is actually the bass riff to Coltrane's Greensleeves, off his Africa/Brass album:

The musical reference is so obvious I'm sure someone's mentioned it before - but it's a recent discovery for me!
The Dead revered the Africa/Brass album, and Lesh and Weir cite it to this day as an essential, seminal album for them.

Weir: "We felt at that time, when we were listening to Coltrane, that we were hardly fit to grovel at his feet. But still, we were trying to get there - our aims were the same."

Lesh: "We never heard Coltrane live after the band started, so it was the recordings we would lean on. Mainly it was Africa/Brass. Billy really got off on Elvin's drum solo on 'Africa'; for the other guys, it was pretty much the whole composition and the way it all developed, the use of the horns and stuff like that. And then just for the quality of Trane's playing, 'Blues Minor' is one of my favorites."

Lesh says in his book, "I urged the other band members to listen closely to the music of John Coltrane, especially his classic quartet, in which the band would take fairly simple structures ('My Favorite Things', for example) and extend them far beyond their original length with fantastical variations, frequently based on only one chord."

Though Garcia sang Clementine, the music was actually composed by Lesh. Since the rhythm of Clementine is similar to Coltrane band performances like Greensleeves and My Favorite Things, I would guess Coltrane was strongly in Lesh's mind when he was arranging Clementine.
When Lesh talks about using Coltrane's My Favorite Things as an example the Dead used in expanding their jams, it makes me wonder if Clementine was a song that came out of the Dead's jamming on Coltrane themes. Musically, Clementine is quite a bit simpler than most of Lesh's compositions!
(One musically versed listener says, "Clementine is definitely in the style of the Coltrane arrangements of 'My Favorite Things' and 'Greensleeves.' All three are based on lilting triplet rhythms in a minor key with stepwise sequential melodies.")

Lesh has spoken often of the example of Coltrane's modal-jazz style:
"The Coltrane Quartet and the long jams they would do in one chord was a defining factor for us because it was a demonstration that this could be done. There's so much room inside this one chord. It's only one chord and you can never ever get to the bottom of it. Believe me, that was a major influence on us."

And from a newspaper article:
'“What do I have to say about ’Trane?” Lesh asks. “His music is very florid, convulsive, evocative, volcanic, and it all moves very steadily in its flow.” Coltrane also had a strong influence on the music of the Grateful Dead, who were looking for interesting ways to extend their concert “jams” without continuous repetition of the melody line. Coltrane’s modal use of the drone, sustained notes characteristic of world music from Scottish bagpipes to Indian sitars in his early ’60s compositions “Africa” and “India” allowed the jazzman to weave varied melodic and rhythmic elements in and around the drone, enabling musical improvisation without sacrificing a solid through-line.
“It was a logical extension of what we wanted to do,” Lesh says. “The improvisation over the drone note derives from ethnic music practices the world over, and helped us figure out how to play longer in new, more interesting ways.”'

Weir in particular was inspired by Coltrane's records of the early '60s, especially the playing of pianist McCoy Tyner:
"I listened to a lot of McCoy Tyner. I listened to his left hand a lot, and sort of took it from there."
"The John Coltrane record that had ‘Tunji’ on it (Coltrane) had me hugely enamored with his rhythm section - Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison - and the way they worked together. It was great the way they played off McCoy Tyner. Whereas a lot of guitarists cite other guitarists as primary influences, I listened to a lot of McCoy Tyner and what he had to say. It was Phil who turned me onto Coltrane.”
"I learned by trying to imitate a piano, specifically the work of McCoy Tyner in the John Coltrane Quartet. That caught my ear and lit my flame when I was 17. I just loved what he did underneath Coltrane, so I sat with it for a long time and really tried to absorb it. Of course, Jerry was very influenced by horn players, including Coltrane, but I never really explicitly thought about that relationship, because I didn’t really ever decide to pattern myself after McCoy Tyner’s piano. It just grabbed me."

As for Garcia: "I've been influenced a lot by Coltrane, but I never copped his licks or sat down, listened to records and tried to play his stuff. I've been impressed with that thing of flow, and of making statements that to my ears sound like paragraphs - he'll play along stylistically with a certain kind of tone...for X amount of time - then he'll change the subject, then play along with this other personality coming out, which really impresses me. It's like...his attitude's changing, but it changes in a holistic way, where the tone of his axe and everything changes."

Anyway, this was a long digression on a small subject. But for all the Dead's references to the Coltrane influence in interviews, it's still striking to find a direct quote in a Coltrane-soaked Dead song. And it illustrates how the Dead were composing in those days - remember that Clementine was written around the same time in late '67/early '68 that Weir snatched the Spanish Jam from a riff on Miles Davis's Sketches of Spain.
Many songs of that time were born in jams - Dark Star began as an instrumental; the Other One was a riff that Weir and Kreutzmann toyed with through '67 (Weir said he was thinking of Stravinsky's Rites of Spring); the Eleven was born as an experiment with Indian time signatures; the Bahaman tune We Bid You Goodnight was first played as an extended instrumental quote inside Alligator.
So it's quite possible that when the Dead tried to jam on a Coltrane theme, out came Clementine....


I suspect many jazz quotes are lurking in later Dead jams.

Some people say they hear the band quoting Brubeck's Take Five here and there. Here, for instance, is one brief example of Phil playing a similar line briefly, at 7:45 in this Other One:
(There are probably better examples as this one is only 15 seconds or so, but it's the first one I could find.) Phil does this line a lot in various Truckin'/Other One jams in '72, but it's probably more of a rhythmic nudge than a Take Five quote. (For one, it's in 6/8 time.)

In '76, often Keith would set the rhythm for the transition jams between songs, in a way that was unique to that year. One riff he'd play was very similar to the Take Five piano - you can hear it coming after Eyes of the World on 7/17/76, and here he leads the way after 1:40 in track 18, the jam before Comes a Time:
But one listener notes: "I think the '76 jam would have to be called 'take 8' rather than 'take 5' though, because the phrase Keith is playing does use a lot of the same intervals and syncopated rhythm as Brubeck's comp in Take 5, but it is a longer phrase that fits into a standard 4/4 meter rather than the asymmetrical time signature that gives Take 5 its name. It's like Keith took the line and put a couple more beats in the middle to even it out to fit with the existing pulse the drummers are playing."

There's also another very common Phil riff in '73, a little reminiscent of Stronger Than Dirt, which the band often joins in counterpoint - for instance, it's developed at length after 6:20 in this Dark Star:
It's a similar line, sounds like it could be from some familiar jazz tune, but it may be original to Phil.
(In '73-75, the band thought it particularly cool to work out these complicated but unified funky riffs. As one listener says, "I hear the distinctive Phil riffs in that '73 Dark Star to be part of what I think of as a big 'family' of material in '73-75 based on intricate but driving bass-heavy loops. Stronger than Dirt, Slipknot, the post-Eyes jam, the Unbroken Chain instrumental break - all of these seem to overlap with the kind of intervals and rhythms you hear Phil playing with in that Dark Star section." Indeed, many listeners have trouble distinguishing these riffs from each other!)

But there is one line Phil often played in '72 jams that is definitely a familiar jazz quote: Footprints, off the Miles Smiles album.
Here's Miles playing it live on 4/12/70, opening for the Dead:
And here's Phil quoting the bassline, after 6:25 in track 24, after Truckin':
One listener observes: "Phil plays the bassline pretty repeatedly and while it does change the direction of the jam into something much jazzier (I say 'jazzier' because of how Billy is drumming - he's keeping time more on the cymbals rather than the drums), I wouldn't call this a 'Footprints jam,' though, since Keith isn't playing the chords to Footprints, and nobody else really plays anything close to it."

I haven't looked for many examples, but these are all little riffs that Phil would repeat quite frequently in those years that lend a jazz-combo tinge to the Dead's jams.


Quotes from:
The House That Trane Built, p.53 (Phil quote)