“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.)
UPDATE, NOVEMBER 2015:
A new updated graph with more songs is now available:
THE GRATEFUL DEAD SONG GRAPH
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.
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
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
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
REVIVALS OF THE 1980s (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.
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
Jack Straw 474
Mexicali Blues 441
Tennessee Jed 433
Looks Like Rain 415
Wharf Rat 394
Estimated Prophet 389
Eyes of the World 383
Brown Eyed Women 348
Black Peter 343
One More Saturday Night 339
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
Let It Grow 276
Row Jimmy 274
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
China Doll 114
Might As Well 111
Lazy Lightning 110
Help on the Way 106
My Brother Esau 104
The Eleven 98
Loose Lucy 98
Victim or the Crime 96
Foolish Heart 87
Dupree’s Diamond Blues 80
Picasso Moon 77
Standing on the Moon 76
Black Muddy River 66
Comes A Time 66
Here Comes Sunshine 66
Lazy River Road 65
To Lay Me Down 63
When Push Comes to Shove 58
Keep Your Day Job 57
New Speedway Boogie 56
So Many Roads 55
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
Days Between 41
Cosmic Charlie 41
Doin’ That Rag 37
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
King Solomon’s Marbles 5
Mission in the Rain 5
Till the Morning Comes 5
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
Salt Lake City 1
Comments, corrections and additions are welcome!
One minor addition: Mississippi Half-Step went on hiatus in '83-84.ReplyDelete
10/17/82- Santa Fe Downs - Santa Fe, NM
03/27/85- Nassau Coliseum - Uniondale, NY
Songs played only with guests were omitted from the Revivals list, but may be worth mentioning:ReplyDelete
Black Queen - with Steve Stills, 12/10/69 and 4/16/83
Mona - with Bo Diddley 3/25/72, and with Santana & Gary Duncan 10/27/91
How Long Blues - played a few times in the acoustic sets 1970 (lastly 11/7/70), then an electric version with Spencer Davis 2/12/89 (barely the same song)
For those who downloaded straightaway - the graph has been revised a couple times since it went up: the dates for Heaven Help the Fool & Feel Like a Stranger have been fixed; the Number of Times Played has been added; and Sugaree was added.ReplyDelete
There may be more revisions later, as we catch mistakes...
Empty Pages has been deleted from the graph...ReplyDelete
Dr Beechwood says: "I don't know how we missed Sugaree. Anyway, I had to compromise: Sugaree was followed by Mr. Charlie and Empty Pages. So the easiest fix was to bump Mr. Charlie up one and delete Empty Pages, so that way I didn't have to redo the entire graph of songs following Sugaree... If I have to make some other changes I can do a more comprehensive revision."
I know you rider has to be on this list...ReplyDelete
and it probably is number one
The Dead didn't write that; it's an old folk song.ReplyDelete
So how many original songs did the dead have compared with cover songs?ReplyDelete
Well, according to the GD Lyric & Song Finder, the Dead did 189 original songs and 334 cover songs.ReplyDelete
However, a large number of those covers were only done once, at soundchecks, or with guests (such as Dylan) - so without counting exactly, I think as far as the regular repertoire it's safe to say the Dead did a somewhat larger number of covers than originals.
Another couple of added notes about songs that were soundchecked, but would not see the light of day until years later.ReplyDelete
Attics of my Life: Was also soundchecked on 2/22/74.
Black Throated Wind: Soundchecked once on 12/26/79.
That makes no sense. I saw them perform Attics Of My Life a dozen or so times in 1970-71 and Black Throated Wind that many times during 1971-72.Delete
He was talking about the songs went on hiatus, appeared during soundcheck, then continued to remain silent until revival.Delete
If we had a complete record of Dead soundchecks, there would probably be lots of surprises & unexpected songs...ReplyDelete
Hey, thanks for the lovely effort. I've kept this page open in my browser for several days, and always 'refrained' from closing it as it clearly had my interest. Now that I have reached the bottom, I say, heartily,ReplyDelete
"Thank you, for a real good time!"
Easter Sunday and Monday 1985 in Philly was quite the rarity clusterReplyDelete
Sunday opened with "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?" and saw a "She Belongs to Me"
Monday opened with Midnight Hour > Walkin' the Dog.
I was in the front of the GA, 10 feet from Jerry. I couldn't believe I heard him say "Miss Mary Mack, All Dressed in Black".
I thought maybe I was losing it!
Second set opener that night was Revolution.
Glad you liked this page.ReplyDelete
1985 did see some new novelties in the setlists - though, all the songs you mentioned were cover songs!
David Nelson told me earlier this year that the lyrics for "The Only Time Is Now" were written by David Parker. Parker wrote another lyric, but Nelson couldn't remember which song. I have been unable to locate Parker to ask him.ReplyDelete
David Parker? That's interesting... He was a friend of the band's in Palo Alto - a member of the McCree's jugband, went to the first Warlocks shows, and also lived in the house on Waverley in summer '65 with Garcia, Nelson, Hunter etc.ReplyDelete
It's one hint that from the start, the Warlocks may have been more of a communal project than has been written, if this early on they were already using friends to write song lyrics.
It's also interesting that they didn't turn to Hunter for song lyrics. Though perhaps he'd moved away by fall '65.
My Mom was handed a random bootleg CD from a fellow deadhead. As we were listening there was an awesome comboand melding of Ramble on the Rose with Doing that Rag. It really had a great sound. I am dying to know when and if they ever played that again. It is something I NEED to hear again. After checking out your blog I couldn't find anything obvious in your wealth of info on here. But if anyone has heard this or knows where it came from PLEASE let me know!ReplyDelete
The CD you got was not the Grateful Dead - they never performed those songs in the same show. It must have been Phil & Friends/the Dead/Further - one of the post-GD bands, who did more creative setlists. If you knew the tracklist of the CD someone might be able to identify the show.Delete
I've read that the song "Rosemary" was possibly revived once, in late 1970. According to Deadlists.com, 11/27/70 Syndrome, Chicago:ReplyDelete
"There was an acoustic set or acoustic segment of the show, possibly involving Mountains Of The Moon or perhaps Rosemary. " Of course, no tape exists of this show so it's all speculation.
I think that's someone's false memory. I've seen two newspaper reviews of the show, plus an audience member's setlist from the show, and there is no mention of an acoustic set.Delete
See this page -
Sadly, there's a near-zero chance Rosemary or Mountains were played.
Does anyone know when "Victim or The Crime" was first performed live? I say it was an acoustic show Bob and Jerry did with Joan Baez. My friend said Bobby and the Midnights did it first. Can anyone settle this argument?
Good question. I know nothing about the Midnites' setlists, but it appears they were the first.ReplyDelete
Weir told Blair Jackson: "I had originally written it for the Grateful Dead in 1983 or 1984... When I originally brought it around to the band...it's a very complicated piece and it didn't get a whole lot of attention because there was a lot of other material we were working on at the time. So I did it a little bit with the Midnites, then did it solo, and then brought it around again a few months ago to a warmer response. So at that point we started putting it together as a Grateful Dead song." (from deaddisc.com)
According to the GD Lyric & Song Finder, "It was originally performed by Bob Weir with Bobby & The Midnites in 1983, and subsequently by Weir and Wasserman."
Weir's co-writer Gerrit Graham concurs that after the song was written, "Bobby and the Midnites began playing it live right away. But when it came time to record [they wouldn't record it, although] they'd been playing the thing live at practically every gig for some time, but hey. That band croaked, to no one's apparent regret; Bob, however, was into the song and kept playing it, first on a solo acoustic tour - no mean feat, considering the musical complexity of it - and then in Rob 'n' Bob shows with Rob Wasserman."
There's also an interesting interview in GD Hour 59 where the band talks about the song:
Apparently, Garcia was unaware that Weir had showed him the song back in '83, since he says, "I think the first time Weir showed it to me was when we played with Joan Baez at an AIDS thing in the city."
(That would be the 12/17/87 acoustic show - subsequently the Dead worked it up, and started playing it in June '88.)
This is very cool stuff, but I don't see why songs by Brent and Vince get omitted! If you haven't written one already, how about a separate post about their original contributions to the GD repertoire?ReplyDelete
No, not a chance! I think I can guarantee that their songs will never be mentioned on this blog. I'll leave the discussion of their contributions to other enthusiasts, in other places.Delete
Okay! It's your blog; you write whatever you want, and I'll keep reading it!Delete
Don't be a hater! While there are certainly varing degrees of appreciation for the Dead's last two keyboard players, it does seem a little odd to leave their songs off the chart. This is a very useful and unique graphic that I have never seen presented in this kind of convenient format. However it ultimately incomplete by leaving off significant songwriting contributions to half of the Dead's career.Delete
Personally I thought that Brent (and his songs) injected a much-needed life and vitality to the band, and his contributions were just as significant as any other member in the 80's. And Vince, well...he did a great job at keeping the seat warm. :) One could even argue that Bruce tunes such as Valley Road deserve mention as original songs.
why aren't any of Brent's songs listed in the graph??ReplyDelete
It was Dr. Beechwood's decision (who made the graph). Vince's songs are omitted too, as well as the Dead's earliest songs that did not appear on album. Perhaps it was for simplicity's sake, since the graph is already pretty large & unwieldy, and went through some revisions. Personally I think it's a funny omission - I wouldn't have done it that way myself, but I supported his decision. See the comment above.Delete
Right! Why negate ol' Brent? Revolutionary Hamstrug Blues and Gentleman Start your Engines! Come on now...ReplyDelete
Where's That Would Be Something??ReplyDelete
Not a GD original. That Would Be Something was written by Paul McCartney and appears on his first solo post-Beatles album.Delete
Revolutionary Hamstrung Blues , Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland, Me 3-27-86. Was there and its also in deadbaseReplyDelete
Great Brent songs not listed Blow Away, I will take you home, Far From Me, Easy To Love You and lets not forget his rendition of Dear Mr. Fantasy(Hey Jude sometimes thrown in)ReplyDelete
Here is a youtube link for Revolutionary Hamstrung BluesReplyDelete
Here's Gentlemen Start Your Engines, Love this tune!ReplyDelete
Great infographic. I'd buy it and frame it, if it were made into a poster with some good art. I vote for Brent because of Just a Little Light, Tons of Steel, and Blow Away.ReplyDelete
Jack a Rowe seems to be missingReplyDelete
Because its not a GD original?Delete
Outstanding stuff - thank you for sharing! What about the Fare Thee Well shows? Think those should "count"?ReplyDelete
This is just an excellent. I'll never understand some of the ones they quit playing for long periods or didn't play much. Cryptical, To Lay Me Down, New Potato Caboose, The Eleven -- those are just some of the best to me.
You mention something that has always been a mystery to me.
"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 . . . . "
I got a copy of a tape back in the 1983-84 range that had no songs listed and the only marking was on the spine, where the location and date would normally go. That said "Cairo." So much for reliable information. I haven't listened to the sucker in years and years, but I do remember being intrigues with a kind of rap version of Fire on the Mountain. If I remember correctly, and certainly no guarantee that I do, it sounded like Hunter was singing and the lyrics where somewhat similar in general meaning to the later Fire on the Mountain, but different. I wish I could remember more. I'm sure I have the tape buried in a box somewhere. I'll try to dig it out and supplement this information if I can find it.
It was something of a mystery at the time. I took it to the biggest Deadhead I knew, who had many, many hundreds of hours--he dubbed about 300 for me and that was just scratching the surface--but he didn't know what it was. One thing we pretty sure of it that it probably wasn't Cairo.
It had the feel of studio takes and not live or released material.
Now I am really curious again. Anything you can point me to?
Mickey recorded the original 'rap' version at his studio sometime around 1973, with him singing - it was for his albums, not for the Dead initially, but didn't get released.Delete
A little info is here, with lyrics to the different versions of Fire:
And of course it's on youtube:
Too Cool! Thanks.
That has got to be it. I haven't listened to what I have in a couple of decades, but that sounds just like I remember it.
YouTube. Of Course. Getting music has changed.
The voice definitely sounded like I remember. Back then I'm not sure I would have recognized Mickey's voice. Hell, I'm sure I wouldn't have.
There was other stuff on the tape I had--should still have somewhere. I don't remember what. Fire was definitely the thing that stuck out in my mind-- kind of a "no doubt the same song, but WTF . . . ."
My friends and I have a monthly listening session. Last night one of the things we listened to was 4/18/69 -- Purdue. A pretty underappreciated show. Great Lovelight, Morning Dew, and a really solid TIFTOO.
If you ever want to write about full TIFTOO/Cryptical, and in particular the Cryptical Reprise, stuff, I'll be glad to help with the research. Actually, I'll start to work on a list of some of the ones I think are particularly notable.
Another possible topic you might be interested in -- Jerry on slide. Not that huge a body of material, but some of it is pretty sublime.
Times have changed indeed. Now it's all available online - but clicking on a website isn't quite the same as having a long-awaited tape arrive in the mail.Delete
Who knows when I'll have time to write about everything! I have quite a few topics booked in the queue to write about...
Come to think of it, a basic list of Jerry's slide outings could be useful.
Here are Jerry's slide outings up to the end of '74.ReplyDelete
Firstly, the Pigpen era:
67-03-18 Same Thing
69 Aoxomoxoa studio Cosmic Charlie
69-03-15 Hard To Handle
69-04-04 Other One, Lovelight
69-04-05 Lovelight, Hard To Handle, Cosmic Charlie
69-04-06 King Bee
69-04-11 Hard To Handle, Lovelight
69-04-15 Hard To Handle, Hurts Me Too, Lovelight
69-04-17 Hard To Handle
69-04-18 Hard To Handle, King Bee, Cosmic Charlie
69-04-21 Hard To Handle, Lovelight
69-04-23 Hard To Handle
69-04-25 Hard To Handle
69-04-26 Hurts Me Too, Hard To Handle
69 May or June solo practice Slow Blues Instrumental
69-06-21E Cosmic Charlie
69-09-06 Not Fade Away
69-12-28 Lovelight (Bob?)
70-05-07 King Bee
70-05-14 Schoolgirl, Nobody's Fault Jam
70-10-30L Smokestack Lightnin'
70-11-04PERRO studio Mind Left Body Jam
70-11-06 King Bee
70-11-07 Hurts Me Too, King Bee
70-11-11 Hurts Me Too
70-11-20 King Bee, (Jorma(?) plays slide on All Over Now)
70-12-27 Hurts Me Too
70-12-28 Hurts Me Too
71-01-22 Hurts Me Too
71-01-24 Hurts Me Too
71-02-18 Hurts Me Too
71-02-19 Hurts Me Too, Smokestack Lightnin'
71-08-24 Hurts Me Too
71-12-05 Hurts Me Too
71-12-31 Same Thing
72-03-05 Mind Left Body Jam behind Pigpen's Good Lovin' rap
72-03-22 Big Boss Man, Hurts Me Too
72-03-25 Smokestack Lightnin'
72-03-27 Hurts Me Too
72-03-28 Hurts Me Too
72-04-08 Hurts Me Too
72-04-14 Hurts Me Too
72-04-17 Hurts Me Too
72-04-24 Hurts Me Too
72-05-03 Hurts Me Too
72-05-04 Hurts Me Too
72-05-11 Hurts Me Too
72-05-13 Hurts Me Too
72-05-16 Hurts Me Too
72-05-18 Hurts Me Too
72-05-24 Hurts Me Too
After an isolated '67 example, Jerry seems to enthusiastically take up slide in Spring '69, mainly on Pig's blues covers. Perhaps recording the slide part for Cosmic Charlie prompted his interest. This interest waned after this initial spell and his slide playing became rare except for It Hurts Me Too. Bobby briefly took up slide in the second half of '69 thru' early '70 as Jerry's slide playing became less frequent.
After Pigpen's loss Jerry took up playing slide on Dead originals. He briefly used it on Box Of Rain, substituted slide for pedal steel on Looks Like Rain and consistently played it on Weather Report Suite Part 1 and Row Jimmy. He frequently played it during the post Truckin' jams and occasionally tried it on his own tunes. I only know of four instances of him playing slide with Merl, three of these are close together in late '72 and early '73. There could be more in their many missing shows.ReplyDelete
72-07-25 Other One
72-08-22 Hey Bo Diddley
72-12-28 JGMS Baby Please Don't Go
73-01-24E JGMS That's All Right
73-01-24L JGMS Expressway
73-03-19 Nobody's Fault Jam
73-03-22 Nobody's Fault Jam
73-03-24 He's Gone
73-03-30 Box Of Rain, Truckin'
73-03-31 Box Of Rain
73-04-02 Box Of Rain
73-05-20 Nobody's Fault Jam
73-05-26 Box Of Rain
73-06-10 Box Of Rain
73-06-22 Box Of Rain, Black Peter, Nobody's Fault Jam
73-07-28 Box Of Rain
73-08-01 Dark Star
73-09-08 Looks Like Rain
73-09-11 Looks Like Rain, WRS Prelude > Part 1
73-09-12 Looks Like Rain, WRS Part 1
73-09-15 Looks Like Rain, WRS Part 1
73-09-17 Looks Like Rain, WRS Part 1
73-09-20 Looks Like Rain, Stella Blue
73-09-21 WRS Part 1
73-09-24 Looks Like Rain, WRS Part 1
73-09-26 Looks Like Rain, Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
73-10-19 Looks Like Rain, Mind Left Body Jam, Sunshine Daydream
73-10-21 WRS Prelude > Part 1
73-10-23 Wang Dang Doodle sound check, Row Jimmy, post-Drums Jam
73-10-25 Row Jimmy, Stella Blue, WRS Prelude > Part 1
73-10-27 Nobody's Fault Jam
73-10-30 Row Jimmy, Mind Left Body Jam
73-11-09 Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
73-11-10 WRS Part 1
73-11-11 WRS Part 1, Dark Star
73-11-14 Row Jimmy
73-11-17 Row Jimmy
73-11-20 Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
73-11-21 WRS Part 1
73-11-23 Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
73-11-25 Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
73-11-30 WRS Part 1
73-12-01 Looks Like Rain, Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
73-12-02 Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1, Mind Left Body Jam
73-12-06 Row Jimmy
73-12-08 WRS Part 1, Row Jimmy
73-12-10 Row Jimmy
73-12-12 Looks Like Rain, Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
73-12-18 Looks Like Rain, Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
73-12-19 Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1, Nobody's Fault But Mine
74-02-22 Row Jimmy
74-02-23 Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
74-02-24 WRS Part 1, Row Jimmy
74-03-09 JGMS That's All Right
74-03-23 WRS Part 1
74-05-12 Mind Left Body Jam, Row Jimmy
74-05-14 Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
74-05-17 Row Jimmy
74-05-19 WRS Part 1
74-05-21 Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
74-06-16 Row Jimmy, Mind Left Body Jam
74-06-18 Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
74-06-23 Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
74-06-26 Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
74 Mars Hotel Loose Lucy
74-06-28 Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
74-07-19 Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
74-07-21 Row Jimmy
74-07-25 Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
74-07-27 Row Jimmy
74-07-29 WRS Part 1, Spanish Jam
74-07-31 Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
74-08-04 Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
74-08-05 He's Gone
74-08-06 Row Jimmy
74-09-09 Row Jimmy
74-09-10 WRS Part 1
74-09-11 Row Jimmy
74-09-14 Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
74-09-18 Row Jimmy
74-09-20 Scarlet Begonias, Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
74-09-21 Row Jimmy
74-10-16 Row Jimmy
74-10-17 WRS Part 1, Spanish Jam, Mind Left Body Jam
74-10-18 Row Jimmy, WRS Part 1
74-10-19 Scarlet Begonias
74-10-20 Good Lovin'
Here are Bob's early ventures into slideReplyDelete
69-08-21 Easy Wind
69-08-30 Easy Wind
69-09-11 Easy Wind (this rough recording is probably 69-08-30 misdated)
69-12-21 Smokestack Lightnin'
69-12-29 Easy Wind
Thanks for the list! I'm impressed.ReplyDelete
Given his limited forays in late '69, you'd never guess Bob would become the Dead's main slide player in later years. ("9/11/69" is indeed actually from the 8/30/69 AUD.)
Other than the Mind Left Body jams, it's striking that Garcia rarely used slide for the 'deep jams' like the Other One or Dark Star, but mostly for blues solos, Lovelight jams & and song parts.
One thing jumps out at me - 9/6/69 Not Fade Away - the song wasn't played on that date (that I know of).
By the way, I'd thought that Garcia played slide in more '74 jams like the 5/19 Mind Left Body, or the 6/23 & 7/19 Spanish Jams, but I may have been fooled by his stinging tone. He was pretty deft at sounding like he was playing slide!Delete
9/6/69 Not Fade Away > Easy Wind(cut) 16:25 is d6t8 of the "San Franciscan Nights - series 2" Hells Honkies Tape Club compilation. It is a currently inactive torrent over at Lossless LegsReplyDelete
It may be wrongly attributed but I don't know of another NFA > Easy Wind that it could be so I'll go along with what it claims to be. It is odd how we have three distinct fragments of that night: 16608 Schoolgirl thru' All Over Now, "SF Nights 2" NFA > Easy Wind and "Tapers Section 2011-08-29" Casey Jones and Midnight Hour (also in 97671). Hopefully the full set(s) will turn up eventually.
My goodness, you're right. It's very similar to the 12/21/69 version, but more jammed-out. Amazing that a lost 1969 track has been hiding in plain sight for years!ReplyDelete
I would guess whoever compiled SF Nights 2 had the rest of that missing 9/6/69 reel as well. They also included a non-circulating '66 demo reel, and one track from the January '66 show now on the mystery-reels collection, so they clearly had a stash of stuff from the Vault. I wonder if they can be contacted for the rest of the unusual 9/6/69 show?
Anyway, that NFA>Easy Wind fragment should really be uploaded on its own to a torrent site/the Archive so everyone can hear it.
As for the Jerry-on-slide list.....now that it's here, I think a worthwhile project could be to write a post on Jerry's slide outings over the years. I don't think I'd be up to doing that for a long time, but it could be a guest post (hint, hint).
Happy to report that the 9/6/69 Not Fade Away>Easy Wind is now up on etree, so it'll be more widely available.Delete
Wow. I couldn't remember which column it was I mentioned the slide, but when I finally found it again -- pretty much total gratification.ReplyDelete
Thanks runonguiness! Just an awesome list. I've always loved Jerry's slide work and this gives me a whole bunch of things I have not heard to listen to.
May I second the idea for a guest post?????
LIA-- you aren't the only one on the 5/19 MLB jam. I just recently listened to the 7/19 show several times (duh), and it is a slammin Spanish Jam, but I'm gelling on remembering the particular Garcia tone. Well, gotta listen to it again, I guess.
I wanted to add that as much as I like Jerry's work on slide, I kind of have to agree with your comments about his use of it on the early Hard to Handle versions.
Let's just say MLB jam and Row Jimmy are places I enjoy it more.
One possibility, if no one's stepping up for a guest post, is that I just post this Jerry-on-slide list as is. It's pretty buried in the comment thread here.Delete
Sure. I know other people will want to see it. I was going to send a link and copy to some friends of mine.Delete
But, runonguinness does seem to have a really good handle on it and seems to have done a lot of work. If you can get in touch with him.
"9/6/69 Not Fade Away > Easy Wind(cut)"ReplyDelete
Is it just my imagination, or does Easy Wind get cut a disproportionate amount?
I can think of two or three tapes where it gets cut - but it seems to me that Good Lovin' is the song that gets cut a disproportionate amount!Delete
Good Lovin' does get cut an awful lot too. Consider the sad case of 7/14/70, where it appears from what we do have that they played great versions of both Easy Wind, which cuts in somewhat near the end, and Good Lovin', which after a totally killer start complete with a Phil solo, has a horrible, nasty, foul cut, then comes back with God knows how much killer music missed. Good Lovin' from 1970 -- a definite peak.ReplyDelete
That show has more than the usual set of warts, but it has some serious strengths too. I think it may be my favorite performance by the drummers ever.
6/30/88 green onions silver stadium rochester NYReplyDelete
only one ever playedDelete
for 'rarely played', you can add 'bob star' (aka 'little star'), a bob weir composition that was performed on 04-15-83, 04-16-83, and 06-20-83. here is a link to a longer essay http://web.archive.org/web/20030817114106/http://www.elizabundledee.com/littlestar.htm about the three appearances. alex allen's page https://www.whitegum.com/introjs.htm?/songfile/LITTLEST.HTM notes that it was revived by ratdog in 2002.ReplyDelete
Thanks for mentioning it; I think we overlooked that one!Delete
Did I miss Jack A Roe? I know it's traditional, but it's a Dead tune to me. I want to find a comprehensive list of every tune they ever played in concert, whether original, cover or traditional.ReplyDelete
This particular graph of original songs was updated here:Delete
And for the cover songs, see:
For more comprehensive lists of every song the Dead played, go to these sites: