Tape collector Harvey Lubar got to meet Marty Weinberg in late 1972. By that time, Weinberg was already famed for his tapes – he was “known as the Legendary Marty, and his tapes as Marty Tapes.” In fact, Lubar used his collection of Weinberg’s tapes to start the Hell’s Honkies Tape Club, one of the first Dead tape exchanges, through which he met other tapers like Jerry Moore & Les Kippel. Finally, he was able to meet Weinberg himself:
“Mark [Barkan] had spoken to Marty and gotten an invitation for us to visit. Marty had seen every show that the Dead ever performed in NYC and told Mark flat out that the two Pavilion shows [in July ‘69] were, without a doubt, the best shows he’d ever seen. Getting to see Marty was no small feat, and for the week preceding our visit, it was all we could talk about!…
Several things stand out from that one-time meeting with Marty: first was the fact that the man played his music LOUD. Mark and I were approximately 12 feet from the speakers, and although we were sitting on the floor next to each other we couldn’t communicate. Of course, when you were listening to some of the greatest Grateful Dead tapes ever, there wasn’t much to say.
He started by playing an absolutely perfect quality tape of the San Diego acoustic sets. Unlike everybody else’s copy, muddy in one channel, Marty’s was simply perfect. He played for us a perfect soundboard tape of a show listed as Hollywod Bowl 1969 with Saint Stephen>drums>Other One>Cosmic Charlie, and also a Carousel Ballroom tape from 1968 with a 25-minute Dancing in the Street. His audience tape of 7/11/70 sounded like a front-of-board DAT tape made today.
The reels went on and on; Marty had an unbelievable collection, although most of his tapes have since vanished. Soon after the meeting, Marty moved. We never did get any tapes from him.”
(Taping Compendium p.24)
Weinberg had been taping the Dead’s NYC shows since mid-1969.
“I’m fairly sure I saw them…at one free concert in Tompkins Square Park [6/1/67]; but the memory is extremely fuzzy... The first show that I saw that I absolutely 100% recall, was in June [‘69] at the Fillmore. I saw the Saturday night late show, which was a great show.”
“There were two other acts; I don’t remember who the first act was [it was the Buddy Miles Express], but the other act was the Savoy Brown Blues Band. Those guys were into the British glam, blues-rocker, grit kind of thing, but they were actually very cool…
The great thing was that at the Saturday night show, Phil announced, ‘Now we can tell you guys. Bill made sure we’re not allowed to do this until now, but we are going to play tomorrow in Central Park.’" [Bill Graham forbid bands from advertising other shows in the area when they played the Fillmores.]
"They played the next day in Central Park [6/22/69], and that was a great show. That was the first recording I ever made, which was terrible, by the way. I made the recording on a cheap Sony cassette recorder… The show was at the band shell in Central Park. It started at noon and it was a beautiful Sunday. I remember seeing them the night before and thinking, ‘These guys are just amazing. I want to record this show because the album doesn’t have anything of this on it, and I really want to keep this.’ [Up til then Anthem of the Sun was the most recent Dead album; but Aoxomoxoa was released on 6/20. The Dead played hardly anything from either album at either show.] So I got this little mono Sony cassette recorder that had a built-in microphone. It was terrible.”
http://archive.org/details/gd69-06-22.aud.hanno.8836.sbefail.shnf (This is possibly Weinberg’s tape – it’s actually decent, clear quality, other than the noisy crowd and the cut Dark Star. Note that the tape is stopped between songs, in common with most of Weinberg’s tapes.)
(According to deadlists, Weinberg taped the 6/21 early show – a typically murky Fillmore East AUD:
It’s possible, but it conflicts with his memory. He says he attended the late show, and he did not yet have the Uher deck. The taper speaks a bit before the encore (“back by popular demand”) and, though debatable, I don’t think he sounds like Weinberg. There were other tapers in NYC at the time – for instance our September ’69 tapes may come from three or four separate tapers.)
Interestingly, Weinberg says of the Central Park show, “The Airplane was there, and there was another band. I don’t know why the Airplane was there, because they weren’t at the Fillmore; I guess they were in the city somewhere else. And there was someone else there as well; it might have been Quicksilver.”
I believe Weinberg is remembering the 5/5/68 Central Park show, and that may have been the first show he saw. It seems strange that if he’d seen the Dead in June ’67, he wouldn’t have caught them for another two years. Also, the Airplane were not at the 6/22/69 show, but they did play with the Dead on 5/5/68, along with the Butterfield Blues Band. (The Airplane had played the Fillmore on 5/4/68, and announced the free park show there.)
In 1969, Weinberg was 15 or 16 years old, and was in high school. “Nobody else was taping. My friends just thought it was weird that I’d brought this tape recorder. ‘Why bother to take this tape recorder, just enjoy.’ And I’m screwing around with this tape machine and they’re saying, ‘Come on.’ I just said, ‘OK, I’m going to get this right.’ And it was a horrible recording, it was terrible…
My motive was very direct: ‘I’d like to remember this music because it’s so fleeting – how would I know that this wasn’t it?…I might not see these guys again for a long while.’ Those were the days when the Dead were not playing in New York every month. It was a big deal, because I think it was the first time they played in New York that year…” [Actually, the Dead had played two Fillmore East shows back in February; but since they were on a Tuesday & Wednesday, school nights, Weinberg must have missed those!]
He then went to the NY State Pavilion shows on July 11 & 12. “They were great shows, not because they were the best musically, but they were really fun places… They played two nights, and it was a very special feeling, a very tripped-out scene in the audience. It was very much the Be-In feel. Everyone loved the Dead, but everyone also loved being there. It was a very enjoyable feeling… It was an open place, it was outside, and it was in a very weird, surreal, space-age kind of place.”
Audience tapes were made of the two shows, but I’m not sure if they are Weinberg’s. (The 7/11 AUD circulates only as a patch in Alligator>drums on the SBD tape; the 7/12 AUD is the first half of the show.)
(Robert Christgau also praised the Fillmore East & State Pavilion shows in a notable article for the New York Times: http://www.robertchristgau.com/xg/news/grateful-69.php )
Disappointed with his initial attempt at taping, Weinberg soon set about getting better equipment, and bought a Uher 4000L mono reel-to-reel, with an AKG D190E microphone. (There’s a photo of his tapedeck in the Taping Compendium, p.22; you can see how small it is.)
“I practiced for hours on end carrying it so that no one would notice… Sneaking it in was a challenge. The Fillmore was where I did a lot of my recording in the early days, and they were looking out for anything & everything. Bottles and cans were the main target, but also recording equipment was not permitted. I saw people trying to get into the Fillmore that would try to bring a little cassette recorder. They were bounced. ‘Don’t bring that in here. Dump that in your car or leave it somewhere, but you aren’t bringing that in here.’ They were very serious at the Fillmore. So I had to work out this technique of carrying this huge thing in, and it was not easy…”
His technique was to dangle the tapedeck behind his back, under his coat. “I got in for years like that. And never was I caught.”
Things were never easy for tapers, and there’s no telling how many shows we’ve lost because the would-be tapers got caught. “No one wanted to allow it to happen, they just didn’t like it. It was as simple as that. You had to be very, very, very careful. And I never had a problem, but remember, I was stealthier… I never had any issues with bringing in equipment, maybe because I really thought it out a lot more than most people. The entire time I did it, it was more than just a frivolous act; it was a focused thing to do. From the microphones, to the equipment, to the way I did it, was all very focused. I gave it a lot of thought… I think a lot of people just recorded because it was fun, and they weren’t as careful, and so they got caught.”
And so, his taping continued. “I believe I taped a show in September ’69; I taped the show at the Café au Go Go. That was the first place I brought the machine. There were two shows there and I brought the machine to one of the shows. I could have brought a Revox in; they couldn’t care less what I brought in there. Café au Go Go was the size of two living rooms… I don’t think it was a great show…
When you left the Café au Go Go, you walked out through the back and you hung with the band for a few minutes. They would all be sitting there hanging out… TC was still with the band, and Pig wasn’t doing much on stage, just singing a little. The rest of the guys seemed to be in pretty good spirits. During the show, I remember them saying to…people who were sitting in the front row, ‘You guys made a really big mistake…’ [Jerry said,] ‘You’re not going to hear anything.’ Right in front of the stage, the sound was pretty bad. And I was smart enough to sit towards the rear in the corner. But I made some recordings there, and I seem to remember going to see them one of the nights at the Fillmore as well… I recorded one of those shows.”
There are a few incomplete audience tapes from that run:
9/26/69 Fillmore East early show (44 minutes)
9/27/69 Fillmore East early show (46 minutes)
9/29/69 Café au Go Go early show (42 minutes)
9/30/69 Café au Go Go early show (32 minutes)
It’s not known which, if any of these are Weinberg’s. They vary a lot in quality – the 9/27 Fillmore show sounds much better than the 9/26 tape, sounding bright & clear while 9/26 is very muddy, so they’re probably from two different tapers. 9/30 is not Weinberg’s, since it is in stereo (far better sound than the 9/29 show or most other ’69 AUDs, though also having low vocals) – so there seem to be at least three tapers involved. Ironically with this set of tapes, the better the music, the lower the quality!
It is a shame that Weinberg at this point was not trying to tape every show as he would the next year, or that the tapers here did not capture more complete shows (or copy them if they did). With multiple tapers at these shows, it’s sad how much of the music this week apparently didn’t get taped at all! (Particularly since this run falls in one of the Dead’s SBD gaps.)
Also note how, as with the 6/21 show, only the early shows were taped for some godforsaken reason. Apparently it took a while for New Yorkers to catch on…
Weinberg worked on improving his tapes. “I didn’t like the fact that I had the audience noise, I had to work on that; but I was pretty pleased. The first couple of recordings were done at 3 ¾ [speed] because I thought I could get an hour a side…but I didn’t like the quality… They were just a little muddier and didn’t have the crispness on the high end. The 7 ½s really were crisp…there was a tremendous difference in frequency response & signal-to-noise ratio when going at 7 ½… I said, ‘I’ve really got to get good quality, screw it. I missed a little here & there [in extra reel flips], but if I’m going to do this, the quality’s got to be really good.’” So he switched to taping at 7 ½ speed in 1970, on 5-inch reels.
“It was also a matter of getting the best seats. In the end, I found that the very best seats were stage left, about six rows back – on Jerry’s side. His amplifiers were in front, so I got him a little better. I had to be near the stage; you don’t want to be in the center because you didn’t get enough of the PA and you didn’t get much of the vocals, which gave it an out-of-balance sound.”
It’s been said that one of Weinberg’s characteristics as a taper was “a heavy hand on the pause button.” His habit was to stop the tape between songs, cutting out all the dead air & stage banter – many songs tend to be missing the first few notes as he restarted the tape. This was a common practice among tapers at the time, as they tried to save tape & save battery-power. (Weinberg also might not have wanted to waste tape on tuning or crowd noise.) This is one way to distinguish his tapes from other tapers who left their reels running.
The Dead returned to the Fillmore East in January 1970, but no audience tapes are known. Weinberg saw the February shows there with the Allmans, though; he particularly remembered the 2/14 show that John Zacherle introduced.
There are good audience tapes of the 2/11 late and 2/13 early shows, but we don’t know if they’re Weinberg’s.
http://archive.org/details/gd1970-02-11.late-set2.aud.smith.99152.sbeok.flac16 (This one may be Weinberg’s – note the tape pauses between songs. It was also found on a Buddy Miller reel that included part of 6/24/70.)
http://archive.org/details/gd1970-02-13.early.aud.unknown.holmes-Oleynick.109535.sbeok.flac16 (This is probably a different taper – note that the tape is left running between songs, and that it’s just the early show again.)
Weinberg went to the Dead’s first Capitol Theater shows in Port Chester in March. He remembers them as “wonderful; the acoustic sets were great… The Capitol Theater was a great, great place.”
The Port Chester audience was different from the Fillmore audience. “Everything was laid back. The Dead were well-known; they were not famous, but they had a cult audience in the East that would go to the shows. It wasn’t a rabid audience… There was a troupe of people that went to see every show. You knew them by sight.”
However, Weinberg’s friends were not as dedicated to going to Dead shows as he was: “I was there all by myself, I wasn’t there with any of my friends. They were like, ‘Fuck, you’re going to four shows?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Well, we’re not going to pay money to go to four shows. It’s all the way up there in suburbia.’” (For later Port Chester shows, he managed to bring company.)
He says he taped these; unfortunately, no audience tapes survive of the two shows on 3/20 (except for part of Ken Lee’s tape, used to patch the late show).
The great stereo tape of the 3/21 shows is Ken Lee’s. There is an alternate AUD of the 3/21 late show that’s just recently surfaced, which could be Weinberg’s.
It was easier to tape at the Capitol Theater than the Fillmore, since the crew there did not check so vigilantly for tape recorders. (And as we now know, one of the security crew there was taping the shows himself!) “I could be a little looser with holding the mic, because they weren’t as paranoid in there. Getting in, I still had to be cool, because they were looking for anything. But once I was in the theater, I could hold the mic; and actually, at one of the shows, I had it in my hat…and that came out pretty well. At the Fillmore, I had to be very careful holding the mic…not looking like I’m holding a mic, so it was always in my hand. The angles weren’t always perfect, so you get a little phasing.” Whereas at the Capitol Theater, “I was really able to position myself perfectly.”
No audience tapes are known for the 5/15/70 Fillmore shows. “I went to one of them, and I’m sure any show I went to I recorded, but they weren’t fabulous shows. I don’t have any great memory of those shows as being particularly wonderful.”
In contrast, the 6/24/70 Capitol Theater shows “were definitely great shows.” (We don’t have Weinberg’s tape of the early 6/24 show, but another taper captured it in good stereo; that show is lesser-known than the famous late show and used to be misdated as 3/20. And in the case of the late show, Ken Lee’s tape has become the standard.)
Weinberg then went to the July 9-12 run at the Fillmore East – tapes survive of the last three nights. “The last show there was one of the great shows of all time, and I couldn’t record it because I had an issue and I couldn’t work it out. [Otherwise] I taped every night I was there… Those were great shows, those were just wonderful.”
It’s too bad no tapes of the 7/9 show survive – fortunately, someone else managed to tape the 7/12 show (which is our “7/11” tape, the show ending with the huge Viola Lee Blues). Another taper also managed to catch 7/11 (our “7/12” tape), though sadly none of these recordings are very good quality.
Weinberg was unaware of other tapers at these shows. “I never saw anyone else taping in ’69 and ’70… I didn’t notice, at least. They could have been as quiet as I was… At the later Fillmore shows in ’71, yes… I saw a bunch of people regularly being told, ‘What you got there? Get out of here.’”
Fortunately, other people like Jack Toner did manage to tape some of the Fillmore shows independently. Nonetheless, if it wasn’t for the Fillmore crew secretly taping the SBDs, our record of the Fillmore ’70 shows would be very poor.
Weinberg then taped the September 17-20 run at the Fillmore East, though only portions of his tapes now survive. (He also says, “There’s nothing of the shows that I particularly remember as being extraordinary.” He remembers Pigpen in the 9/19 Lovelight: “Pigpen was totally drunk. He was cursing and going crazy, he went out into the audience…the band was trying to hold him back. He was talking to people and he was trying to pick up this woman…”)
Weinberg has fond memories of the November 5-8 run at the Capitol Theater. “In many ways, those shows were the best… The audience was very sophisticated. At those shows…there wasn’t a lot of clapping at weird times. It was an older audience, and the people listened… I was sitting in the first few rows of the theater with a lot of people who were true believers, who went to a lot of shows, and who really understood the better shows… You had a group of people in the first twenty rows that knew a good show, who were not going to scream and cheer for every song. This was a fairly selective audience. When the Dead played some flat songs, the people didn’t go berserk.”
The last show on 11/8 particularly stood out for Weinberg. He passed up a note for Jerry requesting Morning Dew, and of course it was the first song of the electric set. “It was a very magical show.”
The Dead played quite a few shows in New York in the following weeks: the Action House on November 9-10, the Rock Palace on November 11-14, the Fillmore East on the 16th, and up in Rochester on the 20th.
We do not have Weinberg’s tapes for any of these shows. (There are AUD tapes of the 9th, 11th, and 20th, done by other tapers.) He did not go to the Action House shows, or the Rochester show, but did make it to the Hell’s Angels benefit at the Anderson Theater on Nov 23. (No tape is known.)
He also went to the Rock Palace shows, but didn’t remember much about those: “The Rock Palace was a small, sleazy place… Did they play four nights there?… I recorded the nights I was there… I do remember those were the shows that Jack Casady and Jorma were at… I disliked [Papa John Creach] a lot, he was terrible. But Jack and Jorma were there, that I do remember. And they were not particularly good.”
It’s lamentable that if Weinberg taped the Rock Palace shows, the tapes don’t survive. (Our tape of 11/11 is terrible.) He apparently remembers the 11/11 show, though Jack & Jorma may have shown up on other nights as well.
There is a fragment of an AUD said to come from the Fillmore 11/16 show (part of a Good Lovin’ with Jorma), though it’s not on the Archive. We don’t know if Weinberg was at this show (it was not advertised or announced ahead of time, so he may not have known about it – but fortunately we have a SBD tape).
One snippet of a fall 1970 show survives from his tapes, though it’s not circulating. The setlist includes: Till the Morning Comes, China>Rider, Mama Tried & Good Lovin’. It could possibly be from a Rock Palace show; but until we can hear it, not much can be said.
(An unidentified Good Lovin’ was also found on his 7/11/70 master reel, but no one knew where it came from and it hasn’t appeared online.)
There were a bunch of other tapers around that year starting to discover the Dead & make their own tapes, people like Les Kippel, R.T. Carlyle, and Ed Perlstein, all of whom started taping at the Fillmore or Capitol in 1970. Their first attempts (like Weinberg’s) tended to come out very badly due to cheap poor-quality equipment, recording more audience noise than music, so the songs could barely be made out. And like Weinberg, all were unaware of each other at first – as Kippel said, “I didn’t have any tapes at the time; I didn’t know anyone taping shows… It was lonely, very lonely.”
With NYC apparently crawling with tapers, it’s a good question why we don’t have even more AUDs from ’69-71 than we have. There may be a few reasons. A taper might be caught & unable to record the show he went to. Or the tape might turn out unlistenable & not worth keeping or trading. Back then most tapers weren’t likely to know anyone to trade to anyway, since there was no trading scene yet, and no way to spread the tape except to friends. Or, sometimes later the SBD tape of the show might emerge, casting the AUD tape out of circulation. (This happened with some Fillmore East shows.) There’s also the matter of scheduling or interest – not every taper can hit every show, if the Dead were playing several nights in town; and not everyone would want to.
Due to the later behavior of Dead tapers, it’s hard to believe that if someone was going to tape one Dead show, he wouldn’t keep going & try to tape as many as he could. But that wasn’t the pattern back then – that hardcore interest in taping seems not to have been established yet. As we’ve seen, it was rare for a taper to record more than one show in any given run. (The same was true in San Francisco.) As far as we know, Weinberg was unique in trying to tape so many repeated Dead shows that early.
Weinberg went to the Capitol Theater run on February 18-24, 1971, and taped at least some of those shows. These were the ESP experiment shows: “They kept saying the guy’s name – there was some person he was supposed to be communicating with, and at the beginning of the show, they would say something about it… They had all this black & white [images] on the light show; you’re talking to this guy, and you’re supposed to communicate to him. He was far away.” [The idea was that the audience would mentally transmit the images on the screen to the guy in the lab; though the idea may not have gotten across!]
“Those were pretty good shows, but they were not the same as the shows in November… I remember Jerry coming out the second night and saying, ‘I don’t think Mickey is going to be here tonight; it’s pretty weird.’ And people were asking, ‘What’s pretty weird? Where’s Mickey?’… He sounded strange, kind of mystified.”
(This doesn’t seem to be on any SBD tape; though there is a moment on the 2/21 tape where someone asks, “Where’s Mickey Hart?” and Weir replies, “Seeing as you asked, Mickey’s under the weather… He hasn’t been feeling well for the past few nights; as you may have noticed, he hasn’t been here.”)
One of Weinberg’s AUDs is on the Archive:
http://archive.org/details/gd1971-02-23.aud.weinberg.moore.berger.98406.flac16 (Part of the second set – very incomplete, songs cut & missing big chunks – serious speed fluctuations, bass distortion. You can tell the original recording had pretty decent sound, though; perhaps an average AUD for the time.)
Some of Weinberg’s recordings from this run aren’t circulating. He also taped the first set of 2/23; the NRPS & GD shows on 2/21 (part of which is said to suffer from distortion); and part of 2/24 (which is said to be excellent). Given the existence of superior SBDs, it’s not likely his tapes will ever be sought out.
Hart’s departure marked a big change for Weinberg.
“I consider that the beginning of the end of the era. From that point on, they were different. Not having that additional piece of rhythm section changed things a lot. They were a lot less powerful as a band. It was something very definitely missing once he wasn’t there. By ’72, I’d given up. I’d stopped recording. For me, it was not the same, thinking, ‘When is Mickey going to come back?’ It was a mystery; I didn’t read anything about it.”
Hart’s absence clearly bothered Weinberg – in fact, later in his 7/31 tape, you can hear him call to the band, “What happened to Mickey Hart?”
“That was a real turning point. Afterwards, they were a lot tighter, but less frivolous… Less experimental, less willing to go out there, to get out on a limb. They were much more repeatable after that for the shows that I saw, which was for a couple of years…
[Earlier,] there were nights where they stunk and nights where they were great. When they were great, they were just unbelievable. ‘Where did this music come from?’ That’s why I had to get a tape machine, because I felt that there was something special going on. If I didn’t record, I would lose – it would never be on record, and I never thought that anyone else would record this… The reason for recording was solely for myself: ‘I want to be able to listen to this sometime in the future, and if I don’t record it, my memory is going to die quickly. And I’ve got to have this.’ Other than Live/Dead, which was a great record, I assumed that they weren’t going to produce any more [live albums]. Later on, they obviously had Europe ’72 and other things, but at the time, there was Live/Dead and that was it.”
Unknown to Weinberg, in early ’71 the Dead were taping another live album, including all the shows he went to. In fact our SBD record from 1971 is quite good; whereas back in ’69-70 most of Weinberg’s shows had not been recorded by the band. So this makes his ’71 tapes somewhat less unique or valuable now that all the band’s SBDs are out there…
In early April ’71 he went to the Manhattan Center shows, bringing his trusty Uher, and did not have a good time.
“Those were terrible. You know why those were terrible? Because they were in this big place with no seating; clearly they were doing it for the money. It was a large ampitheater – a flat floor. It would have been great if there were about a quarter as many people. They let a lot of people in there…it was very crowded, and as shows go, it wasn’t great. They advertised it as a Dance Marathon because all the Dead shows in New York up until that time (except for the Pavilion shows) were inside in theaters: sit down in a seat, and when people wanted to get into dancing and moving around, you did it at your seat and that was about it. You weren’t allowed to go into the aisles because there were fire laws.”
But at the Dance Marathon, it was too packed to dance! “There were moments that were pretty good, but you couldn’t really enjoy it. You were standing, squeezed against all these people, which was no fun. And the shows had to be fun for me. Seeing the Dead was not just simply listening to music, it was enjoying myself…and part of that was being comfortable… I could be standing for two hours too, but here it was like sardines.”
Weinberg also noticed that the audience was changing from the past year. “They had clearly gotten a good deal more popular. There were a lot more people there who weren’t the early people. It was more of a scene… So these shows were just filled with people; near the stage was packed.”
“I think I recorded one of the shows.” He actually recorded a couple of them, on the 5th and 6th.
http://archive.org/details/gd1971-04-05.partial.aud.berger.100052.flac16 (partial; cuts in Sugar Magnolia – surprisingly clear, almost SBD-like, with little audience noise)
http://archive.org/details/gd1971-04-06.aud.berger.100040.flac16 (partial; goes up to Good Lovin’ – a more average AUD; sounds very distant)
There’s also a poor AUD of 4/4 from a different taper – distant and echoey, with a loud & rowdy audience – http://archive.org/details/gd71-04-04.aud.cotsman.10358.sbeok.shnf (This taper, unlike Weinberg, didn’t stop the tape between songs.)
Naturally, Weinberg also went to the Dead’s last Fillmore East run on April 25-29. (I’m not sure if he was at the first couple shows.) “They were really special shows… Even for the Dead, my feeling by early ’71 was that things had gone pretty far downhill. Things were very different, but the shows were good.
I remember the Beach Boys show [4/27], Jerry coming out and saying…‘We have another California band back here, and it’s the Beach Boys.’” [Weinberg remembers well – Jerry says, “We got another famous California group here, it’s the Beach Boys.”]
And I thought, ‘It’s a stinking joke. It’s got to be a joke.’ And I remember Mike Love or somebody coming out, saying, ‘We’re very grateful for the Grateful Dead,’ and I thought, ‘Oh God, give me a break…’ [Indeed, that is said after Good Vibrations.]
This is the rock & roll symphony orchestra, cause there were like 92 guys with guitars onstage... [Weir at one point during a long tuning break also says, “We’re tuning up the rock & roll philharmonic, it takes a couple seconds.”]
I learned later…that Dylan was at the show backstage, and they were trying to convince him to get onstage with the Dead. And he said, ‘I don’t know; I don’t know.’ That was the period when he didn’t want to show his face in public, he wasn’t doing a lot of public things. I remember that they flashed a little sign on the stage, ‘Bob Dylan.’ Everyone cheered a little bit, but no sign of Bob Dylan, so it was like a joke. Who knew?…
I remember that at one of those shows Tom Constanten showed up [4/28]. I liked him a lot. He was one of the more intellectual players in the band, a freak’s freak. I remember him in Dark Star, and that was very good…
I kept thinking, ‘Is Mickey going to show up?’ The one drummer thing just wasn’t the right thing. It was a constant source of discussion with my friends – it isn’t the Grateful Dead with one drummer!…
The last night at the Fillmore [4/29] was a great night, that was one of the great shows as well. That was a real party, because there were a lot of us, and it was more of a true-believer type of atmosphere. It was a lot of fun…it was a big party.” Everyone knew that would be the Dead’s last time playing the Fillmore East – “we knew it was the end…[so] let’s have a great time for the last time.”
He also started to notice other tapers. “At those shows, I remember seeing a couple of people getting busted…two stupid guys with cassette recorders being ushered out. Two separate times, as I recall, but it wasn’t the same guys.” He feels their tapes wouldn’t have been up to snuff anyway: “Even the very best cassette recordings will not give you what you can get in a reel-to-reel machine.”
Soundboards for most of these shows appeared very early on, within a year or two, so AUDs of this run were never in demand. Weinberg taped at least 4/27 but it doesn’t circulate – his recording of 4/29 does:
http://archive.org/details/gd71-04-29.weinberg.warner.26568.sbeok.flacf (most of the show – clear but distant-sounding, average quality)
Weinberg also says, “I remember seeing them at Princeton University, but that was probably beforehand.” That must have been the 4/17 show – no Weinberg tape is known, but there is a fantastic stereo AUD made by someone else, that recently surfaced:
Spring 1971 was, I think, when Dead bootleg records first started to appear. (For instance, the Mammary Productions bootleg of 10/4/70, and the Ain’t It Crazy LP from the April Fillmore run.)
In April '71, Weinberg released a bootleg LP of his own. “I wanted to share this music. I could have copied to cassette, but not everyone had cassette players at the time. Everyone had a record player. So I said, ‘I’m going to choose the four best things…’ I had maybe a total of 35 minutes, two sides. And I chose four things that were absolutely the Dead. I listened to a million hours of stuff, and I came up with four things… [Morning Dew, the Other One, El Paso, and Not Fade Away.] I found a place in the city that would do small-scale pressings… I produced 500 records; they cost me about $1-1.30 apiece. It was mono, no labels of any kind, white on white… My plan was to sell half, and give away half to my friends.” He sold the record at shows for $3 (til they ran out) – apparently he sold the last ones at the Gaelic Park show in August – and it was even played on a couple FM radio stations. (This was back when some FM stations would play such things!)
Somehow, Weinberg found himself up at Yale in July, when the Dead played there. “I did see them at the Yale Bowl… That was a show I recorded; in fact, I remember that it was Jerry’s birthday.”
The band is loud (even distorted at times), but the clappers & screamers are much louder than the band, making much of this a painful listen.
This tape is unusual because Weinberg narrates a bit before & after the show. (I think the July ’70 Fillmore tapes are the only other example of this). He has a lot of trouble figuring out the right date at the start, comments that “there’s only one drummer,” and tells a friend he came prepared: “I have six hours’ worth [of reels] in my pack, and I doubt they’ll play six hours.” Then at the end of the show, he figures they won’t do an encore: “I haven’t seen them do an encore since last September in fact, so I kind of doubt they’ll do one… Correction, I do remember them doing an encore, at Fillmore the last night, but that was an extraordinary set of circumstances…”
Part of Weinberg’s tape was used to patch a flip in the Dark Star SBD on the Road Trips release. It sounded quite good in context – of course, there weren’t people screaming in that section!
The Dead returned to New York in August for another outdoor show. “The Gaelic Park show was kind of neat. That was also a big place, it was an open field; it was right next to the subway tracks… It might have been 3-4,000 people there. And that was a pretty good show, as I remember.”
http://archive.org/details/gd1971-08-26.aud.weinberg.berger.100292.sbeok.flac16 (Mostly complete; a few cuts/songs missing – very good AUD quality, loud vocals; the crowd is noisy but not quite so obtrusive as on 7/31.)
Recently, a couple recordings from fall 1971 finally surfaced...even one from Texas!
In November '71, Weinberg & friends drove from NYC to the Atlanta & San Antonio shows on 11/11 and 11/12. "We were able to get tickets [to Atlanta], but I don't remember how... We just drove there, we left early in the morning and we got there in the evening. It was like a million-mile drive, leave at dawn, didn't think of motels or anything, just drive there and go to the show." [Actually, the drive was a mere 900 miles…]
At the Atlanta show, he particularly remembered not liking One More Saturday Night, or Keith Godchaux! "I remember thinking, I don't like this direction of songs... I thought they were becoming too pop. The sound was more polished, less psychedelic. They still played crazy stuff, but it just wasn't the same. But the same or not, here I was driving a thousand miles to see them."
Nonetheless, they continued on to the San Antonio show – another thousand miles away:
"Here we are in Atlanta and we find out where they're playing tomorrow night. We talked to a roadie, somebody in the crew, 'Oh, we're playing in San Antonio tomorrow night.' And we thought to ourselves, 'Let's go there, I have a map in the car...' We figured, what the hell. We had no tickets or anything, we just figured we'd work it out. We drove all the way to San Antonio, we beat the band there. They were late, cause they were flying, and their equipment was late...
We get there pretty early, looking pretty gruesome - we were road guys eating junk. And we got to the theater, we walked in, and they said, 'You guys are with the band, right?' And we said, 'Yeah, of course.' There was nobody else there. The theater held maybe a couple thousand people, but my guess is there were no more than 300 people that night, it was tiny... I recorded that...
It was a fun show. I remember that at the very beginning, Bob came out and he said, 'Listen, everybody upstairs, why don't you come on down here? Don't get lonely up there.' He said for everyone to just come down to the front of the theater... [Pretty close: actually it’s Lesh after Truckin’ who invites the people in the balcony to come down.]
It was a pretty good show, and I remember that the next night they were going to be somewhere in Texas. [Fort Worth on 11/14] We said, 'Do we want to just stay with them and keep going to these shows?' 'No, we've got to get back.' And actually, we had a wild time coming back. The car blew up in Nashville and we ended up sleeping in the car for two days."
No AUD tape is known of the first show he hit (Atlanta 11/11), which is just as well – as reviews make clear, it was a terrible show, and both audience & band had a lousy time. (The Dead were professionals enough that this doesn't come through so clearly on the SBD tape.) With not one psychedelic jam played, it would be no wonder if Weinberg felt disillusioned. Nonetheless, he was still dedicated enough to head on to Texas for the next show.
The audience quietly listens through the Other One, which is nice to hear. (The new live album had come out a couple months earlier.) It definitely wasn’t just a crowd of rowdy cowboys out to see a rock show - there was enough of a contingent of San Antonio deadheads to make up a small audience.
You know a taper's dedicated when he'll drive a couple thousand miles (and back) just to tape a show! At any rate, his recording turned out well – it’s an average AUD for the time, pretty listenable. (I have to admit the SBD is far preferable for this show. The AUD is muffled & distant in comparison - Keith in particular is much more audible on the SBD, whereas on the AUD he's kind of buried in the murk.)
http://archive.org/details/gd1971-11-12.120716.d190e.weinberg-moore-berger.flac16 (partial; second set)
The Dead returned to NYC for a run at the Felt Forum from December 4-7, and another uncirculated Weinberg recording has surfaced from 12/4.
It's the only known audience tape from the run, surprisingly. (Actually, there are hardly any AUD tapes from late ’71 in general – probably because people were just taping the radio broadcasts at home instead. For instance, on 12/5 Weinberg “had somebody record that for me.”) I don’t know if he went to the last couple shows of the run.
It's an excellent recording - the sound is comparable to the SBD, a very enjoyable listen.
Unfortunately, it's also severely incomplete, with songs missing, many big cuts in the songs, and ends abruptly in Mexicali Blues.
Weinberg also has an interesting backstage story to tell – for it turns out that Lesh had heard his bootleg LP.
"A friend of mine…took a copy of the record and brought it out west... Phil was particularly impressed with it. I remember after the first show [12/4] going up to the stage and saying to Phil, 'Did you like the recording?' He said, 'Oh, you're that guy? Why don't you come back tomorrow night and we'll talk…' He wrote my name down, and the next night [12/5] I showed up and I had a backstage pass waiting for me. Before the show, I went back there; it was a very big New York scene there...
I saw Bob with my friend Peter... My friend sold him a Gretsch Tennessean, which was a hollow body electric. It was a really beautiful guitar, and he sold it to Bobby... That's where I corrected him on his El Paso singing... I told him he was singing the song wrong. All those years he sang the wrong words... I knew the song pretty well, the original Marty Robbins version, but he just didn't listen... At the end of the song he was singing, 'Greater my true love in arms that I'll die for...' And that's not the words; the words are, 'Cradled by two loving arms that I'll die for...' He said, 'Man, thanks a lot. You're right.' And there he sang it right at the Felt Forum."
[Weinberg is correct. You can hear Weir sing "greater my true love" on 12/4, and "cradled by two loving arms" on 12/5.]
"I'm talking to Phil, and Pigpen shows up with two black hookers, and they were a head taller than he was. Pigpen wasn't that big of a guy. And they were all over him: 'Look at my fine women.' He came in with his arms around these two women with his hands around their boobs; it was just a priceless image...
Phil asked me how I recorded [the LP]. I told him I was in the audience for these things, and he asked me lots of questions about what I did with my tapes... Then he told me a little bit about how they had this dream of being able to do this, of having something they'd performed the night before be available the next day... And he congratulated me on the taste I used. His words were, 'Very good taste in the selection of music for that.'"
It seems surprising that Lesh would be so welcoming about a bootleg record, but the Dead were wobbly on the subject at that point. So you get an instance like 8/6/71, where Weir suggests the tapers move back for better sound, versus 12/31/71, where the band busts a taper in the audience accusing him of being a bootlegger. Lesh in particular was probably the most supportive in the band of tapers, as there are several stories of him listening to AUD tapes that people played for him. (At least when he was in a good mood.)
In ’72-74 when more & more tapers kept showing up, there seems to have been a steady crackdown on taping; but by then Weinberg was not a steady taper.
“I recorded some of the Academy of Music shows in early ’72. There was a Hell’s Angels show with Bo Diddley, which was pretty crummy. Bo Diddley was terrible, he was atrocious. But I recorded those shows, and those shows were pretty good… [The sound was bad because] it wasn’t a great theater. I think those may be the last shows that I recorded.”
We have a bunch of AUD recordings from this run, but all are anonymous, and few are pleasurable listening. (My Academy of Music post has more details.)
The Dead played in the area a number of times in ’72 and ’73. Weinberg went to some of those shows, but was no longer taping. (For instance, he went to the Roosevelt Stadium shows on 7/18 and 9/19/72, but the AUD tapes were done by other tapers.) “I didn’t go to any of the other shows in New Jersey… After ’72, they played at Nassau Coliseum, but I didn’t see any of those shows.”
His feeling about the band then was that “I didn’t like the newer music as much… It wasn’t as experimental, you didn’t have the same surprise… They became much more night-for-night predictable… They got professional.” So his interest waned.
Weinberg may seem overly dismissive of the ’72-era band, but this was a trajectory that other early fans followed as well. (These were a minority, compared to all the new folks who jumped onboard!) The band changed so rapidly in those years, they left behind some early fans who didn’t like the new sounds, or were surprised by the difference from the last time they’d heard the band. When you’d been reared on the shows of ’69 & ’70, anything after that was bound to sound like a comedown!
For instance, Harvey Lubar saw them in December ’71: “I was really shocked and disappointed that the Dead’s setlists and playing style had changed so dramatically in only a few years. I thought we were going to be hearing Viola Lee Blues, Alligator>Caution, and the rest of the stuff we had been listening to. Instead we got Bertha, Jack Straw, and Sugaree.” (Taping Compendium p.21)
Or Robert Goetz, in October ’71: “As far as I was concerned, it had been downhill since Mickey left, and the first time I heard the band with Godchaux I about puked…It was becoming depressingly clear that ’69-70 would never happen again.” (p.440)
Weinberg’s last Dead shows were “in Boston at the Music Hall in December ’73. And those were good shows… Come to think of it, I had my equipment with me and I recorded those… That could have been the last show I ever went to; I don’t remember seeing them again after that.”
There are good-quality audience tapes of the whole run – the average AUDs sounded far better by late ’73 than they did two years earlier. I don’t know if any of these are Weinberg’s, but probably not – many people were taping shows by that time, and it’s uncertain whether he was still trading.
By that time he’d come into contact with other dedicated collectors like Jerry Moore, Les Kippel & Harvey Lubar. Weinberg seems to have been more of an individualist who taped for private listening (and who by that time was drifting out of the taping scene entirely), and was apparently not too keen on sharing tapes with the Hell’s Honkies Tape Club. He’s made clear that “he originally had made the recordings for the enjoyment of himself and some friends,” and aside from the LP was not aiming for a wider circle. In fact, it’s unclear how many tapes he made that never got traded at all.
“My scenes with those guys weren’t all that positive. I didn’t have anything against them personally, they were okay guys. But to me, their attitudes were very different. They were much more dogmatic, they were very serious… They were insane about wanting all of these recordings. Their level of enjoyment and appreciation was different than mine. So I was a little uncomfortable with them... They had a level of intensity that I did not have.”
Perhaps it’s telling that these tapers established & nurtured a growing trading scene, while Weinberg vanished for nearly 30 years. He left behind an impressive collection of tapes, though, documenting some of the best Dead shows ever played.
“I think it’s great that all of this stuff is continuing to come out, and eventually it’s all going to be easy to get to.”
(Many thanks to Michael Getz, who interviewed Weinberg for the Deadhead’s Taping Addendum in 2001. All Marty’s quotes come from that interview.)
* * * * *
THE 1970 TAPES
Going through the years to see what Weinberg tapes circulate, I was surprised to see how few tapes his “legendary” reputation currently rests on. There are actually fewer known Weinberg tapes out there than you’d think.
There are several reasons for this. One, many of his tapes came out “anonymously” (like most audience tapes), so we don’t know if they’re his or not. Several AUD tapes have been attributed to him which he did not make. Also, many of his tapes became legendary when they came out, but have since been replaced by better or more complete-sounding copies. (Ken Lee’s alternate AUDs from Port Chester, for instance, trounce all other tapers’ efforts – 11/8/70 excepted.) The widespread availability of SBDs for some shows has largely wiped out the older AUD copies (as with some Fillmore East shows). Also, many of his tapes have gone missing or never really circulated, and the surviving original reels are only a part of what used to exist. A few more have surfaced recently, but there’s not much more to be revealed…
A lot of the Weinberg tapes on the Archive come from Jerry Moore’s reels, many of which were transferred back in ‘99. But what’s left is often fragmentary – the copies Moore got were missing many pieces. Also, older copies now tend to sound better than the original master reels, which have deteriorated. For instance, Noah Weiner wrote that the 7/31/71 reels “were in very delicate condition at the time of the transfer (summer 2001). The set two reel was degraded so much in sound quality (a tremendous loss of high end frequencies) that it proved better to use an old cassette copy… Also, [some songs] had been recorded over on the master reel.”
Weinberg seems to have stopped trading back in ’73, and rarely listened to his own tapes in later years. Back around 1990, one friend told him, “’Marty, there’s a whole scene that you’ve missed. The taping world, you don’t know what’s going on, but it’s pretty big… You should really check this out. Some of your stuff is out there being circulated…’ And I said, “So what? That’s very nice…’ And that was it…I really didn’t give it any further thought.”
One consequence of Weinberg’s loss of interest in the Dead was that he stopped taking care of his reels, and they fell into the hands of roommates who had other things they wanted to tape.
When rediscovered, he thought, “Maybe I have some further treasures sitting in these 50 or 60 reels here.” But when Michael Parrish transferred the reels in 2001, few treasures were found; in fact, many of the famous shows had been lost or erased. Many reels were blank or mislabeled – they “consisted of album cuts, compilations of other live tapes, or simply recorded conversations… Many reels were clogged with dust and unlabeled, others were in cardboard tape boxes with or without labels. Even the boxes with labels often did not contain the music indicated on the box… For every gem from the Fillmore or the Capitol, I probably found two reels that either consisted of music recorded much later, or of extended conversational ‘party pieces’…
“Much of the music that already circulates from Marty’s masters was not present… Some of the earlier shows appear to have been taped over…pieces of the 1970 music were audible at the ends of the sides of the February ’71 masters, including part of an audience recording of the 5/15/70 early show. Also, portions of some of the most familiar Weinberg recordings…had been taped over by other studio music.” (For instance, one supposed 11/8/70 master reel turned out to be Paul McCartney & Wings; and part of 7/31/71 was taped over with Derek & the Dominoes!)
One result of this process was that many of Weinberg’s 1971 tapes survived mostly intact, while nothing before June 1970 was found. As we’ve seen, no circulating tape before 6/24/70 is known for sure to be his.
PORT CHESTER, JUNE 1970
The situation for 6/24/70 is confusing, since we have several different sources. Aside from Ken Lee’s tape, the Archive files of 6/24 are in some disarray & confusingly labeled. Here’s the layout:
http://archive.org/details/gd1970-06-24.late-partial.aud.moore.berger.98880.flac16 (partial fragment; end of late electric set)
http://archive.org/details/gd1970-06-24.aud.unknown.gadsden-reynolds.100223.flac16 (incomplete with many cuts; pieces of late acoustic, NRPS, electric sets)
These copies are from two different sources, neither close to complete; for completists only. The Moore copy sounds much more muffled; but despite it being low-quality, this one is Weinberg’s tape. The Gadsen copy is afflicted with many cuts; this taper is unknown. The Ken Lee recording sounds far better than either! (It’s slightly surprising that a fuller copy of Weinberg’s tape isn’t on the Archive, but this is an instance where Lee’s tape was so superior, other late-show recordings became irrelevant.)
http://archive.org/details/gd1970-06-24.aud.cooper.coopernicus.32710.flac16 (The early electric show, plus 3 songs from the late acoustic show. This was a stereo tape said to be made by J. Cooper – strange we don’t have more from this source, as it sounds almost as good as Lee’s tape, and fortuitously fills in the set missing from Lee. )
http://archive.org/details/gd_nrps70-06-24.aud.pcrp5.23062.sbeok.flacf (Ken Lee’s tape: the early acoustic show, both NRPS sets, & the complete late electric show. Does not include the early electric & late acoustic. The other Lee files with the late show are all missing the last encore.)
http://archive.org/details/gd1970-06-24.aud.lai.7467.sbefail.shnf (An absurd mishmash: the late acoustic, very incomplete, & part of the late NRPS set – then the 7/10/70 show, in terrible quality from Weinberg’s recording (this used to be mislabeled “6/24 early”) – then the 6/24/70 late electric, from Lee’s tape. The late acoustic/NRPS portion seems to be from the unknown taper, not Weinberg, since it does not have his usual pauses between the NRPS songs – this is the same as the first half of the Gadsden copy.)
A strange case! We have four different tapers this night, and not one complete copy for any of them on the Archive. Lee is the most complete, fortunately; and we’re lucky to have a stereo recording of the early electric set that’s missing from Lee’s tapes. However, much of the late acoustic set is still missing from the Archive! (Though two different partial recordings of it are here.)
Early Acoustic – Lee
Early Electric – Cooper
Late Acoustic – 6 songs from Cooper & Unknown
Late Electric – Lee, plus fragments from Weinberg & Unknown
FILLMORE EAST, JULY 1970
There were at least three tapers during this run, none of whom made a good-sounding tape! We have Weinberg’s recording of 7/10 and part of his 7/11 – 7/11 and 7/12 also circulate from someone else’s recordings.
(Note that, for whatever reason, the dates of 7/11 and 7/12 were switched on all tapes; so the “7/12” tapes are actually the 7/11 show.)
http://archive.org/details/gd70-07-10.aud.cotsman.17351.sbeok.shnf - the complete electric set; Weinberg narrates a bit before the NFA encore. (This tape used to be misdated as the 6/24 early show, but Weinberg clearly states it’s the “scenic Fillmore auditorium in the heart of the scenic East Village.”)
http://archive.org/details/gd1970-07-12.Weinberg.MAR.108156.flac16 - most of New Riders set, first part of Dead set; incomplete (cuts in Man’s World). Weinberg states before the Dead’s set that it’s “Saturday night, July 11.”
The other tapers:
http://archive.org/details/gd1970-07-12.aud.mysteryreel.cloverman.smith.GEMS.108002.flac16 (The best copy of the whole show – much better than the SirMick file. Weinberg’s tape may be slightly less muddy, but it’s not much of an upgrade; they’re of comparable quality.)
http://archive.org/details/gd70-07-11.aud.cotsman.9379.sbefail.shnf (Weinberg did not tape the last night. This taper was Kenny Schachat – he also stopped & started the tape between songs; you may be able to hear him chattering here & there. Deadlists also says another recording used to circulate, possibly by R.T. Carlyle, which apparently sounded even worse.)
FILLMORE EAST, SEPTEMBER 1970
Both Weinberg and Jack Toner taped 9/17 – since there’s no SBD for this night, fortunately the electric set is in listenable quality. (Toner's AUD seems brighter than Weinberg's, but they’re similar in sound). Oddly, the second set on tape is very short, and it's strange that neither taper captured more of it, if any more was played.
http://archive.org/details/gd1970-09-17.partial.aud.weinberg.33826.flac16 (Weinberg, electric set only)
http://archive.org/details/gd70-09-17.aud.remaster.sirmick.27591.sbeok.shnf (Toner’s tape, complete)
(We also have Toner's AUD tape of 9/18, which is definitely the best-sounding of this run, with a more up-front band & less intrusive audience. If only the other nights sounded the same! As far as I know, no Weinberg recording of this night circulates.
Weinberg and Toner both taped 9/19, and their tapes sound awful. The SBD is glorious (though fragmentary), but both AUD tapes are truly terrible. (Toner’s is actually a better recording, since Weinberg’s tape sounds very muffled, but Toner unfortunately sat among a horde of clappers who constantly drown out the music.) As far as most listeners go, this is almost unlistenable & for historical completists only.
http://archive.org/details/gd1970-09-19.119722.akg.weinberg.moore-berger.flac16 (incomplete electric set; cuts after Stephen)
http://archive.org/details/gd70-09-19.aud-toner-weinberg.warner.25473.sbeok.flacf (This combines Weinberg’s & Toner’s tapes, so you can compare.)
And finally, we have a piece of Weinberg's 9/20 AUD, which actually sounds decent. Most people will prefer the SBD of course, but Caution might be an easier listen on the AUD.
http://archive.org/details/gd1970-09-20.aud.weinberg.bunjes.81728.flac16 (partial; end of electric set)
PORT CHESTER, NOVEMBER 1970
Our 11/5/70 is exclusively from Ken Lee. (No Weinberg tape known.)
We also have 11/6/70 complete from Lee’s tape, but parts of Weinberg’s reels have appeared. Surprisingly, the quality is pretty close to Lee, though I think Lee’s tape is better; so Weinberg isn’t an upgrade as some claim.
http://archive.org/details/gd70-11-06.d3new.hanno.19922.sbeok.shnf (part of the second set, patched with Lee’s tape)
http://archive.org/details/gd1970-11-06.aud.weinberg.moore-berger.119818.flac16 (mangled, incomplete portion from end of show)
For comparison, Lee’s tape - http://archive.org/details/gd70-11-06.aud.warner.17183.sbeok.shnf
(Weinberg says he taped a soundcheck at the Capitol Theater, but the 11/6 acoustic soundcheck we have is from Lee’s recording.)
Lee, Weinberg, and Jack Toner all taped 11/7. Lee’s tape is not only the most complete but the best-sounding; Toner’s & Weinberg’s tapes sound similar.
http://archive.org/details/gd1970-11-07.aud.weinberg.moore.berger.98264.flac16 (Weinberg, partial - short fragment of the last set)
http://archive.org/details/gd1970-11-07.aud.toner.berger.100330.flac16 (Toner, incomplete selection)
http://archive.org/details/gd70-11-07.aud.warner.10306.sbeok.shnf (mostly Lee, with patches from the other two)
Both Lee and Weinberg taped all of 11/8/70. This is Weinberg’s best recording – it’s similar to & often better than Lee’s tape, which has more crowd noise & echo.
There are a wide variety of copies to choose from, that mix & match the source tapes. Some important portions are missing from Weinberg’s tape – the start of Morning Dew, the middle of Dancing in the Street – so these always get patched from Lee’s tape.
http://archive.org/details/gd1970-11-08.aud.weinberg.moore-berger.119787.flac16 (from Moore’s copy - incomplete, cuts in Dancing)
http://archive.org/details/gd1970-11-08.aud-weinberg.cousinit.18639.shnf (a lesser transfer, but it includes the whole show, with some Lee patches)
Notice the bad bass saturation that afflicts Good Lovin’ on Weinberg’s tape. Lee is clearly preferable for the end of the show. These are a couple alternate copies that combine the two tapes:
http://archive.org/details/gd70-11-08.aud.owens.23474.sbeok.shnf (acoustic set & end of the show from Lee’s tape)
http://archive.org/details/gd70-11-08.aud.warner.17184.sbeok.shnf (acoustic set & end of the show from Weinberg’s tape)
FALSE LABELS & UNIDENTIFIED TAPES
http://archive.org/details/gd69-11-08.weinberg.warner.26331.sbeok.flacf - The notes claim this was taped by Weinberg, but this is very unlikely. (It’s a continent away from his usual taping grounds!) Actually, it does come from his collection, since he got a number of other early California tapes in trades as well. Harvey Lubar notes, “By 1971, Marty was trading with people from all over the United States. To this day I have no idea who they were…”
It would be nice to know who the original taper was, though. Pretty bad sound, but only this 15-minute fragment survives.
These two are identical in sound (pretty wretched). This Action House “show” is actually a fake; these songs are not from this date. This tape apparently comes from a Marty Weinberg compilation reel - the Not Fade Away is from his 9/20/70 AUD, and the Other One is from 2/23/71. (Both of those are on the Archive.)
I think this is from the bootleg LP compilation, so it may help settle what dates Weinberg chose for his record. (Morning Dew was from 11/8/70, but the other dates are unknown as far as I know.)
http://archive.org/details/gd70-11-09.aud.hanno.7591.sbeok.shnf - Not his; he did not go to the Action House shows, so this is of unknown origin. (One wonders what happened to the rest of the show, since this is just a half-hour selection.)
http://archive.org/details/gd70-11-11.aud.sirmick.31154.sbeok.flacf - A Rock Palace show in very poor quality; Weinberg was apparently there taping, but this is not his tape. This was done by Mike Tannenbaum.
http://archive.org/details/gd70-11-20.aud.cotsman.9001.sbeok.shnf - Deadlists reports this good stereo tape was made by Weinberg, but he wasn’t there; it was actually done by student Bob Stone, who did a great job.
Wings?! Derek & the Dominoes?! Ah! Very fascinating read. Thanks!ReplyDelete
A great work at usual! Thank you from italy.ReplyDelete
I tweaked the appearance of the blog a bit, since I was so sick of that narrow text column, but couldn't make it wider in the old template... Hopefully this looks a little better. I kind of prefer the printed-page look...the less flashier, the better, for me! (Lost the nice blog-title box, though.) Suggestions welcome!ReplyDelete
Great essay! Really enjoyed reading it. Definitely think the new format makes it much more reader friendly.ReplyDelete
Really interesting to hear how much the concert goers from the early days disliked the '72 and beyond sound.I personally really enjoy the '72 sound and think that year stands near the top of the bands finest work. Having a dislike for that sound must speak volumes for the concerts that took place pre-71'. I was wondering if there was another reason for the dislike beyond just the music being played like a change in the concert scene (venues/attendees)?
"Having a dislike for that sound must speak volumes for the concerts that took place pre-71'."ReplyDelete
Yes, it does.
I linked to a little Archive forum discussion of this above, in the '72 section.
I think most fans probably stayed with the band - not sure of this; there never was a poll or anything in those days - but the band by '73 was really quite different than they'd been in the '60s, a very different kind of show. So there were many people grumbling that the band just wasn't the same without Pigpen, or without Mickey, or with Donna...
And there was definitely a change in the concert scene; the Dead were playing bigger venues. If you were a New Yorker, for instance, there were no more Fillmore East or Capitol Theater shows - instead, places like Nassau or Roosevelt Stadium.
And, as Marty mentioned, the crowds were getting bigger since the Dead picked up a lot of new fans after '71 (Skullfuck was their most popular album); so it no longer seemed like such an "in" scene, just a lot of people coming for the party.
Thanks for the info! Interesting seems to be somewhat of a parallel with the influx of fans after '71 and the influx of so called "touch-heads" during the 80's.ReplyDelete
Hi, it's me Harvey L.ReplyDelete
I just came across your blog and it's great, wonderful, etc. I'm really impressed!
Marty was/is a real good guy as is his brother Howie. Back when I first started listening to tapes at a friend's apartment (Sept 71 or so), Marty's tapes were the ones that everyone wanted. BTW, When I started the Honkies with Mark B., the person who simply copied his tape collection for us shared PLENTY of other tapes that Marty did not have. Our benefactor simply said "Never sell the music and be sure to share them with others." It's a rule we have tried to live by for 40 years. Mark and I remain friends (we go back to when we were 8 years old)and we still rarely listen to any Dead shows past 1970!
Thanks again for all of your efforts.
Good to hear from an old-timer!ReplyDelete
I'm sure the tapers & collectors of the '70s didn't imagine there would be articles like this written about them...
Please help - I am very interested in what was on the vinyl bootleg discussed by Marty that he says he sold at the Gaelic Park 71 show. I was from San Francisco but in the summer of 71 I hitchhiked all around the US and was in New York for one weekend and luck would have it the Gaelic Park show was happening so I went and it was fun. I had a little transistor radio and that weekend an fm radio station repeatedly played the most amazing version of Not Fade Away that I still remember hearing. They never said where it was from, it would just come on -- I realize now that they probably didn't want to announce what it was because it was a bootleg. It seems odd that I should remember this in detail but actually the Dead were seldom played on the radio back then and to hear this awesome live track come over my radio was rather mindlowing. Anyway if anyone knows of this please let me know. Thanks.ReplyDelete
There couldn't have been many Dead bootlegs with Not Fade Away on them in summer 1971! My guess was that Marty used the Not Fade Away from 9/20/70 - see if you recognize it:Delete
That is a possibility, thanks!Delete
(Would still be interesting if anyone had a copy or knew for sure.)
all the tapes that have hanno in the title do come from collection ..as an european i was quite a rare sighting in the early 80s among the dead traders .. this might have helped in getting the odd tapes from tapers in the US as they thought that the tapes they sent would never pop up again... but as you can easily see they didReplyDelete
Marty's bootleg record from 1971 was recently uploaded at Lossless Legs (under the title MJW-1) - this was the tracklist:ReplyDelete
El Paso 11/8/70
Not Fade Away 9/20/70
Morning Dew 11/8/70
Other One 2/23/71
On Marty's 11/8/70 tapes on the Archive, the first two minutes or so of Morning Dew are missing (though, of course, Ken Lee's tape is complete.) But Marty's Morning Dew is complete on the record, though it fades in.
Marty had passed a note to the band requesting Morning Dew - after Jerry sings the first line, you can hear a girl with Marty exclaim, "They got your message!"
The bulk of the newest file set for 11/8/1970 comes from Marty's master reels. The Morning Dew on there is complete I believe. about 10 seconds from the beginning of the track you can hear someone yell "all right"! I am referring to this one:Delete
Good to have this available. It's the most complete source for Marty's recording that night, I think. This is also the show where Marty's recording sounds about as good as Ken Lee's, though they were taping from different spots.Delete
I met Marty in 1970 in NYC, my girlfriend worked with his and we found out that we had a mutual interest in the dead................................ and taping.
I lost touch with Marty but shared my tapes with Les Kippel, and became part of the GD Tape Exchange.
I stayed underground as much as possible because taping shows was and is not appreciated by everyone, and since I still record shows in the 21st century, Ive kept a low profile. recently I have been sharing with Rob Berger, keeper of Jerry Moores stash, and have transferred some.
The early days for me 1969-1973, are times that will never be duplicated and I am blessed to have been present with recording equipment at many superb dead shows.
The tapes of yours that circulate are much appreciated now! Those definitely weren't the days when soundboard tapes of every Dead show were available far and wide....and before '71 the Dead were still haphazard about recording themselves. Dead listeners are lucky that several people in NYC realized early on the importance of taping shows & preserving them.Delete
A new copy of a Marty Weinberg reel from 11/7/70 has just surfaced:ReplyDelete
It's incomplete, only the end of the show (from the middle of the Other One). It sounds different from Ken Lee's recording - brighter and more up-front, but also more tinny & harsh. This reel has been posted on the Archive before from alternate copies - oddly, this copy is missing King Bee (the others were missing Good Lovin' & the end of set II), but it includes an interesting interview with an usher between sets.
Much of the talk is about usher issues - the fire laws are enforced since the fire commissioner's in the theater; police are going around busting people; the shows haven't been selling out; the Dead have a small guest-list of people allowed backstage, but ushers can't go back there. He and Marty debate which show has been the best so far, and Marty asks if he wants any Dead tapes!
Marty mentioned in his interview with Michael Getz that it was easier to tape at the Capitol Theater than the Fillmore East. "At the Fillmore, I had to be very careful holding the mic...[but at the Capitol] I could be a little looser with holding the mic, because they weren't as paranoid in there... The crew there was basically hired for the night to keep the fire laws in check, they weren't really there to keep me out."
It's rare to have a taper interviewing people during a show! This wasn't the only occasion; Marty said, "At one of the shows, there was a bomb scare at the Capitol Theater; everyone had to evacuate the theater while they searched, and I remember interviewing people while we were walking out. 'Did you like the show?'" (This was in February '71.)
Better copies of Weinberg's reels have gradually been trickling out - upgrades for sections of 11/6 and 11/8/70 have also appeared recently, and also part of his previously unheard 2/24/71 recording, in excellent sound (though it's only 8 songs) -
The fragmentary AUD from the unknown November '70 show mentioned in the post has surfaced online, for the completists...ReplyDelete
Due to the surviving reels being taped over, many of Weinberg's recordings exist only as fragments, some just a few songs, or one song. Interestingly, among the short fragments were AUD recordings of several California shows - 11/8/69, 6/6/70, 1/21/71, 8/6/71 - so Weinberg must have been getting tapes from a good west-coast contact, too.
It's on the Archive here:Delete
The date is unknown, but it's thought to come from the Nov '70 Rock Palace run, which Weinberg said he taped (Good Lovin' is in the fall '70 style). Sadly, the fragment of Good Lovin' at the end comes from yet another 1970 show which was probably taped in full, but this three-minute bit is all we have left.
Just want to say again how much I enjoy these posts. I was reading this one (again) along with the Missing 1970 shows and the 1970 Audience Tape Guide. They reminded me how we all got into this world of tapers and taping. I got my first boots in 1971 ('Ain't It Crazy' and 'Live Dead' (closing of Fillmore West) and started taping shows myself in 1972. I ended up trading through the 70s with such luminaries as Les Kippel (very briefly), Dave and Jeff Tamarkin (extensively), Ken Genetti and Bob Minkin (briefly). There was a real sense of sharing back then and, very often, a box would arrive unexpectedly in the UK, from Jeff or Ken, with cassettes of shows from the previous week. Generous people.ReplyDelete
Based on this article, I've been pulling together as many of Marty's original recordings as possible even though many have been superseded by pristine soundboards. Sometimes the latter can be quite 'dry' so it's good to go back and remind yourself of the craziness of those 1969 and 1970 shows. Do you reckon that this article and its comments are pretty much up to date with what's circulating of Marty's tapes? I like to think that the first show at the Cafe au Go Go in 69 is his - a shame that that's all there is of it.
Yes, the comments bring this up to date with all known circulating Marty reels, or the surviving pieces of them.Delete
While I hope that another stash of lost Marty tapes will be found by some old trader, it's unlikely by this point!
(At least there's some hope that old Dead roadies may keep turning up more of the lost 1970 SBD reels.)
It's interesting to hear that the first 1971 Dead bootlegs made it to the UK so soon after the original shows. Dead Freaks Unite! - though not in the way the Dead planned...
Some of Marty's masters have recently come to light. We haven't yet established what shows they are except we do have made a fresh transfer of his master reel for 70-11-08, and despite what is said above "Morning Dew" is not complete. The first 26 seconds are missing.Delete
Good to hear! Hopefully the masters haven't deteriorated too much after all these years.Delete
Really appreciate this. Great post. It's been a great joy to dig through the archive links of new to me sources/shows, Thanks so much!ReplyDelete
Jerry Moore once wrote about the process of copying & labeling Marty's tapes in the early '70s:ReplyDelete
"I'm not sure Marty ever labeled his reel boxes, but it'd be pretty much a moot point...
I knew his younger brother (Howie) quite well - we were buddies - and, behind this, Harvey Lubar and I got hold of the surviving masters....didn't miss anything that hadn't rolled under the couch or some such, so we probably had them ALL, and spent a month or two, circa 1973, copying anything that could be salvaged. I ran the tapes and made the copies: Harvey tried to figure out exactly what it was I was copying.
There were a few issues - to wit:
1) To begin with, Marty hadn't always recorded complete shows, sometimes stopped running if he already had a version of a particular song, and tended to reuse tape, haphazardly, too....might leave part of a reel alone and record over the rest.
2) About that moot point: whatever may or may not have been written on boxes, boxes and little five inch reels had since been divorced, and what we had in hand was a bunch of unlabeled baby reels, nary a box to be seen.
3) By then, the reels had spent at least one New York winter in the trunk of a car - the car was parked on the street - the trunk leaked.
4) Okay, sometimes we found a complete show, and could make a good case for what it was.
5) And other times could turn a few basic assumptions into a reasonable guess.
6) Which left a bunch of random bits and pieces that Harvey was cheerfully willing to slap together....which he'd then pick a venue and date for.
Harvey and I disagreed as to the validity of the process - IMO, it had a few built in glitches."
Harvey later argued with this account: "Are you really stating that I arbitrarily put together pieces of different unknown shows that Marty taped and "just" picked a possible date and venue? If so, this is absolutely untrue."
But Jerry was writing ironically about the process, and admitted, "He was doing the best he could with the available evidence, which wasn't much." His main point was that tape-date "speculation mutates into perceived truth," and dates later accepted as valid could have come from nowhere.
In the early '70s there wasn't much to go on, and misdated tapes were common; fortunately by now, after decades of investigation, most dates are known; and from 1968 onwards, there are only a few short tapes (mainly some bits & pieces from 1970) that don't have a known or accurate date.
R.I.P. Marty, thanks for everything.ReplyDelete
Here are some photos that I took of the LP that Marty made: https://imgur.com/a/weNnWQ8ReplyDelete
It's funny to see how barebones the album is - no cover art or even a name, no venue/date info, nothing but the music - it just screams "private bootleg."Delete
Yeah, and this copy he actually wrote the track names on the blank label, normally it would just be a blank white cover, blank white labels and only MJW-1A & MJW-1B etched into the vinyl to identify itReplyDelete
I was a personal friend of Marty in 1970 71 I had his tape from him to copy I was the guy in 1971 summer who brought the bootleg album he made to the dead’s office in San Rafael August 71 they listed to the entire album and I spent 4 hrs with Jerry upstairs listening to the test pressing. Of the Un realested new riders albumReplyDelete
A new article about that day:Delete
It's great to think of Jerry just spending an afternoon listening to Marty's bootleg album brought by some random kids from New York. I wonder what he thought of it. He must have mentioned that the Dead would have their own new live album coming out soon...but he shared the New Riders' record instead!
Hi I was Marty friend in 70 and 1971 took his bootleg album to the dead’s office in 1971 summer where Bobby Jerry and Phil heard itReplyDelete
I was the guy who spent an afternoon with the band listening to the bootleg Marty album a took with ne in my beatle across Canada to Berkeley then to their office the stood there and listened to the whole album lesh wrote about it years laterDelete
They had nothing to do that day and I left after mountain girl came upstairs with me and Bobby and Jerry it’s the office stairs you see on the first riders album with the color staircaseReplyDelete
Lesh later. Got with Marty Weinberg at felt forum dec 71 they listened to whole bootleg album Marty taped with a Uher 5 inch reel under his Coat first of the tapersReplyDelete