July 29, 2013

Studio Outtakes 1965-1974

Here is a list of the Grateful Dead’s studio outtakes up to 1974 that are available to us.
Our picture of the Dead in the studio is still very incomplete. We’re lacking anything like a Dead studio-sessions log, so a lot of these tapes are still mysterious or have no dates. They often circulated in haphazard collections with almost random labeling, and many entries are misdated or missing on deadlists. For an overview of the Dead’s studio activities, Blair Jackson’s book Grateful Dead Gear is the best source – it does not note outtakes, though.
This post also covers the ‘60s sessions:
The Deadhead’s Taping Compendium reviews many (but not all) of these tapes, and is noted when it does. Miscellaneous tapes including rehearsals that aren’t Dead studio outtakes are covered at the end.

NOVEMBER 3, 1965
“Emergency Crew” Autumn Records Demo
Golden Gate Recorders, San Francisco

Can't Come Down
The Only Time Is Now
I Know You Rider
Early Morning Rain

(All released on “Birth of the Dead” CD.)

See the Taping Compendium p.82-83.


Unknown Location

“Speed Limit”

The Dead may be the anonymous band playing the generic surf instrumental behind the Prankster chatter. The recording is repeated a few times and can be heard most clearly without the Prankster overdubs in the last few minutes. It's not too dissimilar from other things the early Dead did, like Heads Up on 3/19/66 or the instrumental on 3/25/66. Then again, it could be a random, unidentified surf-band record. Recording date unknown.

A bit of this instrumental was used on the Capitol LP “LSD: A Documentary Report,” released in 1966, though I’m not sure how they got it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOTcY-W1K2Q (start of “part 3”)

It turns out this track is non-Dead. A reader reports that the band here was actually Fire and Ice Ltd., an obscure California "psychedelic" group that provided the backing music for the LSD album, and also released an LP called "The Happening" in 1966. (Hopping on the Pranksters' coattails!)


Bear's house, Berkeley

Viola Lee Blues rehearsal, multiple takes
Cardboard Cowboy

Pigpen starts out singing & plays some harmonica, but he is drunk and leaves early, to the others’ annoyance. Weir takes over Pigpen’s vocal part.
This and all the early-1966 sessions were recorded by Bear.

Wandering Man


EARLY 1966
Bear’s house, Los Angeles

Space/Blues Jam - “Watts Practice” tape

It’s A Sin jam>La Bamba jam>It’s A Sin jam – 2/23/66

(Though just an instrumental jam, this is the earliest known Dead sandwich. Without lyrics, the songs are debatable, and this could equally be titled Hurts Me Too>Twist & Shout jam.)

Feb '66 -
Hi Heel Sneakers
Viola Lee Blues

3/9/66 - "LA Practice" 
Unknown Pigpen song
Who Do You Love

Sittin’ on Top of the World (several takes)

Walkin' The Dog*
Big Boss Man
It's All Over Now Baby Blue
You See a Broken Heart*
One Kind Favor
Promised Land*

(Available on the “San Francisco Nights vol. 2” collection. *Walkin’ the Dog, Broken Heart & Promised Land were released on the “Rare Cuts & Oddities” CD.)

Not Fade Away
Betty and Dupree - 3/2/66
Stealin’ - 3/2/66
Good Lovin’
Standing on the Corner
Cream Puff War (2 takes, the second take breaks down)

(From the “Rare Cuts & Oddities” CD.)

Tapes of I Know You Rider and You Don't Have To Ask (aka 'Otis on the Shakedown Cruise') are mentioned in a March '66 newspaper article, but might not survive.


JUNE 1966
Scorpio Sessions
Buena Vista Studio, San Francisco

Stealin' (4 takes)
Don't Ease Me In (15 takes)
Tastebud (5 takes)
Cardboard Cowboy (5 takes)
Cold Rain And Snow (10 takes)
You Don't Have To Ask (2 takes)
I Know You Rider (2 takes)

Take numbers are approximate. All the takes are instrumental except for one final take of each song with vocals dubbed.

The “Birth of the Dead” CD includes instrumental & vocal takes of Stealin’, Don’t Ease Me In, Tastebud, and Cold Rain, and vocal takes only of You Don’t Have To Ask and I Know You Rider.
Cardboard Cowboy was omitted, though it was included on Lesh's Searching For The Sound bonus disc - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXYWExZ9aE8

http://www.archive.org/details/gd66-06-xx.sbd.vernon.9513.sbeok.shnf - Scorpio Outtakes; but this set is incomplete, missing Cold Rain & Tastebud. (The Cardboard Cowboy takes are in here, but mislabeled as Tastebud.)

Some of the sessions may have been at Coast Recorders, San Francisco. Producer Gene Estribou recalled: “We went down to Western Recording and used their studio for doing some tapes that ended up being on the first 45 from Scorpio.” Blair Jackson suggests that he misidentified Coast Recorders. However, all of our sessions seem to be from his Buena Vista home studio.

See the Taping Compendium p.110-12. (Despite a tracklist on p.125, the outtakes are not reviewed.)


LATE 1966
Unknown Location

Silver Threads & Golden Needles

(From the “Rare Cuts” CD.)

See: http://deadessays.blogspot.com/2011/10/dead-in-studio-1966.html


Jon Hendricks Session
Columbus Recorders, San Francisco

Fire in the City
Sons and Daughters

The Dead backed Jon Hendricks for these two songs. The recording date has been disputed: deadlists lists these under July ‘66, and the CD liner notes say the recording was in March ’67; however the actual session was fall ’66. See: http://deadsources.blogspot.com/2012/02/november-20-1966-jon-hendricks-dead.html (See also McNally p.173-74.)
The single was released in April ’67.
Fire in the City released on “Birth of the Dead” CD.
These two tracks are also here -


“Grateful Dead” Sessions
RCA Studio A, Hollywood

I Know You Rider
Cold Rain & Snow
Cream Puff War (w/ vocal)
Sitting on Top of the World
King Bee [mislabeled as “The Same Thing”]
Down So Long [mislabeled as "Stealin'"]
New Minglewood Blues
[Mostly instrumentals, except for Cream Puff War. This tape is ridiculously sped-up. Down So Long was known as "Lucky Man Jam" on tapes.]

Viola Lee Blues - edit from alternate takes
Alice D Millionaire 2/2/67
Overseas Stomp (Lindy) 2/2/67
Tastebud 2/2/67
Death Don’t Have No Mercy (instrumental) 2/2/67
(These were released on the “Grateful Dead” CD bonus tracks.)

See the Taping Compendium p.136.


Possibly the Heliport, Sausalito


Recorded for Robert Nelson's "Grateful Dead" film. Only a snippet circulates.


Location unknown

Lovelight rehearsal session, multiple takes, 45 minutes

This tape circulates as 11/19/67, but that date is wrong; this session clearly predates the 8/5/67 live version.


Anthem of the Sun Sessions
RCA Studio A, Hollywood

/Cryptical > Other One > Cryptical
Alligator > Caution
I was mistaken about this being a studio session; I now believe it's from an October '67 live show.
[Vocals mostly low, but come up in spots. These tracks are the same as on the Archive’s “10-20-67” session, which is in inferior sound & has an edit of the 1/14/67 Viola Lee Blues. This set also has a Lovelight from the earlier session, and an edit of the 11/19/66 Smokestack Lightning.]

Other One > Cryptical (instrumental)
[This second take also circulated on tape with the Death Don’t instrumental outtake from the first album.]

See the Taping Compendium p.147.
According to the Anthem CD liner notes, “There don’t appear to be any completed outtakes from the sessions – most of what’s still in the vaults consists of instrumental backing tracks and separate vocal overdubs.”


NOVEMBER 14, 1967
Anthem of the Sun Sessions
American Recording Studios, North Hollywood

Born Cross-Eyed (w/ vocals & second feedback ending)
Dark Star (instrumental)
[These generally circulated as filler on tapes of the 11/67 Shrine shows.]


Unknown Location

Caution/ (instrumental)
Lemieux: “sometime in 1968, likely the summer”


AUGUST 13, 1968
Pacific Recording Studio, San Mateo

Clementine Jam
“Nobody’s Spoonful” Jam
Eleven Jam

(Released on the “Aoxomoxoa” CD bonus tracks.)


probably Pacific Recording Studio, San Mateo


Probably with Tom Constanten.


SEPTEMBER 12, 1968
probably Pacific Recording Studio, Mateo

Clementine (many takes)
Space Jam

Clementine rehearsal with Phil on vocal, Tom Constanten on organ.


SEPTEMBER 21, 1968
Pacific Recording Studio, San Mateo

Clementine Jam

This seems to have been a Hartbeats-type jam session; Lemieux writes that the players were Garcia, Lesh, Hart, and two guitarists listed as “David and Vic” - David Crosby and Vic Briggs. 
Lemieux writes that there was another Jam, but unfortunately it was not included on the Taper’s Section!


NOVEMBER 6, 1968
Tom Constanten Rehearsal
likely Pacific Recording Studio, San Mateo

Dark Star
St Stephen > The Eleven (multiple attempts)

See the Taping Compendium p.165.


OCTOBER 1968 – EARLY 1969
Aoxomoxoa Sessions
Pacific Recording Studio, San Mateo 
(& possibly some tracks from Pacific High Recording, San Francisco)

St. Stephen >
The Eleven
Barbed Wire Whipping Party
Doin’ That Rag
Dupree’s Diamond Blues
Instrumental (Garcia & drums)
China Cat Sunflower
Cosmic Charlie
Doin’ That Rag #2
Mountains of the Moon
What’s Become of the Baby
Mountains of the Moon #2
http://archive.org/details/gd69-xx-xx.sbd.dodd.16760.sbeok.shnf (see the review from 9/22/10 for a summary of the tracks)

These are mostly basic tracks without overdubs, many thought to be from the 8-track recording sessions in late 1968. A couple may be alternate mixes; the first three tracks were abandoned, and St. Stephen redone.

Barbed Wire Whipping Party (shorter alternate mix)
http://archive.org/details/gd88-06-01.sbd.munder.20606.sbeok.shnf (also attached to the 9/17/69 rehearsal below)


Garcia Solo Acoustic Demos
Unknown Location

Dire Wolf (6 takes)
Casey Jones
High Time (3 takes + false starts)
acoustic bottleneck blues instrumental


LATE 1969?
Pacific High Recording, San Francisco

I’m A Loving Man - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uSgXFlEt5Y
+ alternate mix - https://archive.org/details/gd1970-00-00.125545.studio.sbd.moore-berger.flac16/pigpen1970-xx-xxd1t20.flac (longer, only Pigpen singing)
Bucky’s Tune/Buckey’s Theme (instrumental w/ fiddle & pedal steel) - https://www.shnflac.net/index.php?page=torrent-details&id=260ccb3085a08b4162eee883afeea07ba2b8fb03

Possibly a session for a proposed Pigpen solo album. Pigpen & Weir sing I’m A Loving Man; John Tenney, fiddle; Dennis Parker, bass; Scott Morris, drums; Garcia, pedal steel.
See: http://deadessays.blogspot.com/2011/04/pigpen-solo.html
Also see the Taping Compendium p.212.


SEPTEMBER 17, 1969
"Alembic Studio"/rehearsal space, Novato?

Blues Instrumental (2 takes)
Seasons of My Heart* (several takes)
Saw Mill* (several takes)
tuning ditties* (Merry-Go-Round, Merry Melodies, etc. - many takes)
Cold Rain and Snow (several takes)
Dire Wolf
The Eleven (several takes)

A two-hour rehearsal session. They try out the slow version of Cold Rain for the first time, and tackle the Eleven for twenty minutes and several other songs at length.
* Seasons of My Heart, Saw Mill & the tuning themes have Garcia on pedal steel.


Workingman’s Dead Outtakes
Pacific High Recording Studio, San Francisco

Mason’s Children
Uncle John’s Band
[This set also includes Tastebud, the outtake from the first album.]

Mason’s Children (edited) – “So Many Roads” box set
New Speedway Boogie (alternate mix) – “Workingman’s Dead” CD bonus

Mason's Children was rejected by the Dead. Uncle John seems to be the same basic track & vocals as on the album, but without later overdubs.


American Beauty Outtakes
Wally Heider Recording Studios, San Francisco

Ripple - http://archive.org/details/gd70-workingmans-outtakes.sbd.7319.sbeok.shnf
Candyman – http://archive.org/details/gd1971-02-01.sbd.Studio.Rehearsal.120486.flac16
Truckin' > Frozen Logger - http://archive.org/details/gd69-05-10.sbd.tzuriel.1336.sbeok.shnf (filler track)
To Lay Me Down – “So Many Roads” box set

Candyman is a radically different alternate mix with more guitars, no lead vocal, and a longer ending. Truckin' is an alternate mix of the released version with more lead guitar, and a bit of Frozen Logger after the fadeout. Ripple has the album vocals over a somewhat alternate basic track. To Lay Me Down was dropped by the Dead; Garcia would later do it for his solo album.


Tour Rehearsal?
Unknown Location

Playing in the Band (3 takes)
Bird Song (4+ takes)
Greatest Story Ever Told (3 takes)
Wharf Rat
[Most takes break down early. This set also includes Candyman from summer 1970 & the Other One>Cryptical from fall 1967.]

See the Taping Compendium p.301.


Wake of the Flood Sessions
Record Plant, Sausalito

Here Comes Sunshine (4 versions)
Let Me Sing Your Blues Away (2 versions)
Let It Grow
Row Jimmy
Eyes of the World
Weather Report Prelude/Part One (3 versions)
Stella Blue (2 versions)

(Sunshine 1 - a basic take with Garcia vocal; Sunshine 2 - an instrumental jam from the same session or take; Sunshine 3-4 - two mixes of the album version. Let Me Sing 1 - an alternate “live” take; Let Me Sing 2 - a mix of the album version. Let It Grow, Row Jimmy & Eyes - basic vocal takes without all the overdubs. WRS prelude/part 1 - three mixes of the album version, the first two stopping early. Stella Blue - two mixes of the album version.)

Weather Report Prelude/Part One (instrumental) >
Let It Grow
China Doll
“Garcia’s rough mixes”

Weather Report Suite (Weir solo acoustic demo) 8/4/73 – “Wake of the Flood” CD bonus
China Doll (alternate mix) 8/8/73 – “Wake of the Flood” CD bonus
Loose Lucy 8/7/73 – “Mars Hotel” CD bonus
Pride of Cucamonga (Lesh solo acoustic demo) 8/4/73 – “Mars Hotel” CD bonus
Unbroken Chain (Lesh solo acoustic demo) 8/11/73 – “Mars Hotel” CD bonus


APRIL 1974
Mars Hotel Sessions
CBS Studios, San Francisco

Pride of Cucamonga (2 versions)
Money Money (2 versions)
Unbroken Chain (3 versions)
Scarlet Begonias
Ship of Fools
Loose Lucy
US Blues
[Note: Tracks 13-19 are repeats of tracks 5-11. The set also includes an instrumental Crazy Fingers from 1975.]

(The first three tracks sound like a single rehearsal session, all “live” takes with vocals: three takes of Cucamonga, one of Money, and a false start & take of Unbroken Chain. Then Phil’s acoustic demo of Unbroken Chain, same as the CD bonus track. The remaining tracks are all basic instrumental takes without overdubs: Unbroken Chain, Scarlet Begonias, Cucamonga, Ship of Fools, Money, Loose Lucy & US Blues. These are frequently different from the album takes – for instance note Garcia’s guitar parts in Cucamonga & Unbroken Chain.)

See the Taping Compendium p.554-55.

* * *

I stopped there; for a look at the 1975 studio tapes, see:


Here are some other tapes from these years that don’t really fall into the category of “Dead studio outtakes,” but should be mentioned:

Sound City Recording Studios, San Francisco
Merry Pranksters record Acid Test LP

The Dead attended this Pranksters recording session, but if they played any music, it wasn’t included. Last track: “Let the Dead sing some.” Garcia replies, “My voice is completely shot, Ken, I can’t even hold it, can’t keep a pitched note.” And there it ends; no musical involvement.


Avalon Ballroom

The Eleven *
Doin' That Rag (several takes)
Cosmic Charlie
Born Cross-Eyed
Dupree's Diamond Blues *
The Other One > Cryptical reprise

Lengthy soundcheck practice before the Live/Dead recordings. Doin' That Rag & Dupree's are the earliest onstage Dead versions. *Two tracks released on Download Series vol. 12.


FALL 1969
Home Recordings

Friend of the Devil (original NRPS version)
Various Robert Hunter demos
Uncle John’s Band Jams

Note: a poor recording on a portable tapedeck. (One track is labeled a "Feelin' Groovy" jam, but both the jams are both on the Uncle John's Band riffs.)


“KSAN Garage Jam”
KSAN Radio, San Francisco

The Race Is On
Silver Threads
Let Me In
Dark Hollow

Not on the Archive. Weir on guitar; Garcia on pedal steel; John Cipollina on guitar; Pete Sears on piano; Mario Cipollina on bass. Broadcast live on KSAN sometime in 1970; Weir seems to be playing for an audience.



Garcia & Hart recorded the “Port Chester Apology” for the canceled shows there in December 1970:

See: http://jgmf.blogspot.com/2009/12/gd-december-18-20-1970-capitol-theatre.html

This set also includes several amusing radio promos, which are a separate genre of “Dead-on-the-radio” advertising that still haven’t been adequately collected. The Taping Compendium p.214 lists a number of them.


DEC 1970-JAN 1971
PERRO Sessions
Wally Heider’s Studio, San Francisco

Garcia, Lesh, Hart and Kreutzmann all participated in these sessions, which generally featured David Crosby and/or various Airplane members. There’s too much to go into here, but for notes & annotations, see: http://www.philzone.com/philbase/perro.html
Also see the Taping Compendium, p.289-90 & 296-98.

No Dead songs were played, except for an early runthrough of Loser with viola, in which Garcia is teaching the song to Crosby & Lesh: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKlImjF1Hec
Not on the Archive, but the rest of the PERRO sessions can also easily be found on youtube and elsewhere.


Mickey Hart’s Barn, Novato

http://spiritcats.com/nl_aditc_ok.mp3 (partial soundboard mix) 

Various jams with Garcia, Weir, Lesh, Hart; David Crosby & John Cipollina, guitars; Ned Lagin on piano; maybe Merl Saunders on organ, & possibly other musicians. This may have been part of a radio broadcast that day; it seems to be the end of a long day of jamming. Garcia leaves for a New Riders show after the Wall Song. The two recordings have very different instrument mixes, and each has parts not on the other; Lagin's copy includes an Other One jam with piano at the start.

See the Taping Compendium p.338, and http://spiritcats.com/nedbase.html#aditc.


Keith Godchaux Rehearsals
Somewhere in Santa Venetia?

Bertha+, One More Saturday Night+, Brokedown Palace+, Tennessee Jed+, Candyman*, Cumberland Blues*, El Paso*

China>Rider+, Bertha+, Brokedown Palace+, Bird Song*, Jack Straw*, Tennessee Jed, Mama Tried*, Uncle John's Band Jam*, Me & My Uncle*, Truckin'+, Mexicali Blues*

Brown Eyed Women, Playing In The Band*, Jack Straw*, Deep Elem Blues*, Big Railroad Blues*, The Promised Land*, Attics Of My Life*, Tennessee Jed+, Me & Bobby McGee+, Mexicali Blues

Deal+, Tennessee Jed+, Jam, Brown-Eyed Women, Casey Jones+, Jack Straw, Mexicali Blues, One More Saturday Night+, Loser, Cold Rain & Snow*, Ripple+, Cumberland Blues+, Uncle John’s Band, Bird Song
[Some extra riffing before Cold Rain on alternate source *.]

http://archive.org/details/gd71-09-xx.sbd.unknown.16897.sbeok.shnf *
http://archive.org/details/gd1971-09-29.unsurpassed-masters-vol4-vol6.116951.flac16 +

Tracks marked * or + appear on the respective compilations, which cover all the dates in sometimes very different sound; as far as I know every track on tape is on the Archive. (For instance, there’s no specific Archive file for the 9/28 rehearsal, but all the tracks are included on the compilations.) Sound quality differs greatly between sources; Keith’s presence also varies.

See: http://deadessays.blogspot.com/2012/09/how-keith-joined.html
Also see the Taping Compendium p.340-42. (The setlists in the Compendium sometimes differ.)


FALL 1971
Bob Weir, "Ace" Acoustic Demos

"C Shuffle" (Walk in the Sunshine) - 2 takes; the second has Weir vocalizing the melody.
Unknown song - 2 takes; Weir vocalizes a melody in the second take. This tune was apparently abandoned.
Cassidy - 2 takes; again, the second take has a vocal melody, but no words yet.
Black Throated Wind - Weir sings the first verse, then stops.
"Madrigal" (Weather Report Prelude)
Jack Straw

The demos are all just Weir on an acoustic guitar; it sounds like Barlow is taping him. The early takes are instrumental - the purpose was probably to help Barlow write lyrics for the songs.


Tom Constanten, Tarot Outtakes

Some outtakes from Tarot’s Touchstone album are included in the above set. They have a classical feel, with TC-like keyboards, acoustic & electric guitars, flute, and a string section. There’s also one long experimental collage with strings that sounds just like a Constanten creation. (Four more instrumentals purported to be “Tarot music” outtakes are also circulating; these are in a very different style, with acoustic guitar, pedal steel, piano & violin, and don’t sound like the same musicians.) Supposedly, Garcia, Lesh & Hart appear on some of the outtakes.
I don’t think Garcia or the others were involved at all; as far as Dead involvement goes these are fakes, since they’re just Constanten & unknown musicians playing his compositions, and possibly aren’t even related to Tarot.

See the Taping Compendium p.441.


Mickey Hart’s Barn, Novato
“Fire On The Mountain,” “Area Code 415” & “Silent Flute” Albums

Among the many projects going on at Mickey Hart’s barn studio during his “Dead hiatus” were several unreleased albums. Garcia & Lesh sometimes contributed, along with many other musicians. I won’t go into the details here, but the most well-known track from these sessions is undoubtedly Mickey’s version of Fire on the Mountain:

See the Taping Compendium p.362 & 555.
Also see: http://hooterollin.blogspot.com/2012/08/album-projects-recorded-at-mickey-harts.html


Pigpen Home Demos

About an hour of Pigpen’s home recordings circulate. Their date is completely unknown; reviews in the Taping Compendium, for instance, are on p.125, 298-99, & 449-50. Many of the songs described, though, are still not available digitally – clearly more demos used to be on tape that haven't been transferred yet.
The most common available session is this one:


  1. Great post. However, could you clarify who you mean by "our" and "his" in this statement?

    "However, all of our sessions seem to be from his Buena Vista home studio."

    1. To put it another way, the Scorpio sessions we collectors have on tape all come from producer Gene Estribou's home studio. If he used another studio for the single, I'm not sure if it was for dubbing, mixing, better equipment or what.

      The Anthem studio sessions are particularly tangled, with the Dead recording & mixing in several studios in CA, NY and FL over several months. Fortunately here I only had to concern myself with the few outtakes we have, which are near the start of the sessions so they're easier to place. It's likely our "11/14/67" tracks might have dubs from a later date, though, particularly Born Cross-Eyed.

  2. Here’s some additions:

    Cardboard Cowboy is on the bonus disc distributed with Phil’s book, Searching For The Sound.

    There is another Cream Puff War, it’s a hidden track after Caution on Rare Cuts. They abort it when Jerry forgets the words. It sounds like it is from the same session as the complete version.

    http://archive.org/details/gd1966-12-05.sbd.kimbro.23064.sbeok.shnf does contain Down So Long, it mislabels it as Stealin’.

    There’s another American Beauty out-take, Truckin’ > Frozen Logger. It’s on here as filler at the start(!)

    The title of the Hendricks single is Sons And Daughters not Your Sons And Daughters, there’s a label shot showing it here.

    The KSAN 1970 session is available here

    Thanks for the article

    1. Thanks for catching things I missed! I made the corrections.

      Lossless Legs links could be provided for everything here, but in general I eschew them since torrent sites are not as universally available as Archive streams. Anyone on that site can readily find them, though.

  3. thanks for the post.

    fwiw, there is what appears to be another mix of Barbed Wire Whipping Party on here:

    some of the voices that are buried in the background from the Troy reel version are way out front here, i am able to understand what they are saying for the first time... also it starts with more growling type sounds, and less jumbled conversation, and ends without the long sustained note. total time is about 1 min different.

    1. A Barbed Wire Whipping Party alternate mix, who would've thought? And of all places, on a Built to Last outtake tape...

      Studying mix variations in Barbed Wire Whipping Party is surely the highpoint of any Dead scholar's endeavors!

    2. agreed. it's clearly all downhill from here.

    3. A cleaner version of the Barbed Wire Whipping Party mix #2 (the short 1:20 mix) is tagged onto the end of the 9/17/69 tape - for the Barbed Wire aficionados who want the best quality!

  4. I was the source for the Tarot sessions including Garcia, Lesh, Hart, and Richard Greene. Taped off of KSAN in 1970, when TC visited their studios. He was the one who rattled off the names of the players, although I did not record his interview. What circulates now includes some other tracks of questionable provenance that may have included Touchstone, the group with which TC recorded the Tarot album.

    1. TC himself said so? Hmm... It's also surprising to get a confirmed date of 1970, earlier than I expected.
      I wish there were a tape of that interview, and one that included just the tracks aired on KSAN - our "Tarot outtakes" do seem to be a jumble of different things.

      It's funny that Garcia's involvement in Constanten's Tarot projects in 1970 is always just out of reach - he's mentioned here & there, yet the definite connection remains elusive.

  5. I'm late to commenting on this, but it's an indispensable list. For me personally, many of these tracks came as "filler" on various cassettes, so although I had heard them, I never could be certain where they came from. It's great to see them all on one list.

    Completely fascinating to find out about the strange back history of the circulation of the TC/Tarot recordings. I agree that the entire subject is murky, but of course, all the more intriguing for that.

  6. From Timothy White's October 1989 interview with Garcia & Weir -

    Q: Have you guys ever made an album you wouldn't dare release for some stylistic reason?
    GARCIA: There are certain cuts, like "Barbed Wire Whipping Party," which is out anyway among the fans. I don't know where they got it from, but it's out on the streets. It's not exactly a song, it's more a lunatic babble riff. In fact, it's not music at all.
    WEIR: Boy, that's bad news. People are actually listening to that? Don't play that for your children! It's more of a performance poetry piece of some kind. But I don't know what kind.
    GARCIA: Mickey has done a lot of things of the kind you mean. He's done a telephone album. He's done a bug album that's hilarious; it's got all these songs about insects, the war on insects.
    WEIR: He had big plans for that one! [convulsive mutual laughter]
    GARCIA: Mostly, we're always out on the road working, because we earn our living by playing. So we haven't had much of the luxury where you just go into the studio for no particular reason to screw around.
    WEIR: There's tape somewhere of Mickey playing someone's head! And between rehearsal takes we have 15 or 20 versions on tape of "The Mexican Hat Dance" and "The Frozen Logger."

    (from White's book Rock Lives, 1990)

  7. Researcher Michael Sheflin writes of the supposed 1965 track "Speed Limit" used on the "LSD: A Documentary Report" record:
    "I spoke with Lawrence Schiller, who made the original record that sampled this tape. The group was called Fire and Ice, from LA."

    This is apparently the same Fire and Ice Ltd. known for the 1966 "psychedelic" record "The Happening" (also on Capitol Records) -
    (The band description is a hoot.)
    They're thought to be the same group that did the backing music for the LSD album.

    Ian Whitcomb wrote of a mid-'66 visit to Capitol Records in his book "Rock Odyssey: A Chronicle of the Sixties":
    "The sales people are very excited about the number of units sold of their LSD documentary album. Is this exploitation or documentation? The backing music is provided by Fire and Ice, Ltd., who claim to be from San Francisco but I'd guess that San Fernando Valley is nearer the mark. The leader is a flautist who says in his press release that he was born at age zero and is a painter-singer-dancer-poet-and-whatever, famous for spontaneous recitations in Bay Area coffeehouses... The old reliable KLRA beat is very skeptical and their reporter Carol Deck writes that 'You can't whistle it in the shower.' However, she has to admit that this LSD music is where pop is going." (p.269)

    The "Fuzz Acid & Flowers" guide writes of Fire & Ice's "Happening" LP: "Chaotic off-the-wall instrumentals accompanied by shouted exhortations, or rambling spoken nonsense, characterize this strange trip. An early attempt at a free-form freak-out... Definitely do not listen to it sober, as it just sounds vacuous... There was a Fire and Ice who provided backing music to Capitol's notorious LSD documentary album...and this is thought to have involved [bandmember] John Greek too."

  8. Sometime in the fall of 1971, Bob Weir made a tape of acoustic demos for Ace, which I think David Gans played on one of the KPFA marathons years ago. The early takes are instrumental - the purpose was probably to help Barlow write lyrics for the songs. The demos are all just Weir on an acoustic guitar; it sounds like Barlow is taping him.
    The tape has:
    "C Shuffle" (Walk in the Sunshine) - 2 takes; the second has Weir vocalizing the melody.
    unknown song - 2 takes; Weir vocalizes a melody in the second take. This tune was apparently abandoned.
    Cassidy - 2 takes; again, the second take has a vocal melody, but no words yet.
    Black Throated Wind - Weir sings the first verse, then stops.
    "Madrigal" (Weather Report Prelude)
    Jack Straw - At Barlow's request, Weir sings the whole song (which he'd written with Hunter that summer, and was already being played by the Dead).

    Several other songs on Ace had been played by the Dead in 1971; the one new song not on this demo tape is Looks Like Rain, so perhaps it was written later.

  9. A new studio outtake has surfaced:
    A few takes of Seasons of My Heart from September 1969, with Constanten on organ & Garcia on pedal steel. Weir, Lesh & Garcia practice the harmony vocals.

    So far, no other information is known about this session.

    1. Some takes of Saw Mill also surfaced from the same session:

      It's still unknown what else was rehearsed, and if it was an actual studio session or a regular Dead rehearsal that happened to be taped.

      Made a few corrections to this post.

  10. A couple new discoveries:

    - a short rehearsal at Bear's house in LA, February 1966: /Hi Heel Sneakers, Viola Lee Blues.
    - a studio rehearsal, thought to be from 9/12/68 Pacific Recording: Clementine (extensive takes) with TC(?) on organ, a guest guitarist & Phil on vocals, and then a wild jam. One of the most interesting and revelatory studio tapes by far.

  11. Some more early-'66 rehearsals have surfaced, listed in the "1966 Songs" post:

    1/66 - the full Viola Lee Blues tape ends with a Cardboard Cowboy rehearsal
    1/66 - "Wandering Man," a lost Phil song
    3/9/66 - an unknown Pigpen R&B original; Who Do You Love; weird modal jam.
    3/10/66 - Sittin' on Top of the World (several takes)

    And a couple 1969 rehearsals have also appeared, which should be noted here:

    1/23/69 Avalon
    - the Eleven, Doin' That Rag (and an instrumental Rag jam), Cosmic Charlie, Dupree's Diamond Blues, Born Cross-Eyed (the only 1969 version!), and an Other One>Cryptical that goes over 20 minutes before cutting off.
    Not as intense as a live show, but some nice jams in this one, and the first known performances of some of the Aoxomoxoa songs. I imagine preparing for the 16-track recording for Live/Dead at the Avalon prompted this long soundcheck/practice. (The band, as always, complain to Bear about not being able to hear their monitors.) Phil teases Dark Star at the end of the Eleven, but sadly they don't play it. They don't fully remember Born Cross-Eyed, but it's still a treat to hear a '69 performance. A couple selections were released on Download Series 12.

    9/17/69 Alembic studio/rehearsal space
    - a dull blues instrumental (most likely a cover of something), multiple takes of Seasons of My Heart and Sawmill with pedal steel (these were released on youtube last year), a few takes of Cold Rain & Snow (they're still working out the slow version), Dire Wolf, 20 minutes of the Eleven (they try out a new part, without much success), and almost a half hour of jams on the Merry-Go-Round, the Merry Melodies theme, and other carnival & cartoon tunes (sometimes all at once, a la Ives), with pedal steel & organ. The Dead crack up talking about playing these on stage...

  12. An alternate soundtrack for Robert Nelson's 1967 Grateful Dead film has surfaced:

    This was probably recorded around May 1967 in the Dead's rehearsal space at the Heliport in Sausalito, where Nelson did some filming. It's 7 minutes long, and sounds like three loose jams edited together (the middle one's a Tastebud-like blues, the others more random noodling). Pigpen's very prominent on organ, and it actually sounds more like '66 Dead than mid-'67. This may have been the original soundtrack for the film, which Nelson later replaced with album cuts.

    Back in 2013 some Dead studio tapes were offered on ebay (starting price $3500) which Nelson may have drawn the jams from:

    "Original 1967 Grateful Dead Master Tapes used in 2 movies.
    Grateful Dead fans might be aware of a short experimental film that was made back in 1967 called "The Grateful Dead" by (my father) Robert Nelson. In addition a 1967 a movie he made called "Super Spread" also used materiel from these original recordings in its sound track.
    These 3 tapes were recorded in 1967 at a G.D. home recording/rehearsal studio in San Francisco. Tapes were all recorded on 7" reels so they could later be played and transferred using a Nagra recorder. These are the original masters used in "Super Spread" (sound track) + some cuts used in the 1967 "The Grateful Dead" movie."

    "Super Spread" is currently unavailable, but some more info on Nelson's films is here:

  13. I think you are right that this is the original soundtrack. This version of the film is available on the video compilation "Haight Street Chronicles Vol 2" where it follows the "Anthem Of The Sun" third version.

  14. The 2019 edition of 30 Days of Dead contains a studio jam identified as being from the early Aoxomoxoa sessions and dated as "9/1/68" (though that might just mean sometime in September). It has a similar vibe to the August '68 jams previously released as Aoxomoxoa bonus tracks. The playing is quite evocative, with unusually prominent organ and repeated touches towards the end by Lesh that are reminiscent of The Eleven, though how all of this freeform instrumental jamming was supposed to add up to a new studio album is a bit mysterious: https://www.dead.net/30daysofdead/nov-29-2019

    1. Yes, that was a fascinating little jam. I also get a strong Hartbeats-type vibe from it. Sounds like Lesh wants to move into the Eleven but it doesn't take. I'm going to guess that's Constanten on organ since it doesn't seem like Pigpen's usual style. (Sounds like Pigpen to me on the 8/13/68 jams.)

      Maybe this was a jam in between regular takes of some track like the Eleven. Then again, maybe they did just kill a couple months in the studio with nothing but freeform jams! It might even be this was an early attempt at the Blues for Allah routine, creating an album from scratch through jamming instead of pre-composed songs. (Many of their '67 songs had come about by working on loose jam ideas, so this wasn't such a nutty idea for the Dead.) If this was the program, it bit the dust once the Hunter/Garcia songs started flowing in.

    2. Yeah, the fact that this particular jam is based around a single chord makes me doubt that it's a step toward composition a la Blues for Allah—it doesn't sound like anything that is only waiting for a set of Hunter lyrics to turn into a conventional song. But I like the idea that it might have been a way to blow off steam between studio takes of something else, and who knows what the Dead were thinking anyway. I have to imagine that after Anthem of the Sun there must have been a feeling of "well, where do we go from here?"

    3. Where indeed? As far as we know, when they started working on Aoxomoxoa in summer '68, they just had a few songs - St Stephen, the Eleven, China Cat, Clementine & What's Become of the Baby - of which two wouldn't make the final album. All that's been shared from the Vault from the summer '68 sessions has been jams, leaving the impression that there wasn't much progress recording actual "songs" for months! It would be nice to hear what the earliest actual song takes sounded like, assuming they survive...