July 21, 2014

4/21/72 Beat Club

During a week-long break between shows in their Europe ’72 tour, the Grateful Dead made a stop at a TV studio in Bremen to tape a performance for the German TV show Beat Club.
For background on the Beat Club appearance, there’s no better place to turn than Blair Jackson’s CD liner notes:

At their last show, April 17 at the Tivoli in Copenhagen, part of the show had been filmed for broadcast by Danish TV and a dozen songs were eventually shown on the air. The Beat Club appearance would be different, since there was no live audience and time was limited – they would only get a small slot on the show. But instead of playing just a couple songs suitable for airtime, the Dead were raring to play and went through a 90-minute set representative of their range, apparently leaving it up to the producers to decide what would get aired. As it turned out, only one song (One More Saturday Night) was shown on the May 27 broadcast of Beat Club. The rest of the performance would remain unseen for decades, and the whole set wasn’t heard until its release in the Europe ’72 “Complete Recordings” box set.

Last week the full show was shown in theaters, a revelatory experience rivaling the Copenhagen and Veneta shows as the best filmed representation of ’72 Dead. The TV cameras captured the band up-close, so you feel like you’re onstage with them – unlike the Tivoli broadcast, you can watch a long spacy jam unfold, focusing entirely on the band playing without all the audience shots & animations of the “Sunshine Daydream” film. As one of the few lengthy, good-quality films of the Dead in the early ‘70s, the Beat Club show is a joy to watch.

Sadly, David Lemieux says there are no plans to release it on DVD: "Because we don't own it, it's owned by German TV, it's a big amount of work. I'm not saying it's insurmountable, because hopefully some day we will [release it], but certainly not for the next long while, really no plans for at least years to do this as a home video, if ever. So really…this is the one shot for people, it's a one-night only screening."

This being the case, I thought I’d write about the film and how it compares to the CD release. Oddly, both the film and the CD are incomplete, missing different parts of the show; and neither of them include the soundcheck that has long circulated.

The soundcheck recording runs 25 minutes, then the show went for almost 90 minutes before stopping; so evidently the Dead had about two hours to play in the studio after setting up.
The older tape of this show in circulation only included the soundcheck, the first two songs, and the Truckin’>Other One – you can see on deadlists (which hasn’t been updated) that the middle of the show remained a mystery until its official release. 
The soundcheck, since it has not been released, is still available on the Archive:

It’s understandable that the soundcheck (if it was even captured on multitrack) was left out, since it’s not very engaging, and the two songs played (Loser & Black-Throated Wind) are not notable -- a lot of it is just “dead air” and setting sound levels.
At the start, a tepid Loser is stopped by feedback, and the band asks, “What the fuck’s going on? Why is that happening? Somebody’s fucking up!”
After some adjustment, they continue with an uneventful Black-Throated Wind. The next 10-11 minutes are spent checking the sound, with some off-mike chatter and little song teases. Phil jokes around on the mike now & then: “It sounds like crunchy granola!”
Some dialogue from the last few minutes –
Weir: “Now that there’s all these people around here, you can crank up the monitors a little bit. Healy, turn them up a little bit, see if we can get by without a ring, ‘cause there’s a lot of people standing around.”
Lesh: “Sure ain’t ringing too much.”
Weir: “It sure ain’t ringing. We can get a little more louder.”
Lesh: “Protect yourselves, gentlemen!”
Weir: “OK, turn it down just a hair. OK, that’s much better than it’s been, leave it.”
Lesh: “You might even run my microphone down a little since I’m well-known for shouting.”
Weir: “This fellow over here hollers…”
Lesh hoots into his mike: “That’s 220 cycles a second – closer to 200. Take out two more.”
Garcia: “Don’t take too many out, man, that’s my range. Don’t try and make it perfect, man, don’t try and cut all the ringing out of it, just turn it down a little bit overall.”
Weir: “Actually, it’s OK, let’s just play…”
Garcia: “Wait a minute, we gotta fix the organ. Will you turn on my microphone?”
Lesh: “If anybody back there ever feels like boogieing, now is the time… Keith’s gonna bring the piano, and it’s a really nice piano…”
Weir: “Turn up the monitors a little, they’re not ringing at all.”

The cameras weren’t rolling during most of the soundcheck – only the last 4:30 before Bertha was videotaped, of which two minutes were included in the film. The film starts with Phil checking his microphone.
Finally they’re all ready – Garcia says “OK, we’re rolling,” and Weir excitedly announces, “Ladies and gentlemen, the Grrrrateful Dead!” And they launch into Bertha. 

                                                           (OK, the picture's actually from Playin' in the Band...)

The cameras stayed in close to the band through the show, capturing the playing very well. The camerawork was a bit flighty sometimes as it switched randomly between bandmembers during songs, but the editing settles down in the jams. There are lots of extreme closeups in the film, which can be disconcerting as someone’s face fills the screen. Occasionally there’s a shot from above (a ceiling view of the drums or piano). Due to the video source, the picture's a little blurry & wobbly (probably more noticeable on the big screen). I think the film uses the same audio mix as the CD (which has Keith low in the mix).

The band played in front of a blue screen, and 'psychedelic' background visuals were added later. In the new film, it is tie-dye patterns floating around (echoing the tie-dye amp covers) - however, the original broadcast used the trippy Anthem & Aoxomoxoa album covers as the background:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu2Z4IhLdIE (Saturday Night, from broadcast)
Beat It On Down the Line was shown years later on German TV – in this case, no visuals were added and they changed the blue to a black background:
In contrast, here’s the Saturday Night from the Tivoli, showing the Dead in a live setting a few days earlier – talking to the audience, and Rosie McGee dancing behind Garcia:  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spXC01l5FAQ (4/17/72)

The band was in a good mood despite the studio setting, clowning around. There's some nice horseplay in between takes – at one point, Garcia & Pigpen throw a towel back & forth at each other. The false starts were also funny – Garcia makes fun of Weir after he forgets the words in Truckin'. Phil gets some goofy close-ups as well - there were lots of laughs in the theater showing.
When he’s playing, Garcia looks serious & focused throughout – he seems to be intent on getting it right for the TV show. (He’s the one who calls for a second take of Playin’.)
It’s striking how happy Donna looks to be onstage with them – she seems positively giddy with excitement. (This was only her second month singing live with the band.) Even dour Keith cracks a smile at one point; and there are quite a few shots of him, compared to the Veneta film where he all but disappeared. Pigpen remains pretty subdued through the show, staying behind his keyboard. (He has a plastic alligator on top of his organ.)

There’s no Rosie McGee dancing with them onstage here, though, as she did in other Europe ’72 shows. In fact, the Dead’s touring family is nowhere to be seen – the film just shows the mostly empty TV studio, with only a few TV cameramen & a roadie appearing.
Nonetheless, there was a small audience of the Dead family there – you can hear some faint cheers after the songs. Phil invites them to boogie at the start, and evidently they did dance off-camera during the show. For instance, it’s written in the Europe ’72 CD booklet, "Robert Hunter noticed that the room felt stiff and cold. 'I realized what they needed was people dancing, but there was only me,' he says, 'so I piled onto the studio floor and danced my proverbial ass off. The music picked right up.'" (He was not alone, though.)

I presume the Dead picked the songs they thought would be best for showing on TV – the set is Weir-heavy, with Garcia only singing two songs. They take advantage of the studio setting to stop for mistakes and start songs over – this happens three times. As usual for the tour, the playing is very tight and they clearly enjoy nailing these songs. (I get a sense of pride from them – Phil looks exuberant sometimes.) It looks like they had no trouble warming up even in the bare TV-studio environment. For the second song, they’re already diving into a jam in Playin’ in the Band.

After Bertha, we start noticing that most of the downtime between songs has been left off the CD – a couple minutes before Playin’ starts were edited out. Weir calls, "Donna, you want to sing on this one;” then there’s a couple minutes of noodling as she comes up; Garcia teases the Playin’ intro and plays a little melody for a while. Phil adjusts the knobs on his bass and tells the camera crew, "I don't sing on this one; that lovely lady does."
Playin’ is fun to watch – Garcia steps on his Colorsound wah pedal in the jam and goes for a piercing climax. Donna steps off to the side when the jam starts, hanging out by Pigpen and watching the band – when they hit the reprise riff, she thrusts her arm in the air. Pigpen doesn’t play the organ in Playin’, but scrapes a guiro throughout.

Pigpen gets one song, Mr. Charlie, which is as crisp as always; Kreutzmann's pleased at the end.
Sugaree is halted when Pigpen gets a chord wrong and Garcia says, “Hold it, somebody played the wrong changes in there... One more time!” He’s proud of the song and it’s well-done (though the guitar breaks are still far too brief at this point).
Weir introduces Saturday Night to the cameras: “It’s a rock & roll song. You’ll recognize it by the beat.” It’s an exciting performance, with very active camera editing, and was picked for the broadcast. (This song, in contrast, did not really improve in later years.)
Afterwards, Garcia calls out, "Donna! Where's Donna? We're gonna do Playin’ in the Band again. Maybe we'll get it decent." (This was left off the CD.) Before starting Playin’ again, Weir mysteriously says, “This is the 600,000-watt clear-channel voice of treason;” then sings the first line as “Some folks trust in treason.” But soon afterwards, the song is stopped by feedback: “Let’s do it again, one more time.” Garcia shows Donna where to stand in front of the mike so she won’t get feedback. The second Playin’ is a bit sharper than the first, featuring great keening guitarwork (though neither of them would be broadcast anyway!).
Afterwards, Garcia plays a snatch of the Teddy Bear’s Picnic (which isn’t on the CD). Beat It On Down the Line may not have been planned; checking their time, Weir says, “Let’s do one short one; and here we go,” and they quickly rock through it. Phil looks tickled by the performance.
Before Truckin’, Phil warns the camera crew, “Time to change tapes, folks. We’re gonna do a long one now.” Garcia, Pigpen & Kreutzmann toss a towel around in a bit of slapstick, and there's a minute of anticipatory Truckin' noodling. But Weir forgets the first verse of Truckin’ and the band plays a comic collapse, Garcia wagging his finger at Weir.

The Dead seem to have kept TV time limits in mind (or at least hoped that a longer jam might be aired), since the Truckin’ jam is somewhat abbreviated and the drum solo is kept short before they dive into the Other One. (During Bill’s solo, Garcia & Weir stand back by their amps and watch him.)
The Other One is relatively short & straightforward for the tour, staying mostly on theme without delving into a long, deep space. After 9 minutes they venture into spooky wah sounds, but before long are pulled back into the Other One orbit. The camera stays concentrated on Garcia’s guitar through much of the Other One jam, as he plays a steady stream of notes – it’s remarkable to watch the torrents of sound forming before your eyes, as the performance keeps building in intensity. The players are all intently focused, facing in different directions – there doesn’t seem to be much if any visual signaling, though Garcia does keep an eye on Phil sometimes. Pigpen also looks involved in his playing during the jam.
After the Other One, the guitarists all face their amps to go into the brief feedback segue at the end. Weir breaks a string at the end of the Other One and changes it during the post-song jam, kneeling in front of his amp, so he mostly drops out and doesn't play much for a couple minutes. This may explain why that little final jam took shape the way it did, sort of drifting without locking onto a theme – maybe they would've gone into Sugar Magnolia or Wharf Rat otherwise. On the other hand, they may not have had time left to go into anything.

The film abruptly cuts about 19 minutes into the Other One, so it’s missing the last couple minutes of the jam. Blair Jackson notes that "surely they were past their allotted taping time" by the time the Other One ends, so it's likely the camera crews just switched off in the final jam, ready to quit. The band probably noticed (or were signaled to stop), so they soon wrap it up with a final overemphatic flourish and laughter.  
(In the theatrical showing, the film just stopped dead in the middle of the improv and cut to the credits, which was a huge disappointment – ideally at least the audio could have run to the end.)

The film makes it clear that the CD was heavily edited to fit within 80 minutes, missing not only the soundcheck but also quite a bit of between-song noodling, song-teasing & chatter by Garcia & the others.
On the CD we miss, for instance, Garcia playing little melodies between songs, or calling for another take of Playin'. And the lead-in to Truckin’ had quite a bit more anticipatory noodling in the film.
However, the CD also has some bits between songs that weren't in the film. For instance, the film cuts directly from Playin' to Mr. Charlie, and then straight from Mr. Charlie to Sugaree, so the CD's more intact between those songs.

The Historic Films music-footage archive has reels of the Beat Club video in its collection, helpfully timed and described on its site:
http://www.historicfilms.com/search/?type=music&q=grateful+dead&artist=grateful+dead&music=1#p1&year=1972 (item #’s BC-119 & BC-120, with footage from different cameras)

Comparing the actual video times to the CD runtimes, it’s evident how much was cut from the CD. Here are the times on the video versus the CD:

[soundcheck – video 4:33]
Bertha – video 8:05 / CD 6:06 -- (missing 2 minutes)
Playin’ – video 10:02 / CD 9:58
Charlie – video 4:33 / CD 4:05 – (missing 20 seconds)
Sugaree – video 9:10 / CD 7:53 – (missing 1:17)
Sat Night – video 6:55 / CD 4:51 – (missing 2 minutes)
Playin’ – video 12:47 / CD 10:56 – (missing 1:50)
BIODTL – video 4:14 / CD 3:03 – (missing 1:10)
Truckin’ – video 10:47 / CD 10:49 – [time includes drum solo]
Other One – video 19:48 / CD 21:47 – (video cut)

In total, not including the soundcheck, about 8:40 has been cut from the CD. All of this was just from the breaks after the songs, no actual songs are shortened; but still, a lot of in-between playing and banter was left off the “Complete Recordings” release.

Not all of this was included in the film, which of course had its own different edits. These are the approximate timings in the film:

[soundcheck – video 4:33 / film 1:46]
Bertha – video 8:05 / film 7:12
Playin’ – video 10:02 / film 9:37
Charlie – video 4:33 / film 3:51  
Sugaree – video 9:10 / film 7:56  
Sat Night – video 6:55 / film 5:14  
Playin’ – video 12:47 / film 11:09  
BIODTL – video 4:14 / film 4:11  
Truckin’ – video 10:47 / film 10:47 – [time includes drum solo]
Other One – video 19:48 / film 19:27 --[cut]
The original video was 91 minutes long, and the film about 81 minutes. Leaving aside almost 3 minutes of unused soundcheck footage, there's about 6:20 cut out of the show - presumably mostly just the Dead standing around between songs. In any case, this makes the show we have faster-paced than the show that was played!

The descriptions of the video reels on the Historic Films site can be interesting reading – for instance:
“Pigpen sits behind his Hammond organ during sound check… Organ is draped with Grateful Dead flag. Closeup – Pigpen tests his organ.”
“Wide shot of band on stage…between songs, chat and prepare to play next tune.”
“Grateful Dead waiting around to perform another song. Jerry Garcia plays ‘The Teddy Bear’s Picnic’ on his guitar.”
The Other One: “starts with drum solo and into intense space jam. The original jam band cuts loose. Mainly closeups of Garcia playing. Closeup of Jerry Garcia’s fingers as he plays ‘The Other One.’ Closeup of Pigpen as he plays during the jam.”

It’s obvious there were alternate camera shots on video that are not in the film – particularly during Truckin’. I don’t recall any of this in the film, though it would have been nice to see:
“Wide shot of Grateful Dead friends and family at studio watching the band play. Hippies, groupies, crew and friends hanging out while the band tunes up… Grateful Dead play Truckin’ but camera is on their friends and followers and groupies who are dancing and partying backstage. Performance breaks down with band playfully departing from the song. Closeup of crewmember or friend hanging out and dancing to them playing Truckin’. Extended footage of friends and extended family backstage.”

By the way, there's a photo of Garcia wearing a tie-dye t-shirt (possibly during the soundcheck), but in the film he keeps his leather jacket on...

Thankfully, the film is now available on youtube:


  1. Nice critique. I was fortunate enough to view the screening last week in a nearly packed movie house. I noticed that the audience seemingly enjoyed the presence of Donna in the fold. This only adds strength to the case that her presence translated better when seen live (or in this case on film), than simply hearing her in the audio format. Another highlight was the movie audience snickering at the amusing facial expression and body gyration Phil made following the concluding note of BIODTL. Priceless! He seemed to be enjoying himself immensely, and in turn, we were too.

    The audience at the screening was a nice mix of older hippie couples and younger college age kids. An unruly crowd, many clapped and jeered at certain points, while others quietly sampled the various refreshments they brought with them (mostly of things not purchased at the theater). A lady in my row offered me one of her “kind brownies” that she had thoughtfully brought along in her backpack. Really? I wasn’t expecting this. The vibe was a taste of the few ol’ Grateful Dead shows I was able to see, and I was pleasantly surprised.

    Although the show itself is considered by some to be the weakest of the Euro ’72 tour, it’s still nothing short of very good. The second take of Playin’ and the final take of Truckin’ really pack a punch. Even Billy’s brief drum solo segment can hold one’s attention here. However, this film is not without flaws (the cheesy backdrop notwithstanding). It seems the film crew were not completely familiar with the Dead’s repertoire as some shots of a band member(s) did not always represent who should have been featured at that particular moment in the music. A picky quibble I know, but the most obvious (and annoying) example for me was Phil’s signature opening Other One eruption that failed to have him in the frame at all. It was focused solely on Bobby and Jerry. Moreover, the next several seconds failed to spotlight Phil, who was clearly the one milkin’ the cow here. Oh well. Beggars can’t be choosers I suppose, and I must give kudos to the crew for capturing the all too rare smile flashed by Keith. Also, the zoomed shots of Jerry’s hands really showcased for the viewer the nimble dancing taking place on Jerry’s fret board. What a delight! All told, the screening of the film was more than worth the price of admission, and I have pity and compassion for those who missed it.

  2. Yes, Donna's presence was welcome; she came off well. I was reminded that on audience tapes from the early '70s, audiences always happily cheer her shrieks in the Playin' reprise, though tape-listeners of later years frequently complain about those. It points out one key difference between the experience & the tape.

    I was also surprised by how enthusiastic Phil was about a little number like BIODTL. In general, he seemed thrilled to be playing on TV.
    Though this show's the runt of the tour, the band's still in high spirits & playing well - the Other One is still quite good. If they were this excited about playing in a TV studio - playing almost for themselves, til their time was up & the cameras turned off - you can imagine how they felt in the grand theaters they'd encounter in the weeks to come.

    The camera shots were rather random, not always connected to the playing. Since there were multiple cameras, I don't know how many alternate shots the editors had to work with..

  3. People are quick to point out audience members cheering for Donna on her vocal outbursts during the early '70's versions of PITB and to a lesser extent Scarlet Begonias.It would go without saying that amongst that same audience there were hundreds if not thousands just baffled by how awful and unprofessional those vocals were who suffered in silence.

    I also don't see it shedding any light on the live verse tape experience as crowds have been proven to cheer most anything the band did on stage from embarrassingly bad to sublime.

    1. Good point - Dead fans were not famed for being very discriminating at shows. Nor should it be said that the Dead encouraged Donna's wails just to please the audience. (The Dead were listening to all the tapes at the time as well, so evidently they weren't too distressed by how Donna sounded - in fact in '72 they added her shouts to song after song.)

      Nonetheless, we can say that at least part of the audience enjoyed her outbursts - and the responses we can hear on tape have more historical proof, in a way, than those who "suffered in silence." There were no doubt many who also yawned or suffered in silence through the 30-minute Dark Stars!

      And, I have to say that in an AUD tape where people are clapping the beat & cheering wildly during the reentry into the Playin' reprise (drowning out Donna somewhat), it gives a very different perspective of the musical effect than in an SBD tape where the instrument levels are less dynamic, the audience is inaudible & Donna's loud shrieks come out of nowhere.

  4. Great post (as always)! Bobby's broken string was the topic of some discussion after the film. To our eyes, the string was broken during "Truckin" and dangled for the whole of "TOO" until the fix occurred during the feedback portion. We thought that was an interesting time for the fix, as it could have been swapped much earlier during "Drums." Some thought that indicated that the band (or, at least, Bobby) expected to continue playing after "TOO."

    1. Unbelievably, the film is now on youtube thanks to the untiring Voodoonola:

      So it looks like I may be able to see it again & revise this post a bit!

      I agree, the band must've thought they could keep going after the Other One. It's hard to believe that Weir wouldn't change his string during the drum break if it was already broken!

  5. Check out 53:36 and briefly thereafter for a good shot of Bobby's broken string during Truckin'.

    1. Voodoonola's film was taken at a theatrical screening - excellent quality under the circumstances. It was nice to hear the audience laughter again. I wish V. had used the theater sound throughout, instead of dubbing in the CD mix during the songs - that echoey sound, along with the applause, would have accurately reproduced the "live" experience. But I was glad to see that V. sensibly continued the audio to the end of the performance, substituting a tie-dye pattern after the film cut off.

      Having checked out the film again closely, I have to disagree about Weir's string breaking before the end of the Other One.
      For one thing, he had the uncut end of a string dangling from his guitar head since the very start of the show. Also, watching & listening to his playing through the Truckin'>Other One, it's not evident that any string is missing. Also, checking points in the video where the light shines on his guitar well enough to show the strings (for instance at 1:06:45, 1:09:18, and 1:15:52), it certainly looks like all 6 strings are still there through the Other One.

    2. Yeah. Upon re-reviewing, you're totally right. What I saw as a broken string was just the uncut end. And it's there from the beginning.

  6. I saw the movie last week and really enjoyed it. Completely packed house in Portland, with plenty of cheering and clapping. I was a bit worried about one guy in the audience who seemed to be gettin' off a little too hard at the begining but he managed to keep it together (he stood up a couple times and sort of conducted the band for a few seconds, then sat back down again). Another guy brought a toddler who danced in the aisles every few minutes (not sure if that was a great idea but it was far enough away that it wasn't distracting). The only really bad behavior I was was a person on the other side of the theatre who held up their smartphone and took pictures of the screen every ten minutes or so. I might have let that happen once or twice if I was sitting behind the person after which I probable would have "accidentally" spilt my beer on them (yes, they serve beer at the movie theatres in Portland and yes I would have warned the person in question to keep their phone out of my face).

    As for the movie, I was pretty sure I would like it and, in fact, I loved it. My only criticism would be that there is a tad too many extreme close-ups of Bobby and Jerry. Jerry, in particular, is just so incredibly hairy there really isn't that much to see in close-up. I'd rather see more medium shots where all three of the string players are visible in the same frame, or where Phil, Keith and Billy are in the same frame. All this is just quibbling of course because overall the footage is stunning.

    I'm a huge fan of tasteful psychedelic video editing from that era and I really like what they did with the blue (green?) screen. It seems they had a camera or two focused at all times on one or two of the tie dyes covering the amps and they used those patterns for the background. Occasionally the band looked like they were playing on top of some mountain, up in the clouds. Good stuff. I'm guessing a lot of the video editing was done in real time, on the fly. A lost art, perhaps ...

    With regard to some of the specific sounds and images, I really enjoyed the footage of Billy the most. I think he was wilting a bit in the Veneta footage but he's on fire here. Towards the end of the second version of Playin' he gets into an amazing groove with the cymbals ... really an incredible transition out of that song. The problem the band had with the first version, I think, is that somehow by the end they had gotten out of tune pretty badly and the reprise portion of the song ends with a pretty uninspired micro-jam without any Jerry solo whatsoever (a standout feature of some of the great versions they'd play in 1974).

    The footage of Donna is also excellent. She seems to be having a great time. I was once a great skeptic but I've subsequently become a huge fan of her contributions. It's rock and roll, folks. People scream and make weird noises sometimes because they are excited or because they want to get you excited. Take Bob Weir, for example ...

    I am also fairly sure that during the "finale" to one of the shorter songs, I saw a very happy Billy shout "No bullshit!" (he wasn't mic'd so you couldn't hear him). Was I imagining that?

    The version of Sugaree played here (after the restart due to Pigpen hitting the wrong note) is, I think, right up there with any of the pre-break versions that you'll ever hear (I felt this way after first hearing the audio -- the video only makes it better). One for the ages. The audience in Portland was electrified.

    1. The only "bummer" about seeing this footage is that there isn't much pre-75 unseen footage out there that I'm aware of with the potential to top it. The odds that footage of the Tivoli Dark Star exists seems close to zero. There might be more of the "surveillance camera" footage of Paris 1974, I suppose but .... what else? The amazing Playin->NFA>OtherOne>WharfRat>Playin from 10-20-74 (where Mickey shows up and you can hear what sounds like balloons being filled with nitrous on stage) seems to have been taken place with the cameras intentionally (?) turned off (there is a screen on the DVD that shows the notebook pages documenting what cameras were used for what songs and for that set the page shows goose eggs). Am I missing something known to exist but not yet seen? Or are we just left now with "surprise" discoveries?

    2. Well, I have a post on the available pre-'75 Dead films. There are some things in the vaults that we haven't seen (like some Hollywood Festival '70 footage, more of the October '74 performances, or the complete Woodstock Dark Star), but I'd be surprised if there's any unknown professionally-shot footage still in hiding.

      Donna was having a blast, and I liked her presence here. Bill was also in a good mood - it's at the end of Mr. Charlie where he shouts something off-mike.
      Playin' didn't have an extra Garcia solo at the end yet; I think in '72 the finales are pretty much the same length, as it was a while before the Dead started stretching that part out more.

    3. Re: the Garcia solos in the Playin' finale, it's true that the 72 versions are mostly relatively short ... but he almost always chucks out a couple measures of laser beams at least (like he does in the finale to the second version of Playin on this film). I don't detect any obvious flaws in that first version other than the fact that the band is really out of tune and I'm guessing Jer was thinking there was no way they would broadcast that version so they did a very perfunctory outro.

    4. The other theoretical possibilities are the KQED-TV broadcasts from 10-4-70 and 21-31-70 ...

      Are those tapes officially of "unknown whereabouts", or is there good evidence that the video was never recorded or was subsequently destroyed/taped over?

    5. If those videos still existed in the KQED vaults, I think they would have been found by now, so I assume they are gone for good. Actually I have no evidence that the shows were ever re-broadcast, so it's possible the footage was never kept in the first place.
      Michael Parrish wrote, "I got verification from David Lemieux at one point that neither the 10/4/70 nor the 12/31/70 video remains in either the GD or KQED vaults."

      And yet, there are tantalizing hints in interviews shortly afterward that videotapes did exist; at least, Jon McIntyre said, "There might be some tapes we can edit down. Warner Bros. wants to edit them down and make an hour program for the BBC."

  7. btw, thanks for the comparisons of what is missing where.

    :-) i am shocked, shocked, to find out that the 'complete europe 72' is not complete. :-)

    I-) ihor

  8. Thanks for the extra links. Great that there are multiple versions available! I for one find the theater sound more intense than the stereo mix...

  9. as of 7/30, the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTiTDvAWYvY has been taken off of Youtube (Thanks Warner Brothers).

  10. Update - ALL of V.'s GD videos have been taken down from his site.

    1. Some are gone from YT but they are still available.

    2. Yes, most of them are still on YT, so don't get too alarmed...

  11. LIA --

    Excellent article. Thanks.

    I liked the heck out of the movie. I was especially pleased by how the did good closeups of them playing much of the time rather than stuff like headshots.

    I hope they release it commercially sometime soon. I would buy it on DVD instantly.

    You mentioned something that interested me too:

    Before starting Playin’ again, Weir mysteriously says, “This is the 600,000-watt clear-channel voice of treason;” then sings the first line as “Some folks trust in treason.” But soon afterwards, the song is stopped by feedback: “Let’s do it again, one more time.”

    My initial thought about it was that it might be Weir spoofing Radio Free Europe. I don't know, but as a guess it seemed plausible that they might have used a sound bite like "voice of freedom" and that Weir was perhaps poking a bit of irreverent fun at that.

    Anyway, just curious if you or anyone has any more info/thoughts on it. Mine is pretty much conjecture, except that I know that Radio Free Europe was still kind of a big deal back then.

  12. Belatedly ran a search for Radio Free Europe and "voice of freedom." I got a pretty good number of hits which showed that the phrase was used to describe it. A couple of links below. I don' t know whether it was part of what they broadcast.



    1. Maybe; they were in West Germany after all. Weir made any number of obscure comments before songs -- who knows what went through his head sometimes?

    2. "I don't know how many of you know that today is Ho Chi Minh's birthday....It's true, I read it in my almanac."
      --Bob Weir(d), Fox Theater, 5/19/77

    3. Yes, at times it can be a tad challenging to figure out what Bob was thinking. He seemed to think about that yellow dog a lot . . . . I think he is usually pretty funny.

      And I'll tell you, after finding out The Other One had references to a "social disease" and hitting a cop with a water balloon, I'm not going to be assuming I completely understand his lyrics either. Knowing about those references raised my opinion on those lyrics from outstanding to absolutely frigging sublime.

  13. ^^ that 5/19 show is a real gem.

  14. Here are a couple more 4/21/72 clips that may be of interest: the excellent RollingStone.com clip of the "first take" version of "Playing in the Band" at http://www.rollingstone.com/music/videos/watch-grateful-dead-groove-on-playing-in-the-band-for-upcoming-movie-20140716 and a short clip of the band members throwing the towel around with the original blue screen in the background at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8eOXIvr3WM

  15. I enjoyed the linked Youtube video often for the incredible audio and video quality. Unfortunately it was recently taken down. Any leads on that source video?

    1. I don't have a lead on the complete source, though a couple partial selections are still up on youtube. The whole show with official audio might be uploaded again someday. Personally I like the videos with the theater-screening audio (there are a couple different copies) for the more "live" feel with some audience participation.

  16. For those of you who do not already know about it, Beat Club has made the entire 4/21/72 film available official via Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/user/myBeatclub/videos :-)

  17. Just curious...was anyone out there able to get a d/l of the Shakedown Stream broadcast of the Beat Club film? I got one, but it's irritatingly low-res. Hopefully they are able to put it back on YT at some point.

  18. FABULOUS looking raw copy of the video (no background visual effects, although some will of course like them) torrenting here...