June 13, 2020

Dark Star Graph


 Dark Star Graph (downloadable as an image)


DARK STAR TIMINGS

1/17/68intro /1:05 – verse 1 – jam 1:36 – verse 2 (4:49)
1/20/68intro 2:38 – verse 1// (3:08/)
1/26/68intro 1:33 – verse 1 – jam 1:52 – verse 2 (5:36)  
1/27/68intro 2:18 – verse 1 – jam 2:38 – verse 2 (7:06)
2/2/68intro 1:52 – verse 1 – jam 2:03 – verse 2 (6:33)
2/3/68intro 1:30 – verse 1 – jam 1:40 – verse 2 (5:22)
2/14/68intro 1:44 – verse 1 – jam 2:00 – verse 2 (5:53)
2/22/68intro /1:36 – verse 1 – jam 2:37 – verse 2 (6:25)
2/23/68intro 2:14 – verse 1 – jam 2:18 – verse 2 (6:49)   
3/16/68intro 1:49 – verse 1 – jam 3:15 – verse 2 (7:15)
3/29/68intro 2:14 – verse 1 –jam 2:48 – verse 2 (7:28)
3/30/68intro 2:48 – verse 1 – jam 3:50 – verse 2 (8:59)
6/xx/68intro 4:52 – verse 1 – jam 9:16 – verse 2 (16:06)
8/21/68intro 3:51 – verse 1 – jam 8:10 – verse 2 (14:30)
8/22/68intro 2:56 – verse 1 – jam 6:43 – verse 2 (12:07)
8/23/68intro 5:33 – verse 1 – jam 7:30 – verse 2 (15:28)
8/24/68intro 1:32 – verse 1 – jam 7:23 – verse 2 (11:20)  
8/28/68intro 2:02 – verse 1 – jam 6:25 – verse 2 (10:49)
9/2/68intro 5:00 – verse 1 – jam 6:50 – verse 2 (14:06)
10/12/68intro 4:15 – verse 1 – jam 8:30 – verse 2 (15:00)
10/13/68intro /2:38 – verse 1 – jam 8:53 – verse 2 (13:53)
10/20/68intro /3:00 – verse 1 – jam 5:05 – verse 2 (10:17) 
11/1/68intro 2:50 – verse 1 – jam 7:00 – verse 2 (12:17)
11/6/68intro /5:10 – verse 1 – jam 4:50 – verse 2 (12:20) (studio rehearsal)
11/22/68intro /2:39 – verse 1 – jam 7:15 – verse 2 (11:52)
12/7/68intro /3:20 – verse 1 – jam 7:40 – verse 2 (13:26)
12/29/68intro 3:00 – verse 1 – jam 5:03 – verse 2 (10:25)

1/17/69intro 4:35 – verse 1 – jam 6:03 – verse 2 (13:09)
1/24/69intro 7:12 – verse 1 – jam 9:21 – verse 2 (19:38)
1/25/69intro /3:39 – verse 1 – jam 8:10 – verse 2 (14:06)
1/26/69intro 4:05 – verse 1 – jam 3:10// - verse 2 (9:38)
2/2/69intro 4:37 – verse 1 – jam 8:35 – verse 2 (15:38)
2/4/69intro 3:39 – verse 1 – jam 7:14 – verse 2 (13:13)
2/5/69intro /2:10 – verse 1 – jam 7:04 – verse 2 (11:41)
2/6/69intro 4:33 – verse 1 – jam 7:06/ - verse 2 (14:02)  
2/7/69intro 4:30 – verse 1 – jam 7:10 – verse 2 (14:07)  
2/11/69intro 3:12 – verse 1 – jam 6:45 – verse 2 (12:29)  
2/12/69jam //3:24 – verse 2 (/4:59)
2/14/69intro /5:34 – verse 1 – jam 10:46 – verse 2 (19:03)
2/15/69intro 4:08 – verse 1 – jam 15:37 – verse 2 (22:19)  
2/21/69intro 7:27 – verse 1 – jam 10:33 – verse 2 (20:38)
2/22/69intro 6:54 – verse 1 – jam 12:55 – verse 2 (22:19)
2/27/69intro 4:46 – verse 1 – jam 14:28 – verse 2 (21:44)
2/28/69intro 3:57 – verse 1 – jam 13:25 – verse 2 (19:47)  
3/1/69intro 7:40 – verse 1 – jam 12:55 – verse 2 (23:01)
3/2/69intro 5:07 – verse 1 – jam 12:25 – verse 2 (20:03)  
3/15/69intro 6:17 – verse 1 – jam 11:35 – verse 2 (20:30)
3/22/69intro 2:21 – verse 1 – jam 10:00 – verse 2 (14:47)  
3/28/69intro 5:56 – verse 1 – jam 14:14 – verse 2 (22:46)
3/29/69intro 5:38 – verse 1 – jam 13:00 – verse 2 (21:01)
4/4/69intro 5:21 – verse 1 – jam 12:15 – verse 2 (20:03)  
4/5/69intro 3:55 – verse 1 – jam 11:04 – verse 2 (17:27)
4/11/69intro 4:29 – verse 1 – jam 12:55 – verse 2 (19:59)
4/12/69intro /2:35 – verse 1 – jam 16:28 – verse 2 (21:35)
4/13/69intro 7:50 – verse 1 – jam 13:40 – verse 2 (23:56)
4/15/69intro 6:55 – verse 1 – jam 11:00 – verse 2 (20:21)
4/17/69intro 7:20 – verse 1 – jam 11:40 – verse 2 (21:35)
4/20/69intro 6:28 – verse 1 – jam 12:13 – verse 2 (21:13)
4/21/69intro 5:20 – verse 1 – jam 14:50 – verse 2 (22:41) 
4/22/69intro 8:54 – verse 1 – jam 16:00/ - verse 2 (27:21)
4/23/69intro 6:39 – verse 1 – jam 11:47 – verse 2 (20:56)
4/27/69intro 9:00 – verse 1 – jam 14:05 – verse 2 (25:46)
5/7/69intro 5:48 – verse 1 – jam 15:30 [ - drums] (22:18)
5/10/69intro 5:05 – verse 1 – jam 13:10 – verse 2 (20:56)
5/23/69intro 6:49 – verse 1 – jam 9:38 – verse 2 (18:58)
5/30/69intro 4:30 – verse 1 – jam 11:35 (17:03)
5/31/69intro 7:26 – verse 1 – jam 13:56 – verse 2 (23:53)
6/5/69intro 6:55 – verse 1 – jam 11:10 – verse 2 (20:32)
6/7/69intro 5:03 – verse 1 – jam 13:25 – verse 2 (20:51)  
6/14/69intro 4:28 – verse 1 – jam 8:13 – verse 2 (15:11)
6/21/69intro 2:42 – verse 1 – jam 2:00/ - verse 2 (7:21)
6/22/69intro /7:20 – verse 1 – jam 3:03 (11:26)
6/27/69intro 7:33 – verse 1 – jam 15:55 – verse 2 (26:07)  
7/5/69intro 3:50 – verse 1 – jam 11:45 – verse 2 (18:19)
7/7/69intro 13:02 – verse 1 – jam 11:10 – verse 2 (26:50)
7/12/69jam //9:48 (/9:48)
8/3/69intro 12:37 – verse 1 – jam 8:05 – verse 2 (23:20)
8/16/69intro 8:20 – verse 1 – jam 9:45 (19:06)
8/21/69intro :17 – verse 1 – jam 3:48 – verse 2 (6:33)
8/23/69intro 11:45/ - [verse 1] – jam /13:30 – verse 2 (26:57)
8/30/69intro 7:05 – verse 1 – jam 18:55 – verse 2 (28:51)
9/1/69intro 4:51 – verse 1 – jam 10:06 – verse 2 (17:39)
9/26/69intro /3:34 – verse 1 – jam 10:37 – verse 2 (16:50)
10/25/69intro 6:57 – verse 1 – jam 12:28 – verse 2 (22:02)
11/2/69intro 9:18 – verse 1 – jam 18:12 – verse 2 (30:07)
11/7/69intro 5:48 – verse 1 – jam* 17/30 – verse 2 (26:00)  (*includes Uncle John’s jam)
11/8/69intro 5:22 – verse 1 – jam 7:34 OTHER ONE (12:00)jam* 5:05 – verse 2 (21:03)  (*includes Uncle John’s jam)
12/4/69intro 13:45 – verse 1 – jam 13:43 – verse 2 (30:14)
12/11/69intro 3:35 – verse 1 – jam 14:16 – verse 2 (20:32)
12/20/69intro 5:02 – verse 1 – jam 12:57 – verse 2 (20:38)
12/26/69intro 6:08 – verse 1 – jam 16:01 – verse 2/ (24:00)
12/30/69intro 7:02 – verse 1 – jam 11:20/ - [verse 2?] (19:23)

1/2/70intro 6:52 – verse 1 – jam 21:36 – verse 2 (31:30)
1/17/70intro 3:39 – verse 1 – jam 13:50 – verse 2 (20:00)
1/23/70intro 4:28 – verse 1 – jam 11:41 – verse 2 (18:43)
2/2/70intro 5:16 – verse 1 – jam 13:55 – verse 2 (21:52)
2/8/70intro 6:21 – verse 1 – jam 17:01 – verse 2 (26:11)
2/11/70intro 16:19 Spanish Jam 9:40 (25:59)
2/13/70intro 8:50 – verse 1 – jam 17:48 – verse 2 (29:24) 
2/14/70intro 4:34 – verse 1 – jam 16:17 – verse 2 (23:37)
3/23/70intro 4:42/ - [verse 1] – jam /9:00 (13:42) 
4/25/70intro 6:32 – verse 1 – jam 15:26 – verse 2 (24:39)
5/8/70intro /1:13 – verse 1 – jam 15:49 (18:05)
5/15/70intro 3:01 – verse 1 – jam 13:54 – verse 2 (19:37) 
5/24/70intro 5:16 – verse 1 – jam 13:35 – verse 2 (21:22)  
6/24/70intro 6:15 – verse 1 – jam 2:25ATTICS (6:35) jam 7:09 SUGAR MAGNOLIA (2:30)jam 1:29 – verse 2 (19:57)
9/17/70intro 4:08 – verse 1 – jam 19:40 – verse 2 (26:30)
9/19/70intro 6:35 – verse 1 – jam 16:05 – verse 2 (25:24)
10/11/70intro /4:08 – verse 1 – jam 13:48 – verse 2 (20:29)
10/17/70intro 3:12/ - verse 1 – jam 14:26/ - verse 2 (19:17)
11/5/70intro 4:34 – verse 1 – jam 13:55 – verse 2 (21:06)
11/8/70intro 6:42 – verse 1 – jam 8:45 Main Ten 8:42 (25:19)

2/18/71intro 3:26 – verse 1 – jam 2:38 WHARF RAT (7:20) jam 5:50 – verse 2 (14:21)
4/8/71intro 4:27 – verse 1 – jam 7/53 – verse 2 (14:35)
4/26/71intro 5:42 – verse 1 – jam 6:05 (12:52)
4/28/71intro 3:30 – verse 1 – jam 7:51 – verse 2 (14:00)
7/31/71intro 9:40 – verse 1 – jam 11:40 (22:35) 
10/21/71intro 6:35 – verse 1 – jam 7:13 SITTIN’ (3:20)jam :29 – verse 2 (17:09)
10/24/71intro 7:15 – verse 1 – jam 10:40 – verse 2 (20:49)
10/31/71intro 7:18 – verse 1 – jam 14:47 (23:14)
11/7/71intro 8:06 – verse 1 – jam 4:45 [ - drums] (14:00)
11/15/71intro 7:04 – verse 1 – jam 4:40 EL PASO (4:57) jam 7:49 (20:44)
12/5/71intro 8:01 UNCLE (2:49)jam 12:16 (20:17)
12/15/71intro 10:05 – verse 1 – jam 9:07 (20:23)

3/23/72intro 4:40 – verse 1 – jam 15:27 – verse 2 (22:44)
4/8/72intro 10:56 – verse 1 – jam 19:20 (31:30)
4/14/72intro 16:46 – verse 1 – jam 11:19 (29:13)
4/17/72intro 9:48 – verse 1 – jam 20:00 (30:55)
4/24/72intro 11:07 – verse 1 – jam 13:23 UNCLE (3:23) jam 14:53 (40:38)
4/29/72 – *intro 14:40 – verse 1 – jam 14:07 (29:54)  [*preceded by 35-second drum intro]
5/4/72intro 12:25 – verse 1 – jam 5:46 drums 2:31 jam 15:55 – verse 2 (39:25)
5/7/72intro 15:05 – verse 1 – jam 3:10 [ - drums] (19:30)
5/11/72intro 13:45 drums 3:40 jam 5:25 – verse 1 – jam 23:07 (47:11)
5/18/72intro 12:49 – verse 1 – jam 12:26 (26:29)
5/23/72 – (tuning jam 1:36) – intro 11:00 bass/drums 2:05 jam 4:36 – verse 1 – jam 10:59 (29:33)
5/25/72intro 16:46 – verse 1 – jam 16:27 (34:30)
7/18/72intro 16:00 – verse 1 – jam 10:00 (27:13]
7/26/72intro 9:46 – verse 1 – jam 18:16 – verse 2 (30:49)
8/21/72intro 9:46 – verse 1 – jam 16:21 (27:25) [+El Paso (4:39)>space 3:44]
8/24/72intro 11:04 – verse 1 – jam 14:48 (27:09)
8/27/72intro 11:39 – verse 1 – jam 18:36 (31:27)
9/10/72intro 19:00 – verse 1 – jam 12:07 drums 1:33 jam 1:28 (35:20)
9/16/72intro 10:59 – verse 1 – jam 14:47 (26:59)
9/21/72intro 12:01 – verse 1 – jam 24:08 (37:21)
9/24/72intro 10:22 – verse 1 – jam 16:17 drums 1:59 jam 4:14 (33:56)
9/27/72intro 24:38 – verse 1 – jam 4:55 (30:49)
10/18/72 – [drums – ] intro 11:34 – verse 1 – jam* 15:32 (28:21)  (*includes Philo Stomp)
10/23/72intro 12:59 – verse 1 – jam 14:07 (28:23)
10/26/72intro 15:38 – verse 1 – jam 4:36 (21:32)
10/28/72intro 11:29 – verse 1 – jam* 15:00 (27:43)  (*includes Philo Stomp)
11/13/72intro 13:18 – verse 1 – jam* 19:18 (33:50)  (*includes Philo Stomp)
11/19/72intro 11:44 – verse 1 – bass/drums 8:28 jam 4:16 WRS Prelude Jam 6/00 (31:40)
11/26/72intro 10:27 – verse 1 – space/bass solo 5:00jam 8:31 (25:11)
12/11/72intro 16:48 – verse 1 – jam 16:17 (34:27)
12/15/72jam 14:25 – verse 1 – jam 9:15 (25:00)

2/15/73intro 13:01 – verse 1 – bass solo/jam 5:02 (19:17)
2/22/73intro 7:18 – verse 1 – jam 4:56 (13:30)
2/26/73intro 17:12 – verse 1 – jam 6:37 (25:05)
3/16/73intro 13:53 – verse 1 – jam 12:02 (27:13)
3/21/73 – (WRS Prelude 1:06) – intro 9:34 – verse 1 – jam 10:55 (21:44)
3/24/73Jam 22:30 intro 2:09 – verse 1 – jam :33 (4:00 or 26:30)
3/28/73 – (WRS Prelude 2:16) – intro 19:14 – verse 1 – jam 11:39 (32:08)
6/10/73intro 7:31 bass/drums 2:30jam 4:30 - verse 1 – jam 11:03 (26:34)
6/24/73intro* 15:55 – verse 1 – jam 10:05 (27:13)  (*80-second drum solo before the verse)
6/30/73intro 9:02 – verse 1 – jam 5:53 (16:10)
8/1/73intro 13:13 – verse 1 – jam 10:22 (24:50)
9/11/73intro 16:26 – verse 1 – jam/bass solo 4:33 (22:16)
10/19/73intro 12:16 – verse 1 – jam* 12:45 (26:20)  (*includes Mind Left Body jam)
10/25/73intro* 12:45 – verse 1 – jam 9/02 (23:02)  (*includes Mind Left Body jam)
10/30/73intro* 15:40 – verse 1 – jam 10:10 (27:07)  (*includes Mind Left Body jam)
11/11/73intro 16:33 – verse 1 – jam* 17:47 (35:38)  (*ends with Mind Left Body jam)
11/30/73jam 9:37
12/6/73tuning 2:06 intro 23:27 – verse 1 – jam 17:17 (44:07)
12/18/73intro* 11:15 – verse 1 – jam 9:07 [ - drums] (21:44)  (*includes Mind Left Body jam)

2/24/74intro 19:00 – verse 1 – jam 9:07 (29:37) 
5/14/74intro 12:46 – verse 1 – jam 12:38 (26:39)
6/23/74intro/jam 17:54Spanish Jam 4:10 (22:04)
7/25/74intro/jam 24:00  (*ends with Slipknot jam at 21m)
9/10/74intro 22:32 – verse 1 – jam 7:34 (31:18)
10/18/74 – [Seastones – drums] – Jam 7:47 intro 7:48 – verse 1 – jam 15:12 (31:58 or 24:11)

12/31/78intro 6:55 – verse 1 – jam 3:20 OTHER ONE (5:00) theme 1:00 (12:21)
1/10/79intro 8:59 – verse 1 – jam 8:10 (18:24)
1/20/79intro 3:58 – verse 1 – jam 4:09 (9:23)
12/31/81intro 3:58 – verse 1 – jam 8:12 – verse 2 (14:54)
7/13/84intro 1:23 – verse 1 – jam 10:56 – verse 2 – end jam 1:30 (15:54)

10/9/89intro 1:04 – verse 1 – jam 8:32 – verse 2 – space 7:35 (19:23)
10/16/89intro 5:34 – verse 1 – jam 5:03 (11:37) - ### [47m] – jam 3:49 – verse 2 & outro (5:24) (total 17:01)
10/26/89 – (prelude 1:15) – intro 2:11 – verse 1 – jam 10:50 – verse 2 – space 12:45 (27:59)  
12/31/89intro 6:42 – verse 1 – space 7:24 (15:05)

3/29/90intro 5:53 – verse 1 – space 11:15 (18:19) - #D/S# [17:50] - intro 1:32 – verse 2 (2:47) (total 21:06)
7/12/90intro 7:23 – verse 1 – jam/space 9:50 – verse 2 – jam 5:40 (24:55) 
9/20/90intro 6:20 – verse 1 – jam 4:38 PLAYING (4:42) jam 2:33 – verse 2 – space 11:31 (27:14)  
10/20/90intro 3:12 – verse 1 – space 8:48 (13:06) - #D/S# [16:30] - intro 1:50 – verse 2 – jam 1:40 (4:38) (total 17:44)
11/1/90intro 3:33 – verse 1 – jam 5:28 (10:10) - #D/S# [17:00] - intro :20 – verse 2 – space 9:33 (11:00) (total 21:10)
12/12/90intro 5:52 – verse 1 – jam 6:55 (13:47)
12/14/90intro 4:38 – verse 2 – jam 3:28 (9:10)
12/31/90intro 1:29 – verse 1 – jam 6:48 – verse 2 – space 10:05 (20:36)

4/1/91intro 8:46 – verse 1 – jam/space 13:50 (23:34) - #D/S# [16:50] - intro 1:40 – verse 2 (2:45) (total 26:19) 
6/14/91intro 1:57 – verse 1 – jam/space 7:55 (10:58)
6/22/91jam 7:30 (7:30)  [*inst. verse @1:00]
8/16/91 – (noodling 1:28) – intro 2:20 – verse 1 – jam 5:23 (10:12)  
9/10/91intro 3:39 – verse 1 – jam 7:44* (12:24) - #D/S# [12:40] - intro :29 – verse 2 – space 10:41 (12:16) (total 24:40)  [*inst. verse at end of pt. 1]
9/24/91intro 4:30 – verse 1 – jam 9:05 (14:40)
9/26/91 – (tuning jam 2:10) – intro 8:45 – verse 1 – jam 5:37 (15:27) - ### [47m] - intro :35 – verse 2 – jam 4:29 (6:13) (total 21:40)
10/31/91intro 3:46 – verse 1 – jam (w/recital) 5:38 (10:32) - #D/S# [27:20] - intro 1:20 – verse 2 – outro :50 (3:14) (total 13:46)

3/9/92intro 2:40 – verse 1 – jam 7:21 (11:03)
3/20/92intro 1:21 – verse 1 – jam 6:26 – inst. verse – jam 4:09 (14:13)  
6/8/92intro 1:08 – verse 1 – jam 6:40 (8:46)
6/18/92jam 6:00 (6:00)  [*inst verse @ 2:26]
6/22/92intro 2:52 – verse 2 (4:01)
12/12/92noodling/intro 2:56 – verse 1 – jam 9:00 (12:57) - #D/S# [17:00] – jam 4:35* (total 17:32) [*>Miracle jam 4:30 at end of Space]
12/16/92intro 2:32 – verse 2 – jam 3:41 (7:18)

3/17/93intro 2:26 – verse 1 – jam 6:48 (10:15)
6/23/93intro 2:29 – verse 1 – jam 2:57 (6:25)
9/13/93intro 3:17 – verse 1 – jam 1:11 (5:33)
9/22/93intro 1:59 – verse 1 – jam 4:40 (7:44)
3/16/94intro 4:30 – verse 1 – jam 5:52 (11:14)
3/30/94intro 4:48 – verse 1 – jam 4:40 (10:29)

1968 HARTBEATS
10/8/68 – jam 12:00
10/10/68 – jam 13:09
10/30/68a – jam 17:30
10/30/68b – jam 19:10/ (cut)
8/28/69 – jam 47/33
(On 8/28/69, Deadlists shows a return to Dark Star after the Eleven jam, but I disagree – they never come back to the theme.)

EARLY TEASES
4/26/69 – 1:37 (after Mountains)
11/21/73 – 3:26 (after El Paso)
6/28/74 – 3:30 (after Mind Left Body jam)
7/18/76 – 2:30 (after Let It Grow)

1991 TEASES
6/17/91 – 1:30 tease before Masterpiece – 1:15 tease before Truckin’ (inst. verse) – 3:35 tease out of UJB jam (w/ inst. verse – part of longer jam, timing is somewhat arbitrary)
6/28/91 – 1:32 (inst. verse in Wharf Rat)
8/17/91 – 1:20 (inst. verse in Space)
9/6/91 – 3:25 (inst. verse>jam out of Space)
9/8/91 – 9:05 (loose jam out of Saint, DS theme only hinted)


*

The intent of this graph is to show the basic structure and evolution of Dark Star over time – basically, when and where are the verses played, and how long are the jams before and after the verse?

All Dark Stars were timed from scratch.
Timings are not exact – they may be off by at least several seconds.
Due to varying tape speeds, different copies of a Dark Star often have different timings (20 or 30 seconds apart isn’t unusual), but I tried to pick the best copy to time. The actual length of a Dark Star doesn’t always match its track time, which sometimes includes a stretch of tuning or dead air at the start.

/ indicates a cut.
## in the ‘90s shows indicates Drums/Space (and sometimes other songs) between the two parts of Dark Star.
This list was only made to show the timings for the graph, so the full song suites aren’t listed – my purpose here is only to look at Dark Star itself.  

The verses are just listed as ‘verse 1’ and ‘verse 2.’ I didn’t specifically time them, but they ranged from 50-75 seconds long (depending on the speed of the performance) – the average verse length was a minute. Dark Star almost always had a little 30-second outro played in 1968-71, which is included in ‘verse 2.’
I generally didn’t subdivide the jams, unless there was a notable bass or drum solo inside the Dark Star, or unless it ended with a distinct thematic jam that’s usually tracked separately. (A few major theme jams within Dark Star are noted, but not all – for a list of the Feelin’ Groovy and Soulful Strut jams in Dark Star, see this post.)

Note that some Dark Star dates have changed from the old familiar tape dates: "1/22 & 1/23/68" are actually 1/26 & 1/27/68; "3/24/70" is likely 3/23/70; and "4/24/70" is actually 4/25/70. "8/28/68" is also from some nearby date that week, but I left it since the actual date isn't known.

Not every Dark Star is on the main list. Some Dark Stars are structural outliers and I felt didn’t belong with the others: the Hartbeats jams of ’68, and the short instrumental teases over the years (especially in ’91). These range from the shortest Dark Star jams ever played (90 seconds), to the longest (a 47-minute Hartbeats behemoth). In any case, without the usual verse structure these would stick out on the graph, so I decided to list these separately at the end.

For a more complete Dark Star catalog and list of song transitions, see:


TIMING QUANDARIES

In the early years, drum solos inside Dark Star are included in the timing. But drum breaks at the end are considered separate and aren’t included (for example: 5/7/69, 11/7/71, 5/7/72, 12/18/73). In later years, Drums/Space is not included. It can be argued that Space at least should be counted as part of Dark Star; but I felt that the Dark Stars coming out of Space are distinct.

12/15/72 – I included the 14-minute post-Truckin’ jam as part of Dark Star, but the theme is not played until 25 seconds before the verse is sung, so Dark Star may be only 11 minutes long. To me the whole post-Truckin' jam feels like Dark Star, even though (as on 12/6/73) the theme isn't actually stated for a long time.
3/24/73 – The post-Truckin’ jam is listed, but the reader can decide whether this is part of Dark Star or not.
10/18/74 – It’s tricky to know where to start the pre-Dark Star jam, but the most obvious point is when the band comes in after the drum break, which seems to me to mark the end of Seastones. I timed Dark Star itself from when Garcia first plays the riff and the band clearly enters Dark Star mode. (This is inconsistent, I know.) If you include Seastones as part of the full Dark Star jam, then the entire length becomes a mammoth 61:30.

Over the years the Dead sometimes played little pre-Dark Star jams before the intro, often as part of tuning. I tried to list these but usually didn’t include them in the Dark Star timing. More on these in the next section:


SONGS GOING INTO DARK STAR

Mountains of the Moon>Dark Star – 2/11/69, 2/15/69, 2/22/69, 2/27/69, 4/5/69, 4/22/69, 6/7/69
This is perhaps the most mystical and appropriate opening to Dark Star the Dead ever came up with, but they didn’t develop it very far. This particular transition raised a categorical question – should the little jam played before Dark Star be considered a Mountains outro or a Dark Star prelude? (Of course, it’s both at once.) Out of custom, I didn’t include it in the Dark Star timings, but for the record these are the jam lengths, timed from the point Garcia starts playing electric:
2/11/69 - :22
2/15/69 - :16
2/22/69 - :30
2/27/69 – 1:02
(3/1/69 does not segue.)
4/5/69 - :40
4/22/69 – 1:00
6/7/69 – 0:00 (Garcia jumps right into Dark Star.)
If you want to time the prelude from the moment Garcia stops playing acoustic (about where it starts on the Live/Dead album), it usually takes only 10-20 seconds for him to switch guitars, so even the longest of these preludes is still under 90 seconds. The longest, ironically, is on 4/26/69 where Garcia plays for 1:24 before deciding to skip Dark Star.

On 5/23/72, a 90-second jam leads out of tuning and serves as a little prelude to Dark Star, kind of a flashback to the Mountains preludes. It’s very effective, but they didn’t follow up this idea until the next year.
A couple times in early ’73, the WRS Prelude was played as an intro to Dark Star: 3/21/73 (1:06)
3/28/73 (2:16)
Then in fall ’73, they made a habit of introducing Dark Star either with little bass intros or melodic tuning jams, more deliberate than the quick tuneups earlier in the year. This is consistently done before every non-segued Dark Star that fall, so it seems to be their way of ‘setting the stage’:
9/11/73 (tuning jam, a minute)
10/19/73 (a little tuning jam, about 45 seconds)
10/25/73 (just a few bass strums out of tuning)
10/30/73 (bass intro, a minute)
11/11/73 (tuning jam, a minute)
12/6/73 (2:05 tuning jam) (This one I included in the timing since Dark Star doesn’t start with the theme as usual, but flows out of tuning.)

A few late-period Dark Stars also start with significant short jams before the intro: 10/26/89, 8/16/91 and 9/26/91 (noted in the list of times). A couple other Dark Stars begin with a little unrelated noodling before the actual theme is played: 10/16/89 (40 seconds) and 12/12/92 (20 seconds).

These are the songs that went into Dark Star a number of times:

Cryptical>Dark Star: 3/30/68, 2/28/69, 4/15/69, 8/21/69, 1/23/70
Other One>Dark Star: 11/5/70, 1/20/79
Truckin’>Dark Star: 11/8/70, 7/18/72, 10/26/72, 12/15/72, 3/24/73
Let It Grow>Dark Star: 11/30/73, 12/18/73, 5/14/74

Playing>Dark Star: 10/9/89, 11/1/90, 3/17/93, 9/13/93, 3/30/94
Estimated>Dark Star: 3/29/90, 6/14/91, 9/10/91, 9/22/93 (Three of these shows are with sax players. 6/14/91 Estimated has repeated DS teases at the end.)
Drums/Space>Dark Star: 9/20/90, 12/14/90, 6/22/91, 9/6/91, 6/8/92, 6/18/92, 12/16/92, 6/23/93

These are all the other songs that only segued into Dark Star once or twice over the years:
1/20/68 Caution Jam
1/22/68 Spanish Jam
6/5/69 Sittin’ on Top of the World
5/25/72 Wharf Rat
10/18/72 Playing>drums (the only time Dark Star came directly out of Drums)
10/18/74 Seastones>drums
12/31/89 Victim
7/12/90 Foolish Heart
12/31/90 Eyes
(6/17/91 Uncle John’s Band) *tease only
(6/28/91 Wharf Rat) *tease only
(9/8/91 Saint) *tease only
10/31/91 Spoonful
3/9/92 Corrina
6/22/92 Victim

This list only includes the first part of Dark Star in the ‘90s – the second part almost always came out of Space (with a couple exceptions: it followed I Need a Miracle on 10/16/89, and the Other One on 9/26/91).  
Some songs didn’t make this list since there are hard stops of a few seconds before Dark Star starts (like Iko on 12/12/90, Ship of Fools on 9/24/91, or Man Smart on 3/20/92 & 12/12/92).
Dark Stars in the early years predominantly had cold starts, but in the ‘90s Dark Star usually segued from another song. From ’89-94, only eight Dark Stars (out of about 33 full versions) had non-segued starts.


NEW ‘90s ARRANGEMENTS

When Dark Star returned after the hiatus, it often served as a second-set container in which other songs or abstract pieces would be played. No songs had been played ‘inside’ Dark Star since 1972, but on 12/31/78 they ventured a (brief) Dark Star>Other One>Dark Star. ‘90s shows frequently had Dark Star split in two.
The most adventurous attempts were 10/16/89 and 9/26/91, which had entire song suites between the two parts of Dark Star, but this was rarely tried. 9/20/90 had an unusual post-drums Dark Star>Playing reprise>Dark Star, but otherwise Dark Star song sandwiches weren’t attempted in this era.
(There was one unique reverse sandwich – Playing>Dark Star>Playing on 11/1/90, the only time a full Dark Star was played inside another song. The Wharf Rat>Dark Star tease>Wharf Rat on 6/28/91 is also notable for echoing Wharf Rat’s debut inside Dark Star on 2/18/71.)
More common were Dark Stars with Drums/Space inside: 3/29/90, 10/20/90, 11/1/90, 4/1/91, 9/10/91, 10/31/91, and 12/12/92.
Just as common were the Dark Stars that faded out into Drums/Space and never returned – for instance on 12/31/89, 6/14/91, 9/24/91, 3/9/92, 3/17/93, 9/22/93, and the last two Dark Stars in March ’94. After 1990 it became the norm for Dark Stars to be left dangling and unfinished.

One feature unique to the ‘90s were Dark Stars split across shows, starting in one show and finishing some days later: 12/12-14/90, 6/8-18-22/92, and 12/12-16/92. 
A case could be made for the various Dark Star teases of summer ’91 as continuing a ‘single’ Dark Star across shows, but I don’t think so. If this was the intent it doesn’t quite come off – to me they’re just unfinished teases.

The second verse, not sung since 1972, returned in the ‘80s. Garcia sang it pretty regularly through 1990, but it became rare after that as Dark Stars were increasingly left unfinished. The second verse appeared only four times in 1991, three times in 1992, then was never heard again.

In 1991-92, Garcia frequently played instrumental verses instead of singing them – these are noted on the list. This was something of a throwback: during Dark Star’s first year, he would typically play the verse melody during the jam, but this practice faded out in ’69, only to resurface 22 years later. The difference in ’91 was that an instrumental verse often replaced a sung verse, or simply served to identify a passing jam as Dark Star.

It was rare for a Dark Star to be played at length in the final post-Drums part of a show. Dark Stars in the ‘90s (including the ones split across shows) were usually finished after Space, and sometimes there would be short Dark Star jams coming out of Space, but most of these are wrapped up quickly. However, on occasion an entire Dark Star would be played in the last stretch of the set: 1/20/79 was the first time, and 6/23/93 the last, and not surprisingly these are kept short. 9/20/90 is the huge exception in being the only full-length two-verse Dark Star played in the second set after Space.

*

GRAPH ISSUES

I made the graph using a Google spreadsheet. This had the benefit of being free and relatively easy to use, but imposed severe limitations on the graph. In short, it’s not at all what it should be
- There’s no text in the graph to indicate times, song titles, cuts, etc. – ideally these would be displayed within the bars. 
- Everything in the list (tunings, other songs, Drums/Space breaks) was included in the total Dark Star times, which was not the intent, but couldn't be avoided.
- I couldn’t easily indicate time breaks for the Dark Stars split across a show (e.g., something like the 6/17/91 teases was impossible to represent on this kind of graph).
- On the graph, times had to be converted from seconds to decimals, so the lengths are more approximate than exact. (You’ll notice the time totals are in fractions of 100 rather than 60.) These figures could be improved and made more accurate, but they’re close enough for now.
- For Drums/Space, I set an arbitrary time of 10 minutes for each; otherwise the total lengths for these Dark Stars would be considerably inflated. I would have liked to just display something like a slash // in place of these lengthy interludes.
- I simplified the jam divisions to make the graph less cluttered – no bass or drum solos are marked, for instance. But these should be noted with symbols. The color key was also kept simple, since most of the labels had to be duplicated to plot out the graph. 
- Years couldn’t be spaced out; I would've preferred a more pastel color palette than this program offered; and the appearance isn’t quite what I hoped for.

Basically, I regard this as a rough draft that needs to be replaced. If someone with more graphing experience wants to undertake a new and better graph, at least I now have all the Dark Star timings needed to make one.

For a different example of a Dark Star graph, see this one made many years ago by Volkmar Rupp & Uli Teute:
Though it’s missing a number of Dark Stars due to its age, it also has several advantages over my graph, including text within the graph and many more jam labels.

*

RANDOM NOTES


11-13-72 – Bear’s AUD has a tapeflip; the best copy is patched at 11:17 with 1:35 of the alternate AUD. The other AUD seems to still be 40 seconds longer but that’s because the tape slows down. 
2-26-73 – the first Dark Star where I noticed a lengthy cymbal intro at the start, which Bill did a number of times in ’73. Still need to check if he did it earlier. 
11-30-73 – needs a 20-second AUD patch from 7:33-7:52 
2-24-74 – needs a 30-second AUD patch from 25:47-26:19

10 comments:

  1. Apologies for two Dark Star posts in a row. After my last post I realized I wanted to have a more detailed list of Dark Star times and, well, here is the result. If more revisions are needed, let me know.

    The embedded graph might overlap with the sidebar in other browsers; if so, I might reduce the size. In any case you can download the image. But my hope is that someone else will make a whole new graph altogether. I'm not at all happy with this graph, but decided to post what I've done rather than scrap the whole thing.

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  2. This is fantastic, and after I figured out what the colors mean it's very informative (you should post a key at the bottom, or sorry if there is and I somehow missed it, but I figured them out pretty quick). Wait, I see the key now, I had to click the link at the bottom, I can't see it on this page.

    I do not see the point in perpetuating incorrect dates, I think it would be much better to put the correct ones, maybe with a note explaining. This serves to help keep the incorrect dates alive, so to me it seems Bad.

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    1. Good points. I corrected the dates.
      I think the color key may have been bumped off the page in your browser since the image size was too large. I've tried reducing the size, though it now looks tiny to me (less than the width of this comment box), but maybe will fit better on other screens now. Trial & error! You should also be able to magnify the image in the post (a magnifying glass should appear when you hover over it), but I don't know yet what it looks like on other people's computers, if the full graph appears & so on. Downloading the image should take care of display problems, though.

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    2. Still looks the same to me. It's OK though, anyone serious enough about it to figure out what it means will probably download it anyway (maybe?), and you can figure it out by looking at the text stuff below in any case...

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    3. Still fiddling with it...it's alarming to see how different it looks on other browsers, with parts cut off. Moved the color key to the top, and there should be a scroll now, so if the whole graph doesn't show on the page people can scroll down.

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  3. No apologies needed for multiple Darkstar posts. Really fun stuff, thank you-

    BC

    Now i've got to go check out 7/25/74...

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    Replies
    1. IMO 7-25-74 is pretty weak sauce. Personally, for me the essential dark stars ended after 11-26-72. The highlights of GD shows in 1973-74 were NOT the times when they brought out the dark stars.

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    2. Statistically, it may be interesting to note that up to '72, the post-verse jams were usually much longer than the pre-verse intro jams. But by '73 this had flipped, and in '73-74 the intro jams tended to be longer than the jams after the verse.
      In math terms, this was the average length by year:
      YEAR - PRE-VERSE / POST-VERSE JAMS
      1968 - 2:48 / 5:07 (or just late 1968 = 3:30 / 7:06)
      1969 - 6:02 / 11:32
      1970 - 5:12 / 15:12
      1971 - 6:46 / 9:28
      1972 - 13:31 / 15:38
      1973 - 13:31 / 9:26
      1974 - 15:32 / 11:08 (or, including the '74 Dark Stars with no verses, an even more lopsided 19:20 / 11:08)

      This was just a rough back-of-envelope calculation, omitting some Dark Stars with big cuts or missing verses (and intro jams tend to be most affected by cuts), so the exact numbers may be off. But the general trend is clear: while the intros kept expanding after '71, the Dead had relatively less to say after the verse in '73-74.

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    3. That is an interesting observation, thanks for noting that. Might have been that their musical 'thinking' was leaning more towards the 'free' improvising to see where it might take them? Like Keith Jarret creating stuff out of nothing, an idea Jerry seemed to like. I don't have a source, but i recall him expressing a desire (or at least amusement with the possibility) to have a 'band with no material, that just go up there and blow.'

      As for Darkstars in 73-74, maybe it was more 'Hey we are in the middle of this crazy jam, let's see if it turns into something else' vs. 'Let's play Darkstar, and see where it takes us tonight' as in previous years. Compare for example 2 of my favorites, 8/27/72 and 12/6/73.

      BC

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