With tempered enthusiasm, bassist and co-founder Phil Lesh later called the album “a fairly successful effort” that “varied wildly in terms of material.” At the time, though, the band put on a positive face about its aural makeover. Another Grateful Dead box set is comin’ your way! This one just had it all. The Grateful Dead performs live at Winterland in San Francisco in October 1974. But in 1977, it seemed as if the music could hold everything at bay, at least for a while. The secret weapon was keyboardist Keith Godchaux, Donna Jean’s husband, who’d joined the band in 1971. Bikers, blow and Belushi: As usual when the Grateful Dead took Manhattan, the band’s five-night stand at the Palladium in April 1977 had them all. For fans and even band members, debate rages about whether or not the show matches the legend. 1. Grateful Dead Identifier GratefulDead Mediatype collection Num_top_ba 10 Numeric_id 3 Publicdate 2004-03-27 12:49:52 Publisher Internet Archive etree.org Show_related_music_by_track true Subject grateful dead, jam, rock, jerry garcia Title Grateful Dead Title_message Free Music Starting in January 1977, the band and Olsen bore down on new material – including the epic “Terrapin Station” suite and Weir’s reggae-influenced “Estimated Prophet” – at Sound City, the funky but first-rate San Fernando Valley studio recently immortalized in Dave Grohl’s Sound City documentary. Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA: 3 Shows. Find 1978 Grateful Dead setlists and past tour dates with the 1978 Grateful Dead Tour History on JamBase. Grateful Dead Initial release : 2013. Directed by Jerry Garcia. When the music played, everything made sense. These two albums, in many ways, for the bedrock of the Dead’s body of work and set a high standard in the process. Advertisement. If you ask Deadheads to name their all-time favorite Grateful Dead show, a resounding answer would likely be 5/8/77 at Cornell University’s Barton Hall in Ithaca, NY. In 1973, beloved founding member Ron “Pigpen” McKernan had died as a result of a longtime drinking problem. Garcia was also beginning to feel the burden of being an iconic figure who was easy prey for anyone who needed a favor. I have no nostalgia shows, just an outsider becoming an insider. It has to do with the changes the band went through over the course of their evolution. He’d say, ‘I got a bunch of ideas,’ and we’d do them all. The following year, the Dead’s experiment with their massive, costly Wall of Sound PA collapsed. In 1976, at 17, I saw 3 Grateful Shows. “It actually sounds like a record,” Garcia enthused to Rolling Stone before its release. Their self-titled debut is … 9/27/76 best help> slipnot> etc. The Grateful Dead played over 2,300 shows in their 30 year career. Everyone was healthy and partying full blast, every day.”. 5/2/70 (Dick’s Picks 8) — great mix of everything from a transitional year for the band. “We’re still as confused as we ever were,” Garcia told RS’s Charles M. Young during the Palladium run. 2. When the music stopped, things started getting weird.”. For the Dead, Barton Hall was just another stop, and a fairly out-of-the-way one. This was the 5th show on the run of the Capital Theatre & Palladium shows. “If you want to pick a year where everything was working well, that year stands out,” says Parish. The Godchauxs left the group in 1979 (Keith was killed in a car accident the following year). This story is from the July 4th–18th, 2013 issue of Rolling Stone. ... “My spring break was going to five Dead shows,” he says. “But we were under the gun, and it kept the guys in there.”, The finished album, Terrapin Station, was the Dead’s most polished, professional effort to date, foreign adjectives that didn’t necessarily thrill everyone in the band. There are a couple of chasms in The Grateful Dead experience that exist among fans. Drummer Bill Kreutzmann’s second marriage was falling apart, and Weir had, the year before, parted ways with his longtime love, Frankie Weir (they weren’t married, but she took his last name anyway). Singer-guitarist Bob Weir points to the late Eighties, just before the death of keyboardist Brent Mydland: “For me, that was our peak,” Weir says. At 18, like Janis Ian at 17, I learned the truth. Paramount Theater, Portland, OR: 2 Shows 6/3/76 (Thu) 6/4/76 (Fri) Summer East Coast Tour: 17 Shows. We’re having fun again.”, Members of the Dead’s legendary road crew still enjoy reminiscing about the musical high points. Hart emerged with a broken collarbone, smashed ribs and a broken arm. Boxed and Ready to Go! “I think it made him feel good,” says Loren, “and when he felt good, he played good.”, One bright spot cracked open that June, when The Grateful Dead Movie, filmed during the band’s pre-hiatus shows in San Francisco in 1974, made its long-overdue premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre in Manhattan. Pop that champagne! “A college gig in New York, and it’s snowing, and you just play the gig,” she says. But that didn’t interfere with Grateful Dead music. Offstage, Keith and Donna Jean Godchaux were an increasingly volatile couple. “I’ve kidded Harvey about it.” But more often than not, the Dead machine rolled along as smoothly as it ever would. As the recording sessions started to drag throughout the winter of 1977 – and the band faced the possibility of not finishing the record before going on tour – Steve Parish, a member of the crew (and later Garcia’s manager), came up with a novel idea: Nail the studio door shut. The Grateful Dead’s Greatest Year The band’s 1977 shows were some of their most epic. The following month, the Dead signed with Clive Davis’ Arista Records, then also the home of rockers like Lou Reed and Patti Smith. The only thing Donna Jean Godchaux remembers about it is how cold it was. Here are my top 5 shows (no order), without influence or being told "check out this year," this is all self discovery. Ironically, the Barton Hall performance has never been officially released, since the master tape is now in the hands of an unknown collector. 9/3/1977 - Raceway Park, ... 2/11/69 (Fillmore West 2/11/69) — psychedelic exploration; shorter and more relaxed than most shows from this period, the Dead were opening for Janis. And Keith was always a little too small to hit. “We became much more disciplined. Their attempt at running their own record label, Grateful Dead Rec­ords, had floundered and left them in the hole when label head Ron Rakow skipped town with the $225,000 he felt was owed to him. “He played so quietly, but you’re astounded at what he was playing. Recommended Shows By Year - 1977 - no you can't just say "the whole year" These threads are about what we'd recommend FIRST - the best of the era - so keep in mind you are nominating shows that you think are better than other 1977 shows with similar setlists! May 8, 1977: Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. "This one is widely considered the best Dead show in history, which is actually coming out now [today]. 1972-08-27 at the Old Renaissance Faire Grounds3. Onstage, though, something different took place in those shows. Find 1977 Grateful Dead setlists and past tour dates with the 1977 Grateful Dead Tour History on JamBase. Music was the only way any of us could deal with pressure.”, On Labor Day weekend, the Dead returned to the road in a big – almost risky – way. The Grateful Dead in Boston, with singer Donna Jean Godchaux. More so than probably any previous studio collaborator, Olsen put the bandmates through their paces, making them rehearse and replay parts until they nailed them. Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino, CA: 1 Show, Robertson Gym, U.C.S.B., Santa Barbara, CA: 1 Show, Veterans Memorial Coliseum, New Haven, CT, Memorial Coliseum, U. of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, Lloyd Noble Center, U. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, Assembly Center, Lousiana State U., Baton Rouge, LA, Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall, Kansas City, KS, Evans Field House, Northern Illinois U., DeKalb, IL, Assembly Hall, Indiana U., Bloomington, IN, Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA: 4 Shows. Some point to 1970, when the band cut two enduring masterpieces, Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty. “Everyone said, ‘Don’t bother him – let him be.’ This was all still really new to me.” Yet Olsen was also impressed with Garcia’s creativity and nonstop input: “He would have 20 ideas for everyone. Big River [6:25] 4. The Best of The Grateful Dead The following performances are considered classics:1. Recalling some of the brand-new songs the group premiered onstage then, he adds, “‘Estimated Prophet,’ ‘Fire on the Mountain’ – it was fresh meat, and we were ready to play those things. Grateful Dead. Compared to most Grateful Dead shows, Cornell '77 (and its chronological neighbors) are excellent places for (some) newbie listeners to start." The Grateful Dead played more than 2,000 concerts, but none continues to spark interest and provoke discussion quite like the band’s performance at Cornell University’s Barton Hall on May 8, 1977. He had all those kinds of things pounding on him.”, As with Keith Godchaux, Garcia turned to opiates – in particular, a new, strong Persian style of heroin. First set: "Promised Land" (Chuck Berry) "Sugaree" (Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter) "Mama Tried" (Merle Haggard) The show lasted for over eight hours, with the Grateful Dead's performance — documented on DVD and CD as "The Closing of Winterland" — lasting nearly six hours itself. It was perfect timing.”, Ask Dead fans and scholars to name certain key years, and you know what you’ll hear. Want more Rolling Stone? Bang the drum! “I opened my eyes [in the hospital] and Jerry was there: ‘You look like shit! “He was at wit’s end pretty much.” He went through a messy breakup with his girlfriend (and future wife), Deborah Koons, and had to deal with the fallout from Ron Rakow’s expensive departure from the band. Hart was upset when Olsen overdubbed strings on one of his parts without telling him. It's a dubious task aiming to rank the best Grateful Dead shows of all time, but here are five that stand out as the top concerts the band has ever performed. Limited edition release of 15,000. Meet the People Trying to Change That, Before ‘Evermore’: 10 Fast Follow-Up Albums, From ‘Zuma’ to ‘Amnesiac’, Song You Need to Know: Michael Falzarano’s ‘The Eggnog Shuffle’. “We had all this new material we were excited about playing,” says Donna Jean Godchaux, who sang with the Dead during this period. The Grateful Dead was an accomplished concert act by the time the band recorded this debut album, which committed some (but not all) of that improvisational magic to wax. '”, In the years that followed, the Dead’s audience would only grow larger and more fervent – and the Dead’s excesses would sometimes grow proportionally. Paramount Northwest Theatre, Seattle, WA 9/28/77 (Wed) 9/29/77 (Thu) Paramount Theater, Portland, OR 10/1/77 (Sat) 10/2/77 (Sun) Fall Southwest Tour: 8 Show. In the mid-Eighties, recording engineer Betty Cantor-Jackson – who recorded all the shows on the ’77 tour – lost possession of the tapes after they were auctioned off (without her consent) from the storage facility where she was keeping them. Spring 1977. db.etree.org is the most popular site for finding and trading live concerts anywhere. On the road that year, band and crew often heard the couple’s screaming matches. She’d tried heroin once and hated it: “I just threw up for 24 hours. Hart’s future wife, Caryl, attended Cornell at the time but opted to see “Barry Manilow or something” with a boyfriend that night. May 1977 is a live album by the rock band the Grateful Dead.It contains five complete concerts, on 14 CDs. Grateful Dead Tour-by-Tour: 1976. But Deadheads who caught the Palladium shows witnessed a startling sight: a firm and focused Grateful Dead. No two albums exhibit the songcraft of the Dead better than Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty. “But the old Dead trip was getting to be a burden, so we sacked it and went on to new projects. Stuck in an unhappy marriage, Lesh began relying increasingly on alcohol for what he called “the slightly numb, detached feeling”; by the fall, he’d put on 30 pounds thanks to the beers he would start downing for breakfast. The line-ups and the music (and drugs ;P) changed over the years, but the musical ideology basically remained the same. Jerry Garcia directs this concert film of highlights from the five-night run at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom that capped off the Grateful Dead's 1974 tour. “That was a really good performance,” says Hart. He really enjoyed the process.”, But the process was slow. Grateful Dead / Rhino. 1. Features. Hart recuperated, thanks to almost two months of rehab, but the incident was a sign that there were more troubles ahead. 6/30/73 best Darkstar73 2. In This Article: Packaged as a box set, it includes a booklet with a historical essay and photos from … “Everyone wanted to say, ‘All right, this is the time to make a statement and not just be a psychedelic weirdo hippie band. But Raceway Park proved that the Dead could pull in huge numbers for just one show. They didn’t come by to say, ‘Hi, what’s going on?’ They came to tell him he needed to do a benefit concert or whatever. The bands improvisational and organic style lends itself to discussion and review of the subjective nature. This 2nd set is one of my favorites. “There was always backstage drama,” says Candelario. What few debate is how sparkling the Dead sounded that night, and throughout that tour. The park normally held about 50,000; the band sold 102,000 tickets – up to that point its biggest nonfestival gig. '” As a record-company ad that year read, A NEW DEAD ERA IS UPON US – which, as the band would learn, was both a blessing and a curse. At the heart of the music of the Grateful Dead are well-crafted songs. That’s not for me to say, really.” Listening to one of the many audience tapes available, there’s no denying its highlights: a rare performance of Bonnie Dobson’s apocalyptic nightmare “Morning Dew,” which the Dead transformed into a huge, cathartic soundscape; fans also heard a new combination introduced onstage in February: “Scarlet Begonias” segueing into “Fire on the Mountain,” which didn’t make the cut on Terrapin Station but would end up on the Dead’s following album, Shakedown Street. “It was an emotionally difficult time for him,” says Richard Loren, then the Dead manager. About a dozen concerts from that year have already been released on CDs and downloads, but on June 11th, the biggest batch yet arrived with May 1977, a 14-disc box featuring five complete shows from that tour. They Love Each Other [7:38] 3. So he got away with a few things.”, Although he got high with Garcia on at least one occasion, Olsen didn’t become fully acclimated to the Dead universe until the later wrap-up sessions in New York, when Belushi came by, did cartwheels in the studio and hung out. Remembering Grateful Dead’s 1977 Cornell show. We packed a punch.”, Yet few years make Deadheads wax more nostalgic than 1977. Donna Jean was, in her words, “no angel,” and was regularly using cocaine and drinking wine. Normally, the Dead would have bristled, but not this time: “Keith was cracking the whip, but we liked it – it made us sharper,” says Hart. Winterland closed on New Year's Eve 1978 / New Year's Day 1979 with a concert by the Grateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and The Blues Brothers. He was magical.”, Every so often, the Dead encountered a bump in the road. In the predawn hours of June 20th, while the band was back home in Marin County during a break, Hart left a local club show and lost control of his car. Just about every Deadhead, though, remembers Barton Hall, whether they attended or not. “All right, now,” a newly bearded Weir told them about halfway through the show. And given the quality of Garcia’s playing and singing in 1977, there was no reason to suspect anything at that point. Since it was Garcia who had brought Rakow into the fold, the band penalized him for it, cutting his paycheck down to about $50 a week (from about five times that amount). “When you hear the tapes now, you’re totally blown away,” says Bill “Kidd” Candelario, a member of the crew from 1968 to 1995. ... but declines ranking them, as the great ones all have their particular merits. “We could hear and feel each other thinking, and we could intuit each other’s moves. Garcia grappled with hard-drug use on and off between then and his death in 1995, and Lesh sobered up, but only after hitting rock bottom in the early Eighties. “Jerry was really proud of that movie,” says Loren. Disc 1. “We kept getting reborn, and this was one of those birthing processes,” says Hart of that flagship year. '” he says. “People won’t believe it’s us.” Added Weir, “It’s the Dead without all those wrong notes.”. But offstage, things were beginning to fray Send us a tip using our anonymous form. “We realized there were losses we had overcome, but we were still tight and had each other and were close. Over the course of two tours, an Eastern-rooted swing in the spring and a mostly Western and Midwestern trek in the fall, the Dead played what many consider the tightest, most consistently satisfying shows of their career. Take a closer look at St. Paul Civic Center Arena, St. Paul, MN (5/11/77), the first show in our May 1977 boxed set. Sound the imperial trumpets! Ranking The Best Albums From The Grateful Dead. At the time, Garcia hid his growing habit from his bandmates; Hart and Godchaux say they didn’t realize until later that he was using. Jerry, Brent and I reached new plateaus as singers. Tracks. With Jerry Garcia, Donna Godchaux, Keith Godchaux, Mickey Hart. Until then, everyone assumed the Dead’s on-the-road success was a result of repeat business – the same fans buying tickets to more than one show. The Grateful Dead (1967) Before the Dead were psychedelic space cadets or hippie cowboys, they were a blues-rock band. Yes, in the grand tradition of the beloved Fillmore West 1969 and Winterland 1973 boxes, comes Winterland June 1977: The Complete Recordings, a 9-CD box set that is sure to knock your tie-dyed socks off. Hells Angels rode their hogs right into the dressing rooms, brandishing a knife and demanding they play “Truckin.” John Belushi, in his Saturday Night Live heyday, popped into a dressing room to share some weed. May 8, 1977 at Cornell Univ.2. I was lucky, these are my 1977 Grateful Dead shows: Phillips Academy Saturday's Escapes April 23, 1977 April 30, 1977 OFFICIALLY RELEASED AS DOWNLOAD SERIES 1 May 7, 1977 May 28, 1977 OFFICIALLY RELEASED AS TO TERRPAIN Sign up for our newsletter. Scher booked the band into Raceway Park, a racetrack in Englishtown, New Jersey. By the time they got to St. Stephen it all went to another level & kept going. Of Garcia during that period, Hart recalls, “He was in a creative zone, and his health was OK. “It was a joke,” says Parish. At the University of Alabama, they played a slow, mournful “High Time” and added dramatic flourishes to Weir’s “Looks Like Rain.” A beautifully burnished “Wharf Rat” in Hartford, Connecticut, showed how they’d matured as a band without losing their shambolic charm. He crashed through a guardrail, and only a tree on the side of the road prevented the car from falling into a ravine. “We’re gonna play everybody’s favorite fun game: ‘Move back.’ Now, when I tell you to take a step back, everybody take a step back.” Weir had to say it a few times, and bit by bit, the nearly 5,000 fans moved toward the rear of the venue to alleviate the crush at the front of the stage. A 14 CD set comprising 5 complete Grateful Dead shows from 1977. “There were no train wrecks.”. © Copyright 2020 Rolling Stone, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC. At Davis’ suggestion, they agreed to work with a pop-oriented producer: Keith Olsen, who had just produced a huge hit album for Fleetwood Mac. Bill Kreutzmann, Bob Weir, Jerry Garcia, May 1977, Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh, The Grateful Dead. When they played Buffalo’s War Memorial Auditorium the night after Cornell, the two young local concert promoters – Bob and Harvey Weinstein, later renowned movie producers – offered receipts that seemed “a bit cockeyed,” says tour coordinator John Scher. 6/7/77 (Tue) 6/8/77 (Wed) 6/9/77 (Thu) Raceway Park, Englishtown, NJ: 1 Show 9/3/77 (Sat) Fall Northwest Mini-Tour: 4 Shows. Rex Jackson, a member of the Dead’s hardworking, hard-rocking crew, had died in a car accident in September 1976. Some fans feel that the group never recovered from the loss of Pigpen. The dead were coming off a troubled few years. They were always more comfortable during live shows. From Projectors to Phone Sanitizers, These Are the Gifts for the Gadget Lover on Your List, Eminem Surprise-Releases ‘Music to Be Murdered By – Side B’ Deluxe Edition, Meet the Paramedic Whose OnlyFans Was Outed by the ‘New York Post’, OnlyFans Creators and Sex Workers Are Getting ‘Purged’ from TikTok, Win a Chance to Destroy Trump’s Casino Like He Destroyed Our Country, Taylor Swift Moved Her Album Release Date for Paul McCartney, Music’s Road Crews Are Overwhelmingly White and Male. By the 2nd set , me &my girlfriend got right up front of the stage & never left. “It said, ‘We’re a big band,'” says Loren. Drawing from various aspects of live shows, the work consists primarily of blues or folk covers and only two original tunes. The Pioneering Godfathers of The Jam Band World. “We all played good when we got to that group-mind place. But offstage, things were beginning to fray. Garcia, the group’s charismatic but unwilling leader, was besieged on numerous fronts. On May 8th, fans crammed into Cornell University’s Barton Hall, a field house, were a little too pumped that the Dead were in town. “We were trying to make a real rec­ord for Clive,” says Hart. During a particularly strong “Sugaree” in St. Paul, Minnesota, Garcia discharged a wild flurry of notes that dispelled any sense that the Dead were mellow old hippies – one of many demonstrations that all the studio hours they’d logged with Olsen had paid off. The show regularly tops fan polls of best Dead performances, and last year a tape of the show was included in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. Grateful Dead is mostly known for their lengthy jams, eclectic psychedelic sounds, interesting themes, mind-boggling lyrics, and iconic album artworks. Promised Land [4:54] 2. We want to hear from you! via moliken3/YouTube. Track listing May 5, 1977 – Veterans Memorial Coliseum, New Haven, Connecticut. It was a hustle. Or 1972, when the Dead toured Europe for two months and played some of their finest shows, resulting in another landmark album, Europe ’72. “It’s as close to a flawless Grateful Dead tour as I’ve ever heard,” says band archivist David Lemieux. For the last 4 years I haven't gone one day (even birth of child), that I haven't listened to the dead. “Was it the best? So I couldn’t plant my feet in that patch.” But her husband became increasingly beholden to the drug; Olsen remembers him mostly sleeping on a couch during the Terrapin Station sessions. “We came out really strong,” says percussionist Mickey Hart of those and other shows on the band’s spring ’77 tour. When they arrived at the University of Alabama, marking their first-ever visit to a state not known for being friendly to longhairs, the school’s football team helped the Dead crew set up. “He was starting to hide,” says Candelario. “He had guys hounding him to do free shows. Boston Music Hall, Boston, MA 6/9/76 (Wed) 6/10/76 (Thu) 6/11/76 (Fri) 6/12/76 (Sat) Beacon Theatre, New York, NY 6/14/76 (Mon) 6/15/76 (Tue) Dating back to their earliest performances a decade before, the Dead could be loose, sharp, undisciplined, sloppy, fierce – sometimes all during the same night. “It put the Dead up there with anybody else who was performing: ‘Yeah, the Allman Brothers are a big band, but they’re not the Grateful Dead.’ The industry stood up and said, ‘Holy mackerel! It was recorded at five consecutive shows, from May 11–17, 1977. The band’s 1977 shows were some of their most epic. “He drank everything he could and took everything and then passed out in front of the console,” Olsen says. 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