Nomological Net

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faults in the clouds of delusion

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

5/8/77 -- Happy Anniversary!


It was thirty years ago today!

One may argue about 3/1/69, or 8/27/72, or 2/14/70, or whatever, but scarcely any head will ever deny that THIS was pretty darn close to the best they ever got. For me, this show stands at the pinnacle of human improvisational achievement. This is as good as performance can get.

Here's the link to the show at LMA: Barton Hall, Ithaca, 5/8/77.

And here's an extract of a review posted a few years ago on the GDH list, by someone whose email address includes the phrase "charmed quark":

Oh yeah-there was music, wasn't there? Beautiful, transcendent music, played with an authority that I thought approached arrogance. They knew they were in the zone almost from the beginning, and just kept pushing it further and further throughout the night- an unspoken "So THERE!" hung in the air after the last notes of OMSN faded away...

This show also has some very special personal connections for me. It was the first full show I ever possessed. Rahul (THANKS!) slipped me the tapes when I visited Madras once on work for a couple of days. I took the tapes back to Bombay. A few days later, home early from work, I popped in the second set. The TAKE A STEP BACK! spiel was amusing, but the Scarlet>Fire (my first!) was absolutely transportational -- like nothing I'd ever heard before.

TPB was in the kitchen. I gave her the slip to come have a better listen. The phone rang. It was an international call. The gent at the other end was offering me an all-expenses-paid stint at graduate school -- the stuff of my wildest dreams. I listened, both ears scarcely comprehending, for a few minutes. Then I put the phone down. The fire was raging on the mountain.

I love that riff.

******

Once in a while you get shown the light
in the strangest of places if you look at it right

Let's all take a minute off to be happy for the good things in our world.

21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interestingly, I too got that off Rahul - this was later I guess, after he'd transferred them to MP3. :) Why is it interesting? Because it's the only grateful dead music I've ever heard. I just never felt the need to hear any more (should I?). :) You're right about scarlet->fire, that 25MB mp3 file is one of my favourites. -- Sunil.
PS have added your blog to my RSS feeds, hence the super-quick response. Google Reader *rocks*.

5/08/2007 8:29 PM  
Blogger Rahul said...

TR - you're welcome. Was it Madras? I'd quite forgotten.

Sunil -- actually the other way around, I downloaded the MP3s from somewhere and copied them to tape, having carried my tape deck to the department's computer room (probably I didn't have a CD player back then). I do remember it was slightly the wrong speed -- the MP3 was like that. If you still have that MP3 file, download it afresh -- the link TR gives is excellent, a much more balanced sound.

5/08/2007 8:49 PM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

hi sunil -- back from the beyond again! how's life?!

you know, i'm almost tempted to say you should go hear some more but you know, whatever makes you happy :-D

google reader is convenient but i don't like how it's not bug-free.

rahul:
yup, you'd moseyed down from b'lore for the weekend or something. we met at this big book/music store where i also picked up the psmith omnibus.

5/08/2007 9:01 PM  
Blogger Rahul said...

Yes, I remember now (the shop was Landmark). I still don't remember about giving you the tape and you didn't tell me about the graduate school offer it brought you...

It's certainly the best "Scarlet/Fire" and probably the best "Morning Dew" I've heard, but I haven't heard or collected as much dead as you have. My first intro to that show was via our sociologist deadhead friend -- this was pre-internet and a very poor-quality tape but I remember being struck by "Scarlet/Fire" anyway.

5/09/2007 12:42 AM  
Blogger km said...

Always great to read about people's associations with particular albums - and yours is a happy one.

You know, for me personally, spring and summertime are the best times of the year to enjoy Dead's music. My summer raag, if you will.

(I'm somewhat partial to '72...)

5/09/2007 2:55 AM  
Anonymous scout said...

pah. men.

anyway, i just had a dream about you. we went to eat gelato, along with this other friend of yours, and the gelato place was like a school canteen. with a peepul tree and kids sitting under it, smoking and shit. and you asked me about my mum and why she's not letting me to go dharamsala.

not very interesting i know, but dreaming about you is, you know, strange.

5/09/2007 7:31 AM  
Blogger km said...

@Scout: stop eating that hallucinogenic gelato. And if you must eat it, listen to "Candyman" while doing so (TR will tell you which version of Candyman rocks the most :D)

5/09/2007 8:20 AM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

rahul:
that guy did a lot for us in his own way, didn't he? (and what a come-down from 5/8/77 to kenny g :-D)

km:
nice! i mildly prefer 73 to 72 *in general*, but you know a 68 or 69 can really heat up those long winter evenings. as can some from 90-91, e.g., the ones with branford marsalis.

scout:
! don't know where to begin. welcome to the *highly* select club. not only did you have this dream, you woke up at 7:30 to post about it. a guy i went to school with (carried the name kunji) used to say subah ka sapna sach aata hai. portentious.

and what about "men"?

km again:
she should have some context, no?

Look out
Look out
The Candyman
Here he come
and he's gone again
Pretty lady ain't
got no friend
till the Candyman
come round again

5/09/2007 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

some good videos of jer to celebrate the occasion :

jerry and santana do fotm
http://youtube.com/watch?v=veMIlpyYoqc&
mode=related&search=

jerry doing a latin jam with santana
http://youtube.com/watch?v=_pNuOs9CbJ4&
mode=related&search=

another latin jam (he tears it up in this one!)
http://youtube.com/watch?v=NALYkLXjEkE&
mode=related&search=

jerry gets lifted on letterman
http://youtube.com/watch?v=SiFga8hwwF8&
mode=related&search=

jerry telling janis he loves her
http://youtube.com/watch?v=3pY4ohB6VYw&
mode=related&search=

(sorry, had to wrap the links so they could appear - i've forgotten how to add hyperlinks directly)

enjoy!

we love you, jerry.

5/09/2007 9:02 AM  
Anonymous scout said...

portentous, prof. :D

and yes, i have my cycle back though that only means i watch oprah and one tree hill reruns and drink instant coffee.

and also, candyman? i'd rather the christina aguilera version.

he's a one stop shop
makes my cherry pop.

and and and

he's a one stop shop
with a real big c***

you like? i know you like. i know you doooos!

5/09/2007 10:25 AM  
Blogger Rahul said...

tr - I think that guy is the reason I didn't get too obsessive about the Dead. Wonder how he's doing. I haven't met him in many years. Intelligent, articulate guy, a waste of a life and career. Maybe the Dead weren't totally to blame, but his obsessiveness on unimportant things surely was, and that's something shared by many deadheads...

5/09/2007 12:51 PM  
Blogger wildflower seed said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5/09/2007 9:28 PM  
Blogger wildflower seed said...

rahul
easy there, buddy! :)

watch each card you play....

5/09/2007 9:29 PM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

anonymous:
that's a treasure-trove -- thanks!

scout:
i like the original more. check out mississippi john hurt's version at the website i linked to.

and what was that about "men", again?

rahul:
... and many non-deadheads as well.

you're really trying to be provocative these days, aren't you! (not that that's always a bad thing, seeing how it's provoked wfs out of the shadows.)

wfs:
well put :-)

5/09/2007 11:42 PM  
Blogger km said...

Can we please have Rahul provoke EVERYONE on the internet? :D (Religion, software, Dead....)

5/10/2007 12:06 AM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

he's working on it. didn't you see the flame war about stephen's?

5/10/2007 12:08 AM  
Blogger Rahul said...

I aim to please...

TR, are you suggesting that Stephen's is "everyone on the internet"?

5/10/2007 1:00 AM  
Blogger wildflower seed said...

tr, rahul
just finished reading the stephens flame war. oh boy!

5/10/2007 3:25 AM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

rahul:
everyone that *matters*. didn't you learn anything from what was said to you?

wfs:
now you know something more about yourself :-D

5/10/2007 8:58 AM  
Anonymous z said...

oh yeah! this the year man! Spring of '77! mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....all solid shows during this week...
05/05, 05/07, 05/08, 05/09, 05/11, 05/13

the dead had such great temperament as a band overall, what with the stress of touring and entire shebang...as letterman asks in one of the above YT links by anon: "all these years...do you still enjoy it or has it become a job?" They must have! "Jobs" dont give such o/p!!
The one where he kids with janis is from a documentary called "Festival Express". Not to be missed!

keep on truckin' guys!

5/11/2007 7:46 AM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

z:
exactly, what form they were in!

touring did become a job for the boys as the 80s went on -- that led to the drop in quality and ultimately jerry's breakdown in 86. eventually it was merl saunders who nursed him back to life and taught him to play again. but the gd being as much of an organized anarchy as they were, no one ever stepped up and said - okay, we need to 'take a step back' now. and so they went barreling on.

festival express is a wonderful documentary, isn't it? :-D my fave scene is the one where weir, jerry, janis, and rick danko sing 'ain't no more cain'. that one's immortal!

5/11/2007 9:34 AM  

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