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topher44

46 Years Ago Today...

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On one of the hottest days of the year, in the simply beautiful setting of the fairgrounds in Veneta, Oregon, the GD played what many feel (including me) to be their penultimate show. The fact that it was (semi) professionally filmed, and included many shots of the crowd in various states of undress and consciousness, in such intense heat, is indeed miraculous. In my 1980's college years, "Sunshine Daydream" was treated like a Holy Grail of a film, and rightly so, as it was very hard to find a copy of it on tape, and when you did find one, it was usually very grainy and nearly unwatchable. Fast-forward to 2002, and the original directors got together with a film restoring outfit to bring the movie up to digital standards, cleaning it up, and adding both "Bird Song" and "Sing Me Back Home", which were not in the original movie. I was fortunate enough to get a ticket for one of the showings of this restored film at the 92nd Street "Y" in Manhattan. Then, in 2013 the DVD was finally released, along with a beautiful re-master of the whole concert on CD. Seeing Jerry so young, spry, and happy would have been rewarding enough, but the other band members were obviously having a ball, too, with Phil proclaiming at one point: "This is where we get off the most", grinning from ear-to-ear. From the beginning notes of "Promised Land", you could tell they were fired up, and the outpouring of joy from the crowd makes me smile every time I watch it. The "China Cat> I Know You Rider" is so emotional, tightly played, and full of soaring jams, and shots of the audience during this sequence are hilarious, with many folks caught in what appears to be sheer ecstasy, shedding their clothing, and relishing the moment. "Jack Straw" was played with similar gusto, and I love the shot of that little kid sitting on the ground underneath the stage trying in vain to eat a cup of ice cream, while a huge dog gently licks it off the kid's face.  It is such a cute, tender, and funny moment that stands out in my memory of the film, and it sums up the relaxed, care-free vibe there that day. "Bird Song" is also a fantastic version, and gets my pick for perhaps the best ever played (with a close second being the amazing rendition played with Branford Marsalis on 3/29/90). The highlight of the movie for me, as I'm sure for many, is the 35 minute "Dark Star", which starts off gently and proceeds to go to some very dark and strange places before eventually dropping into "El Paso", which, as odd as it sounds transition wise, was done quite well. Then comes the heart-wrenching and gorgeously sung "Sing Me Back Home", which finds the band in almost complete darkness onstage, as there was no stage lighting, except for the lights on their amplifiers. Such a sad, woeful tune, but delivered with a level of emotion that brings me to tears every time I see it. It would have been great, of course, if the entire show was filmed, but I have heard that it became increasingly difficult for the film crew (and the Merry Pranksters who were "helping" them out) to do their job, with the incredible heat, and abundant psychedelics going around. I guess we should be grateful they could film at all! If you have never seen this film, do yourself a favor and get the DVD, show it on a nice big TV with good sound, and let it take you away to a simpler time and place, one that I so wish I was old enough to attend in 1972!:)

Edited by topher44
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That Sing Me Back Home is an all-timer - and the show is lauded as one the best ones they ever played.  Hard to argue that point.

 

Couple things:  Does anyone know what guitar Jerry played at the show?  Is that his Strat or something else - I'm a noob on such matters

Also, it is a bit of a shame that this tweaker didn't wait until it was completely dark before he cast off his daisy--dukes.  I know I doth protesteth too much but it slightly mars my enjoyment

IMG_0346.jpg

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7 hours ago, Tea said:

That Sing Me Back Home is an all-timer - and the show is lauded as one the best ones they ever played.  Hard to argue that point.

 

Couple things:  Does anyone know what guitar Jerry played at the show?  Is that his Strat or something else - I'm a noob on such matters

Also, it is a bit of a shame that this tweaker didn't wait until it was completely dark before he cast off his daisy--dukes.  I know I doth protesteth too much but it slightly mars my enjoyment

IMG_0346.jpg

 

I guess The Stooges must have had the day off that day in '72......   

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2 hours ago, Tea said:

That Sing Me Back Home is an all-timer - and the show is lauded as one the best ones they ever played.  Hard to argue that point.

 

Couple things:  Does anyone know what guitar Jerry played at the show?  Is that his Strat or something else - I'm a noob on such matters

Also, it is a bit of a shame that this tweaker didn't wait until it was completely dark before he cast off his daisy--dukes.  I know I doth protesteth too much but it slightly mars my enjoyment

IMG_0346.jpg

Jerry is playing a sunburst Strat, not his natural colored "Alligator". Such great tones by the band and all time versions of many songs. My favorite Grateful Dead concert to listen to, not overhyped at all. 

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Ah C'mon Tea,,to this day folks in Oregon have a hard time keeping their clothes on when it gets over 90 degrees! (Actually, in the Eugene/Veneta area about 75 degrees does the trick😎).

 

The only Jubilee I've made it to thus far (3 years ago or was it 2?) was such a rewarding experience in so many ways including that they played 8/27/72 on the Sunday night show and holy shit did they do it justice. Not sure if they have played that show before, further back into the archives but I felt lucky to be there as that show has long had a special place in my heart for many reasons.

 

Also worthy of note is that Bobby did a nice nod to this historic show when he played Eugene with D and C earlier this summer and they opened second set with Dark Star>El Paso. I wasn't there but I thought that was a classy maneuver. 

 

I recall Phil saying in an interview somewhere along the way that he felt that the '72 Veneta show went down in a way that made it feel like the final acid test...with an extreme looseness that was more prevalent before 1970...

 

Pretty phenomenal that so much of the music and vibe was captured on film....

 

my kinda history lesson 😄

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12 hours ago, Island Bro said:

The only Jubilee I've made it to thus far (2016) was such a rewarding experience in so many ways including that they played 8/27/72 on the Sunday night show and holy shit did they do it justice. 

 

AND..... you called it the day before!! Said how nice it’d be to hear it. 

 

It was a beautiful night, even with the rain. 

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Just don't show R rated video to a bunch of high school seniors (all over 17) as it will probably deemed inappropriate.

 

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On 8/27/2018 at 11:58 PM, Island Bro said:

 

my kinda history lesson 😄

 

47 years ago today........ 

💗Happy Birthday, Bro! 💗 Have a wonderful dance around the sun! Peace and Love.  PG

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