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John A

New Dave's Picks - 2/26/77 but the Dew filler is the prize

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I've been digesting the new Dave's release, the famous '77 San Bernadino show.  The Terrapin opener, put into the context of history, has to be in the running for the most powerful show opener in GD history.  This is the first show of 1977, and the band had spent the past weeks in the studio working up material for their next album. This turns the Terrapin bustout on its head; typically they would season a song in live performances prior to taking it into the studio, but in this instance they unveiled what is arguably their magnum opus in fully polished form in front of what must have been 7,500 slack-jawed Heads. Minds were undoubtedly boggled.

 

I recall first getting the Betty board in the late 80s and being dumbfounded at (a) how good it sounded, and (b) how that Terrapin could have been unleashed like that, out of nowhere, to open the show. There's only room for so much sonic improvement with this release, but it does indeed sound great.

 

The filler, however, is another story. It's reel 5 of 5, the only one that survives, of the next night at Robertson Gym on UC Santa Barbara's campus.  And it contains Morning Dew, which for the 1st time can be experienced via Betty's handiwork. No board whatsoever had previously circulated, leaving Rob Bertrando's audience recording as the reference source. I think of it as the "lost '77 Dew."  Post hiatus, Morning Dew had been played twice in the Fall '76 tour and again NYE '76.  But it was the '77 versions where it really spread its wings. There are 5 Dews in '77, 3 of which are very well known (interestingly, all 5 of these Dews, with the exception of Barton Hall, come out of Terrapin).

 

The '77 Dews: 5-8 Ithaca of course goes without saying, 5-22 Pembroke Pines was released on a Dick's Picks and is part of the famous Garcia 4 pack (Eyes>Rat>Terrapin>Dew) to close the show.  6-7 is part of a 3 night Winterland box set.  While 4-47 Passiac is less well known, it's been circulating on a decent board source for decades (it's somewhat truncated vs the others, but Jerry cheats no one on the final flourish). That leaves 2-27 Santa Barbara.  Having turned off the lights and opened up the big stereo last night, essentially experiencing it for the first time, I'm convinced this reading is up there with any of them.  It's plenty drawn out, quiet when it needs to be, manic when it needs to be, and features lots of great Garcia/Lesh interplay.  Wow!

 

A couple footnotes...the Swing Auditorium was hit by a twin engine Cessna in 1981, killing both people aboard the plane and putting a hole in the arena's roof. Couple that with the damage from the subsequent fire, and the place was torn down.  There's a newspaper article on the show included in the release which is very positive, noting that the Dead were far from done and had established a unique place in rock history. It touted the fact they weren't resting on their laurels and were debuting new material, including the song "Estimated Property".  I got a kick out of that.

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GFC. u needed follow up every post with a post .  IMHO 

 

great thoughtful content John A!

going to listen MD and the SB opener  of TP with new ears 

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Well when I found that reel the only part of the reel box I could read was “Santa Barbara”. The rest of the box was so water damaged that nothing was recognizable at all. After resorting the tape I was finally able to put it on the tape deck. It was indeed reel #4 of the missing 2/27 show. I never thought I’d see these tapes and after realizing the amount of damage they had gone through it’s my feeling that the other reels from this show simply got tossed out. If I can figure out how to post a photo of the box I will...

peace

rob

 

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Rob - what a find and what a gift that anything whatsoever was salvageable.  Amazing.

 

Of course on the flip side, what a crime that the music on those reels, as great as it is and as beautifully as it was recorded, could have fallen into such abuse. I guess at the end of the day we should just thank our lucky stars that it was recorded at all.

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Wow, Rob Eaton, thank you again for your part in finding and rehabbing these hidden Grateful Dead treasures!    🙂

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Thanks for that pic, Rob...that's crazy.

 

I listened to the 2-27 Dew again tonight, a couple notches higher on the pre-amp.  Double wow.

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Awesome shit here, I got mine last night and haven’t had a chance to dive in. I immediately said wow when I noticed the terrapin opener. After reading this thread listening will be extra sweet. Thanks rob and everyone who makes this happen 

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I love how Jerry supplicates us children to please play it slow. Another way of saying fools rush in..... Sage advice in my experience; I have gotten a little slower the past 5 years to my credit. 😜

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Holy crap- this HSF is decadent! Every byte fills your senses. I’m loving it!

 

i gave a listen to a couple of mentions with regards to Slipknot. From Reddit,  I looked up the longest slipknot versions  6/3/76 and 9/27/76 being mentioned The meatiness of the Swing Aud version made me think it is outstanding on length and in comparison to 6/3/76 it still seems longer , though the stopwatch  doesn’t reflect that sentiment. I have heard Keith began to mimic Jerry’s licks much to Jerry’s chagrin and hear an echo here, but it can’t just be copycatting. The piano is truly played in syncope or just slightly behind and gives the version a richness of harmony I adore. 

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Nice write up, John. Interesting that you mention the Terrapin into Dew sequence. I recently went hunting for every instance the band did it, because of how majestic those three notes to kick off the Dew emerge from the ashes of the Terrapin on the Pembroke Pines version. To my surprise, as far as I could find, they only did it four times, all in 77, all the Dews you mention besides Barton Hall. There is a very recent soundboard upload to the Archive of the last fifteen seconds of Terrapin, Morning Dew and the remainder of the 2/27 show, transferred by Rob Eaton and Charlie Miller. Thanks Rob 🙂

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Upon further examination, the real prize of 2-26-77 might be the Playin' -> Wheel -> Playin' to close the 1st set.  Masterful stuff!

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17 minutes ago, John A said:

Upon further examination, the real prize of 2-26-77 might be the Playin' -> Wheel -> Playin' to close the 1st set.  Masterful stuff!

 

Why am I not surprised that you’re having a tough time choosing just one, John?  😄

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