The Grateful Dead at the Fillmore West, June 1970 : New Speedway Boogie   3 comments

This is the second of three blog posts on the Grateful Dead at the Fillmore West, 1969, 1970 and 1971.

Now I don’t know but I been told
in the heat of the sun a man died of cold
Do we keep on coming or stand and wait
with the sun so dark and the hour so late?

What a difference a year makes.  In June, 1969 the Dead preformed a monumental four night run at the Fillmore where they preformed as leader of a tribe of loyal psychedelic followers. Reality hit pretty heavy in 1969:

August 6, 1969 Manson Cult Murders

August 8, 1969 Hippy goes main$tream with Wood$tock  (Dead has equipment troubles and trouble connecting with the mass audience at same)

December 6, 1969 Altamont Speedway Concert/ Murder

December 31, 1969 American  annual combat deaths in Vietnam  reaches  11,616, Total combat deaths for the War reaches 47,000.  Vietnamese death toll is unknown but is thought to approach 1,000,000.

January, 1970 19 members of the Grateful Dead are bust for  illegal possession  after a concert in New Orleans.  Included in the bust was Owsley Stanley (aka The Bear).  This bust effectively ended The Bears involvement with the band as sound engineer and chemist.

May 4, 1970 At Kent State four students are murdered by panicked National Guardsmen during an anti-War protest.  Massive national anti-war protests begin.  (Neil Young writes and CSN&Y record ‘Ohio’ which is in stores in 2 and half weeks after the event).

I don’t know but I been told
if the horse don’t pull you got to carry the load
I don’t know whose back’s that strong
Maybe find out before too long

One way or another
this darkness got to give

Along the way Jerry records what is perhaps his best known mainstream riff – the petal steel guitar intro on Teach Your Children Well on CSN&Y’s mega album Deja vu (probably recorded in November, 1969). The slender  Workingman’s Dead (8 tracks)  was recorded in February, 1970 (released June 14, 1970)

New Speedway Boogie 1970-07-03

The Fillmore shows on June 05 and June 07 are both broken into two parts: separate  acoustic and electric sets.  The June 06 set was all electric.  The June 04 show is captured on two fragmentary recordings, parts of an acoustic set here and parts of the electric closer set here.

The June 05 set features fine versions of Friend of the Devil, Black Peter and New Speedway Boogie.  The electric set has a super smooth version of It’s a Man’s World with Jerry in fine form as the grandson of soul and Pig Pen is well Pig Pen.  Some don’t like the version of Uncle John’s Band here, but compared to some of the live recordings from the 1980’s this is a great Uncle John.  Cryptical Envelopment/Drums/The Other One fails to catch fire and St. Stephen just seems out of place.   All in all a Nice and Professional set,  but it is clearly no longer the summer of love or even the summer of 1969.   The Grateful Dead, like the rest of America’s under thirty set seems to have taken a deep breath and said: “What’s Next?” Or as the kids would say today: WTF.

The June 06 set is stronger and points to the future Dead. China Cat Sunflower and (the much older) I Know You Rider are joined together at last and Jerry packages his guitar work here in a much more traditional Rock context and adds those famous closing barr chords to the the of I Know You Rider that say: Wake Up!  Good Lovin is given a nice frame and the band is there, the song will not  maturity until Bob takes over all the lead singing in 1973.  Not Fade Away makes a short appearance within LoveLight and will become much more Bo Diddily form in the near future.

The June 07 performance still goes on giving after all these years.  A technically near perfectly  performed acoustical set which opens with Don’t Ease Me In (which will become a Dead staple and often a first set closer).  New Rider friends are present on stage for a near clean Friend of the Devil / Cold Jordan / Swing Low Sweet Chariot followed by a great triple play Cumberland Blues / Me and My Uncle / New Speedway Boogie. The second (electric) set includes an amazing sequence of Cryptical Envelopment/ drums/The Other One/jam(1)/drums/jam(2)/Sugar Magnolia!!! (you should listen to these tracks right now)  then the band returns to its R&B roots with a  strong This Is a Man’s World followed a strong but out of sequence Mama Tried. Cosmic Charlie sounds out of place here and Good Lovin returns to close the second set.  [Historical Note: on track 12 an audience member can clearly be heard for the Youth International Party (YIPPIE) haranguing the audience to “get off our fucking asses and act to stop the war right now”. They also seem to attempt to take the stage during The Other One. Also during The Other One you can here some really strange chanting from an audience member around the 3:00 mark til the end of the track. ]

Fillmore West: 1970-06-05

  • 01 08:41 I Know You Rider Listen
  • 02 04:02 Silver Threads & Golden Needles Listen
  • 03 05:11 Friend Of The Devil Listen
  • 04 03:42 Me & My Uncle Listen
  • 05 07:46 Black Peter Listen
  • 06 06:29 New Speedway Boogie% Listen
  • 07 05:13 Cold Rain & Snow Listen
  • 08 04:50 Easy Wind% Listen
  • 09 01:16 Stage Banter Listen
  • 10 02:44 Mama Tried Listen
  • 11 02:52 Cryptical Envelopment–> Listen
  • 12 00:39 Drums–> Listen
  • 13 09:37 The Other One–> Listen
  • 14 09:01 Cryptical Envelopment//–> Listen
  • 15 02:08 Attics Of My Life Listen
  • 16 07:04 Hard To Handle Listen
  • 17 12:52 It’s A Man’s, Man’s World Listen
  • 18 06:41 Uncle John’s Band Listen
  • 19 06:16 St. Stephen–> Listen
  • 20 05:26 Casey Jones ListenConcert Length: 01:26:22Fillmore West: 1970-06-06
  • 01 08:44 Morning Dew Listen
  • 02 03:32 Me And My Uncle Listen
  • 03 04:04 Casey Jones Listen
  • 04 13:14 Dancing In The Street Listen
  • 05 03:57 Next Time You See Me Listen
  • 06 05:13 China Cat Sunflower -> Listen
  • 07 04:51 I Know You Rider Listen
  • 08 02:10 Good Lovin’ -> Listen
  • 09 03:56 Drums -> Listen
  • 10 03:16 New Orleans -> Listen
  • 11 03:14 Good Lovin’ Listen
  • 12 06:40 Attics Of My Life Listen
  • 13 03:54 Dire Wolf -> Listen
  • 14 03:55 Alligator -> Listen
  • 15 05:44 Drums -> Listen
  • 16 14:47 Jam -> Listen
  • 17 24:13 Turn On Your Lovelight -> Listen
  • 18 04:17 Not Fade Away -> Listen
  • 19 10:21 Turn On Your Lovelight Listen
  • 20 06:34 Uncle John’s Band ListenConcert Length: 02:08:36Fillmore West: 1970-06-07
  • 01 03:22 Don\’t Ease Me In Listen
  • 02 03:39 Silver Threads And Golden Needles Listen
  • 03 00:08 My Dog Has No Nose Listen
  • 04 03:36 Friend Of The Devil Listen
  • 05 06:27 Candyman Listen
  • 06 02:24 Cold Jordan Listen
  • 07 03:42 Swing Low Sweet Chariot Listen
  • 08 04:23 Cumberland Blues Listen
  • 09 03:37 Me And My Uncle Listen
  • 10 09:08 New Speedway Boogie Listen
  • 11 02:21 Cryptical Envelopment Listen
  • 12 01:48 drums Listen  {YIPPIE @ ~1:00}
  • 13 09:33 The Other One Listen {YIPPIE @ ~2:00}
  • 14 11:12 Cryptical Envelopment \> Jam Listen
  • 15 01:14 drums Listen
  • 16 04:52 Main Ten jam Listen
  • 17 05:12 transition \> Sugar Magnolia Listen
  • 18 00:50 Louie Louie tease Listen
  • 19 08:10 It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World Listen
  • 20 03:20 Mama Tried Listen
  • 21 03:15 Sittin On Top Of The World Listen
  • 22 05:32 Teddy Bears Picnic tease \> \’waiting for a good idea\’ \> tuning Listen
  • 23 07:59 Cosmic Charlie Listen
  • 24 05:20 Casey Jones Listen
  • 25 02:42 drums \> Good Lovin\’ Listen
  • 26 03:43 drums Listen
  • 27 11:15 Good Lovin ListenConcert Length: 01:42:28
    China Cat Sunflower / I know You Rider: September, 1970 (A Night At the Family Dog)

    Next up: The Big Time!

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