The Grateful Dead At The Fillmore West & The Winterland: 1971–Truckin’ and Johnny Be Good   2 comments

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

During the last year the Dead were busy reinventing themselves again.  On May 05 and May 04, the Dead had a very successful run at the Winterland, then a quick visit to France for an aborted music festival and a filmed concert.  Finally the Dead return to The Fillmore West on July 07, 1971.  Bookings for both the Fillmore West and the Winterland were controlled by Bill Graham  (Bob Weir called him ‘the protagonist’), so perhaps Graham was involved in setting up the May Winterland run and pushing the Fillmore gig to July 07.  The Dead worked the East coast extensively in April of 1971. The five night run a the Fillmore East has been released as an official Dead.Net recording (which in MHO suffers from being a compilation drawn from all five shows which diminished  the impact of hearing single shows develop end to end, but does benefit from the high quality of the sound processing technology deployed to release this box set).  During May there was a three night run at the Manhattan Center, two nights at the Boston Music Hall, five nights at the Fillmore East as well as  10 other east coast gigs.  Here are the links to the shows available on the Internet Archive for April, 1971:

971-04-04 – Manhattan Center Listen

1971-04-05 – Manhattan Center Listen

1971-04-06 – Manhattan Center Listen

1971-04-07 – Boston Music Hall Listen

1971-04-08 – Boston Music Hall Listen

1971-04-10 – East Hall, Franklin & Marshall College Listen

1971-04-12 – Civic Arena Listen

1971-04-13 – Catholic Youth Center Listen

1971-04-14 – Davis Gym, Bucknell University Listen

1971-04-15 – Allegheny College Listen

1971-04-17 – Dillon Gym, Princeton University Listen

1971-04-18 – Lusk Field House – State University Of New York Listen

1971-04-21 – Rhode Island Auditorium Listen

1971-04-22 – Bangor Municipal Auditorium Listen

1971-04-24 – Wallace Wade Stadium, Duke University Listen

This intense schedule is followed by a month off and then the two night run at the Winterland on May 29 and may 30.  The Winterland run shows the band playing in a much larger hall for a much larger audience (The Winterland’s seating capacity was 5,400 and the Fillmore West holds just over 1,000 souls). I highly recommend the May 29 Winterland show with the high level of musicianship and the vastly improved sound system of the Winterland (compared to the Fillmore East or West).  Unlike the Fillmore West show which ran for almost three hours, the Winterland shows are single sets which do not break 60 minuets on either night.  In the less intimate surrounds of the Winterland the turn out a very tight, well played, just the hits concert both nights.  What is most notable, compared to show of just a year ago is how much more of a ROCK band the Dead have become.  Bob Weir’s guitar playing is much improved and the ‘lock’ between bass and rhythm guitar is much tighter.  Jerry’s solo are also better framed and more precise.  On 05-29 the opening run of:  Truckin’ –> Drums –> The Other One –> Wharf Rat –>Sugar Magnolia –> Deal pumps along and then ends with Bo Diddily influenced coda of NFA –> GDTRFB –> NFA.  A short but effective set. Great presentation of of the band as it will become for 1972 through 1974.  In short, fade down Pig Pen and cross fade to Bobby Weir.  Turn down the psychedelic  R&B and turn on the R&B.  As Jerry says, introducing Johnny B. Goode as the closer to the Fillmore West show: “Here it is folks, what it’s all about.”

The second nights set list is more Workingman’s Dead oriented.  The second night reprises the newer children from the night before: Truckin, Sugar Magnolia and Deal and closes with a very nice: Uncle John’s Band –> Casey Jones.  The standout song of the second night is the amazing version of Big Boss Man.  Pig Pen pulls out all the stops in emulating the great R&B singers of times past and the band acts as a  well rehearsed  R&B back up band is tight.  This song, at least, is not Rock and Roll but classic R&B with Jerry playing a constrained but perfect R&B solo to go with Pig Pens mighty singing effort.  Great effort but one which points to the past and not the future.

Before the Fillmore West show, The band made a road trip for a music festival in France.  Rain prevented the festival from being held but the bands stayed while in France at the Chateau d’Herouville whose owner was a deadhead and  film score composer and the Chateau included a 16 track recording set.  The lack of the festival gig was then replaced by the dead setting up in back of the Chateau performing a  50 minute concert which was recorded on film and audio tape.  This film was originally broadcast on French TV but is now available on both YouTube and  the full concert audio is available on the Internet Archive.

Returning to the more intimate surround of the Fillmore West for a July 02 radio broadcast the Grateful Dead put out a three hour ROCK show which does not include Truckin (or Wharf Rat ), does include some fantastic jams (Good Lovin’), some trucker’s favorites (Mama Tried, Sing Me Back Home as well as Joplin’s Me And Bobby McGee), some R&B (Big Boss Man and less so, Good Lovin’) and lots of R&R (Bertha, Sugar Magnolia, Casey Jones, NFA, GDTRFB and the aforementioned  Johnny B. Goode).  Five stars to this July 02 Fillmore West concert.  As Judy Garland famously said once, “Let’s stay up all night and sing them all.”

Winterland Arena: 1971-05-29winterland

  • 01 04:32 Tuning Listen
  • 02 08:16 Truckin’-> Listen
  • 03 03:18 Drums-> Listen
  • 04 17:13 The Other One -> Listen
  • 05 11:39 Wharf Rat -> Listen
  • 06 05:53 Sugar Magnolia -> Listen
  • 07 06:26 Deal Listen
  • 08 03:14 Not Fade Away -> Listen
  • 09 07:40 Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad -> Listen
  • 10 03:38 Not Fade Away Listen

Concert Length: 01:03:49

Winterland Arena: 1971-05-30

  • 01 08:02 I Know You Rider Listen
  • 02 08:02 Sugar Magnolia Listen
  • 03 06:50 Cumberland Blues Listen
  • 04 07:56 Big Boss Man Listen
  • 05 04:11 Me And My Uncle Listen
  • 06 04:55 Deal Listen
  • 07 08:17 Truckin’ -> Listen
  • 08 16:56 Turn On Your Lovelight Listen
  • 09 06:39 Uncle John’s Band Listen
  • 10 05:20 Casey Jones Listen

Concert Length: 00:53:08

Chateau d’Herouville: 1971-06-21

  • 01 09:52 Truckin’ Listen
  • 02 08:26 Loser Listen
  • 03 07:59 Me And Bobby McGee Listen
  • 04 03:53 Next Time You See Me Listen
  • 05 11:19 Morning Dew Listen
  • 06 04:09 Me And My Uncle Listen
  • 07 11:09 Hard To Handle Listen
  • 08 05:07 China Cat Sunflower -> Listen
  • 09 08:01 I Know You Rider Listen
  • 10 02:52 The Promised Land Listen
  • 11 06:05 Deal Listen
  • 12 04:41 Playing In The Band Listen
    Chateau d’Herouville: 1971-06-21
  • 13 06:04 Big Boss Man Listen
  • 14 08:18 Black Peter Listen
  • 15 05:49 Bertha Listen
  • 16 05:48 Casey Jones Listen
  • 17 16:45 That’s It For The Other One -> Listen
  • 18 08:21 Wharf Rat Listen
  • 19 06:07 Sugar Magnolia Listen
  • 20 09:32 Sing Me Back Home Listen
  • 21 03:40 Johnny B. Goode ListenConcert Length: 01:43:39
  • Concert Length: 01:43:39

Fillmore West: 1971-07-02

  • 01 08:42 Bertha Listen
  • 02 07:09 Me And Bobby McGee Listen
  • 03 05:23 Next Time You See Me Listen
  • 04 05:11 China Cat Sunflower> Listen
  • 05 08:22 I Know You Rider Listen
  • 06 08:06 Playin’ In The Band Listen
  • 07 10:08 Loser Listen
  • 08 05:23 The Rub Listen
  • 09 03:16 Me & My Uncle Listen
  • 10 05:56 Big Railroad Blues Listen
  • 11 07:56 Hard To Handle Listen
  • 12 07:28 Deal Listen
  • 13 04:00 Promised Land Listen
  • 14 18:16 Good Lovin’ Listen
  • 15 07:34 Sugar Magnolia Listen
  • 16 11:15 Sing Me Back Home Listen
  • 17 03:58 Mama Tried Listen
  • 18 02:04 Cryptical Envelopement-> Listen
  • 19 05:05 Drums-> Listen
  • 20 01:49 The Other One Jam-> Listen
  • 21 01:23 Space Jam Listen
  • 22 04:23 The Other one-> Listen
  • 23 04:54 Jam Listen
  • 24 02:02 the Other One Listen
  • 25 02:12 Cryptical Jam Listen
  • 26 07:11 Big Boss Man Listen
  • 27 06:38 Casey Jones Listen
  • 28 03:42 Not Fade Away-> Listen
  • 29 08:31 Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad-> Listen
  • 30 03:46 Not Fade Away Listen
  • 31 05:08 crowd Listen
  • 32 04:22 Johnny B. Goode Listen

Concert Length: 02:50:49

2 responses to “The Grateful Dead At The Fillmore West & The Winterland: 1971–Truckin’ and Johnny Be Good

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  1. Pingback: The Grateful Dead at the Fillmore West, June 1970 : New Speedway Boogie « Cloud2013 Or Bust

  2. Pingback: The Grateful Dead At the Fillmore West, June 1969 « Cloud2013 Or Bust

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