Archive for the ‘Dark Star’ Tag

On Public Access to the Internet Archive’s Grateful Dead Collection   1 comment

Although I have covered this topic in a technical blog some time ago, the programmatic approach is not for everyone.  As one correspondent wrote:


I just want to listen to Dark Star on my IPOD, not get a computer science degree.


Well, if you just want to listen to Dark Star (or Fire On the Mountain for that matter) just go here or here.  Right Click on any track listed, select SAVE AS and Bear’s your Uncle.  But if your needs go deeper and you don’t want to write code; here dear reader is a simple explanation involving nothing more technical than a browser (Chrome will do fine but use Internet Explorer will work also) and a text editor (notepad for example).

Know Your Rights

The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers…

                                              Shakespeare  ‘Henry VI,” Part II

Please read the statement from the Internet Archive on use of the Grateful Dead recordings stored on the Internet Archive here.  Understanding and interpretation of same is up to you, not me. I am not a lawyer, I don’t even play one on television, thank you.


Doing a Single Track

Let’s say we like an early Dark Star, say:  Grateful Dead Live at Carousel Ballroom on 1968-01-17 for example.  Cursing to the Internet Archive we find the concert page for the Soundboard version we like the best:


Opps, No downloads on this concert. Let’s take a closer look at the browser screen, at the URL text box at the top:


the “Https://” is the same on all concerts but the other part is the unique key for this particular version of this concert:


I will call this the IAKEY.  We will use this key to delve into the Internet Archive a little more deeply.  Copy this text string from the URL text box and copy it into a Notepad text document.  Now we need a list of all the mp3 files associated with this recording of this concert. Internet Archive stores these in an xml file uniquely defined for each recording. Copy the following template string into a second Notepad text document:{IAKEY}/{IAKEY}_files.xml

Now using text replace the string “{IAKEY} with the IAKey we got perviously.  When you are done the string will look like:

Open a new browser window and copy this new string into the URL text box and press enter.  Here is what you get back:


Search for “Dark Star” on the screen and locate the mp3 file name I will call this the TrackMP3 (ignore any mp3 entries with the digits 64 in the mp3 file name).  In this case the mp3 for Dark Star is:


Open up your Notepad document as paste this string into it:{IAKEY}/{TrackMP3}

Now in this string replace {IAKEY} with gd1968-01-17.sbd.jeff.3927.shnf as we did before and replace {TrackMP3} with gd68-01-17d1t03_vbr.mp3

The final text string will now look like:

Open up a new browser tab and paste this string into it and press enter.  There you are Dark Star will start playing and just RIGHT CLICK and Select “Save As” and Bear’s your uncle.


Doing a Group of Tracks

This gets tedious right away.  You can improve this process to skip the part where the file starts playing first by using a little HTML code.  I am not going to explain the whole process but it works like this:

follow the steps above and get a couple (or all) of the TrackMP3 strings.  “Turn on Your Love Light” has an TrackMP3 of gd68-01-17d1t01_vbr.mp3.  Cryptical Envelopment has a TrackMP3 of gd68-01-17d2t01_vbr.mp3 and  Dark Star we already know.

Open a text editor and enter the lines:


<a href={IAKEY}/{TrackMP3}> {title}</a>

<a href={IAKEY}/{TrackMP3}> {title}</a>

<a href={IAKEY}/{TrackMP3}> {title}</a> 


Now replace {IAKey} and {TrackMP3} and {title} in each line with the strings you got above and save the text file with the extension HTML (NOT as a txt file).  Load the HTML file into the browser (drag and drop will work) and you will see in the browser:

Turn on Your Love Light

Cryptical Envelopment

Dark Star

Right click on each of these in turn and click Save As… I hope you are getting the picture now.


Dawn Of The Dead: The Grateful Dead At the Avalon Ballroom 1969-04-04   1 comment

1969:  The Year Of the Pig

This is the first of a three night run at the Avalon.  All three nights are available on the Internet Archive but this is the best recorded and best played night of the three.  A lot of Dead Heads love this show, but the first two songs are not the best versions the band has done of these two songs.  Things get down to business with the third track.  Lovelight and Dark Star –> St. Stephen –> The Eleven form the core of the set and the image of the band visa 1969.img420

The Internet Archive tape poster notes:

This show was broadcast live on KPFA-FM Berkeley.
The FM broadcast, from which the circulating tape derives, cuts in during Good Morning Schoolgirls.

There seems to be some confusion about the location of LoveLight in this set. Some place it as here as the Opener of the second set, while other sources list it as the closer of that set. Seem like the position listed here is correct.  Pigpen will leave the band for health reasons in August, 1971. He was 23 years old when the Avalon set was played.

A bit of history is in order here.  The ‘Summer of Love’ was long over.  The Woodstock event is five months in the future when this concert was played.   The Manson Family LSD murders took place in August, 1969.

Avalon Ballroom: 1969-04-04

  • 01 10:47 Good Morning Little School Girl ListenAvalon_Ballroom_in_San_Francisco_March_2011
  • 02 06:34 Doin’ That Rag Listen
  • 03 02:05 Cryptical Envelopement-> Listen
  • 04 00:17 Drums-> Listen
  • 05 08:54 The Other One-> Listen
  • 06 08:57 Cryptical Envelopement-> Listen
  • 07 07:56 Death Don’t Have No Mercy Listen
  • 08 22:56 Lovelight Listen
  • 09 20:21 Dark Star-> Listen
  • 10 05:08 Saint Stephen-> Listen
  • 11 11:31 The Eleven-> Listen
  • 12 03:08 Feedback Listen

The Grateful Dead Lived On The 600 Block of Haight Street In San Francisco

The Grateful Dead At The Old Renaissance Faire Grounds – 1972-08-27   Leave a comment

Although there are a lot of strong 1972 recordings available of the Grateful Dead, this one is interesting for its expansive set list (three sets), a strong Dark Star, great Ken Kesey stage announcements, and some cool videos.

Grateful Breed discribes the concert this way:

A benefit for Ken Kesey’s brother’s Creamery that became one of the mythic best performances of their entire career. It was a hot day in Oregon, over 100 degrees farenheit.

First Set

  •  05:55 Stage Announcements, Intros, Gift Presentations
  •  03:31 The Promised Land
  •  09:15 Sugaree
  •  03:26 Me & My Uncle
  •  05:59 Deal
  •  06:29 Black-Throated Wind
  •  02:54 Stage Announcements
  •  06:50 China Cat Sunflower ->
  •  07:11 I Know You Rider
  •  02:25 Stage Announcements
  •  04:02 Mexicali Blues
  •  05:52 Bertha

Second Set

  •  05:46 Playin in the Band >
  •  12:58 Playin Jam ->
  •  03:04 Playing In The Band Reprise
  •  02:12 Stage Announcements
  •  09:07 He’s Gone
  •  02:51 Stage Announcements
  •  06:03 Jack Straw
  •  12:32 Bird Song
  •  01:04 Stage Announcements
  •  05:30 Greatest Story Ever Told

Third Set

  •  13:06 Dark Star ->
  •  18:30 \’Jazz Star\’ Jam ->
  •  05:15 El Paso ->
  •  11:23 Sing Me Back Home
  •  00:47 Stage Announcements
  •  08:44 Sugar Magnolia
  •  02:57 Stage Announcements
  •  07:00 Casey Jones
  •  05:28 One More Saturday Night
  •  02:02 Stage Announcements

The Internet Archive has the whole concert recording here.

If you ever wondered what Jerry is doing during those long Dark Star Variations watch this video except  (and where did he get all those black t-shirts?):
Want More Visuals? =>

Here is the concert (and more) on Video:

(This film escaped rather than released and seems to be produced(?) by Ken myself.  The opening sequences of this film are not from this 1972 concert.  Rather the visuals are from the the magic bus trips with Kesey, Cassidy and the Merry Pranksters.  The audio for these visuals from several 1966 Acid trips. After about five minutes of madness the film then turns to the madness of the 1972 concert.
Recommended Viewing.
Related articles

On This Day In Grateful Dead History   1 comment

Avalon Ballroom April 5, 1969 <Hear It Right Now>


This is a Sound Board Recording Mixed by the amazing Charlie Miller

The first set is on fire:

Dupree’s Diamond Blues ->
Mountains Of The Moon ->
Dark Star –>     <Hear It Right Now>
St. Stephen ->
The Eleven ->
Turn On Your Lovelight


The second set starts a little rough Cosmic Charlie does not come together and China Cat appears without I Know You Rider. (Moving ahead in time to 1971-04-05 you can hear a great

China Cat Sunflower –> I Know You Rider

at the Manhattan Center (Yes THAT Manhattan Center) but that’s another tail.

In the second set things move back into high gear with:

Cryptical Envelopment ->
Drums ->
The Other One ->
Cryptical Envelopment ->
The Eleven ->
It’s A Sin
Alligator ->
Drums ->
Feedback –>    <Hear It Right Now>
And We Bid You Good Night

All this and more on the Internet Archive’s Grateful Dead Collection.

See my prior post on how to download these concerts.


Dark Star – A 1970 Performance   19 comments

What a difference two months can make.  The ever chameleonic Grateful Dead were mellow hippie cowboys at the (West Coast) Euphoria Ballroom Concert on 1970-09-04; but on 1970-09-19 they were back at the Filmore East with an excellant Psychedelic set which includes a remarkable Dark Star.  You can listen to it here on the Internet Archive.

Dark Star

The third set that night included:

Dark Star ->
St. Stephen ->
Not Fade Away ->
Darkness Jam ->
China Cat Jam ->
Not Fade Away ->
Turn On Your Lovelight


This is a true dark star, long and forbidding with primal tentacles reaching deep into the synergistic reality sphere, where all truths fit together.   (See chronosynclastic infundibulum for details),  Jerry does not so much play Dark Star here as join Dark Star, which is already in progress, and is probably playing out there someplace to this day. Jerry just borrowed it from time to time.

The unfortunate Youngbloods had to follow this monumental set.  There opening number of there popular “Get Together” is completely drowned out by crys of “MORE DEAD”, “MORE DEAD”.  Eventually Phil and Pig Pen are sent out to ask the crowd to allow the Youngblood to continue playing.  When this request was drowned out by more crys of “MORE DEAD”, “MORE DEAD”.  Pig Pen addressed the crowd thusly:

“Why don’t you guys go home and fuck somebody?”

The true hippie political program in a nutshell.

RIP, Jerry

Posted 2010/09/27 by Cloud2013 in 1970's, Dark Star, Grateful Dead

Tagged with , ,

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