Welcome back to the third installment of “The Unofficial 31 Days of Dead.” The past two years were so much fun that I decided to do it again. The idea for these compilations came about after dead.net ran its “30 Days of Dead” in November 2010. While the Deadhead community at large was no doubt thrilled to receive previously unreleased tracks from the band’s vast archives, many of us were hoping for just a bit…more. Hey, we are Deadheads – we are always hoping for more! Therefore, I thought it might be fun to keep the music flowing by selecting my own daily picks. The month of December seemed more than appropriate since New Year’s Eve celebrations were such a big part of the Grateful Dead. Let’s think of these daily picks as an advent calendar leading up to New Year’s Eve. Unlike the “Official 30 Days of Dead,” there is no contest here. Instead, the prize is the music and the winner is the listener.
[Artwork by Brian Levine]
Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad
11/26/72 San Antonio Civic Center, San Antonio, TX
There’s one pin the tail on the donkey game where everyone’s a winner. That’s the game where the donkey is 1972. You simply can’t miss. If someone blindfolded you and asked you to randomly select a 1972 show from a hat, you’d pull out a winner every time. Excerpted from the deadlistening.com blog.
Any Deadhead worth his bottle of patchouli oil knows that 1972 was an excellent vintage for songs such as Dark Star, The Other One, Playin’ and Bird Song, but sometimes it is all too easy to overlook the band’s amazing rock and roll chops. Take for example this stand-alone version of GDTRFB from the great Southwestern tour in Nov. 1972. First, you’ve gotta love Jerry’s delayed vocal delivery, “Goin’ where the water tastes like….(wait for it)….wiiiiinnnne.” And, the blistering guitar solo that follows is about as hot as it gets: rapid licks running up and down the fretboard, impossibly bended notes, vicious fanning. The guy was totally possessed in 1972. The band screams the final chorus trashing what little is left of their vocal chords. Then, rather than gently bringing things down with the usual “Bid you goodnight” instrumental outro, Garcia continues to thrash on, taking it around one more time before coming to a complete jarring stop as if there just wasn’t anything left in the gas tank. Whew! After noodle dancing to this you’ll need that bottle of patchouli oil to keep that hippie stench at bay.