Yesterday I mentioned the album BLUES FOR ALLAH as my favorite studio effort by the Grateful Dead. It is a transcendent, mesmerizing journey consisting of some of the most beautifully complex songs and sounds the Dead ever created. But like all Dead albums, the studio environment was no match for the live. In concert, this band took the “skeletons” of these songs as created in the recording studio, and expanded them into full-on musical explorations that, like everything they played live, morphed and changed with each performance.
Though the Dead took a year and a half long hiatus from touring starting in late ’74 and into early ’76, they did play a handful of shows during that “off” period. Here’s a sampling from that tour-less time-zone. It contains many samplings from ALLAH as well as some good ol’ Grateful Dead from years past.
Off to a fiery start, Garcia breaks a string during SLIPKNOT! and the triple threat of HELP ON THE WAY-> SLIPKNOT!-> FRANKLIN’S TOWER is brought to a surprisingly graceful, albeit unexpected, halt. But all is alright in the world of the Grateful Dead. Strings are replaced, laughter ensues, and the journey continues, although this time traversing some different territory before returning to complete the trilogy.
The energy is high in this show with Garcia slamming his guitar as if to proclaim to the music Gods that it will take more than a broken string to stop this particular train. Then there’s the baby that’s born during the show as the band tries to coordinate from the stage getting doctor and patient together in time for the blissful event. Some kid out there was brought into this world listening to some wildly beautiful sounds. What a place he or she must have thought they’d landed!
Grateful Dead lore also suggests that this was one of the shows the band was “known” to have been chemically altered (along with 08/27/72, 05/11/78).
So welcome to Lindley Meadows in Golden Gate Park (San Fran, of course) on September 28th, 1975.
The journey starts HERE.