Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Tag: terrapin

Swing, Auditorium!

I want to write a book called Tuesdays with Mickey, in which Mickey shares life lessons about the power of drumming and then tries to choke me.

Show of the Day: 2/26/77  The Help>Slip>Franklin’s is terrifyingly good, especially the Slipknot! and, it’s the first time they’ve ever played Terrapin and they choose to open with it.  You might wonder if Garcia nailed all the lyrics to Terrapin. He did, Bobby: first time. How about that?

Record Shmecord

Terrapin Station is majestic. Its lineage, probably, is the Weather Report Suite, but it also resembles in its twists and turns the early songs, with their crudely welded-together bits (Looking at you, New Potato Caboose.) Not Terrapin: each section flows logically from the previous theme, like a an elegantly proven math equation. It slaloms like whatever louche aristo is the skiing champion this year. It requires finesse and exquisite timing to pull it off; some nights they had neither. But when they did it was the emotional highlight of any show. It is a grand entry into the canon.

Terrapin Station, a bit less. This was the album wherein, no longer able to generate drug addicts in-house, were forced to draft a drug addict from another band. They also tried to trade Keith for a speed freak and an alcoholic to be named later, but the deal fell through.

Terrapin Station was produced by Lowell George from Little Feat Keith Olsen, as much as anyone can produce the Grateful Dead. He tried to erase a percussion track of Mickey’s, and if you’ve been a loyal reader of this blog, you’ll know what happened next: everybody’s favorite fun game, Mickey Physically Assaults Business Associates. None of their records were any good. Common knowledge.

So: we can either spend 400 more words mocking In the Dark, or we can check out Phil (with GREAT HAIR!) leading the way through a 1972 China>Rider in some city that had been occupied by Nazis within the decade.

Good choice:

Addendum: In the comments below, a Fellow Enthusiast points out that I originally conflated Lowell George, who was actually the producer for Shakedown Street with Keith Olsen, the true producer of Terrapin Station. This commenter is correct and wins a year’s supply of  “Brent Mydland’s Silky!” The hair products for men with silky hair. Keep it Silky, boys!

1977 and Bobby Jokes: You Know, The Usual

Why hasn’t Barton Hall been released commercially? Not that I’m looking for it, obviously: I can still remember the all-black Maxxell with 5/8/77!!! written on the tag in red ink. Since then, I’ve never not listened to this show. Even though the boys and I drifted apart during the first decade of the new millennium, that second set still called to me. “Just the first little bit,” I would tell myself. “Just the opening to Scarletdat dat dat–bom ba WHOOOM!” And then, of course, it would be seventy minutes later and the Dead would have destroyed and rebuilt the world with Morning Dew.

But no official release. They have the tapes, obviously, along with a fondness for releasing Spring/Fall ’77 shows–there have been 5 Dick’s Picks, one Road Trip, one Digital Download, To Terrapin, and the 10 CD Winterland ’77 box set. (Swear I did that by memory, so if I’m wrong, then…I don’t know: nothing, I guess. Carry on wasting time reading this nonsense.)

There’s a great book that came out last year, Love Goes to Buildings on Fire by Will Hermes. It might be the definitive history of one of the most fertile musical scenes in history, New York in the 70’s. The author is mugged taking the subway to the train for Cornell and loses not only his money, but also his Dead tickets. The New York Times wrote an article recently about the archive and the sheer volume of shows available nowadays and its effect on ranking shows and whether or not the band should be appreciated show-by-show or by tour. Quite honestly, I think the author of the article was assigned an article covering The Dead’s weary arrival into Manhattan and just couldn’t interview Bobby again. True, there had been no dickpunching since Billy went back to the ocean, but still, you try asking Bobby  any other question other than, “When did you start looking like Dad Wolf from Teen Wolf?

So, who was on Style’s Woof-mobile?

Anyway, what I’m saying is that 5/8/77 is kind of almost vaguely “out there.” And we’re coming up on the 35th anniversary, but no one’s talking advantage of it. New members, fresh blood. Think I haven’t seen hobbies die? I used to work in a comic book shop, man: Hell holds no terrors for me.

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