May 9, 1977
Donnie; you just may be right. But it might not be the exact type of bias you are thinking. At least not with my choice of this particular song. I had this second set on a tape (back in the Maxell days). I think the reason I like this one sooo much is because I have "first timer" bias. And it's not even "first version of the song" or "first version of the song that really struck me". To be very specific; this was the first version of Sugar Mags I got hold of, on a good quality tape; that was on the slow, unfocused side. I'm not going to agree with "lazy" though. So I was used to some early 70's and early 80's Sugar Mags that were much tighter, more focused and much harder rock jamming. Very purposeful. And there may have been quite a few 82 vintage in there as well. I had a taper friend that seemed to have an endless supply of early and mid 80s ready for me every time I saw him. But with this 77 version I had finally found my "first" version of Sugar Mags that sounded trippier and weirder and more exploratory and open to the capricious nature, in this case; of a Jerry led jam. Rather than a much more purposeful Jerry jam; I'm sure we can all think of some examples of those as well. I would say that your 82 Sugar Mags and many of CrackStraws recs of early 80s Jack Straws are extremely focused and purposeful. In this case; I had finally found a trippy Sugar Mags that I liked really liked. I had heard others of similar style that bored me. Now that I had found a more unpredictable Sugar Mags that sounded just right; I liked it even better than the tighter more focused versions I thought I liked better. Soon thereafter; I found the Sugar Mags on the 6-26-1974 Providence show that many on the LMA seem to think is sloppy and uninspired. On the Dusborne version from about 3:24 to about 5:10; I would describe this jam as so loosely fitted it's barely Sugar Mags any more and yet it's also still unmistakable; but that's really the essence of this song to me. It's a song where we and the world around us are so loose and carefree that Jerry is playing the music as much as the music playing him.