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Books and Music



Samson and Delilah
April 18, 1978
Civic Arena

Kicking intro out of Dancin'>Drums and into a typically raucous, rippin', 1978 Samson. You'll dig it for the into alone but the whole thing is a beast
March 2, 1992
The Omni

Heavy calypso rhythms & monstrous punctuation via The Beast make for an epic Drums out of Terrapin. 5 star stuff.
Estimated Prophet
Aug. 30, 1978
Red Rocks Ampitheatre

In combo with the equally stunning "Eyes" to follow this is an unheralded, wah-wah Jerry-heavy, Bobby/Donna vocal gem.
Beat it on Down The Line
July 3, 1966
Fillmore Auditorium

Flying Pig.
Nov. 4, 1979
Civic Center

Sily smooth Althea from Providence. Rich Jerry vocals & of course, chunks o'Phil. This deserves a listen & some votes!


Playin' In The Band
July 1, 1978
Arrowhead Stadium

^^^^Excellent point Merry on this version and frankly many other Playins circa ‘77-‘78 that also click in around 10 mins and get passed over for lengthier “monster” versions. Those are almost like different songs in their bookended self contained 25-30 min. madness and they’re great but don’t overlook these shorter “launch pad” versions that pack a lot of jazzy exploration into a shorter space. This is one of them.
Fire On The Mountain
June 28, 1976
Auditorium Theatre

It's the Marcel Marceau version (no vocal) & really, none needed. I've been digging this one a LOT lately b/c the groove is just so damn infectious and irresistible. Easily the best of the prototype "beta" versions & better than some fully developed ones in which Jerry mumbles through blown lyrics & the band sounds tired. This one suffers no energy drain whatsoever despite its emphasis on rhythm & mellow flow rather than Garcia-led shredding.
Estimated Prophet
May 25, 1977
The Mosque

^^^^"...but that's the price of consistency. They all feel to me like studies in refinement." Spot-on observation, Ernie, and well said. I'm not upvoting this, not b/c I don't like it (I like every Estimated in '77), but b/c my ultimate favorite for the year is 10/29 & this one has plenty enough love to have its spot near the top AND b/c of what you wrote here about consistency. Much of '77 is like that--we sometimes lose the forest of the year b/c so many of the trees look the same, but when you really stop & appreciate it, they're all magnificent due to the consistent quality of the performances that year. This Estimated is a real good example.
Terrapin Station
Nov. 6, 1979
The Spectrum

Maybe the best of the '79 Terrapins, which is fast becoming my favorite year for the tune. If you like your Terrapins floating on a marshmallow cloud, patient & flowing & beautiful in every way, with Garcia nailing all the lyrics & in complete storyteller mode while doing so, this is your turtle stop. Gorgeous rendition here. (Also, if you dig this, try 9/2/79, although this one may be slightly better). Either way, this oughta be higher up.
Eyes Of The World
Aug. 10, 1982
Iowa Fieldhouse - University of Iowa

Always had--and still do--a real problem with speeded-up Eyes, especially those of the 80s, but THIS version is so ridiculously good that it's surpassed in my personal rankings the only other fast version I ever truly enjoyed and admired--11/4/77. And being a complete '77 snob that is saying something. As other have pointed out this versions is played at lightning speed but somehow doesn't sound rushed...Jerry keeps the train on the tracks and the runs he makes along the way are just astonishing. This is be-bop jazz guitar to the Nth degree and it's not sung half bad, either, which is a bit surprising for the year. Would love to see this version get booted up the ladder a fair way. Definitely my favorite of the 80s (better even than the much slower paced and quite excellent 4/3/82 from the Scope), and even though there are many many versions I like far better from 1977, this is my best-ever for a "fast Eyes". Glad it was bandied about recently or I would never have checked it out.