Dick Latvala - 06:55am Jul 3, 1997 PDT (#301 of 327) Hi there everybody. I have needed to take a thoroughly over- indulgent break from having my attention daily focused on this new computer tool, and the responsibilities of responding to so many questions from so many people. I have felt as though I had lost perspective on what I should be doing; and that is listening to music. Which is another thing I have been doing lately. I sure enjoy Harpur College, no matter how many times I've heard it. I was enjoying this lull myself. I guess we need constant stimulation of sorts. When I'm not saying anything, I find the discussions very entertaining. It seems like it didn't take much to get a bunch of you going on the merits of TDK vs. Maxell, or the Gerber's baby food thing with our kitties everywhere. I thought that I was the only one who knew about this treat! More really soon, I promise. Dick Latvala - 01:55pm Jul 5, 1997 PDT (#302 of 327) Hi, my fellow compulsive and insatiable tape/music junkies. I was promising to get together my analysis of the most prolific and exciting year in G.D. history, which is clearly 1973, where their jamming around and within the songs themselves, was at some kind of peak level of intensity that I don't think was ever equaled. So, I have been putting this together for at least 2-3 weeks, since I didn't want to say something that wasn't carefully researched it took me some time! My next post will have this analysis in detail. Dick Latvala - 03:07pm Jul 5, 1997 PDT (#303 of 327) This being the best year of all-time, as far as uniqueness and jamming and variety are concerned, I must say that this is a very brief over-all attempt at putting some kind of order to the immensity of brilliance delivered during this year. Also, this is to be considered a work in progress please, and NOT anything resembling a final say on my part. Besides, there are quite a few shows that I need to hear again before I can consider this to be competent. With all these reserve clauses intact, here we go: 1) 2/15/73- Madison, Wisconsin This has to be one of the top 10 shows of the year. The first set features an up-tempo version of "Row Jimmy" that will knock you out. "China Cat->Rider" and "Bertha" are also worth going with. The highlight is easily, as though any of you can't guess, is "Playing in the Band". So, we give this first set a VG rating, if not VG plus. The second set starts off in a stunning manner, with one of the better versions of "Here Comes Sunshine".(I really do not believe that any version has even approached #1-12/19/73 or #2- 11/30/73) Not much is happening until the "Dark Star" jam. Well this is superb, and so is the "Eyes of the World" that follows. I am pretty much of the opinion that the best versions of this monstrous medley that starts with "Dark Star" and usually concludes with "Morning Dew", (but as is the case here, went to "Eyes->China Doll") are the following: 2/22/73; 6/24/73; 9/11/73; 10/19/73; 10/25/73; 10/30/73; 11/11/73 and 12/18/73. Anyway, a thrilling version of "Sugar Magnolia" and a pretty damn decent two-tune encore concludes this excellent show, which is not in the vault, by the way!! 2) 2/21&22/73- Urbana, Il. I am pretty sure that this series will definitely be a release when it's time comes around. The second sets from both nights are fucking fantastic!!! It simply doen't get any better or anywhere close, for that matter, until 9/8/73. 3) Whoops! I almost forgot something very special: 2/19/73- Chicago ( excerpt) I have only found a cassette of Bear's that had a very stunning, if not shocking, jam that goes: He's Gone-> Truckin'->jam->The Other One-> Eyes of the World-> China Doll that simply has to be heard to be understood how good things can get!!! 4) 2/26/73- Lincoln, Nebraska I am not in the "fold" of those that place a whole lot of value on this show. I do believe some of the best versions I've ever heard of "Tennessee Jed" and "Greatest Story Ever Told" occur here though. The "Eyes of the World" is definitely one of the major highlights of a show that I would not think of in the first group of 10-15 shows from 1973. 5) Another WHOOPS! 2/24/73- Iowa City, Iowa We are missing reel #5, but reel #6 starts off with one of the most exciting jams, that includes a monstrous "bass solo" and following jam that has that great style of transiting from "China Cat Sunflower" into "I Know You Rider" that made the versions from late 1973 and most of1974 so delicioius. I will never understand how they were able to forget or just abandon that transition theme. This theme is a magical thing that has eluded me from pinning it down for a very long time. This theme gets into that question about "Tighten Up" by Archie Drell And the Bells or is it the other way around? Anyway, that whole thing needs to be thought out by me and any one else that cares and we should let everyone know what we have discovered. Hell, for all I know, you guys have already got that one put in context! 6) I really don't have a thing on much till the end of March period. There are some superb jams on 3/24/73 and 3/31/73. The Philly night also has a very cool version of "China Cat->Rider" and one of the all time greatest versions of "Sing Me Back Home", and I should mention that the version of "Johnny B. Goode" on this night(3/24/73) The version of "Eyes of the World" from 4/2/73- Boston is one of the best, as are versions of "Greatest Story Ever Told", "Big River", "China Cat->Rider" and "Playing in the Band". But the highlight has to be the JAM segment following "Here Comes Sunshine". 7) The May and June stadium shows were not that impressive for me, generally speaking of course. I know there are tremendous moments here and there but I really don't consider the summer shows to be in the same class or category, or universe for that matter, as the October through December run of masterpieces. 8) 6/24/73- Portland, Or. This is not well known I believe, but it contains one of the most exciting segments of G.D. music that I have ever witnessed. The "Dark Star->jam->drum solo->jam- >Dark Star->jam->Eyes of the World->China Doll" is worth finding. Also I should say something about the show in Vancouver on 6/22/73. The only part really interesting is the jams that surround "The Other One" and what is between them of course!! 8) That takes us up to the September run. (we really do not need to get into the soundcheck dealy right!!) Well right away 9/8/73 sticks out begging for attention. Even the night before (9/7/73) had fairly thrilling versions of TLEO, Jack Straw, PITB, WRS- >Let it Grow.There is not a weak moment from "Truckin' " through the ending tune "Sugar Magnolia". Even as good as this night must sound, the following night things really explode. I really can't put my finger on it because from the songlist, there is nothing apparently compelling. Well, you guys will soon find out what I mean, since I intend to release this one whenever the time is right. 9) The 9/11/73-Williamsburg, Va. show is another favorite of mine. Well actually it isn't a favorite in the sense of the whole show, but it certainly has one of the finest examples of the famous medley "Dark Star->Morning Dew". (which, BTW, I find the 9/10/74- Alexandra Palace to be one of the highest of the high versions!!!) For the remainder of this month, I will have to pass on since I have never been able to get passed the horns. 10) I guess we can say with confidence that things take on new meanings on 10/19/73 in Oklahoma. This could easily have been the first of the DP series, except for the absolute awesomeness of "Here Comes Sunshine" on 12/19 /73. This has to be yet another example of the "top version ever", of "Dark Star->Morning Dew"!!! (and the jam within this incredible medley, of course!) There is another excellent version of "Eyes of the World" that goes into "Stella Blue" as the first encore! 11) Now we get to one of the all-time, out-of-this-world kind of shows: 10/25/73. I really can't say enough about this one! The first set is very good, but itis the second set that does you in. The "China Cat->Rider" is one of the better ones from that era when they used that transition material that people call "Tighten Up" and other names, and I am just as confused about this as the next guy. So a detailed discussion about that wonderful "jam" occurring towards the ends of some "Dark Stars" from 1969 and 1970, (and which is stated as beautifully as I could ever hope to hear on 4/8/72- Wembley) and which also could be occasionally intimated during some versions of "Dancing in the Streets", that kind of discussion is something that I would like to learn more from some of you guys who have been investigating this. But not right now, since I need to finish gushing all over this Madison show. The "Dark Star->Eyes->Stella Blue" is where the action is! There are "jams" surrounding these songs that contain some very, very scary and unbelievable playing. A bass sound that Phil employs here will pretty much have you seriously thinking that this might be too much! Obviously words will never get this described very well, at least not my words. The "Eyes" is another one of those "best versions" type of things. 12) The 2 shows at the end of the month in St. Louis,Mo. were both worthy of a future release with only the second sets. On 10/29/73, there is a pretty long jam that is concerned with "The Other One" and on 10/30/73 it is "Dark Stars" turn. On each, the playing is spectacular. The jam from the 10/29 show has simply outstanding jamming around the songs and the songs themselves are examples of the "best versions" category, especially "The Other One", "Wharf Rat", "Sugar Magnolia" and "Casey Jones". The "Eyes" from the following night is one of the best. The first sets from both nights are not very interesting. In fact, I would call them "below average", at best. 13) Although I really like the Winterland 11/11/73 show, I don't think it is on the same levels as 10/19, 10/25, 10/29&30, 11/17, 11/20 and the second sets from 12/18 and 12/19. I think that 11/11 does have my favorite example of the transition material being played excitingly between "China Cat" and "I Know You Rider". (well, I guess a pretty strong case can easily be made for 6/26/74-Providence!!!) 14) The next example of a stupendous type of show is 11/20/73- Denver. The playing is solid throughout the evening, but it is in the second set (as usual!!!) where things really take off, with great versions of every song from "China Cat->Rider" thru "Stella Blue". The extra special quality that this show has for me is expressed in the jamming around the "Other One". Again, it is long and unique. 15) As for the run at Boston at the end of the month and the beginning of December, well I would have to say that it is just that, "a run of shows". What I mean here is that I see using these 3 nights as a 3-4 cd release of the "best of a run" kind of deal. Not one of the 3 stands out on it's own, but in combo, they will deliver some of the absolutely finest playing of the year!!! 16) That takes us to the end of the most powerful and fullfilling year in G.D. history, as far as I am concerned. I've felt this way for a long time, so I doubt that "new" evidence, or ways of "looking/listening at it" will produce any substantial change. Not that I am not open to this possibility!