Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pro Shot Late 1983 Grateful Dead Video

1982, '83 and '84 are sometimes considered Grateful Dead throwaway years, but they are worth exploring.  There's a grungy, dirty vibe going on and while not exactly tight, the band is certainly not afraid of taking chances during this period, just maybe not the chances fans were expecting them to take.

They've never officially released a DVD from these years - it could be out of a concern for Garcia's countenance being not fit for general public consumption.  But apparently, there are good quality early 80's videos in circulation, such as the seemingly pro shot video from 12/28/83.

Perhaps because it was a hometown San Francisco show, on a low pressure night (New Year's Eve was still a few days off), with no performance scheduled for the next day 12/29, they were able to chill out and play a sleeper of a show.  Early on Bobby seems to challenge Jerry to step it up and vice versa, in that not so super-friendly rapport these two kind of always had.  The Freudian ebb and flow dichotomy of Grateful Dead sets soon takes over.  The Loser at 19 minutes in is sufficiently sick.

The video is below.  If you just want to listen to the audio, here's a link.

1 comment:

  1. that is fucking insane! The early 80s were some of the Dead's very best! They broke out Help/slip/Frank. They played Althea all the time, one of my all time favorite. Brokedown Palace became a go to encore along with Baby Blue. Brother Essau was being played before gone for ever, another favorite. Brent had finally became ripe and the sounds he made with those bells and that synth were out of site. In '83 they played St Stephen 3 times. Some of the greatest Space jams were in these years. Listen to 3/31/84 and tell me that the early 80s were throw away years. yes, maybe Jerry had some bad nights, but let's face it, he strapped that entire band, no scene to his fucking back and walked a thousand miles. No other human being in the world could have done that. AND he played constant JGB shows when the dead were not touring. What is wrong with this picture? Absolutely nothing. We are talking about a guitar junkie who did not feel comfortable unless he had a guitar strapped to his back. The early 80s were one of the Dead's most amazing periods, bar non. Now if you want to tell me about the 90's. I will tell you 1,000 reasons why they should have retired after Brent died. Jerry could have kept going with Garcia band, but let's face it, the GD were over for the most part when Brent was lost. Very sad.