Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Reflections on the Grateful Dead (8/6/74)

Deepest Gratitude to Phil Matera for his brief but great notes on the Grateful Dead's performance of 8/6/74

(Following courtesy of Phil Matera)

Thinking back on that torrential nightmare - I remember
Phil and Bobby, I think, saying that if they played, that
the speakers would melt in a minute. Of course,
some of those in the crowd were not so understanding.
One young jerk yelled out "Rain or Shine! Rain or Shine!"
When someone is that thoughtless, I think that murder
should be legal.
That same night, Jerry did play a few *wonderful* notes.
They rang out clear and beautiful. I heard someone say
"That can't be Jerry Garcia!". Ah, the uninitiated.
When 8/6/74 did come around, you could tell when the
newbies *got it*. When the first set ended, after 1 1/2 hours
of playing, with a dynamite Eyes of the World, and closing
with 45 minutes of Playing on the Band > Scarlet Begonias,
when they heard "We'll back in a little while to play some more"
they went nuts - as in "I can't believe they're coming back after *that*!
One of my favorite musical moments, is when The Boys got inti
that great synchopated funk jam during "Playing". As I was bopping
to the music, I looked over the crowd, and saw that virtually everyone
was bopping, and in synchopation. It was like watching several
thousand pistons moving up and down, or watching the ocean
wildly ripple when a storm is brewing.
It was also great to come home with a recording -- crowd noise, and
a bit thin in the sound, but one of my favorite tapes none-the-less.
As we were inching out of Roosevelt Stadium in our cars, I was listening
to the show on my tape deck with those gigundo headphones that everyone
used back then, when someone motioned to me and then yelled "What are
you listening to". He smiled broadly and said "Cool!" when I yelled back
"Tonight's show!".
How's *that* for some recollectin'?!
Phil Matera


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