6/7/69
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Grateful Dead bootleg reviews - 6/7/69

 

F. West The Complete Concerts reviewLive Dead review

F. West
1969

Aoxomoxoa reviewF. East - Grateful Dead review

 
Grateful Dead bootleg reviews - 6/7/69

The Grateful Dead
Fillmore West ~ San Francisco, CA
6/7/69 

Set 1: Dire Wolf, Dupree's Diamond Blues, Mountains Of The Moon, Dark Star? > St. Stephen > The Eleven > Sitting On Top Of The World > Cold Rain & Snow > Doin' That Rag, Me & My Uncle, Lovelight*

*with Janis Joplin

Review

This is 6-07-69, a time that was once as real & alive as your next breath, but is now way gone -- a time when Jerry was alive to play "Dupree" and "Mountains of the Moon", both soon to be retired; a time when "Cold Rain" was played at breakneck speed; a time when a one-set show could pitch us "Dark Star" with a sense of mystery, inquiry & patience; a time when Janis Joplin might jump on stage just for fun. Here they are, all gathered like ex-patriots at the all-night cafe.

Look, there's "Sittin' On Top of the World", working on a refill while he polishes off a bagel; "Doin' That Rag" sits not far away browsing through a magazine with a cappuccino. They chat amiably with "Saint Stephen" and "Lovelight", who used to hang out at the Carousel; even then, those days were gone. New kid "Dire Wolf" sips a cola, uncertain whether he fits in with such heavyweight company, but he's doing fine; "He just doesn't know it yet," chuckles "Me & My Uncle", who's been there longer than most. "Cold Rain" nods in breathless agreement; he's already finished his morning double, and is impatiently waiting for "Sitting on Top of the World"; they commute together I guess.

"Mountains of the Moon" is too absorbed in a Russian novel to talk much, wedged between "Dire Wolf" and "Dark Star", but "Dark Star" makes up for it -- talking plenty & at length. It's all stuff we've mostly heard before -- unless, of course, you're new; in which case you'd be plenty impressed. He, "St Stephen", and "The Eleven" fill up a lot of space -- it's a good thing they're such cheery & well-loved characters -- but once they've had their say, they are more than happy to make room for everyone else.

There's little to say about "Lovelight" himself -- he's always tended to be last, if worth the wait. This time, though, he's brought his new girlfriend, and she's loud & brassy -- more Southern Comfort than espresso; more Big Mama Thornton than Bukowski. To the amusement of all, she parades through the cafe from one end to the other, a whiskey in one hand and a mike in the other. "Lovelight" grins; this crusty old room could use a little dusting up now & then, he thinks. He lights up, thumps "Dark Star" on the back, and smiles wide. Ah hell, she clearly don't mean no harm: just a good-hearted woman having a good time, and wanting to share it with everyone she can.

"Ain't it grand, Dark Star?" And "Dark Star" has to agree: it may not be the most thought-provoking, soul-searching night of their lives, but it was certainly memorable in a very good way. -- and a good balance to "Dark Star"'s own seriousness. After all, we all need to balance the darkness of introspection with some light :-)

Ramble On Joe

Review of the Grateful Dead's concert performance at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, CA on 6/7/69.
Grateful Dead bootleg reviews - 6/7/69

 

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