Friday, February 22, 2013

Grateful Dead Live at Capitol Theatre on 1971-02-20

Well, I am getting back into the Grateful Dead after not listening to them for about a month. It is GREAT to be back. Sometimes an accidental rest is all you need to remind you how much you miss something. This time my reminder to get back into blogging about "The Dead" came in the form of a German/American man by the name of Clayton. My girlfriend Kelly and I went out for drinks in honor of six months together. The bar that we planned on attending was closed for renovation. After a phone call to a local friend, we were directed to a very quaint Irish Pub in the neighborhood. It was so cute and remarkable that I cannot remember its name. All kidding aside though, it had an awesome atmosphere. It was sort of quiet but filled with character and authenticity, plus they had a really wonderful beer list. Anyone close to me knows that I am a fan of a dark beer. I also like my bread the same way, dense, heavy and full of flavor. I was pleased to imbibe on three glasses of a fine milk stout, with rich tones of coffee and chocolate.

You might be thinking what on earth does this have to do with Jerry, Bobby, Phil and the boys? Don't worry, I am getting there. About an hour after we arrived a man sat next to us, and I had this crazy feeling that I was going to start up a conversation with this man. He just had an aura about him and he was the kind of person that you know digs good music, good beer and lots of laughs. As it turns out, his name is Clayton and he has been playing guitar since he was a youngster. He grew up in Anaheim, California and Munich, Germany! I was so excited! We had the chance to speak about the Grateful Dead and we made a toast to Jerry. I was also able to work on my German pronunciation with him. (I will write about that at a later time)

My conversation at the pub inspired me. And when I am inspired I listen to music, and when I listen to good music, I like to tell the world about it. So what I really want to do here is share a show with you.

This show starts off with a rather boring Casey Jones, but everything after that is brilliant and bold. As soon as you hear Bobby's introduction to Me and My Uncleyou just know that whatever is going to take place on this particular night is going to be remarkable. I have become a huge fan of Weir's abiltiy to take a simple and boring rhythm part and make it his own, and put a little sass in everyones step. He is the only rhythm guitar player that makes me really think, " how did you do that Bro? That was sweet!" (is it weird that I hear my thoughts out loud in my own excited voice). Some of my friends tell me that when they read my posts, they can hear my!"

This show is loaded with great stuff, some great singing (and melodic screaming) from Pig Pen and a world of wonderful bass from Phil! He is really on fire tonight, sounding raw and outrageously rhythmical. This is a really sweet version of Bertha. For me this song is all about the interplay between Bobby and Phil. The way Phil repeats a riff five times, but each time plays it with a just a hint of uniqueness! A sprinkle of spice if you will.

This just came to me: The Grateful Dead are like Caraway seeds. Some people can not stand them, others love them, and you can not really explain "why" either way. You just know that when you plug in to them, it makes you feel something; being a part of something larger than yourself. That is my take on them anyways.

Go! Go! Go! Go!

Enjoy another piece of proof that the spirits want us to be happy!
I would not say that this the best recording of the Dead, but it is characteristic of everything that I love about them: exploration, creativity, innovation and beauty!

Bake On
-DW, The Rye King


  1. David,

    Somehow I happened upon your Blog! Jerry once said the Grateful Dead were like black licorice. People who like black licorice REALLY like it and people who don't REALLY hate it.

    Just thought I would add.

    Have a Grateful Day!! (~):=

    1. I think it is more fitting to compare them to caraway here! :)