If you’re up on your Dick’s Picks releases—and we know you are—you’ll recall that Dick’s Picks 35, released in 2005, featured some smokin’ performances from the summer of 1971. The master reels from which it was culled, long believed to have been lost, had turned up miraculously on a houseboat owned by the parents of former GD keyboardist Keith Godchaux, discovered more than 30 years later by Keith’s brother, Brian, and son, Zion. And Keith had these masters because the band wanted him to be able to hear their most recent tour in preparation for his taking the piano seat that fall. It was quite a find, to say the least—the Grateful Dead world equivalent of uncovering a new royal tomb in the Valley of the Kings.So imagine our surprise when two years later, under completely different circumstances, even more great, previously uncirculated master tapes from the summer of ’71 turned up unexpectedly. Surely that was a sign, too, that this music needed to come out and be shared with all of you. Which brings us, happily, to Road Trips Volume One, Number 3. This release offers up the brightest of these recently discovered gems: Disc One is taken from the famous show at the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut, July 31, 1971, anchored around an out-of-this-world “Dark Star” and a version of “Not Fade Away > Goin’ Down the Road” that also includes a short “Darkness, Darkness” jam. Hot stuff!The material on Disc Two is from the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago about three weeks later—8/23/71 (the following night, 8/24, was spotlighted on DP35)—and its big highlight is probably the very jammed out version of “That’s It for the Other One,” which in my humble opinion stands with the best they ever played (yes, even ones from the Fillmore West box). Spread across the discs you’ll also find outstanding versions of “China Cat > Rider,” “Uncle John’s Band > Johnny B. Goode,” “Wharf Rat,” “Sugar Magnolia” and lots more. Like the DP35 performances, these are a Phil-lover’s-delight, with massive bass on almost every track—careful if you’re driving or operating heavy machinery when you crank up these CDs!As is customary, too, for the proverbial “limited time only,” when you buy Road Trips #3, you’ll also receive a bonus disc with still more rarities from that ’71 tour. Check it out: The first few newly unearthed tracks are more from the 8/6/71 Hollywood Palladium show (featured on DP35), including the justifiably legendary, consensus-best-ever version of “Hard to Handle,” heard in pristine soundboard form for the first time. It will knock your tie-dye socks off! There are also more fine tracks from Yale Bowl, but the heart of this disc was plucked from the 8/4/71 show at Terminal Island correctional facility in Southern California, where Grateful Dead sound guru Owsley Stanley was incarcerated at the time. This show doesn’t even circulate as an audience recording! (What—a venue the tapers couldn’t crack? No way!) We think you’ll agree that all of this is GD of the highest order! As usual, these master soundboard recordings have been mastered in HDCD, and each package includes a cool booklet with an essay about the music (by yours truly in this case) and plenty o’ rare photos from the period.So…You know the drill: click here for a complete track listing for the three discs, and click here to order your copy today!
None of the links lead anywhere, so hopefully we’ll get the full scoop shortly from the Dead org. Can’t wait to hear a pristine copy of the Darkstar from Yale. Nothing gets us goin’ like new to our ears music from ’71.
- Previously on HT: The Grateful Dead kickoff Road Trips