Sunday, January 13, 2008

Project Ticket Stub - 1986

On to 1986...

Hot Tuna, January 23, 1986 Hot Tuna
Paradise Theatre, Boston, MA
January 23, 1986

I really don't remember this show. Nothing stands out, either of the night, the Paradise, or the show. I see that shows a sweet set list for the night. Set 1 must have been acoustic, and set 2 electric.

Jerry Garcia, January 31, 1986 Jerry Garcia & John Kahn
The Capitol Theater, Passaic, NJ
January 31, 1986

This night (and the next - see below) go down in the top ten list, and also sit alongside that 1979 Steve Goodman show as one of those concerts that I most wish I could go back to and experience all over again.

This was acoustic Jerry - Garcia sitting on a chair with his acoustic guitar, accompanied by John Kahn on the upright acoustic bass. The two sets were short - really only about 45 minutes each (set list here), and Jerry's voice wasn't exactly at the top of his form (we won't get into his lifestyle here), but hell, it was acoustic Jerry!

If I could change any one thing about this concert it would be to get the crowd to be silent. I would have loved to have been able to hear every note, but well, you know a crowd of Deadheads (well, maybe you don't). Today I so much prefer small intimate venues, where everyone is there to hear the music, and you can hear each and every note.

Jerry Garcia, February 1, 1986 Jerry Garcia & John Kahn
Orpheum Theater, Boston, MA
February 1, 1986

Friday night in Passaic, Saturday night in Boston! There was another show Sunday night in Boston, but I'm not exactly sure why I didn't go to that one as well. It could be that I couldn't get tickets -- or that I was running low on money!

Grateful Dead, March 23, 24, and 25, 1986 Grateful Dead
March 23, 24, and 25, 1986
The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA

On to the spring tour! First stop, Philadelphia.

It looks like these are my first mail order tickets (tickets purchased through the Dead's own mail order ticket distribution system). I loved these general admission shows (before the scene got too big, too popular, and too crazy), as the crowd tended to be mellow and to flow naturally. (Well, unless you wanted to get up real close to the stage.)

Nothing really stands out about this Philly run. I'm not even sure if we used Scott's Atlantic City house as our home base, or whether I might have been crashing at my parents', or even my brother's. Deadbase tells me that I thankfully didn't get any U.S. Blues encores. :-) Deadbase also says that they played Dylan's Desolation Row for the first time ever on the 25th. I always thought that Bobby (Bob Weir) did a great job with that song, and hell, just remembering all of the lyrics is an impressive feat!

Grateful Dead, March 27 and 28, 1986 Grateful Dead
Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland, ME
March 27 and 28, 1986

The Philly shows were Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. I must have driven back to NH on Wednesday, and I suspect used my Londonderry, NH apartment as the home base for these two Portland, ME shows. At least I don't remember staying overnight in Portland.

The show on the 27th stands out, as it had some unique (even for the Dead) aspects to it. The first set included a song called Hamstrung Blues, and this was the first and only time they played it. The first set also included a relatively rare Wang Dang Doodle, which hadn't been played in almost 2 years (91 shows to be exact). The second set also included a really cool and fairly rare jam known as Spanish Jam coming out of Drums.

The show on the 28th opened with Iko Iko, and to me that's a killer way to open a show. Energy from the very start.
Grateful Dead, March 30, 1986 Grateful Dead
Civil Center, Providence, RI
March 30, 1986

Notice that this isn't a Dead mail order ticket, which leads me to believe that this must have been a last minute, unplanned acquisition on my part. Five shows in a row weren't enough. :-)

Although I cannot tell from the ticket whether section 121 was a floor section, I know I ended up on the floor at this show, closer to the stage than in any other Dead show before or since. Close enough to really see details.

This show stands out for two things. One is the Beatles' Why Don't We Do It In The Road coming out of Drums; that was the very last time they ever played it, and they never did play it that often (only seven times ever, all between June 1984 and this show). The other was Dylan's Quinn the Eskimo for the encore, a relatively new cover song for them at the time - this was only the fourth time they had played it, the first being on December 30, 1985. Quinn was, without a doubt, an enormous crowd pleaser of an encore. It's such a great encore song.
Dylan and the Dead, July 6, 1986 Dylan and the Dead
R.F.K. Stadium, Washington, DC
July 6, 1986

Uhhh, anyone notice any pattern yet? :-)

They played, I think, five of these shows in late June and early July that year, all with Tom Petty opening, then Dylan, then the Dead. Although Dylan played with the Dead on a couple of songs at two of the shows (July 2nd in Akron, and July 7th in RFK), this wasn't one of them.

Other than a long, hot, summer day, what most stands out from this weekend was getting hopelessly lost in some not-so-friendly parts of Washington, DC while trying to find RFK Stadium.
Go Ahead, October 1, 1986 Go Ahead
The Channel, Boston, MA
October 1, 1986

Oh, you thought maybe this wasn't Dead related? Ha!

Go Ahead was a Dead side band formed by keyboardist Brent Mydland and drummer Bill Kreutzmann during 1986 while Jerry was recovering from his near-fatal diabetic coma (brought on by drug abuse, I might add) earlier in the year.

I remember running into a bunch of DECheads (Deadheads who worked for DEC - Digital Equipment Corporation) at this show. I know I ran into Happy in the parking lot before the show, along with a bunch of others (Dave? Ting?). If we couldn't have a fall tour (because of Jerry's coma and recovery), at least we could have a side band.

John Hartford, October, 1986 John Hartford
Joseph’s Water Works, Norwich, VT
October, 1986

I don't know the exact date of this show, but I'm fairly confident it was in October, as shows John played the Somerville Theater in Somerville, MA on October 4th.

I loved this venue, and this was my first time there. It was a small bar, right along Vermont Route 5 on the Connecticut River, not far out of Hanover, NH (home of Dartmouth College). I saw John there a couple of times, as well as a few other artists (all coming up in the next couple of Project Ticket Stub years).

My friend Leo brought along his 35mm camera to either this show or one of the upcoming times I saw John at this venue, and I have a couple of great 8x10 prints of John playing here. I might even have Leo's 35mm negatives from this show, in one of far-too-many boxes of prints and negatives.

Harvey Reid, Doc Watson, November 16, 1986 Harvey Reid, Doc Watson
Joseph’s Water Works, Norwich, VT
November 16, 1986

Told you I loved Joseph's Water Works - a month later and I went back to see Doc Watson.

Harvey Reid opened; Harvey is an incredible multi-instrumentalist, and this was my surprise introduction to him. I really went to see Doc, who had only recently begun touring again after the untimely death of his son Merle in October, 1985. Doc Watson is nothing short of an American musical icon, and if you aren't familiar with his music you should be.

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