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Sunday, February 17, 2008

1972 July 18 - Roosevelt Stadium

Jerry Garcia 1972
Tuesday, July 18, 1972
Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, NJ
Audience Recording

There's one pin the tail on the donkey game where everyone's a winner. That's the game where the donkey is 1972. You simply can't miss. If someone blindfolded you and asked you to randomly select a 1972 show from a hat, you'd pull out a winner every time.

Those who know, know that 1971 revealed a band that was on a steady incline. But by the time we get into 1972, there must have been something in the water (okay, with the Dead, you *know* there was often something in the water). The year essentially starts off with the legendary Academy of Music run, places the band on the Europe '72 tour, then brings the band back with such force, it's like they went to another galaxy rather than just across the pond. They return somehow more mature and masterful than before. The summer is full of stunning shows, the classic Creamery Benefit on August 27th just one blossom on a technicolor tree. Then comes September. Oh.. September '72. You want to get into an all night debate? Ask Deadheads to pick the best show from just the ten shows that happened between September 15th and September 28th, 1972. (I say it was the 24th). Then there's the ever mounting accent into the end of the year where the band was pulling magic out of every corner of the universe; the intensity of the jams growling with the gleaming teeth of a tiger. The year ends with a New Year's Eve show to top them all.

Roosevelt Stadium Scoreboard Detail - 1973Again, I'm challenged to pick a first stop/suggestion from a year I haven’t posted yet. But, in keeping with my audience recoding bent (as much as because I love them as for the ease of pointing your ear directly to them), we are going to land on a a show from about dead center in the year. The wildly energetic, deeply transcendent, Roosevelt Stadium show from July 18th.

The Soundboard recording of this show receives a constant sucker punch due to a bad cable on the piano microphone. Plus, the whole thing ends in Comes A Time. In 2001 I was lucky enough to trade for a DAT version of the AUD that patched the SBD. In looking back on my notes from seeding this show to the ADT (Audience Devotional Tree), I see that I had been sent a box of seven inch reels from a deadhead who worked with, or was the student of, an older guy who had them collecting dust in a corner. Nothing labeled well, there was one reel that had 05/07/70 on the left channel (we will get to that one in the future) and 07/18/72 on the right. This mono version was quite an improvement over the DAT version I had planned to seed out, and I knew I had a true gem in hand.

Jerry Garcia 1972This tape is a classic example of a full stadium of extremely high flying fans hooting and hollering in every direction, only to be rendered dead quiet by the band as they strum the strings of everyone's soul with breathtaking precision. During the depths of Playin', Dark Star, and the heartbreakingly sweet Comes A Time, you can hear a pin drop. You'll find yourself looking around with your ears wondering where all the people went. Comes A Time is nothing short of a church service where the light of the Lord is cascading out from the stage. Jerry's solos just burn into your heart.

Understand, this tape is not going to go down on your list of best sounding AUDs. It's not the tape you will use to convert your friends who look at you strange because of this interest you have in the Grateful Dead. A lot of the tape is so rockin' that the it can only be described as "fiercely recorded." There is more raw power flying out of this sound system than I can recall hearing on any other AUD, and at times it seems more than the simple recording devise can handle. But, this is one of the many *important* shows from 1972. I'm recommending it because if you haven't heard it before, it's going to make you love the band more when you're done. And, I know that if you *have* heard it, it was likely way back when you first got it. Chances are, you're ready to revisit the highlights now to rekindle what's within.

Audience Devotional Tree Round 3 - June, 2001


  1. Amazing tape! outstanding stela blue in addition to the aforementioned playin' and ds > comes a time. Thanks for suggesting a show i would've otherwise not heard, i definately do love the dead more after listening (~);}

  2. This was my first Dead show, and I have a few different recording of it for that reason. None of the recordings, unfortunately, captures the sound of the skyrockets they launched, more or less in time to the music, during Casy Jones. Can anyone say if any of the circulating tapes capture that?

    FWIW, during PITB, there was another fireworks display I think off stage left, kind of a big sign that lit up in green and red letters to read "Grateful Dead".

  3. This show is fabulous. I'm lovin' it. I'm not the most experienced deadhead, a lot of music left to listen to, but man do I love '72. Lately I've just been getting every show from Europe that I can. And september. And the rest of the year. You're right, you can't miss.
    The only thing that kinda bums me out about this AUD recording is that it doesn't have the banter. I personally LOVE hearing the band just chat with the crowd. It makes these men who I so frequently revere as near-Gods seem human and it's always so enjoyable. And according to deadlists this show has a ton of banter, basically none of which is on the AUD recording you uploaded. It is a bummer. That said, I do love the feeling you get with a good AUD of being a part of it. Not just hearing a recording, but hearing a Dead Show, next to a bunch of other spun out hippies having the time of their lives. I love it.
    So while I enjoy the banter, this is still so great. Thanks for the recomendation. :)


  4. Get yourself over to 07/26/72 right away for an epic show with tons of banter.

  5. Already listened to it a few times. :) I first got it for the great dark star (boy is it great), and realized how much beauty there is to that show. Man, I just love '72! I've listened to a little bit of the late 70's, and a little bit less of the 80's, but I've been binging on '72 lately, and I just don't know how anything could compare to the jammy goodness of that year. It's all so wonderful.

  6. My fifth show. The weather was a big part of the magic. Beautiful night, low humidity, not even a breeze. I remember Weir blowing smoke rings that just kept going, going....I'm sure the orange susnshine helped too.

    1. yes recall that vs the one rainout show we had there in aug 73 with the Band week after the Watkins Glen show...

  7. my 3rd show saw two 71's,, Gaelic pk and felt forum,, but this three setter was the best ever for me and i saw tons of 73' shows..this showe literally changed my life as driving home home to westchester lord god only knows how i we made it home,,look back on this night as long ago it was as a milestone Dead show for the ages...and i thanks the Lord made it home alive,,,,

  8. I agree that 1972 , you really cant miss. That being said ,my favorite show from this period is The Spectrum 9-21-72. This show smokes as well, thanks for your wonderfully written reviews of these shows.


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