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Friday, February 8, 2008

1974 June 22 & 23 - Jai-Alai Fronton

Grateful Dead June 16, 1974

Saturday & Sunday, June 22-23, 1974
Jai-Alai Fronton - Miami, FL
Audience Recording

Miami, June 23rd, 1974.

There are few things that most deadhead tapers can agree on (note, I couldn't even bring myself to say "all deadhead tapers"). But, 06/23/74 being one of the best Dead tapes of them all is one of them.

My first Dead tapes were left in my car by my good friend, and sheppard into Dead taping, Fritz, after driving to Milwaukee for my first show (April 1989). As it seems destiny for everyone's first tape to be Cornell, 05/08/77, this was one of them. The other was set one from 06/23/74. It was a too fast, heavily hissy, FM broadcast of the AUD recording. Almost forgettable due to all of that, I recall taking some strange enjoyment out of the 4 - 6 minute passages of nothing happening on stage while the band addressed technical difficulties brought on by the Bermuda Triangle. It seemed a set full of mostly mellow feeling Dead-Country Rock, Then, at the end of the tape was this Weather Report Suite ending in a heart stopping Let It Grow. It was like a poison arrow that struck all the way to the pit of my heart. The Dead had snared another one.

Years later I happened upon a 3rd gen copy of set two in my first trade with a 70's taper, Bill Degen. I'll never forget slipping it into the car stereo on a grey Chicago morning and having that Jam literally part the clouds and turn a November day to April before my eyes. The second set opening, my friends, is the Dead at their most pure. And in much the same way you might wish to find more albums exactly like Kind Of Blue, but never quite manage it, this set two opening jam is much the same. I think it is best described as a moment of Grateful Dead satori - fleetingly glimpsed, and etched upon the soul forever.

Oh yeah, and the rare 1974 Dark Star is no slouch either.

06/22 and 06/23 go hand in hand. These two nights were recorded by Jerry Moore. Jerry came back into the scene online a few years back, and a small band of us proceeded to digitize his enormous vault or field recordings (extended far beyond just the Dead). It was my extreme pleasure to be entrusted by Jerry to handle certain final digital mastering of his work. Getting these two masters out into circulation was yet another holy grail moment.

1974 Jerry in front of the Wall OF SoundMoore's tapes capture the 1974 Wall Of Sound, in all its glory. You'll never hear the Wall on a soundboard recording. This historic sound system is wonderfully captured in many audinece recordings over the year. We will revisit it time and time again, trust me. This aud recording of 06/23/74 could have gone on the Voyager Golden Record as the ultimate example of a rock show sound system from the 70's.

One of the many great things of all Jerry Moore recordings is that he didn't believe in the pause button. For the Dead fan this means that you get to settle into the pace of the show, and absorb everything. For both of these Miami shows, there is an added level of enjoyment to be found in the quiet conversations going on in Jerry's circle between shows, and the ice cream vendor hawking his goods both nights. All of this, coupled with fantastic sound quality, makes these recordings must haves.
Pick up 06/23/74 for sure, then do yourself the favor and dig into 6/22. The Playin' is nearly 29 minutes long and easily ranks in the top 5 of the year.

Audience Devotional Tree Round 13 - December, 2002


  1. Think U guys were kind of insane to be transferring with Dolby B on. Just let the old ragged signal pull itself thru, IMO. Lovely recording anyway.

    1. It would be "insane" not to. A high quality, properly adjusted deck will decode the Dolby and the result will be much less noise and proper frequency balance. If you think it sounds muffled or something, you're not using a good well adjusted deck and/or you're listening on a poor or poorly set up playback system. Especially true and most imperative when transferring a master to digital.

    2. A friend of mine did a pretty good Wall of Sound aud from Selland Arena in Fresno (using borrowed UCSC A/V gear) that I transferred and can be heard here:

  2. i just got 6/22-23 and let me tell you these shows are great. not only did i get a dark star on my birthday but the jam that opens the second set is magic too. all in all these are nice shows

  3. wow. I get into these discussions aud | sbd, and for me the show was about being there. not just the music. MOSTLY the music, still it always felt like in the "in between parts we were all just hanging out. These shows sound so great. Turn up the sound. I am there.

    I can not thank enough any and all person(s) involved in this blog. It is almost spring tour folks. I miss tour more than anything in this world. I miss all of my family. yes I do. This blog brings me a little closer.
    peace, love and light.

    *on a side note, I have not used my blog since before my motherboard, processor and now even hard drive have been replaced. I did not have to sign in. It knew who I was......

  4. Riding home this cold grey night on my daily bus commute from NYC to the beautiful Jersey Shore via the the dreaded NJ Turnpike, the 6/22 Playin' is making it really easy to imagine being in Miami on a hot steamy evening. (The ice cream guy helps, too.)

    Jerry's freaky wah wah and the heavy descending chromatic stuff that the band is throwing down are just awesome. These are definitely a great example of those "take me there" AUDs that you've really turned me on to. Thank you, as always, Noah!

  5. Richard, I hear ya. It doesn't get much better than the sonic landscape of that Playin' jam. Always sure to change one's mental weather forcast.

  6. Cool post... '74 has always been my fave year for Live Dead... Let It Grow can go just about *anywhere* (still somewhat true in '76, but became more 'controlled' after that) The Dark Star from this show is great...
    Kudos for the great 'blog : concept & execution!

  7. i miss you jerry.


  8. '74 Rules!.... OK, now it's time to get to the Mother of all '74 shows.... 6/18/1974. I've never heard the AUD version... But anyone investigating this era of the Grateful Dead *must* hear set 2 of 6/18/1974... I've been slowly making my way through all the shows from this year (and 72,73,75,76) and there is nothing quite like it... Some close, wonderful, and different moments, but nothing quite like the Let It Grow>Other One from that show. Would love the GDLG take on that one - lord knows you have heard it... ;+)

    All the Best!

  9. Another all time fav of mine. Anyone who can't appreciate the mellowness of this is truly missing the point of the GD, imo. I believe I read that this was Robert Hunters b-day. Super mellow and sweet versions, esp. To Lay Me Down

  10. There are a handful of shows that stand out as quite different from the rest, and this is one of them. After countless listenings to the Dark Star -> US Blues I've come to recognize a narrative in the jam that plays like a story. And the transition into US Blues is one the greatest moments in rock n roll history.


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