Tag Archives: May Music et al

Dead Barton Hall 1977

Dead Barton Hall 1977

Grateful Dead Barton Hall Cornell 1977

Getting the Dead

While this blog typically orbits around the Sun of the 60s, obviously there is much noteworthy beyond that famous decade centuries before and decades after.

Full disclosure:  in the beginning, I liked the Dead, but didn’t get the Dead. I bought  Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty.  All the songs seemed accessible.

Dead Barton Hall 1977

Woodstock

My first opportunity to see the Dead was in 1969 at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. If Barton Hall 1977 is considered an apogee of live Dead, then many think of Woodstock as a nadir.

I could not tell you as I fell asleep for the Woodstock Dead. My excuse is that I’d gotten up around 6 AM Friday, went to my summer construction job, got home, drove to Monticello, slept a few hours in my friend’s car, hiked 8 miles, found no food, and simply fell asleep.

Dead Barton Hall 1977

East Rutherford

In 1991 the Dead were playing at Giant Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. Our 15-year-old son wanted to go. So his 41-year-old parents went to their first Dead concert. Interesting and good, but no conversions.

Dead Barton Hall 1977

Internet Archives

Around 2004, George, my brother-in-law and early-60s Deadhead aficionado, told me about the Internet Archive site: free legal downloads of live music. He’d gotten a lot of Dead from there.

By the way, as of May 2018, the Grateful Dead live recordings at the IA site have been viewed nearly 131 million times!

Anyway, free has always been an attractive word and I started to listen.

Dead Barton Hall 1977

Epiphany

I finally got it. The Dead did albums contractually. The Dead did shows enthusiastically. The show was the thing. The whole show. And while there may be great songs within any one show, the way the Dead played with each song (not just played each song) was where the anticipation and wonder emanated from.

Dead Barton Hall 1977

In for a penny...

At first I selected shows based on comments and ratings by listeners. I learned the differences between AUD, SBD, BBD, and Matrix. I learned that certain audience tapers like Jerry Moore and Charlie Miller were considered gold and that the goddess Betty Cantor’s soundboard recordings were the best.

Dead Barton Hall 1977

Grateful Dead Barton Hall Cornell 1977

1977

I gradually discovered the esteem that many Deadheads held 1977 and that within that revered year, May was held high and within that sacrosanct month, May 8 was held highest.

Jay Mabrey, Cornell class of ’77,
designed this poster
for the show.
Dead Barton Hall 1977

Sauseach their own

I do love 1977 and May 8 certainly is a great show. The greatest? I’m not sure how to make that decision.

Having said that, in 2011 the  National Recording Preservation Board included the concert in its National Recording Registry as part of its mission to  demonstrate the range and diversity of American recorded sound heritage in order to increase preservation awareness.”

Dead Barton Hall 1977

Jerry Moore

It was a cassette recording by Jerry Moore that first circulated. Keep in mind, this was well before the internet era when word of mouth and who you knew meant so much in discovery.  Copied and recopied, the show began its journey to the top.

Dead Barton Hall 1977

Betty Cantor

Grateful Dead Barton Hall Cornell 1977

Betty Cantor was one of the Dead’s recorders and held many of her reel-to-reel tapes until the mid-1980s when they were sold at an auction.  May 8, 1977 was among them.  Eureka!

Dead Barton Hall 1977

Millions

Grateful Dead Barton Hall Cornell 1977

How many different recordings of Barton Hall are available? Deadlists shows the following:

Grateful Dead Barton Hall Cornell 1977

How many times has the show been downloaded? Blair Jackson’s Golden Road blog states, “ I added up the numbers beside each version: 928,006 as of May 23 ! I’m guessing that adding in all the copies that were made (tape and digital) in the years when the Grateful Dead was actually around, and when collecting was at its apex, the number could easily reach 2 million. Incredible for a so-called bootleg recording!

Dead Barton Hall 1977

750,000 Views

Fans have “viewed” (listened to and/or downloaeded) Rob Eaton’s creation nearly three-quarter of a million times. I write creation because I’ve copied and pasted his notes below:

Freshly remastered Betty Board with AUD splices, by Rob Eaton;

Betty Board Portion — Master 7″ Nagra reels 1/2 track @ 7.5ips>Sony PCM 501. Playback on Sony PCM 701>DAT (Digital Transfer) — Rob Eaton DBX Decoding (Spring ’99) Playback on Panasonic 4100 DAT>DB 924 D/A>Dolby 361’s w/dbx K9-22 Cards>DB 124 A/D>Neve Capricorn (Digital mixing console)>DB 300S>Panasonic 4100 DAT>DAT>Digi Coax Cable>Tascam CD-RW 700>CDR (x1)>SHN (Rob Eaton remaster)

Audience Portion — Steve Maizner’s Sony ECM-990>Sony TC-152 aud master>First Gen Reel>played directly to hard drive. The excellent aud splices were normalized and patched using ProTools by Karen Hicks.

And you thought Dead Heads were too high to do anything?

Dead Barton Hall 1977

Now it’s your turn

See what I mean.

I suggest you open this Pandora’s box of golden eggs and enhance your life.

Rob Eaton’s recording.

Dead Barton Hall 1977

Fred Link Wray Rumble

Fred Link Wray Rumble

Fred Lincoln Link Wray Rumble

Contributed the power cord to rock and roll

Native Americans Rock

May 2, 1929 – November 5, 2005

When speaking about “Dark Star,” members of the Grateful Dead said that the song is always playing and they simply wade into its river, swim in it, and wade back out after awhile. Put another Grateful Dead way: the music never stopped.

I recently had the good fortune to watch RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World, a feature documentary about the role of Native Americans in popular music history.

Among the Native Americans featured in this excellent film is Link Wray.

I sometimes fool myself into thinking that I know a lot about rock and roll. After all I’ve been listening to it my whole life, but like any interest, there is always something new to find.

Link Wray was, much to my embarrassment, something new to find.

Fred Link Wray Rumble

Link Wray

Wray was born in North Carolina. Both his parents were Shawnee. He served in the US Army during the Korean War. He lost a lung  there to tuberculosis and  doctors said he’d never sing again.

Perhaps he didn’t sing that much, but he did play.  In 1955 recording for the Starday label as a member of Lucky Wray & the Palomino Ranch Hands.  Brother Vernon sang, brother Doug played drums, and Link played guitar. Hillbilly rock.

According to a Guardian article, Wray said, “I was looking for something Chet Atkins wasn’t doing, that all the jazz kings wasn’t doing. I was looking for my own sound.”

Fred Link Wray Rumble

Fuzz tone

According to a Rolling Stone magazine article, “…legend has it, [that] Wray poked a pencil through the cone of his amplifier to achieve the …groundbreaking fuzz tone. 

In 1958, challenged to play a “stroll” for a teenage audience, his drummer began the beat and Wray improvised and began to fuzz tone. Initially referred to as “Oddball,” the song eventually took on the threat of the times and became “Rumble.”

Fred Link Wray Rumble

Fear of Youth

In 1958, American adults feared two things: Communism and juvenile delinquents.  Perhaps “JD”s even more with their duck-tail haircuts, knives, and rumbles. Many radio stations, fearful that the song rumble might actually incite a riot, banned the song. One of the only times that an instrumental was banned. Keep in mind the hit play,  West Side Story, that reigned on Broadway at that time with it’s Jets and Sharks.

Rumble’s chords are the fountainhead of heavy rock.  Pete Townshend stated about Wray, “”He is the king; if it hadn’t been for Link Wray and “‘Rumble,‘” I would have never picked up a guitar.

The follow-up to Rumble was, what else, Rawhide. More distortion.

Fred Link Wray Rumble

Sanitized…temporarily

As young musicians with a hit have always found, the companies that surrounded them wanted to find a way to monetize their music.  Add strings and a classic tune like Moonlight Love (Claire de Lune)

Fred Link Wray Rumble

Rumble Records

It didn’t sell because Wray’s audience didn’t want it. Link and his brother Vern formed Rumble Records.

Jack the Ripper came out of that venture.  The 1983 movie Breathless with Richard Gere featured the song. John Waters’ Pink Flamingos, and  Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction also used Wray’s music.

Fred Link Wray Rumble

Lifer

Wray continued to play, but the backwaters of rock music and never got the recognition that so many guitarists like Townshend said he deserved. Just look at Jimmy Page’s face as he listens to Rumble.

Wray married and moved to Denmark in 1980. He did not find much success there. The world of rock occasionally woke up, realized the gem Wray was in rock’s crown, but fell back asleep.

As Cub Koda wrote in an AllMusic bio of Wray, “Link Wray may never get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but his contribution to the language of rockin’ guitar would still be a major one, even if he had never walked into another studio after cutting “Rumble.”

Fred Link Wray Rumble

Reprise

In the 2000s, he returned to live playing and had performed forty North American dates before he returned home and died in Copenhagen.  He was seventy-six. Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen both performed “Rumble” onstage in tribute

Link Wray discography via All Music 

Fred Link Wray Rumble

May 31 Music et al

May 31 Music et al

Jimi Hendrix enlists

May 31 Music et al

May 31, 1961: Hendrix (19 years old) enlisted in the Army after  being caught for a second time riding in stolen cars and given a choice between spending two years in prison or joining the Army. After completing basic training, he was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division and stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. (see Hendrix for expanded military chronology)

May 31 Music et al

Jimi Hendrix discharged

May 31, 1962: paperwork was filled recommending a discharge for Hendrix. (see June 29)

May 31 Music et al

White album begins

May 31 Music et al

May 31, 1968: from the Beatles Bible: While the precise date is unknown,towards the end of May 1968 The Beatles met at Kinfauns, George Harrison’s bungalow in Esher, Surrey. There they recorded demo versions of a number of songs written in India, 19 of which later appeared on the White Album.

The 27 songs believed they recorded the songs on Harrison’s Ampex four-track reel-to-reel tape recorder. They grouped them mostly grouped together by the composer of each song, although John Lennon’s songs were more scattered across the day.

Sessions will span 4+ months, ending on Oct 14. (see July 17)

May 31 Music et al

Timothy Leary dies

May 31 Music et al

May 31, 1996: Timothy Leary died. From Find a Death dot com: In 1995, he was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. I was speaking to Rocky Horror actor Barry Bostwick a couple of weeks ago. As I do.  He had prostate cancer, and was cured. However, he still goes in for checkups all the time, and could not emphasize enough the importance of getting checked. Especially men in their early 40s. So take it from Brad, do it guys.

Timothy’s god daughter was shoplifter Winona Ryder. She supposedly moved in with him a couple of weeks before he died. It is said that she loved him deeply, and the two were very close.

On May 31, 1996 – Leary was in bed and everyone was waiting for him to die.  Suddenly he sat up and asked, “Why not? Why not? Why not?” It was 12:44 a.m., and the 75 year old died. About 20 friends, his stepson Zach, and his ex-wife Rosemary Woodruff Leary were with him. Timothy made sure that the entire event was videotaped. (see November 10, 2001)

May 31 Music et al