Rhino Records (who I consult for) asked me to contribute to their upcoming series of posts/playlists centered around what would be Garcia’s 70th birthday, August, 1st. My piece goes live later this week and centers on what, if forced to choose, would be my favorite year in the band’s long trajectory — 1972. The year was a sweet spot; it was special. They were coming off two of their strongest records, had Keith Godchaux on keys, Pigpen was still in the game and Bill Kreutzman was the sole drummer. In short, this is peak era “Good Ol’ Grateful Dead”.
I linked to the following video excerpt of “Dark Star” in the Rhino piece, culled from Sunshine Daydream; an unreleased film shot at the Grateful Dead’s 1972 Veneta, Oregon concert to benefit the Springfield Creamery in nearby Springfield, Oregon. (You can view the film in its near entirety, here.) Taken as a whole the Springfield Creamery gig is one of the more definitive shows from ’72 yet to see an official release; it also boasts one of my favorite renditions of “Dark Star“.
The above video excerpt is part 1 of 4. Full download of the show via eTree, here.