Thursday, March 4, 2010

Grateful Dead - Fillmore East 2/11/70

Since I promised I would periodically post Dead shows, I figured today is as good a day as any to do just that. For this post, I'm picking another one of my favorite Dead shows for a few reasons. First, this show has Pigpen on keyboards. There was a long line of Dead keyboardists, but Pigpen was the original and definitely one of my favorites. He could jam on the keys, had an awesome bluesy voice and could tear up the harmonica as well. He was a heavy alcoholic (Southern Comfort his choice drink) and he would end up drinking himself to death just 3 years after this show at the age of 27. I also love Pigpen because of this story: The Dead were playing a string of shows with The Doors. Pigpen and The Doors' Ray Manzarek happened to use the same keyboard at the time. Manzarek noticed this and asked Pigpen if he could use his keyboard so they wouldn't have to move too much equipment around. Pigpen told Manzarek that no one but him touches his keyboard and a fight nearly broke out. Pigpen was an intimidating dude. Manzarek ended up using his own keyboard. My second reason for picking this show is the fact that Duane Allman (who would end up dying only a year after this at the age of 24 from a motorcycle accident), one of my all time favorite guitarists from The Allman Brothers, plays guitar for the whole second set. Because of that, this is one of the best concerts I've ever heard period. Two of the best guitarists of all time playing spacey jams for 2 hours? Yes. Dark Star>Spanish Jam>Turn On Your Lovelight is one of the best Dead jams I've ever heard and Allman plays a huge part in that. Enjoy.

Grateful Dead - Fillmore East 2/11/70 Disc 1
Grateful Dead - Fillmore East 2/11/70 Disc 2

1 comment:

  1. To make it clear, the Ray Manzarek incident didn't happen at this show; that was way back in early '67. I've read Manzarek's account from that really didn't think they came close to blows, but then that's his side of it. I'm an avid fan of both groups so I don't have a particular bone to pick here. But damn, if you don't want somebody using your organ, can't you just say "Sorry dude, not going to happen."? Also you have to remember that the Dead refused to allow any of their equipment to be moved offstage (except the guitars). Whether asking to use someone else's keys is a shocking affront to musicians' etiquette I don't know, but having played both keyboards and guitars I can't see it in the same light as asking to use someone else's guitars or drums.