The GRATEFUL DEAD – ” Dark Star ” Live feat Duane & Gregg Allman and Peter Green

Posted: February 12, 2021 in MUSIC
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grateful dead, grateful dead 1970, fillmore east, grateful dead live, grateful dead allman bros

Opened in March 1968 by concert promoter Bill Graham as the east coast counterpart to his San Francisco-based Fillmore Auditorium, The New York City-based Fillmore East served as an incredible hub of live music in the late 60s and 70s. Dubbed the “Church of Rock and Roll” for good reason, Graham had a knack for uniting some of the era’s most unique and explosive artists under the same roof, which through the years included John Lennon, Jimi HendrixFrank ZappaVan MorrisonLed Zeppelin, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

On February 11th, 1970, Graham booked a triple billing of the Grateful Dead, Los Angeles psych-rockers Love, and a relatively unknown group from the Atlanta area, The Allman Brothers Band.

Though the Allmans and Dead had met some months prior at the first Atlanta Pop Festival, it wouldn’t be until the bands’ 1970 Fillmore East billing when the two iconic jam bands collaborated on stage.

The Allman Brothers’ set that night included originals “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed”, “Trouble No More”, and the always gargantuan instrumental that is “Mountain Jam”, along with covers of Blind Willie McTell‘s “Statesboro Blues” and Willie Dixon’s “Hoochie Coochie Man”.

Playing both an early and late show–as was customary at the Fillmore East–the Dead began afternoon performance with an intense “The Other One” that segued into “Cryptical Envelopment” before finishing up with “Dire Wolf” and “Casey Jones”. The latter two would appear on the Dead’s soon-to-be-released studio album, Workingman’s Dead.

“Not Fade Away” was used as a launchpad for the evening set, which also included another pair of Workingman’s cuts, “Cumberland Blues” and “High Time”. For their rendition of “Dark Star”, the Dead welcomed Duane Allman to add some mesmerizing slide guitar on the psychedelic anthem, which was later augmented further when Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green(who was not on the bill that night but had been a fan of the Dead’s since playing with them in San Francisco in June 1968) and Love’s Arthur Lee (percussion) were added into the performance.

As the “Dark Star” jam built and boiled with the three guitar players on stage, the song gave way to a rare Miles Davis-inspired “Spanish Jam” just as Gregg Allman slid onto the organ bench. Finally, as The Dead’s own Ron “Pigpen” McKernan busts into a raging “Turn On Your Lovelight”, Gregg gets in on the party to trade vocals with Pigpen on this show-stopper.

Grateful Dead Live at Fillmore East on February 11th, 1970. The Grateful Dead with Duane & Gregg Allman! From “Searching for the Sound” by Phil Lesh: Jerry says to Phil of the ABB on their way to this show: “make sure you check these guys out… they’re kinda like us… They jam hard” Phil was startled when he heard Duane’s slide during Dark Star… Jerry hadn’t told him anyone would sit in. Gregg “slides onto the organ bench” during Spanish Jam. “Peter Green from the Mac plugs in just as I’m pulling the music into the dominant minor … he and Duane seem more comfortable in this space.” After the show, “I walk outside — it’s daylight, and snow is falling gently on the streets of New York... Bob and Jerry in a group embrace: This is what it’s all about.”

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