Dick's Picks 1
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Dick's Picks Volume 1

12/19/73

Curtis Hixon Convention Center 

Tampa, FL

 
 
Dick's Picks direct from the GD 
Order: Grateful Dead - Dick's Picks, Vol. 1: Tampa, Florida 12/19/73
 
Dick's Picks Volume 1 review  

Dick's Picks  1 review

Dick's_Picks_ Volume_1_Grateful_DeadDick’s Picks Volume 1 is the first in a series of vault releases that is based on two track recordings. This one features select portions of a live concert performed December 19, 1973, at the Curtis Hixon Convention Center in Tampa, FL.  Back up singer Donna Godchaux was not present at the show.   

The first disc of Dick’s Picks Volume 1 includes parts of both sets.  It begins in high form with "Here Comes Sunshine," arguably the best version ever, unquestionably stellar.  Also included are great versions of "Big River" and "Big Railroad Blues."  The "Mississippi Half Step" is brilliant, but incomplete as they never sing the Across the Grande Rio bridge, instead they just stop. As the release is a compilation, this is an edit. In concert, the song transitions to "Me and Bobby McGee," and a solid version of that song too. For fans of spacey explorations and extended jamming it is hard to find fault with the Bobby songs, "Weather Report" > “Let it Grow" and "Playing in the Band" on the first disc.  

The second disc is the ending of the show.  It begins with "He’s Gone" that travels into a small jam, where Keith runs piano riffs so smoothly transitioning into their next song, "Truckin’," that you wonder how they got there. After the singing the song takes off with a jam that has Jerry, Keith, and Phil in perfect unity that leads the song to an explosive peak. The mood gets deeper into a blues theme with a seldom-played version of "Nobody’s Fault But Mine" that has a long introduction.  It is followed by a jam that has "The Other One" written all over it, and in no hurry, they finally get around to it. What follows is an exploratory spacey jam ala “Feedback.” They shift gears to a ballad and close with a high charged performance of "Around and Around." 

The Grateful Dead have released an abundance of live recordings to choose from.  While there are better releases than Dick’s Picks Volume 1, this one has plenty to offer.  The mix on this release captures Keith’s playing with more clarity than any other release to date (March 2004). by Barry Small © 
Grade  B +  

More Dick's Picks Volume 1 reviews  

Dick's Picks Volume 1 track list
Track List

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Disc 1
1. Here Comes Sunshine (Garcia / Hunter) - 14:13
2. Big River (Cash) - 5:23
3. Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo (Garcia / Hunter) - 7:29
4. Weather Report Suite (Andersen / Barlow / Weir) - 15:56
5. Big Railroad Blues (Lewis) - 4:06
6. Playing in the Band (Hart / Hunter / Weir) - 21:11

Disc 2
1. He's Gone (Garcia / Hunter) - 10:48
2. Truckin' (Garica / Hunter / Lesh / Weir) - 9:18
3. Nobody's Fault But Mine (Johnson) - 5:53
4. Jam (Garcia / Godchaux / Kreutzmann / Lesh / Weir) - 8:11
5. Other One (Kreutzmann / Weir) - 1:57
6.. Jam (Garcia / Godchaux / Kreutzmann / Lesh / Weir) - 6:12
7. Stella Blue (Garcia / Hunter) - 8:45
8. Around and Around (Berry) - 5:37

Dick's Picks Volume 1 Musicians
Musicians:       

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Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, vocals
Bob Weir - guitar, vocals
Phil Lesh - bass, vocals
Keith Godchaux - piano
Bill Kreutzmann - percussion

Dick's Picks Volume 1 notes
Notes:

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Released - December 1993
Tape Archivist - Dick Latvala
Label - Grateful Dead Merchandise

Complete set list
* included on DP1

Set 1: Promised Land, Sugaree, Mexicali Blues, Sugar Shack, Dire Wolf, Black Throated Wind, Candyman, Jack Straw, *Big Railroad Blues, *Big River, *Here Comes Sunshine, El Paso, Ramble On Rose, *Playing In The Band

Set 2: *Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo, Me And Bobby McGee, *Weather Report Suite Prelude > * Weather Report Suite Part 1 > *Let It Grow, He's Gone > Truckin' > *Nobody's Fault But Mine > Truckin' > *Stella Blue > *Around and Around, Casey Jones

Dick's Picks Volume 1 review

More Dick's Picks 1 reviews

An odd start to the Picks franchise, this two cd set is from the end of 1973, a great year, but a less than great pick. It´s a rare case when the first cd blows away the second, but it does in this case. The best ever "Here Comes Sunshine" starts things out, and it would be hard to think of a better one, although Dick's Picks 14 comes close. A "Big River" follows next, and is highlighted by Keith Godchaux's keyboards. In such a mediocre pick, Keith really shines. The other big highlight on the first disc is a just perfect "Weather Report Suite," with an incredible jam following the "Let It Grow" segment. What follows next is a "Playing in the Band" which isn´t too weak, but can grow a little tiresome. The second disc is strong to be sure, but isn´t as energetic as I prefer. There is, however, a rare performance of "Nobody´s Fault but Mine," but this "Stella Blue" is boring, and the "Around and Around" is, in my opinion, the worst Chuck Berry song they covered, as "Johnny B. Goode" would have been a much better ending to a pick that's very mellow to begin with. So Dick's Pick 1 isn't the best place for a new deadhead to start, but with my favorite versions of both "Here Comes Sunshine" and "Weather Report Suite," you should pick it up anyway. 
Grade B  by Zack Smith

Dick's Picks Volume 1 review
Press Release and Dick Latvala interview

 

From: kraitch@eecs.berkeley.edu (mark kraitchman)
Message-Id: <199310181543.IAA22548@arsenic.eecs.berkeley.edu>
To: dead-heads@nemesis.Berkeley.EDU
Subject: Dick's Picks
Sender: dead-heads-dist@nemesis.Berkeley.EDU
Status: RO

Since so many people have asked me what is Dick's
Picks and who is Dick, I thought I would forward
the following info (which should answer the above questions)...

****************************************
Here is the official press release from Grateful Dead Records!

FromEven Deeper InTheVaultComes...Dick'sPicks!

Famous in song and story are the world's great repositories of hidden riches; There's Fort Knox, King Tut's Tomb, The Wreck of the Titanic...and, of course, the Grateful Dead Tape Vault. Happily, in recent years, some of the latter's treasures have begun to see the light of day, in the form of Grateful Dead Records' highly successful "From The Vault" series. The first
two releases were the answer to a Deadhead's prayers: a pair of the very best shows from the band's stash of multitrack masters, impeccably mixed and mastered for optimum sound quality. Ever since then, music-starved tapeheads have been clamoring for Vault #3, wondering what show would yield a worthy successor to 1 and 2...

...aye, there's the rub: given the Grateful Dead's famously fanatical perfectionism about such things, the broad diversity of ideas and opinions among band members, and the incredibly high standards set by those first two releases, it's pretty hard to settle on said worthy successor. A few strong candidates were proposed, but none that everyone agreed was as sonically
pristine as Vaults 1 and 2. So Vault 3 might be a little while coming, kids. But fear not, sound-hounds -- for out of the void, into the breach, leaps...DICK'S PICKS!

So who's Dick? And just what has he picked?

"Dick's Picks" is a new series of releases on the way from Grateful Dead Records. And Dick is Dick Latvala, one of the original Dead tapers. Among those notorious "picky Deadheads", Dick is one of the pickiest -- by his own admission, he's spent an alarming portion of his life wired to a tape deck, compulsively sifting through countless hours of Grateful Dead music, searching for those golden moments when the band unties the Gordian Knot,
finds the Holy Grail, strums the Lost Chord. Luckily, like many of us in Grateful Dead Land, Dick was able to turn his obsession into a job -- since 1985, he's been the official keeper of the Dead's tape archive, performing the heroic task of organizing nearly three decades of recorded music -- a job which requires the combined skills of a curator, archaeologist and detective. And Dick has a special affinity for a certain kind of tape: not
the relatively high-tech multi-track items, you've heard on the first two Vault releases. No, these come from somewhere deeper, darker -- down in the cobwebbed catacombs, across the alligator-infested moat -- that's where you'll find "Dick's Picks".

This is the real, raw stuff. Recorded direct to two-track, with no chance to "fix it in the mix". You hear it just like they played it -- to borrow Phil Lesh's pet phrase, this is the Grateful Dead "warts and all". There are also good old-fashioned glitches, splices and gaps due to reel changes. In other words, you won't get the complete show -- some editorial surgery has been necessary. But combine Dick's keen ear for a hot tape, the excellent quality of the source recording and the fact that mastering and editing has been placed in the hands of the Grateful Dead's studio alchemists, and we've got a "live" one here!

The first "Dick's Picks" is from the Dead's final show of 1973, on December 19, at Curtis Hixon Convention Center in Tampa, FL. This is a period that Latvala describes as "chock full of killer shows". During this time various members of the Dead family took turns taping shows, and stalwart crew member Bill "Kidd" Candelario turned out a particularly impressive batch, of which
this is among the best. We won't try to describe just what gets played here, but believe us, it gets PLAYED!

Dick's Picks #1" is a must-have item for any serious Deadhead (like you, we'll wager) and will be available by mail order only on a soon-to-be announced date. Stay tuned to the Grateful Dead hotline for further developments.

*****************cd track listing*****
Dick's Picks, Volume 1 - 12/19/73 Tampa, Florida

Here Comes Sunshine
Big River
Mississippi Halfstep
Weather Report Suite
Big Railroad Blues
Playing in the Band

He's Gone->
Truckin'->
Nobody's Fault But Mine->
jam->
The Other One->
jam->
Stella Blue
Around and Around

**************************excerpt from David Gan's interview with Dick posted on
the Well Thu 7 Oct 93 11:46*******************************************

DL: When these shows were recorded, they weren't recorded for the purpose of someday releasing them live, as live shows. They were recorded so the band could hear them afterward and see, and hear how they performed. Kidd's job was to not only mix that the recording, but take care of Keith's equipment, so we have lots of responsibility on him to do both jobs and in that time see--you know, he'd be busy with Keith, a reel would run out, and you'd miss ten minutes of something or a couple songs, [and] there's millions of technical problems in that era. It's important just to understand that these tapes weren't made with the purpose of releasing them. So editing them becomes a necessity ... sorry, folks, but that's the way it's going to be. They're not going to release material that has got glitches in it or doesn't have one of the mics turned up high enough or something. So
we're going to have some shows that have a lot of really good things in them, but the recording might have been screwed up so we can't release them.

So you say, why 12/19/73? It was as good as any. You name another date and, you know, I could tell you why maybe I didn't choose that one. But 12/19 particularly had a lot going for it.

DG: Among the missing items from the set list, according to Deadbase, is the song Sugar Shack.

DL: Yes, that is missing on the master itself. It is not there. I was
looking for it. It's even written on the tape box, but it wasn't
recorded.

DG: That's a shame.

DL: I have no idea what happened there.

DG: So unless somebody's got an audience tape out there, we'll never
know.

DL: Yes, we'd love to hear what that was like. I'm sure it was only a
second or two.

But anyway, like this first set you were mentioning. It is edited.
And it became apparent to me and others--me and John and Cutler and Jeffrey Norman, who were working on this--that each CD should have a life of its own. This isn't an attempt to recapture the total picture or the whole show. It's a picture of the show, or the best of the show idea, and so it has an entity of its own so we tried to make that disc one have the feel of a first set, but you'll notice that Weather Report is thrown in there and that is actually from the second set.

DG: And so is Mississippi Halfstep, actually.

DL: Yes, right.

DG: So you rearranged a few things to give it sort of the contour of a first set even though it's not, strictly speaking--

DL: Right. Right. And, yeah, it's not going to ever be literal just
like it happened on the show itself. You can check DeadBase or your audience tapes for those things.

DG: Well, I've maintained all along that it was going to have to be
edited. I can't recall ever hearing a Grateful Dead show that was
perfect from start to finish. In fact, One from the Vault is one of
the few shows that every moment really is great.

DL: It was. Yeah, yeah, that's amazing.

DG: So it doesn't surprise me and it doesn't particularly annoy me
that the Grateful Dead have decided to present an edited version of this. I think it's in their own interests, and if I were the musician responsible, I would certainly want the right to hold back things that I thought weren't excellent and worthwhile.

DL: And believe me, there are. Each musician has those feelings and can make decisions about this at any point, which is another one of the obstacles I faced in getting this one out. To me, this is a coup.
This is a real coup to get this material out of the vault. We shall
see what happens but, depending on the response to this, you know, more shall follow, I'm sure. But when it becomes real personal--like imagine if you are the one doing this music, how would you feel if you have embarrassing pictures out in the world of yourself. You know, I mean, there has to be some editing.

***More interview excerpts posted by David Gans on the Well
Wed 13 Oct 93 


DG: Do you have a sense of how often these releases will be coming out?

DL: At this point, no. This is really an experiment, this first one, to see how it does, because no one has a clue as to how much interest there is out there to get at this material. This is only mail order, you see. It's not going to be in record stores. So this will be like a little private club, so to speak, you know, that is willing to go that extra mile for the really good stuff.

DG: So if this first one does well, obviously the Grateful Dead will see the interest and be willing to put out some more?

DL: Absolutely. That's what I hope.

DG: Right. You know what that means, listeners.

DG: Oh, how does this affect Dan Healy's plans for additional "From the Vault" releases from multitrack?

DL: That doesn't affect it at all as far as I can tell. At his whim
he can go in and attack those multitracks any time. There aren't that many, though. That's one of the problems we ran into with it last year: there's only a limited amount of multitracks. So that's why I think the two-tracks are very exciting, you know. It's just that you have to wade through it. Every show isn't a killer.

DG: Well, they picked the right guy for the job.

DL: Well, thanks, David. I feel like I'm just the luckiest person on
earth. I know there could be any number of you out there doing this just as well, but I happen to be here, the one doing it, so that's my goal, to get the great stuff out.

DG: I feel kind of the same way about my gig, you know, but you've been a great associate. It's been great fun. You're the guy that I work with when I go into the vault to get out tapes and it's always been really fun to go in there with you and to compare notes, and I think our knowledge and our tastes are complementary enough that we always have a good time when we're poking around in there.

DL: Yeah, well, we have the same goal--let's get this stuff out to the public, to everyone who wants it and needs it. These rushes are what it's about.

Dick's Picks Volume 1 review
 
Dick's Picks Volume 1 review