Grateful Dead - Harding Theater 11/7/71 (3 CDs)


Keith Godchaux joined Grateful Dead in mid October 1971 as a replacement on keyboards for the ailing Pigpen who was unable to undertake the rigors of touring in the late '71 season. The group were re-energised by this new intake of talent, and the brace of home-turf shows performed at Frisco's Harding Theater across the 6th and 7th November weekend were rarely bettered at this juncture in the Dead's career. The 500 seater Old Harding was a tiny venue for the group at a time when most local shows were either at Winterland or, occasionally, at the Berkeley Community Theater. With the second-night the subject of an FM radio broadcast, the band is in great spirits, chatting it up to the crowd - both in the hall and on the radio - despite technical difficulties a-plenty, most notably in the opening numbers when a problem with monitors and some intermittent dropping of the radio signal during the second cut 'Black Eyed Woman' is a little irritating. The show had been flagged up on the afternoon of the gig via an announcement on KSFX FM, who were broadcasting from the venue, and which indicated that tickets would go on sale at 2pm. Contrary to popular wisdom and convention of the day, the New Riders Of The Purple Sage did not open the show. Instead, the Dead played two long sets - making it certainly the longest show of this leg. As they tune up, Garcia and Lesh wax academic, with Jerry positing "if you are sitting at home next to your're hearing the music faster than if you're in the hall." After a solid opening with 'Truckin,' Bob Weir announces "you'll all be appalled to learn that our monitors just went out and we just don't know what to do. That means we don't have the foggiest idea of what we are doing up here." Phil Lesh retorts "this probably isn't even going out on the radio, so why worry?" (it was..!)

Track Listing

Disc 1:

Brown Eyed Women
Beat It On Down The Line
Hide Away
Jack Straw
Tennessee Jed
Cumberland Blues
El Paso
Big Railroad Blues
Comes A Time

Disc 2:

Mexicali Blues
One More Saturday Night
Ramble On Rose
Me And Bobby McGee
Sugar Magnolia
Dark Star
The Other One
Me And My Uncle
The Other One

Disc 3:

Brokedown Palace
Playing In The Band
Casey Jones
Not Fade Away
Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad
Not Fade Away
Johnny B. Goode
Uncle John's Band