GRATEFUL DEAD ‘HEAD TRIP’ 79-148-151 M and an optional excursion into Betty boards and the world of Dead taping & archiving

Grateful Dead H T

Grateful Dead Head Trip 4

 

Different colored slip sheets this time around. I only found one type of stamp and only the clear/red PVC version so far.

 

The only release by this label to come with dated sources. If you have better quality images for this title, please leave a comment.

USA: 1979

Although this release is usually described as excellent sounding, sides 1 and 2 sound OK at best. Instead of dedicating all four sides to one concert as before, they decided to feature short excerpt from four different shows, including one well known recording.

The tracks and supposed sources are:

Side 1: Scarlet Begonias – Fire on the Mountain – recorded at Portland’s Paramount Theater on 2 October 1977 (this date can be confirmed)

Side: 2: China Cat Sunflower – I Know You Rider / From the heart of me – an audience recording from the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis, MO on 11 February 1979

Side 3: Jack Straw / Sugaree – from FM broadcast, Capitol Theater, Passaic, NJ on 24 November 1978 (already or soon to be featured on the multiple set FOR DEADHEADS ONLY (POOW PRODUCTIONS)

FDHO 2

and in part on DEAD A HEAD (ATT GD102680))

Side 4: Werewolves Of London / Bertha / Good Lovin’ – supposedly from the Red Rocks Amphitheater near Denver, CO on 7 July 1978 but the set list on archive.org proves it’s from next day’s concert.

***

So what are “Betty boards” and how were they almost lost forever?

“Betty Cantor was still in her teens when she began setting up mics and helping to record sound at San Francisco venues— first at the Avalon Ballroom and then, the Carousel (the latter during the Grateful Dead’s brief stab at venue management in 1968). She worked alongside Bob Matthews, initially assisting with setups during the recording of the Dead’s Anthem of the Sun. A true pioneer, as a woman staking her claim in a patriarchal business, she partnered with Matthews into the early 1970s to produce and engineer live multi- track recordings (she had a hand or two in Live/Dead) as well as studio efforts (Aoxomoxoa and Workingman’s Dead).

While she worked for other artists during this period, she maintained a close relationship with the Grateful Dead, catalyzed by her marriage to crew member Rex Jackson, who would die a few years later in an auto accident. (The philanthropic Rex Foundation is named in his honor.)

“My late husband started recording on the road when he was on the equipment crew,” Cantor Jackson explains. “He and I purchased our own gear and tape. I recorded whenever I could get to the gigs. I recorded the Grateful Dead frequently when they were at home venues, I recorded any and all Jerry Garcia Band gigs I could get to for years, in all its configurations, as well as other bands I liked whenever I could. In those days, bands were cool and happy about me getting a feed.” [source: relix.com]

If you have any interest in this topic at all – and some time – I can highly recommend the following article, which should answer all questions you have ever had about the Grateful Dead and the largest archive of live recordings by any band on the planet:

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/11/26/deadhead#ixzz2CilrjV1R

and as it’s specifically singled out in the article, this audio clip will come in handy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vR2_JiwxdE8

Also, if you listen to Betty’s soundboard from the date featured here on side 1 – although probably from an audience source on the vinyl bootleg – it is a very sweet sounding recording:

https://archive.org/details/gd77-10-02.sbd.unknown.278.sbeok.shnf

“She mixed to her own taste. “It has my tonalities. My sound is beefy. My recordings are very stereo, very open, with a lot of air in them. You feel like you’re standing in the middle of the music. My feeling is everyone wants to play in the band.” “

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3 comments
  1. Erik T said:

    Betty Boards are indeed renowned. Tonight we approach the 40th anniversary of one of the Dead’s best loved gigs- Cornell 5/8/77- and I believe this show was among the lost Betty boards- she actually lost much, or most, of her collection when she fell behind on rent for a storage locker- anyhow, there is a new vinyl release of this show, throu the Dead. There are several really excellent audience tapes of this renowned show, they can be heard on youtube and archive.org. Bless archive.org!
    I am a little surprised at all the vinyl Dead boots, including ones from modern times, produced from digital files, since Dead shows are so easy to find, and most fans prefer whole shows or their own selection of tunes from a show, not what someone thought would fit best on records. Then again, the first boot I ever bought, for six bucks, was a Berkeley records reissue of the Dead at Felt Forum ’71.
    So I am further surprised this Seatlle-centric label didn’t just tape their own local Dead show and release that instead of this compilation boot.
    Cool label, though, I wasn’t aware of this label as a Seattle tapes project of sorts. The 3 shows pressed from a week’s worth of shows must have been a record at the time. The nearest I can think of is following the notion that K&S sourced their own 3 tapes from Toronto in 1975, two from the Gardens in December for their Rolling Yhunder and a who releases, while Jeff Beck at the O’Keefe Centre in July would be the third for them. Likely a production record at that time!

    An interesting tale of Grateful Dead bootleg vinyl is available online, I can’t remember exactly where, but it all began with Bronx Deadhead Marty Weinberg, at least I think that was his name. He started recording the Dead in the NYC area in 1969 and got bored of the band just a few years later. He used a Uher open reel deck, can’t remember what mics… He said he used to see people get caught semi-regularly, as the Dead were opposed to fans recording their shows until later in the seventies. He picked his favourite jams, from multiple shows he taped,and pressed up a batch of records in the New York area. I suspect he repressed the, several times, as there are multiple accounts of him and other heads selling vinyl bootlegs outside NYC shows, including Gaelic Park which Sam Cutler or Rock Scully referred to in one of their respective books.
    Anyhow, Marty got to meet Phil Lesh or someone else in the band after a Show, confessed to making the record, and Phile apparently agreed with Marty’s creative picks for the record.
    Before the Dead accted audience taping, they were not only opposed to it, but they had various plus-sized members of the road crew spot tapers and cut microphone cables on the spot. Different times…

    • Erik, I assume you don’t know the titles of the bootlegs produced by Weinberg?

  2. wedge said:

    I wonder if the above mentioned Weinberg is the person responsible for the great Yes LP “Yes, Indeed” on the Weinberger Wonder label, from sometime in 1974

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