If you’re not familiar with this show, I almost don’t want to tell you what you’ll hear, lest it would ruin the surprise.
If you’re anything like me and my other audiophile friends, you’ve probably had those late-night-weirdness conversations that have begun, “You know who I’d have loved to see jam together?” Followed by hours of speculation as to what combination of musicians would light up the stage beyond the pale of human comprehension. On February 11, 1970, one of those hypothetical moments came into focus and became reality at the Fillmore East in New York City. But things moved very quickly from real back to unreal — or surreal.
Arthur Lee’s Love, and the then-relatively-unknown Allman Brothers Band opened for the Grateful Dead for two shows, and this episode of The Dead Zone pulls from the 2nd set of the late show. As the Dead make their way through “Dark Star,” Duane Allman plugs in and trades guitar lines with Jerry, and the musical exploration evolves, picking up more steam and more musicians along the way. Mick Fleetwood, Danny Kirwan, and Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac (who were in town for a gig the next night) join the fray somewhere during “Spanish Jam,” and Gregg Allman, Berry Oakley, and Butch Trucks sit in for “Turn On Your Lovelight,” for a grand total of 94 guys onstage at once.
If there could possibly be any downside to this jam, it’s that there are a couple gaps in the soundboard recording, so when perusing the versions on Archive.org, you have to choose between splices or patches to round out the set (which may be why this show’s never been released commercially). The version we chose uses some of each: a patch from an audience tape on “Dark Star,” and a splice during “Lovelight.” My guess is you’ll hardly notice, and if you do, you won’t mind the least bit.
Enjoy the complete show below.
Photo by daliguana1