Wednesday, 22 October 2008

The longest live 'Dark Star'

The Grateful Dead.
European tour 1972.
The first unofficial live recording I ever heard of the Dead was a bootleg I picked up at the age of 14 in Glasgow.
A Robert Crumb cartoon of 'Mr. Natural' on the cover.
A dreadful quality recording of what I now know to be Hamburg on the 29th of April 1972.
(At one point Bob Weir announces the result of the England vs West Germany soccer match.
3 - 1 to Germany at Wembley if you're interested.)
I fell in love with 'Dark Star' and in those days it wasn't easy to get hold of different versions but I tried.
Boy did I try.
What started as a 2 minute 45 second single in 1968 became the starting point for the band to improvise culminating in the longest version (45 minutes & 11 seconds) played in Rotterdam on the 11th of May 1972.
It was played live 219 times over their 40 year history.
This will get you both the shortest and longest versions of 'Dark Star'.
(Over the coming weeks I will bring you every one one of the 'Dark Stars' from that 1972 tour.)

You can still get 'Dark Star' (Veneta OR 08-27-72) here.

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