Dave's Picks Vol. 43: San Francisco, 11/2/69 · Dallas, 12/26/69 [3CD]
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A sealed, unlabeled box sat undisturbed for decades on a shelf in the Grateful Dead’s San Rafael tape vault on Front Street, its contents an enduring mystery, even to those few with access to the vault. All David Lemieux knew about that box when he became the Dead’s archivist was that it contained tapes belonging to Bear—Owsley Stanley, the Dead’s first soundman and architect of the Wall of Sound. Even in the Dead Heads’ Holy of Holies, the taped-up box was tantalizing. But this was Bear’s personal property, and so he didn’t touch the box out of an abiding respect for the elder luminary of sound. Bear’s archive of Sonic Journal recordings had been kept safe for him for years within the Grateful Dead’s vault—over 1,300 reels of tape stored in heavy-duty cartons like old banana boxes. At any time, David could have popped the tops and explored them to his archivist heart's content. But they were off-limits without the nod from Bear. - Starfinder Stanley, Hawk, and Pete Bell, Owsley Stanley Foundation
With a wink and a nod from Bear, we've peeled back those banana boxes to find some of the oldest and rarest of all recordings of the Dead including the double dose of shows that make up DAVE’S PICKS VOLUME 43. The two virtually complete performances from San Francisco 11/2/69, Live At Family Dog At The Great Highway, and from Dallas 12/26/69, McFarlin Auditorium, are complementary in their clarity and consistency thanks to Bear himself, and in their ability to foreshadow where the Dead were headed in the years to come. If the two killer 20-minute+ "Dark Stars" don't get ya, how about the Pigpen-centric sets featuring "Midnight Hour," "Next Time You See Me," "Big Boss Man," "Good Lovin'," and the once-lost-now-found complete rendition of "Dancing In The Streets," or the first full acoustic set ever performed? And we're certain you'll be fascinated to uncover the "Mystery Of Bear's Banana Boxes" as told by Starfinder Stanley, Hawk, and Pete Bell in the liners.
Limited to 25,000 numbered copies, DAVE’S PICKS VOLUME 43 was recorded by Owlsey "Bear" Stanley and has been mastered to HDCD specs by Jeffrey Norman at Mockingbird Mastering. Grab a copy while you can.