Grateful Dead Live at Raceway Park on 1977-09-03
- Live concert
- Grateful Dead
- DeadLists Project
This show has been commercially released as Dick's Picks, Vol. 15
Two-track Pre-FM reel > DAT > CD-R, except for encore, which is unknown
AUD; note d1t1,2 (intro and Promised) are apparently really from 4/27/77!;
this show is now released as Dick's Picks 15- go
buy it [Note: An sbe-fixed version circulates.]
- 2004-04-09 14:45:42
- Two-track Pre-FM reel > DAT > CD-R, except for encore, which is unknownAUD
- Englishtown, NJ
- This show has been commercially released as Dick's Picks, Vol. 15
- This show has been commercially released. For more details see dead.net.
- Raceway Park
Subject: One Day Only (...only...only)
"The Summer's End Concert", as it was billed, was not actually in Englishtown, but The Old Bridge Raceway Park was marketed at the time as "Raceway Park – Englishtown, in Old Bridge"*. This has always made my list of the five overrated shows. Like the others, not because it's not good, but because it's not, overall, a top ten of all time (or the year). We all used to think it was, because it was well-circulated and for many of us our first '77 tape. It was also a bootleg vinyl called "Good Lovin'" (which oddly had the Good Lovin' from 7/2/71). It's about as famous as Barton or Veneta, and used to be legendary for the size of the show – a colossal mass of people corralled inside a ring of cargo containers on a day of soaring heat index (so glad to hear it on tape instead). They chose the site because it's just 20mi to NYC and just 60mi to Philly. They played 15 mi away at Middlesex College in '70 [a missing tape], and 19mi away at Princeton in '71. John Scher went to Amboy and hired stevedores to bring hundreds of shipping containers and encircle the area end-to-end so there were no gatecrashers, and it set the record for most tickets sold at a NJ concert [107,000]. The dirt field became mud by the evening. There were two deaths, two births and a helicopter crash (with a woman down front in labor, only Deadheads would self-part into perfect columns for an ambulance!). Due to a traffic mishap that nullified the parking lots, and retaliatory intervention from some townships, parking was 1 to 3 miles away. In these days aerial advertising was popular and a flying banner repeatedly urged Heads to join the army! They didn't use state-of-the-art sound delays [lag towers], like at Summer Jam (Watkins Glen), and the crowd way at the back beyond the speaker towers never heard the two opening bands – and could marginally hear the Dead – so of course people surged forward.
This was the 1st show in 3mos, after the summer tour was cancelled when Mickey was injured rolling his Porsche. Ironically, one year later it was Billy's turn to get laid up and play in a cast. While Mickey was out Donna had a surgery and only decided at the last minute to appear for some songs. It was a one-off booking – the tour wouldn't start for a few weeks. This was the 1st gig where Keith only brought electric-based keys. Jer played his Travis Bean TB500, now modded with two outputs (effects loop moved onboard ). This show probably gets the "overrated" tag more than any other, and I know that Jarnow said he never really got this show, since it was "too big & shouty & not jamming". Tapes usually circulated incomplete, hissy and ill-pitched and I used to think it was fun, but with plenty of flubs and squelch. Now with better sources I split the middle and see that there is one great set and one average (which is to be expected given the extreme temps and bug swarms). Heads already know it anyway. For newcomers, the highlights are grand.
First Set. They were clearly very ready to go on. Though Bobby flubs Promised Land, this was a good choice for opener for this crowd and they go for a straight version. Conversely, They Love Each Other is like Swiss clockwork. Me & My Uncle is a superb version (still lying, not dead ass again until next show). Jer plays a Country Gardens tuning during Bobby's "take a step back". Mississippi Half-Step emerges exemplary; everyman edition, easily (exactly existential). Looks Like Rain is an average take but with nice Jer tone selection for the roaring solo and good Donna. With its two solos, Peggy-O has long been considered a showpiece version (objectively, there are a dozen equals in '77). Minglewood is so vicious that Jer bucks the stall while Keith solos. Friend of the Devil is no slouch and Music Never Stopped is excellent the whole way.
Second Set. Jer repeats a verse in Bertha, but check out Bobby's fine playing. Good Lovin' is also punchy but more flubby, and they bail early when Bobby starts screaming, having not paced himself well. This is a top version of Loser, with Jer playing for the depth of the crowd and Donna good. Don't worry about the wobbly Estimated because Eyes of the World is worth the wait – not a top ten for the year but it fits the set nicely. The OFFICIAL removes the halt to the concert while Scher tries to stop people from climbing a speaker tower (some people back there said they never did see the stage). After a solid enough Samson, the OFF cuts Phil's "can we take 5mins?" & Bobby's "I gotta go get some salt pills!". They had to take a break from the oppressive heat & humidity and the insects, and left the stage for a bit. It wasn't enough; Jer gets lost a couple times in He's Gone. But it has a nice tempo and the jam into NFA is the show's best. The OFF edits the main flubbed section, removing 2mins13secs @4:16 [4:10>6:23 of MTX]. It also has a different vox mix. Not Fade Away itself is okay. Truckin' is the first one in almost two years and has only a little bit of rust. Bobby strapped on his new 12-string acoustic for the encore, as they had planned to try the Transit>At a Siding section of Terrapin again. It was attempted 3/18, but sans lyrics, then abandoned since that didn't go well. But instead exhausted Mickey winds them down to a stop – probably a welcome one.
1st Set: A
2nd Set: C+
Overall = 4 stars
First Set - especially Me & My Uncle, Mississippi Half-Step Uptown, New Minglewood Blues
Loser - long a go-to version
SOURCES: The matrix is wetter/livelier than the OFF, though the mtx_dusborne runs slightly fast. The stiegler_91230 AUD runs way too slow, the minches_91650 is the Wagner AUD re-pitched. The unk_276 is the SBD, but surely the FM tapes still circulate (as does a remastered SBD). Dick's 15 has the whole show save a few tunings and an edited version of He's Gone. There is some scattered footage on YouTube, usually a minute of Loser.
*Some posters using other titles are apocryphal and were printed later.
Subject: I was there...
Subject: Raceway Park!
Subject: You cannot be more mistaken - this was IT!!!! Cowboys and girliegirlz!!!
Subject: Dick's Picks 15
Subject: nice call
Englishtown highlights to me are the Promised Land, Music, He's Gone>NFA
*This is THE Half-Step. If you need to hear only one version...
*Eyes is so g*damned beautiful you want to weep. Jer allows the opening jam to play out as easy as you please. When he begins that second little mini-solo during the long intro, we're in the most sublime space imaginable.
*Listen to Phil on S&D - holy hell. The entire band is on FIRE.
*NFA. I mean, barely NOTHING else out there can beat this. One of my favorite all-time jams. Seriously off the chain.
The Dick's is always worth picking up, although some fine boards exist here. Whatever's your source, your collection's incomplete without 9/3/77. Essential GD.
Subject: Jumpin' Jerry
Subject: He's Gone>N.F.A
I agree with the comments about Jerry's sweet vocals during He's Gone...
Not real clear on this recording but this was a Bobby with marching band whistle to kick off the long overdue return of Truckin'
Subject: great show
Subject: Best 2nd set of '77?
Subject: Jersey Highlight of '77
I feel obliged to give props to THIS Eyes on this night. Not only the best of '77, but the best version for any year, post 1974 (IMHO, of course). This Englishtown show, as a whole, stands in the top 10 for 1977, which certainly boasts a lot considering how much superlatives 1977 has garnered through the years.
Both sets of this night are particularly crisp and consistent, and one can feel the gusto and energy the boys (and the girl) packed into this show. I do recommend picking up the Dick's Picks (vol. 15) of this show, as the sound quality is pristine, and it's easily one of the better of the 36 picks.
Subject: Eyes>full stop
Subject: 35th Anniversery
Subject: Only Estimated -> Eyes right?
Subject: One of the Best
Subject: Best of 1977
Subject: overrated, but very good
Subject: say again?
That's some funny stuff right there--'didn't get much play after the late 70s.' I'm guessing you didn't do much listening after that time. It NEVER left the rotation and there was a reason for that my friend.
Terrapin is one of the great live songs ever created by any band in history.
Subject: Englishtown, NJ
Subject: the music never stopped
yo know it > THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A GRATEFUL DEAD CONCERT'. for many,many moons we all kept on ~Dancin in those Streets~ 2009 still jammin to the 'DEAD' for our band members who are GBNF, you are all very missed...& Donna your were always 'right on' there is a road..so cool to be a part of > I has been > A long, strange trip...just keep on trucken
Subject: englishtown,sept. 03 77
Subject: My Favorite show of all time
Subject: you can't download
Subject: dumb question.
Subject: good memories
Subject: another overrated dead show
Subject: Half Step Kills
Subject: Sugarmegs to the rescue!!!
Subject: great 1
Subject: 150,000 Heads
If you haven't heard this you should seek it out, or buy the Dick's Picks, as there are some landmark versions here for the era.
For me, this show is about three in particuliar (although The Music Never Stopped crushes too, as most do from '77): Miss 1/2 Step, Eyes and Not Fade Away.
It's all about Jerry dialing away at that secret combination that springs the lock to the great wide open. Hearing him break on through during Eyes is scheer beauty and a moment every 'Head lives for. It's the "solo on top of the solo" break through. The Half Step really swings here- one of my top 3 for '77 (and all time, really). The NFA clocks in at just over 20 minutes. Talk about grindin' it...down and dirty Jerry goes on for days here.
Chatter from the FM tape: End of set 1: Jerry-"Don't anybody go anywhere...we'll be right back!" Weir- "You'all hang out and make friends with the bugs". After Estimated someone (Phil?) says "Weir, wait until the drum solo's over". But he's already into Eyes, can't pull up and in place of a drum duet(?) later that day we get the killer NFA.
The Head count for this show was estimated at 150K. I still have an aerial picture (from newspaper or Rolling Stone?) inserted in the front of my tape.
Subject: Hot Show Long walk back too the CAR
Subject: Best Show Ever
(I've listened to many shows) this is the best!
As a previous reviewer mentioned, He's Gone
is absolutely awesome! The peak of the show!
Who would of thunk.
Get this tape!
Subject: Jersey Fall Ball
Subject: What a long hot day it was
Subject: What a show
Subject: Many copies !
Subject: A Favorite
Subject: Underrated DP 15!
Subject: My first show & one of my all time favorites
This was my first show. Marshall Tucker and N.R.P.S. were there as well - it was an all day event. Had to park miles away and walk to the show.
Dix Pix nailed a great one here. Worth every penny - and you can preview it here for free! This show was simulcast over FM so there have been a lot of good tapes around for a long time.
Subject: ...another goodie!
Subject: Jersey Dead
Subject: Estimated > Eyes
Subject: Don't miss, one of the best ever