Releases: '68 & '86 Releases Two Complete Shows from the Vaults:
Road Trips Volume 2 Number 2: Carousel 2/14/68 and
Pure Jerry: Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 2/28/86

In the winter of 1968, the Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger Service embarked on their first major tour of the Pacific Northwest. The Dead, in particular, were really spreading their creative wings, exploring and honing what were unquestionably the most ambitious original songs they'd written to date. While the Dead were on the road blowing minds in places like Eureka, Seattle, Portland and Ashland, Oregon, a couple of their "people" back home were busy signing a lease that would give the Dead, Jefferson Airplane and other interested freaks, control over a fantastic new venue: San Francisco's venerable Carousel Ballroom, a one-time Big Band dance hall that was little-used by the mid-'60s. In January, before the Northwest tour, the Dead and Quicksilver had put on a successful dance there (a "Ben Franklin's Birthday" celebration, the poster said), but the Grand Opening of the ballroom was slated for Valentine's Day, with the Dead and Country Joe & the Fish on the bill. One of the scene's budding artists, Stanley Mouse, produced a poster for the event with a jug-eared, retro geek imploring his prospective romantic conquests to "Be Mine," and a pair of local FM rock stations carried the show live on radio.

This magnificent show—long admired by Dead Heads (and the band — it's a Phil Lesh favorite) — captures the Dead at a real turning point in their career: When they tossed out the rock rule book and truly found their own sound. They tried out nearly all their new songs that night, and everyone was amazed at how effortlessly — yet powerfully — one flowed into the next and how their sets ebbed and flowed and exploded and got quiet and covered such an incredible range of textures and emotions. This wasn't just a good-time dance band. This was serious… and still a good time!

Because the Valentine's Day dance was a hometown show, on the radio and also being recorded for possible use on the Dead's then-in-progress second album, Anthem of the Sun, soundman Dan Healy captured the music on an 8-track tape machine, and this Road Trips set marks the first time that those 8-tracks have been completely, properly mixed down — by ol' reliable, Jeffrey Norman, of course — and released (aside from a few short missing passages on the multitrack masters, which are included from another source). So forget any version you might have heard before — this is state-of-the-art '68 Dead, and you're gonna love it! This is also the complete show, another first for the Road Trips series. As always, the discs are mastered to the HDCD standard and the package includes an entertaining and informative historical essay.

The first set of 2/14/68 was relatively short, so we've also packed the last third of Disc One with a selection of tunes from the Northwest Tour that were just recently discovered in a collection of tapes that had been languishing in a long-defunct San Francisco recording studio. Alas, there were just isolated songs on reels (not full shows), and the sound is variable, but the performances are, as they say in Boston, wicked-awesome, from an almost punky "Beat It on Down the Line" to a truly hair-raising "Viola Lee Blues." The special Bonus Disc (available to those who order from the site in a—ahem—timely manner) features more of this great material, much of which has not circulated in any form.

Track List:
Disc One:
Bonus tracks from Early 1968
VIOLA LEE BLUES (1/20/68 Eureka)
BEAT IT ON DOWN THE LINE (1/23/68 Seattle)
HURTS ME TOO (1/23/68 Seattle)
DARK STAR (2/2/68 Portland)

Disc Two:

Bonus Disc:
VIOLA LEE BLUES (1/23/68 Seattle)
NEW POTATO CABOOSE (1/30/68 Eugene)
DARK STAR> (1/23/68 Seattle)
CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER> (1/23/68 Seattle)
THE ELEVEN (1/23/68 Seattle)
TURN ON YOUR LOVELIGHT (1/23/68 Seattle)

The latest in the Pure Jerry series offers the first official full release of acoustic music from Jerry Garcia and John Kahn. Soundboard copies of this show have not been in circulation, so it's a special treat to hear the complete two-set show. Garcia and Kahn deliver a solid performance with a nice blend of old folk songs, a Dylan tune and Hunter-Garcia classics.

This line from the back cover sums it all up nicely, "Aside from its main purpose - celebrating Jerry Garcia's and John Kahn's wonderfully sweet performance of February 28, 1986 - this recording clearly proves the value of vision, hard work and modern science. Enjoy it with our best wishes and in good health."

Track List:
1. Deep Elem Blues
2. Little Sadie
3. Friend Of The Devil
4. When I Paint My Masterpiece
5. Spike Driver Blues
6. Run For The Roses
7. Dire Wolf
8. Jack-A-Roe
9. Oh Babe, It Ain't No Lie
10. Bird Song >
11. Ripple >
12. Goodnight Irene

Both releases are available for pre-order at

A stream of selections from both releases is available here.

[Published on: 3/23/09]

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aquariumdrunk starstarstarstarstar Mon 3/23/2009 02:36PM
+7 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!



oldfartatplay starstarstarstarstar Mon 3/23/2009 02:57PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


done and done

KissTheSnake starstarstarstarstar Mon 3/23/2009 03:23PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Yes! Yes! Yes siiiiiirrrrrrr!

Recreational Chemist Mon 3/23/2009 03:27PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Recreational Chemist

I bet the viola lee blues on disc one is sick

cedar Mon 3/23/2009 03:43PM
+6 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

This beats Tom Brady

mrknowitall starstarstarstarstar Mon 3/23/2009 03:45PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Carousel 2/14/68

Wow this is epic! It seems to me they just keep hitting Home Runs with Road Trips!

2 nights Centrum!

kandrokitis Mon 3/23/2009 04:08PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!



Navin R. Johnson Mon 3/23/2009 04:33PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Navin R. Johnson

Oh sweet mother of pearl. Glorious music to our ears.

Sure hope they plan to press some of these on vinyl.

Cannot wait to own these...

Tpetty starstarstarstar Mon 3/23/2009 05:17PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Is that Phil on the album cover?

Nick1257 Mon 3/23/2009 05:28PM
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I am very happy about this... mmmm

zachn00b starstarstarstarstar Mon 3/23/2009 05:35PM
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Hellz ya on that 68 dead...captain trips at his peak...pun intended

Deadphans starstarstarstarstar Mon 3/23/2009 06:23PM
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Love early Dead. Like everything up too about 82...the start flaking out. 69 - 70 is my favorite. is where ill get my stuff...

jerZ Mon 3/23/2009 07:06PM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I won the lottery- I just got Red Rocks tix!!

Floyd the Pimpanzee Mon 3/23/2009 07:36PM
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Floyd the Pimpanzee

Yea this is will be ordered shortly

brooklynite84 Mon 3/23/2009 07:49PM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

OHH YEAH!!! I've been waiting for more material from 68 for sometime now...I know that everybody loves the 77/78 period, but the 60's were my personal favorite and Phil's too. Especially 68, they were just so full of energy and the jams were so experimental and right on the money. That's what I love about the Dead is that every year seemed to be different especially in the early days, the sound from 65/66 to 67/68 to 1969 were all so different, but yet so vital. I do love me some early 70s Dead, but 68 is my PERSONAL favorite...THANKS DEAD.NET

In a Big Country Tue 3/24/2009 01:40AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

In a Big Country

wheres my lucy ?

Benjamin Human Tue 3/24/2009 06:04AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Where's your manners?

Dire46daysWolf Tue 3/24/2009 12:31PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


what a sick set i really want to hear this show after reading it's Phil's favorite. thats so cool!

dankb23 starstarstarstarstar Tue 3/24/2009 01:08PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


anybody want my 2 floor tickets for the dead @ allstate 5/4/09

i think they are like 15 rows back, the tix were like 110 a pop, and im trying to sell them for face value... or a decent trade offer (maybe 4 phish tix @ toyota park, cause i get a feeling i didnt win the lottery once again....) oh and im very happy about these releases and check em out at (just like deadphans)

veggedout starstarstarstarstar Tue 3/24/2009 01:27PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

It's about 4:20 on the east coast. Still have my fingers crossed and still hoping to get tix to Merriwether from the Phish Blottery. The '68 dead is fantastic in calming my nerves! Oh well if nada ,there are plenty of festivals and other shows.

PCPrabbit Thu 3/26/2009 12:33PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


aww yeah veggedout. I'm really hoping to get merriweather tickets also. i live in brooklyn now but am originally from MD. would be a dream to finally see them there (since i missed them all the other times they did merriweather)