Day 163: Good Lovin’, 5/18/72

Grateful Dead Europe 72 Munich 5/18/72 album cover artwork

Good Lovin’ got a good workout on the Europe 72 tour. It was played at 14 of the 22 shows. That’s not Mr. Charlie territory, but it’s pretty close to the top of the list in terms of play count for the tour for sure.

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I am one of the people who doesn’t have a problem with the way these shows were mixed and the fact that they’re from the multi-tracks is a real bonus. I find this to be especially true when both Keith and Pigpen are playing at the same time because you gain a sense of what each contributed to the band’s sound and how their respective instruments functioned in that space.

While Pigpen may not be at his vocal and energetic prime on this tour, the band as a whole certainly is. That’s part of what makes this tour so great.

Note: I’ve noticed that iTunes and Amazon are slowly rolling out the individual shows for download. I’ll do my best to update past posts with the most recent availability as these come out. It’s nice that these are being made available in an affordable format though.

Jerry’s guitar riff and Billy’s tom-toms start this one off. I never noticed how smoothly Billy’s tom work was, but it’s quite nice here. Pig comes in on vocals and you can tell that his voice isn’t as strong as it once was. The backing vocals help boost the cause though and Keith is full of little runs and riffs to shift one’s focus. A dissonant chord leads into the jam. Keith is noticeable here as is Weir’s staccato playing. It’s almost as if they’re trading fours (but not that strictly), as Jerry seems to take a quick break so Keith and Phil can duel it out, then Bobby comes up in the mix. Finally Mr. Garcia returns and we’re treated to some solid jamming. That seems like a good description to me: solid. After some dynamics shifts Jerry plays some soaring leads in the sixth minute. The give and take here is quite enjoyably. Pigpen comes back for a mini rap as the band vamps behind him. This isn’t one of his extended grandiose raps, and the concision here suits my preferences well. One thing is certain, even as his health failed Pigpen could still whip the band and audience into a frenzy. As they go back for one last run through the original lyrics both Keith and Pig play piano and organ, respectively, as I hear some simultaneous playing here. Very cool! The ending is a bit sloppy, but they draw it out so it’s harder to notice. The crowd’s applause says it all.

Complete Setlist 5/18/72

Previous Good Lovin’ DFAY Selections

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  1. It’s a little off putting to say but Europe 72 is my favorite Pigpen era. It’s sad that he was dying but in all honesty I enjoy Mr. Charlie and Next Time You See Me from this tour much more than the marathon versions of Lovelight in the years preceding.

    • In some instances I would agree with you Mike. It’s almost as though Pigpen cut the fat off some tunes and only put in what was needed, not just what he wanted on the E72 tour. And I agree that the cuts you mentioned are quite good on this tour (as long as you don’t listen to everything back-to-back-to-back all those Mr. Charlies don’t bother me).

      I would have liked a few more Cautions or an Alligator on this tour, but I’m certainly not complaining about what they did play.

  2. This is the first big Pigpen rave-up in quite a few shows. I for one am glad he’s back in the saddle. Sure, the shorter songs of his are fine, but I can’t live for too long without one of his patented raps. He’s not smooth, but he sure is greasy. This starts with a stutter and builds to the point of popping into the big intro figures after Phil takes it up an octave. Pig climbs aboard and the mix jumps up and bites. Listen to his cohorts chime in on the choruses. The drop into the jam finds funky fills emanating from all corners of the stage. Keith finally gets a chance to shine brightly here with some jazzy chops as Jerry lays out for a few bars. Jer, not wanting to miss any fun, is back in a flash and he grabs the wheel and steers in a more rock direction. The groove simmers and awaits Pigpen’s return to the microphone. Oddly, he misses an opportunity to rap here. The band soldiers on without him. Next thing you know, Garcia is tackling some really unusual licks. This gets my attention enough to add this to the best-of-tour playlist. Then Pig shows up in time to add his over-it/around-it/through-it rap. Four-day creep, check. Good. Raise on up. Start out slow. Variations on the theme emerge. Don’t let the tires spin. The theme insists. Pig snarls. Too late, the wad is shot and the rap is cut way short. There is some disappointment in Ron McKernan’s voice, but he accepts the slight and finishes up with style. And that’s all he needs!

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