Day 313: The Wheel, 3/24/90

Grateful Dead Dozin' At The Knick

Looking back at my previous choices for The Wheel I realize that they’re both from 1977. Now that was a great year, but variety is the spice of life, right? So another dive into Spring 1990, one of my favorite tours, seemed like a good option to me.

This version of The Wheel is probably the one that I’m the most familiar with. Dozin’ At The Knick was a formative Grateful Dead album for me and I’ve always loved the third disc in this set, notably because of the great Not Fade Away. But every time I put on this album it’s like wearing a favorite t-shirt or a worn-in pair of jeans. I assume this is how a lot of folks felt about their tapes in days of yore. A bit of flutter or a warble in the tape at the same point became part of the experience of the show. For me it’s always a mental image of the first time I discovered this album at a Barnes & Noble bookstore, that has become part of my Dozin’ At The Knick experience. Thinking about that makes me lament the demise of physical media and the need to go out and buy it. There was a genuine excitement when flipping through the bins and something you never saw before appeared. Now it’s just so easy to buy stuff online. I still love all of the music I get from online outlets, but part of that buying experience is gone. C’est la vie….

As was often the case The Wheel emerges out of space. Right around the 0:30 mark Phil comes in with this great bass sound. At least I assume that’s Phil, but as I listen that may be a midi sample from Bob or Jerry because Phil’s tone sounds much different as the songs gets going. Regardless it’s cool whatever it is. There’s a pleasant instrumental break right around the three minute mark but it’s brief. This version is all business and that business focuses mainly on the vocals. It’s almost as though this is the best way to warm back up vocally after the break provided by drums and space. By the end the band is grooving and the pump has been primed for the fierce Watchtower that follows.

Complete Setlist 3/24/90

Previous The Wheel DFAY Selections

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