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 7th May 72 .The Bickershaw Festival

"For all our muddy friends

THE GRATEFUL DEAD." 

    Thus spake the announcer as the Dead launched into "Truckin'" - the start of a mammoth 245 minute show that was to feature great versions of "Dark Star "and "The Other One" as well as lengthy Pigpen workouts on "Good Lovin'" and " Lovelight " . It also introduced many heads to the new songs -" Ramble On Rose" and "Tennessee Jed "and was notable for the degree of interaction that the band members had with the audience, perhaps due to the adverse circumstances in which we all found oursleves. .

The Dead take to the stage in the early evening-the high point of the festival for many .

Its been 35 years a comin' folks, read the review here

view the Bickershaw T-shirt

Set one . :Truckin', Sugaree, Mr. Charlie, Deal (all of those who taped the show insist this number was not played), Beat It on Down The Line, He's Gone, Chinatown Shuffle, China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider, Black Throated Wind. Next Time You See Me. Playin' . Tennessee Jed. Good Lovin', Casey Jones. 

Set Two. Greatest Story Ever Told , Big Boss Man, Ramble On Rose, Jack Straw. Dark Star > Drums > Other One > Sing Me Back Home. Sugar Magnolia. Lovelight > Going Down The Road Feeling Bad > Not Fade Away. E : One More Saturday Night. 
(order uncertain )
Recordings available on the tape circuits.

       The whole show exists as a Soundboard tape , according to the late and surely great Dick Latvala, keeper of the Dead vaults. When I e-mailed him about the Bickershaw sets Dick was kind enough to answer a few questions .  He did not say whether the soundboard tapes were eight or two track . I asked him if there was any chance of the show emerging as a Dicks Picks , but he nixed the idea." Its a long way down the line for release ", he said "there are a lot more shows that are better that I want to release first ". Well Dcik is long gone, rest his soul and we now reasise that this set was probably one of the best ever fror this era as we can hear it in its entreity in pristine condition.
This screed was of course writteen BEFORE the entire Europe 72 tour was released on disc, its sad to think how many hours were spent trying to piece the show together , when it was all in the vaults, just waiting to be released. The amount of time we wasted sorting it all out was enormous.

   Fortunately we now have a goodly portion of the missing first set released in pristine quality on the recent UK 72 four Cd set. These tracks were included :
  • Greatest Story Ever Told
  • Mister Charlie
  • Big Boss Man
  • Playing In The Band
  • Good Lovin'
  • Ramble On Rose
  • Turn On Your Lovelight
  • Going Down The Road Feeling Bad

click on the photo to see a larger version

This is a real tribute to the quality of the music played at Bickershaw as it comprises a hefty chunk of the four disc set , which had heavy competition in the form of the formidable Lyceum shows .

   The recordings of Bickershaw - both the audience and sbd version -have been consistently on my most listened list since I aquired them 15 years or so ago. I listen to the show not only because it was my first Live Grateful Dead experience, but also because its one of a series of fine European shows and is typical of the Dead at one of their most potent periods. I maintain that Europe 72 was THE peak time in the early 70s .There are some great 71 and 73 shows but they don't cut it quite the same for me as the summer 72 shows and perhaps the show in Fall 72 in Oregon . Certainly the Europe bash saw the Dead became the ultimate Psychedelic/country/jazz/blues band , a strange hybrid of many musics whose vastly wide repertoire was unlike that of any other band in the world. No one else was this diverse. Bickershaw saw the Dead at damn well near their best on occasions and certainly the second part of the show is at fever pitch throughout.

    However there are also many high points in the first set as well , including the fiesty version of Playing and a triumphant twenty minute Good Lovin' delivered by Pigpen . Its worth noting that the first set ended with the multitude (including several hundred villagers who had entered the site for free when the security goons had decamped earlier on ) grooving, bopping , flailing , drumming and singing along to the chorus of ' Casey Jones " .

A truly magic ending to the first epic set.

Above photo courtesy of Jules ©. Contact him to obtain a copy of the photo (minus the filter ) .

       Sbd recordings of most of set two are freely available and there are various audience recordings of the whole show in circulation , the sound varies on these from distant , to good, to very good quality - depending on the source.The sbd -which begins at Dark Star and continues to the end of the show- is of excellent quality . A poor to average quality SBD of part of set one exists - but only  about 45 mins worth and in the wrong order. I prefer the aud tape of the first set to this version ,as Phil is overwhelmingly loud and distorted , theres lots of hiss and it sounds drekky to say the least.

   The audience tapes also capture moments that do not exist on the soundboard .There were fireworks set off during Dark Star and everyone on the aud tape can be heard going "whooooo", a truly magic moment .As I write this I have the vision of the fireworks going off above the stage, for once the sky was clear and crisp (although it was still cold ) and the band onstage were framed beautifully by the exploding starshells. I just wish there was a photo of that moment , so you could all get a good idea of what those of us who were there saw on the night . The aud tape is worth getting just for this moment alone, a little piece of history preserved forever and which you cannot hear on the soundboard . 

TAPERS.

    At least four tapers were present at the Festival. Three were British . One - ( Bob C ) has this to say about his recording....

for what its worth I*did* tape the new riders and the dead; the new riders tape screwed up; cheap c 60's; and I missed the first part of the dead . I got the dark star/other one including the oohs and ahs but the quality of my boot is probably not as good as any others. I actually took 2 tape decks; one was the cassete for the dead and the other that 1 7/8s reel to reel that I did beefheart and other stuff on ; can't remember why I took 2 now ...............
bob c

Simon P's tape is the only complete version that I have come across so far. Another guy ,Chris J , also taped all of the show and the New Riders but has misplaced part of it. Quality of both these versions would be rated as fairly good to just listenable . Deadbase lists Deal as being played but all the tapers contest this hotly, as they are positive they recorded the entire show and it was NOT played.

    The other taper , whose aud tape is of good quality and whose identity is unknown to us, obviously had to have had a good postition and quality equipment to have made such a good audience recording in such foul conditions . I'm sure a complete recording exists from this source, but I've only ever managed to pick up the edited version which is minus Casey Jones , Mr Charlie and Truckin'. I sourced it from a guy in the mid west who said he got it direct from a friend who had a huge collection and who let him tape whatever he wanted . This gentleman unfortunately disappeared off the radar so we can't now find the original source. The tapes he had were obviously an edit to fit most of the show onto two C90 Cassettes as they were in the wrong order and missing the three tracks above.

The complete recordings

    The good news is that all of these versions of the show have now been brought together , worked over digitally and are now being disseminated amongst the taper community. You can read the details of how this was achieved Here

Jerry meets with heads backstage

Photo© Wombat


At this gig i was one of only a very few (were you one?) who got over the fence ,went backstage and met Jerry sitting on the back step of a truck. Inside other members of the band were checking equipment. Security said to Jerry that they would remove us, but Jerry said let them stay and we (5/6?) remained and spent a while talking to him. I remember him asking me about a pink (i don't believe it now!) cardigan Iwas wearing with GD and NRPS knitted into it in another colour (red?). Anyway we were allowed to stay and when the Dead performed i positioned myself under the stage on a plank a few feet off the ground. The show was great.

daveattheplough

 A Taper speaks !

    I've been bugging the taper . SP , to let us all know about the equipment he used and how he went about taping the Dead for many months and at long last he's responded with his recollections of the show.


     "I can’t remember when Bickershaw was first announced. I saw the Dead the first night at Wembley and don’t remember thinking then I’d be seeing them again so soon afterwards. Maybe, like the Lyceum gigs, it was announced whilst the tour was in progress. The papers were full of the Dead playing for up to nine hours, doing a run through their entire back catalogue and the organisers confirmed they’d leave it open-ended to let the Dead play as long as they wanted. My friend Carl and I were at University in Manchester so it was only a short trip for us to get to Wigan. I’d already taped the Dead at Wembley - yep, I’m afraid it was probably me that unleashed that shitty recording on the trading community. I’d only bought the machine (a small mono Philips portable cassette recorder with whatever cheap mike came with it) on the day of the show so had no time to experiment with it. Despite having good seats about 20 rows back, we had a security guy standing right next to us so I kept the mike down on my lap, not realising how indistinct the recording would turn out. Naively, I assumed that whatever my ears heard would also get picked up by the mike. Anyway, I decided to try and make a better job of it at Bickershaw.

    Having been to the Hollywood and Bath festivals in 1970, I was disappointed when we reached the festival site. Probably the rain didn’t help but the whole atmosphere was bad – it felt like (and probably was) an industrial wasteland. From somewhere we commandeered a huge plastic sheet which, when it rained, we could sit on and pull up, over, and around ourselves, leaving a small hole at the front to look through and point the mike out of. Apart from when the Dead were on, it just seemed to rain most of the time. Being a student, and a newcomer to taping, I didn’t have, and couldn’t afford, many tapes, so I’d gone with enough to tape about 10 hours (although with the unlikely possibility that the Dead would actually play for 9 hours, I wanted to save as much as I could for them). I did manage to tape bits of other acts – mainly ones I thought my brother might like as he hadn’t been able to make it to the Festival. So I had some parts of Hawkwind, Country Joe, Wishbone Ash and bits of Stackridge and Jonathon Kelly. When the Dead came on, I hadn’t learned to just leave the tape rolling so I switched off and on between songs, thus missing all stage talk except the Happy Birthday bit. Sadly, only my tapes of the Dead remain - shortly after the festival I taped over the other music.

    Enjoyed the New Riders although not as much as I’d expected to. I’d bought Powerglide that day somewhere on the festival site. And then the Dead. At least the rain had stopped and I think for once we stood up to watch. The whole festival area by now looked like a disaster area, with silhouettes moving through the mud against a backdrop of flickering fires. It was getting cold once the sun went down and, even from a distance, you could see the vapours being spewed out by the heater cannon on stage. Deadbase shows them as having played "Deal" during the first set but, until someone comes up with a tape that proves me wrong, I know they didn’t. Although I was switching my recorder off between songs, I know I didn’t miss any (whereas at Wembley, I knew I’d missed the encore when I ran out of tape). It was a far more mellow show than at Wembley and they took their time, easing into it gently. I was astonished and delighted to get both Dark Star and The Other One in the same show. Am I imagining it or were the words of Casey Jones flashed up on a screen with a bouncing ball tracking them? I’m sure that the screen was used at another point but there memory deserts me.
A wonderful set from the Dead – what was it- 5 hours? Certainly the tapes run for more than 4 and a half. On balance I enjoyed the festival, but it doesn’t hold the same memories for me that Hollywood and Bath in 1970 do."


The Dead SPEAK !
The boys took the opportunity to interact with the crowd on quite a few occasions during the show. Here's a transcript of what they said . 

After Beat It On Down The Line
Weir;
"Hey there's some sunlight over there for all you people "

Phil ?, 
"Lets hear it for the sunlight "( cheers from audience)  .

    Weir:
    "I understand that that bill they were trying to push through the legistlature here was defeated "
    Garcia   :
    "Which one , the one about sunshine ? ". 
    Weir;
    "the night assemblies bill. It was defeated last night. 
    (cheers ) it ,means  that you guys can go ahead and have all the festivals you want ..... if you can do something about the goddamn weather."

    (The night assemblies bill was essentially an attempt to outlaw festivals , but it fortunately was chucked out by parliament in a rare show of common sense) 

    The crowd make requests for Sugar Magnolia and other songs .
    Weir : "listen , up here thats all quite unintelligable". 

    On hearing crowd requests for St Stephen. 
    Weir:
    "We done forgot St Stephen, I mean we forgot it .We can't play it anymore, we don't know how, water under the bridge We may someday. We may reconstruct it , listen to the record to cop our licks. (cynical band laughter)"

    The band then play Truckin' ,they did not resurrect St Stephen again until 6-9-76 

Jerry G chats to the crowd, Photo © R. Ellis Repfoto 1972

   A note from Wombat about the photos of Jerry sitting in the truck featured on this page.   

The b&w photo with Garcia sitting on the back of the truck is actually the Rolling Stones Mobile and my mate Soapy is clearly seen amongst the crowd - my wife thinks that I'm in there too but I think that I was too stoned to care.

The photo was taken whilst the New Riders were playing and the tapes were rolling - it was probably still 8-track then before the upgrade to 16-track so that would solve the question you asked of Dick Latvala.

Wombat

    The seventh of May is Bill Kreutzmann's birthday.Weir informed the crowd thus before the band played Good Lovin':

    Weir:
    "Folks  we got ourselves a birthday boy with us tonight  , its our drummer Billy and I'd like to thank you and ask you to join in helping me and all of us all to wish him a great day and happy birthday to Billy." ( band plays shambolic Happy birthday tune whilst crowd sings along , at finish , huge cheer )

    Before  China Cat Sunflower

    Lesh:We got a slight technical problem here, which will no doubt be ironed out in mere seconds. 
    Weir: In the meantime , you can all huddle a bit closer together for warmth . cause you're gonna need it.
     

    After RAMBLE ON ROSE, the band comment on the stink from the dozens of fires  . 
    Unknown band member:
    "What's on fire"
    Weir:
    "I don't know what you're  burning out there ,but it smells rotten." 
    Phil? "It must be my shorts "

    Unknown band member : "Hi mom "
    Weir 
    "Everybody's burning their old socks ( laughter) and its disgraceful, disgraceful . "
    Pig ?: to the crowd- "Howdy "( cheers ) 
     Weir
    "Listen. Is  everybody cold " 
    Crowd
    "No "
    Weir; (in wonder ) 
    'far out !"


At some point during the set a guy ran on stage and threw his arms around Kreutzmann . This may have been Playing In The Band, because after this song Weir can be heard to say

    "(unintelligible ) thought Billy was Jesus."

    Dennis Poole clarifies 

    I was sat on a board between the 2 front stages and so could hear Bob Weir clearly. 
    He said "Dont' worry folks, just another straightjacket case who thought Billy was God."

Eyewitness accounts of the Dead's show 

    Out In the Cold Rain & Mud. 

    The boyz onstage as dusk fell © Patrick Rouchon.

    The excitement, the sights, the sounds, the sex, the drugs, the smells, the cold, the mud and the "You are Lobby Ludd  and I claim my £5" toilet paper
    (hard) supplied by Virgin Records (it ran out early Friday evening)

    As I remember...
    The Sunday had dawned cold but dry, the rain had been intermittent but heavy over the weekend. In the early afternoon Country Joe McDonald, only armed with an acoustic guitar, tried to keep us entertained for what seemed like hours ..."Gimme an F"..."2,4,6,8". Meanwhile the 'quippies' were slowly building the Deads' P.A., carefully matching the tie-dyed front cloths. The high board  (novelty) diver had released several hundred thousand gallons of water from his tank at the front of the stage (which was on a little mound), the mud was now knee deep. Eventually The New Riders of the Purple Sage took to the stage for a rocking set that sent the sound of pedal steel soaring high over the crowd.

    Then it was time...
    A large yellow backcloth with a giant Stealy in the middle was unfurled and billowed in the wind... suddenly everybody's dreams came true, I remember the band playing "Dark Star" as the sun sank into the murky haze...

    Perhaps it was all a dream we dreamed one afternoon, long ago.
     

Gavin

"Is this a Garcia I see before me ?"

Another muted shot from BC'S film of the festival.

Mike Ward writes  

The dead's "live in europe, '72" album shows the crowd scene in front of the stage and two
of our group is just in the left side of the frame.

in the following link, the top four heads in the back and to the right is us - i'm not sure if that ugly guy on the far left is me (*i hope not!:) but i can see jimmy stephan and dewy bunnell's face is the one bisected at the far right hand corner.   Dewey is also in "america" and got us onstage - then he left after one or two songs and left us there - we eventually settled right behind phil lesh's position.  I never heard him play before but after standing next to his amp all night,  i couldn't get his rhythm out of my bones the whole ride back to london (which made the cramped trip back pleasant!)

http://www.iowrock.demon.co.uk/bickershaw/images/garcia.jpg
 
For the record, i think i was standing outside the picture's frame, to the right - that other guys too ugly for me (i'm ugly but not like that:)

Phil had small LED's on his guitar neck to see his fret points better in the dark (i don't know how common that is but i thought it was pretty neat!). 

Accounts from the "Live Music Archive" reviews section

The crowd had built bonfires around the perimeter of the field to keep warm, but now they piled on the fuel and Bickershaw became a pagan festival, dancers circling the flames, and, in the words of a local writer, the 'Dead had offered safe passage through the wierd terrain.'" Dennis McNally

A rain sodden and chilly weekend seems to have dampened this festival, though the weather appropriately cleared just before the Dead's show closing performance. Although the sound quality for most of the show renders it rather difficult to enjoy, its obvious why so many songs from this performance were included on the Steppin' Out release.

This festival gig was, for the most part, very well played (particularly the second set) and at an extremely high energy level. It also represents Pigpen's finest performance on the tour, and what might be his last great show. The Truckin' opener cooks, while Playin' in the Band, Good Lovin' and the Lovelight> GDTRFB are all great performances.

The highlight though, is certainly the phenomenal second set jam suite preserved in master reel source sound quality, featuring both Dark Star AND the Other One. It's the only performance during 1972 to include both songs. Though somewhat abreviated from other Dark Stars on the tour, clocking in at just over 16 minutes, this is a top notch effort nonetheless. The pre-verse theme intro is brilliant. Jerry is soaring! But what really stands out on this one is some rather fine playing by Bobby. His chord-work throughout is gorgeous. It might be his finest contribution to a performance of Dark Star on the entire tour. After a post-verse Space/Drums segment, the band just explodes into The Other One. It's a raging monster performance of the song. Not as jazzy or sophisticated as some of the best versions from the tour, this performance is more primal in nature. At times sounding more like '69 or '70 with a fierce pre-verse attack by Garcia and some amazing swirling organ fills from Pig. After the first verse there is an awesome solo by Phil, perhaps his best of the tour. The space segment continues with Jerry and Weir eventually going atonal. Finally Weir drives the band back into the theme and it catches fire again prior to the second verse.

The show concludes with a superb performance of Lovelight, featuring some great slidework by Jerry before another excellent GDTRFB/NFA. If the music of the first set was available in better sound quality, this amazing performance might garner a perfect score. (98 pts)


Let the Sun Shine In

I was at this show--the whole festival was a rain-lashed, chilly, muddy two (three?) days of near-Woodstockosity. The Dead were the final act. Just as they started their set, the setting sun broke through the iron-gray clouds of the Midlands and the sky cleared. It was one of those "cosmic" moments for sure. And yes, this was one of the great sets of that era.

Most underrated, overlooked show of all time?

This show is so completely out of this world. I can't believe more people don't know about it. The Dark Star - Other One is as good as it gets. After it takes you to hell and heaven, you end up in church with Sing Me Back Home. And then after that is whole other amazing set in itself, with Sugar Magnolia, Lovelight, GDTRFB, NFA.
The Other One Jam is tangible proof of the mystic-power behind the Grateful Dead. Every day I check nervously to make sure it is still here. Get this quick, and share with friends!

it's not gonna get much better than this.

this show is so hot it'll make your brain leak out of your ears. lovelight -> gdtrfb -> nfa! what jams. unreal! i could use three more exclamation points!

Wiccan bonfires/ cold rain and mud

After 2 1/2 days of freezing with chattering Brit speedfreaks and locals, watching everyone from the Kinks to Capn Beefheart, Sunday came upon the exhausted crowd, myself and my comely new long red haired lady friend. I'd been introduced to the Dead on their recent Festival Express tour in Casnada, Damn, if that band wasn't already following me around! :)
The damp was still stultifying as Donovan played his set in the early afternoon.... drizzle still cooled the crowd. Country Joe/the Fish livened things up with a rousing F*** Richard Nixon chant as the sound towers shuddered under the swaying weight of the mad climbers. 20,000 brits screaming F*** Tricky Dick.... unreal, but the best still was yet to come.
New Riders warmed things up more, and as sure as God's in heaven, as they finished their set, the clouds began to part and set the stage (literally) for the Dead.
There were video screens (hi tech in that day) on either side of the stage, and EVERYONE, all the villagers, crowd, cops, bus drivers etc had the show of their lives as the Dead played one of their all time classic shows.... under a blood red sky.
Sodden, stoned, exhausted and remorselessly devoted, or soon to be, Deadheads rocked until there was no energy left to spend. Pigpen was in his final glory days, Keith had blended and even Donna was on key. This show really left no survivors. We were all dead after that.
Luckily, I revived in time for the Lyceum shows.....
Get this one.... excellent quality. Thank you, contributor..... as I sit here, i'm, transported back to that smoky, smelly, stony ol english bog.... that I for one will never forget. Thanks for bringing this back for us.

elvis

this is the show where elvis costello recalls wearing a soaked poncho in a muddy morass (did he have his buddy holly glasses?), loving the dead not so much for dark star, but for the way they could belt out a truly touching, sad ballad. it was an inspiration for him, and, now, thanks to archive, hopefully an inspiration for generations to come.

bickershaw

old colliery town on a farm near wigan manchester well lancashire in 1972
a nice steady first set with the waft of the toilets drifting over to the band which prompted bobs what you smokin out there
but dark star was lovely spacey and flares being fired into the darkening sky and happy orgasm emblazoned on the electric sign
had to put up with my recording of this until the internet brought me the wonderful sounds as they should sound
wonderful stuff
happy trails indeed

Absolutley one of the best of Europe '72!!!


I thought I was not very familiar with this show until I realized that several of these amazing performances were included on Steppin' Out (Good Lovin', Lovelight, Goin' Down the Road...) but what makes this for me is the stunning medley of Dark Star>Drums>The Other One - this is simply a fantastic piece of music and despite any technical tuning issues they may have been experiencing, should be counted among the finest performances of the tour.

I was especially blown away by this scorching Other One; as Cliff mentions the ferocity level of the first half MUST be heard, a definite throwback to their late '60s aggressiveness. Then the towering, fast-paced thematic jam at the end just seals it... I think this and 5/3/72 might now be my favorite performances of The Other One on the tour, and with monsters like 4/7 and 5/26 lurking around that is probably saying a lot...I urge you to get the box-set and listen for yourself!!


 

bsolutely awesome. They maintain through this epic a pitch that is so exact, so f'ing *perfect* you start to worry "No, there's no way they can keep this up for four hours." But they do. This show is one of the best of the Europe tour, and proof that they didn't always "blow the big ones". This was a big one, and they delivered. Get the boxed set - it's really the only way to go here - the board sounds wonderfully loud and clear.

Some of the stage banter here is classic ("Must be my shorts!") Highlights are numerous and all over the place; it's all beautiful, all razor-sharp exact, but I'm chiefly partial to that China Cat > Rider - just listen to Billy at half-tempo - man, when they decided to keep that groove in that space during the '72 Europe tour they made a great, great move in the name of posterity.


The stormy one


With such a high overall level, some shows of the tour stand out for statistical this-and-thats. 5/16 is the shortest show and this is the longest @4hrs plus intermission. In fact, it's one of the longest shows ever; 28 songs including a 20min Dark Star and 33min TOO. (1:48 1st set; 2:12 2nd set). Some think length of songs or shows is the only indicator of quality (though you could just compile two shows and call it A+). Those fans will find this show all they need (which is certainly fine). Luckily for the rest, there's plenty of good playing. The festival was legendary for a generation of Brits - understandably so. While it doesn't have the zap of some of the later shows or the crystalline moments of the earlier shows, it has its own vibe.Unfortunately, it's marred by out of tune guitars for many songs. E72 is tough competition.

First Set. The first two aren't bad versions but Mr. Charlie is amazing - because of Keith. Beat it on Down the Line-8½ ("how bout 8 and ½?") is the tour's best. Because it hadn't been fully arranged yet, He's Gone isn't usually this good on the tour. Each China>Rider has some new bits and it's a stand-out most stops, including this one. Black Throated is pretty tame until the end. Playin' is just fireworks all the wah wah through. It does have a small Donnaskreech™. There's a really good, 20min Good Lovin', though these didn't vary that much the middle weeks. Casey Jones was played almost every night yet this stands out - Bobby and Keith's fills are perfect.

Second Set. Greatest Story isn't 4/7, 4/11,or 4/29 but it's still great. The next couple are average '72 but Jack Straw is the height of the '72 arrangement. Parts of Dark Star are interesting (though not like, say, 4/8) and parts are had-to-be-there. E72 doesn't have the year's best Dark Stars and Billy says he looked forward to Other One, which here is the most out-there of the tour (though not the longest). I'll take 4/21, 5/3, 5/24 & a couple others. Going in and out of tune was unfortunate both sets and then Bobby seems to flag by Sugar Mag. But not Pigpen, who fires Jer on a whopping Lovelight. It's fireworks again for GDtRFB, albeit with Donnaskreech™. The next two are average versions.

1st Set:   B+
2nd Set: B-
Overall = 4 stars

Highlights:
Mr. Charlie - Keith especially amazing
Beat it on Down the Line - "How 'bout 8½?" how 'bout pure zap
He's Gone - now it's finding its legs
China Cat> Know You Rider - beautiful sections
Playing in the Band - fireworks & wah
Casey Jones - the fills make it (Phil always makes it)
Jack Straw - height of' 72 arrangement
Lovelight>Goin' Down the Road Feeling Bad - Pigpen pwns and a peerless progression
.

I just got done listening to the version of this show from the boxed set. This show is amazing. One of the best. It starts off one fire and never lets up.

I noticed a number of reviews mentioned "Mr. Charlie". It's generally not a song many people get excited about, but Jerry's solo on this version is fantastic.

The first set has its share of jamming with China/Rider, Playin', and Good Lovin, and the 2nd set picks up from where it left off.This is the only show on the tour with both Dark Star and The Other One. The latter has just incredible energy and also some very quiet parts. It does seem a bit out of tune at first, but the playing is so good that it kind of doesn't matter.

To me, this version of Sugar Mag is better than the one on Europe '72. But if that all wasn't good enough, check out Turn On Your Lovelight. Has Jerry ever done a better guitar solo? Has anyone?

They could have easily ended the show there, but no, they weren't finished, and the remaining songs don't disappoint.

To recap, this concert is the Grateful Dead at their best.


 



Ex Bickershaw vets in Brighton UK can be contacted here


 
Other Grateful Dead pages on the archive site. 

The Bickershaw Menu

If you have any info regarding the festival please get in touch Contact us

Updated June 2021

Other Bickershaw links.
 
  • The Bickershaw diaries-

    Mike Plumbleys saga at Bickershaw, with more photos and extensive first hand observations of his time at the festival. 

  • Repfoto- massive collection of commercially available photos of Bickershaw for sale and view
  • Mothergrumble Magazine-article on Bickershaw and Lincoln 7
  • The Children Of God have a flickr page with 55 photos of their activities at the festival. new June 2021

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