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 7th May 72 .The Bickershaw Festival

"For all our muddy friends


The whole goddam show makes it into circulation !

Jerry backstage at Bickershaw © Wombat


    What better way to mark the 30th anniversay of this classic show than to assemble all the various versions of the gig , both SBD and audience - together in as complete and (most importantly )as best sounding a condition as possible and release the whole kaboodle on the unsuspecting Deadhead community for what could be the first time ever ? Well that's just what has happened in May 2002 .

    Discs 1 & 2 are a compilation of multiple Audience sources which were used to piece together the complete 1st set and first 4 songs of the 2nd set. A big thanks to Mick Etherington, GW Shark #, Simon Mould - and most especially to Simon Phillips *and Chris Jones §- the only tapers we can identify- for supplying missing tracks such as Mr Charlie and Casey Jones from their master recordings of this show, as well as Alan Schlissel and Steve Barbella for getting the different versions all in one place. The various versions were all speed corrected, but there are still some speed fluctuations and "wow and flutter" here and there.

Discs 3 & 4 are supplied from a Master Soundboard Reel > DAT source. The previously
circulating, 2nd set partial Betty Board was used to patch "The Other One".
There is a 5th disc which contains the NRPS set and is not for the faint of heart.
-Scott Clugston

Disc 1
1st Set

1. Intro > #
(10 seconds into Sugaree, splice in Chris Jones' master )
2. Banter §
3. Sugaree §
4. Banter
5. Mr. Charlie §
6. Beat it On Down the Line #
7. Banter
8. He's Gone
9. Chinatown Shuffle
10. China Cat Sunflower >
11. I Know You Rider
12. //Black Throated Wind
13. //Next Time You See Me

Disc 2
1. "Happy Birthday Billy"#
2. Playin' in the Band #
3. Tennessee Jed#
4. Good Lovin'#
5. //Casey Jones *
2nd Set
6. Greatest Story Ever Told #
7. Big Boss Man
8. Ramble On Rose
9. Banter
10. //Jack Straw

Disc 3
1. //Dark Star(patched) >
2. Drums >
3. The Other// One(patched)>
4. Sing Me Back Home

Disc 4
1. Banter
2. Sugar Magnolia
3. Turn On Your Lovelight >
4. Going Down the Road Feeling Bad >
5. Not Fade Away
6. One More Saturday Night
7. Bonus - Banter Highlights

Disc 5
1. Contract
2. Truck Driving Man
3. Rainbow
4. Sailing
5. Whatcha Going to Do
6. Willie & The Hand Jive

Alan Schlissel relates the tangled tale of the recent compilation of this show .
   I was approached by Mick Etherington about finding and putting together the best possible sources for his only Dead show, the Bickershaw Festival. B
ickershaw was a 3 day festival with many popular bands of the day. By all accounts the weather was cold and rainy with mud everywhere. The cold weather wreaked havoc with the equipment and the band and it made conditions extremely unpleasant for concertgoers. Mick recalls sheltering under the sound tower from the rain, wet and tired after a long weekend.

   Mick had long harbored the dream of getting the whole show together after having listened to the second set from Dark Star onwards that had circulated for some time. What Mick started ultimately became an effort spanning 2 oceans and 3 or so continents to find all versions of this show that were known to be in circulation. We eventually turned up many pieces of this show, some workable, others not. We were able to identify two of the tapers, Chris Jones and Simon Phillips (who did a good job considering the circumstances) through GW Shark -who runs this web page , and who had also been busy compiling as many versions of the tapes as possible over the past years with the eventual aim of cleaning them up . The Shark provided three of the versions used here: the audience recording- source unknown- which comprises most of the recording and he also passed on the vile hissy sound board ( which was thankfully not used ) as well as a digital copy of Chris Jones original masters of the Dead and NRPS recordings .

    I approached Steve Barbella to locate someone with the knowledge and proper equipment to analyze, clean up and sew together the bits and pieces. Steve suggested Scott Clugston and I subsequently mailed him a large stack of discs. Scott examined all the source material and the result of this effort speaks for itself. Scott supplied his copy of soundboard material that was used on discs 3 and 4. After some consideration he decided to use only audience tapes for discs 1 and 2 since the soundboard segments we obtained were of poor quality. Scott considers this to be one of the more difficult projects he has worked on and I thank him for his time and talent.

   Only a few hours after I initially released this "new" show, Steve contacted me to say that he had heard from Seth Kaplan and that he had a version of the soundboard that did not have a cassette generation in it. We agreed to recall the few copies that we released and to see what Seth had. Seth had the same partial set 2 soundboard only it was remastered by Bill Giles, whose comments follow below.

   Scott contacted me regarding this new soundboard version and according to him: "I've spoken at length with Jeff Tiedrich regarding the Sbd portion of this's the scoop;-)........when the more complete copy of the 2nd set began to circulate, we were told that the lineage was MSR>DAT.....after listening, and based on the hiss levels, the pedigree was questioned and the source came back and said that it was possible that there was a cassette gen present, but couldn't confirm one way or the other........being a bit conservative when it comes to pedigrees, we opted to list this new copy (with the Betty Board patch in The Other One) as MSR>C>DAT........this was approximately March of 2000.........I never gave it a second thought and since then, Jeff has confirmed that what we have (and patched) is MSR>DAT......"

In all likelihood, Scott's version has the same lineage as this upgrade.

   This upgrade has a very nice patch that restores the opening notes of Dark Star. Also, Bill scrubbed some broadband noise from the quiet passages of that song. I did an A/B comparison of discs 3 and 4 and found that the 2 versions were identical in quality except for the patch of the first 5 notes of Dark Star and a slightly reduced noise level during certain quieter passages in Dark Star.

The other advantage to using Seth's version of the soundboard is a little extra banter at the beginning of disc 4 before Sugar Magnolia and some excerpts of assorted stage banter that was placed after the encore. I verified and fixed sector boundaries with shntool and seek enabled all tracks with seek tables appended using shn v3.

Enjoy the show,
Alan Schlissel


Digital wizardry by Scott Clugston, discs 1, 2 and 5
SBD Remastering by Bill Giles, discs 3 and 4
Concept by Mick Etherington
Ways and Means by Steve Barbella
Audience taping by Chris Jones , Simon Phillips and others
Special thanks to GW Shark for his role in tracking down other sources
Thanks to Simon Mould for providing me with his source

Big Thanks to Alan Schlissel for coordinating the whole thing

GWShark notes:

Originally my only copy of the show was a respectable audience tape ( the one that was used for the majority of this seeding ) which was missing a Casey Jones (which was the orgasmic end of the first set ) and couple of other gems . I began to search for the missing items , and over a number of years, through the Archive, I acquired all the other audience sources and the dodgy SBD as well as a very good quality copy of the Dark Star onwards SBD.

I was then contemplating cleaning up the audience tapes in Pro Tools and putting it all together as a continuous package, but lack of time and the complexity of the task kept me from doing the deed.

Therefore, when Mick contacted me, not only was I in the perfect position to forward all of this material to Alan , but I was also relieved to do so as the speed correction needed to improve the main source tapes and the huge differences in sound quality between the various audience tapes was daunting .

"I'd like to pass on my sincere thanks to all involved in bringing this to fruition."
- Mick Etherington


"Little did I know at the time that two of the shows that I taped are now regarded as 'master' audience recordings. Jeez, I'm so glad I did. If Alan wants to know, the recorder I used was an early Pye Cassette recorded with a hand-held mic."
- Chris Jones

Notes by Bill Giles:

"Bickershaw: I'm 100% confident that this remastered version *is* the best in circulation. When Gavin Lawson kindly sent me his CDR some months ago, his source's lineage showed a cassette gen. In contrast, Tiedrich's Resources for Traders said the best source had no cassette gen.

"This version starts with Dark Star (but missed the first 5 notes which I've patched in from a poor denoised and re equalised SBD cassette. It's OK!! You'd never know if you hadn't been told). It is not the Betty Board, the circulating copy of which only starts in the 1st verse of TOO (33 mins late!).

"The Dark Star's a true beauty, er blissfully spatial in the 72nd degree......... but the source contains a lot of broadband noise - a bit like there's glass reverberating intermittently but frequently on your speakers (or, if you're grooving in the cans, inside your head). Sometimes it's one channel, sometimes the other, sometimes both. Real irritating. David Hollister confirms that the noise is on the original master reel and that he had not tried treating it because broadband noise is not susceptible to general scrubbing. So, to cut another long story short, I've been through each and every burst of noise in Dark Star, channel by channel, and tried to clean each one individually. Well, it's one way of getting into the music :)) The result's not perfect and never would be, but all the noises are attenuated and some are removed. It's definitely very OK, the basic sound is first class.
Most important, the MUSIC IS OUTTASIGHT.

The other problem with the source is a 30 sec cut in TOO and the absence of stage announcements (in particular Weir's "we've forgotten how to play St Stephen....... maybe we could go back and listen to our records and cop our licks" rap, and apologies for yet another technical problem "Garcia's got to clean his glasses". (Weir was really on good stage rap form on this tour)). I've patched in the music and announcements from BD>DAT>CDR (Betty Board), courtesy of Steve Nicholls. I had wondered whether to use the Betty as the master source from when it enters in TOO onwards, but comparative listening shows the non-Betty is the better and clearer sound - drums are crisper, instruments brighter - whereas the Betty has some bass saturation and is slightly muddier in the middle. (Very appropriate for Bickershaw, ha ha.)

Finally, as a reminder of the atmospherix of the event, I've added a few other moments of the concert from the poor quality SBD cassette, denoised (though you might not think so!) and re-equalised, as a brief filler. In particular 'Happy Birthday Billy' and Weir explaining that, to keep warm, they are playing under 30 knots of jet breath from hot air heaters and getting dizzy with the smell of kerosene.....

"Pity you can't hear when the fireworks were launched in Dark Star!"
A very detailed account of the Deads show can be seen here at Mike Plumbley's IOW Fest site .

Ex Bickershaw vets in Brighton UK can be contacted here

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Updated May 2023

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