so he just fudged Terrapin, thats not what you wrote, is it?
you did write as he charges thru songs"his own way" they are his songs, whose way should he play them, yes they changed tempos and other nuances from the seventies to the eighties.
Yes I agree he fudged things up, but your post kinda of made it sound like the rest of the band was asleep at the wheel, listen to the eighties I don't here Phil ever leading songs or jams, for that matter Bobby too..
Not tryin' to get involved or in between this 1-on-1, and I'm not exactly sure what other song examples you are using, but I see a lot of the the general difference between songs played in the 80's vs 70s as the later versions of the songs "being allowed to breath", a key feature of "Grateful Deadness" imho, and actually a little more similar to early 70's looseness/greasiness. And fwiw imho although Bobby imo doesn't lead much after the hiatus, there is still a lot of input from Phil in the 80's, as seen in the extended "Deal" coda, or the exploded versions of "Sugaree", the much headier and more delicious(imho) Estimated and Scarlet segue jams... everyone's mileage will vary.
Back on topic: two top-tier trainwrecks are BOTH full versions of Hey Jude they ever played- the Brent 3/22/90 AND the Pigpen 3/1/69.
Opening song of 6/18/74, Promised Land: they do the "faked A" intro, but Jerry forgets to shift into C, and basically plays almost the full "Johnny B Goode" intro, stepping all over Bob's opening lyrics. Takes about 2/3 of the remainder of the tune for them to start sounding like a professional band!