So it's May again, a time when I load the iPod with nothing but May '77. What a joyous month. There are so many great shows (and not a clunker in the bunch) that I always have a hard time picking what I would consider the best. So, share with us your views/picks.
I have included Latvala's views on 1977 for your information:
ABOUT 20 SHOWS THAT WOULD BE BETTER RELEASES THAN 5/8/77, FROM THE YEAR OF
1) 2/26 &2/27- The first 2 shows of the year, and together would make
a much better and way more fulfilling listening experience than Ithaca.
2)3/18->20/77- Winterland (although none stands alone completely, together
a 3-4 cd release seems an obvious choice.)
3) I have to pass on the Palladium,NYC shows, since I have never heard
them. They need to be baked and dbx decoded and we haven't got to a
whole slew of tapes in similar condition.
4) Both the night before and the night after (5/7 & 5/9) would
be more pleasing as releases.
5) I haven't heard the Chicago shows, but I have heard from friends that
something happened at one of them anyway.
6) The shows on 5/15, 5/17, 5/18 and 5/21 are each deserving notation,
and although they don't match up with 5/22, they are each more
satisfying than 5/8.
7) From what I hear from others (and what I saw myself, i.e., 5/28), the
final 3 shows from this amazing month of performances are each worthy of
Unfortunately, the 6/4 show in Los Angeles is missing from the vault
and from anyone's tape collection, as far as I know. Otherwise I would
toss this one in the pile of special shows.
9) The run of 3 at Winterland on 6/7->9, has some exceptional playing,
but not within a songle night, so this should probably be a compilation
of the 3 shows, with most of the emphasis on the first 2 nights.
10) Englishtown (9/3) needs no mention!
11) October is another of those months where there seems to be a
disproportionate number of excellent performances. The downside is that
the quality of the recordings leaves something to be desired. In the
first tour during this month, the standouts are 10/11, 10/12, 10/14 and
10/16. I think all three at the end of the month are qualifiers (10/28,
10/29 and 10/30).
12) Each of the next 5 nights rips Ithaca. But the 11/4->6 shows are
difficult to choose between. If I had to pick one of the three, I would
have to go with 11/6, although Rob Bertrando's choice of 11/4 is pretty
hard to pass up.
13) I think that many have overlooked the last 2 shows of the year,
since 12/29 was so startling. Neither approaches the completeness of
12/29, but I remember some fine playing during the 2nd set jams from
So maybe this doesn't total 20 shows, but it gives a pretty clear idea of
where I place 5/8/77 amongst the meat from this year. I don't feel it's
necessary to point out what is specifically lacking on the 5/8 show, since
this would only further distance it from the shows listed above.