Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #126423  by healthy_scratch
 Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:18 am
Hi everybody I am new to posting here, though I have been a lurking here for years. Love all the wonderful lessons, tabs and exchanges about just about everything Dead and musically related that I have had the priviledge of reading and learning from here for years.

Anyhow here is a subject that I have looked and looked not only on here but across the Internet as a whole now for years and have never found an answer to, thus I am addressing myself to the knowledgeable Garcia gear and tone experts here, who may help resolve a name that pedal questio that I have had now for over 20 years since the run of shows in question ended.

The story of this elusive pedal starts in Oakland where I had the great pleasure and an absolute blast attending the 1991 final New Year's run. In hindsight for me this turned out to be the witnessing of some of what I would say were the last performances of Garcia that I saw live where he was really diggin in and diggin it. I always single out 12-28-91 as the final show I saw that was truly a magical Dead experience. I still steadfastedly claim that it is one of the most underated shows out there. Hell its the show I also point to and say even Vince sounds good and there was no Hornsby.

Anyhow as a whole the run was good I would not go so far as to say great, but without doubt the exception being 12-28 which for these ears is a great show. Some of the factors that goes into the making of a great magical show for me include but are not limited to - great listening, playing and interaction between the lads, massive amounts of loud fat Phil tone, inspired setlist choice, surprise bust out, cool new gear etc...this show has all of this. God even the Minglewood is good thanks to Phil and Peggy-O should be called Philly-O he is stompin all over it . Below you have the list and archive link:

Set I
One More Saturday Night-> Jack Straw, Peggy O, Minglewood Blues, Dire Wolf, Queen Jane Approximately, Loser, Cassidy-> Deal

Foolish Heart-> Women Are Smarter-> Uncle John's Band-> Playin' In The Band-> The Same Thing*-> Jam-> Drums-> Jam-> Drums -> Space -> I Need A Miracle-> Standing On the Moon-> Throwing Stones-> One More Saturday Night Reprise E: U.S. Blues

*First time played since 12-31-71 ... sbeok.shnf

Doubters while the list may look tame on paper, the execution is the dragon that is loose on the town that is referred to in the song. I saw approximately 20 shows in 91 including my fun birthday madness show on 6-17-91, but overall this was the best of them.

Now part of what made this run interesting for me was the fact that Garcia clearly got a new toy in between when I had seen him last in Rochester 11-91 with JGB and in RIchfield with the Dead 9-91. If you listen to any show from this Oakland 91 run you can hear Garcia busting out this new pedal to interesting results in all the shows. In the show in question hear it first rears can first be heard in all its glory at 1:56 of Jack Straw and its slide-like greasy fingerprints are all over solos throughout any number of the songs played through ut the entire run. Vividly I remember the Scarlet -> Fire from the 27th being laced with heavy doses of this pedal along with the sublime Playin -> Jam -> SameThing -> Phil led Jam.

Anyhow, the few times I have heard people reference the pedal it is simply referred to as a pendable pitch pedal, but no name is given no nothing. I even remember in the Golden Road Blair Jackson or whoever reviewed the show after the fact referring to the pedal simply as that as a bendable pitch pedal. Now of course it is that, but that is a little generic. Most pedals bend the pitch, so if you wlak into a guitar shop and say do you have a pendable pitch pedal it is the equivalent of walking into a grocery store and saying do you have any food. As you can hear what the pedal does essentially is mimic the sound of a slide guitar or pedal steel.

I for one have always loved the sound of slide guitar and I try to play it on dobro and standard flat tops as well. I vividly recall being captivated by its sound and watching Jerry rock the pedal throughout this run, I can assure you he was not playing with a slide either. So my question is simple what pedal or combination of pedals making this sound?

Jerry used this same pedal albeit less frequently after the Oakland 1991 run, but the sound for me is indelibly associated to this run for me. It later became a fixture in Corinna providing the only part of that forgetable song that I liked - its this pedal I am convinced that gives the slide-like effect at the start of most versions of the song.

Please if anyone knows what pedal Garcia used to make this sound please share the elusive answer in this thread :hail: .

Many thanks.

 #126426  by NSP
 Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:51 am
Welcome...Paul is correct.

Do a search here in the forums for 'whammy pedal" and you'll find a few threads where this has been discussed. One has a video of Shining Star that Jer loved to use it on.

 #126428  by healthy_scratch
 Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:09 am
Thanks guys for the quick response and boy I thought it would be considerably more exotic the answer, but it is simply a Whammy Pedal cool good to know. Hell I am sure if I had just done a search years ago for Whammy Pedal this would have come up butlive and learn. Funny it is the same pedal that gave Trey his whale sound, that many thought was being overly used, dare I say abused in 2009 - 10 Phish.

Thanks so much again for the info, I will have to give one a go next time at the music shop.


 #129131  by Marleyboy
 Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:10 am
I grabbed one of those Morpheus bomber pedals .pretty dam cool .i usually don't buy cheap look offs but this isn't all that bad. Better for trey stuff I think . The whammy 2 I believe the black one is the one trey uses . I'm not sure about Jerry's .