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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #17101  by ronster
 Mon May 28, 2007 3:10 pm
They must have been high. Makes no sense to me. DSO does a great version of Viola Lee and also the eleven which are great to hear as the Dead had all but stopped playing those tunes by 1977 when I got on the bus.

 #17102  by tigerstrat
 Mon May 28, 2007 3:36 pm
ronster wrote:They must have been high. Makes no sense to me. DSO does a great version of Viola Lee and also the eleven which are great to hear as the Dead had all but stopped playing those tunes by 1977 when I got on the bus.
Actually they had stopped playing both of those songs by the end of 1970.

 #17103  by gratephulphish123
 Mon May 28, 2007 5:06 pm
yeah i have a cd from some concerts in the seventies, the eleven was an awesome song as well, really great cd as it had jerry and duane jammin together on dark star, spanish jam and love light

 #17109  by Stellar Blues
 Mon May 28, 2007 9:46 pm
For many of us in the late '60's, Viola Lee was the highlight and anthem of the self-titled Grateful Dead LP, but musical groups always move on and the followers aren't always in tune with where the band is headed.

I see that the only three versions that I have on hand are from San Fran venues in May, July and December 1966.

 #17110  by IamDocWatson
 Tue May 29, 2007 12:14 am
because its boring....crazy?intense?soaring?trippy?....boring

 #17118  by tigerstrat
 Tue May 29, 2007 8:27 am
Boring?! Then the Grateful Dead are boring.

I find that listening to the last time or few times the Dead played a song will usually yield some clue to why the song never reappeared- like some part of it that was once drum-tight, and super-rehearsed has started unraveling, and the boys maybe couldn't bear the thought of re-"learning" the song, especially if there are dozens of new songs bursting out in fertile years like 1970 and 1971. The old stuff is lower in priority, and if it needs a certain degree of upkeep in rehearsal it might not survive... heck maybe it just got too crazy for them and they thought they'd lose their sanity.

 #17122  by strumminsix
 Tue May 29, 2007 8:40 am
Seems like re-learning is a re-occurring theme with the GD. In countless interviews I've heard members discuss this which should come to no surprise considering their catalogue.

Overall I'd guess that the some no longer motivated them as a whole and that their performance showed it.

Viola is a tough song to play and requires a certain rigidity that the GD seemed to have some disdain for while preferring looser feeling more jammy songs.

 #17131  by BuddhaG
 Tue May 29, 2007 9:54 am
listened to the last viola lee a few weeks ago. i would dig it up for you guys but i am too lazy to search the depths of the archive from 1970. it was last played during the second set of one of those electric/acoustic shows with NRPS that they were doin at that time...

in any case, not the best version by far. they slowed it down and it was not as exploratory and crazy as it was before. i guess they were moving in a different direction at this point anyway. that song was played at break neck speed when they did it the best (67.68 i think). they were going in a more mellow and spaced out direction by 1970.

but really if you care, listen the last version - i found it uninspired.

 #17151  by nicolasalk
 Tue May 29, 2007 1:34 pm
BuddhaG wrote:listened to the last viola lee a few weeks ago. i would dig it up for you guys but i am too lazy to search the depths of the archive from 1970. it was last played during the second set of one of those electric/acoustic shows with NRPS that they were doin at that time...

in any case, not the best version by far. they slowed it down and it was not as exploratory and crazy as it was before. i guess they were moving in a different direction at this point anyway. that song was played at break neck speed when they did it the best (67.68 i think). they were going in a more mellow and spaced out direction by 1970.

but really if you care, listen the last version - i found it uninspired.
I agree

 #17155  by Shaggy
 Tue May 29, 2007 2:05 pm
Can you imagine an attempt at a slowed down version of Viola in the 90's? A horrible thought.

 #17158  by Rev_Roach
 Tue May 29, 2007 2:16 pm
strumminsix wrote: Viola is a tough song to play and requires a certain rigidity that the GD seemed to have some disdain for while preferring looser feeling more jammy songs.
That's for sure. For one thing, its an eleven bar blues! (It's in G, 2 beats are chopped off the first C and 2 beats chopped off the last G). I remember being very confused while first trying to learn this song, the changes just seemed to come too quickly.

 #17163  by strumminsix
 Tue May 29, 2007 4:38 pm
Rev_Roach wrote:
strumminsix wrote: Viola is a tough song to play and requires a certain rigidity that the GD seemed to have some disdain for while preferring looser feeling more jammy songs.
That's for sure. For one thing, its an eleven bar blues! (It's in G, 2 beats are chopped off the first C and 2 beats chopped off the last G). I remember being very confused while first trying to learn this song, the changes just seemed to come too quickly.
Bingo! Here's a little something I saved from 5/21/2006 from GearHeads on this very topic...
Code: Select all
||:  G / / /  | G / / /   | G / / /   | G / / /  |

|  C / / /  | C /  | G / / / | G / / /  |

|  F / / /  | C  / / /  | G / / /  |  G / / /  :||

 #17164  by gratephulphish123
 Tue May 29, 2007 4:57 pm
oh well shame the dead stopped playing it, do ratdog or phil and friends ever play it, i saw phil do cosmic charlie, which was axed around the same time as viola i believe