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Grateful Dead 07/28/73
Grand Prix Racecourse, Watkins Glen, NY
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Source # 181 Other Sources
Entered by dr.unclear
Checksums shn-md5 , st5
Disc Counts 3 / 4
Media Size
Date Circulated
Date Added
Source Summary no regular info file (covers only); see 2 "history" posts; reported flaw: d2t6 (truckin) has pop at 2:15; see pub comments for other flaw notes; circulated with 7/27/73 
Source Information - Download Text | Download Zip
Grateful Dead
Grand Prix Racecourse
Watkins Glen, NY
Date - 07-28-1973

Set 1
d1t01 - Intro by Bill Graham
d1t02 - Bertha
d1t03 - Beat it on Down the Line
d1t04 - Brown Eyed Women
d1t05 - Mexicali Blues
d1t06 - Box of Rain
d1t07 - Here Comes Sunshine
d1t08 - Looks Like Rain
d1t09 - Row Jimmy
d1t10 - Jack Straw
d1t11 - Deal
d2t01 - Playing in the Band

Set 2
d2t02 - Around and Around
d2t03 - Loose Lucy
d2t04 - Big River
d2t05 - He's Gone >
d2t06 - Truckin' > Nobody's Fault But Mine Jam >
d2t07 - El Paso
d3t01 - China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider
d3t02 - Stella Blue
d3t03 - Eyes of the World >
d3t04 - Sugar Magnolia

Encore 1:
d4t01 - Sing Me Back Home //

Encore 2:
d4t02 - Not Fade Away *
d4t03 - Mountain Jam *
d4t04 - Johnny B. Goode *

* with the Allman Brothers Band and The Band

the above track listing was created by Dr. Unclear on 4/30/2008. The original seed had no regular info file (circulated with covers); 2 "history txts" below:

Subject: Watkins Story
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 23:32:12 EDT
From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]


Here's one of the posts that covers a great deal of the tape details.



Here's the story of the road to the Digital Watkins Glen Tree.

This was supposed to happen two years ago in conjunction with the
25th Anniversary Watkins Glen Analog Tree. I won't bore you with the
details, but the digital end never happened. A few months ago, I
had decided that I would finally have my AUD Analog seeds from the
Analog Tree transferred to DAT so that the digital world could
finally get it's hands on the tree that was run back in 1998. In a
wonderful cosmic twist of fate, on the very day that I put my
precious seed tapes in the mail to go to a trusted A>D person, I got
word that the a digital copy of the Master Soundboard Reels from
7/28/73 was going to be headed in my direction. Wow!

I had a few conversations with Dick Latvala when I was organizing the
25th Anniversary Tree and he had told me that the SBDMR was filled
with gremlins and glitches, and would never be suitable for official
release, but it did exist and he had listened to it. Most of his
friends had told him the show sucked (FOOLS!) so he didn't pay much
attention when he did listen to it. It seemed that the SBD was
destined to gather dust in the Vault for good. So be it. As it was,
we had put together a very enjoyable copy of the complete show from
AUD and FM sources and treed out what went on to change people's
minds about a show that was always thought to be a true low point in
1973. All the folklore-ish rumors about how bad they played, and how
without life the show was were put to rest. I still believe that the
bad rap given to 7/28/73 in the past stemmed from the atrocious
partial AUD that had circulated for years.

The SBD arrived and blew my mind. The main problem was that a few
songs were missing entirely from the copy. But that would be
overcome by the sources I used for the first Watkins Tree (more in a
moment). The gremlins and glitches consist mainly of occasional pops
or clicks over both dates and a static noise over much of the
recording on 7/28. It is at times a slight distraction, while at
other times barely audible. It really isn't that distracting from
the music at all. Just a little crackling here and there. However,
there is a portion of glitching that does get a bit rough. The worst
of it comes during the He's Gone>Truckin' where there are some severe
buzzes and grounding noises. These get pretty bad for sure. It
sounds like some cables are loose and a soundman is trying to rectify
the problem time and time again. But when you compare these SBD
problems during the He's Gone>Truckin' to the AUD used on the first
tree where we get to listen to the taper's buddy ponder his need to
go to the bathroom against never finding his way back to his spot in
the crowd during the same stretch of songs, I'd say it becomes a bit
of a toss up. The severe glitches clear up at about the six minute
mark of Truckin' and it's relatively smooth sailing thereafter.
This, coupled with a few cuts here and there within a few songs (like
a small chunk of vocals missing from Eyes Of The World), rounds out
most all that is wrong with the SBD. Also worth noting is that you
will discern some recording level discrepancies from tape source to
tape source. This was confirmed with the person that I had create
the complete show seeds as unavoidable when he compiled the masters.
He dealt with them as best he could (Soundforge, etc..)

As for the songs that were missing entirely from the copy I received,
I will give you all the information I have. I contacted the person
who "held" the SBD out of the Vault to find out why these songs were
missing. He informed me that they were indeed on the MR, but
suffered from tremendous tape speed problem. So bad in fact, that he
opted not to transfer them to the copy that made its way into
circulation. This lead me to uncover and at the same time solve a
real mystery. The facts now seem to indicate that what was used on
the first tree as SBD, was in fact from the fabled FM broadcast of
the whole show.

As any of you who have copies of the show treed in 1998 know, the
first 40 minutes of the show came from a SBD/5 seed. Within this
first 40 minutes are two of the songs that could not be transferred
from the SBDMR due to speed troubles: Here Comes Sunshine and Looks
Like Rain. Neither of these songs exhibit any pitch problems at all,
and further, they exhibit none of the static noise that prevails over
what we have from the SBDMR. Thus, I can only surmise that this
chunk that was used on the first tree actually emanated from the
allusive FM broadcast made on 7/28/73; the tape for which we scoured
many a local radio station in search of, all in vain.

When I had in my hands all five of the different source tapes for the
first tree back in the summer of 1998, I transferred each one to DAT
with the help of a DAT taper buddy of mine. We made two complete DAT
copies of everything involved. One set was sent to the person who
was to assemble and edit together the Digital Tree, the other was
just packed away at my DAT friend's house. It was this second set of
DATs that I was able to pull out for use on this tree. Since no
fancy splicing and editing was going to be needed for this new tree,
we were able to go right to these DATs to fill the gaps in the SBDMR.
So everything used here that did not come from the SBDMR is actually
one generation cleaner that even the Seed tapes I made to run the old
tree. It should be noted that the Encores were not to be found on
the MR at all. In fact, E2 occurred some nine hours after the Dead's
show that day, so it makes sense that the Reels were not still
sitting there ready to roll.

The job of editing all of this together fell to a person who shall
remain nameless, but he needs to be thanked none the less. He shares
my incredibly overbearing sense of detail when it comes to doing this
sort of thing, and since I personally am not set up to do anything
digitally myself, I needed someone like that in my camp. First off,
his cross fade addition of the Bill Graham intro into Bertha sounds
even better than the one I did on the Analog Tree. I almost wept
tears of joy when I first got the discs back from him, and that was
just in the first thirty seconds of the show. I didn't even think
he'd go that extra mile with the discs, but he did. Every track ID
is pure perfection. This guy is nothing short of the best DAT>CD
person I've ever encountered. You will all be very pleased.

That pretty well rounds out the story of how this tree came to be.
If I think of more tidbits I'll toss them out to you all. Thanks for


Subject: Watkins Story pt2
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 23:34:57 EDT
From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]

Here is another post I made that gave the history of the first tree, and all
that went into the birth of this idea...



From: Noah Weiner  
Date: Thu Mar 9, 2000 11:58pm
Subject: More of the Watkins Tree Story

I went looking through old e-mails and I found a copy of a post I
sent to the Compendium mail list after being approached for more info
on the tapes used for the first tree.

I just copied the whole thing.  I didn't feel like editing or
updating any of it.  This will confirm that I am all and more of the
overly compulsive taper freak that many of you know me to be.  After
reading it, I can honestly say I sound a bit "obsessed."

This comes from around August 1998:


A member or two of the Compendium Mail List expressed some interest
in just how Gordon Gullahorn and I managed to get the tapes together
for the recent Watkins 25th Anniversary Tree.  So, if you'll pardon a
bit of rambling on, here it is.

As many of you know, this show has only circulated in really bad Aud
quality. The tapes are always incomplete, and of unknown generation.
They have this horrendous wow and flutter all over the best parts of
set two, and really leave the listener saying "Is that a good show
under there?  Well, I'll never know because I can't bear to listen to
it again!"  If you have a copy, you know what I mean.  If you don't
have a copy, you don't want one.  Anyway, there was this discussion
going on at rmgd about this "rare gem" of a show back in February, I
think (I guess some people *had* listened again).  I piped in because
I had just come across this show on some one's list who had the Aud
listed as a 2nd gen.  I had NEVER seen a known gen at all, let alone
2nd.  So having set up the trade, I told the folks in the thread at
rmgd that I'd be happy to spin it for anyone if it was any good once
I got it.  Another person in the thread, Gordon Gullahorn, and I
started talking about doing a tree if it was really good.  After all,
the 25th Anniversary was coming up, and the show hardly circulated.
It would be fun if the tapes merited doing a tree.

A little time passed and the tapes came and, yes, they were good.
Let's put a few qualifiers on this "good" here.  The taper, at that
time still a mystery, was certainly near the stage, lending a nice
presence to the music.  It wasn't the best 1973 Aud I had ever
gotten, but I was perfectly happy to give these tapes a fair amount
of latitude given the circumstances surrounding the recording
conditions, size of the crowd, and what else there was circulating on
tape from the show.  Even with the various audience nuances -- every
kind you can think of from the guy yelling HELLO into the mic at the
start of Eyes, to the off time clapper and the off key singer -- the
tapes still left my jaw on the floor because the show was so
terrific, and when the band was jamming the crowd into silence, the
sound quality was truly quite fine.  Gordon and I set about trying to
track up the gen line to the original taper, as well as dig up the
rest of the show.  The Aud/3 I had was not the whole show, only the
end of set one, and most of set two.  The first problem was that Andy
(the guy with the Aud/2) couldn't remember who he got the show from.
Gordon and I started posting around, but it felt like looking for a
needle in a haystack.  After many fruitless posts at rmgd, DNC, etc.,
I was prodding Andy's memory some more and he said that he remembered
getting the show from the taper himself and that he thinks he met
this guy in one of the AOL Dead chat rooms.  He said the guy was very
friendly and would probably come right out of the wood work for us if
we asked around.  Well, the thought of sticking my head in AOL's 710
Ashbury chat room like some private detective held little charm for
me.  For every good soul in there you have fifteen or twenty people
that make the experience more like drinking a warm beer at a high
school party.  We seemed to be destined to come up empty.  We also
found that more often than not, any time we thought we had a good
lead, it would fizzle away, or get off track.  Gordon and I agreed
that there was some strange mystique shrouding this show.

I can't really recall just how the idea struck me, but I started
putting 2 and 2 and probably 7 together and thought it could be this
guy Bill Degen who I have been trading with for well over a year.  He
was an East Coast taper at the time, and I had gotten a few of his
shows in the past.  he did have an AOL address and the friendly
personality.  He fit the bill (no pun intended).  Bill couldn't
remember this Andy guy, but he identified all the unique crowd noises
on the tape as coming from the tapes he made at the show.  Bingo!
And once I got his personal tapes (his original masters burned in a
house fire back in the 80's so these are copies he personally made
some time back, bless him!), the stuff sounded even better than my
copy that was 2 gens removed.  So everything that goes MC>R>seed and
MC>C>seed is from him.  he also provided the Mountain Jam and JBG
encore (unknown, low gen SBD).

Now Gordon and I were cooking.  But because Bills tape recorder
suffered from a faulty battery cable, we were still short most all of
set one.  Sure we had the crappy Audience that goes around, but that
wasn't worthy of comprising almost 40% or the treed tapes.  We
thought maybe we'd just tree the stuff from Bill and leave it at
that.  Then Gordon uncovered a SBD/6 copy of the first 40mins of the
show.  Thanks to some still functioning brain cells, or at least good
note taking on Jeff Tiedrich's part, we were able to track another
generation off that tape.  Eric Doherty happily sent me his SBD/5
copy for use on the tree.  That was as far up the generational line
we could climb before the source of the next gen up had been
forgotten.  We think this might be a bit of the fabled FM broadcast
that, despite many an e-mail and inquiry on Gordon's part to East
Coast radio stations, never surfaced for us. On the subject of the
SBD, I've had a few e-mail exchanges with Dick Latvala on the subject
of the tapes of 7/28/73 in the Vault since starting the tree last
week.  He said he pulled out the reels some six months back, and due
to some technical problems with the tapes, they left him with a less
than glorious impression of the show itself.  Though he said he's
willing to give them another listen, I wouldn't think they'd be
making it out of the Vault any time soon.  The tunes that were not
seeded from Bill's or Eric's tapes come from the three or so copies
of the show Gordon and I kept trading for while looking for a good
copy.  But having listened to them all to find the best one, I can
say for sure that all of these come from the same original, crappy

The assembly of the seeds was a bear.  And I don't envy Gordon's task
of doing it all over with his DATs.  As it happened we decided to do
an Analog Only and a DAT Only tree for the show.  Work, life and the
like kept us from meeting the actual anniversary of the show with
both trees.  Since I had all the masters here, I thought it would be
nice to do a large tree that had no DATing in the generational line.
Kind of unique these days.  Gordon's DAT tree will get rolling soon.
There are some half a dozen or more spots where Bills tapes were
missing things (the start of Big River, end of IKYR, the second verse
of Playin' etc, etc...).  So I did a LOT of editing and pitch
adjustment.  It took about three full days worth of time to get them
just right.  I've got an old Nak deck that makes completely
undetectable splices, so it became a challenge to do it all well,
since no one would hear the edits, just the quality *of* the edits.
Now I didn't kill myself doing it.  Some of the cuts are not
perfection on earth, but I'm just crazy enough to have done them over
and over enough to get everyone who listens to say "Ahhhhh...."  And
when you start to think that each edit represents a point on the
originals where there was a bummer of a cut, you can't help but
smile.  The Analog tree ended up with over 180 people on it, and most
of the ten first gen from seed tapes have been sent off already.  So
if your on the tree, the show's a-comin'.  And if you're not, it
shouldn't be too hard to track down in a few weeks time.  Once the
DAT tree happens, it will spread all the more.

Here is how the show went down onto the seed tapes.  The gens listed
are that of the seeds themselves:

Tape One:
Bertha thru LL Rain - sbd/6
Jack Straw, Deal - unknown aud
Row Jimmy, Playin' - master cassette>reel>cassette

Side A:
Bill Graham intro
Beat It On Down The Line
Brown Eyed Women
Mexicali Blues
Box of Rain
Here Comes Sunshine
Looks Like Rain

(Bill Graham intro and start of Bertha
spliced from aud/?)

Side B:
Row Jimmy
Jack Straw
Playin' in the Band

(splice in Row Jimmy after
opening bars.  First verse is missing.
Second verse thru third chorus of Playin'
spliced from aud/?.)

Tape Two:
Around, Lucy - unknown aud
Big River thru Sugar Mag - aud master cassette>cassette2

Side A:
Around and Around
Loose Lucy
Big River
He's Gone>
Nobody's Jam>
El Paso

(start of Big River spliced
from aud/?)

Side B:
China Cat Sunflower>
I Know You Rider
Stella Blue
Eyes of the World>
Sugar Magnolia

(end of IKYR spliced
from aud/?)

Tape Three:
Encore One - aud  master cassette>cassette2
Encore Two - unknown sbd
07/27/73  - aud master cassette>reel>cassette

Side A:
Encore One:
Sing Me Back Home(cut)
Encore Two:
Not Fade Away
Mountain Jam
Johnny Be Goode

(Encore Two with Allman Brothers Band
and The Band)

Side B:
Filler: 07/27/73 Aud
Watkins Glen Sound Check
Wharf Rat
Me and My Uncle

(Jam is cut when taper is busted by
a roadie.  Aud picks up again at the
start at Wharf Rat.  The missing portion
is supplied by SBD>D>cass>seed)

Thanks for listening,

Noah Weiner ([email protected]...)

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Add Comment
Other Sources (comments)
Uher mic > Uher 4000 Report... (0) Soundboard Master... (5) flac16; taped by... (2) flac24; AudMR >... (0) flac16: AudMR >... (0) flac24; source: aud... (0) flac16; source: aud... (0) flac16; Source:... (0) flac16; Recording... (0) flac24; Recording... (0) flac16; Analog... (0)
Date User Comment
11/03/2000 daniel The copy of both the Watkins Genn shows have many digi-spits throughout. If the wave form is zoomed into the point where it's samples, there'll be 2 to 3 sampes spiked to a plateau. It happens maybe 10 times a song. They're very small and degrade the overall sound - for me.
10/22/2002 GDLIVE http download
from gdlive gd73-07-28

02/15/2003 Greg Yurkovic I don't know if they're digi-spits or what's going on, but they're there. However, I think both the 7/27 and 7/28 shows are essential and no one should hesitate to grab them. Someone posted the track listing for 7/27 since it's not included in the text file(s), so here it is:
Disc 1 (60:06)
01 Bill Graham Introduction
02 Bertha
03 Beat It On Down The Line
04 Brown-Eyed Women
05 Mexicali Blues
06 Box Of Rain
07 Here Comes Sunshine
08 Looks Like Rain
09 Row Jimmy
10 Jack Straw
11 Deal

Disc 2 (69:30)
01 Playin In The Band
02 Around & Around
03 Loose Lucy
04 Big River
05 He's Gone
06 Truckin' > Nobody's Fault But Mine Jam
07 El Paso

Disc 3 (52:45)
01 China Cat Sunflower
02 I Know You Rider
03 Stella Blue > Eyes Of The World
04 Sugar Magnolia

Disc 4 (51:53)
01 Sing Me Back Home
02 Not Fade Away
03 Mountain Jam
04 Johnny B. Goode
02/16/2003 joey b Now i finally know what i have!I thought it was the dangnst thing;most of #2 7/27 on one side of the tape,and the E:2 on the other side. The beat goes on!
10/30/2004 Mark Cartier I supplied Noah with the Soundboard for the Watkins Glen tree. I got the source Dat from a friend of Dick's. The only other person who got a copy of the Dat (that I can recall), was Rob Bertrando. The flaws in the soundbord are on the Master. The Dat that was seeded was MR>DAT>DAT>MY DAT>CDs.
07/28/2009 cryptical17 I believe that those who thought the Grateful Dead's main set at Watkins Glen was substandard probably got it mixed up with Woodstock. To my ears, the playing is inspired and full of energy. Definitely worth getting.