The Music Never Stopped

Posted On: Thursday - March 19th 2020 6:53PM MST
In Topics: 
  Music  The Dead

Thanks go to commenter and fellow Dead Head Ganderson for pointing out this great Music Never Stopped off of Dick's Picks XVIII, live music recorded partly at a Madison, Wisconsin show on Feb, 3rd of 1978 at the Dane County Coliseum and then 2 nights later in Cedar Falls, Iowa at the Uni-Dome, U. of N. Iowa. Keep in mind, that was not Cedar Rapids, the city, but the small town of Cedar Falls, on up the river, just northwest of Waterloo. It's not a big town now, and I doubt it was any metropolis in 1978, just a small college town. The Dead would play anywhere people wanted to listen.

Can you imagine following this band around the country? Of course, it'd been easier in the summer, what with the serious lack of heating in those VW microbuses. Even in 1978, not to mention '68 or '58, America was enough of an economic powerhouse to afford having say, a tenth of a percent of the 225 million population, going around, selling beads and paraphernalia, so to speak, for money for show tickets and grass, while most of the country had real, good jobs. That'd be near 1/4 million, too many to fill up any of the venues, and that's why you needed a miracle. Perhaps only a few dozen thousands were die-hard. For them, the music never stopped.

If you want to really get into the Live Grateful Dead recordings, you can't go wrong by just starting off with Dick's Picks I and going from there, though we all have our favorites. These albums were produced by a man named Dick Latvala, until he died and David Lemieux took over. They got up to #36 by 2005, the end of that series. Then, I just learned, there are Dave's Picks, named after Mr. Lemieux, which are still rolling out (up to #33).

From an archive site, it's apparent that this track was recorded at the Madison, WI show. The Music Never Stopped was written by Bob Weir along with John Perry Barlow. That's Donna Godchaux on vocals as a duet with Bob. She had been a back-up vocalist "session" musician* until she met Keith Godchaux. When he joined the band to play keyboards, Donna came along shortly after, so it was sort of a package deal.

There's mosquitoes on the river.
Fish are rising up like birds
Its been hot for seven weeks now,
too hot to even speak now.
Did you hear what I just heard?

Say it might have been a fiddle,
or it could have been the wind,
but there seems to be a beat now.
I can feel it my feet now.
Listen here it comes again!

There's a band out on the highway.
They're high steppin into town.
Its a rainbow full of sound.
It's fireworks, calliopes and clowns.
Everybody dancin c'mon children, c'mon children, come on clap your hands.

Sun went down in honey,
and the moon came up in wine.
You know stars were spinnin dizzy, Lord
The band kept us too busy.
We forgot about the time.

They're a band beyond description,
like Jehovah's favorite choir.
People joining hand in hand
while the music played the band,
Lord, they're setting us on fire.

Crazy rooster crowin midnight.
Balls of lightin roll along.
Old men sing about their dreams.
Women laugh and children scream,
and the band keeps playin on.

Keep on dancin thru the daylight.
Greet the mornin air with song.
No one's noticed, but the bands all packed and gone.
Was it ever there at all?

But they keep on dancin', c'mon children, c'mon children, come on clap your hands.
Well the cool breeze came on Tuesday,
and the corns a bumper crop.
And the fields are full of dancin full of singin and romancin'
The music never stopped.

* She sang on Elvis Presley's Suspicious Minds, even!

Friday - March 20th 2020 8:47PM MST
PS. Listened to 3/20/ 77 today, and watched a replay of Umass- Denver in last years’ Frozen Four. If Corona chan gets me I’ll die happy.
Friday - March 20th 2020 10:12AM MST
PS: I don't disagree, Mr. Blanc, that the economy was not great relative to the past. I think the worst price inflation was in '79 and '80, and unemployment was high. However, I just meant that, even with all that, America's economy was still BY FAR the strongest in the world. (People may have thought that the USSR was a close 2nd still, but that's just what the Commie-left and the MIC, BOTH, wanted us to think - for different reasons.)
Friday - March 20th 2020 8:07AM MST
PS Things were not so great in 1978. It was the era of stagflation. Slow growth and significant inflation. High interest rates. There were jobs to be had, but not a lot of good ones. I’d gotten back from a backpacking-through-Europe thing and was working in a warehouse for something like $3.75 an hour. I did have some other things going on the side.. But your point is probably basically correct. Things were still relatively cheap, and there was still a bit of the old hippy communal spirit left. So, if you wanted to live that sort of life—following a band around, say—you could still do it.
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