Die Alte Graupfeifenprüfung?

Beat-Club was a TV music program that ran from September 1965 to December 1972, broadcast from Bremen, in what was then West Germany. Many UK and US acts, and Kraftwerk, performed on it and a fair number of clips from the show – including performances from the likes of Alice Cooper, King Crimson, ELP, Deep Purple, The Doors, Canned Heat, BB King, Jethro Tull, Cream and The Who – can be found here.
[Achtung: Sie verlassen jetzt die Totenfreizone!]

The Grateful Dead took their turn on the show when they dropped in to record a session there 40 years ago today. It may have been obvious to anyone in the music business that the job to be done here was to record a couple of takes of the single that Warners were keen to sell and then move on, but the Dead also used the opportunity to tape what they wanted, in a clean studio environment, even though there was no chance of it being broadcast. They got round to playing One More Saturday Night after 30 minutes of other songs and then played for another 45 minutes, ending up with the version of The Other One that I couldn’t help sharing on here in my initial delight in hearing it.

Here’s what was broadcast on TV on May 27th, 1972, introduced by Uschi Nerke. Prepare to be blown away by the ‘blue screen’ video effects….

And here’s surviving video of them doing Jesse Fuller’s Beat It On Down The Line

And here, should you wish to hear the complete songs in higher quality and stereo, are the same performances, plus a re-post of The Other One

13 thoughts on “Die Alte Graupfeifenprüfung?

  1. Yes, the psychedelia was a bit startling. Thanks for these, Chris – it was certainly interesting to hear the difference.

    I’m currently downloading a bootleg of the first TP&TH concert of the current tour – last Tuesday. Very excited!

      • …and you’re reacting like a younger version of yourself, too! I’m glad you are getting that joy of anticipation and I really hope they don’t disappoint in real life.

        btw, the projected images in the Saturday Night video are just the covers from Anthem Of The Sun and Aoxomoxoa.

      • I really hope they don’t disappoint in real life.

        Given the reactions to the three concerts so far, the setlists, the bootleg and the review in Rolling Stone, I’m not just being a fangirl when I say: I don’t see how they possibly could.

  2. Both of those were fine, but for me neither of them were the Dead’s finest moment. Pleasant enough, but a bit meh. Some nice guitarwork, especially on the first one. And decent keyboards on the second. Bob’s voice servicable, and Jerry was not the man for either of those songs. I’m probably missing something…

    (Ps – i’m working so didn’t get to watch the full time on the greenscreen)

    • I can’t disagree, amy, although there are some excellent renditions of these two songs elsewhere in the tour.
      This was more of an ‘historical curiosity’ post. I was hoping to get some reaction to my rusty attempts at German and some nostalgic appreciation of the Beat Club video archive.

      I’ve never come across 420. As we have a sensible way of enumerating dates (i.e. one that allows simple chronological comparisons), it would be 204 over here anyway. Always nice to hear of another instance of something good being instigated by the Dead clans, however.

      • I guess that Nilpf or DebbyM or Aba would be the ones to comment on your German, i wouldn’t know if it was rustic or fluent!

  3. I’d never heard of it till the TP&TH fans started talking about 420 on the band’s Fb page. Then I googled it…tee hee!

  4. Well, being an ignoramus, it’s hard for me to comment other than to say that didn’t sound quite like what I was expecting, and in the audio clip were very clean and I really liked them – all three. Wow cubed! I am glad I saved this for some quiet time.

    I don’t remember Beat Club from when I lived in Germany – I suppose I was too young. There was a Dutch tv programme version of Top Of The Pops called Top Pop which I used to watch. (Not quite so impressive!)

    Amylee – That was a fascinating article. Thanks.

  5. Pingback: The Story So Far « What Another Man Spills

  6. Hello sir,
    Thank you for your nice posting.The kids were talking about it at work last night, and i had a weed-themed playlist on deck last week for the Teens topic that i never got around to finishing up and posting.

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