Dead Notes #7 :: Hard To Handle (3/24/71 San Francisco, CA)

And we're back. Welcome to the seventh installment of Dead Notes where we find our former psychedelic heroes continuing to shed their kaleidoscopic, meandering, ways. Tightening up, both literally and figuratively, by March of 1971 the Dead's live show had been transformed into a lean, mean, rock 'n roll revue. The band had just lost second percussionist, Mickey Hart, who left indefinitely after his father, Lenny Hart (the Dead's former manager), absconded with the band's savings. While the loss of Hart was indeed significant, drummer Bill Kreutzmann had become a swinging powerhouse in his own right, and was more than able to compensate for the sudden loss. In return, the Dead were able to open up — moving them further into the jazz idiom while producing some of the most dynamic live shows of their career.

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