The latest installment in the Grateful Dead‘s All The Years Live archival video series is available now on the band’s YouTube page. This entry highlights the Dead’s somber performance of “Wharf Rat” at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, KY on July 6th, 1990.
“Wharf Rat” joins the previously-released “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider” from that same show, released over a year ago when the All The Years Live series was only just beginning.
The clip finds the band mid-jam coming out of a post-“Space” “Truckin'”. Jerry Garcia slows things down with the cautionary tale of the San Francisco dock dweller, his Pearly Baker, and of course, Bonnie Lee. Even as Garcia is in the midst of a late-career rebound in health as well as performance quality, the wear-and-tear of the road is still evident and adds credence to this 1990 rendition of “Wharf Rat”. Normally not a song that receives extended improvisation, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart kick things up following “I’m sure she’s been true to you” for an extended, late-song jam before Jerry calms things down with “I got up and wandered.”
Grateful Dead archivist and legacy manager David Lemieux noted in the video’s comments,
Debuted on 2/18/71 in Port Chester, NY, Wharf Rat was staple of the Dead’s live repertoire since it first appeared. By 1973 and onward, it was generally played toward the end of the second set, in the Jerry ‘ballad slot,’ which included songs like Stella Blue, Black Peter, Morning Dew, and later Standing On The Moon and Days Between.
Watch the Grateful Dead perform “Wharf Rat” at Cardinal’s Stadium in Louisville, KY on 7/6/1990.
Grateful Dead – “Wharf Rat” – Louisville, KY – 7/6/1990
[Video: Grateful Dead]
Previous installments of the Dead’s ongoing All The Years Live series have included: