Scarlet Begonias Radio: The Hampton ’89 Box

by Dennis on October 24, 2010

In 1987, with the unexpected actual Hit Record “Touch Of Grey”, the landscape of the Grateful Dead experience changed. It seemed like the whole world found out all of a sudden about the greatest, longest running party, and all showed up at once. Venues that in the past had welcomed the bus when it rolled through were made much more wary by hordes of the ticketless invading their cities. What was a fairly gentle, low-impact traveling circus had gone big time, and it would never be the same. It got to the point where the band was banned from some of our favorite spots, because the clueless on tour gave us a bad rep from town to town. Mail Order became the best way to get a ticket, and even then it was a lottery.

When the first few dates of the October ’89 East Coast tour were announced, the Hampton Coliseum, long one of the band’s favorite places, was not included on the list. You see, there had been some problems outside the last Grateful Dead shows there — too many ticketless folks, too crazy a scene — and the powers-that-be in Hampton weren’t sure they wanted the Dead back at all.

Just ten days before the tour was to begin, the Dead suddenly announced a pair of “stealth” shows at Hampton set for Sunday and Monday, October 8th and 9th. There were no mail-order tickets sold for these shows; ticketsts were only sold in Southern Virginia through local ticket outlets.  Instead of “Grateful Dead,” the tickets said “Formerly The Warlocks” on them, and when fans arrived at the shows, the marquee read “The Warlocks.” I’m not sure if it really cut back on the crowd, but the band was excited for these shows, and played things we hadn’t heard live in years.

Rhino Records has released every minute of these two shows, from October 8th & 9th, 1989, as “The Formerly The Warlocks Box Set.” It comes in a nifty wooden cigar box, 6 CDs and all kinds of goodies, and you’ll hear it all on Scarlet Begonias Radio.

Included in the box

Here are the lists:

10/08/89 (Sun)
Hampton Coliseum –
Hampton, VA

Foolish Heart
Walkin’ Blues
Me and My Uncle>
Big River
Stagger Lee
Queen Jane Approximately
Bird Song
Promised Land

10/8/89 Set 2

Help On The Way>
Franklin’s Tower>
Victim or the Crime>
Eyes of the World>
Rhythm Devils>
I Need A Miracle
The Wheel
Gimme Some Lovin’
Morning Dew
We Bid You Goodnight

Phil in the Fall, 1989

10/09/89 (Mon)
Set 1

Feel Like A Stranger
Built To Last
Little Red Rooster
Ramble On Rose
We Can Run
Stuck Inside of Mobile…
Row Jimmy
The Music Never Stopped

Set 2
Playing In The Band>
Uncle John’s Band>
Playing In The Band>
Dark Star>
Rhythm Devils>
Death Don’t Have No Mercy>
Dear Mr. Fantasy>
Hey Jude>
Throwing Stones>
Good Lovin’
Attics of My Life