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Published on May 30, 2015
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead, JamBase teamed with Telefunken to produce the Songs Of Their Own video series. We began with a list of 100 Grateful Dead original songs (exclusively their tunes, not covers they often played) and tapped many of our favorite artists to record a cover version either at the JamBase office in San Francisco or at one of the many venues around town and beyond. No song was allowed to be covered twice, and today’s participants Beau Sasser’s Escape Plan spent a little time on “New Speedway Boogie.”
One of the more rarely played Grateful Dead songs, “New Speedway Boogie” made its live debut on December 20, 1969 at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco and was played just over 50 additional times. Included on the band’s 1970 LP Workingman’s Dead and regularly performed live throughout that year, the Garcia/Hunter composition was then shelved for two decades, making a triumphant return to the band’s setlists at the Oakland Coliseum on February 19, 1991. The June 2, 1995 concert at Deer Creek in Noblesville, Indiana featured The Dead’s final rendition of “New Speedway Boogie.”
Beau Sasser’s Escape Plan stopped by the Songs Of Their Own East Coast affiliate to record at our partners Telefunken’s studios in South Windsor, Connecticut earlier this month. Featuring Sasser (the newest member of Kung Fu) on Hammond organ, Bill Carbone on drums, Danny Mayer and Justin Henricks on guitar and Mary Corso on lead vocals, the quintet delivered a funked-out version of “New Speedway Boogie” before heading up to participate in the weekly Dead Set Grateful Dead jam session at Club Metronome in Burlington, Vermont that night.