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Did you see the Dead? Best show? Tell us.

I recall college. 1988. Western Illinois University. A few folks asked me if I wanted to go see the Dead play at Solider Field.

Think I said who is the Dead?

We went, I drove. Wow.

My friends were tripping balls to the wall. Not my cup of tea. I would later find I am more of a mushroom guy and not acid. We "traveled" with the Dead for like another month or so. Concerts in Illinois and Iowa.

I've never married. No kids. 40s. But I like to think if/when I have one and she/he says she is going to follow a band around, I will just smile and say "you shouldn't do that, focus on your studies," and at some level hope they don't listen to me." Roll away ....

Originally posted to webranding on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:31 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shakedown Street: For Deadheads on Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It Was 105 That Day (8+ / 0-)

    I will never forget the fire department turning their hoses on us, making it rain.

    •  July 6th or 7th, 1986 RFK (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      6412093, DeadHead

      Was HOTTER THAN HELL. Easily in the low 100's. It wasn't my first Dead show, and it was far from the best, but it's the one I remember most vividly. A daytime show under the scorching July sun at RFK stadium in Washington DC. Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and the Grateful Dead.

      Petty wasn't great. The crush of bodies (we made our way up to the second row) added to the heat. Folks were passing out. It was ugly. The crowd was listless, asleep.

      Dylan - dressed in leather pants and a leather jacket - was awesome. Better than I expected. About halfway through Dylan's set, they turned the water on, spraying the crowd on the field with hoses. It was such a relief, like a fever breaking. It happened while Dylan was singing Like a Rolling Stone - just as he sang "How do you feel?" The crowd freaking ROARED.

      When the Dead came on, Jerry looked terrible, his voice cracked, but he was a trooper and got through with a little help from Bobby and Phil. The set was uneven, and I remember the crowd singing along, trying to keep the energy going. When Bobby sang "Let It Rain," it did, finally (and for the whole show, Dylan standing off to the side digging it).

      Anyway, it was Jerry's last show before he fell into a diabetic coma.

  •  Nope. Never heard of 'em. (8+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, P Carey, jbob, PHScott, tardis10, TomP, rja, GDbot

    Gawd, I love that picture.


    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

    by DeadHead on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:44:12 AM PDT

    •  That Was The First Concert I've Ever Been Too (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeadHead, jbob, PHScott, TomP, Don midwest, rja

      First live music. Now things like Jazz Fest and Bonorro are regular things for me. I guess you might say a way to throw somebody into the deep end of the pool and see if they can swim. As much as I liked the show, the parking lot was just as much fun :).

    •  Favorite shows I attended: (9+ / 0-)

      09-29-89 (My first, Death Don't Have No Mercy bust-out)




      And a few others, too.

      And a lot of JGB shows.

      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

      by DeadHead on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:54:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Only Saw The Dead The Summer (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DeadHead, jbob, PHScott, TomP, rja, furi kuri

        of 1988. Never after that. Seen Mickey Hart and other individual members play since then, but not the entire group with Jerry.

      •  Oh Talking Music, Here Is A Band If (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DeadHead, jbob, TomP, rja, furi kuri, 6412093

        they come near you, go see. Cowboy Mouth. After Western Illinois I went to LSU. This band, and they were called Dash Rip Rock before changing their name to Cowboy Mouth.

        They often played in an alley outside of the Chimes (a well know Baton Rouge bar) for free. Years later they played at the 930 club in DC and I took my co-workers to see them. They brought the house down. Read the comments from the above video. They might be the best live band to see today, and I know that is a very bold claim. But I stand by it.

        A few years ago they were the second to last band to close Jazz Fest. More than 220,000 folks. As loud as anything I've ever heard.

        My brother was with me only to see Dave Matthews. They gave Dave their intro, and I like many left after they played walking away.

        I found a small gospel choir and danced until it hurt :). Congo line might have been formed ....

    •  you either? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, rja, DeadHead

      Ayn sucks. Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer.

      by Floyd Blue on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 04:52:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  12-31-81 (9+ / 0-)

    the last great nye show.

    10-31-83- my only st. stephen, although not a great one.

    8-29-83- pedestrian setlist, but you have to hear it to understand.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 03:01:12 AM PDT

    •  n00b (7+ / 0-)

      Oh wait. ;)

      At least you caught a St. Stephen. Rumor has it they were sound checking it just prior to Jerry's death. ''93/94, maybe?

      Gawd, we really wanted that. In fact, there wasn't a 'head alive that didn't want to see them play it again, as you know.

      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

      by DeadHead on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 03:09:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I Don't Recall The Playlist (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeadHead, jbob, TomP, rja, Laurence Lewis

      at that Solider Field show. First I had never really heard of the Dead. Also first live concert I'd been too. When I walked onto the infield, where we had tickets (not in seats) I was so overwhelmed I don't have words for it.

      Other then being really stoned I was by myself at this point. The two people I went with, they were upset the acid they bought wasn't what they wanted, so they were doing gosh knows what.

      I just recall I danced like nobody was looking. Something I do to this very day :)!

  •  If it weren't for the little mouseover (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbob, TomP, rja

    feature that lets you read the first graph of a diary, I never would have read this diary. Why? Because the title did not make me think of the Grateful Dead. I didn't know wtf you were talking about and didn't figure I would want to find out. Only out of morbid curiosity did I even bother to read the pop up.

    I wonder if you wouldn't attract a lot more readers if you clarified by adding the word Grateful.

    As for the topic, one of my great regrets is I never saw the Dead live. I wanted to. It just kept never working out.

  •  can't pick an absolute favorite or anything (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeadHead, jbob, TomP, rja

    but the chapel hill shows in '94 or so...

    Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
    Unbroken Chain

    that is all

    and oh yah, getting to see Dark Star....mmmm (different show)

    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 03:45:44 AM PDT

  •  Watkins Glen NY soundcheck on Friday night (9+ / 0-)


    shoot - that was 40 years ago. What a trip that weekend was, wandering around trading this for that for whatever. Never made it to the final jam tho......

    Any Dead show in late 70s. By the 90s it was not worth the aggravation of getting tickets and putting up with the crowds of people there only for drugs and a chance to partake with Jerry or Bret (I'm looking at you M Williams). My last show was in fact 1990.

    Best show I didn't go to was Fall of 82 in Lakeland FL and I was only an hour away. Passing out on the floor from overheating in a previous show there may have had something to do with me skipping it.

    Never made it to Red Rocks either altho my Denver bud always had tickets for us.

    "You are what you write, not what you look like."

    by PHScott on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 04:24:13 AM PDT

    •  That Show In Chicago Was In July (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, jbob, rja

      over 100. I think I mentioned the fire department was there. Hooked their hoses up, pointed them to the sky, and let us dance under them.

    •  I was at Watkins Glen as well..........small world (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      No Exit, rja, furi kuri, 6412093, DeadHead

      My friends and I arrived the day before. Had to ditch the car on the road side and walk several miles up to the race track on the road that was completely filled with people walking in. After the "Sound Check" we wound up sleeping under a rental truck that was parked near the stage as that was the only open space we could find to lay down. I remember on the show day after the Dead had finished we hung on through the nasty rain storm that came in while "The Band" was on stage. Stayed for most of the Allman Brothers set before walking back down the hill to town.  So I also missed the final jam. We slept on the sidewalk in front of a bank in town that night. Much later on in life while I was working for Peter Tosh I wound up sitting next to Bill Kreutzman on the shuttle bus going from the hotel to the gig site at the Jamaica World Music festival.  I "burned a spliff" on the way in to work and he had some with me. It with Interesting to me at the time that he opted out about half way through. It was "special" herbs that I recieved after going on a death ride in a small car with Peter Tosh driving up into the hills to the home of a Rasta Man. This man had a pillow case full of herbs and he gave each of us a big handful. No containers of any kind you just wadded it up into a big ball and stuck it in your pocket. I understand why after his murder Peter's Mom said she had always figured he would die in a car crash.

  •  We saw Dylan at Alpine valley, WI the same summer. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, DeadHead, TomP, jbob, No Exit, rja

    The Dead were playing there the next 4 nights so all the "Deadheads" were in attendance, if not at the show in the parking lot selling T shirts, beer and other concert necessities. It was like travelling in time back to the late 60's. I haven't seen so much tie-dye since that night.

    "Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down." Bill Clinton

    by irate on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 04:32:32 AM PDT

    •  Summer of 95, Dylan was opening for them... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rja, 6412093, DeadHead, irate

      And, unusually for Dylan, he was killin it.

      He had cleaned himself up and put out time out of mind which marks his late lif renaissance.  He was singing his classics AND you could understand the lyrics.  I'm a huge Dylan fan.

      In any case, me and my buddies were going down to catch a pair shows at rfk and living near Philly at the time.  Dylan announced he was goin to do a pair of small shows at the theater of living arts (tla) in Philly; 800 people.

      Me and my buddy were right down there and managed to score two scalped tix minutes after the show started.  75 apiece I recall.

      Amazing show.  I still recall singing along to visions of Johanna.  Almost made up for the times I saw him in late 80s early 90s where he sucked.  (Though in fairness he had Jimmie dale Gilmore open for him that one time in Texas who alone was worth the price of admission)

      In any case, I only saw a few dead shows in the early to mid nineties.  Best one was 94 at MSG because the set list was all classic dead (except for a poor standing on the moon) and Dylan came out for the rainy day women encore.

      The rfk shows were good but you could tell Jerry was not in top form.  

      I still love listening to their shows, have a box of hundreds I cassettes and have been to dead shows, dso shows, and Jerry day at mcclaren park a few times.  Great music.  Great times.

      Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. - Gandalf the Grey

      by No Exit on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:50:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One of my brothers still yaps (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, DeadHead, TomP, jbob, No Exit, rja

    about two specific Dead shows he was at. Buffalo in 1970 (with the Buffalo Symphony) and in DC,American U. in 1972. He recalls these two in great detail. Don't know if that means he was too high,not high enough or just right ;)  

    "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

    by tardis10 on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 04:36:42 AM PDT

  •  First show: Autzen Stadium (8+ / 0-)

    Eugene, Oregon, 1978.

    Most memorable show: June 12, 1980, Portland Memorial Colosseum -- I wrote it about it here: It's Dead Jim: the Night We Killed the Pinto.

    Last show: The Dead, Denver Can, a/k/a the Pepsi Center, May 2, 2009 -- with my sons.  Closest I could get to taking them to see the Grateful Dead.

  •  Got dragged to a Dead show in the 80's in (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, jbob, Christin, rja, DeadHead

    New Orleans. Neville brothers showed up to sing and play percussion. The bangles who were in town for a gig showed up to sing along. I don't remember that much because even though I don't partake of the ganja the air was so thick with it I floated out of the arena. Lots of cops with nothing to do. No more bustin em' down on bourbon street anymore I guess.

    If work was a good thing, the rich would have it all and not let you do it. -- Elmore Leonard

    by voroki on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 04:53:05 AM PDT

  •  My first show was Summer, 1980 Spectrum in (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, jbob, rja, DeadHead


    It all sounded like 2 long songs to me (one per set), but I knew there was something there.  I tried to go the next night, but had to go back to college.

    My favorites:
    2 shows at SPAC in saratoga
    and 1 show at merriweather post in columbia md.

    (altho my one and only St. Stephen at MSG (back when they weren't playing it again at all and it was a rare sighting) was awesome and memorable).

    Ayn sucks. Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer.

    by Floyd Blue on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 04:54:42 AM PDT

  •  Several times in 1971 and 72. (8+ / 0-)

    Three times in St. Louis.  The New Riders of the Purple Sage opened the show.  Saw them twice in early October 72 in St Louis and then the next week I was hitchhiking through Tennessee and the people who picked me up told me about a free Dead concert at Vandy.  So I stopped and saw them.   Have not seen them since.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 04:55:29 AM PDT

    •  Those St. Louis concerts were great (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and seeing the New Riders was excellent too.

      However, in the early 70s we drove to Dallas and got there 4 hours early.

      The doors were open and the concert hall seemed deserted, so we wandered in and sat in the front row seats.

      Jerry Garcia came out alone, sat down, tuned his guitar, looked right us from 20 feet away, and played a solo from St, Stephens for 10 minutes until the roadies came over and kicked us out.

      “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

      by 6412093 on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 11:00:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hard question. (9+ / 0-)

    Saw every show played in NY NJ from 69-71.
    Probably the 3 day dance marathon in NYC. Most likely, as that's where I shared my doobie with the band. And got the roach back. Those guys were gentlemen!
    A show at Princeton was pretty neat too. There was a bomb scare right before they were due to go on. They told everybody, and gave us the choice to leave or stay. 'bout everybody stayed. They tore down the set. Then put it back. It took hours. Everybody was cool. They opened with "Truckin'"
    God I love that band. I have a Jerry Garcia Memorial Tie Dyed Tablecloth. Made it when I heard of his passing. It's one of gran's good linen ones, with some gravy stains hiding in the tie dye.

    Only thing more infuriating than an ignorant man is one who tries to make others ignorant for his own gain. Crashing Vor

    by emmasnacker on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 04:58:15 AM PDT

  •  One step above 'Insane Clown Posse' (0+ / 0-)

    I once paid a DJ $20 to STOP playing their music.

    "You are beautiful and angular. If you were a gas, you would be inert." - Dieter

    by Fordmandalay on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:21:31 AM PDT

  •  April 1995, the Pyramid, Memphis, Tennessee...eom (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rja, DeadHead
  •  "If you remember the 60's, you weren't there" n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rja, DeadHead

    Join the Koskraft Group Koskraft

    by meagert on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:00:02 AM PDT

  •  5/8/77. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rja, DeadHead, Laurence Lewis

    Reminiscences available for a reasonable fee. Contact my agent for details.

    (Seriously ... "the best Dead show ever"? No. But that Morning Dew was damn hot. )

    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

    by raboof on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:00:40 AM PDT

  •  Saw them 76 times. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rja, 6412093, DeadHead

    Mostly Garden, Meadowlands and SPAC.
    Best Dead tapes are from Hampton, Va. Always planned to get down there, but it never happened. My loss.

    "Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch smoking a pipe of sweet hemp, and playing my Hohner harmonica." -Abraham Lincoln

    by hotdamn on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:02:26 AM PDT

  •  March 1973 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rja, DeadHead, Laurence Lewis

    Rochester War Memorial Auditorium.......

    And I passed the Acid test.

    "Folly is wont to have more followers and comrades than discretion." -Cervantes-

    by Don Quixote on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:07:39 AM PDT

  •  In the summer of 68, I was in Palo Alto (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rja, Laurence Lewis

    at my cousins'. A friend I met in the park said they were going to a beach party that night so I joined them. Seven or eight kids in a VW! We went over the hills to the beach near Santa Cruz iirc, and there was a rager going on when we got there. The band played all night, though a lot of the music was more like strange noises and frenzied drumming. Or maybe that was because of the contents of the KoolAid. Sometime around dawn we packed back into the VW and headed back up the peninsula.
    I saw them again in Boston later that year and then at Watkins Glen (I missed Woodstock, dmmmit) and for a while I followed their east coast tour, must have been about 1970.
    Last time I saw them was at Colt Park in Hartford in the mid 70s. My Dad's birthday is the day before mine and the concert was on his, I took him with me to see them and he really dug it! On the way out, however, the Hartford cops set up a maze that we had to pass through like cattle chutes and they were brutal, a near riot situation brought on entirely by their stupid antics. For the first time, my Dad understood why I had such a problem with cops.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:24:16 AM PDT

  •  Radio City shows, especially 10/31/80 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeadHead, Laurence Lewis

    With Pre-Senator Al Franken doing the benefit for "Jerry's Kids" during the Halloween night set break.

    I still watch that acoustic Ripple on YouTube.

  •  My first shows were Alpine Valley 1987... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    ... just a week after I turned 18.

    I've been a Deadhead ever since, and I still go and see shows by Furthur, Phil & Friends, Ratdog, and Bobbie solo acoustic.

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