Grateful Dead

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1080

By David Gans

Grateful Dead Hour by David Gans

Week of June 1, 2009

First of three parts featuring an interview with comedian Tom Davis and first of four parts featuring the complete unreleased Grateful Dead performance of November 8, 1987 in Oakland.

Tom Davis was a comedian and a big ol' Deadhead, too. I was a huge fan of his work on Saturday Night Live with his partner Al Franken (now a United States Senator form Minnesota!). Franken and Davis worked with the Dead several times, most notably on the national theatrical broadcast of 10/31/80, which was released later on DVD as Dead Ahead.

Davis came to town in 2009 to promote his memoir Thirty-Nine Years of Short-Term Memory Loss, which includes a lot of material about his love of the Grateful Dead and his friendships and collaborations with the band. I interviewed him in my living room. A few months later, I invited Tom to the Gathering of the Vibes in Connecticut, where I was able to facilitate a reunion with his old friend Donna Jean Godchaux. Here's a photo of the pair taken at the festival.

What I didn't know at the time was that Davis was suffering from head and neck cancer, which ended his life on July 19, 2012. I'm really glad I had a chance to spend some time with him. The interview is warm and sweet and colorful, and of course very funny. And so is the book, by the way.

Grateful Dead 11/8/87 Henry J Kaiser Auditorium, Oakland CA
IKO IKO
LITTLE RED ROOSTER
STAGGER LEE
MEXICALI BLUES->
BIG RIVER

Grateful Dead 10/4/70 Winterland, San Francisco
COLD RAIN AND SNOW

Interview: Tom Davis

Grateful Dead on Saturday Night Live 11/11/78
CASEY JONES

Interview: Tom Davis

Every Wednesday, we post a program from the Grateful Dead Hour archives for your enjoyment and enlightenment. You can browse or search the playlists at gdhour.com or on the GD Hour Search page, and let me know what program(s) you'd like to hear by emailing me at gdhour@dead.net.

Thank you for listening!

- David Gans
Producer/host

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