Grateful Dead

The Dead Rock the Cradle of Civilization

2-CD/1-DVD Collection Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978 Celebrates The 30th Anniversary of the Band’s Historic Concerts at Giza With Previously Unreleased Audio and Video

Fans Who Pre-Order on Will Receive an Exclusive Bonus Disc Containing Additional Egypt Performances. 

Available September 30 from Grateful Dead Productions and Rhino

In the fall of 1978, author and counterculture icon Ken Kesey reported to a close friend that he had recently witnessed “the latest Rocking of the Cradle of Civilization.” The course of events that he went on to recall was the Grateful Dead’s assorted family, friends and fellow Pranksters—“Pyramidiots” of various origins—descent upon Egypt’s Nile Valley that culminated in three legendary concerts performed at the foot of the Great Pyramid in Giza. Although perhaps unintentionally, the entire adventure might have been easily seen, as Kesey did, as one very special contribution to the then-critical Middle Eastern peace effort. To commemorate the 30-year anniversary of this cosmic convergence of sound and sphinx, Grateful Dead Productions and Rhino will release ROCKING THE CRADLE: EGYPT 1978, a collection of highlights from this historic three-night stand. The 2-CD/1-DVD set will be available September 30 at regular retail outlets and for a suggested list price of $34.98. Fans who pre-order the set from will receive an exclusive eight-song bonus disc that includes additional unreleased performances from the Egypt run. A digital version that includes all the CD content will also be also available.

Recorded September 15-16, 1978 at the Gizah Sound and Light Theater, the original 24-track recordings have been mixed and mastered for this set in HDCD by Jeffrey Norman for optimal sound quality. The two CDs contain 18 tracks featuring more than two and a half hours of music. Except for three performances that appeared on 2004’s Beyond Description boxed set, the tracks on ROCKING THE CRADLE have never been released. The accompanying DVD features more than 100 minutes of footage, including 13 songs from the third and final Egypt show, which took place during a rare lunar eclipse.It is misxed in 5.1 surround sound and presented in DTS surround and PCM stereo sound. Legendary promoter Bill Graham called this show “one of the great experiences of my life.” The DVD also includes a featurette titled “The Vacation Tapes” which catches never-before-seen candid band footage from the trip. The set comes in pyramid-inspired packaging and features rare photos from the trip and liner notes by longtime Dead associate Alan Trist, who was pivotal in making the trek to Egypt happen.

Trist recalls that “the Dead long dreamed of playing at the foot of the Great Pyramid.” However, pulling off this dream proved to be a monumental task as no other American band had ever performed there. The band spent months planning and making arrangements with the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. The band agreed to pay all of its own expenses for the trip and donated all of the proceeds from ticket sales to several Egyptian charities, as well as the Department of Antiquities, which preserves the country’s ancient treasures. Another major challenge was the minimal amount of power available at Gizah, which required the band to bring in an enormous generator to power its state-of-the-art sound and recording equipment. In the end, the massive effort paid off. The shows were spectacular successes, attracting a mix of world cultures including American Dead Heads and European fans as well as curious Egyptians and Bedouins on camels drawn by the unusual spectacle.

Unbeknownst to the band at the time, these shows would soon have a remarkable historical context. On September 17, the day after the last show, the Camp David Peace Accords were signed after nearly two weeks of secret negotiations. The Accords lead to the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty, which made Egypt the first Arab country to officially recognize Israel and ended a near 30-year state of war between the two countries. One has to wonder if the Dead’s message of peace and love might have had some sort of impact on the negotiations.

ROCKING THE CRADLE features Jerry Garcia (guitar, vocals), Donna Jean Godchaux (vocals), Keith Godchaux (keyboards), Mickey Hart (drums), Bill Kreutzmann (drums), Phil Lesh (electric bass, vocals), and Bob Weir (rhythm guitar, vocals). These performances took place just a few months before the band released Shakedown Street, its tenth studio album. The shows featured performances of several songs from the upcoming album, including the title track, “I Need A Miracle,” “Fire On The Mountain,” and an updated take on the blues standard, “Stagger Lee.” The band also peppered its Egyptian setlists with classics like “Deal,” “Truckin’” and “Stella Blue.”


Track Listing

Disc 1

1.     “Jack Straw”

2.     “Row Jimmy”

3.     “New, New Minglewood Blues”

4.     “Candyman”

5.     “Looks Like Rain”

6.     “Stagger Lee”

7.     “I Need A Miracle”

8.     “It’s All Over Now”

9.     “Deal”


Disc 2

1.     “Ollin Arageed”

2.     “Fire On The Mountain”

3.     “Iko Iko”

4.     “Shakedown Street”

5.     “Drums”

6.     “Space”

7.     “Truckin’”

8.     “Stella Blue”

9.     “Around And Around”



Track Listing


2.     “Good Lovin’”

3.     “Row Jimmy”

4.     “New, Minglewood Blues”

5.     “Candyman”

6.     “Looks Like Rain”

7.     “Deal”

8.     “Ollin Arageed”

9.     “Fire On The Mountain”

10.  “Iko Iko”

11.  “I Need A Miracle”

12.  “It’s All Over Now”

13.  “Truckin’”

Featurette: “The Vacation Tapes” Exclusive Bonus CD

1.     “Bertha”

2.     “Good Lovin’”

3.     “El Paso”

4.     “Ramble On Rose”

5.     “Estimated Prophet”

6.     “Eyes Of The World”

7.     “Terrapin Station”

8.     “Sugar Magnolia”


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Joined: May 26 2007
"The piano was out of tune"

John Cutler addresses the legend of the out-of-tune piano at the Egypt shows.

Gans/GD Hour blog
GD Hour station list

Joined: Aug 19 2008
Where is The Dead?

These GD Egypt tapes are great! But…Ratdog… Phil and The Phriends…I am sick and tired of GD cover bands. What’s that you say? Well, let me remind of 2 very universally fundamental truths: 1. There WAS NOTHING like a GD concert, and 2, there IS NOTHING like a “The Dead” concert. We, the People, need the DEAD in concert! JGB was also a cover band, (by-and-large the best one) but numerous scientific studies and the history books each have demonstrated that Garcia always gravitated back to the GD.

C’mon guys! Get together for at least one show a year. New Year’s Eve! Oakland! Our country is falling apart and it needs a show. All peoples of the earth NEED this show! One Oakland show a year to keep everyone and everything in perspective. Thank you.

TNHippie's picture
Joined: Jun 8 2007
But Now...

...I have to wait until the end of Sept! Arghhhhhh!!!!!

Let your life procede by its own design.

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007
now THAT's

what we like to hear!

TNHippie's picture
Joined: Jun 8 2007
I Did It!!

I was able to place my order and got email confirmation!!!

Let your life procede by its own design.

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007
mhayes and others in the same boat

please PM me the details of your order so we can keep track of it. Thanks.

Joined: Jun 6 2007
Why not just let us know what's going on

I am still waiting somewhat patiently - I understand technical glitches, what I don't understand is why the powers that be don't just tell us what is happening.

Sounds pretty reasonable to me

Joined: Jun 8 2007
pranksters !

Musicrama comment made me laugh big time! Spot on, sure Ken would have enjoyed such a trick!!! Now Jerry would have probably commented with something like:
No, don't buy our records, steal them!!!!!!!!
i managed to see a set of the pyramid box set. Somehow i am confused as i can't find it on this website.
Clearly there are some special vibes going on with this release....

musicrama's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007
Ghost in the machine

Sounds like the ol' pranksters have found a way into your server from beyond the grave. Always mystical happenings when mixing the Grateful Dead, and Egypt. Jerry and Ken are getting a good chuckle out of this one. I can see em now "Lets put this egypt thing on sale, then take it back, then put it on take it back! look how the dead heads are all freakin out! Hilarious!!"
"Music is the best" - FZ

mhayes's picture
Joined: Dec 29 2007
Preorder whoes...

I too managed to place my preorder when the links went active for a brief moment... received order confirmation etc. Does this mean we few cursed and will have to reorder?


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