Grateful Dead

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marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007

In today's Today in Deadhead History, aud mentions a show she never wants to revisit, even on tape, because the scene was so ugly. And I think the same is true of various shows for a lot of us.

Thug security. Gate crashers. Drunken concertgoers puking on your bare feet. You know. Bad scenes. Post here.


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hockey_john's picture
Joined: Aug 25 2012
Bad scenes......

There were many many bad scenes at shows.I think we became a target when we became so popular in the late 80's 87 threw the end. For me, am forever Grateful I got off tour in 89. We lost many friends to over dose and car accidents. Also many went to prison.I knew that I was on borrowed time.One day to the next was always the way we lived. Looking back I am glad I dependant on a substance that got me sober. If not my family would of buried me long ago.
All that said when I first got on tour in I would say summer of 82.I was told by old time hippies that the best way to present yourself is to never stand out. DO NOT be the first one in town when on the road DO NOT dress like many others do.Why because we stood out. Kind of hard to hide in plain sight.With hair to my middle of my back and never having enough money for things like clothing or a place to live it got harder and harder to stay out of plain sight. I will NEVER EVER forget my one dear friend who happened to big time player in our world pulled me aside one time on the Haight and gave me a talking to. I was told the way I was living was going to draw to much attention to myself and those around me so " I better cut the shit". This person was more then kind to me over the years. So much so that once I did get sober and back to my home state she would call my family to see how I was doing from time to time.That's love people real unconditional love. They say in AA we must change our friends... they are correct but we had something very similar to the fellowship of AA. WE CARED ABOUT EACH OTHER with love and kindness. There many a shows where someone would get arrested for doing what had to do to survive.When this would happen the hat would be passed to raise the bail money. No one cared whether they would get that cash back it was for the love of one another that we would raise the needed cash. To mention a few times Poplar creeke 83,never knew the person but kicked down as much I could afford. Chicago in spring of 87. Irvine in 86 . Even once I was sober in mid 90's i got a call to kick in for a family friend.
I would like to say I am forever grateful to all how cared for my well being and the check ins and follow up threw the early 90's
We REALLY really Loved each other.

Joined: Apr 4 2008
ventura dead shows

ahhh....Ventura and the dead. kinda like milk and cookies only better. I do remember hearing lot stories about sum man comitting suicide. I believe he had mental problems and im sure mixed with a variety of chemicals floating around the shows could have contributed to it.. I think that was the sat. afternoon show in 85.Other than that didnt hear about people dying. i do know the closet liquor store to fairgrounds had a 3 block long line waiting to just get in the store.On top of that they didnt have any cold beer or ice.. this Liquor loved the dead as the owner was a able to pay a years worth of rent from those 2 days. made even more wen in 87 they played three shows. 86 getting there on fri. morning and hundreds of heads walking around bummed cuz jerry was in a coma..shows were cancelled that year. i do know their was some incredibly clean doses to be had every time they played there.

davey concepcion for hall of fame's picture
Joined: Aug 7 2007
Cincy Who, 12.3.79

Wow. Just saw this thread thanks to the new post about Ventura. I read a few posts, and wasn't surprised to see the Who's Cincinnati concert mentioned. Sadly, I was there - had just turned 20, last day before finals, my last adventure for moving to D.C. for a semester, and absolutely pumped to see the Who. Those were the days of when bands regularly sold out large arenas (Who, Floyd, Stones, Zeppelin and even acts like the Doobies and Steve Miller, etc etc), so getting there early was just how it was done - - nearly every venue close to my hometown - Lexington, KY - did festival seating.

THe Who show was no different except the "wait" was something out of a horror movie. No room, hard to breathe, cold, people shedding those big puffy down jackets and getting them tangled in your legs. I remember me and my buddy getting squeezed out of the mass of people, literally gasping for breath, and then telling two of Cincy's finest how awful it was. I have hard time blaming them as it was just not that unusual - sure Cincy was bad, always was, because of its make up, and though that night was particularly rough, it just seemed typical.

Anyway, finally got in - a great show. Townshend himself said it was one of the best shows they'd ever played in the news interviews. We were driving back home listening to WEBN (the local cool FM station) and the DJ saying "If you were at the show, pull over, call home and let your parents and friends know you are safe. Eleven people were killed at the show." Remember, this was back before mobile phones - every exit we got off had long lines to use pay phones, so we just decided to drive back and call from the dorm.

I got back to my dorm (finals still going on) and there were notes taped on their from my girlfriend, parents, grandparents, and uncle in Oregon, all saying to call. I had no clue, but my parents had called tons of folks to ask them to pray for me and my friends. They had found out when Walter Cronkite and CBS News broke into regular programming to announce the tragedy. So, my parents had to wait 3 or 4 hours to learn I was safe.

I remember within a week or so, the ROlling Stone came out with the Who Tragedy as the cover with the faces of all the kids who had died due to the incompetence of the arena management. I remember being just dazed that I had been there, that maybe I had stepped on one of them (who knows), but that I had been fortunate enough to survive. I attended hundreds of shows after that - - but NEVER did I go with a festival seating ticket again (except lawns at sheds).

WOrst Dead show experience was Raleigh at Carter Finley, 7.10.90. Lots of drunks, bad weather, Band played lousy, and tough cops. But, no one died. I've got friends who were at Deer Creek in 7.2.95 (onmly 3 hours from Lex.) - hardly a surprise given how Dead shows had devolved into lunacy since 91. Wasn't the "In the Darkers", but a dark element that really hit those tours hard. Reason why my last show was an indoors - Charlotte, 6.18.92.

Now, seeing THE DEAD (and prior post-Jerry incarnations), reminds me of seeing them in the 70s and 80s . . . some venues still a huge deal (mostly on coasts), but could still see them in a reasonable place without insame crowds.

Just my two cents and memories.

DCHOF aka The Wharf Rat Cyclone

lamagonzo (not verified)
I heard from a "friend of the chief" in Ventura...

...that the last time they played there, 87 I believe, so many people died the town decided to deny further permitting at the Ventura County Fairgrounds for the Grateful Dead.

Does anybody have any memory of what exactly happened? How many people died? Why?

It's just morbid curiosity and to see if there is truth there.

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007

pretty scary, glad you made it out OK as the first thing I was thinking was the Who in Cincinnati also!

Joined: Jun 29 2010
Worst Concert was Pink Floyd

Hey Stardancer!
I was at that show [Pink Floyd, JFK Philadelphia 1987]
I remember standing outside the gates waiting to get in.
They were at least a half an hour late opening the gates, and the crowd was
starting to grow in numbers, and in anger. I was close to the front and was
starting to get crushed. people behind us started throwing full beer cans
toward the gates, but were hitting fans in the heads. When the gates finally did
open, there was such a RUSH to get in, that I was literally swept off my feet.
I went through the turnstiles (along with probably a couple hundred other people)
with my feet NOT touching the ground! I never gave anyone my ticket, I was
never searched ... it was leterally like riding a wave of people. I was never so scared
in my life! The whole time, I just kept thinking of the Who in Cincinatti.
I remeber seeing people in front of me landing on their feet, and running out of the
way, so that's what we all did. We hit the ground running. Very F'd up!!
And after all that, it Poured during the encore!
However, me and my buddies had extra tickets ... ;o)
So everything in between the stampede and the rain was very cool!


marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007

enough with the abusive verbiage.

Thank you. People can comment about politics to their hearts' content, American or otherwise, in the appropriate topic, particularly the current events topic (this topic has more to do with bad concert scenes). TL's comments have not risen to the level of "spewing" and for you to assert that they do is bordering on personal attack. Cut it out. Thank you.

Please move the discussion of politics to the current events topic.

ME the mod

ratsnkats (not verified)
re: No mention of the Frankfurt shootings on Wednesday?

On March 4th, 2011 TigerLilly said:

"And what the heck was that 1940's comment supposed to mean ratsnkats"
How about I send ya a PM and spell it out for ya?

You said in an earlier post: "I don't wanna move back to the Glorious U.S. of A."
Yeah, you're right, the U. S. of A. is a Glorious nation, regardless of your lame attempt at sarcasm. I say good for you, don't move back, we'll get by without you here, believe me.
I'm a Deadhead, AND I love my country; why you keep spewing about American politics on this site is beyond me. Pffffffffffffffffft! this.

TigerLilly's picture
Joined: Jul 2 2007
it was a terrorist act, yes

of an individual nutcase.

And what the heck was that 1940's comment supposed to mean ratsnkats
I am not young enough to know everything.
Oscar Wilde

lamagonzo (not verified)
I mentioned it

Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind Current events thread, in the middle of a long rant on a bad day. Two were killed instead of 4. The Gerans have their head up their ass on this -- it was a a terrorist incident!


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Really Bad Scenes