Grateful Dead

Electric Theater - April 25, 1969

Electric Theater

April 25, 1969

Chicago, IL US

Average: 4 (1 vote)

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Joined: Jun 14 2007
Pigpen flipped off Lou Reed - Sorry, Lou!

Can't remember if I was at the 4/25, 4/26 - I think maybe both. Panhandled the $5 admission.
Saw Billy by the snack bar. "Diggin' the gig, Bill," "Oh, thanks."
Three bands on the bill played an hour (?) each, with two rounds. Velvet Underground was 1st(?), GD 3rd - don't remember who was 2nd.
As the GD zombies set up the stage, Phil came out front, daring anyone to meet his eye - establishing his status as apha male.
The Dead played their first set - began w/Accoustic AOXOMOXOA.
Not crowded - you could get really close, and I got a good look at the tie-dyed Fender amps, and Phil's Guild bass with the quadruple umbilicus feeding (I believe) 4 Dual Showmen? It was that loud, assertive, undistorted bass, as well as all the guitar, and drum tones in general that - among other things - first impressed me about the GD. The later component rigs didn't have that hot 6L6 tube sound - ah nostalgia!
The Dead set was going long, so Lou Reed came out asked GD to vacate the stage so VU 2nd set could commence.
Pigpen stuck his middle finger in Lou's face, and w/no objection from the crowd, GD continued, ending w/ Lovelight. Electric Theatre impressario Aaron Russo came out and yelled "More!" w/the crowd - "There's only one Grateful Dead!"
Jerry asked us what we wanted to hear, and I and another guy yelled "Alligator," but the consensus seemed to be Viola Lee, which they did, and I think that may be the one on "Live From The Phil Zone."
Aaron Russo was later agent, producer and husband of Bette Midler- ran for Pres as Libertarian in 2004 - lost primary to Bednarik. Passed away a couple of years ago.
Spring of 69 in Chicago was bone dry, and I don't mean the weather.
Airplane played Grant Park, announced that we should drop by the Electric Theatre (aka Kinetic Playground) that evening, so I did. My first inkling of Hot Tuna, w/Jack, Jorma & Spencer jamming electric - loud & brilliant, and later, full Airplane played. Jack came out - as he still does - and talked to folks. "I'm really ripped, Jack!" "So, how's it going?" "Tell Grace I love her." "She knows."

hockey_john's picture
Joined: Aug 25 2012
Grateful Dead Live at

Grateful Dead Live at Electric Theater on 1969-04-25 - Grateful Dead
Set 1 Hard to Handle Doin' That Rag Good Morning Little Schoolgirl Morning Dew Yellow dog story Sitting on Top of the World Turn On Your Love Light


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Electric Theater - April 25, 1969