Oakland Coliseum Arena - February 17, 1979
February 17, 1979
Keith and Donna's last concert - "Rock for Life" benefit to end environmental cancer - house lights stayed on during "Greatest" - last "Big RxR Blues": 10-19-74  - last "Greatest": 10-18-74  - final "Heart Of Me" - last "High Time": 05-26-77  - last "Wheel": 02-03-78 
Set List:Greatest Story Ever Told
Don't Ease Me In
Friend of the Devil
Looks Like Rain
Might As Well
I Need a Miracle
From the Heart of Me
Big Railroad Blues
Playin' in the Band
Playin' in the Band
One More Saturday Night
Attendees of this show
JerryK, papainferno, jamessoai, sanka4u, Bklyn2SF4Dead, maracat, deschamp52, nitecat, B O, halldancer, ccsunshine, Don_Draper, Malbuff, Calif Bill, stevenmorley, gratefulljeff, zombydawg, JimmieJi, j.j madden, UpTil4, rustyherb, Doctorpat, HowlinHippie, Pamie, bncasey744, ForrestInFallbrook, a_Wolf_in_Paradise, Pax, HowldaMoon, winterland12, scotts, johnburton, steve2973, gascap13, gjs56, ratterd, Meganator, stevehead, mcrosno, jonod, theotherone2, firefighter.in.Montana, DireWolfStudios, smithmm, guitarman93061, bucks yellow-van, Uptown Tommy D, Missi Lynn, jolanjolie, Indicator, MissReddin, Clarence, Rainbowjohn, poghmahone, bucks-yellow van, shiney mike, geraldmmcclain, tor, Bikerfred79, sfmichael, foxtail, corrycorry2005, jdubbs, jacksondownunda, Brophy, CameronB, thought_jewels, Johnny_A, 1ezlife, padrig, Ungnome, friskotatt2, musickatman, westking101, spaceck, Gypsy Cowgirl, Box-of-rain, Skjellyfetti, kluk, Scarf-Juggler, bchar, carlaplattwatercolors, Deaddad, wolvesahead, IRSampson, spacecowboy, tganz, crypticalenvelopmint, terrapin222, Walstib, threesaints2003, mustawas, westsiderider, JohnDillinger, Ouizzzl, GratefulTed, gratefuldeadinmyhead, granfallooon, kenco, dead4days, Straw, Wino, cutter, The Othe One, wolff, NilremLeos07, Japegirou, Kawika, dupreediamond, ram, wavesonsand, Gr8ful, JayLif, drchampagne, Zomby D Wulf, tonstar, poorboy, geostrong, rleeb727, insect_fear, Radon Denada, ddodd, DrkStr, atomicknot, garyfish, DarkStar-TheOtherOne, Jackaroses, AnDe, Greg MQ, fogzone, mandala, rowJerry, almanac, freeform, jewel, pauli
Yes, a very weird show. A weird night.
Halfway through the first set I watched my friend Jeff rip off several strips of Dragon blotter, slurpin' 'em up like Chinese noodles. By the end of that same set Eddy was screamin' "Forget the eighties! Forget the eighties, we're headed straight for the nineties!"
By the end of the show I was feelin' a bit ragged myself and knew I had a van full of hippies to drive back to Fell Street.
I saw Gam, so I asked if I could hold one of his Camels (meaning could I have a cigarette). He looked up over his shoulder, expecting to see a dromedary standing there. He finally, got what I was trying to say and gave me a few puffs of tobacco, Just what I needed to ground me a little.
Everyone was ambling about, not sure of what to do; the show was over, but folks were still mighty dosed-out and nobody wanted to go out into the chilly Oakland night.
Next thing I know, this huge WHISTLE BLAST goes off! Everybody kinda jumps outta their skin!
Bill G. is SCEAMING at this rookie security guard,"Don't EVER blow your whistle in my guests' faces. DO YOU HEAR ME? DON'T EVER BLOW YOUR FUCKIN' WHISTLE!!!"
Francine and I are dancing a figure-eight around the floor, like two figure skaters. I trundle by and say, "Thanks Bill, but let the kid live, will ya!"
Just then, Judy comes by looking for Jeff, hearing he'd got taken to the "Bummer-Tent." I go over to the para-meds with her, Jeff's lying there, saucer-eyed; they tell us, "Your friend is waaayyy too stoned, you better let us take him for the night." I'm thinkin' this is not-a-good-idea. So I lean over and whisper to Jeff, "Do you wanna come home with us, or go to SF General?" Jeff puills himself up just long enough to say, "I wanna go home with these guys." Judy pulls-up Stella Blue (the big blue school bus), and we pour Jeff into the back.
I finally round up my crew and head to The City, Six or eight of us end up at Francine's house for a a post-show debriefing.
What a night!
This show starts off great, with the post-retirement premier of a hot GSET, and continues with fine and fun versions of Don't Ease, Mama and Mexicali. FoTD is pretty good too but then the set dips and never recovers. Set 2 starts off with energy and the first few songs are well done (well, Jerry messes up Bertha pretty bad) but nothing special. The transition in Terrapin is interesting but the Terrapin portion isn't right. Nothing special to the pre-drums Playing. The Shakedown out of Wheel is a surprise, but doesn't do anything for me until about the 10:35 mark when the jam takes an interesting turn. The following return to Playing is the highlight of the show, featuring some great, spacey exploration. Overall, Good show, 7/10
Keith playing in other band date said 5 10 1979
Keith and billy back stage
whole lotta fun
This one started out on Super Bowl Sunday when my closest Deadhead friend and I saw the ticket sale announcemnt in the pink section. At halftime, we split a small handful of very potent mushrooms, and I took off down Sir Francis Drake, the Miracle Mile, and Second Street to the Record Factory on Francisco Boulevard in San Rafael. At no time during the trip did we exceed ninety miles per hour. We bought the tickets, turned around, and made it back to his house in San Anselmo before the second-half kickoff.
The weirdness continued on show night. I took two girls, one of whom I'd been dating and the other whom the first thought was more my type and was hoping to palm off on me. Both were more attuned to Donna Summer than to Jerry Garcia, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. The minute we arrived we could feel a peculiar urgency/intensity/tension in the air, everywhere. Like most, we had no idea this was Keith and Donna's last show.
Overall there was a lot of sloppiness but just tremendous energy. Donna, clearly moved by the occasion, sang a beautiful counterpoint on "Looks Like Rain" which made me, a Donna defender, want to turn to the skeptics and say, "Okay, how about that?" The second set rocked hard, and I hear a lot of mistakes on the audio today, but it all seemed to make sense then. I do remember being aware of Donna a lot even though I had no idea this would be it for her and for Keith. Both Bob and Donna hollered themselves hoarse on a runaway "Sugar Magnolia," and I remember thinking, "That's it. Their voices are shot. No way Bob does the encore." But he did, and while I've always found "Saturday Night" pedestrian, he (and she) deserved big props for even attempting it.
We heard about the split a few days later, and while the Brent band put down some amazing music, and with more consistently in-tune backing vocals, I still hold the Keith and Donna years as the group's best. Eighteen months later Keith was gone.