June 04, 1977
Set List:Promised Land
Friend of the Devil
New Minglewood Blues
Brown Eyed Women
Music Never Stopped
Samson and Delilah
Ship of Fools
Eyes of the World>
Playin' in the Band>
Not Fade Away>
Playin' in the Band
One More Saturday Night
Attendees of this show
...and they shouldn't give concerts in sports stadiums. This was far and away the worst venue that I ever heard the Dead play in. From where I was sitting, way up in the rafters, the band looked like ants, and it wasn't really loud enough. The slow songs had gotten even slower. Later on, I read somewhere that the Inglewood cops had murdered some poor, hapless stoner out in the parking lot. This was my 13th G.D. concert, and my last before moving to Europe. I wouldn't see the band again until 1981.
I didn't mean to sound so negative here. When all is said and done, I never went to a G.D. show where I didn't enjoy the music, and I didn't have a good time.
The Inglewood Forum was LA's biggest indoor sports venue (approx 18,600 seats ) and home to the LA Lakers. Down at the end of Prarie Blvd, with zillions of jets perpetually flying into the international airport just a few blocks away, and a race track next door. Lotsa tours begin and end here, being El-Lay and all. The Stones frequented it, I'd camped for Neil Young and Allman Brothers there (to the bemusement of the local brothas), seen Dylan's 74 comeback there, along with dozens of others. In 73 Tull and Zep slugged it out to sell out 4 or 5 nights each.
The Dead were regularly selling out New York's Madison Square Garden so they must've felt the time was right to give the Forum a whack. It failed to sell out, which was either a reflection of El-Lay/Hollywood's still not being a "Dead" town (the West Coast version of Watkins Glen, with Dead/Allmans/Waylon was canceled in 73, possible due to poor sales), or perhaps local Heads simply balked at the big barn.
However, someone once remarked that all the concerts on this tour were like "little gems", and I think I'll go with that. More a "concert" than the usual Dead pandemonium, the playing was pristine and clean. I'd arrived way late to the San Berdoo gig a few months earlier, so this was the night I finally heard Estimated Prophet and Terrapin (the album was a good while off yet). I remember being quite spellbound by a spooky reggae number that kept saying "don't worry about me, no" and refraining "California" (presumably the title). I was pretty adept at counting odd beats and recognized a "7" like Pink Floyd's "Money". The downside, was that I was accompanied by my first and last blind date, a Deadhead girl from Boston literally screaming "What Is This Shit?? Play Casey Jones!!!".
Eventually came that epic tune the hitchhikers had told me about; "Terrapin". What a gorgeous tune and repeating progression. I did gather at first listening the lady, soldier and sailor, and remembered the lines "I will not forgive you if you will not take the chance" and "strategy was his strength, not disaster"...all very evocative. And shortly after, that stunning churning orchestral jam. Wowie Zowie.
I recall sitting on my front porch the next morning with bass guitar and headphones picking out Lady With A Fan and the Terrapin Jam, which turned out to be remarkably close to the real thing when I finally heard the record.
Got into the show and it was not full. Seats on the floor. First time I remember hearing Friend of the Devil played slow. Got my 2nd dead shirt here.
After the incredible show at the Shrine in L.A. back on 15 October 1976 I was willing to venture back into Shakey Town again to see The Dead - and I was VERY satisfied with what I heard and saw (the people and the vibe).
I remember buying tickets the day they went on sale thru Ticketron at the department store. Got there 30 minutes after they opened and was laughing to myself when I got there because I watched all of these pissed-off metal-head KISS fans walking away from the sales counter because their KISS concert sold out before they could buy tickets.
Now I had an empty Ticketron counter all to myself. "Two tickets for the Grateful Dead, LA Forum, 04 June. Best ones you have, thank you."
Scored a pair of tickets on the floor, right in front of the second section. Plenty of dancing room. Yowza!
The band came out full-throttle with a terrific version of Chuck Berry's Promised Land. And they did not let up! During the song El Paso the crowd was yippin' and hollerin' at all of the right spots. And just like the Shrine show the previous October I got another Lazy Lightning>Supplication that had me on cloud 9 and beyond.
The second set opened up with a heavy version of Samson & Delilah, cooled down a bit with a beautiful Ship Of Fools and then the reggae-inspired Estimated Prophet put the energy back up again. As you can see by the set list, music-wise it was back to the races! Everything between Eyes Of The World and Franklin's Tower was non-stop energy. Heck, I STILL don't remember the China Doll being played! But the NFA>Playin' In The Band and the encore Saturday Night I DO remember.
My energy was so spent that my date had to take the wheel for me somewhere just south of Malibu on HWY 1 on the way home. THANK YOU Kathi.