Grateful Dead

Memorial Auditorium - November 23, 1968

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Memorial Auditorium

November 23, 1968

Athens, OH US

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

Notes:

first concert with Tom Constanten

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ace1's picture
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Joined: Jun 4 2007
What can a guy say? First

What can a guy say? First show's always memorable!

The day before Thanksgiving 1968 at Ohio University, word had spread that the Dead might be coming down from Columbus after a show there to play in Athens because a Philosophy prof, Dick Rickert, supposedly knew someone in the band family well enough to say "hey you have all these heads in Athens who'd love to hear you". So we hung around instead of going home for a turkey fix.

Mem Aud.... 1929 theater style auditorium with balcony, max occupancy 2500, that night a room full of kenetic heads, the local freak scene, maybe a couple hundred folks max, lights up, people milling about, equipment set up on oriental rug on stage, folks walking up and down the steps to the stage where a number of people stood talking to each other, chatter, laughter, excitement, patchouli, and then amid it all an undersound of music emerging from the seeming randomness and the show was on!!!!

Can't tell you a song list, which I could! I was hopin' for Viola Lee since that was the tune that had me playing the album over and over, but I don't recall if it got played that night. I think we heard Love Light; I know Pig was wailing out front and learned since that it was Tom's first night on keys, which freed Pig for vocal theatrics. Oh did the boys play... long into the evening!

My wife claims she invited Jerry to Thanksgiving dinner that night and he smiled and said sorry, he had plans... knowing her, I believe her! Knowing him, I bet he did! :)

Just this May she and I met with three other folks who were there too for the first time since 1970. All with that smile in the eyes :) :) :) Hi, George, Larry, Alice, Susan, I know you'll be here soon. Anyone else from Athens during that time recall Gemini Mike?

Over the years I've appealed for trades for that show but with no luck. Mem Aud always taped concerts at the venue but ... that tape's missing from the archive.

First show...

It started then, and the music never stopped!
I dunno, it must have been the
@->-- @->-- @->-- @->-- !

First show 11/23/68 ATHENS OHIO ... Anyone have it for trade?

Cheer'n'merry Sunshine!

unkljohn's picture
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Joined: Jun 2 2007
WeLLcome dude! I knew I'd

WeLLcome dude! I knew I'd find you in here talking about Athens.
Great story!

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Joined: Sep 27 2010
My Second Dead Show

Got in big trouble with my dad for taking his car and driving down to Athens alone to see the Dead again. Uh-oh!
Again, sort of catch-as-catch-can atmosphere, big venue, but small audience ( heck Thanksgiving was here!), as in Columbus the night before. Small turnout for two nights in a row made me wonder if this band had a future! Again, genral wierdness and jamming prevailed, couldn't follow some of the somgs because I didn't have their albums and didn''t know the music. I always thought Jefferson Airplane was the better band at the time, anyway!--but I didn't get to see them until fall of '69 at Oberlin College.

ace1's picture
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Joined: Jun 4 2007
Athens Ohio 11-23-68

No one remembers Mem Aud at Athens Ohio?
R.I.P. Larry Gnatowski!

ace1's picture
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Joined: Jun 4 2007
Ohio Dead/Airplane

Got a grin from your post... I was at O.U. and got a ride up to OSU to see the Airplane perform ... fall of '67 ... Martha from Baxters blew me away. Got some good memories of that show, including the costumes... a big big white bunny in a tux attended. I mean over 6' ... oh yeah, smoked my first pot in the rear-facing station wagon seat of the folks I bummed my ride up with. Um yeah... I loved how the Plane took my mind dancing out on the edge of the abyss with their anthems. Seemed more energetic than the other stuff around to listen to at the time. Energetic in just about every sense of the word. Thanks for the memory, man. Did you know Elizabeth Behnke who studied violin at Oberlin around that time?
Peace on ya

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Joined: Jul 12 2012
athens ohio 11/23/68

me andmy gf at the time..had no intention of going to this cuz i hate crowds then and now..but i couldnt resist and we tripped on down to the MIA as it was called..being a theatre major i went to the side door,,and amazingly.. the door opened a small crowd was there and they motioned me in --i was grooovin to say the least..i walked onstage and sat between the two drummers where i stayed the whole concert..i also remember one drummer hitting me saying cut it out as i was drummming on the floor along w the two other drummers-he said hey yer throwing me off lol....they played till dawn as i remember and i swear the dead said anyone at this concert will always get a free pass in the future to any of our concerts.. they i guess jerry said it was the best audience and concert they d had as yet...i have no idea what tunes they played...but my ears were ringing for hours afterward ..by this time ohio u was almost all hippies it seemed.....and them being there kinda short notice attracted all the freaks as said above.... kent state hadnt happened yet but was coming soon and they the military were on our campus after that horrible mess...but at this point it was all good.....those were the daze as they say o how they were the daze !!!!!

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Memorial Auditorium - November 23, 1968