October 14, 1980
Set List:Dire Wolf
It Must Have Been the Roses
Been All Around This World
Monkey and the Engineer
Heaven Help the Fool
Greatest Story Ever Told
Friend of the Devil
Me and My Uncle
Little Red Rooster
Let it Grow
Music Never Stopped
Fire on the Mountain
Playin' in the Band
I Need a Miracle
Uncle John's Band
Playin' in the Band
Attendees of this show
When I look at all different set lists from the different GD eras, I think this is the show I would have liked to have been to the most. For you guys that were there, was it as good as it looks?
These were funny shows. I mean, the good news is that the Warfield is a small hall (especially compared to the hockey rinks and arenas the band had started to play) and the acoustic sets were a genuine treat. Even got to be an usher one night, although I can't remember exactly how that came about.
I think the bad news here (such as it is...) is that the hard-core deadheads (which at the time included me...) were trying to see every single show. (In spite of a lot of wacky passive-aggressive nonsense from the heads at the time: "Oh, you got in to tonight's show? I didn't get in -- I stood outside in the rain all night -- but I'm so happy that YOU were inside! If i had gotten a ticket, I would have given it to you.")
ANYWAY... the downside here (besides the challenge of actually trying to get in every night) is that the hard-core was waiting for magic every night, and my own opinion is that the Dead were looking more for the feeling of your local bar band -- you don't go every night; you drop in when you can for a relaxed time.
Because the theater is so nice, they were VERY strict on behavior -- no dancing in the aisles or seats. Bill Graham (bless his heart...) DID put up speakers in the hallways so we could dance AND hear, but that's always a funny choice -- there you are, standing in the light by the refreshment stand, dancing to the music coming out of some nice but tiny speakers while inside the real magic is taking place.
In addition they were making an album of this (Dead Set) and while it could certainly be my imagination, it sure FELT like they were working on a album -- the set list from night to night was very similar, and I couldn't help but feel when the umpteenth version of Terrapin or I Need A Miracle was played that it was basically, "OK, roll the tape -- take 7!"
On this, the last night of the Warfield run, the hardcore was expecting SERIOUS mojo (read: Dark Star or St. Stephen or...). One of the long-suffering tour-heads (Keith?) was wandering around with a handful of stickers from the old board game Cosmic Wimpout. "They better not wimpout tonight!" Sure enough, when the band started to play U.S. Blues he slowly started to peel the stickers off the roll and place them on the linen-covered walls before security grabbed him.
(I also seem to remember Bill Graham throwing two of the regular doseheads out of the show one night for fucking on the main staircase during the show! Luciano tried to stop him: "C'mon Bill -- he's fucked-up and he's just fucked!" but Bill was unswayed. "So? What am I supposed to do -- give them a medal?")
Even crazier, one or two people decided to skip this show entirely so they could start hitchhiking to New Orleans (two nights later) on the theory that it would be the first show the Dead had played in New Orleans since they were busted there years ago. ("Busted! Down in New Orleans! Set up...") and New Orleans would be THE show. (Skip a show so you can catch a show? Always a dubious strategy...)
One of my best memories of this run is how hard Bill Graham and company worked to make it special for everyone, including having a different message on the theater's marquee on most nights, so as you were walking out you would see something such as,
IF I KNEW THE WAY
I WOULD TAKE YOU HOME
All this wrapped around my odd efforts to be an '80s hippie/street person, before realizing that while I still loved the shows and would continue to go until the end, the space-doggie lifestyle was just not for me.