Grateful Dead

Grand Prix Racecourse


Watkins Glen, NY
United States


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Joined: Jun 7 2007
I hitched a ride with Doc

I hitched a ride with Doc and company aboard the Phantasmagorical Rizzitt Inc. a hippie bus traveling down to the Glen from Lake Seneca. I lived on the bus for 9 days and the music was awesome and there were half a million folks there making it the largest concert gathering in American history. I remember Jerry and Bobby up front with the Dead and the massive wall of sound. The Allman Bros. were there too with the Band and all 3 bands jammed together on the final night. Doc knew Jerry and John Marmaduke Dawson of The New Riders of the Purple Sage in the Haight in San Francisco. What a party! We ended up gathering stuff that folks left behind in the mud. The show was on my huge road trip in 1973 and I ended living up in Burlington,VT where I later caught the New Riders. Peace Morgano

Joined: Jun 22 2007
The Glen 1973

Robby from NY, CO, AZ.
I was studying at Cornell U in Ithaca all summer and some friends suggested we hitch over to the big show for the weekend. We were heavily dosed (it was the summer of 714's & LSD) and got picked up early on Friday and taken to the track. As best as I can recall, the Friday sound check was actually the best show we saw that weekend. Flash forward to 1984: running my own mechanical contracting firm in NYC, racing almost every weekend either in Lime Rock, W. Palm and then turned pro in 1985 and fielded a GTS team in IMSA for FireHawking and one for GTP cars, both series the ultimate in endurance racing. Did 8 24Hours of the Glen in 3 driver teams, 4 24's at Daytona, 4 12 Hour of Sebring. It was quite a rush to be at Watkins Glen as a competitor and trying to recall where the heck I was at the1973 show!!

Joined: Jul 9 2007
hitched from the bronx

i hitched a ride up from the bronx with tom and actually met our friends among half a million. the music and friendship was unreal. i still have the pot (cooking) that someone left and i took home.

Joined: Jul 11 2007
Living in Ottawa

It was the year after I graduated from Engineering at the University of Toronto and I was living in a house with three other guys in Ottawa. We all missed Woodstock and would NOT miss Watkin's Glen - the largest R&R festival ever.

So we piled into Gordy's car for the drive down. I was right at the gate when it first opened and ran to stake out a place to sit. Right in front of the sound booth. I remember putting up a Canadian flag on the wall of the sound booth facing the stage. It rained over the weekend and this plot of land was a few inches higher than the rest of the field so we stayed relatively dry.

My drug of choice was C that weekend. My only regret is that I didn't save enough to use on the Sunday.

I remember a girl dancing by and we spent the rest of the weekend together. She invited me back to her place in New York city, but I had to get back to my job in Ottawa. Always wondered if that was one of the critical forks in my life and how things would have worked out if I had just said yes.

deathtakesafiddle's picture
Joined: Jul 1 2007
I just remember getting in

I just remember getting in an old Caddy with a couple of friends and heading to Watkins Glen, we figured we missed Woodstock so this would make up for it. We were 17. Alot of people on the Bus!!

riveaux's picture
Joined: Sep 12 2007
The Glen

We met in Ithaca and drove over in a couple cars Friday night / early Saturday morning. The road was gridlocked from miles away so we headed in on foot finally reaching the fences at the Glen at sunup. The fences were all down so we didn't need to show our tickets, and proceeded to carefully walk over 1000's of sleeping people to get a spot down front, where we plopped down and slowly spread our group's radius out into our own little space. As the sun came up and the crowds came to life it was pretty crazy - the STP family was there in force, as were some of the hippiest people I'd ever seen. We all did our 25 via gelatinous medium (windowpane) and flowed with the morning and people and sights and rain and mud until concert time. The Band, the Dead and the Allman Brothers put on an incredible show each with their own energy. We danced and gyrated and laughed and played on many different levels until after midnight when the All Bros finished up. Then we hiked back to the road, got split up and I thumbed it back to I -town and ran back into the group of trekkers at a diner downtown. Feeling spent and wired we ate, buzzed, and still could not really believe what we had just been through.

Joined: Oct 8 2007
Woodstock almost my first show

Made it to Woodstock at 16 yrs of age, but spent too much time wandering around in the rain with Sam looking for lost friends Dave & Jim, and missed the Dead and the Band. Made up for it by going to Watkins Glen with a bunch of guys in Mario's van. We heard the music this time, and had a great time.
K. Wingler

Joined: Feb 4 2008
Was there

Saw the band in Scranton in 71, this was the next event of The Dead for me. The great think was to see The Band,The Dead and Allmans on the same stage. On Friday night I feel asoleep in my sleeping bag in the middle of the crowd. In the morning woke with a tent pitched across my feet and a couple useing legs as a pillow. They were going at it and that is what how I woke up. I pulled my feet away and the tent collapsed and out cam to naked bodies.They were not stoned and not aware that I was part of thiewr sleeping arrangment.

Rick Schmidlin

DeadHeadJay's picture
Joined: Apr 22 2008
I re-constructed the whole show !!

I re-constructed the whole show over a 2 year period and it's complete with all available audience and soundboard recordings as well as some old 8mm video footage converted to DVD (In color too) everything that was recorded and that I could track down is in my journal. Just amazing! I was too young to have attended but my parents were there and so I made that for a Christmas gift for my father. Only 2 exist on the planet and I'm giving one to Levon Helm for his memoirs.
Just thought I'd share that with you as a "piece of mind" that someone has a comprehensive compilation of such a monumental event. newspaper clippings, ticket stubs and all.
Peace! -Jay

due to copyright issues this is NOT for sale or trade. this is all legal public documents that anyone with time and effort could do themselves so no laws were broken.

Joined: Feb 14 2009
Watkins Glen

Was 17. Borrowed dad's station wagon to go "camping" with a friend. We parked about 10-miles away and "snuck" in. Bought some stuff from a vendor with a Mescaline sign. Think it was fake. Drank a lot of cheap beer. Went to a nice restaurant on the way out of town. We ordered the most expensive items on the menu and slipped out through the bathroom window! Oh to be young! I think we even had to do a drive off to get enough gas to get home. Dad wasn't too happy about the 600 miles I put on the wagon for the camping trip!


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Grand Prix Racecourse