I had become absorbed in my first GD album, Working Man's Dead and was ready to see the band for the first time. No one that I knew liked the album. I was working as an electrician's apprentice at a newly constructed Holiday Inn in Rochester, NY. While taking a morning coffee break, a couple of airport station wagons pulled up and the entire band and crew walked into the lobby. "Who are those weirdos?, the old journeyman that I was working with asked. "I know who those guys are!" I answered.I ran up to Jerry and reached out to shake his hand. "Gonna see you guys tonite!". He looked me in the eye, shook my hand and said, "Too weird man, too weird." Anyway, that night I got dosed and all was wonderful. My recollection is the New Riders with Jerry on pedal steel opening, followed by the Dead's set including several of the tunes that I was familiar with. The Jefferson Airplane was playing in town the same night at a much larger venue and and a few members joined the Dead for an encore. That memory is somewhat scketchy as to what they played.I think that it was Jorma and one or two others as well. That night was the first live broadcast for a new radio station in Rochester, WCMF. I heard some of it about 20 years ago that was on cassette.
the dead roll into rochester for the first time and their stage is set on the campus of the university of rochester in a tiny gym called the "the palestra"(capacity approx.1,200)....it wasn't even packed that night but when they returned in 1971, the place was jammed inside and out..after that they would return to rochester almost every year for the next several years at the war memorial with a capacity of 10.000plus.......and every year it was sold out.........however, the overall excitment and uniqueness of that first venue will remain unforgetable in the minds of those who were there....it started late(approx.8:30pm) and ended late(approx.2:30am). but the music never stopped....will continue later......
like sparky says....towards daybreak there were abut 400 of us left to listen... dazed & wandering about the stage. i have it on 3 cassettes and listen in the car--road noise masks the tape hiss and i have been known to miss exits and arrive late.if anyone knows how to clean up old tapes ( if this is allowed), it was made from a direct hook-up. i think its available as a download but i've had no luck...yet.