The Deadcast finishes its all-star “Skull & Roses” dive with cosmic diplomat Alan Trist, Courtenay Pollack’s new tie-dye speakers, a surprise trip abroad, the closing of the Fillmore West, studio parties, explorations of the album’s legendary art & infamous alternate name, & more.
Closing of the Fillmore West supplementary notes
by Jesse Jarnow
Rosie McGee was tapped as the band’s interpreter during their brief trip to France in 1971, and she wrote about the trip extensively--with wonderful photos--in her book Dancing With the Dead. While in France, Jerry Garcia debuted his newest guitar, a seriously Alembicized Fender Stratocaster later to be named Alligator, a gift from Graham Nash. I wrote about it a few years ago.
A few years ago at a garage sale in Dallas, Lone Star Dead radio host (and longtime Dead collector) Eric Schwartz discovered a never-seen television commercial produced in conjunction with Skull and Roses.
And, as always, the fully transcribed version of Charles Reich and Jerry Garcia’s Stoned Sunday Rap is available from Da Capo/Hachette as part of A Signpost to New Space.
The summer of 1971 I fulfilled the hippie dream and hitchhiked with friends to San Francisco. (I did not wear flowers in my hair). We connected with friends living in Oakland/Berkeley. Terry had converted a school bus into a camper and we slept in the bus until we rented a room in the house for $15.00 a month. Many adventures ensued. June 25 is my birthday. Around that time we began hearing on the radio that the Fillmore was closing and tickets were available. I had seen the Dead first at a free concert outside the Toronto Pop Festival the summer of 1970.(thanks to Sam Cutler for posting video of that show). I saw them again in the spring of 1971 in Pittsburgh. I saw a lot of concerts that year. The Allman Brothers, Traffic, Poco, Leon Russell, Emerson Lake and Palmer. The scene at the Dead show was not much different from all the other shows. The afternoon of the show, we hitchhiked to SF, and waited in line for tickets. Bill Graham walked by with a camera crew. I am the guy in the blue shirt about 7-8 seconds into the documentary. When we entered the venue, my excitement grew. There was a light show on the wall....ameoba and clips from Disney cartoons. I was surprised that space was actually a basketball gym! The first band was Sons of Champlin. Never heard of them but they were good. Then came New Riders with Jerry on pedal steel. At that moment I realized I was at the Fillmore to see the Grateful Dead and I didn't have any LSD! Once the the Riders finished their set and every one was sitting on the floor, I stood up and turned to the crowd" Does anyone have any acid?" Dozens of hands shot up and a guy behind me handed me a hit of window pane. The show started with Bertha, which I had never heard before. The amps were covered in Tie Dye, something else I had never seen before. And there were flames shooting out from behind the amps. There were women on stage dancing that looked like Shiva with a thousand arms. During the second set, I had my moment with Jerry where I swear we made eye contact, and in that moment I knew that he knew that I knew that he knew that I knew. Bonded for eternity by the Great Mystery at the Heart of the Universe. When the show was over we poured out onto the street, having no idea where we were, how we got there or how to get home. So we stuck out our thumbs and got a ride back to Oakland in time to see the sun rise. My life was changed forever by that experience. We went back the second night and Electric Hot Tuna with Papa John Creach and Quicksilver Messenger Service. So today, on my 69th birthday I am enjoying the tropical breezes on the Island of Kauai and listening the show that was more than a show. Lee
“We made eye contact and I knew that he knew that I knew that he knew” now that’s a heavy dose of looking through the windowpane at MC Escher holding a reflective silver ball through the looking glass. “Look out of any window”
Thank you Lee