- April 27, 2021 - 4:53pmbentguyJoined:November 1, 2010Hollywood Bowl, June 17, 1972
It was a beautiful early summer’s eve, it was the delightful outdoors setting of the Hollywood Bowl, and it was the Dead, a band I’d grown to love through the recordings, but as everyone knew, it was playing live where they shone.
And it was the end of high school for me, forever.
The concert was fabulous, though the windowpane might have been an influence. We were back from the main stage a fair distance, a couple of tiers from the floor level. The Dead played many of their classics, they wound up the crowd, pulled them in, pushed them away, pulled them back at higher volume.
Except for my brother, who didn’t drop acid (since he was driving, thank the stars), we were all soaring, particularly one of my friends, who was swaying so much to the music I thought he was sure to fall over the small wall he was standing on, dividing us from a lower level.
One of the great contrasts in that concert was that I was in ecstasy over the music, yet rabid over some security goons who punched a couple of people from our level who’d dropped over the wall to get closer to the scene. The goons were apparently college football players who’d been hired for security and they popped a few people pretty good directly below us, and those confrontations happened a few times. So, when we weren’t flying to the music, we were yelling at the security to back off.
Those guys had armbands that said “Peace Power,” but peaceful it wasn’t.
The concert marked the last performance of Pigpen before his early death. He didn’t sing at all, and just played some listless notes, never going into the big blues persona he carried so well. Thus began the curse of prematurely dead Dead keyboard players over the succeeding years.
We, however, lived, and returned to my friend's house, where his parents were gone for the night. We had bought an entire case of Peanut Butter Cups, one of my favorite candies, and we ate them all. Sweet.
- April 27, 2021 - 12:53pmdejapkaJoined:March 30, 2020Watkins Glen was a great 3…
Watkins Glen was a great 3 band concert experience indeed. However, the Dead started the show in the early afternoon which just didn't seem normal nor proper. The set was shorter than other shows because "The Band" and " The Allman Brothers" needed their time. What seems to have circulated most widely is the recording of the soundcheck. At that time the boys were loose and having fun as compared to the actual afternoon concert.
Still have my ticket stub from '73 although my Summer Jam T-shirt long ago fell apart into the rag heap. So it goes.
- April 4, 2021 - 12:49pmRTEjrJoined:November 8, 2017First Show: Barton Hall @…
First Show: Barton Hall @ Cornell University Ithaca NY 5.8.77. Yup--FIRST show. Didn't really dig the Dead until then. Was knee deep in Zappa, Yes, ELP etc, but always open to new music. Went to school with a bunch of Heads who had already been to 100 shows, and if you "don't have two copies of every Dead album then you don't have a record collection." So went with them and opened up a whole new world. Especially when they were saying, "I can't believe they're playing this--oh they rarely play that!
Awesome psychemusic experience made me a fan for life!
- March 16, 2021 - 4:23pmsohoguyJoined:June 8, 2014William & Mary College 4/15/1978
Most memorable concert. Celebrated my 22 birthday with friends from SUNY at Albany. Eighth row center.....great show!!!
- March 14, 2021 - 12:36pmmemphis mikeJoined:January 31, 2009my first was dec 26th 1969…
my first was dec 26th 1969. got acoustic Jer and Bob, acoustic Dead and then a smokin" electric set. from Monkey and the Engineer to Lovelight with lots in between. didn't realize how lucky I was at the time. wish I could see that show again! luckily I can listen and relivve it in my mind.
- March 14, 2021 - 12:32pmmemphis mikeJoined:January 31, 2009Watkins Glen
wow!!! wish I had been there
- March 13, 2021 - 3:07pmsshindellJoined:June 5, 20079-2-80 Rochester
My first was 11-8-79, followed by 5-4-80, followed by THIS ONE. I was a freshman at Syracuse University and was supposed to be at Freshman Orientation, but I blew that off and hitchhiked alone to Rochester without a ticket. The one and only Brad Simmons picked me up in a U-Haul truck with all his furniture in the back. He was a Junior and was supposed to move into his apartment that day, but that could wait. It was a hot day; I remember cold beer.
We drove to the show as fast as the limiter on the engine would allow: a sedate yet maddening 50 mph. When we got to the show and pulled into the parking lot, I remember a few cops watching us drive in and following us to where we parked. They must have been thinking "Everyone else is hiding it in their socks, but these guys had to rent a U-Haul?!" After a quick look at Brad's futon, couch and laundry, we were released.
I got a ticket, went in, and immediately lost Brad. No worries. I gave myself up to the moment and just wandered, danced and experienced a spectacular show: monster versions of Sugaree and China>Rider, Estimated > Terrapin > Playing > Jam > Drums > Space > Iko > Dew > Sugar Magnolia and an Alabama encore. I remember being about 30 feet in front of Jerry when he dropped into Morning Dew. Everyone, all packed ass to elbow, lost it.
During the drive back to Syracuse in the U-Haul, I asked Brad "All they always that good?" His response was immediate and sure: "No!" And this was from a guy who had caught the entire first half of the East Coast '77 tour, but took a much-needed break on 5-8-77, even though he had a ticket. Ouch!
- March 13, 2021 - 7:04ammrlee718Joined:March 13, 2021Madison Square Garden, 1983
My first show was October 11th, 1983 at Madison Square Garden. I was 12 years old and supposed to go with my friend and his older brother, but at the last minute their mom decided they couldn't go due to misconceptions of the band (mostly the name I imagine). Instead I went with my mom and uncle. I loved it and despite my musical tastes taking lots of twists and turns over the years, I've remained a huge Dead fan ever since.
- March 13, 2021 - 5:04amjeathrayJoined:January 3, 2009May 16, 1970: Temple University Stadium. My first live Dead show
My first live Dead show, and it was FREE! It took place literally across the street from my best friend Bob's house. We had just finished our senior year at Temple's Tyler School of Art, but had not had our graduation ceremony yet. The day of the concert we walked over to check it out. We didn't have tickets; they were really expensive for the time: $6.50, and they were not being sold at the gate. So, while we checking out the scene, who turns up but the maintainence men from Tyler School of Art to unclog the Temple Stadium toilets. Since they knew us, we ask them if they can get us in, and they hand us each a toilet plunger and they lead us in. There were several groups: Hendrix, The Dead, Steve Miller Band, Cactus, and I think maybe Country Joe and the Fish. The three piece Steve Miller Band was great, The Dead played a one hour set with abbreviated versions of Casey Jones, Mama Tried, Hard to Handle, China/Rider, New Speedway Boogie, New Minglewood Blues, and ended with a standout Turn on Your Lovelight with Pigpen. As the day went on, it turned gray and started to rain. Philly's fascist police chief at the time, Frank Rizzo, hated "hippies" and had an 11PM curfew in effect. Hendrix was about an hour late coming on stage, and we were all worried that they would shut down the show before he could play. He eventually got on and played a full set. So, I guess I owe The Dead $6.50 plus interest?
- March 13, 2021 - 3:29amScarlet1417Joined:October 25, 2018Book
Just ordered your book. Excited to check it out!!!