I recently downloaded The Jerry Garcia Band at The Lunt-Fontanne Theater,New York, NY 10-15-87 from bt.etree.org This was a most magical night for me! I had bought a ticket for this night when they went on sale. I didn’t want to buy for more than one night, not that I could have afforded to anyway, being a college student and just having attended SEVEN other Fall of 87 shows between Two nights in Providence and Five at MSG.
But I really didn’t know what to expect from these shows. Jerry was playing Fifteen shows over 13 Days (two Sundays had 2 perfomances, Matinee and Evening) on Broadway. Each show he would play a set with The Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band, a new configuration with old New Riders pal David Nelson on guitar, The Ever Present John Kahn on Stand Up Bass, Sandy Rothman on Mandolin and Dobro, and Dave Kemper, from Jerry’s Electric Band, on Drums . Then he’d play a set with the Electric JGB. Sounded nice for a change. A chance to see Garcia play acoustic.
For the first time, the San Francisco Giants celebrated a World Series title with a victory parade through their city, and in so doing certainly established several baseball parade firsts:
- A Grateful Dead reference made by the mayor of the winning city.
- A red thong displayed by the champions’ preeminent power hitter.
- A thick scent of marijuana wafting through the air, hours after a proposition to legalize its possession was defeated by the state’s voters.
Tales of a Deadhead
Because I couldn’t get into Boston University I got stuck at good Ol’ Ithaca College.
No offense, but another cold winter after a couple of years in the Berkshires freezing my butt off in High School and here I was stuck with a bunch of Long Islanders in the middle of nowhere.
In 1985 The Grateful Dead came to nearby Rochester and I jumped at the chance to go.
My brother from another mother -literally- lived in Northern California and was a big Head. I remember hearing “Uncle John’s Band” from his front room in our house when he was in High School. I was six or seven and thought it was secretly about me.
When Jerry Garcia died in 1995 I had seen over one-hundred shows. You’re either on the bus or off the bus but one must decide and my decision had been made long ago.
Twenty-four years later from that fateful day in Rochester New York, I’m back on the East Coast – in bloody New York City with a knockout wife and a beautiful blond four year-old little girl after five years in Santa Cruz and ten years in Venice California.
The Dead minus Mr. Garcia are not The Grateful Dead.
Much has been written since Jerry died;
much of it dreck.
I’ll never forget that *piece* that that woman wrote in the New York Times when the leader of the band left the stage.
But after all these years Mr. Hart, Weir, Kreutzman and Lesh can still bring Madison Square Garden to its knees and this very authentic cover band with original members did just that Saturday Night in the Big Apple.
Man o’ man, I hugged Avril ROSE extra tight the next day.
SETLIST- THE DEAD
April 25, 2009
Set I: Cosmic Charlie, China Cat Sunflower > Shakedown Street, Ship of Fools, He’s Gone, Cassidy, Sugaree
Set II: Drums > Cryptical Envelopment > The Other One > Born Cross-Eyed > St. Stephen > The Eleven > Uncle John’s Band > Unbroken Chain > Gimme Shelter > One More Saturday Night
Encore: Brokedown Palace
Only “Ship of Fools,” Only “Gimme Shelter”
PHOTOS: Jay Blakesberg