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Submitted by m3jimphoto on Thu, 11/03/2011 - 8:26pm
Grateful DeadJerry GarciaGrateful Dead and Jefferson AirplaneMickey Hart

In our last Grateful Dead blog we focused on work from Jim’s early Dead output in the ’60s.  This week we thought it would be interesting to bring you some rare live and publicity shots from the mid-’70s.  The first batch is from The Dead's October 1975 surprise free concert (with the Jefferson Starship) in Golden Gate Park’s Lindley Meadow. The concert was announced that morning on the radio and travelled like wildfire over the Dead grapevine, but it seemed the crowd was formed as much from people who just happened to be there or heard the music and dropped everything to come over and groove. From comments on the archives page it seems the band was a little ragged and the combo of the Dead and the new-ish Jefferson Starship a little jarring to the gentle folk gathered in the park, and yet a good time was still seemingly had by most.  Spontaneous success was still the hallmark of a great Dead experience.

Here’s the Dead’s set list that day:

Help on the Way Slipknot! Music Never Stopped They Love Each Other Beat it on Down the Line Franklin’s Tower Big River It Must Have Been the Roses Truckin’ The Eleven Drums Stronger Than Dirt Not Fade Away Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad One More Saturday Night The other shots we’re presenting here were taken for publicity needs, maybe for BAM Magazine, probably no later than 1978.  According to JMPLLC archivist, Jay Blakesberg, the group shot at the head of a stairway was done in 1976 when Keith and Donna Godchaux were in the band. “It was a typical prankster shoot,” notes Jay.  “Jim must have felt that he was corralling kittens again. Out of three rolls of black and white, when you look on the proofsheets, there might be maybe 10 shots where they are all focused in on the camera and not screwing around.  All the others you just watch as one or the other of them would crack up and it would spread through the group.”

The Night I Finally Get It

Growing up in the Bay Area in the ‘70s it seemed The Grateful Dead – followed avidly by its devotees and their paraphernalia – was everywhere, but I wasn’t much of a fan, certainly not a “head.”  So it wasn’t until I had moved to NYC and Jim called me one day in the fall of 1987 to ask if I wanted tickets to “Jerry on Broadway: Acoustic & Electric” at the Lunt-Fontanne courtesy of his connections at Bill Graham presents.  I remember being confused, like the words “Jerry Garcia” and “Broadway” couldn’t possibly go together.   But, I was also intrigued and touched that Jim was still so generous even though we had been split up for a couple of years already.  Yet, I know in his mind he thought there was always a chance we might get back together if he just kept at it.  It was touching in a compulsive/stalker-esque kind of way.

So, I grabbed at the opportunity and he had the Jerry on Broadway tickets sent my way.  I brought a friend and remember heading downstairs to the ladies room before the show, hacking my way through a dense green cloud of Thai stick, becoming happier by the moment.  We waltzed in the aisles that night.  Garcia and his colleagues went on to do 18 performances that set records, and I finally began to understand a bit about what this man’s music meant to people; and, again, I have Jim to thank for it.  I miss that part of his spirit big time.

“Help on the Way”
Words by Robert Hunter; music by Jerry Garcia

Paradise waits
on the crest of a wave
her angels in flame
She has no pain
Like a child, she is pure
She is not to blame

Poised for flight
Wings spread bright
Spring from night into the sun
Don’t stop to run
She can fly like a lie
She cannot be outdone

Tell me the cost I can pay
Let me go
Tell me love is not lost
Sell everything
Without love, day to day,
insanity is king

I will pay
day by day anyway
Lock, bolt and key
Crippled but free
I was blind
all the time
I was learning to see

Help on the way
I know only this
I’ve got you today
Don’t fly away
‘cause I love what I love
and I want it that way

I will stay one more day
Like I say Honey, it’s you
Making it too
Without love in the dream
It will never come true