Feb 17, 2012

January 26-27, 1968: Eagles Auditorium, Seattle


Due to city laws prohibiting juveniles dancing and small attendance at Eagles auditorium, Boyd Grafmyre has been sponsoring concerts. People have been sitting on overcrowded floors, until last weekend.
The Dead and Quicksilver came from San Francisco, home of free souls, and they don't take laws seriously. Friday night Jerry Garcia told the audience to vote no on politics and dance. A few did and weren't stopped.
Saturday was slightly different. The Dead started their set with Love Light, a hard pounding song, in an attempt to move the audience. A few moved. In walked the license inspectors. Boyd asked the Quick to tell the audience to stop, and when they refused he explained the situation himself. We stopped. For about two songs. The inspectors left, the Dead came back on, and dancers danced. Nobody cared. Nobody really wants to stop dancing, but nobody wants to fight City Hall to change the law. So if the spirit to dance strikes you, do, in public, private, even at Eagles. But if you go to Eagles take your own toilet paper, because when that urge hits you, you will discover they don't supply it.



Friday night: the concert was easily the finest I've ever seen at the Eagle's. The Quicksilver Messenger Service took the first set, started off tight and completely together; and by the time they got into--Smokestack Lightning?--some old Howlin' Wolf anthem, I could feel my incisors vibrate. By the end of the set, they were so close that they seemed to be telepathic. The light show, by Headlights out of SF, was totally in sight, having almost the same protean cartoon quality that you sometimes get when you close your eyes during the Magic Moments.
The Dead's first set, though very good, was cut short when one of the two drummers put his foot (I think) through his bass drum. While Quicksilver was setting up, someone ran a very strange, funny silent movie collage--sort of a linear light show.
Throughout the evening, both the Dead and Quicksilver kept urging people to dance; but with very few exceptions everyone just sat on the floor and was subdued. Even the applause was rather mild, considering what was happening on the stage.
If more of the young people in the Puget Sound area had the opportunity to be exposed to such worthwhile music, we wouldn't have all this damn trouble with juvenile delinquents and war protestors.

Two reviews from the Seattle Helix, February 1 1968.
Scans courtesy of the JGMF blog - many thanks!


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