Apr 19, 2022

April 17, 1972: Tivolis Concertsal, Copenhagen, Denmark

Grateful Dead plays Stakladen tonight. Tomorrow the San Francisco band appears on direct TV from the Tivoli concert hall, Copenhagen, at 9.30 – 10.00 PM.
This covers the whole of Denmark and specifically Aarhus. Not since Iron Butterfly in January 1971 has an American rock band visited Aarhus. Incidentally, DR has never before aired a direct transmission of a rock concert.

(from the Aarhus Stiftstidende, 16 April 1972)



Very few people probably noticed it, but last night TV debuted a brand new format. For the first time during the ten years rock music and TV have co-existed, Danish TV threw itself headlong into the dizzying experiment of a direct transmission from a rock concert. Incidentally, this occurrence – like it is in other countries – ought to be as common as the transmission of a football game.
And Danish TV, which has never viewed rock music as anything more than a call signal, let an invisible announcer declare that now, now, Now, Now follows a transmission from the Tivoli concert hall with the supergroup Grateful Dead! Supergroup...hah! Which smart-aleck spun TV that yarn? Much can be said – and is said – about the American band Grateful Dead, but a supergroup, who has never sold more records in these parts than the sale of Christmas trees after Christmas, has surely never been seen in the world.
And what did TV do to the band? Yes, did to! No keeping in the background and relating the events in professional camerawork. No, put big, nice, talentless Edmondt Jensen on the stage. TV can do anything. Even interrupt an ongoing concert. Good evening, everybody. Welcome. Have a good time.
He didn't say "Welcome to the sandbox", but that was the gist of it.
Then a song of an undefinable style, then a Country & Western song, followed by an old-school rock song, and that was it. Oh yes, we certainly got a good impression of the American band Grateful Dead. What it is capable of, what it stands for, where it wants to go.
And while the three songs constituted what is known as a warm-up in the world of rock, three cameramen tested their zoom-lenses. Closeups drawn out to totals. Totals zooming into closeups. No pause – constant movement. Not one striking picture. Not one original camera angle. Nothing, except blatant amateurism and ignorance.
Exactly like an article in this paper some days ago, written by a lady who must have returned to Earth and to life after a prolonged stay somewhere else. The name is Gerda Vinding. As some might have noticed, she postulates a connection between narcotics and rock music.
As some might also have noticed, the connection is denied by nobody...only the lady's premises are questioned. Of course, there is a connection. Many of us were talking and writing about this when the subject was hot, some four or five years ago, when the Beatles started it.
At a time when narcotics were all the rage among young people, it was only natural that a style of music that reflected the youth culture – or the lack thereof – would intermittently deal with drugs.
Today, drug-taking is no longer "in", and narcotics have long been out of the picture where music is concerned.
Calling what we heard tonight "acid rock" can only be justified by ignorance.

(by Paul Blak, from the Aarhus Stiftstidende, 18 April 1972) 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkznlP29TjQ (partial Danish video of the show - this is a combination of later broadcasts, not the short original live broadcast

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU30HpQlV94 (brief excerpt of a Garcia interview by Edmondt Jensen)

Thanks to Bjørn for the article & translation.

See also https://www.dead.net/deadcast/europe-72-denmark  for Garcia's interview by Dan Turell & Peder Bundgaard in MM magazine.


  1. Not a review of the Dead's show per se, but a dyspeptic review of the TV broadcast. Blak wasn't too interested in the Dead per se - just a middling American band apparently, not a "supergroup" and definitely not "acid rock"! But he does want to bitterly complain about the inept broadcast, and an earlier newspaper article on drugs & rock.
    It's hard to evaluate the live broadcast since we don't have it, only the compilations of other parts of the show included on later broadcasts. It probably wasn't quite as bad as he says...at least by the usual '60s standards of zoom-happy, announcer-heavy TV concert films.

    His confident assertion that drugs are no longer part of music is quite a take! I haven't seen the earlier Aarhus articles on the Dead, but it seems the conservative press was alarmed at the prospect of a drug band like the Dead running loose in Denmark. To quote from my previous post: "Earlier, newspaper columnists in the daily press had called for the group's performance to be banned, believing that these veterans of Ken Kesey's acid tests...could influence the concert audience in an unfortunate direction. But Jerry Garcia declared in the press: 'I do not give LSD to anyone!'"

    Only a minute of Edmondt Jensen's interview with Garcia circulates as far as I know. Garcia says: "Ultimately, the thing that we'd like to happen would be that there would be no more identification of groups on the basis of names... Music would be seen as what it really is, which is a group effort... Hopefully there would be like one enormous rock & roll band, from all over the earth... Everywhere there's musicians, there would be this continuum of music - and people would go to concerts, for example, where there would be no headliner, there would only be music. I think it would be groovy if it went to that place, rather than the star system and all the rest of that show-business stuff [which is] really unnecessary... I think there's a trend toward that happening, people playing more and more in different configurations - because it's fun."

  2. There's a tiny bit more of Jerry & Jensen in this 1974 documentary that subsequently aired on Danish TV, titled "Uncle John's Children," also including some Tivoli footage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GAakbJGTto

    1. The Garcia excerpts -
      Jensen: "You played a favorite of mine just a moment ago, Uncle John's Band. What does it tell about them?"
      Garcia: "Well what does it tell you about?"
      Jensen: "You've got me there."
      Garcia: "But you like it anyway, right? Okay, that's the way it is with me; I don't know what it tells about, all I know is I like it... I like that place, wherever it is, I like Uncle John and his band, whoever they are."

      Garcia: "Basically the experience we relate to is playing music and really getting off and really getting high from it, and the audience getting high and everybody getting high, and on a really super night that's what happens; and that's the thing that we basically try to do every performance; so we have long performances to allow ourselves the possibility; because we'd never be able to do it if we were doing like 45-minute sets and that sort of thing - we'd never do it."
      Jensen: "Now, speaking of yourself, in the last year or so you have been appearing on almost every LP that has been released in the States."
      Garcia: "All the ones that were recorded at Wally Heider's, yeah."
      Jensen: "Why?"
      Garcia: "Well, because I hang out a lot at Wally Heider's. It's where all the San Francisco musicians record...there are several studios around San Francisco but there's only one really super-professional sort of studio, and that's Wally Heider's which has three different recording studios in one building - most of them only have one studio. So, for example, the Grateful Dead would be recording say in Studio A at Wally Heider's, and upstairs in Studio C would be the Jefferson Airplane recording, and back in Studio D would be David Crosby and Graham Nash; and so like in the course of an evening, just wandering around and visiting friends, I would end up playing on several tracks - it's just that sort of thing, it's very loose. There isn't - the music scene in San Francisco is very fluid, and there are a lot of good musicians and everybody likes to play, that's kind of like the basic thing happening; it's not really professional in the sense of Los Angeles or New York or Nashville, it's much looser, and the musicians who live around San Francisco live there because it's groovy to live there."
      This may have led to his comment above about all musicians uniting in one big band.

      As far as the time of interview, Jensen says the Dead had played Uncle John's Band "just a moment ago" - but they didn't play it in the show. So I believe they played it in the soundcheck, after which Jensen sat with Garcia for the interview.

    2. So is that soundcheck 4/17/72?