THE LIVING NOT GRATEFUL ABOUT GRATEFUL DEAD
The Grateful Dead gave a rock concert on the Washington University Quadrangle last night, but some county residents were not grateful.
The sound, they said, was enough to wake the dead.
Police in St. Louis County got several calls about midnight complaining that the amplified beat of the acid-rock group from San Francisco was audible a mile away.
About 300 young persons, many in hippie attire, were found grouped around a band shell on the quadrangle, listening to music played to the flashing of psychedelic lights. Police suggested the Grateful Dead stop living it up, and the concert ended.
(from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 18 April 1969)
Thanks to Dave Davis.
Released on Download Series vol. 12.
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An announcement for the 4/18/69 Purdue University show:
GRATEFUL DEAD CONTINUE TO AMAZE
Original 'Acid Rock' Reaches Purdue
"The GRATEFUL DEAD? At Purdue? I don't believe it!" was the first reaction. The second, from another student, was "The GRATEFUL DEAD? Who are they?" Alas, the GRATEFUL DEAD. After all these years one might think that just about everyone knew who they were, if not by hearing them, then at least by reputation. They were the first of the big San Francisco bands, that's right, even before the Jefferson Airplane moved up from Los Angeles. And they probably invented the term "acid rock," for it was they who played at Ken Kesey's notorious "acid tests," wherein a punch bowl containing that nefarious substance would be served up with the music.
But that was years ago. Today, after two records on Warner's, and innumerable live appearances, coast to coast, they are considered by many to be the finest hard rock group in existence. Reviewer after reviewer has been captured by the power of their live performances; performances which, sadly, will probably never be really captured on record.
The reason for this is simple: a GRATEFUL DEAD performance, when they are going, may last for several hours, with absolutely no let-up, as songs merge completely into one another. They played continuously for four hours a few weeks ago in San Francisco, in a show which left everyone agape for weeks, and for which nobody could find the words to describe. And that is in San Francisco, where nothing surprises anybody anymore.
The GRATEFUL DEAD consist of Ronald McKernan ("Pigpen"), vocal; Jerry Garcia, lead guitar; Bill Kreutzmann, drums; Micky Hart, drums; Phil Lesh, bass; Bob Weir, rhythm guitar; and Tom Constanten, keyboards. "Pigpen" used to play the keyboards in the original group, but now has gone over strictly to vocals and snatches of harmonica. And now there are two drummers in the group, instead of one. Very powerful. Very powerful.
Jerry Garcia is one of the hardest and fastest lead guitarists in the business, with a technique comparable to masters such as Clapton and Bloomfield; he is also rumored to be a brilliant bluegrass banjo picker. The rest of the band members are all superb background singers and supporting musicians, and each will have his say before the night is over, if it ever gets to an end at all.
That's it. The GRATEFUL DEAD. At Purdue, FOR REAL. The dance-concerts will be held in the Union Ballrooms, from about 8 to 12 p.m., Friday. Tickets are $3 at the door and $2.50 in advance; they may be purchased under the mural in the center. The proceeds will go to the support of the boycott, and there may be some discussion of the boycott before the concert starts.
Also appearing will be Purdue's gadfly, George Stavis, who claims that his Vanguard record will be available "imminently." He sings and plays funny things on guitars and banjos which are sometimes compared, by people who should know better, to Indian music. A pleasant time is guaranteed for all.
(by George Stavis, from the Purdue Exponent, 17 April 1969)