Dec 28, 2023

November 1, 1973: McGaw Hall, Northwestern University, Evanston IL

All articles from the Daily Northwestern. 

Student groups at Northwestern had tried to book the Grateful Dead a few times before they finally played there in 1973. Rumors started swirling in April 1970 that the Dead would be one of the bands playing at a free festival at the end of May. "The Grateful Dead...are reportedly reserving a spot here... If all goes as planned...the Fugs and the Dead will perform in free outdoor concerts." ("Fugs, Kesey, Zappa Coming, Rumor Says," 4/10/70) 
The festival plans were outlined in a 4/13/70 article, "May Rock Festival Okayed" - 
"The festival, which will feature the Fugs, the Grateful Dead, Allen Ginsberg and others, is expected to cost about $26,000." (The festival was to run from May 23-30; Ken Kesey and the Pranksters were expected to visit; Allen Ginsberg & Paul Krassner were to speak; movies would be shown, and the Fugs and the Dead would play.)
"Saturday [May 30]: The Grateful Dead and Sun will conclude the week's festivities on the lakefill with a free performance."

Funds for the festival were to be gathered over the next month, particularly from a Mothers of Invention show at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago on May 7. But a 5/21/70 article delivered the bad news:
"The 'Rights of Spring' celebration scheduled for next week has been cancelled by financial woes. Further Productions, sponsor of the festival...had planned to bring to campus Allen Ginsberg, The Fugs, The Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa, and other 'new wave artists'... But the May 7 Mothers of Invention concert designed to finance the festival instead left Further Productions $3,500 in debt." ("Groucho's Coming May 29," 5/21/70)

Northwestern students tried again the following year to book the Dead for their Homecoming concert on November 6, 1971. But a 10/12/71 article announced a change in plan: 
"Mountain is the group that will play at the Homecoming concert Nov. 6... 
The cochairmen had originally contracted with another group to play the concert, but they canceled out. 
'They just kept holding' the contract,' Miss Masek said. She identified the group as the Grateful Dead."
("Mountain Coming To NU," 10/12/71)

Northwestern students could still get to see the Dead play in neighboring Chicago on October 21-22, 1971 (or even listen to the radio broadcast), but Daily Northwestern reporters found the shows to be "disappointments." Nonetheless, hopes of bringing the Dead to campus remained alive in '73, with an April 4, 1973 show at McGaw Hall supposedly in the works, although it fell through. 

But as the Daily Northwestern lamented, McGaw concerts were all but dead, with only two shows booked in the hall that year and the university administration holding doubts whether it should be used for concerts at all. (McGaw was normally used as a basketball arena.)

"McGaw Concerts That Almost Were" (Dave Favrot, 2/28/73) -
"Student planning for McGaw Hall concerts this year has been a sad tale of missed opportunities and stifled projects. Since September, student groups have tried and failed to bring the following bands to McGaw: Dave Mason, Steve Stills, Uriah Heep, Spooky Tooth, the Byrds, Quicksilver, Fleetwood Mac, Joe Walsh, the Allman Brothers, and the Grateful Dead. 
So far, Sha Na Na's Homecoming appearance Oct. 26 has been the only McGaw concert this year... [There are tentative plans to bring Rod Stewart to McGaw in April.] This year has been a drought year for concerts. The reasons for failure have been many: conflicts between promoters, contract disagreements, possible interference with previously-scheduled events, and administration inaction."
The cancellations included: 
Steve Stills - "The Dean of University Events said Stills would reduce the drawing power of Sha Na Na's Homecoming concert the following weekend... Stills ended up playing Oct. 21 at North Central College in Naperville, a small college about 30 miles west of Chicago. After his cancellation at McGaw, a coordinator said consolingly, 'After all, it's not as if you had Eric Clapton and John Lennon jamming in the Union.'" 
Dave Mason - "The Amazingrace family considered Dave Mason... However, the collective decided McGaw's foul acoustics and the problems of staging a concert on a weeknight ruled out the Mason date. 'We feel that to present serious musicians in an 'airplane hangar' is one of the factors contributing to the present horrible condition of the music scene,' Amazingrace said." 
The Byrds - "The [Activities & Organizations] Board Concert Co-Chairman said he felt the Byrds didn't deserve the price they were asking, since they hadn't done any worthwhile albums since their concert here two years ago. That concert lost $1,900."
Uriah Heep - "Another Chicago promoting agency had a prior commitment on Uriah Heep for an April concert in the International Ampitheater and didn't want a March local appearance by Heep to reduce the attractiveness of their downtown concert."
Fleetwood Mac - "By Jan. 30, the A&O Board had announced the signing was imminent...[but] the university legal department had reservations about the contract, which they have since refused to specify... Discussions on concert policy continued over the following week with a varying cast of administrators... Meanwhile, Fleetwood Mac had dropped out for good."
Allman Brothers - "Amazingrace hoped to bring the Allman Brothers to campus through Jam Productions, the Chicago agency... In mid-February, Jam sent the Brothers a telegram guaranteeing them their fee ($25,000 or 60 per cent of the gate, whichever was higher). However, the band rejected the offer."
Grateful Dead - "Andy Frances of Amazingrace Thursday said he was contacted by Chicago promoter Jan Winn in December about bringing the Grateful Dead to McGaw April 4. In the two weeks following his discussions with the collective, Winn sent photographers to McGaw, ostensibly to satisfy the Dead's curiosity about the hall. 
Then in January, Jan Winn disappeared. Promoters were reportedly unable to contact him, and his ticket arrangements with Ticketron were held up. 
When Winn reappeared in public at the end of January, he was no longer in the concert business... [He] told Andy Frances the Grateful Dead concert was cancelled. Winn was unavailable for comment."

More problems were discussed in a followup article, "NU Talks, Concerts Stymied" (Dave Favrot, 3/1/73).
(Administrators feared violence and non-students at campus concerts - only about 15% of the attendees of last year's Spring Thing were students, and fighting at past events had occurred among non-students.) 
"Last week Jim G. Carleton, vice-president for student affairs, said his main concern with McGaw concerts was the predominance of non-students... 
'Are we running an event for the students, faculty and staff of Northwestern University, or are we running an event for the general public?' ... 
"However, it's doubtful that Northwestern students could support a concert by a well-known band themselves. 
'The population base of the institution is not large enough to support major national entertainment,' Carleton said. 'Of course, the participation of outsiders permits big-name entertainment.'"
(The university considering subsidizing student-only concerts, but these were expected to be money-losers.)
"Northwestern has 6,255 undergraduates. Of these, 15 to 25 per cent can be expected to attend a well-advertised McGaw concert... That means that, at best, future McGaw concerts could count on an audience of about 1,500. 
Major rock bands generally cost $15,000 and up. It costs $2-3000 to set up McGaw for the concert, pay sound men and security, buy ads, and print tickets, so concerts generally cost about $17,000 or more. 
That means (1) to break even, the sponsoring organization would have to charge $11-12 a ticket. At those prices, the 1,500 base figure would shrink. Or, (2) the university will have to pay thousands of dollars every time there's a McGaw concert. 
That, in turn, probably means McGaw concerts would be few and far between. It also means all students - including those who care nothing for rock music - would be subsidizing concerts."
(There were suggestions for staging concerts in the smaller Cahn Auditorium, which held 1200 people. But student concert organizers suspected the administrators were afraid of concerts. "They have an image of the Kinetic [Playground] getting ripped up." A Sly & the Family Stone concert at McGaw in May '71 had brought violence & vandalism, to the administrators' dismay. There were discussions on hiring extra concert security from professional forces and promoters. Folding chairs were to be locked up in rows for "easier crowd handling." But students trying to arrange concerts were unsure how much money they could offer bands. "The only problem is with the administration.")
"A spokesman for Jam Productions, the Chicago-based rock promoters who tried but failed to bring the Allman Brothers to McGaw for Amazingrace, said their current plans to bring groups on campus are stymied by the uncertainty of university concert policy. The A&O Board's plans to bring Quicksilver & Joe Walsh to McGaw March 4 were cancelled last week because A&O and the promoter delayed signing a contract while the university attorney's office held up the contract for study. 
As long as university policy is uncertain, many students say their groups' concert plans will remain in limbo."

Rod Stewart came to McGaw in April '73, but ticket sales were mostly to non-students. An A&O Board chairman warned, "Unless ticket sales to students increase, we will not be able to justify us having concerts."

The financial aftermath was covered in "Security Costs Reduce Concert Profit to $3,000" (Arlene Banoul, 4/30/70) -
"...Although there was no major trouble in handling the 9,500 sellout crowd, the amount of money spent on security and the cost of the groups dwindled the $45,000 intake to about a $3,000 profit for the Activities and Organizations Board treasury. 
Of the 9,500 in attendance, 1,402 had student tickets. 
"There's two ways of looking at the student attendance figures," Norris University Center Director John F. Duffek said.
"On the one hand, you can say, why did we go through all the trouble for only 1,400 students. 
"But, on the other hand, maybe numbers alone aren't the only way to judge whether a concert is successful," Duffek said. "Maybe we have to sell 8,000 tickets to outsiders to let 1,400 students have a concert." 
Yet, in order "to let 1,400 students have a concert," $42,000 had to be spent, and 113 official security people used.... 
The entire security force included 30 Andy Frain ushers, four Andy Frain guards, 22 Public Safety officers, 20 student ushers, 19 Triangle Productions stage security, and 18 Evanston policemen. 
Vice-President for Student Affairs Jim G. Carleton said he would have to review the concert figures before finally deciding whether there would be future concerts at McGaw. 
Carleton said that he must decide whether the function of a McGaw concert is a money-making activity, public service to the community, or a student activity. 
He added that he "tended to have doubts" about any more concerts at McGaw."

The 4/30/73 issue also had a full-page article on how violent & overbearing the security force was, beating up peaceful audience members, harassing women, etc. In short, the preparations had been disastrous. 

Students arriving in the fall of '73 were informed not to expect many big concerts on campus: "For rock and folk performances, NU students must rely largely upon the weekly shows at the Amazingrace coffeehouse... McGaw's basketball-court acoustics have lent to much of the problem." (9/21/73)

But plans were still underway to bring the Dead to McGaw... And here our story begins.



University and Evanston rules are hindering attempts to get "The Grateful Dead" rock group for Northwestern's Homecoming concert at McGaw Hall November 3, Activities & Organization Board Chairman Fred Koplin said Monday. 
Director of Public Safety Wayne Littrell has two main concerns, said Koplin: the safety of the audience and Evanston building regulations. 
In previous concerts at McGaw, destruction and rowdiness have been a problem, particularly with non-university students, Koplin said. 
Evanston also has building regulations which require a certain amount of space per person, the presence of fire marshalls, and that all fire exits be open. 
Koplin and Littrell have been attempting to work out the concert details. According to Koplin, Littrell has no immediate objections to the concert or the group but needs to check on security measures. 
Koplin has made several suggestions which he said Littrell agreed would minimize danger to the audience and the rock group and help comply with Evanston safety regulations. 
The suggestions include colored instead of white lights, a Northwestern student-only section at the front of the stage, a student-only entrance, and reducing the audience size from 9,500 to 6,000 persons. 
Reducing the number of persons would necessitate raising prices, Koplin said. Chelsey Millikan, an agent for the Dead, has rejected the A&O offer of $15,000, but agreed to do a concert for $25,000, Koplin said.
One last problem is an alumni luncheon scheduled for McGaw the same day as the concert, which would also hinder setting up. 
"We are still trying to break through to some mutual agreement," Koplin said. "No one is saying no, they're just saying little things we can't do."


(by Pat Broughton)

Amazingrace has joined forces with the Activities and Organizations Board in the attempt to book "The Grateful Dead" for the Homecoming concert at McGaw Hall. 
A talk with "The Grateful Dead" manager Sam Outler [sic], a date change from Nov. 3 to Nov. 1, and the assumption of financial responsibilities by Jam Productions of Chicago have led to further negotiations with university officials. 
Traditionally, the Homecoming concert is held on the Saturday evening of Homecoming weekend, but the day has been changed to Thursday due to two factors. 
First, an alumni luncheon is scheduled for McGaw Hall on Saturday, which would hinder setting up for the concert, and also the Thursday evening is better for the "Dead's" tour, said Andy Frances of Amazingrace. 
Fred Koplin, A&O Board chairman, said the immediate problems are with the Buildings and Grounds Department and the Public Safety Department. 
The Dead will not play to an audience of less than 9,000, Koplin said, which would necessitate B&G's setting up extra stands in McGaw. 
Another area for which B&G is responsible is moving the basketball court, or making arrangements for seating on it. 
"What has to happen is public safety has to approve the concert, and a definite commitment in good faith must be gotten from B&G," Koplin said. 
"We can't go anywhere until someone says yes and stops saying maybe," Koplin said.


GRATEFUL FOR 'DEAD' (editorial

Though the mind is still boggling, we applaud efforts by Amazingrace and the Activities and Organizations Board to secure the Grateful Dead for the Homecoming concert. 
The prospective concert promises to be the most popular and enthusiastic in recent Northwestern history. 
We are particularly gratified by the presence of Amazingrace, who we feel can greatly increase the concert's esthetic pleasure. 
Moreover, the Dead promise to alleviate such security problems as those at the ShaNaNa and Rod Stewart concerts. If anyone wants a report on the Grateful Dead audiences, we recommend the police chief of Watkins Glen, N.Y. 
We urge all speed in resolving any administrative details left before concert plans can be set. 
And we anxiously await the Dead.

(by Pat Broughton

The "go ahead" for a Grateful Dead Homecoming concert in McGaw Hall Nov. 1 has been given by Public Safety Director Wayne C. Littrell, and all that remains to be resolved now are three problems. 
"The biggest technical problem is squeezing in 9,000 seats in a good way," said Fred Koplin, chairman of the Activities and Organizations Board. 
To seat 9,000 persons in McGaw, extra stands will have to be set up and chairs put on the basketball courts. 
This presents two problems. To put chairs on the basketball courts, basketball coach Tex Winter must approve the padding placed on the courts. 
Also, an alumni luncheon is scheduled in McGaw for Nov. 3 and Alumni Relations Director Raymond Willemain has said any stands must be removed by then. 
"We expect no problems" in removing the set-ups, said Dave Conant of Amazingrace which is sponsoring the concert with A&O. 
The third problem is getting approval from Dean of University Events Joe W. Miller to have the concert on Thursday instead of Saturday. Koplin said a Thursday concert may conflict with final preparations for floats scheduled for the Nov. 2 parade. 
Financial problems have been solved with an arrangement with Jam Productions of Chicago. 
Littrell said "if we thought it was worth the risk, and if we could get everything together, to go ahead," said Conant. 
"Littrell was pleased that we were picking someone like the Grateful Dead instead of Humble Pie or Uriah Heep," Koplin said. The Dead received a better security rating than ShaNaNa, the group at last year's Homecoming, Koplin said. 
Conant said the Dead have said "yes, they want the date," and with Littrell's OK, "if we get those three questions answered, there are no other obstacles to the concerts."


(by Pat Broughton)

Activities and Organizations Board Chairman Fred Koplin said Dean of University Events Joe W. Miller "opposes anything" other than a Nov. 3 Homecoming concert. 
Miller refused to comment on this directly, but in a written statement said, "I believe a Thursday concert would interfere with Homecoming preparations and activities." 
"I would like to see a concert on Saturday evening with an attraction that would be willing to appear with a 5,000 seating capacity," Miller said. 
A&O and Amazingrace are planning to sponsor The Grateful Dead in McGaw Hall on Nov. 1. Jam Productions of Chicago is handling the financial arrangements. 
The Dead are not willing to perform for an audience of less than 9,000 persons, Koplin said. Amazingrace member Andy Frances said the Dead could not play NU Nov. 3 because they have a concert scheduled for that day. 
To fit 9,000 seats into McGaw, extra stands will have to be erected and padding placed on the basketball court. 
According to Grace member Dave Conant, Assoc. Athletic Director Waldo Fisher said the padding was no problem. 
Charles Olson, superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, said "Normally it takes a couple of weeks to put the stands up." He did not know what it could cost. 
Frances said, "If Joe Miller wants to, he can stop the concert. But I'm certainly hoping he won't."


10/3/73 photo caption: 
Asbury House residents apparently disagree with the reported opposition of Joe W. Miller, dean of university events, to current plans for a Grateful Dead concert in McGaw Hall.  


(by Pat Broughton)

A statement opposing a Nov. 1 Homecoming concert was issued Wednesday by Homecoming co-chairmen Cheryl Wexler and Reed Tanner and advisor, Dean of University Events Joe W. Miller. 
The Activities and Organizations Board and Amazingrace had lined up a Grateful Dead concert in McGaw Hall, pending Miller's approval to have the concert on Thursday rather than Saturday of Homecoming weekend. 
"We feel a concert on Thursday evening would seriously jeopardize the success of all Homecoming activities - particularly those on Friday," the statement said. 
Wexler added, "I have the students' best interests at heart. I'm confident we can get a big-name group for Saturday night." 
The committee suggested that the agreement with the Dead be renegotiated for Nov. 3 or later in the year. The Dead have a concert scheduled for Nov. 3.
Vice-president for Student Affairs Jim G. Carleton said he would be "hard-pressed to overrule the decision made by the Homecoming Committee." 
According to Northwestern's concert policy, a concert cannot interfere with an all-university event. 
Carleton said "I would respect the committee's wishes" if it decided a Thursday concert would interfere with other Homecoming events.

(by Steve Sonsky

Student Forum jumped right into the Homecoming concert controversy Wednesday night by unanimously passing a resolution supporting a Nov. [1] Grateful Dead concert. 
Homecoming Committee co-chairmen Reed Tanner and Cheryl Wexler, along with Dean of University Events Joe W. Miller, Wednesday released a statement opposing the concert date, saying it would interfere with activities scheduled later in Homecoming weekend.
Student government leaders and Amazingrace have called for a mass meeting this afternoon at 3:45 in front of University Hall in support for the Dead concert. 
The rally will coincide with a scheduled meeting of Miller, Wexler, and Tanner. 
"All those who want to see the Grateful Dead on this campus had goddamn better be there," a student government official said. "The Dead concert dies if you don't show." 
The Forum resolution also calls for "a positive and immediate commitment" to the concert by the university. It also calls for a Saturday concert or dance to be held in addition to the Thursday Dead concert. 
Activities and Organizations Board Chairman Fred Koplin said that Jam Productions, which would promote the Dead concert, possibly could sign the rock groups Poco or Tower of Power for the Saturday concert if the Thursday one is successful. 
Amazingrace member Andy Frances said "a positive and immediate commitment to the concert by the university" is necessary because "the Dead must know this week" if the NU date is open. 
Koplin said, "If we want the Grateful Dead," it's the Nov. [1] date "or nothing." 
"The rest of their schedule is full," Koplin said. "And I think the Grateful Dead is the big-name group the students want to see on campus." 


(by Pat Broughton)

Cheers and whistles greeted Associated Student Government President Mike Sander's words Thursday at Rebecca Crown Center: "It's gonna go on. They gave us the ok for the concert." 
A committee headed by President Robert H. Strotz gave the final "go-ahead" for a Grateful Dead Homecoming concert at McGaw Hall on Nov. 1.
The decision comes after 10 days of opposition to the concert and the Nov. 1 date. 
Director of Public Safety, Wayne O. Littrell gave his ok to the concert Monday. All that remained was a go-ahead on the Thursday date from Joe W. Miller, Homecoming adviser and dean of university events, and some final arrangements to fit 9,000 seats into McGaw. 
Miller and Homecoming co-chairmen Cheryl Wexler and Reed Tanner issued a statement Wednesday opposing a Thursday concert. 
They said they were afraid the Thursday concert would interfere with later weekend events, such as the parade and football game. 
A support rally for the Thursday concert was organized Wednesday night at Student Forum. The rally was scheduled to coincide with a meeting at Scott Hall between Wexler, Tanner, and Miller. 
More than 300 students rallied at Harris Hall in support of the concert. They moved to Rebecca Crown Center when word was received that the meeting had been moved. 
It was at this time that the meeting was expanded to include Strotz, administrators and student leaders. 
The concert is being sponsored by the Activities and Organizations Board and Amazingrace. Financial arrangements are being handled by Jam Productions of Chicago. 
"The only thing that's gonna hang us up now are the technicalities," Sanders said. He said the problem of setting up extra stands in McGaw to fit 9,000 seats had not been resolved.



Final approval for the Nov. 1 Grateful Dead Homecoming concert in McGaw Hall has been given all university personnel, and all that remains is the signing of the contract., 
"All we're waiting on are the Dead," said Fred Koplin, chairman of the Activities and Organizations Board. "The Dead have not said yes to playing at McGaw." 
The only problem might be if the Dead don't like McGaw, or if they feel the stage is too small, Koplin said. 
Koplin said he had gotten the final OK Friday from the Athletic Department, the Buildings and Grounds Department, and from Alumni Relations. 
The Athletic Department and B&G had to approve the fitting of 9,000 seats into McGaw. Chairs will be set up on top of the basketball court, and extra stands will be erected. 
Arrangements with Alumni Relations for the alumni luncheon on Nov. 3 were finalized. 
Tickets for the concert could be on sale as early as Oct. 17, Koplin said. Tentative prices are $4 for students, and $5 or $5.50 for non-students. Each student will be allowed to purchase two tickets. 
There will also be a student entrance, which will allow students into McGaw before the general public. 
Koplin said he sent pictures of McGaw and pictures of Thursday's support rally to the Dead; and at this point "the university is waiting."


(by Pat Broughton)

The question of closing time is the last remaining obstacle to Northwestern's signing of a contract with Jam Productions for the Nov. 1 Homecoming concert with The Grateful Dead. 
The Dead want the option to play from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Vice-President for Student Affairs Jim G. Carleton is hesitant about signing with this option in the contract. 
There are two problems with this open-ended policy, said Peter Petto, publicity chairman for the Activities and Organizations Board, one of the sponsoring groups. 
There is an Evanston curfew of 11 p.m. for 18-year-olds, and the back-up Evanston police crew changes shifts at midnight. 
Petto, Amazingrace member Dave Conant, and representatives from Jam will talk to Public Safety Director Wayne O. Littrell this morning. Security details will be worked out and a contract signed immediately afterwards, Conant said. 
Four thousand student tickets for the concert will go on sale at Norris immediately after the contract is signed, Petto said. Tickets are $4.50 for students and $5.50 for non-students. Another 3,000 will be given to Ticketron for sale to the public. Students will be limited to the purchase of two tickets. 
Jam is handling the financial arrangements for the concert. The Dead have been guaranteed $17,500 in the contract, or 50 percent of gross ticket sales, whichever is more.



Public Safety Director Wayne O. Littrell has given his OK to final security arrangements, and according to Fred Koplin, Activities and Organizations Board chairman, "everything appears to be worked out" for the Nov. 1 Homecoming concert in McGaw Hall. 
Signing of the contract with the Grateful Dead on Tuesday was postponed because of the illness of Vice-president for Student Affairs Jim G. Carleton, Koplin said. 
Koplin was not certain when the contract would be signed, but an $8,750 deposit must be given to the Dead by Friday. 
Koplin said Littrell wanted the concert to end at 11 p.m., and Amazingrace, the co-sponsor, and Jam Productions wanted it to end at 2 a.m. Koplin suggested a compromise of midnight. 
Security costs after midnight would have been double, Koplin said, because of a "physical manpower shortage" of Evanston police and public safety officers.
One remaining problem, Koplin said, was finding chairs for the floor which would fit Evanston regulations. Koplin said the chairs must be fastened together with something other than tape.  
Tickets for the concert will go on sale as soon as the final contract with the university is signed. Amazingrace member Andy Frances said sales would begin late Wednesday and early Thursday, Four thousand student tickets at $4.50 each will be available, two to each student with an i.d. at the Norris University Center information desk.

(This issue also features a Grateful Dead poster contest for the show. Posters to be displayed a week before the concert. First prize, a free pair of tickets.)


Beginning today, entries for the Grateful Dead poster contest can be turned in... 
The winner of the contest will receive two free tickets to the concert... 
All posters, which can be any size, shape, or color, are due in by Oct. 25... 
"If someone turns one in really soon that is fantastic, we'll use it for the official poster," said Peter Petto, publicity chairman for A&O... 
No decision has been made as to what will happen to the posters after the concert, Petto said. Possibilities include giving them to the Dead, selling them, returning them to the contestants, or donating them to the special collections section of the University Library.


(by Steve Sonsky)  

...[The Student] Forum voted unanimously for an emergency resolution calling for the university to sign a contract with Jam Productions for a Nov. 1 Grateful Dead concert by no later than 9:30 this morning. 
Jerry Michaelson of Jam Productions told Forum that because of the unusually short period of time between the concert date and the time tickets would actually go on sale, that use of Ticketron was essential in this case to insure a sell-out concert. 
"With no Ticketron there is no concert," Michaelson said. "The Dead do not want to play in front of 3,000 people. There is not enough time to sell out via mail order only." 
Michaelson also explained, "We must sell out to alleviate the security problem of 5,000 kids showing up for only a thousand left-over tickets." 
Jim G. Carleton, vice-president for student affairs, has not yet signed the contract for the concert. Michaelson said, "Carleton opposes Ticketron on general principle." 
Peter Petto, Activities and Organizations Board publicity chairman, said that if the contract is not signed by this morning there will be no concert. Tickets would go on sale for students immediately after the signing of the contract, he said... 

(by Pat Broughton)

Vice-President for Student Affairs Jim G. Carleton said Wednesday he would make a decision this morning on whether Jam Productions could sell tickets for the Nov. 1 Grateful Dead Homecoming concert through Ticketron. 
Carleton said he was opposed "on general principles" to the use of Ticketron for the sale of tickets to student events. 
Amazingrace and the Activities and Organizations Board, sponsors of the concert, and Jam Productions of Chicago, the promoters, said if Ticketron cannot be used, there will be no concert.
Jerry Michelson, co-owner of Jam Productions, said Ticketron was essential to the concert for two main reasons. 
The biggest concern was security, he said. Jam wants to be able to advertise the concert as sold out, in order to avoid massive crowds at the door on the night of the concert without tickets, he said. 
Michelson also said he felt it was too late to sell tickets by mail order because the concert is two weeks away. Ticketron is the only way to assure a maximum sale of tickets, he said. 
Dave Conant, Amazingrace member, and Peter Petto, A&O publicity chairman, said the reason Ticketron must be used is because the administration has delayed so long in making a final decision. 
They said they were willing to use mail order, but it was impossible with two weeks left. 


A seminar on the music business, focusing on the Nov. 1 Grateful Dead concert at McGaw Hall, will be held at the Amazingrace Coffeehouse today at 4 p.m. 
The purpose of the seminar, Amazingrace member Andy Frances said, is to let the university and Evanston community know how concerts are arranged and how bands are contacted and hired. 
The seminar will focus on arrangements for the Dead concert, Frances said. It will examine the reasons why the concert took so long to be arranged and the story behind the signing of the final contracts. 
Frances said the contracts would be at the meeting, along with the blueprints sent to the Dead. Questions concerning the concert will be answered, he said.

This meeting was advertised as: 

- Learn the music business angle 
- View the contracts 
- Find out how the administration dealt with the concert 
- Discuss the concert set-up 
- Learn why the Dead eat steak 
Come to An Open Forum about the Dead
Today 4 PM at Amazingrace


(by Steve Sonsky)

The status of the Nov. 1 Grateful Dead Homecoming Concert is still in doubt. 
President Robert H. Strotz met Thursday night at his home with Associated Student Government President Mike Sanders, ASG Executive Vice-president Alan Blaustein, Activities and Organizations Board Chairman Fred Koplin, and Lindsay Davis of Amazingrace to discuss problems that still confront the concert. 
After the meeting Sanders said, "There are still a lot of unanswered questions. We discussed a lot of things and everybody's going to sleep on it. As of now, no contract has been signed with the university. 
"Strotz said that a decision will be made today," he added. 
Neither Sanders nor Strotz would elaborate on the problems that have prevented the university from signing the contract with Jam Productions, the promoter of the concert. 
It is estimated that Jam has assured the Dead $17,500 in the contract between them, which has already been signed. Thus, Jam is obligated to pay the Dead under any circumstances. 
Jerry Michaelson of Jam Productions said at Wednesday's Student Forum meeting that Jam needed the use of Ticketron to insure a sell-out concert at this late date. 
"With no Ticketron, there is no concert," Michaelson said. "The Dead do not want to play in front of 3000 people. There is not enough time to sell out via mail order only." 
Michaelson also explained, "We must sell out to alleviate the security problem of 5000 kids showing up for only a thousand left-over tickets." 
Michaelson said Wednesday that Jim G. Carleton, vice-president for student affairs, had not yet signed the contract because he opposed on "general principle" the use of Ticketron. Jam had insisted upon use of the ticket outlet.

(The 10/19/73 issue also carried the first ad for the show, "An evening with The Grateful Dead, Thursday, November 1st at 7pm" - $4.50 tickets available at the Norris Desk.)


(by Pat Broughton)

Tickets are now on sale for the Grateful Dead Homecoming concert Nov. 1 in McGaw Hall at the Norris University Center and Ticketron outlets. 
A student with an ID may purchase two $4.50 tickets at Norris, and $5.50 non-student tickets are available.... 
By 1 p.m. Sunday, Norris had sold 1,092 student tickets and 622 non-student tickets. 
The contract between the university and Jam Productions, the promoters, was signed Friday afternoon [10/19] by Vice-president for Student Affairs Jim G. Carleton, thus ending a 25-day battle to bring the Dead to NU. 
The decision to sign was handed down by President Robert H. Strotz after he met with Northwestern lawyers and other administrators Thursday night. 
The last obstacle to the signing of the contract was a dispute over the use of Ticketron. 
The concert sponsors, the Activities and Organizations Board, Amazingrace, and Jam Productions felt it was necessary to use Ticketron.
They said they felt to sell 9,000 tickets in the two weeks left before the concert, Ticketron was essential. 
The legal department had reservations on the use of Ticketron, and the decision was handed to Strotz.... 



"Student tickets are selling at an incredible rate, and students should get their tickets immediately," said Dave Conant of Amazingrace Monday about the Grateful Dead Nov. 1 Homecoming concert.
At 4 p.m. Monday, Norris University Center had sold over 1,700 student tickets at $4.50 each and over 800 non-student tickets at $5.50 each. Norris has a total of 4,000 student tickets and 2,000 non-student tickets to sell, Conant said. 
Ticketron outlets in Evanston and Chicago had sold over 2,500 tickets by noon on Monday, out of the 4,000 they had to sell, Conant said. 
Ten thousand tickets have been distributed to Norris and Ticketron to sell, but only 9,000 will be sold. 
This means that 1,000 tickets "must be pulled either from student tickets at Norris, or from non-student tickets," Conant said. 
He said Norris will hold student tickets "as long as we justifiably can," but urged students to get their tickets quickly.... 


10/26/73 - "Five posters have been submitted to the Grateful Dead poster contest. The posters will be displayed in the Norris University Center next week, and the winner will be announced by Saturday noon. The winner will receive two tickets..."

10/29/73 - "Journalism Senior Greg LeRoy has won the Grateful Dead poster contest. LeRoy will receive two free tickets to the concert... LeRoy's winning poster is a photograph of a skull which he dug up this summer [on an archeology project]... The posters will be on display in the Norris Browsing Library through Thursday."

(A Homecoming schedule listed on Oct 29 did not mention any other bands playing that week, but there was to be a six-hour dance marathon to "fast oldies" in the Norris Center on Oct 31. The Homecoming parade was on Nov 2 and a football game on Nov 3.)

10/29/73 - "The Amazingrace Coffeehouse will not serve noon lunches this week because its members will be setting up for the Grateful Dead concert Thursday. Lunches will resume next week at their usual time...." 

Approximately 42 students have volunteered to be marshalls at Thursday's Grateful Dead concert. Working in pairs, they will patrol the corridors and aisles of McGaw Hall with walkie-talkies to assist Northwestern Public Safety and Jam Productions personnel in maintaining order at the concert. 
"We're primarily concerned with crowd control. We'll try and handle all the problems in the aisles and seats. But if anything gets out of hand, we'll turn it over to Jam," said Bill Stiers, head of the marshall group.


(by Pat Broughton

The original 9,000 tickets for the Grateful Dead Homecoming concert have been sold out, but the sale of 150 more tickets to Northwestern students, faculty and staff has been approved by Vice-President for Student Affairs Jim G. Carleton. 
The tickets are on sale at the Norris University Center Information Desk. Students may purchase two $4.50 tickets with an ID, and faculty or staff may purchase tickets at $5.50 each. 
Both Norris and Ticketron sold out their portions of the 9,000 original tickets. Norris sold 3,859 student and 1,141 non-student tickets. Ticketron sold out its 4,000 non-student tickets. 
Fred Koplin, Activities and Organizations Board chairman, estimated the total gross from the concert will be $45,500. The contract entitles the Dead to half of this, $22,250, the university to four percent - about $2,000 - and Jam Productions, the promoters, to the rest, over $20,000. 
A&O Board, one of the concert's co-sponsors, will receive the university's $2,000, while Amazingrace, the other co-sponsor, will receive no money. 
Koplin said Amazingrace would receive no money because of "legal technicalities." He said the contract between Northwestern and Jam Productions stated that four per cent would go to the university, and as A&O was an "official student organization," they would receive the money. 
Koplin said Amazingrace's status with the university at this point was unclear, so that this method of distribution would be "a little less hassle." 
But Koplin said he expects that Grace will "receive some renumeration from Jam." 
With its $20,000, Jam must pay all concert expenses, including security, promotion, and setting up and tearing down the stage and other equipment at McGaw Hall. 
Koplin estimated expenses to be between $12,000 and $14,000, the same as for the Rod Stewart concert last spring. He said Jam will make "quite a bit" on the concert. 
Koplin mentioned some of the more unusual expenses involved in the concert: steaks, Heineken's beer and bottled water for the Dead's production crew; the rental of a 24-foot fork lift; and the cost of a cherry picker to put parachutes on the ceiling for acoustical purposes.


Records tell story
(by Steven Reddicliffe)

The Grateful Dead is this country's most popular rock band, the paragon of popular youth culture, near-mythical mentor of the now more mellow rock and roll music, the truckin' tour de force that has taken us from tripping to boogying, a trek far tougher than the transformation from bobby sox to stockings. 
That the Dead is coming to Northwestern for tomorrow night's Homecoming Concert is cause for retrospection on just what the group has accomplished. 
For while the Grateful Dead is seemingly the premier American band (concert crowds, album sales, and the like), they are not necessarily the best. 
Their last Chicago shows have been disappointments to all but the most diehard Dead fans, and how the band will adjust to the lamentable acoustics of McGaw is anyone's guess. Being primarily a concert group, Grateful Dead recordings have fallen far short of expectations. Only Workingman's Dead and American Beauty have been sound efforts, able to stand lyrically and musically as solid studio albums.
But what must be realized is that the Grateful Dead has been with us from puberty to the present. To wax nostalgic, they were our first real psychedelic or acid-rock band. Now both those terms have become anachronisms, and the Dead (after five years of electrically overpowering audiences at concert halls throughout America) have mellowed. Their popularity has increased, while so many other groups have fallen by the wayside. 

Jerry Garcia, lead guitarist, most prolific composer, and Dead spokesman, may have explained why in an interview last year. 
"The Grateful Dead is still a good trip through all of it," he said. "Through all of it it's been a good trip and I've dug every minute of it, man, it's just like I really love it, it's really a good trip, and that's the payoff, ultimately, you know, and that's the reason why we're all doing it, really, that's the one thing that still makes it. And you know, actually for us everything is making it, everything's just going real good, it's going good enough where we can actually decide what we want to do, which is--aw fuck, what's that?" 
Garcia's ramblings are perhaps the most apt delineation of the Dead we may ever witness. Because the Dead defy all pat classifications--they were America's most prominent proponent of the cultural revolution, the major vehicle by which the mores and lifestyles of Haight-Ashbury were exposed to the entire country. 
Frenetically gallivanting with Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters during the first acid test days on the pages of Tom Wolfe's "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test," the Dead were described as a band that had garnered attention by playing and carousing more frantically than anyone else. 
Those were the early days of Bill Graham's Fillmore West, when the Dead, the Jefferson Airplane, and Big Brother and the Holding Company scintillated San Francisco with their drug band music. 
The Dead--Garcia, guitarist Bob "Ace" Weir, bassist Phil Lesh, drummer Bill Kreutzmann, organist Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (whose drugs and alcohol finally caught up with him and killed him a few months back), and pianist Tom Constanten--were the most notorious of all the West Coast acts. 

The Dead recorded their first album, "The Grateful Dead," for Warner Brothers while high on grass and Dexamyl, a sort of dieters speed. (The group was later the object of major drug busts in San Francisco and New Orleans. Garcia, who was known as "Captain Trips" in Haight's halcyon days, first smoked pot when he was 15, very much ahead of the crowd in 1957). 
The first album was an unmitigated disaster, repetitive and very unimaginative. The following two, "Anthem of the Sun" and "Aoxomoxoa," were not much of an improvement. But "Live Dead," particularly with "Dark Star," held promises of better things to come. 
Better things came when in 1970 the old Dead died and the band's reincarnation came in the form of an album titled "Workingman's Dead." 
Tom Constanten left the band (Keith Godchaux now handles keyboard), and the Dead began producing themselves. Jerry Garcia reportedly never really liked the early albums, and in "Workingman's Dead" the influence of his personal favorites--The Band and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young--is very apparent. 
Four of the album's eight cuts have become Dead standards. Garcia and lyricist Bob Hunter wrote the songs, with Lesh sharing musical credit on "Cumberland Blues."
"Uncle John's Band" is Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young all over again--Garcia's lead guitar is superb and the group's harmonies flow subtly and evenly. "Casey Jones" is the Dead's speed and cocaine grafted to a Robbie Robertson-like melody, and the "Cumberland Blues" is a good country rocker in the tradition of good country rockers. "High Time" is the Band incarnate, and it moves well. 

The Grateful Dead's subsequent effort, "American Beauty," is an extension of the paths travelled in "Workingman's Dead." Poco and the Eagles can be found in the music of "Friend of the Devil" and "Sugar Magnolia," both of which blend and bend (and never break) into each other pleasantly, pushed by the guitar runs of Garcia and Weir. The Dead's finest tune, the musical reminiscence "Truckin'," is contained in "American Beauty," though the studio version is markedly inferior to the live track on "Europe '72." "Truckin'" is the Dead at perfection, adequately country, blissfully bluesy, and sufficiently soulful. 
"Grateful Dead," two live records, followed "American Beauty." The album was somewhat of a comedown. No new inroads were made, and the warmed-over "Me and Bobby McGee" and "Johnny B. Goode" appeared to have been thrown in as space-fillers, and Kreutzmann and Weir's eighteen-minute "The Other One" is mere humdrum, sounding as if the garage band down the street had twenty minutes to jam before going home to dinner.
After the live "Grateful Dead," both Garcia and Weir came out with solo albums and the next total group recording was the three-album "Europe '72," live tracks culled from the Dead's European tour. The album is classic Dead. 
Next came "History of the Grateful Dead, Volume One," basically a throwaway containing live tracks from a 1970 Fillmore East concert. 
Their latest album, "Wake of the Flood," may well signify a return to the quality of "Workingman's Dead" and "American Beauty." Though uneven, the album includes some excellent material, especially "Weather Report Suite," that allows Garcia's guitar to be used to full effect. 
Consistency has never been a virtue of the Grateful Dead, and what they may do tomorrow night for five hours may be either delight or disaster. 
Yet with everything said, the Grateful Dead are an American institution, and tomorrow evening Northwestern has an opportunity to see the rock and roll band that sounded the start of the American cultural revolution. It will certainly be a memorable occasion.


The Thursday Grateful Dead concert is sold out. The last ticket was sold out at 11 a.m. Tuesday, bringing the total number of tickets to 9,150. 
The university administration agreed Tuesday to supply $200 for a shuttle-bus service to and from McGaw Hall and campus. 
The buses will run continuously from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.... 


A splash of orange and black, a lot of hard work, and a touch of Halloween magic will transform the barren innards of cavernous McGaw Hall into a festive worship center for Dead freaks at Thursday night's Grateful Dead Homecoming concert. 
This will be a "gala event," said Amazingrace's Andy Frances. Since the concert is on the day after Halloween, and Grace did not hold its annual Freak's Ball, Frances urges everyone to come in costume. "If people come in costume it'll be a trip," he said. 
Frances and his crew have been working hard all week to transform McGaw into a "thing of beauty." Huge orange and white parachutes have draped from the ceiling's steel rafters, and eight-foot weather balloons will float between grinning jack o'lanterns on the hall's sides. 
Even the stage itself will be a part of the total effect, measuring 40 feet by 80 feet and bounded on both sides by 30-foot light and sound towers. A huge black drape will be hung behind it. 
In addition to all this, Frances said, there are a few surprises planned. But these will have to wait until the first drum rolls and a growing cloud of purple haze signal the beginning of another Grateful Dead concert Thursday at 7 p.m. in McGaw Hall.


(by John Noble

More than 100 persons at Thursday's Grateful Dead concert will be there to insure the safety and good conduct of those attending the concert. 
Jam Productions, the concert's promoters, will send 25 to 30 of their security personnel to McGaw Hall. Jerry Michaelson of Jam described these men as "mostly black-belt Karate experts." 
"They are not there to show it off, though," Michaelson added. 
The primary responsibility of the Jam security force will be to protect the Grateful Dead on-stage and off. They will also look for persons carrying alcohol, cameras, or recording equipment. 
Michaelson said his men will avoid frisking people and will simply be on the look-out for prohibited items. However, Amazingrace member Dave Conant said each and every individual will be frisked entering McGaw. 
The 12 members of Amazingrace will be at the concert to do "whatever needs to be done," Conant said. This will include keeping the aisles clear and directing persons to rest facilities. 
About 40 student marshalls will assist in keeping aisles clear. Peter Petto, small concerts chairman of the Activities and Organizations Board, said the marshalls will be able to recognize and deal with drug overdoses. 
The Department of Public Safety will handle a large part of the concert security. Asst. Director Ken Krakowski said he expects no trouble but that the department will be prepared for anything that might happen. 
Juillerat will be at the concert to make sure that fire exits are clear and that the sound and lighting systems are properly installed and wired. 
Ten Public Safety officers will be in McGaw and 10 off-duty Evanston policemen will be stationed outside. 
Public Safety also has hired eight to 10 Andy Frain ushers to man the doors, Krakowski said. 
Public Safety Director Wayne O. Littrell said the department hired "older, professional" Frains to avoid repetition of problems at last spring's Rod Stewart concert. At that concert, Frains were accused of being armed and of being overly aggressive. 
Littrell said no one but the Evanston policemen would be armed and therefore would only be outside the building. 
The policemen will be responsible for stopping any would-be gate crashers, Littrell said. They will patrol the grounds before the concert, checking that people have tickets. No tickets will be sold at the door. 
Public Safety, under Littrell's direction, will coordinate all concert security. "An outside agency is not going to come in and take over," he said.

(The 10/31/73 issue mentions that the Allman Brothers & Marshall Tucker Band will also be playing at Chicago Stadium on Nov 1.)

(The 11/2/73 issue regretfully notes that "the Wednesday dance marathon had to be cancelled because too few people showed up.")



Those with purple student tickets for tonight's Grateful Dead Homecoming concert may enter McGaw Hall 15 to 30 minutes before the general public, said Activities and Organizations Board chairman Fred Koplin. 
The student gate is located on the west side of McGaw near the hockey rink and will open at about 5:30 p.m., Koplin said. 
Koplin asked that students arrive early for the concert so that there will not be too big a crowd outside the hall. "We are prepared to open the doors as early as 5:15 p.m.," he said. The concert begins at 7 p.m. and will end at midnight. 
The general public will be admitted at the south gates between 5:45 p.m. and 6 p.m., Koplin said. 
Shuttle buses between McGaw Hall and campus will run continuously from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. today, and will also take concert-goers home after the performance.... 
Ogden Foods will operate the concession stands for the athletic department and will sell hot dogs, cokes, popcorn and other food during the concert.


Rigor Mortis Sets In

Everyone is cold. Everyone is in the process of getting drunk or high. Everyone is waiting to hear The Grateful Dead. 
The gates won't be open until 5:30, but by 2 p.m. nearly two hundred people, mostly students, are waiting in front of the barricades by McGaw Hall. Some of them had greeted the student marshalls who came on duty at 9 a.m. 
"Are the Dead really worth the wait?" Again and again, shivering figures insist that they are. 
In the center of the crowd, a poker game is going on. Participants range from a girl in the hooded Hare Krishna outfit to a guy with streaks of war paint covering his face. One girl admits that you have to be pretty bored to play cards. "But we've been here for hours and we've only just begun the game." 
A number of people in the crowd sport Halloween masks or fantastic make-up jobs. One girl had painted her face entirely green. "I'm dead," she explains. Around her neck hangs a sign proclaiming that she is also "grateful". 
A rumor persists in the crowd that a guy had driven in from New York hoping to find a ticket; a clear case of misplaced optimism. However, when someone actually arrives with a ticket to be sold, the nameless New Yorker can not be found.
"There's a feeling of brotherhood among the people waiting," says a female voice from under a parka hood. "We're all dedicated to The Dead." 
There did seem to be a sense of togetherness in the crowd that jammed the McGaw gates Thursday afternoon. Newcomers were absorbed into the crowd's midst and were offered either a drink of wine, a few potato chips, or a Hostess Twinkie. 
Seeing the crowd, a puzzled athletic coach wandered into the midst to find out what was going on. From a hundred mouths came the answer: The Dead.

(Picture captions: "Students endured cold and rain yesterday as many waited in line for six hours to hear the Grateful Dead. See story on page three about these hardy "Dead Freaks."
"As the crowd gathered outside in the bleak weather, preparations were underway in McGaw Hall for what will probably be recorded as the most ya-ya relieving experience of Homecoming 1973.") 


(by Pat Broughton)

Thursday night's long-awaited Homecoming concert with the Grateful Dead in McGaw Hall was an enjoyable and successful [event], and a tame one, said Fred Koplin, chairman of the Activities and Organizations Board, concert co-sponsor. 
An estimated 9,500 people listened to a four-hour Dead concert which took five months and over $35,000 to organize. 
Koplin reported there were "no hassles at all with security" and Public Safety Director Wayne O. Littrell said he was "impressed with our student body and the way they handled themselves." 
Littrell said he enjoyed the concert and thought it was a "good show in general." 
Chances for future concerts are "real good," Koplin said. "I expect to have at least one more McGaw concert this year." 
The Metro-Help drug rescue team which manned the first aid station reported a very quiet night. They treated five faints and two persons on barbiturates and "directed hundreds of people to the bathrooms." 
Andy Frances of Amazingrace, the other concert co-sponsor, said the concert was "tremendous" and that he thought the Grateful Dead enjoyed it. 
"It was too bad the group didn't do an encore," Frances added. 
One of the Dead production crew said that the Dead did not do an encore because guitarist Bobby Weir was not feeling well. 
An estimated 50 to 100 people bought student tickets for $2 and $3 from local youngsters at the concert.
Apparently the Jam crew member who was taking tickets at the student door on the west side of McGaw discarded the whole, untorn tickets under the west side bleachers. 
The youngsters picked up the tickets and resold them outside.


(by Steven Reddicliffe

For Northwestern University students who like the Grateful Dead, the Homecoming concert was all it could have been - a meticulously mellow evening of the Dead at perfection. 
For those who were not predisposed to the Dead, however, the concert was, musically speaking, nothing less than a four-hour bore. 
All the Dead songs anyone would want to hear - "One More Saturday Night," "Uncle John's Band," "Truckin'," "I Know You Rider," "China Cat Sunflower" - were performed flawlessly and Jerry Garcia's lead guitar work often stood out as absolutely brilliant. 
But the Grateful Dead are not showmen and the people who showed up at McGaw to be entertained were sorely disappointed. The Dead said nothing to the audience and fostered the impression that they couldn't care less if there was an attentive audience beyond the brilliant lights. 
Their acute lack of stage presence and apparent disdain for the audience may have bothered few, but their attitude came across as arrogance and tended to reduce the concert to a lifeless and perfunctory performance of tunes that became somewhat indistinguishable as the evening progressed. 
The Dead did their songs as well as they ever have, but it all seemed as if they were merely going through the motions. Their uninspired, insipid version of Kris Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee" typified their seeming bored with doing the show (one of the Dead crewmembers admitted that the band was "kind of down" on Thursday night). 
But despite the band's antipathy towards the audience, their music was as good (or bad, depending on your perspective) as it has always been. After isolating themselves from the sold-out crowd, they played their music just like a recording. For Dead fans, that ability was greatly appreciated. For others, it meant they should have saved $4.50 and heard a few albums in the library listening rooms. 
"One More Saturday Night" rocked just like it did on "Europe '72." So did "I Know You Rider." And so on. 

Individually, the Dead ranged from sterling to abominable. 
Garcia's guitar soared on "China Cat Sunflower," even with the undisguised borrowing of a major chord progression from Stephen Stills' "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes," but thudded on the vapid "Sugaree." 
Both Garcia and the bassist Phil Lesh handled vocals, most of which were flat and surprisingly audible in the acoustical nightmare of McGaw. 
Keith Godchauz' piano was an excellent complement to the guitar work of Garcia and Bob Weir, especially on the fast rockers, though wife Donna's shrieking vocals could easily have been done without. Bill Kreutzmann's drumming was simply adequate. 

In spite of the musical variances of Thursday night's concert, the whole scene seemed an apt example of the rock concert as a major cultural event. 
Every faction of the contemporary youth culture was represented - the sorry, starry-eyed groupies; the wealthy pubescent boppers from the North Shore suburbs; the Northwestern students who so dutifully and typically smoked their dope and ingested a variety of pills to enjoy the concert (an occurrence which begs comparison with the High School jocks who got drunk to have a great time at the sock hop); and an amalgam of uncategorizable though common concert-goers. 
When viewed in the context of a cultural phenomenon, the showmanship and music are but one component of the total atmosphere of the concert - a certain kind of euphoria that Northwestern students were at least fortunate to experience.


$40 cash reward for information leading to repossession of Bell & Howell cassette tape player, black attache case, personal notes and letters which was stolen at the Grateful Dead concert Nov. 1. Leave message at 328-8929 (Joan).


For article images, see:
For more photos see: (a selection was also released on the Wake of the Flood 50th-anniversary edition


  1. Quite the saga here... Sometimes college newspapers would run a lot of advance articles about the preparation of a Dead show, but this is probably the most in-depth series I've seen, with literally day-to-day updates on how this show was put together. You get a sense of how many obstacles the student groups had to overcome just to get the date booked, let alone the Dead actually in the arena. For some background, I added some pieces from previous years showing the problems encountered with previous concert bookings on campus (which mostly failed).

    Despite all the detail, these articles mostly show just one side of the preparations, the student organizers. The NU administrators have their say but are mainly seen as old fuddy-duddies unjustly blocking rock groups from McGaw. And the students immediately stage protests when it appears the Dead concert might not be approved!
    One Archive witness remembers correctly: "The University administration got pretty uptight about having this show. It was for homecoming, and they probably thought it wasn't what the starched shirt alums would like. My recollection is that it took some sort of student demonstration to avoid a late cancellation."
    A later Daily article also recalled, "The University was apprehensive; it wasn’t until a group of students protested at the Rebecca Crown Center that the administration was swayed."

    Jam Productions still exists, run by Jerry Mickelson, who co-founded the company and started promoting shows in the Chicago area in 1972.
    Not much is said of the negotiations on their end, but Jam handled the financial arrangements & expenses and half of the ticket sales for the concert (and, it seems, got most of the profit).

    And we don't see much from the Dead's perspective. They had to approve McGaw (checking blueprints first, and sending an advance scout); they refused NU's first offer of $15,000 but agreed for $25,000; and said they wouldn't play for less than 9,000 people. Andy Frances later remembered, "the band’s location scout — known only as “The Kid” — came to look at the space and wasn’t particularly impressed." It's said the Dead had another concert booked on November 3 - I don't know if they actually did (if so, it was canceled).

    When the day came, the Dead weren't in great spirits - the crew told reporters that "Weir was not feeling well" and the band was "kind of down." They skipped an encore, perhaps to make sure they finished before midnight.

    In the end, the administration's security fears proved groundless - the crowd was tame & peaceful and it was "a quiet night" with no hassles, instead of the "destruction & rowdiness" of earlier McGaw concerts. (It's funny when, early on, one of the admins says he's relieved the students picked the Dead rather than unholy terrors like Humble Pie or Uriah Heep...)

    Another Archive witness recalls:
    "McGaw was literally built like an airplane hangar, had terrible acoustics...the Dead's sound system was the only one that could come close to handling it. From where I was sitting, about halfway back, even they didn't sound all that great... I remember the Dead took a break of close to an hour, and total playing time was under 3 hours... Deadheads at the show took this as evidence that the band was unhappy about something - possibly the acoustics, or some dispute with NU management."

  2. A music critic at the paper, Steven Reddicliffe, reviewed the Dead in a couple of articles here; not a big fan, he has some interesting comments about their inconsistent albums & apathetic stage presence. Still, I feel maybe he wasn't the best choice to write about them, since he didn't seem to like them all that much before or after the show, and found them to be a disappointing bore. (Nonetheless, he's gone on to a successful career in journalism!)

    A word about the student organizations: the official university sponsor of the show was the Activities & Organizations Board, which seems to have taken the initiative in approaching the Dead, scheduling the concert, and working with the administration.
    But they were joined by an outfit called Amazingrace, a campus commune that had spontaneously opened a coffeehouse and started putting on concerts a couple years earlier. As the Daily put it, "The Amazingrace family, a collective of 12 people, began in early 1971 as a 'protest against a paucity in NU social life and a plasticity in NU edibles'... They brought inexpensive entertainment and homemade food to Northwestern students." The coffeehouse concerts became a Northwestern fixture, and Amazingrace started presenting shows at the bigger university venues as well.
    They weren't officially affiliated with the university (they mostly weren't even students) and weren't paid anything for this show, so it's somewhat amazing to see the effort they put in here to set up the concert. A true DIY collective!

    From a recent Daily article: "To try to better the acoustics, the ‘Gracers bought reams of parachute fabric, which they hung from the rafters using a rented cherry picker. They remember having to dunk the fabric in flame retardant after being reprimanded by the Evanston fire marshal. Pressed for time, the parachutes couldn’t be left to dry and they scrambled to re-hang them while they were still sopping wet... In retrospect, the parachutes didn’t do much for the acoustics after all... The preparation and setup “nearly killed” them."

    But their luck ran out after the show. The Daily reported: "On November 9, 1973, the family was given six days to cease their food service. Three days later, the city of Evanston notified the Amazingrace family that the 11 persons living in their Evanston residence were in violation of the single family zoning code... The city charged the coffeehouse was a business use in a university-zoned district and therefore a violation of the city zoning ordinance."
    For the time being, Amazingrace came under the direction of the Norris Center and the coffeehouse was closed; but some members would later open another club off-campus.
    Some histories of the group:

  3. One of my favorite moments is when Amazingrace held "a seminar on the music business," discussing the actual contracts for the upcoming show and how it was arranged (and why the Dead's crew insisted on steak).

    Due to the administration's delays, the show wasn't finalized until the Dead's tour actually started, two weeks before showtime. Jam Productions had already signed its contract with the Dead, but the administrators dragged their feet on the details until the last minute on Oct 19. The Dead's newsletter sent out before the tour marked this show as (tentative), and they might have come within a whisker of canceling. As a result there was some concern whether all the tickets would sell within two weeks, and the promoters worried about ticketless hordes showing up at the door.

    That turned out not to be a problem; in the end it was even slightly oversold. Previously the university had been upset that so few students went to campus concerts - only 1400 students, for instance, wanted to see Rod Stewart. In contrast, all 4000 student tickets for the Dead sold quickly - a large percentage of the campus went to this show.

  4. This is an incredible collection and curation of materials. Thank you, LIA! Glad Deadsources is back! I intend to always link back from JB - let us know if we miss anything.