Life lessons on two wheels to the tunes of the
This Week in Grateful Dead History
The storyteller makes no choice, soon you will not hear his voice; his job is to shed light and not to master.
It is often said that all good things must come to an end. But what is equally true – and far more promising – is that every ending offers the potential for a beginning. In that spirit, this literary trip around the sun begins at the end: the end of a year, the end of a beloved venue, the end of an era.
This Week in Grateful Dead History: Week 4 - January 22, 1978
One man gathers what another man spills
The often mysterious role music plays in human consciousness is a subject of great interest to scientific researchers and everyday music lovers alike. Studies have repeatedly demonstrated a link between music and our emotions, suggesting that there is great therapeutic value in the way music can move us.
A quick review of the Grateful Dead’s 30-year performance schedule reveals a glaring “asterisk” next to the year 1975. Sandwiched in between 40 shows in ’74 and 41 in ’76 – and with an average of almost 77 concerts per year over their entire history – the mere four appearances the band made during their hiatus in ’75 represented a significant challenge for the Deadicated.
I became a Deadhead in 1973, during the Keith and Donna era, and was deeply saddened when they left the band in 1979. Keith Godchaux was a phenomenally talented pianist, and to this day I love listening to his mostly understated playing on so many wonderful ’70s recordings. My first show with “the new guy” on keyboards was 10/19/80 at San Francisco’s Warfield Theater, and I was immediately impressed with the skill Brent Mydland displayed on keyboards, but even more so with his vocal contributions. While I understand, but never shared, the widespread antipathy felt by many Deadheads toward Donna Jean Godchaux, Brent’s arrival served to transform the Grateful Dead from a band that was often barely tolerable vocally to one that could really sing.
All Material Copyright 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 by Stewart Sallo