Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Mecca: Berkeley's Greek Theater


Open Letter to David Lemieux ( vault@dead.net.). Please correct a terrible omission and officially release a Grateful Dead show from Berkeley. I know, I know, Jerry shows from Berkeley are all over the place, but guys, out of the 57 Grateful Shows in Berkeley (of which I went to at least 15), please do the right thing. 




My brother esau  Ralph with later Dead doctor Jordan
When I first moved to Berkeley on January 2, 1981 (after getting to town in time to see the 5-night run next to Lake Merritt in Oakland, I expect to immediately get a repeat of the Dead in the 1970;s, but WTF, no shows until September 11! But the announcement came that the shows were going to be at the beautiful outdoor Greek Theater at UC Berkeley, only a fifteen walk up the hill from my job at Rasputin Records. Wow.  I did not realize at the time that the band had played there on 10-1-67 ("Potpourri" according to Deadbase IX, page 10, "A Benefit for The Economic Opportunity Program" of which I have not seen even the set list and 10-20-68, where is a nice recording at archive.org. At least we get to hear Pigpen once at the Greek.

I love the 1981 shows, and the audience tapes are excellent on 9-11 and 9-12, but I have yet to see SBD's so I discount releasing 9-11-81, Mickey's real birthday Bobby, 20 years prior to that horrific day in NYC.  
And there were so many great day/nights at the Greek, with Friday starting at 7pm, Saturday at 5, and Sunday at 3, it was kind of like moving time zones to see the shows.

So many great nights, the nights in 1985 when Jerry played Morning Dew, China Doll and Comes A Time in the same set (6-14-85, where I was shut out of tickets and listened to it with hundreds of people in the hills right above) and the breakout of Cryptical  2 nights later.  There was of course the Dark Star encore in 1984. And this is not even mentioning the shows at the High School where Phil had gone in the 1960s.  Yes folks, the Berkeley Community Theater is the high school auditorium.  The run prior to the Field Trip in 1972 is perhaps the mose seminal of the Dead during that era.  The 8-24 and sadly incomplete 8-25 shows (go for the Charlie Miller versions) are always exactly perfect.

I was lucky to enjoy a few shows there in 1984 and 1986, the One More Halloween Night encore on 10-31-84 (thanks to Rick Sullivan for the tickets) and the Maybe You Know Brent meltdown on 4-21-86.

The wealth of opportunity for our friend David at the Vault (who I love and support, check out Scarlet/Fire in Atlanta) is right here in the 150 hours in his grasp.  , My choice for official release is May 21, 1982. While a great tape exists already, few people know that there is my short video before the show, which I am presenting right here now: 


video

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wpnff0snoqk3yxj/Outside%20Greek%205%2022%201982.mpg?dl=0 if you would like to come. You can see that dude I mentioned earlier here, or perhaps yourself.  I think Rob and Kirk at at the beginning. Rick and Cormac.


From a Spy novel
Gans Interviews Bobby
From Phil's Book




This is a beautiful show and I promised in the last edition I would give 1000 seconds today.  Of course, my favorite part of the show is the Playing>Uncle Johns>Drums>Space>Wheel>Playing sandwich, with the taste of the similar Lewiston show still on my taste buds. My Grateful Seconds for you now is the 17+ minute Uncle John's Band which does interesting and strange things as it leads into the drums. Enjoy! And please David, just any show from Berkeley,even 1986 just so we know you have filled all the seminal places that the guys have played. Thanks in advance.









1000 Seconds of Amazing UJB and Jam into Drums