Band Grateful Dead
Venue Melodyland Theatre
Location Anaheim, CA
Date 3/9/68a - Saturday posters tickets, passes & laminates
Comments Not listed in DeadBase XI. Other artist(s): Jefferson Airplane. The advertisement in the LA Free Press newspaper says there were early and late shows on March 9th at 6:30 and 9:30 PM. Bryan Crawford: "I saw the Dead at the MELODYLAND theater across the street from Disneyland. It was a circular auditorium with a rotating circular stage, theatre-in-the-round that eventually flopped and like many theaters became a Calvary Christian Church. They were billed as "and Friends" and opened for the Jefferson Airplane, as in, "Jefferson Airplane and Friends". People got the name wrong & to my amusement, the Dead were being referred to as the "Dreadful Great." I thought it was hysterically funny & was always surprised that it didn't stick as a nickname." Bryan Crawford on the 3-9-68 early show: "It was Spring after the much hyped Summer-of-Love. I'd been to San Francisco and seen the Mime troupe in the park and the beautiful people in their 1890's garb. I'd hang out on the Sunset Strip. I didn't have a car. I found that I liked to hitchhike. I could always get a ride with a longhair. Longhair meant something. I wore cowboy boots or moccasins, striped t-shirts & love beads. Flower Power was going to end the war. It was 1968, before the assassinations. I went to the early show on Saturday as the guest of some ushers who were the parents of one of the guitarists in a band I was in. I was a young teen, my friend couldn't make it & I essentially was there alone all afternoon studying their amps & equipment until a hippie came over and politely asked if I was "with the Grateful Dead family?" it felt like my opportunity to run away with the circus. When the show eventually started, I left my seat and stepped onto the edge of the revolving stage and enjoyed the concert from a few feet in front of them -- mesmerized. I remember Jerry smiling at me smiling at him eye-to-eye. I got "in-to-it" (and them) and in my budding brain, I felt like sometimes he was playing to me; I was vacuuming-in the energy like a little black hole. I was impressed with every little detail; from the way their name was intricately stenciled on the speaker cabinets, to the little round buttons with hip slogans and anti-war sentiments written on the, and especially Pig Pen's menacing presence. He was the front man. Like a bonfire. It was all Pig Pen & Jerry Garcia to me. They were the kind of jamming band I wanted to be in. They had an album in the record stores and I rode my bicycle over to the shopping center to get it. I still have it. I think it was mono with a sticker that was pasted over the word stereo. I played it for everyone who'd hold still but the record didn't capture their live magic. I was the only Grateful Dead fan I knew. A few years later, Workingman's Dead & American Beauty got some airplay when the Underground FM radio scene emerged. I'd go see them whenever I knew they were playing nearby. They always affected me somewhere deeply interior. When Ron died, I thought it was the end of them. But they expanded to fill new vistas. A great band. Whenever I hear the first notes of Viola Lee Blues, or Good Mornin' Little Schoolgirl, or Morning Dew -- I'm there as eager as one of those baby geese you've seen in the classic psychology experiment -- "imprinted" onto another species; following the tortoise like it was its mamma."
Recordings None in circulation as of 2/02.
Download Sources
Contributors Bryan Crawford , David Sorochty , Brian Pollard
Caretaker David Sorochty email update