Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

A Momentary Confusion

keith band orpheum 76

There was nothing the Grateful Dead couldn’t make more complicated.

Also: this picture confuses me. Those aren’t stage lights in the upper righthand corner: they’re film lights. Rock and roll lighting hangs from a truss; it certainly doesn’t go in front of the band with gels gaffer-taped over the bulbs.

And since we know that the Dead’s road crew would never do more work than required (and sometimes not even that), then we must infer that this show was captured on film.

It is here, Enthusiasts that I can either be honest or simply delete the whole post; for both our sakes, I choose honesty: this photo is from 7/12/76 at the Orpheum in San Francisco, which we do in fact know was filmed. You can watch the soundcheck, courtesy of the legendary and mysterious Voodoonola:

Now, here’s where I turn into a complete slapdick: I had a whole theory about how the photo was not from 7/12, but instead from a different night in the run, which means another night was recorded and that there was a pro-shot film from ’76 being kept from us. My thesis relied heavily on the fact that Mrs. Donna Jean is wearing a different blouse in the photo than in the soundcheck video.

And then I remembered that people change their clothes.

Sorry to have wasted your time.


  1. It’s possible there was film shot other nights at the Orpheum, but if so, there’s been no sign of it

  2. God you people are such nerds. It’s amazing

  3. Donna Jean would trash hotel rooms if her silk blouse had not been delivered dry cleaned and on time.

  4. I’m pretty sure this video is from a rehearsal at the Orpheum on May 28 1976. I have a post coming in May that will explain the whole timeline (the usual several thousand words, not going to try and summarize here)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.