Thoughts On The Dead

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

All Hail Kezar!

Hey, kids! want to start your week off in just the weirdest goddam way possible? Try 3/23/75 at Kezar Stadium, where Bill Graham put on a benefit for the underfunded schools of the Bay Area called S.N.A.C.K. (Students Need Athletics, Culture, and Kicks.) (Kicks? Wow, the 70’s were weird.)

Anyway, it’s not like any Dead set you’ve heard before: it’s just a 40 minute Blues for Allah jam, but with Merl and Ned on the back up keys and Keith on the heavenly Fender Rhodes.

Wondering how Bobby’s hair looked?

Play ALL the keyboards!

And you can come up with your own fellatio-related caption here, I suppose.

And, holy shit, just listen to Garcia lead the transition back into Blues from at 30 seconds in to the fourth track. That’s why he doesn’t get called by his first name


  1. Hey, I went to that show! If I remember correctly, since this was during the band’s hiatus, they were billed as “Jerry Garcia and Friends,” so there was some excitement when it turned out to be the Dead. Then they went into that 40-minute “Blues for Allah” jam, which not only was a little weird, especially for 10:00 am, but was something none of us had ever heard before. So what do you do for an encore? A Chuck Berry song, of course!

    Check out the rest of the lineup for that show: Santana, Doobie Brothers, Jefferson Starship, Tower of Power, Neil Young, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and others, and a guest appearance by the greatest baseball player ever, Willie Mays, not as a backup singer for Graham Central Station but to talk about the importance of extracurricular activities being supported by this concert.

    Were the ’70s weird? Oh, yeah. You can find the whole show on Wolfgang’s Vault.

    Speaking of Kezar, listen to the 5/26/73 show. That was an all-day marathon with Waylon Jennings, NRPS, and about 5 hours of Dead. That show drew maybe 20,000 people and a fine time was had by all.

    A couple of weeks later, 70,000 people showed up to see Led Zeppelin – in a stadium with no parking lots. This caused enough problems in the neighborhood (school playgrounds filled with cars, etc.) that Bill Graham was banished from putting on more shows there, with the notable exception of the aforementioned SNACK Sunday. That’s when he started using the Oakland Coliseum instead.

  2. i dont know why i start to read anything that starts with before 10am and bill did this…lmao….

  3. Yeah this set’s a ripper, always nice to see it get some love

    Ned is technically on “keyboards” but his contribution is mostly the stuff that you think, on first listen, is some kind of static or feedback or other equipment failure. Bzzzzzzwwwzwzwwwwrrrrszzwszzzzpzppzzpz

    In other words it sounds exactly like Ned Lagin.

  4. the caption to the bottom photo should be something like. “Hey Bill, Marlon & I are going over the Phillipines to make a movie about Vietnam. You always wanted to be an actor, wanna come?” or something funnier.

  5. I like Ned Lagin. I can’t vouch for him personally, but the feedback stuff is cool.

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