Thanks to Friend of TotD, Steveb, for alerting me to the existence of this picture, which I had never seen before, but will now be getting tattooed on my face.
In case you don’t read the comments, he posted a portion of a cool article about the gig (12/6/80 at the Mill Valley Recreational Center) pictured above and in the last post. Check it out:
There’s a sweet story behind this gig, which was on 12/6/80. To quote from an article by Steve McNamara in Marin County’s Pacific Sun newspaper, which I have actually saved all these years:
“The Dead live in Mill Valley
“In New York and San Francisco people sleep on sidewalks for days in order to buy – at nearly any price – tickets to a Grateful Dead Concert. So it was remarkable to spend a mellow Saturday afternoon at the Mill Valley Recreation Center listening to The Dead play, free, to an audience of no more than 70. The occasion was the annual Christmas party of the Marin-Sonoma chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Rodney Graves, who has a form of muscular dystrophy, is a good friend and Alto School fifth grade classmate of Justin Kreutzmann, son of Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann. The boys were talking about the party and how it would be nice to have some entertainment and one thing led to another. ‘We all live in the county,’ said Bill Kreutzmann, ‘and when I explained what was happening to the other guys it seemed like a nice thing to do.’
“Followers of The Grateful Dead – Deadheads – are the most loyal and fervent group in the world of music. They insist that The Dead are more than music, they are a way of life – an assertion that baffles fans of less complex musical groups. An element in this love affair is the low-key decency and intensely human presence of band members. Crazed pop stars they are not.”
In addition to the picture you used, the article includes several others, including one of Bill Graham taking Garcia for a ride in his motorcycle sidecar and one of Garcia, cigarette in mouth, signing an autograph outside on the deck.
As always, the recording of the show is available on archive.org. It was definitely a relaxed event.
EDIT: Go listen to this show: it’s spectacularly fun. Listen for Bobby forget to tell the band what the song was, then count off Cassidy anyway, only to have one of the drummers shout “What are we playing?!”