Thoughts On The Dead

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

Once You Pop

This is 6/18/67 at the Monterey Fairgrounds. I don’t know if I’ve listened to it; I will now, though. This show was the Monterey Pop Festival, legendary for its unlegendariness (at least as far as the Dead goes). The Boys were scheduled in between The Who (beginning a long inter-band relationship) and Jimi Hendrix (beginning his and Bobby’s best friendship); both acts put on high-volume shows punctuated by instrument destruction, arson, and explosives. In the face of such showmanship, the Dead countered by standing there and playing Viola Lee for 14 minutes.

They also refused to be filmed for the movie, which gives them a perfect record for avoiding being in iconic Rock Films: Monterey Pop, Woodstock, Gimme Shelter. Dead missed ’em all by thaaaat much.


  1. Sounds like pigpen grabbed the wrong harmonica in Cold Rain and Snow.. 🙂

  2. It might not be the full band, but Jerry & Phil certainly make a cameo appearance in Gimme Shelter.

  3. That legendary marketing savvy reminds me of the SNACK Sunday concert in 1975, which you’ve written about before. Getting the chance to play for tens of thousands of people at Kezar, many of whom had not seen the Dead before, what did they do to win new fans? The first public performance of “Blues for Allah,” of course. Even the Deadheads were saying, “WTF was that?”

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