The close-up photos lie; we were never that close. This is how we saw the Grateful Dead: those tiny, loud fuckers over there.
9/28/75 at Lindley Meadows, of course. (There might be no other show so discrete: it’s the most readily-identifiable show they ever played. Plus, there were a fuckton of shots taken. There’s, like, one picture of the One From The Vault show. There’s none from the time(s) they wedged the Wall of Sound into a jai-alai fronton. Just a handful from Woodstock. But the free gig under an assumed name in the park on a chilly Northern California day? Millions of pics.
“What it’s called–”
Oh hey, Precarious.
“–is omniaxial asymmetry.”
“Yeah. There’s no direction you can fold ’em in half cleanly.”
“Easier that way.”
9/28/75 is one of those shows I can always listen to always. Most Dead shows, I can always listen to, but sometimes I don’t want to hear this show or that right now. I can always listen to Lindley Meadows always. It’s good morning music, driving music, humping music; 9/28/75 is an excellent choice for corpse disposal or babysitting. (Corpse disposal and babysitting are more related activities than the media will tell you.) 9/28/75 slices, dices, chops, hops, skips, jumps, and knows where you left your keys. 9/28/75 has a corkscrew, scissors, bottle-opener, and even the little toothpick in the slot. Many Dead shows have lost the little toothpick in the slot, but not Lindley Meadows.
Is it the baby that’s born during the first half of the set?
Is it the first Help>Slip>Frank that’s not really a Help>Slip>Frank?
Is it Bobby calling his pooch on Truckin’?
Is it The Eleven jam that’s only kinda a The Eleven jam?
Is it the fact that it’s September, yet all of the Grateful Deads are dressed like it’s July in Antarctica?
(Remember: Southern Hemisphere; shit’s reversed down there.)
It’s something. 9/28/75 isn’t my favorite show; it’s the one I can always listen to. It’s the Fig Newtons of Dead shows: I might not ask for it by name, but if you put one in front of me, I will eat it every single time.
Who’s that lady?
“Some lady, man.”
The professionalism of your security staff is nonpareil.
“Oh, I’m sure they patted her down thoroughly.”
True. This Lindley Meadows?
“I told you I didn’t know her name, man.”
Lindley Meadows. The park.
“Yeah, huh, good question.”
Lemme ask you something.
Is the entire band tripping balls?
“Well, Donna isn’t.”
Is the entire band on acid?
“Seems that way.”
Is someone having a baby as you’re soloing?
It’s Lindley Meadows.
“Learn something new every day.”
We now know what Billy did during the Hiatus: eat away the sadness.
Respected and revered commentator Corry342 (proprietor of Lost Live Dead* and Hooterollin’, two of the greatest Dead sites on the Innertubes) points us to the San Francisco Chronicle’s slideshow of 9/28/75, and you need to check it out.
The show was a double, the Dead and Jefferson Airplane, but no recording of the Airplane exists and only a few pictures. Nowadays, of course, there would be reams of shots, too many to wade through, but it was a different time.
Saigon had fallen less than six months earlier.
According to legend, the band was all hepped up on lysergic goofballs, but does this look like the face of a guy tripping his balls off?
*Go check out Lost Live Dead and read the brand-spanking new goodness about the ’76 Day on the Green with The Who. Seriously: go. His stuff’s better than mine.
Most of the shots from the Lindley Meadows free show are more than familiar, but here’s one taken–seemingly–by a fan. (I am just assuming that a picture containing the professional photographers was not taken by said professional photographers.)
In the interest of fairness, we now present Garcia with all the sexy in the world in a pic from Lindley Meadows I don’t know if I’ve seen before.
Another cool shot from the legendary (and criminally unreleased) Lindley Meadows show in ’75. Garcia is yelling at someone getting too close to his hoagie; Bobby is looking at Goose, who is a giant duck, good friend of Bobby, and imaginary; Billy is taking a piss.
Who’s Johnny Casual on the left there?
Also: just a little more humidity and we would be in the land of the Full Muppet.