Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tapir’s Section

Happy anniversary, tapirs! On this date in Grateful Dead history in 1984, the Dead set aside a special section at their Berkeley Community Theater show just for tapirs, starting a jam band tradition that lasts until this very day. Good job, Grateful Dead!



Tapers. With an e.

What now?

It was the Taper’s Section. For human beings recording the show. Not tapirs.¬†



Those pale nerds with all the gadgets who like shushing people?


Never mind.


  1. Hey, to quote yourself, there’s always a Dead Connection:

    Jerry met a Tapir (really)

    For the story of the venue where the Tapir hung out (the long-lost Bank in Torrance, CA), see here

  2. In my copy of DeadBase (c. 1988), there exist a few columns of Anagrams.

    “Tapers Section” yields, among others,
    Panties Sector


  3. said every Chad that ever got near the tapers section “HELL YEAH!” . except this one.

  4. Tapers (at least one maybe 2) showed up when Bela Fleck played a local bluegrass fest in the 80’s, maybe early 90’s

    This is Ohio, in the 80’s so it was a God fearing, baptist convention of a bluegrass festival.

    In case you are not aware, bluegrass in the heartland is way different than a west coast jam grass fest. It is a white white place, with lots of God and jesus and gospel.

    So although I was a dirty hippie, I was on my best behavior for the show, shoes on, no reefer, polite.

    Needless to say, the dirty hairy tapers busting out the mic stands and the sony pro’s or whatever they used sort of made us stand out. They sort of blew our chance of trying to blend in. I feel like the crowd took it out on Bela, because he had to apologize an awful lot for having gone astray.

    I felt like the crowd was like “Fuck you Bela, first you are from NYC or something, then you leave BlueGrass to play freak music, then you come back and bring the freaks with you. ” I am sure if we camped out we would have had a mob forcefully baptize us.

    • I know that in one of the Garcia/Dead biogs I read (maybe McNally’s?) there’s a bit about Garcia and Grisman and tapers at bluegrass festivals in the early 60s — it was part of the culture, it seemed to me.

  5. belted tapirs. what a planet.

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