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Special: Radio City in Grateful Dead Country


In October of 1980 the Grateful Dead took over Radio City Music Hall as part of a 25-show run celebrating 15 years of making music. Each performance started with one acoustic set that would revive favorites like To Lay Me Down and On the Road Again. I can’t speak to what the shows must have been like, and I can’t ‘oo’ and ‘awe’ too much over the novelty of the acoustic sets coming back to stage after years of absence. What I can say is that the shows, as heard through my headphones nearly 30 years later, are certainly treats for the soul. For me, it’s the contrast between the acoustic and the electric and the transition that happens in between. Many people describe Dead shows as taking a journey that ends in some other-worldly place and that’s exactly what I feel when I listen to these shows (especially with a little vino added to the trip).

You could listen to the shows for yourself at, but I can do you one better. Tonight at 9pm, the MSG network is highlighting all eight* 1980 performances at Radio City as part of their Music Fridays series. For more information, click here. If you have to miss this program, there’s still good ol’ and of course, the DVD set documenting the last two shows titled, Dead Ahead. Read more about the shows and the DVD by clicking here. You can thank me for your weekend soundtrack later ;)

Happy Friday

“To lay me down once more, to lay me down
With my head in sparkling clover
Let the world go by, all lost in dreaming
To lay me down one last time, to lay me down”

To Lay Me Down

*Several articles reference 8 shows in October 1980 at Radio City, while MSG Network advertises 15, and the poster implies possibly 10. Hopefully tonight’s special will clear up the confusion!

One Comment leave one →
  1. 06/18/2010 8:05 pm

    If MSG is advertising that there were 15 shows at Radio City, its because they can’t read Deadlists. There were 15 at the Warfield, and 8 at Radio City (and two forgotten shows in between in New Orleans).

    Of course, given the Knicks dismal performance the last 10 years, this level of accuracy from MSG isn’t surprising.

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