The Grateful Dead recently played their final show celebrating 50 years at their “Fare The Well” concert series. Long ago, they were not playing to 70,000 people at a football stadium. They were our hometown band.
Here is an interview with the band in 1967. Newsman Harry Reasoner was trying to explain the phenomenon of “hippies” and the band was used as an example. Check out Jerry Garcia without a beard:
As I said, we thought of the group as one of our hometown bands. And if you wanted them to play at an event, you just hired them. In 1966, The Grateful Dead were booked for a debutante party at a mansion in Hillsborough.
The Mattel sisters, Ayn and Lyn, entertained 100 guests and the story was covered in the society pages. The Dead were just for the young people. The elders were dancing to the music of someone named Al Trobe. Society Editor for the Examiner, Joan White, called it, “a wonderful mixture of old elegance and Carnaby Street,” referring to the mod-style of Britain in the 1960s.
White also explained a possible reason for the band being booked for the party. “One of the members of the Grateful Dead is Bob Weir, the brother of Peninsula Ball deb Wendy Weir, who made her bow earlier this year at a marvelous pop party at San Francisco Airport.” And she described the music of the Dead being, “so infectious that the adults were eventually lured to the outdoors dance platform where credible “frugs” were performed…”
In case you need a brush-up on the “frug” dance, here is an example: