August 04, 1976
New Minglewood Blues
Looks Like Rain
They Love Each Other
Music Never Stopped
Help on the Way
Dancin' in the Streets
Samson and Delilah
It Must Have Been the Roses
Not Fade Away
The Other One
Ship of Fools
Johnny B. Goode
Attendees of this show
This was my first show. A friend's mother drove us there and back because of the death at the Yes concert. It was originally scheduled for July 2nd. I was 15 years old.
Here is the ticket stubb:
The monkeys name was mr. Jiggs, being from Kearny new Jersey we had the pleasure every year to see mr Jiggs little show at the high School, fourth of July Show. I was at the dead show at the stadium being five to seven minutes from the stadium we were at alot of shows this one was special. As I recall they let us in about five hours early being general addmission every one was scattered all over the infield drinking sacks of wine and doing mesque. All of a sudden a hellicopter appeared and dropped bags of frizbees and tennis balls people were tossing them around the rest of the afternoon I stuffed a couple of tennis balls in my geans. as I recall it was John Shear Presents a local promoter in the area his Idea was to have shows between bands changing, the first was a juggler believe it or not he went on and off without a hitch the second was Mr.Jiggs a large chimp who rode a unicycle my friends egged me on being that we were in the third row and i had a good arm, so I threw the ball at the monkey and beened him in the head he fell off the bike and went absolutely nuts running to the end of the stage and screaming all the time staring right at me I thought he was gonna do a mighty Joe young the trainer talked him down and then we all got yelled at by shear, twenty years later I was driving a truck in paramis and I had the funny feling someone or something was staring at me I looked to my right and there he was all stapped in and staring up at me he looked pissed on the side of the RV it said Mr. Jiggs I rolled down the window and said yea it was me buddy it was me.
I went to my first Jerry Garcia concert on 10/24/75. The Dead weren’t touring then and when I bought tickets to hear Jerry again on 4/1/76, rumors were circulating that perhaps this was to be a Grateful Dead show. It turned out that Keith and Donna played on that date, but the rest of the band was hanging at home.
But in June, the Dead began to tour and I bought tickets for the July 2nd show at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, NJ. I’d been to the stadium before. It was an old, broken down piece of concrete that held maybe 30,000 or so people. Being as the show was scheduled for just two days before the big Bi-Centennial celebration, I figured this would be one for the ages. It would also be my first Grateful Dead show.
But as luck would have it, it rained on Friday, July 2nd – and instead of taking place the following night, as the ticket promised – the show was postponed until August 4th.
All good things come to those who wait though.
On August 4th, with the sun just starting to set behind the stage, the Dead came out and launched into Sugaree. There’s a great video of this song that circulates and I can tell you that everyone was as happy to be at this long-awaited show, as the few folks on screen appear to be. I remember literally laughing out loud when the show started – I was so excited to be there.
Big River (which has never been a favorite of mine) was especially good, as was The Music Never Stopped. And I was really pumped to hear the band end the first set with Scarlet Begonias.
At the Intermission, I hung out in the field area with a couple of heads I’d met, going over the first set. We had agreed that it had been much better than we’d expected when we were interrupted by a lot of noise coming from the stage. A magician/juggling act was up there, blowing folks away. Fireworks were to follow too, as this had originally been planned as the Bi-Centennial show.
The second set opened with Help On The Way > Slipknot! > Franklin's Tower > Dancing In The Street > The Wheel > Samson And Delilah. I was right down front for all of it and recall being completely overwhelmed at hearing The Wheel. It was the one song I’d wanted to hear the most when I arrived that night. The singing was particularly good and I had to admit that Donna more than held her own.
I went back to where my group of friends was sitting in the stands for the rest of the show. The guy sitting next to me (an old childhood friend) tossed a couple joints to people in front of us as the band started playing Sugar Magnolia. That was his favorite tune and they wailed on it for over eleven minutes! We got a Johnny B. Goode encore and the show was over.
What struck me the most about the whole night was that I’d tapped into a community of strangers who were as passionate about something as I’d ever seen. Yeah, the Dead were a great rock ‘n roll band, but there was something else going on and I wanted to find out what it was. I was on the bus and it was heading out of town, with me on board.
"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest!" - Bullwinkle Moose
This show was supposed to happen earlier. around the bicentennial. About a month earlier Yes was 2 hours late taking the stage and someone did die. The dead show was canceled. The dead got some suits to sue and the show was back on. So of course the vibe was affected, the show is on, the show is off, the show is on. It was an electric evening for me. I thought Jerry was doing ship of fools just for me. Totally hooked form that point. This was the last concert of any kind at this venue.
So the dimbulb that threw the ball at Mr. Jiggs finally comes clean! I was wondering who that was. Show some respect, for godsake; Mr. Jiggs is the only simian to have shared a stage with Jerry and the boys.
Thanks for the memories Audrey, I had pretty much forgotten about the half time show. We were pretty far from the stage and didn't really get all the details, better off I guess. The thing I remember most were the clouds of dust, I don't think there was much of anything growing in the infield by this time. Found out a few days later that a good friend of mine was working backstage that night and could have gotten me in. Oh well. Again, in hindsight, I was probly better off right where I was.