December 30, 1980
Set List:New Minglewood Blues
Friend of the Devil
Brown Eyed Women
Beat it on Down the Line
Let it Grow
Samson and Delilah
Not Fade Away
Around and Around
Attendees of this show
We all had pickup trucks in those days, so when not roadie-ing musical equipment around, we very frequently moved people's homes, offices or whatever, for merely a smile or a toke. When a pal's older brother (an old 1st grade school chum of mine, co-incidentally) announced he was moving house between points in the Bay area, 450 miles to the north, we decided it wouldn't be that outlandish to mix a bit of exercise and a Dead show. I'd seen a great "Christmas run" show the year before (12/26/79 DP5), so was raring to go!
We arrived the night before, and started work at the crack of dawn. All day long it was non-stop boxes, big wooden desks, massive sofas out second story windows, refrigerators, lots of stairs, more boxes, a dozen shuttles, but finally we were tired but done. We all showered and headed to the arena.
We were real close to the stage on the floor. The band came out and a few songs in it became obvious that they were tired and a bit flat. THEY sounded like THEY'd moved furniture all day, too! We went through the motions, they went through the motions, and we were done with smiles (but no amazement). A tape may someday prove me wrong, but it was one the least memorable shows I've attended. We had a good laugh about it.
Pal Joe and wife headed straight home to LA after the show to rest up and catch Todd Rundgren the next night. We drove back the next day, three riding shotgun in the pickup cab, and one riding in the back with a refrigerator and a ghetto blaster pumping Dead tapes all the way home down Hwy 5 under a big blue sky.
this was my second show to buy tix's for, the first was to see the soon cancelled Europe 78 tour, I was stationed in Bamberg, Germany. So not until back home in San Jose, Ca. and meeting up with old friends. Gilbert Lopez's roommate Glen Street was a long time deady and hooked my brother and I with our tix. Our first time to see the Dead and what a life changing moment. When i got back from Germany I had trouble relating with so many of my old friends, they now seemed like strangers to me. Was it they who changed or was it me? Since I was the common denominator I figured that I had gone through so many changes. From crashing in castle commune's with German hippies enjoying black & white hash and fine brews, and micro dot's, to our unit patrolling the iron curtain. I had gotten a different view of life. So here I am in Oakland and happier than I had been in a long time, i had found my place in life back home. So this was my official welcome home a year and a half after returning to California. Do I remember every song, no. I do remember buying my first dead shirt, and the guy working the booth. How he asked me several times are you sure this is the shirt you want? And how he counted out my change, laying it out to be counted. i guess he had other space cadets who had challenged him on being short changed. I was finally back with my people, so I could sit back and patch my bones.
keep your character, enjoy living, share your fortune,
OXOX Merple Reddin