September 03, 1977
"Take a Step Back" before "Half Step" - the Dead left the stage for a few minutes after Samson - last "Truckin": 09-28-75  - FM broadcast WNEW-New York - also: Marshall Tucker; NRPS
Set List:Promised Land
They Love Each Other
Me and My Uncle
Looks Like Rain
New Minglewood Blues
Friend of the Devil
Music Never Stopped
Eyes of the World
Samson and Delilah
Not Fade Away
Attendees of this show
This was definitely number two on a long list. The only show that I enjoyed more, for a couple of different reasons was the Private Deadheads Only Capital Theater show also in Jersey. Only because you had to belong to the Deadheads, you had to be invited, 1800 seat theater in the nice cold Winter, instead of the 105 degree heat of the Englishtown show. Broadcasted live on WNEW NY, And, one last very cool thing, it was such a small audience, and we had orchestra seats, well, in one of their intermission Bong breaks, when they return I yelled about ten times for them to do Franklin's Tower, well, they stopped what song they were about to start, walked off for another couple of quick bong hits, returned and granted me my wish, by playing the best version of Franklin's Tower I ever heard them preform live. My special Dead story. It still gives me chills thinking about it. One other thing about this concert, while out in the vestibule waiting to get into the show, the place was crazy outside, and at the Capital Theater, they had glass doors with 1/2 spaces between the doors, well, the police were on the outside, not allowed into the theater, well we were smoking up and blowing the smoke through the space between the doors getting the cops high. Another one of those very special moments thanks to the Grateful Dead! The only bad note of the night, was that Jerry was sick, but still preformed. Class act all the way he was. God, I truely miss the man. Don't get me wrong, the Englishtown Show was very special, I'll never forget it.
Always wondered what the band thought about this set-up? Cargo container Hell? Altamont East? Easy-Glo Bake-o-Matic? It had the potential to go South, but it didn't. Largely due to no huge ego's, i.e. the Stones thank God weren't involved. There were Angels there, but I didn't see them do anything but party to the vibe. Did lose my Brother though, he showed up at home the next day in the back of a police car. He hitched and got picked up by cops who got him home with rides from other police dept's. Even the cops were cool then. They didn't know him or our family at all, just helping a 20 year old kid get home. Can you imagine cops setting you up for a ride across 4 NJ counties today? I didn't think so.
All we wanted then was freedom and we had more than we could have imagined. We got greedy and complained too much, thus giving away all the freedom we gained and a lot more. That is all lost now as all we have is emerging, evergrowing, ugly control at the hands of the "Me 1st!" and the "look what you made me do" bunch in Washington and Berkeley.
This concert (35 years back) truly exceeded my expectations. It was the concert of a lifetime...the music festival of my youth. I'm glad to be around to recall it. John Scher handled the out of control masses with dignity; I was glad to be a part of a "free concert" though we bought tickets. Echoing sentiments of Alzado's in his 2/5/2012 comment, it was accidentally excellent regardless! Could it happen today in the era of Bamboozle, Warped, and "Silent Raves"? No. It IS not the same, but I think the world is a bit better because of our collective experiences and positive values which transcend historical date and time. I don't belong to the currently bamboozled, but belong to a loving, grateful era which exists inside many of us still, and hopefully will live on in our progeny and loved ones once our ride on the turning wheel ends. RIP Gerry.
I was lucky enough to work at this show. A good friend worked for John Scherr who was the shows promoter, and a bunch of us went by bus from the Capital Theather in Passaic NJ to Raceway Park. We had cases of beer on the bus, and were partying the whole way down. We worked security, and my friend Louie and I
worked in the "flip out" tent helping 16 year old girls off bad acid trips. That got us bonus points so when it was time for the show, we were put ON STAGE. I was in front of Keith Gacheaux(SPELLING?) andJerry was about 25 feet to my left. My back was against the chain link fence that was in front of the front row. To this day, it is one of the most amazing 2 days of my life. I'm going to see the movie tommorrow night to wish Jerry a happy 70th birthday, since I just turned 60. Yeah I'm gettin old, but never too old to watch The Dead. Seeya all there!
Drove down from Connecticut the night before.......Parked in a field.....Got drunk......Passed out.......Walked to the show the next.......Great Show.......Went with Brian Will-Do, Chris Curren and Vinny Monaco..........Awesome Day......Killer show...........Maybe the best Dead show I ever saw.............Stutch
We left Staten Island Friday night and were going to "camp" in line to get good seats. Naturally, we stood in line, and they opened up the gates around 2 AM Saturday. We saw some folks carrying in a couch. By the time we settled in just to the left of the center tower (planning to get some sleep) the sun came up, the the crowd crowed like roosters. The acid about noon time kept us going throughout the day and night, and then some. Arrived home 7 AM Sunday morning to sleep for 15 hours after being up for 45. A couple of bongs Sunday night set things straight, and we reflected on the experience of all this humanity in one place for a truly historic event.
Long live the Grateful Dead!