Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Pet Peavey

band acoustic peavey amp

Anyone who played guitar in the ’80’s or ’90’s can tell instantly that this is a thrown-together gig. How?

Because if you have any choice in the matter whatsoever, you’re not using a Peavey amp.


  1. There’s a sweet story behind this gig, which was on 12/6/80. To quote from an article by Steve McNamara in Marin County’s Pacific Sun newspaper, which I have actually saved all these years:

    “The Dead live in Mill Valley

    “In New York and San Francisco people sleep on sidewalks for days in order to buy – at nearly any price – tickets to a Grateful Dead Concert. So it was remarkable to spend a mellow Saturday afternoon at the Mill Valley Recreation Center listening to The Dead play, free, to an audience of no more than 70. The occasion was the annual Christmas party of the Marin-Sonoma chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Rodney Graves, who has a form of muscular dystrophy, is a good friend and Alto School fifth grade classmate of Justin Kreutzmann, son of Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann. The boys were talking about the party and how it would be nice to have some entertainment and one thing led to another. ‘We all live in the county,’ said Bill Kreutzmann, ‘and when I explained what was happening to the other guys it seemed like a nice thing to do.’

    “Followers of The Grateful Dead – Deadheads – are the most loyal and fervent group in the world of music. They insist that The Dead are more than music, they are a way of life – an assertion that baffles fans of less complex musical groups. An element in this love affair is the low key decency and intensely human presence of band members. Crazed pop stars they are not.”

    In addition to the picture you used, the article includes several others, including one of Bill Graham taking Garcia for a ride in his motorcycle sidecar and one of Garcia, cigarette in mouth, signing an autograph outside on the deck.

    As always, the recording of the show is available on It was definitely a relaxed event.

  2. I could scan the newspaper article and send you the low-res image, but instead I found that shot on the photographer’s Web page:

    The little boy in the picture is Bill Graham’s 3-year-old son Alexander.

  3. I see that his Web page misidentifies the year of that gig – it was definitely 1980, not 1979.

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