Garcia said “We were great for seconds on end.” I was lucky to see Jerry play for about 1,000,000 seconds exactly. Thanks for your 1,000,000 views here . Dave Davis wrote this blog for 500 posts and 5 years from 2015 to 2019. Contact me at twitter @gratefulseconds

Friday, March 4, 2016


Billy P posted on my facebook that The Wheel at Sunset was Amazing.  As the day was ending, the band started up Playing In The Band into Uncle John's Band.  After Not Fade Away as the daylight faded away, At sunset was The Wheel and the band did the only return into Uncle John's Band and Playing In The Band that they ever did besides the three Playing>UJB>Dew>UJB>Playing shows.  After the Brokedown Palace encore, the very next song performed by The Dead was the acoustic Birdsong at the Warfield.

40th anniversary update Septemeber 6, 2020:  try the FLACS for the best experience

I;ve always loved the Jim Wise verson

The Kathy Sublette which was revealed recently by Charlie Miller and Scott Clugston and
 Thanks to Kathy Sublette for the Master Audience Cassettes
- Thanks to Ted Mattes for finding the master cassettes
- Thanks to Charlie Miller for the transfer and coordinating this effort

So 35 and one-half  40 years ago, The Grateful Dead invaded Lewiston. According to Billboard, 25,127 tickets were sold for $264,087 in ticket sales. This was my all-time favorite concert experience and as a show it is in my top-3 out of all my shows.  For your iPhone   The flac and all the files are here   If you want to hear a specific Lewiston song, click here

 The show almost didn't happen as the Lewiston, Maine City Council debated whether they would approve the "Soft Rock" act in front of a few thousands fans on a nice Fall Saturday afternoon. 

Dead to the Core's great view on the show

Jimmy's Mom was quoted in the local newspaper letting the Council know of the 100,000 fans in New Jersey in 1977 (and their house was only a stone's throw from the site), but luckily for we youngsters, sanity prevailed and we got our show.  Jimmy's sister Katie says
she actually was angry they were coming and was VERY vocal about it, yet due to our proximity to the Fairgrounds I'm not sure I could ever remember a time when Jimmy was more excited for anything... (well...except when my parent's let him name the dog Jagger....I digress...) And the best part was that this concert didn't involve hitch-hiking out of state lol...My sister's and I were crying we were laughing so hard lol!! 

Jimmy Roux and your Narrator, Berkeley, 1981

One new piece of news NEVER EVER REPORTED is that the promoters tried to have a Lewiston II in 1981, but alas no go. I heard the band was going to play  Dark Star>Unbroken Chain haha

At least 40 of my fellow students from Bowdoin College trekked over the 20 miles to the show as well as at least 15 of Michael and Juliet's friends from Brandeis, who spent the night of September 5 on the floor of my apartment at 6 Jordan Avenue in Brunswick. Luckily, Jay brought his camera and took a picture of Harriet dancing at the show.

My Dead Head Girl Friend, Harriet from 1978-1981 as Photographed by Jay Blakesberg at Lewiston. Harriet and I revealed her identity to Jay by email in 2015


My brother Ralph recalls
The party at 377 college street w the steal your face banner hanging from the garage ... I had just come back from Springfield and Providence shows I believe and had handed out xeroxed directions to our house while on tour... I told Mom that "a few friends" were gonna swing by for a small gathering before the show/ Our house being 1/4 mile from the fairgrounds and on one of 2 main access roads we were in fact inundated with dead heads... And then you David: show up from Bowdoin w the Delta Sig house and the fun just got started!

We had the My-Oh-My party at my house and then I go to met Phil.


Let's just say, Phil was not on the wagon in September, 1980 and it seemed more like we were driving a train instead of an auto:) Thanks again to Steve Longley for letting me go and meet Phil. And thanks to Chuck too.


Juliet says
Oh!! Best show of my life. But I can't let you put it in the blog
On the off chance my kids read it

I don't think there were 30,000 there but certainly more than 10,000.  As usual, the Grateful Dead played a very long first set since it was beautiful late Summer/early Fall day in Maine.  I can't even speak when I think of this show so I will go back to the amazing notes (see link below)

Sugaree plays on and on, Garcia speeding and swirling effortlessly. The band is locked in with him, everyone adding fuel to the fire. It's a healthy, long version, typical of the time period. Feel Like A Stranger is sublime. The jam is tossed into a heavy syncopation after Bobby missteps a "silky silky silky crazy night" line. It's impossible to tell who in the band slips with him, and who stays in the prescribed beat count of the song. But the result is an extremely extended jam that fires flares off in roller coaster streaming arcs for what feels like an eternity. The phrasing is filled with the standard Stranger themes, but it is peppered with so much more. When they somehow manage to pull together for the final refrain, it's like be shaken from an epic dream.

China>Rider had a wonderful tendency to catch fire in the early 80's. After just sort of reappearing in rotation at the start of 1979 (after a 4 year hiatus), the song duo had taken on a more upbeat tempo, and by 1980 it was a pure carnival of light and sound. The China>Rider here on 9/6/80 is flat out perfection. A wonderfully glowing solo section cascades into an I Know You Rider which finds Jerry's tone crisp and clean. He rounds corners and rolls over hills, spraying notes to the horizon. The last solo catches the light of the sun and soars like a bird. We slam into a Promised Land that punctuates the end of the first set with the same elevated energy that has permeated the entire show so far. It will blow your hair back and leave you breathless. And set two is still to come…

Read more:

Alabama>Greatest, Sugaree, Rooster, Feel Like A Stranger, and China>Rider>Promise, what more can you ask in a 13 song first-set. And set two is still to come....


Set Two: Shakedown Street > Lost Sailor > Saint of Circumstance, Althea, Playin' in the Band > Uncle John's Band > Drums > Space > Not Fade Away > The Wheel > Uncle John's Band > Playin' in the Band > Sugar Magnolia E: One More Saturday Night> Brokedown Palace
This set is extra special; all the great newer tunes, a Shakedown for the ages, Sailor, Saint, Althea and then the band flips into the Playing>Uncle John's sandwich.  Other than the three Playing>UJB>Dew>UJB>Playing sandwiches in California in 1973 and 1974, this is the ONLY GRATEFUL DEAD CONCERT with a complete Playing>Uncle John's Band that flows back into Uncle John's Band>Playing.

There were only 11 split Uncle John's Band and this was my most only one!

Listen and have a fun day.

I know at least two of this Lewiston students who attended this show, (row 1, three from right and last row, five from right and probably her cousin two from right as well)

Local Newspaper Articles

Lewiston Sun Journal Articles

Fun Links Referencing the Lewiston Dead Show


Unknown said...

I was 8 years old and lived a bike-trail's distance from the Fairgrounds in 1980. I remember my dad being upset that there would be a weekend of "drug music" that we'd have to endure. I decided to sit in my clubhouse and listen to the shows, and I was in awe of what I was hearing. I specifically remember an extended drum solo, and was struck by how great it was to listen to just drums for so long. (I was taking piano lessons at the time and I thought all music was melodic back then.) I rode my bike to the fairgrounds and was able to slip into the show and vividly remember these three people playing pass with their sneakers, after dipping them in a bucket of paint. I was fascinated and a little scared. I went back and made a killing collecting bottles and cans afterward. I credit this as my first concert ever. I'm not sure why I googled "Grateful Dead Lewiston Maine" this morning, but I'm glad I did. Because I was so young back then, I've always remembered that these shows took place in the summer--but to learn today that the 40th anniversary of these shows is in TWO DAYS is pretty cool. Man. I'm glad to have stumbled across this site.

Grateful Seconds said...

i lived on college near petingill you?