Celebrate the 45th Anniversary of the Grateful Dead at Duke

On April 12, the Duke community will celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Grateful Dead concert at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Widely regarded as a top show that year, the band delivered smoking renditions of “Jack Straw,” “Bertha,” “Good Lovin’,” and “Eyes of the World,” as you can hear for yourself in the video above.

To commemorate this historic show, join us for a special panel discussion, selections from the remastered video recording, live music, and refreshments on Wednesday, April 12, at 6:00 p.m. in the Ruby Lounge of the Rubenstein Arts Center.

The event is free and open to the public, but please register to help us estimate attendance.

A panel of Dead experts will share their interpretations of the show, including Professor Eric Mlyn; show volunteer and former Duke University Union coordinator Peter Coyle; and John Brackett, author of the forthcoming book Live Dead: The Grateful Dead, Live Recordings and the Ideology of Liveness, coming out next fall from Duke University Press. The book will be the first in a new Duke University Press series, Studies in the Grateful Dead, in the fall of 2023.

Bridget Booher, Director of Duke WIN, will moderate the panel. Footage featuring selected songs from the concert will be screened. After the program, local Dead cover band The Loose Lucies will perform for an hour. Refreshments will be served.

Professor Mlyn teaches a first-year seminar about the Grateful Dead. His students researched the band’s performances at Duke from 1971 to 1982 and curated an exhibit in Perkins Library. According to Mlyn, “4/12/78 was a raucous and animated performance and has been widely recognized by Deadheads as one of the best shows that year. The band was preparing for a trip to Egypt and it was the last full year of shows for keyboardist Keith Godchaux and his wife Donna whose unforgettable vocals punctuated shows during that era.”

See the Rubenstein Arts Center website for information about parking.

Co-sponsored by the Duke University Libraries, Duke Arts, and Duke University Press.

3 thoughts on “Celebrate the 45th Anniversary of the Grateful Dead at Duke”

  1. This was my 1st Grateful Dead show. Was 15 years old. “What the heck is this” when they had the 45 minute drum solo. Now I know….

  2. I remember when I first saw this on Duke Cable in 1980. I was still a senior in High School in 1978. I saw them at The Spectrum in Philadelphia in May, 1978. It’s funny Duke is doing this because after the 78 show they said they would never let the Dead play at the University again. The archives at Perkins has all these complaints about the non-students and motorcycle gangs that showed up. Four years later the head of Major Attractions convinced the University to allow them to play in 1982. I had about 20 friends from all over the East Coast staying at my house off-campus that came for the shoe.

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