Later this year, Dead & Co. will set off on a farewell tour, marking the end of this iteration of the eclectic rockers. The current line-up consists of Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann, plus John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge, and Jeff Chimenti.
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The formal farewell tour will kick off at the end of May, but before they say their final goodbyes, the group has plotted a special concert at Cornell University’s Barton Hall – the venue of one of the most famous Grateful Dead shows of all time.
The concert will take place on May 8, 46 years to the day that an earlier line-up of the group performed in 1977. Proceeds from the show will benefit the Recording Academy’s MusiCares organization, which provides a safety net of critical health and welfare services to the music industry, as well as Cornell’s 2030 Project, which is devoted to climate change solutions.
“Cornell 1977 holds a special place in Grateful Dead lore,” said drummer Mickey Hart (per the Cornell Chronicle). “That magical night lives forever and will always link Cornell and the Grateful Dead.”
“On that fateful night in 1977, my wife Caryl was a student at Cornell but missed that performance,” he continued. “Many twists and turns later, we wind up once again at Cornell to celebrate that 1977 performance with a benefit concert at Barton Hall. If anyone finds some of my old brain cells that I lost back in ’77 in Barton Hall, please advise.”
A ticket lottery for the event is now open and will close on Friday night (March 10). Find ticket information, HERE.
The original Barton Hall show is captured in a live album titled Cornell 5/8/77 (Live).
By the time of the ’77 show, The Dead were operating at peak levels of fame. The show itself was packed full of hits including “Jack Straw,” “Brown-Eyed Women” and “Scarlet Begonias.”
In a 2017 interview with Rolling Stone in May of 2017, Weir commented on the iconography around the show. “I think that show became notable because there was a particularly good audience tape made of it,” Weir told the publication (quote via liveforlivemusic.com). “And that got around. I think the quality of the recording was good and the guy’s location was excellent. And whoever it was that made that recording made every attempt to get it out there so that people could hear it.
“[Our label] was freaking about the phenomenon of tapers showing up at our shows,” he continued. “They were insisting that we put an end to this. And we just didn’t want to do that. We didn’t feel comfortable doing that, so we didn’t. [Laughs] And through simple benign neglect we get credit for inventing viral marketing.”
(Photo by C Flanigan/FilmMagic)