Saturday, November 12, 2016

‘U.S. Blues?’

By now you must have heard something about the results of the American presidential election five days ago and, if you’ve been as unlucky as I, you have gaped in disbelief at countless lurid outbursts, dripping with idiocy, ignorance, and hypocrisy, on social media from people you’ve known—or thought you had—for years.

Simply by happenstance I also saw a few photos that have nothing to do with anything in current events, and that put me in a happier state: snapshots of the Grateful Dead in somewhat Masonic contexts.

In an undated photograph but, it was said, possibly March 3, 1968, here are Jerry, Phil, and Bobby (can’t see the drummer) on stage, or flatbed, outside the former Park Masonic Hall, next to the crazy Haight Theatre at Haight and Cole streets in San Francisco:

Opening with “Viola Lee Blues,” here they are November 10, 1967, in a four-night stint at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles:

Like so many (most?) Dead shows, this was recorded and, just this year, a three record set—vinyl!—was released by Rhino.

Courtesy Amazon

And I’ll wrap up this frivolity with a link to their January 21, 1979 show at the Detroit Masonic Temple with a “U.S. Blues” encore.

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