Welcome to Grosvenor Square!

Welcome to Grosvenor Square!  In this blog, we will journey to many of the venues that the Grateful Dead played  until Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995.  The venues in which the Grateful Dead played became an integral part of the music and culture that developed around the band. The idea of the venue as part of the myth of the Grateful Dead really became apparent to me on May 1, 2009.   On this date, I attended the first night of a final two night run that the remaining Dead played at the Spectrum, an old concert venue in Philadelphia slated for demolition.  It was the most emotional concert experience that I had ever had; witnessing the end of an era, the Dead and the Deadheads bidding a tearful goodnight to an old friend and traveling companion.  As I relived the memories of that night over the past year, I began to think about all the other old venues that the Dead played and what their present state was in this world.  Are they still there?  Are they still a vibrant performance space?  Have they been demolished?  Converted?  Enshrined?   So, I thought that I would start this blog to find an answer to these questions.  I will not follow a strict timeline of tour dates, but rather will just post a picture of a random venue location about once a month or so.   I will also include a brief explanation of the site in relation to Grateful Dead touring history, the current state of the venue, and any other little tidbit of information that I think relevant.  And then I hope to hear from you–our comments, your memories, your impressions.  OK, so let’s get on the bus, shall we?

Let’s start with our beloved Spectrum in Philadelphia, PA.  Alas, the venue does not appear to be so beloved by the city fathers and their developers, as it will be demolished next Tuesday, November 23rd.   The Spectrum officially opened to host the first Quaker City Jazz Festival on September 30, 1967.   Throughout its history, the arena functioned a multi-purpose space, playing host to both legends of music and sports.  The Grateful Dead played a record 53 sold-out shows at the Spectrum, more than any other act.  Their first gig here was on December 6, 1968 as part of the second annual Quaker City Pop Festival, sharing the bill with the likes of Al Kooper and Iron Butterfly.   The Spectrum is the shining example of how the Grateful Dead transformed a concert/sports arena into a legendary performance space, giving the arena its own mythical quality and a place in the hearts of the band and Deadheads, as one would think of an old friend.   Here are two pictures of the Spectrum as it stands today, prepared for demolition, surrounded by a fence and police tape.  The first picture is of the main entrance and the second picture is of rear entrance.  As the banners states, Remember the Spectrum, Rule the Memories!

                                                                        

Advertisements

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jan Jost
    Jan 06, 2012 @ 22:17:30

    I WENT TO A FEW DEAD SHOWS AT THE SPECTRUM. (THE LOCALS CALLED IT THE “RECTUM”)
    JUST FOUND 2 OLD STUBS ONE FROM NOV 27. 1978 AND THE OTHER AUGUST 29, 1980. went TO ONE OTHER SHOW, BUT I DON’T REMEMBER THE DATE EXCEPT IT WAS IN THE WINTER. IT WAS COLD WHEN WE GOT THERE, THE SHOW WAS GOOD, KEITH AND DONNA, WHERE STILL WITH THE BAND, BUT WHEN WE GOT OUT, THERE WAS AT LEAST 12 INCHES OF SNOW ON THE GROUND AND SNOWING LIKE CRAZY. TOOK 4 HOURS TO GET HOME, SHOULD HAVE TAKEN 45 MINS TO AN HOUR.

    NEVER LIKED THE ACOUSTICS EVERYTHING ECHOED. THE ONLY GOOD SEATS WERE BEHIND THE STAGE. GREAT WAY TO SEE THEM ALL COMING UP ON TO THE STAGE, AND THAT NIGHT JERRY HAPPENED TO TRIP UP THE METAL STAIRS. HE JUST KEPT ON TRUCKIN, COULD NOT SEE MUCH OF THE SHOW, BUT IT SURE SOUNDED GOOD BACK THERE.

    Reply

    • grosvenorsquare
      Jan 07, 2012 @ 00:23:23

      Thanks for the post Jan! I saw my first and last show there on May 1, 2009, the Dead ‘ 09 tour. It was the next to last show they played there before it was torn down. The pictures above were taken about a week before demolition began, now it is gone. Save those ticket stubs!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: