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Wed Jul 11, 2018, 12:58 PM

Eugene celebrates Grateful Dead's lasting local impact at recent Autzen performance

Last edited Wed Jul 11, 2018, 02:50 PM - Edit history (6)

I came this close ---><--- to seeing them there in June 1994. I could still kick myself for missing them. I figured they would sell out. Turns out there were tickets available the last minute. I could have walked right in.

Could have.

Eugene celebrates Grateful Dead’s lasting local impact at recent Autzen performance

Zach Price — July 9, 2018 at 6:00 am

In June of 1978, thousands of Dead Heads made their way to Eugene for The Grateful Dead’s first performance at Autzen Stadium. Many were in search of a spiritually transformative musical experience — others just came for a good time. ... Santana, Eddie Money, and The Outlaws joined The Grateful Dead for the first concert ever hosted at the Ducks’ home field. Music reporter Jock Hatfield wrote on the Emerald’s cover in ’78 that the concert was a “merger of California and Oregon culture, rain and weird.”

According to Hatfield, the event’s coordinators expected a crowd of 40,000; 45,000 showed. Not to mention the thousands standing outside the stadium listening from afar, looking for a “miracle” — a term Dead Heads use when in search of a free ticket. ... On June 30, 2018, The Grateful Dead found its way back to Autzen Stadium for the 40th anniversary of its first show at the venue. The performance also marked the first concert held at Autzen since U2’s performance in May of ‘97.

The Emerald’s cover in 1978 featured a concert review of The Grateful Dead’s Autzen Stadium performance. The show was the first to ever be hosted at the Ducks’ home field and attracted a crowd of 45,000. (Emerald Archives)

Following the ’93 performance, there was community outcry that the university was condoning the use of illegal drugs by hosting The Grateful Dead at Autzen. In response, the university banned the group from returning to the stadium, according to the Register-Guard and Willamette Week. ... But the ban didn’t last long. Dead Heads quickly organized a protest and the ban was lifted. The Grateful Dead returned to Autzen in ’94 for what would be its last performance at the stadium. Kit and the other promoters were able to arrange for the band to play three consecutive nights.

“There was nothing like it. No other band had that,” Kit said of those live performances. “Grateful Dead was truly a unique concert experience because it was much more than a concert. At that point, they had 25,000 people follow them out to door wherever they went. I always said you could’ve put Grateful Dead in Burns, Oregon, and you could’ve got 34,000 people, and you can’t say that about any other band.”

The Emerald’s cover in 1994 featured a concert review of The Grateful Dead’s final performance at Autzen Stadium. During the show, The Dead hinted at the idea of it being the band’s last performance at the stadium by performing a cover of The Rolling Stones’ “The Last Time.” (Emerald Archives)

Zach Price is the Editor in Chief of the Emerald. He likes to write about music and watch Trail Blazer games.

Reach Zach at [email protected]

The final stand at Autzen is the one I missed. I regret that one. I've been through Burns, so I get the reference.

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Reply Eugene celebrates Grateful Dead's lasting local impact at recent Autzen performance (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Jul 2018 OP
CabalPowered Jul 2018 #1

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2018, 03:41 PM

1. I was there in 94

Changed my life.

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