Please make yourself at home! Check some tags, do some reading, leave a comment.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Grateful Dead, 9/11/73, William and Mary

One of the early Deadbases, maybe the original, had a little review of the September '73 Dead shows at William & Mary ( College of Divinity, Philosophy, Languages, and other good Arts and Sciences, chartered in the Virginia Colony in 1693 by, you guessed it, William and Mary), special shows, maybe second night was a freebie? Anyway, these shows have always had an aura to them thanks to the magic of the book, the "mere" printed word.

But many was the night spent dreaming of hearing them. This being the Dead, and via multiple magics, we can enjoy a sweet sounding matrix tape, Latvala's cassette and Jimmy Warburton's audience tape, it with our late summer Saturday morning coffee, sounding fine.


  1. This was Bruce Hornsby's first Grateful Dead experience.
    "We were in the second row and it was a great gig. At the end of the night, Bob Weir comes up to the microphone and says, We had such a great time tonight, were gonna come back and play tomorrow night for free-take out all the chairs and make it a party! When your nineteen years old and some sonofabitch gets up there and says that, your'e sold. I thought, "Man, these guys are for me."[7]

    "I was a freshman at W & M for orientation week and decided to go and see who these guys were. FYI, the Doug Sahm Band was the warm-up and the sax player from Doug Sahm played on Weather Report. At the end of the show (about 2:00 am as I recall), Bobby came out and said that the band had had such a good time that they decided to come back tomorrow nite (unannounced up to that point) - take out all the floor seats - general admission $3.00 per person." (Less than the first night.)"[8]

    7.)^Hornsby, Bruce, Schenk, David, and Silberman, Steve, Skeleton Key, pg. 147.
    8.)^Unknown commenter, Light Into Ashes, 2012-01-20,

  2. I did some investigating into whether the second night was actually a "freebie"...
    As the quotes suggest, people's memories differ. Some say the second night was free; one says it was free for people with ticket stubs from the first night; others say it was a reduced ticket price for all (the Deadbase witness says it was $4).
    You can hear Bob & Phil announce it at the end of the audience tape (a little hard to make out - the recording isn't great).

    I don't think it was free. Nonetheless, it's a rare example (especially by '73) of the Dead adding an extra bonus show just because they liked the place.
    Another example that comes to mind is 10/12/70 at Paterson College in NJ - a lost show. Or there's the 11/23/68 free show for Ohio University.

  3. Not to be a downer, but the Dead added a second show because they made some money. The alternative was not playing and making no money. The reserved seats were removed because they could not have accommodated them on an overnight basis. I'm not excluding the idea that some people with stubs got in free, but the Dead got paid

    I should add that the gym would have had to have bee pre-reserved for this possibility. Universities do not make these decisions at midnight. I'm sure the Dead had fun, but this was not spontaneous. Sam Cutler had the show biz sense to make it look that way, but the second night at W&M was scheduled. The band may have had to prove there would be no trouble before the U would agree to removing the chairs.

    1. No downer from my perspective. It was a nice story, and its falsity doesn't change the fact that these show at Mr. Jefferson's alma mater are a delight.

  4. Didn't both Martin Fierro and Joe Ellis sit in at these William and Mary shows?

  5. I think I only heard Martin, but don't quote me on that.


!Thank you for joining the conversation!