update 20210526: this seems not to have happened. David Kramer-Smythe reached out to David Morgenstern, who was with Comfort at this time. He remembered this gig for other reasons, but said Garcia definitely did not join, and that, in fact, Garcia never sat in with Comfort. So this is one of those cases of .... hmmm ... how does such a specific (if uncertain) memory form? What do we do with such a memory? In the absence of other advice. I will just keep this here for posterity.
May 15, 1978 Robert Hunter and Comfort
This was a three night run, the 14, 15, 16th at the Cellar Door in Washington DC.
(The 14th we saw the Dead play in Providence, RI. We were just finishing a post spring semester Vermont > Springfield > Providence run, so my memory of this event is extremely fuzzy, but it happened.)
Anyway – towards the end of the Hunter show, Steve Parrish..what was he doing there?... helped roll a doorway sort-of-thing out on stage. It was like a big stage prop with a man-size keyhole shape cut-out. What…A giant keyhole?
Then, I remember smoke machine and a siren howling like an ambulance. Lights flashed. The Cellar Door was a pretty small and dark venue as I recall, so this was kind of jarring.
And then the PA screamed “Emergency…Emergency…Emergency” and gradually slowed to say “Emergggge an Seeeeee,” “Emergggge and See,” “Emerge and See,” Emerge and See!!!”
And a fellow in a bozo mask walked through the keyhole. The fellow was Garcia.
This is where it gets fuzzy....I forget what he played, maybe Boys in the Ballroom [sic]? Promontory Rider? Goodnight Irene? It wasn’t a standard Dead tune.
Who’s got the tape?Who, indeed? Can anyone confirm or deny?