Video: Grateful Dead on Saturday Night Live – 1980

In the early days of Saturday Night Live, the Grateful Dead were no strangers to the program. It didn’t hurt that two of the show’s main writers, Tom Davis and Al Franken, were big Deadheads. One of the group’s performances took place on April 5th, 1980 on an episode hosted by Paula Prentiss and Richard Benjamin as the Grateful Dead were promoting the soon-to-be-released Go To Heaven LP.

We’ve been searching for footage of this appearance, in which the Dead performed Alabama Getaway and Saint of Circumstance, forever. Turns out we should’ve just looked at

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[Hat Tip – Chris DiLeo]

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4 thoughts on “Video: Grateful Dead on Saturday Night Live – 1980

  1. thnkfstpal Reply

    This performance is ridic for SNL. The band is REALLY into it. INCREDIBLE.

    Best SNL performance ever?

  2. Jay Gerland Reply

    I had never seen the Saint of Circumstance before. Both are played con brio and it’s a rare event when the Dead pulled out a huge performance at a big event. I love the older episode with Belushi screaming “GRATEFUL DEAD! GRATEFUL DEAD!” off stage. Thanks for posting this!

  3. Brad Winters Reply

    I’ve been trying to find the video of the Joey Bishop skit from the April 5, 1980 episode.

    It’s about two couples getting together realizing they have nothing in common until the topic of Joey Bishop and Joey Bishop shows comes up.

    It’s a satire on deadheads and I recall very funny.

  4. Purple Dave Reply

    These two songs match the Duke ’78 U.S. Blues for intensity.

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