While there’s an overabundance of Dead clips from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, there isn’t much floating around from the band’s early free wheeling, acid-drenched days as a psychedelic rock band. So today I thought we’d check out something from the Summer Of Love, when the band was still a bit rough around the edges, but capable of producing some monster jams. In June of 1967 the band was invited to perform at Monterey Pop Festival – the first ever multi-day rock music festival – along with the likes of The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding and a slew of their San Francisco contemporaries.
Luckily, when the band stepped to the stage on the festies closing night, filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker was on hand to capture this blistering nine minute-plus performance of Viola Lee Blues, so sit back and enjoy this rare footage…
As typical hippies of the day, the band didn’t sign off on allowing their performance to appear in the Pennebaker’s fantastic documentary about the fest that featured The Who destroying their equipment and Jimi Hendrix setting his guitar on fire.
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