Happy Birthday to the late Keith Godchaux who was born on 7/19/48 and would have been 68 today. At a Grateful Dead show in San Francisco in 1971, Godchaux and his wife, Donna Godchaux, introduced themselves to Jerry Garcia, as the Dead were on the lookout for a new keyboardist, as Ron “Pigpen” McKernan,was struggling with his health. Soon after Godchaux was touring with the Dead and served the board chair during what most consider their golden era. Godchaux brought a unique acoustic piano based sound that served as a harmonic counterpoint in many of the improvisational adventures the band took during his tenure from 1971-1979, a majority of which was spent with Donna on vocals. Suffering from his own substance troubles Godchaux decided to leave the band in 1979 and he died a year later in a car accident, at the age of 32.
Check out this crazy good “Help on the Way/Slipknot/Franklin’s Tower/The Music Never Stopped” from 6/9/76 with Godchaux on keys.