Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, vocals; "Pigpen" McKernan - vocals, organ, percussion; Bob Weir - guitar, vocals; Phil Lesh - bass, vocals; Bill Kreutzmann - drums; Guest: The Beach Boys
This is the third night of the Dead and New Riders of the Purple Sage's last run at the Fillmore East. This is another fine show and like the previous and following night, special guests are invited onstage. This night, The Beach Boys jam with the Dead and play a few songs on their own as well.
The second set begins in progress with the first minute or so of 'Sugar Magnolia" missing. Following this opener, the set continues with concise arrangements of several brand new songs that would soon become classics in the Dead's repertoire; "Deal" and "Bird Song," Hunter's tribute song to Janis Joplin, would both soon surface on Garcia's solo album, and "Playing In The Band" would become the high point of Ace, Bob Weir's first solo effort,the following year. It's after "Dire Wolf," however, that things get really unusual.
After an extended period of goofing around onstage, Pigpen leads the band, unusually, through the Coaster's hit "Searchin'." Just after, Garcia informs the audience that another California band is in the house and announces the truly unexpected - The Beach Boys! It is obvious there has been no rehearsal, and after some discussion, all the musicians onstage launch into a free-for-all rendition of "Riot In Cell Block #9," complete with police sirens.
At this point, the Dead turn the stage over to The Beach Boys for a couple numbers. Mike Love attempts to relate to the Dead's audience by revealing that the band once sang this song while getting stoned on a tour bus with Buffalo Springfield. They then proceed to perform a loose but enjoyable take on "Good Vibrations," followed by "I Get Around." At this point, they try to bring the Dead back onstage, but they aren't quite ready, so the band plays a new, Dead-styled rearrangement of "Help Me Rhonda." This gets Garcia's attention and he joins in to finish off the tune.
Other members of the Dead then return to the stage, and both groups collaborate on a humorous and relatively tight version of Merle Haggard's "Okie From Muskogee." This is actually quite nice and Garcia plays sweet guitar enriches almost every space between the lyrics. Following this, Bob Weir steps up to the microphone and leads everyone through a rocking "Johnny B. Goode" to end the second set.
The audience demands more Dead ,and the group returns to the stage with another Merle Haggard classic, "Sing Me Back Home." They plan to end the night with "Uncle John's Band" which they play really well, and this sparks the energy to jam, so just when everyone expects the last notes of "Uncle John's Band" to end the show, they kick it up a notch and sail off into a 20 minute jam on "Turn On Your Lovelight."
This is quite the unusual show overall and a memorable night in Grateful Dead and Beach Boys history.