Grateful Dead

Fillmore West (San Francisco, CA)

Jun 6, 1969 - Set 1

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  1. 1 Smokestack Lightning 13:12
  2. 2 Green, Green Grass Of Home 04:25
  3. 3 Me and My Uncle 03:55
  4. 4 Checkin' Up On My Baby 05:26
  5. 5 Beat It On Down The Line 02:39
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"Pigpen" McKernan - vocals
Bob Weir - guitar, vocals
Phil Lesh - bass
Tom Constanten - keyboards
Bill Kreutzmann - drums
Mickey Hart - drums
Guest: Wayne Ceballos - vocals
Guest: Elvin Bishop - guitar, vocals

This is a very unusual Grateful Dead show. During the entire first set, Garcia is nowhere to be found. According to biographer/publicist Dennis McNally, there was a 1969 Dead show at the Fillmore West where Jerry Garcia was too dosed to play, and it's been speculated that this could be that show. Taking over on lead guitar is former Butterfield Blues Band guitarist Elvin Bishop; and vocalist Wayne Ceballos, from the band AUM, also sits in toward the end of this set.

With no explanation as to why Garcia isn't onstage, set one kicks off with "Smokestack Lightning," featuring Pigpen on harp and in fine vocal form and with Elvin Bishop taking over Jerry's role on lead guitar. The band seems to enjoy the change of pace and the blues authenticity that Bishop brings to the ensemble sound.

Bob Weir lends a country feel to the proceedings when he takes over on the next two tracks, beginning with the rarely performed "Green, Green Grass of Home." The John Phillips tune, "Me and My Uncle," follows before they bring vocalist Wayne Ceballos onstage.

Bishop and Ceballos lead the group through a rendition of Sonny Boy Williamson's "Checkin' Up On My Baby" before the set closes with "Beat It On Down The Line," the electrified jug band number from the Dead's debut LP.