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“It’s a Musical Group,” I said, “From America.”

In Paris, Le Grand Hotel is a big deal. Across the street is the historic and opulent Opera House and running off in several directions are the city’s famous tree-lined avenues. In one corner of the massive structures is the Cafe de la Paix, the sidewalk meeting place in all those romantic Hollywood flicks. Nearby are the shops of Saint Laurent and Dior.

The hotel itself is so big you can get lost in the hallways. Single rooms start
at $35 a day and all are equipped with balconies and small automated refrigerators that dispense liquor and beer and champagne at ridiculous prices. There are jewelry shops, restaurants, hair stylists, masseurs, art galleries, theatre booking agencies, shirtmakers. Everyone on the staff speaks fluent English. It is a popular favorite of visiting Americans.

“Are you still expecting the Grateful Dead?” I asked the reservations clerk.
“The Beautiful Dead, monsieur?”
“Uh … not quite. The Grateful Dead.” “Oui, monsieur. Would you spell the surname, please.” “D-e-a-d.”
“_____________________”
“It’s a musical group,” I said, filling in the silence.
“From America.”
“We are expecting a 37-piece orchestra…”

Only the figure was incorrect. The Grateful Dead, half-way through a two-month tour of Europe, numbered not 37 but, depending upon who you talked to, up to 48. There were seven musicians and singers, five managers, five office staff, ten equipment handlers (handling 15,000 pounds of equipment, not counting the I6-track recording system), four drivers and 17 assorted wives, old ladies, babies and friends. In its 100 years of catering to the tourist elite, Le Grand Hotel had never seen anything like it.
—Jerry Hopkins (Rolling Stone)

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Betty Cantor-Jackson

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Gary Harover and Rex Jackson

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Rex Jackson

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Billy Kreutzmann

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Jon McIntire and Bob Matthews at the Paris Press Conference

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Jerry Garcia at the Eiffel Tower

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Elaborate organ in one of the concert halls

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Frances Carr and Betty Cantor-Jackson atop a castle

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Robert Hunter

Lead guitar & vocals
Jerry Garcia
August I, 1942, Leo

Rhythm guitar & vocals
Bob Weir
October 16. 1947, Libra

Piano
Keith Godchaux
July 19, 1948, Cancer

Drums
Bill Kreutzmann
May 7, 1946, Taurus

Organ & vocals
Ron (Pigpen) McKernan
September 8, 1945, Virgo

Bass & vocals
Phil Lesh
March 15, 1940, Pisces

Songwriter
Robert Hunter
June 23, 1941, Cancer

Equipment
Rex, Ramrod, Winslow, Heard, Parish

Sound
Alembic Studios — Bob Matthews, Kidd, Raizene I6-track recording by Alembic Studios — Betty, Rosie, Furman

Stage Lights
Candace Brightman, Ben Haller

Light Show
Joe’s Lights

Management
Jon McIntire, Alan Trist, Sam Cutler, Rock Scully, David Parker

Office
Annette, Bonnie, Dale

Photos: All – Mary Ann Mayer