“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.
“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)
Gary Harover and Rex Jackson
Jon McIntire and Bob Matthews at the Paris Press Conference
Jerry Garcia at the Eiffel Tower
Elaborate organ in one of the concert halls
Frances Carr and Betty Cantor-Jackson atop a castle
Lead guitar & vocals
August I, 1942, Leo
Rhythm guitar & vocals
October 16. 1947, Libra
July 19, 1948, Cancer
May 7, 1946, Taurus
Organ & vocals
Ron (Pigpen) McKernan
September 8, 1945, Virgo
Bass & vocals
March 15, 1940, Pisces
June 23, 1941, Cancer
Rex, Ramrod, Winslow, Heard, Parish
Alembic Studios — Bob Matthews, Kidd, Raizene I6-track recording by Alembic Studios — Betty, Rosie, Furman
Candace Brightman, Ben Haller
Jon McIntire, Alan Trist, Sam Cutler, Rock Scully, David Parker
Annette, Bonnie, Dale
Photos: All – Mary Ann Mayer