“Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights?” . . : Grateful Dead At Cornell 5/8/77

On May 8th, 1977, the Grateful Dead played what many consider, one of their best shows ever. It’s certainly is one of their most famous, that being their show at Barton Hall at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Why the big whoop about this particular show. Well the band was in one of their peak playing periods. They were coming off recording their new album, Terrapin Station for new label Arista. Label president Clive Davis wanted the band to deliver a strong ‘hit’ record and brought in producer Keith Olson. Olsen had the band practice parts until they were nailed and as a result, the Dead were a tight by the time of the the Spring 1977 tour. If you think about it, Clive Davis was indirectly responsible for Cornell 5/8/77. So the band is playing some of the tightest, most musically interesting shows of their career up to that date. And on that night, the band was especially ON.

Another of the reason why this show is so popular is due the the fact that an excellent recording began circulating among fans shortly after the show. If a deadhead wanted to give someone an introduction to the Dead, they would give that person a copy of Cornell, May 8th 1977.

Anyway, to celebrate (?) this day in GD history, here is a video from the YouTube channel Weeping Willow Guitar Lessons who I have featured previously (see https://roymusicusa.com/2020/12/28/a-merry-jerry-holiday-25-days-of-jerry/). Here he provides a collection of solo transcriptions from this classic show.

Time stamped as follows:
00:00 Scarlet Begonias
02:05 They Love Each Other
03:20 Deal
05:04 Brown-Eyed Women
06:08 Estimated Prophet

Cornell 5/8/77 | JERRY GARCIA | Guitar Solos

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Posted in Grateful Dead, Jam Band, Music Appreciation and Analysis

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