30 years ago today, the Grateful Dead played a historic show, the third in a three-night run, under the shadow of the Sphinx and the pyramids of Giza. They were the first western band to be given permission to do so. Add to this night a lunar eclipse and the fact that a peace treaty was being signed between Egypt and Israel, and you have one hell of a concoction for celebration.
Deadheads have claimed for years that, though these 3 nights were special indeed, they were not among the Dead’s best. Rhythm guitarist Bob Weir himself once said something to the effect that they always screwed up the big gigs: Woodstock, Monterey Pop… Well, Egypt was no exception. The Boys were not at their best by any stretch, but the sheer joy of seeing them play in this setting under those conditions must have been exhilarating. And while they may not have been in top-form, they still played with a unique energy that still brings a smile to my face.
In honor of this event, Grateful Dead Production and Rhino Records are releasing a 2-CD / 1-DVD set celebrating these three nights, called ROCKIN’ THE CRADLE. And in honor of today’s anniversary, they have leaked some video footage of the first song from that night, BERTHA. So kick back and enjoy!
And for anyone interesting in purchasing this set, know that if you order before September 30th from Deadnet, you get a 3rd Bonus CD of extra music from those nights free.