Weekend Vibe: Grateful Dead MUSIC NEVER STOPPED Feb. 3, 1978

This may well be the single best MUSIC NEVER STOPPED the Grateful Dead ever played. Just bursting with energy. Wholly unique. This is not the world’s greatest audience recording, but you get such a feel for the space (Dane County Coliseum, Madison, WI) and the crowd reaction as to make it more than a worthwhile listen. It’s also a great way to lead into the weekend. I’ve always thought ’78 Dead was underrated and under-appreciated. They were still coming off of the perfection that was most of ’77 and were still far enough away from the demise that set in not long after Brent joined the band in ’79. Jerry was still glorying in the sheer energy of “rocking out” after the beautiful and more mellow sounds of ’76. Early 1978 was full of shows that simply exploded with energy as if all the emotions in the world were being channeled through one band. And what a band… Enjoy.

My link to this song is temporary. If it is no longer active, you can stream or download the entire show (including THE MUSIC NEVER STOPPED) on the Internet Archive at:


Weekend Vibe: Grateful Dead MUSIC NEVER STOPPED Feb. 3, 1978

12 thoughts on “Weekend Vibe: Grateful Dead MUSIC NEVER STOPPED Feb. 3, 1978

  1. Bill says:

    Yeah I agree about early ’78 Dead – much more energy and much higher peaks reached than late ’78. Another great show is the next night (Feb 4, 1978) – and it’s a great aud recording. It has a Ten Jed solo that never fails to completely blow me away – the whole last 2 minutes of it is just insanely great.

    I’ll give that Music Never Stopped a listen one of these days since you recommend it so highly.

    I had just started going to shows shortly before this. I had seen two of the three June, ’77 Winterland shows, then saw 3 of the 4 end-of-year shows at Winterland (I saw Dec 27, 30, & 31). Though I like the ’78 Closing of Winterland dvd and show, it’s too bad they didn’t also film the year before since it’s a better show (and like we’re saying, a better time period for them).

    Of course the Jan 22, 1978 Eugene show with the Close Encounters is the most famous example of the musical heights they were reaching then – haven’t heard anything like that in late ’78 (or any time after that).

    Another really special ’78 show that is more sim to early ’78 than late is the June 25, 1978 show – some really far out, almost-angry playing by Jerry on the Estimated – Eyes on that one.

    1. halmasonberg says:

      Actually, they did film the year before (New Years run 1977). Black and white, pro shot. You can watch them on Wolfgang’s Vault. Amazing shows! Been trying to get Rhino to release the hordes of amazing video from the 70’s, but rights issues tie up some, others they aren’t convinced will sell. I’d buy them all. The 78 Durham, NC show is amazing! Wish they’d release that. I have many as boots and I’ve upgraded the sound on them. But an official release would be spectacular. A Blu-ray/CD combo of the NYE 77 run would sell out in a day, IMHO.

  2. Bill says:

    Yeah I’ve watched on WV the part from 12-30-77 that’s on Dick’s Pick’s 10 (the Estimated > Eyes > St Steven > Sugar Mag – an incredible 45 min of music which I was lucky to witness live close to the stage, my only St Steven and what a doozy it was).

    It beats not having it in any quality definitely but it’d be super nice to have it in something like the vid quality of Closing of Winterland (of course that’s in such great quality (relatively speaking) because it WAS the Closing of Winterland and it was filmed by the local PBS station live, which I watched live with a friend).

    Though with the Dead, having it on video doesn’t really matter all that much IMO because often the video can be a distraction from the music. The brain is using some of its resources on the visual which means less of it can be used for tuning in to the audio.

    Of course this is true for all music. Lots of time when I’m seeing a great rock show, I’ll purposely focus my eyes on the part of the stage below where the band’s feet are (or somewhere else that works) and notice (assuming the music is good) I get way more off on it than if I’m actually looking at the band. Try it some time.

    It’s also really true for great music from a great symphony. I find watching the symphony play the music (like on tv) makes the music less appealing than just listening to the music without the visual distraction. The environment where one can really focus on great symphony music (and really all music) is in a dark room with just a few dim light points (or no lights) – the music is much more satisfying for me (again assuming the music is great to begin with).

  3. halmasonberg says:

    I agree, Bill, regarding music and visuals. However, I love having the choice where the choice is possible. For example, watching Jerry smiling his arse off and doing Pete Townsend-style windmills in Durham is simply amazing to see. Another example is during the second set opener, Bertha, the jam consists of a close up of Jerry’s face. His grin is wide and his face reflects the joy of every note he plays as he plays it. It’s one of my favorite moments ever. It captures the purest essence of the music and where it comes from, which is the heart, the soul. It transcends technique. But I do understand what you’re saying as a good chunk of my Dead shows were spent dancing in the halls and corridors and never even seeing the band. Or with my eyes closed. But there’s something for me about watching and seeing them, now, at their peak, that is incredibly satisfying. And I can still close my eyes. But it’s nice to open them every once in a while and see the boys up there doing their stuff. And as a musician, I love actually watching what they are doing. It’s incredible stuff. Unfortunately, Rhino recently announced that they were working on a narrative film held together by Grateful Dead songs a la MAMA MIA or ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. I think this is a terrible idea. The last thing I want to see are these incredible songs literalized. Not to mention performed by modern day pop stars. The desire is to get the Grateful Dead songbook out to a new generation, but I think this is sort of the antithesis of what the Grateful Dead is for me, personally. It’s a film I would not go see. I don’t want those images in my head every time I hear a Grateful Dead song. Most Grateful Dead songs are abstract. They are open to interpretation. They are not meant to be strung together to tell one story. Except in concert where every audience member is experiencing their own version of that story.

  4. Bill says:

    Yeah I agree about the Rhino thing. I agree with you that the open-ended meaning of the lyrics is a good thing with Hunter’s lyrics and no reason to try to give a specific meaning to them.

    Speaking of good Dead videos, I highly recommend the Rockpalast proshot vid of the Dead on Mar 28, 1981 from Germany. It’s excellent quality, excellent camera work, excellent sound, and an excellent show (great versions of Shakedown, the Deal, Sugaree, and some others). Also Pete Townsend comes out and jams with them on NFA > Wharf Rat > A&A (the Who played after them).

    Though I really like the way the Dead and Jerry played on that show, you can see that the energy of ’77 and early ’78 has dimmed somewhat though, like I said, it’s still excellent stuff. I really noticed that when I watched the 12-30-77 show on WV.

    There’s a local Dead cover band called Front St (led by the great Stu Allen who until very recently was the Jerry guy in the JGB for about 5 years) and I’ve filmed a couple of their shows (you’re more than welcome for a copy) and I’m wondering after watching the videos of the two I’ve filmed in 2011, if Stu is “better” than Jerry post, say, 1978.

    I bring it up in ref to what where talking about in ’78 vs ’81. I do think the Persian took a chunk of Jerry’s energy away. No more were those wild just-knock-your-socks-off like say the Close Encounters of 1-22-78 or the Morning Dew of 12-31-76 or the Dancin from 2-26-77.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they stopped doing the double-time jam at the end of Around & Around around 1979 or so. I listen to those versions of that song from ’77 and I get so off on them.

    Stu Allen’s playing of Jerry tunes these days is just incredibly good. Unlike Jerry, Stu (probably close to Jerry’s age in 1981) does not have the bad habits of Jerry (in several respects) (knock on wood that he doesn’t develop them). And it’s allowed him to really grow into an amazing guitar player. Do catch him if you get a chance and you haven’t yet.

    And like I said if you like vids, do take me up on my offer because I filmed them at this Wine & Cheese festival that for half of it, hardly anyone was there though by the end, there was a tiny crowd (about a hundred if that). Despite the small crowd, they played amazingly doing phenomenol versions of Deal, Foolish Heart, Music Never Stopped (you’ve gotta see this one since you dig it), Here’s a copy of it from archive.org:


    And not to brag, but the filming of this one came out really nice. They had tables set up in front and since hardly anyone was in the crowd, I was able to put the tripod on one of the tables and make a great video.

    That’s the band I’m extremely hot on right now. I’m waiting for Stu to do some jamming with Phil – it will happen I’m sure now that Phil just opened a restaurant with a concert venue (Furthur’s done some shows there before Phil owned it). Front St’s rhythm guitarist is like Weir’s best friend (and they have played with Kreutzmann and with members of Ratdog) so I think sometime in 2012, Stu will jam with in some band with either Bob or Phil.

    Weir also just bought a concert hall in Mill Valley (Marin County where the Dead were based). Phil’s is in San Rafael (also Marin County). So should get some interesting shows around here.

    Time to end this book. The End – there. :^)

    Have a good one,


    I remember you being a big Kavlicek head. I caught Further on Dec 29, 2011 and really really really dug that show, including JK’s playing – easily the most I’ve gotten off by it. And Phil sounded as good if not better than I’ve ever heard him. It was just a fabulously great show. They really are taking things furthur. I wasn’t really a Further head ever but after that show, I think I’ll have to catch them sometime soon.

    1. Bill says:

      Whoops just noticed a big chunk of my post after I signed off. I guess the book wasn’t over! :^) Okay one more time: The End!

    2. halmasonberg says:

      Thanks for that. I agree about Stu. I saw him when he played briefly with DSO and he blew me away. I was disappointed that they ultimately went with Jeff Mattson. Jeff’s a good musician, but he doesn’t take his time like Stu does. Stu really got into the vibe and wasn’t always racing for the peak. I’d love to see your vid of that show. Absolutely! And I do have a copy of that Rockpalast show. It’s terrific. But like you said, the energy is not the same as it used to be. Jerry was on a steady decline from ’80 on, I’m afraid. There were some peaks in there, some great shows to be sure, but the writing was on the wall. Even after he got off the persian for a while and his energy returned, his voice was already shot and his physical health was still a big issue. Makes me incredibly sad.

      I’ve been taking many of the older 70’s vids and replacing the iffy sound with mint, lossless soundboards. It really enhances the experience. Takes some time, but I’m a big fan of these old vids. It’s a piece of history that I just love. And once the sound is upgraded, it’s simply terrific. Now I just wish Rhino would release some of this stuff with a video upgrade as well. I have no problem with the three camera black and white stuff. Especially if they’re using the original masters that haven’t gone through VHS generations like most of what’s out there now. In the meantime, however, I make due with what’s available to me. Happy to send you copies of anything you may want.

      And Furthur… Yeah, I wasn’t a fan of any of the post-Jerry bands, but then I saw Furthur in 2010 and I was knocked outta my seat. Had already like Kadlecik’s playing from DSO, but wasn’t expecting such an inventive, energized band. I love that they’re not trying to recreate the Dead sound. This band is far more jazzy, they’ve reworked some of the songs, etc. They are certainly freer with the setlists than the Dead ever were. For me, Furthur is the real deal. They are, quite simply, an amazing band. And yes, Phil is better than ever. So glad to be doing this and to be alive and it’s all over every moment on stage. He’s a joy to watch and listen to. I highly recommend you see more of them! Of course, there’s no one in the band of Jerry’s musical stature (how could there be), but in so many ways (as you said of Stu), this band is what the Grateful Dead might have grown into if Jerry had remained healthy and happy. I had a dream last night –this is true– that I went to see the Dead and Jerry had made a full recovery. Off the persian, lost the weight, got his voice back… He was like a 30 year old energy-wise. Smiling and dancing and engaging with the audience… He was so thrilled to have his life back and to be healthy. He couldn’t contain it. I swear I was smiling in my sleep…

  5. Bill says:

    Glad you caught Stu with DSO. I caught one of those shows too and like you, I was blown away. I caught a DSO show with Jeff Matson a few months ago at a free festival in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

    There’s no way the intensity was going to be what it would have been at a club like where I saw DSO with Stu because we were pretty far away, it was outdoors, and the sound system the festival had probably wasn’t as good as DSO’s own.

    But even with all that, I don’t think I would have gotten off nearly as well as I did with Stu if all the conditions were sim to those I had when I saw DSO with Stu. Jeff’s really good but Stu just does a lot more for me.

    You’ll dig the video of Front St. I’ll send you another one they played a month before that one. That was the annual Jerry Day event in SF honoring Jerry at an amphitheater (Jerry Garcia Amphitheatre) near where he grew up. His brother, Tiff, was there and he’s on the video.

    That one’s a great show too. Don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the band, Mother Hips, but the guitarist’s wife is also a singer and she came out and did a good Let It Be with Front St to close out their show (right before the Mayor of San Francisco comes out to appeal to votes for his re-election which he won).

    Send me your address (I think you have my email addy handy but if not it’s “bc1961 at sbc global dot net” – ) and I’ll get the two video dvds to you. I guarantee both will knock you out if you listen and watch to them on a nice system. Front St is a really killer band besides Stu – they just have a greally great chemistry and talented players.

    I listened last night to that Music Never Stopped that you recommended. WOW!!! WHAT A VERSION! Yeah you’re right on that one. Both the “space” part and the post-space, drive-it-home part of the jam on that are long and incredible. The crowd is in ecstacy for a good reason.

    That’s a great example of what we’ve been talking about about early ’78.

    I also really like that audience tape (the following night’s aud tape is similar excellent quality). I’ve got DP 18 which is a soundbd of that show (and Feb 5th) but didn’t like the sound quality on it (has some annoying sound effect if I remember correctly). I much prefer the audience tape (normally I prefer soundbds but with the Dead, there’s some great aud tapes).

    I want to hear the Estimated > Eyes from that show – I have no doubt it’s a doozy and the commenters at Archive rave about it (and of course the MNS).

    That’s the second E>E the Dead did after the E>E I saw on Dec 30 (which went into the incredible St Steven that’s on DP 10). The Dec 30th E>E is excellent, and the first one after that was on Jan 30th and that one might be even better (a really killer version of the combo) so looking forward to hearing the next E>E they did.

    That’s great that you’re fixing up the sound on some of the old vids. It’s a great idea and I’ll bet fun and interesting to learn how to do it. If you have a show that you’ve fixed up that you’re impressed with the results, I’d love to get a copy. Thanks so much for the nice offer. I’ll send you my address in reply to your email.

    Yeah I totally agree about Furthur – I will catch them sometime this year since I’m sold on them. I think Phil’s having a blast and makes me think for probably the last ten or so years with the GD he might have been slightly, just slightly, bored compared to what he wanted the GD to be with a healthy Jerry (in mind and body).

    Interesting dream you had. Sounds like the Jerry from ’77 or early ’78 when he was filled with that young energy and blowing minds with what he was doing before his energy level decreased somewhat for the rest of his life.

    We’re fortunate to have such a rich audio and video of the great man. And after listening to that Music NS last night, I feel lucky.

  6. Thank you for all this great Dead info..I heartily recommend to you my recent in-depth master class on the Dead’s original Dark Star! Emphasis is placed on the improv conepts used to create this masterpiece.

    Serious viewing for serious musicians and Deadheads:)

    Keep swingin

    Dave Frank
    Director, Dave Frank School of Jazz,

    1. halmasonberg says:

      Dave, thanks for the comments. Really looking forward to watching this! I’m intrigued and quite excited! Thanks so much for sharing!


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