Today I’ll be celebrating Ron McKernan’s Birthday with yet another show from his final tour. The new Europe ’72: The Complete Recordings box is chock full of many of Pigpen’s last performances (he returned to the States for one more show at the Hollywood Bowl and then succumbed to the illness that eventually took his life. Yes, another member of the 27 club). Such a talent. And despite his failing health, his performances throughout the Europe tour were energetic and full of life.
We miss you, Pig!
Grateful Dead with Ron “Pigpen” Mckernan performing “Next Time You See Me” in Copenhagen 1972 at Tivoli Gardens. Magnificent!
Many never knew the Grateful Dead as a blues band fronted by singer, keyboardist, percussionist and amazing harp player Ron “PigPen” McKernan. But here’s a taste of both the Grateful Dead and Pigpen in top form during the Canadian summer of 1970. This clip is one of the outtakes from the great doc FESTIVAL EXPRESS. It should have been included in the film itself as the songs chosen to be in the film were not really representative of the Dead at that time and NEW SPEEDWAY BOOGIE, which was included in the film, was chopped up for time. An unfortunate decision, to say the least. Especially when this amazing footage was available.
So, 39 summers ago, if you were in Canada checking out the Grateful Dead, Janice Joplin, The Band and so many others making their way through the great north, you might have been dancing to this very performance on one warm, energetic summer’s day…