Grateful Dead :: Springfield Creamery Benefit Veneta OR – 8-27-72

Rhino Records (who I consult for) asked me to contribute to their upcoming series of posts/playlists centered around what would be Garcia’s 70th birthday, August, 1st. My piece goes live later this week and centers on what, if forced to choose, would be my favorite year in the band’s long trajectory — 1972. The year was a sweet spot; it was special. They were coming off two of their strongest records, had Keith Godchaux on keys, Pigpen was still in the game and Bill Kreutzman was the sole drummer. In short, this is peak era “Good Ol’ Grateful Dead”.

I linked to the following video excerpt of “Dark Star” in the Rhino piece, culled from Sunshine Daydream; an unreleased film shot at the Grateful Dead’s 1972 Veneta, Oregon concert to benefit the Springfield Creamery in nearby Springfield, Oregon. (You can view the film in its near entirety, here.) Taken as a whole the Springfield Creamery gig is one of the more definitive shows from ’72 yet to see an official release; it also boasts one of my favorite renditions of “Dark Star“.

The above video excerpt is part 1 of 4. Full download of the show via eTree, here.

10 thoughts on “Grateful Dead :: Springfield Creamery Benefit Veneta OR – 8-27-72

  1. Very cool posting. My favorite era would still be 1970. I think it’s the year where their songwriting efforts really strengthened, but they also retained some of their earlier, harder rocking, high-energy, garage-y sound. Plus, I dig the Rhythm Devils setup!

  2. Pigpen’s final performance was more than 2 months before the Veneta show. By August of ’72, he wasn’t “still in the game”. He was terminally ill, weighed about 90 pounds, and could barely leave his room.
    As ’72 goes, this show is a bit of a mess. The story is that the show took place on an extremely hot day and the sun and heat was literally baking the instruments and knocking everything out of tune.
    This Dark Star is actually one of the shortest ones of the year, well surpassed in length (and quality) by Rotterdam, Wigan and my favorite Wembley from April 8.

  3. ah, nice…thanks for this. never seen full footage from this gig. outside the Europe run, this is a favorite from that year.

  4. just an FYI – the Springfield Creamery was (and is) owned by the Kesey family – I think Ken’s aunt and uncle were the founders of the company which is still going strong. Why they needed an infusion of cash in 1972? Great excuse for a concert?

  5. It is Christmas Day and I am about to sit down and take the Sunshine Daydream Field Trip. I will spin the NRPS set first to warm up

  6. Well guys, I was there and it was a very unique show for many reasons. Yes, it was very hot, people were fainting from several things but there was a joy in that field that just overcame all of the instruments going out of tune (hey, just stop and retune and start over seemed to be the play of the day). When the local fire department came out with their trucks and drove around the field spraying water high over all of us, it was like a gift and everyone rejoiced, led by Jerry. It may not have been technically the best but it had a heart that was unsurpassed.

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