Skip to main content

Hear an Unreleased 1972 Live Version of The Grateful Dead's "Playing In The Band" from 'Sunshine Daydream'

Today, GuitarWorld.com presents a live version of the Grateful Dead's "Playing In The Band," a track from Sunshine Daydream.

The album was released Tuesday, September 17.

On August 27, 1972, fresh off their European tour, the Grateful Dead traveled to Veneta, Oregon, and reunited with the Merry Pranksters to throw a benefit concert for the Kesey family’s Springfield Creamery. The show, which was recorded and filmed but never released, has since become the most-requested live show in Grateful Dead history.

Dead Heads recently had their patience rewarded when this unreleased gem finally had its time in the sun with a special “one night only” theatrical premiere nationwide on August 1, which happened to be Jerry Garcia’s birthday.

The new album gives fans a chance to relive this sought-after concert. The set is available in several different configurations, including two Dead.net exclusives.

The concert, which is considered to be the Merry Pranksters’ last “Acid Test,” offers a snapshot of the band at the peak of its playing prowess and features the classic lineup of Jerry Garcia, Donna Jean Godchaux, Keith Godchaux, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir. The setlist that day included memorable performance of “Sugaree,” “Deal,” “Black-Throated Wind,” “Greatest Story Ever Told,” “Bird Song” and a mind-melting version of “Dark Star” that stretches past 30 minutes.

Apart from the band’s stellar performance, the show is also remembered for the sweltering temperature (having taken place on one of the hottest days on record in Oregon) and the lack of water at the Olde Renaissance Fairgrounds, where the concert was held. Both Dead.net exclusive versions include the bonus documentary “Grateful Days” which features never-before-seen footage of the concert and recently recorded interviews with key participants such as Ken Babbs, Sam Cutler, Wavy Gravy and Carolyn “Mountain Girl” Garcia.

For more information about Sunshine Daydream, visit dead.net. The album is available HERE and at Amazon.com. (opens in new tab)

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor, and his non-Pulitzer-Prize-winning stories have appeared in Guitar Aficionado, Vintage Guitar, Total Guitar and countless other publications, including 13.7 metric tons of daily newspapers. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton and Ty Tabor chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab) (one of which appears in the 2015 Disney film 'Tomorrowland' starring George Clooney and Britt Robertson). He's in two NYC-area bands and plays Teles with four-way switches, B-benders and semi-snazzy aftermarket pickups. He quotes Terry-Thomas twice daily.