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One of the bands I was in played with the Dead on a number of gigs in 
the mid 60s. Since we were both Haight based acts we knew each other 
(actually it was a small, music based community then). I was more 
interested in listening to them as their recording chops got better and 
better as the years went on. In the 70s I lived on Brady Street where 
His Master's Wheels (their recording studio) was. Burt (?) Furman, of 
power supply & EQs fame, had his start-up 2-man shop in the same place.
I never came to appreciate the Dead's live stuff that much. I knew Mr. 
Pen (Pig, that is) fairly well and he let me sit in on his electric 
piano with the rest of the group at the Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park. 
In those days I was more known for my banjo work than my piano picking. 
I think they were pleasantly surprised!
Malcolm

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On 4/8/2013 2:12 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
> Rolling Stone took a stab at the 20 best Dead shows:
> http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/20-essential-grateful-dead-shows-20130408 
>
>
> I haven't heard all of these, but I have always liked the Fillmore 
> East Valentine's Day show and the Capitol Theatre shows, plus one or 
> more of the Winterlands. I dunno about the really early shows, it took 
> those guys a few years to learn their instruments.
>
> -- Tom Fine