Watch Grateful Dead Celebrate Halloween 1980 With Righteous ‘Not Fade Away’ At Radio City

The rendition features some stellar, moody interplay between Jerry Garcia and Brent Mydland.

By Nate Todd Feb 9, 2024 11:21 am PST

The Grateful Dead shared video of “Not Fade Away” as part of their All The Years Live series. The footage is from the Grateful Dead’s Halloween 1980 concert at the historic Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

The first known Grateful Dead performance of Buddy Holly & The Crickets’ 1957 rock ‘n’ roll classic “Not Fade Away” appears to have taken place on February 19, 1969, as per JerryBase, at the then newly minted Fillmore West, previously the Carousel Ballroom. The “Not Fade Away” debut concert seems to have often been misdated as June 19, 1968 — before Bill Graham took over the Carousel and renamed it the Fillmore West carrying over the name from the venue he originally operated at the corner of Fillmore and Geary from 1966 to 1968.

Staying true to the title, “Not Fade Away” remained a staple cover for the Grateful Dead for the next 26 years, as Dead archivist David Lemeiux pointed out in his note accompanying the Halloween 1980 video.

“One of the Dead’s most-played cover songs, “Not Fade Away” was always a great vehicle with which the Dead could stretch out, featuring a couple of big instrumental breaks and no bridge.”

Halloween 1980 was the culmination of the Grateful Dead’s eight-show residency at Radio City Music Hall. The shows were characterized by three sets: one acoustic and two electric. GD played “Not Fade Away” three times over the course of the run all coming toward the end of the second electric set with the Halloween rendition sandwiched between “Fire On The Mountain” and “Stella Blue.”

The holiday version features a jam with some moody interplay between guitarist Jerry Garcia and relatively new member keyboardist Brent Mydland on percussion organ. Watch the Grateful Dead perform “Not Fade Away” on Halloween 1980 below:


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