Grateful Dead Performs ‘Uncle John’s Band’ In 1987
The Grateful Dead shared pro-shot video of “Uncle John’s Band” from July 24, 1987 as the latest installment of their All The Years Live video series. During Summer Tour 1987, the Dead teamed up with Bob Dylan for a run of “Dylan & The Dead” concerts that featured the band backing Dylan for a set followed by two sets of their own. Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Stadium in Oakland hosted Dylan & The Dead on July 24, 1987.
“In its 1970 review of Workingman’s Dead, Rolling Stone famously said of Uncle John’s Band, ‘Near the end of the song there is an a cappella section done by everyone, sounds like about 62 tracks, maybe 63. Just listen to it, and try not to smile..,'” Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux wrote. “In its live renderings, in a stadium like the Oakland Coliseum, the Dead were able to get 40,000 people to sing along with that section, and it was always a glorious release when they end with ‘he’s come to take his children home…’ Indeed, try not to smile… This is from the penultimate show on the Dylan & The Dead tour.”
Both Dead sets without Dylan from the group’s visit to Oakland on July 24, 1987 were released as part of the 2003 concert film, View From The Vault IV. “Uncle John’s Band” emerged out of “Space” during the second Grateful Dead set in Oakland.
Watch the Grateful Dead’s performance of “Uncle John’s Band” below: