Remembering Keith Godchaux: With Jerry Garcia Band In 1978


Keith Godchaux was just a few days past his 32nd birthday when a car accident tragically ended his life 37 years ago today. The primary keyboardist for the Grateful Dead beginning in the fall of 1971, Godchaux, and later his vocalist wife Donna Jean, played in the band through their departure in 1979.

In addition to their stints in the Dead, the Godchauxs were also at times part of the ever evolving lineup of the Jerry Garcia Band. In remembrance of Keith on the anniversary of his untimely passing, Sunday Cinema presents pro-shot video footage of a pair of classic JGB performances from 1978.

The Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey hosted early and late Jerry Garcia Band shows on March 17, 1978. The two St. Patrick’s Day sets featured Garcia on guitar, Keith on keyboards, Donna Jean and Maria Muldaur on vocals, John Kahn on bass and Buzz Buchanan on drums.

Officially captured black and white video from both the early and late JGB shows have been preserved by the fantastic Music Vault. The early show footage begins with the penultimate song of the set, “Gomorrah,” which appeared on Garcia’s 1978 solo album Cats Under The Stars. Originally broadcast live on WNEW in New York City, the clip from the early show also includes the set closing cover of “Mystery Train” and the encore of the Cats Under The Stars title track. Watch the partial set below:

Early Show Video Tracklist

Set (incomplete): Gomorrah, Mystery Train

Encore: Cats Under The Stars

The late show saw fellow Cats Under The Stars tracks in the form of “Love In The Afternoon” and the encore “Rhapsody In Red.” The second set also featured Garcia staples such as “Mission In The Rain,” Irving Berlin’s “Russian Lullaby” and Hank Ballard’s “Tore Up Over You,” as well as a stirring cover of The Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” Watch the complete late performance (minus the “Harder They Come” opener) here:

Late Show Video Setlist/Tracklist

Set: Harder They Come (missing), Mission In The Rain, Russian Lullaby, Tore Up Over You, Love In The Afternoon, I’ll Be With Thee, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

Encore: Rhapsody In Red