Remembering Vince Welnick: First Show With Grateful Dead In 1990

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Sadly, today marks 10 years since final Grateful Dead keyboardist Vince Welnick took his own life at the young age of 55. An accomplished musician with The Tubes before joining the Dead following Brent Mydland’s tragic death from a drug overdose in July 1990, Welnick was the last of several talented performers to fill the role behind the keys in the storied rock band. In remembrance of Vince a decade after his passing, here’s a Throwback Thursday look back at his first night as an official Grateful Dead member.

The Richfield Coliseum in Richfield, Ohio hosted a pair of concerts to open the Dead’s 1990 Fall Tour. Coming just months after Mydland’s final appearance on July 23, 1990 at the World Music Theater near Chicago, Welnick joined the band on stage in Richfield on September 7, 1990 – debuting with a take on “Cold Rain And Snow.” At the conclusion of “Bird Song” toward the end of the first set, guitarist Jerry Garcia introduced Vince to the audience who gave the new keyboardist a warm reception.

Video footage of Vince making his first appearance as member of the Dead has been posted to YouTube by Kevin Tobin. Watch the show and tour opening performance of “Cold Rain And Snow” featuring Welnick here:

Here’s full show soundboard audio of the September 7, 1990 Dead concert. Listen after “Bird Song” at approximately 13:12 for Jerry’s introduction of Vince.