Yesterday JamBase reported on rare footage of the Grateful Dead performing at The Fillmore in San Francisco on June 3, 1966 that just surfaced. The film, shot by the BBC, came with a note stating it was the second oldest known footage of the Dead. Many of our readers asked what the oldest known footage of the Grateful Dead is, so today we’ll take a look at the earliest known footage of the legendary band.
Dead scholar Chris DiLeo, who unearthed and shared the footage from The Fillmore, pointed us in the direction of a clip filmed three months earlier. On March 19, 1966 the Grateful Dead played the Pico Acid Test at Carthay Studios. The footage shows the band and members of its organization at their house on Ashbury Street in San Francisco followed by the Dead setting up and performing at the Pico Acid Test. Viewers get a rare look at benefactor Owsley “Bear” Stanley as well as GD members Jerry Garcia, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh and Bill Kreutzmann. The audio synced to the footage comes from a soundboard recording of the Dead’s Pico Acid Test performance. Thanks to Chris for the info and here’s a link to the footage: