Scarlet Begonias Radio – Big Rock Pow Wow, Pt.2

by Dennis on January 2, 2011

The winter and spring of 1969 was a particularly exciting time for the Grateful Dead. They were finishing up their long-awaited third album, Aoxomoxoa, and playing with a passionate intensity unequaled in their nearly five years together. The group’s epic Fillmore West run at the end of February gave us most of their masterpiece, Live Dead This is the era when “Dark Star” really blasted off into space, when tunes like “St. Stephen” and “The Eleven” were peaking (along with the audience!), and just about every night was a wild adventure for both the crowd and the band. The Dead played 146 shows that year—the most of any year—criss-crossing the country a couple of times and playing all sorts of interesting and far-flung destinations, blowing minds at every bend in the road.

Without a doubt one the coolest places the Dead played that year was the Seminole Indian Reservation in Hollywood, Florida, just north of Miami, at a rock festival known as the Big Rock Pow Wow, May 23-25, 1969. The Dead headlined the first two days of the festival, and their complete sets from the Pow Wow, recorded by the Dead’s inimitable soundman in that era—Owsley “Bear” Stanley—are spread across the three discs that constitute Road Trips Vol. 4, No. 1. This week on Scarlet Begonias Radio we’ll hear the rest of this great release.
Here’s the songlist:

It was the summer of '69...

Big Rock Pow Wow festival
Seminole Indian reservation
Hollywood, Florida
May 23 and 24, 1969

Turn On Your Lovelight>
Doin’ That Rag>
He Was A Friend Of Mine>
China Cat Sunflower>
The Eleven>
Death Don’t Have No Mercy>
Turn On Your Lovelight>
St. Stephen>
We Bid You Goodnight