It is officially Grateful Dead day! At least it is in Ithaca, New York. Of the more than 3,000 shows the band played, the widely acknowledged best of them, the night the X factor went exponential was May 8, 1977 in a show at Cornell's Barton Hall in Ithaca. In honor of that anniversary, the mayor of Ithaca issued an official proclamation"
Whereas, the Grateful Dead have been recognized by many highly credible organizations, individuals and entities including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as significantly important and integral to the musical and social fabric of our contemporary culture, and
Whereas, on May 8th, 1977 the Grateful Dead performed in Barton Hall on the campus of Cornell University in the city of Ithaca New York, a concert that is widely acknowledged and regarded as a defining and transcendent occasion and example of the art of contemporary musical improvisation, collaboration, musicianship, and performance, and
Whereas, many tens of thousands of individuals who were not in attendance that night in Barton Hall, have become knowledgeable & familiar with the extraordinary nature of the performance on May 8th 1977 through the trading and sharing of recordings of the show, and
Whereas, the cultural identity and perceptions of Ithaca as a community, have been informed and bolstered by the widespread acknowledgement of the magic of May 8th, 1977, and
Whereas, it has been said many times by many people that, “there is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert”,
Now therefore, be it resolved that as Mayor of the City of Ithaca, and in heartfelt recognition of the thirtieth anniversary of the May 8th 1977 concert performance, I declare May 8th 2007 as Grateful Dead Day in the City of Ithaca.
If you want to give a listen to the show, it can be found here.
I've got to admit, I still feel guilty listening to archive.org. It's an utter embarrassment of riches. Time was, you had to trip across new bootlegs and hope the person with a copy was kind enough to share or that you had something he didn't have. Cornell 5/8/77 was the sort of thing that you were never sure really existed. It was something that someone you knew had an older brother who knew someone who supposedly had a copy. But now, they are all just out there. Makes you feel like a glutton sorting through and casually waving your hand at Shoreline, Alpine, or Greek Theater shows that would have been absolute treasures back then. But lest I get to high-minded here, I wouldn't trade for anything not needing to trade for anything.
Anyway, happy Grateful Dead day everyone. The time is right for dancin' in the streets.