The Grateful Dead played on New Years Eve 22 times over their 30 year career. They were often enormous, behemoth affairs with multiple acts, guest players and three or four massive sets from the Dead themselves. The music was often pretty rough no doubt because they were playing for hours on end into the wee hours of the morning, but I’ve always thought these shows were kind of special.
Bill Graham hosted pretty much all of the New Years shows and he always made a big spectacle of it, counting down the new year with massive balloons pouring down from the ceiling and often riding out dressed in crazy costumes. He died in 1991 and the Dead played their last New Year’s Eve show that year.
I had planned to post the all as a run up to the run up to this past New Years Eve, but I got sick and so I’m a little late with it. Obviously I’ve been posting the individual shows the last couple of weeks but much like the acoustic runs in 1980 I wanted to do a master post now that everything is up.
1991.12.31 – Oakland, CA
1990.12.31 – Oakland, CA – w/Branford Marsalis
1989.12.31 – Oakland, CA
1988.12.31 – Oakland, CA – w/Clarence Clemons
1987.12.31 – Oakland, CA – w/Neville Brothers
1986.12.31 – Oakland, CA
1985.12.31 – Oakland, CA
1984.12.31 – San Francisco, CA
1983.12.31 – Oakland, CA – w/Rick Danko
1982.12.31 – San Francisco, CA – w/Matthew Kelly, Tower of Power, Etta James & John Cippolina
1981.12.31 – Oakland, CA – w/Matthew Kelly & Joan Baez
1980.12.31 – Oakland, CA – w/John Cippolina
1979.12.31 – Oakland, CA – w/John Cippolina
1978.12.31 – San Francisco, CA – Officially Released on the Closing of Winterland
1977.12.31 – San Francisco, CA
1976.12.31 – Daly City, CA – Officially Released on Live at the Cow Palace. I wrote a review for it a very long time ago.
1972.12.31 – San Francisco, CA
1971.12.31 – San Francisco, CA
1970.12.31 – San Francisco, CA
1969.12.31 – Boston, MA
1968.12.31 – San Francisco, CA – The Dead played on a multi-bill at Winterland but no tapes exist. Lost Live Dead has a nice essay on it.
1966.12.31 – San Francisco, CA – The Dead played this night at the Fillmore, but I’ve never come across a recording of it.