Grateful Dead: 10/16/1988

This was the last night of a three-night run of Dead shows. The previous night’s show was excellent, and my friends and I all crashed and slept late.

After waking up and having a late breakfast, I convinced Armando and Tim to join me on an excursion to the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg. Immersing ourselves in surreal artwork seemed like a good way to prepare ourselves for the third Dead show.

The museum was very cool, and we were not the only Deadheads who had the idea of checking out the Dali Museum. There were many tie-dyed freaks wandering around, gazing glassy-eyed at the many artworks that were on display. Two in particular stood out for me. There was a hologram of Alice Cooper wearing a tiara, which was very cool, especially since I am such a big Cooper fan. But without question, it was the massive painting entitled The Hallucinogenic Toreador that was the most captivating. I stood for what seemed like an eternity, getting lost in the psychedelic colors that pulsated on the canvas. Here is a link to an image of the painting to provide a sense of context.

The Hallucinogenic Toreador: Wikipedia

After the museum, we made our way back to the Bayfront Center and hung out with the other intrepid music fans until show time. It was decided amongst us that we would drive back to Miami after the show. I was not too keen on this idea and felt it would be better to spend the night in St. Pete and drive back early in the morning, but Armando was adamant that he had to leave tonight to be in Miami in time for work in the morning, so I acquiesced since he said he would be the designated driver.

This particular evening was Bob Weir’s birthday, and as expected, the show was stellar. Our seats were not as good as the first night in St. Pete, but since the venue was so small, it really didn’t matter. The second set was especially hot, with Phil opening the set with “Box of Rain.” The set also included “Terrapin Station,” one of my favorites, and “Morning Dew” to close, followed by “Quinn the Eskimo” for an encore. If you are at all interested, the full concert is available on YouTube, with actual video from the show and not just pictures.

Anyway, after the show, we skipped hanging out because Armando was eager to get on the road. We were facing a good five-hour drive, which would get us in to Miami close to 4:00 am. Once we were on I-75 southbound, Tim stretched out in the back seat and fell asleep, while I sat up front with Armando and had the important task of keeping the music going. But eventually, the hypnotic lines on the road got the best of me and I leaned my head against the window and slipped into slumber. I was ripped from my sleep by the sound of Tim screaming as the car was bouncing and careening off the road. Everything was a blur as I waited for the inevitable crash, but somehow, Armando miraculously got the car back on the road without us hitting anything. Tim was yelling from the back seat, and Armando was apologizing that he fell asleep. At this point, we were all wide awake with the collective adrenaline rush, but after a while, the rush was replaced by a deeper fatigue brought on by the adrenaline crash. This time, Armando consented to our suggestion that we pull over at a rest area and sleep a bit in the car. We cracked the windows and sank into some much-needed sleep.

When we awoke, we were all groggy, but rested enough to make the remainder of the drive. We rolled in to Miami around 8:00, which wasn’t bad, all things considered. It was a long, strange trip, which could have ended in disaster, but the four winds blew us safely home again.

Here’s the setlist.

Set 1:

  • Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo
  • Never Trust a Woman
  • Feel Like a Stranger
  • Friend of the Devil
  • Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again
  • To Lay Me Down
  • Don’t Ease Me In

Set 2:

  • Box of Rain
  • Victim or the Crime
  • Foolish Heart
  • Looks Like Rain
  • Terrapin Station
  • Drums > Space
  • The Wheel
  • Gimme Some Lovin’
  • All Along the Watchtower
  • Morning Dew


  • Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)

Grateful Dead: 3/22 – 24/1987

I decided to include these three shows as a single concert memory for a couple reasons. First off, none of the stubs actually shows a date, so it is impossible to determine which one goes with which day. Second, my date-specific memories are somewhat cloudy. And third, it was essentially a three-day concert, in my humble opinion.

My brother Mike was in college in Gainesville, Florida at the time. He told me that he was planning to drive up to this with some of his college friends and invited me along. I of course jumped at the opportunity. A friend of mine, Carlos, also wanted to go, so Carlos and I took a bus from Miami to Gainesville and hooked up with my brother. We were introduced to our fellow travelers and readied ourselves for the long drive up to Hampton, VA.

The next morning we started out. I think we had to take three cars and create a mini caravan. We had gotten about an hour outside of Gainesville when something prompted me to check with my brother to ensure he had the tickets. The look on his face said it all, and the trip was stalled while we had to return for the tickets.

We rolled into Hampton late in the evening. The first thing we decided to do was purchase some beer. We quickly learned about Virginia’s blue laws and we were not able to buy any from the convenience store. Luckily, there were some enterprising individuals who had purchased a lot of beer and happily supplied us for a reasonable profit.

We then went in search of a university (I don’t recall which one). One of the people with us named Nancy knew someone there in the dorms who would supposedly let us stay there. Yeah, that didn’t work out. The guy took one look at us and said no, but suggested we go sleep in the common area, so we did. We were rudely awoken by the RA and a cadre of muscle who wanted to know what we were doing there. It seemed we would be kicked out, but somehow they let us stay on the promise we would be quiet and not leave a mess.

The next day, we went to the show. Spent the day in the parking lot, playing Frisbee and hacky sack. Concert was amazing. Jerry had just recently recovered from his diabetic coma and these were the band’s first east coast shows following the illness, so the crowd enthusiasm was feverish. I recall the stickers being sold in the parking lot: “Jerry takes a lickin’ and keeps on pickin’.”

We were definitely not going back to the college, so we found a hotel nearby and all 11 of us packed into a single room. Outside, there was a large group of Deadheads sitting around playing music. I had a guitar with me, so I joined in and we played music late into the night, with a chorus of people ecstatically singing along. It was an experience that is truly beyond words to describe.

The next two nights were also amazing. Looking back, the three shows melted into one. Some of the high points were “Touch of Grey,” particularly poignant considering Jerry’s near death, Phil singing “Box of Rain,” and of course, I always love a good “Terrapin Station.” Here are the full setlists from each of the three nights.

March 22, 1987

Set 1:

  • Hell in a Bucket
  • Sugaree
  • It’s All Over Now
  • West L.A. Fadeaway
  • El Paso
  • When Push Comes to Shove
  • Cassidy
  • Deal

Set 2:

  • Sugar Magnolia
  • Scarlet Begonias
  • Fire on the Mountain
  • Estimated Prophet
  • Drums > Space
  • The Wheel
  • Black Peter
  • Sunshine Daydream


  • It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue

March 23, 1987

Set 1:

  • Touch of Grey
  • Little Red Rooster
  • Althea
  • Me and My Uncle
  • Big River
  • Iko Iko
  • Tons of Steel
  • Feel Like a Stranger
  • Don’t Ease Me In

Set 2:

  • Box of Rain
  • Man Smart/Woman Smarter
  • Ship of Fools
  • Truckin’
  • Drums > Space
  • The Other One
  • Stella Blue
  • Throwin’ Stones
  • Turn on Your Love Light


  • U.S. Blues

March 24, 1987

Set 1:

  • Jack Straw
  • Candyman
  • New Minglewood Blues
  • Loser
  • Mama Tried
  • Mexicali Blues
  • Ramble on Rose
  • Let it Grow

Set 2:

  • Gimme Some Lovin’
  • Black Muddy River
  • Playin’ in the Band
  • Terrapin Station
  • Drums > Space
  • Dear Mr. Fantasy
  • Wharf Rat
  • Not Fade Away


  • Brokedown Palace