All posts by Woodstock Whisperer

Attended the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969, became an educator for 35 years after graduation from college, and am retired now and often volunteer at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts which is on the site of that 1969 festival.

Dead Bust Outs

Dead Bust Outs

The Grateful Dead are famous for many things. Among them, the length of their shows, letting shows be taped, and the variety of setlists.

And of course their fans. The Deadheads.

Many Deadheads kept setlists during the show. And some of them occasionally and ecstatically found a diamond: the Dead played a song that they hadn’t played for a long time. Often years.

These occasions came to be called “bust outs” and here are some of the famous ones. There are others, but I thought these ten were a nice selection.


Box of Rain

Look out of any windowAny morning, any evening, any dayMaybe the sun is shiningBirds are winging or rain is falling from a heavy sky

On 20 March 1986 when the Dead closed their first set at the Hampton Coliseum (Hampton, VA) with “Box of Rain” it was the first time they’d played the song in 13 years or 777 shows!

Listen to the crowd’s reaction when they realize what’s being played.

Dead Bust Outs

So what was the show thirteen years before? Non other than Watkins Glen on  the 28 July 1973.

Attics of My Life

In the attics of my lifeFull of cloudy dreams; unrealFull of tastes no tongue can knowAnd lights no eye can seeWhen there was no ear to hearYou sang to me

Maybe there was something about the Hampton Coliseum, but on 9 October 1989 the Dead played Attics for the first time in 17 years…or in Dead terms, 1,082 shows!  This time as the show’s encore. The crowds realization is a bit delayed until the vocals begin, but then it is definitely reacted to.  And love the ticket!

The previous time was on Saturday 28 October 1972 at the Cleveland Public Hall, Cleveland, OH.  They played it in the middle of the second set.

Here is a link to the whole show:

Grateful Dead, 10/28/72…Cleveland Public Hall

Black Throated Wind

Bringing me downI’m running agroundBlind in the light of the interstate carsPassing me byThe buses and semisPlunging like stones from a slingshot on Mars

On Friday 16 March 1990 at the Capital Centre in Landover, MD. the Dead play “Black Throated Wind.” It was the first time in 16 years or 981 shows.

The previous time was in the middle of the first set on October 19,. 1974 at the Winterland Arena in San Francisco. Here is the link to the whole show:

Black Throated Wind, Winterland Arena, 19 October 1974

St Stephen

Wishing well with a golden bell, bucket hanging clear to hell,Hell halfway twixt now and then,Stephen fill it up and lower down and lower down again
Lady finger, dipped in moonlight, writing what for?Across the morning sky.Sunlight splatters, dawn with answer,Darkness shrugs and bids the day good-bye.

As much as “St Stephen” may be associated with the Dead, there were long stretches that the song was absent.They played it on 9 June 1976 at the Boston Music Hall for the first time in 5 years…

The previous time was during the second set at the Ohio Theatre in Columbus, Ohio on 31 October 1971. The song is not available separately. Here is a link to the whole show.

Grateful Dead @ the Ohio Theatre 31 October 1971

…and when they played it on 11 October 1983 , it was the first time in 4 years.

Four years earlier, at the Nassau Coliseum  at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY on 10 January 1979.


If my words did glow with the gold of sunshineAnd my tunes were played on the harp unstrungWould you hear my voice come through the music?Would you hold it near as it were your own?

For such a great and well-loved song, one would think the Dead would play it all the time.  Not only did they not play it all the time [only around 40 times total!], but there were both spurts and gaps. They had first played it live on 19 August 1970.

Twice in 1970, they played it over different nights at the same venue: 8/18 & 1/19 at the Fillmore West, 9/17 & 9/20 at the Fillmore East, and 11/7 & 11/8 at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY.

When they played it on 25 September 1980 at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco it was the first time in 9+ years AND between that date and slightly more than a month later on 31 October at Radio City, they would have played it 25 times!

29 April 1971, Fillmore East, NYC

25 September 1980, Warfield Theatre, San Francisco

Then when they played it on…

16 October 1981, Melkweg, Amsterdam, Netherlands

…it would not be until 459 shows later on 3 September 1988 that they’d play it again.

3 September 1988

Not only was the the last song of the 2-song encore, it was be the last time that the Dead played the song.

Bird Song

All I know is something like a birdWithin her sangAll I know she sang a little whileAnd then flew onTell me all that you knowI’ll show you snow and rain

The  Dead must have been in a nostalgic mood on 25 September 1980, because they played”Bird Song” for the first time in 7 years.

They’d played at at the Providence Civic Center on 15 September 1973

Whole 1973-09-15 show

They opened their September 25, 1980 show at the Warfield with Bird Song.

Whole show

New Speedway Boogie

Please don’t dominate the rap, JackIf you? ve got nothing new to sayIf you please, go back up the trackThis train’s got to run today
I spent a little time on the mountainI spent a little time on the hillI heard someone say better run awayOthers say better stand still
From the Song Facts siteIn his book of collected lyrics (A Box Of Rain), Dead lyricist Robert Hunter wrote that he penned “New Speedway Boogie” in reply to “an indictment of the Altamont affair” by rock critic Ralph J. Gleason, hence the lead-in lyrics, “Please don’t dominate the rap Jack, if you’ve got nothing new to say.”
Altamont was only 9 months earlier when the Dead played it at the Fillmore East on 20 September 1970. The show is only available via streaming

It would not be until 19 February 1991, 1,371 shows later, at the Oakland Coliseum Arena that the dead played it again.

Cryptical Envelopment 

23 September 1972  – 16 June 1985 [791 Shows]

From a Glide Magazine articleThe studio version of That’s It For The Other One on Anthem of the Sun contains four sections, one of which is sung by Jerry Garcia and called Cryptical Envelopment. The Dead would play Cryptical into and out of The Other One from the late ’60s through the early ’70s, at which point the tune disappeared from the rotation until a fateful evening in 1985 at the legendary Greek Theater in Berkeley. The group performed Cryptical four more times that year and then never again.

23 September 1972

Palace Theatre, Waterbury, CT 

Full show only available

16 June 1985
Greek Theatre, University of California

Cryptical Envelopment > The Other One > Cryptical

Casey Jones

Once again, on would think that such a great song as Casey Jones would appear at least a few times during tours. Not so with “Casey Jones.

Played on 2 November 1984 and then not again unt 20 June 1992, 549 Shows!

2 November 1984
Berkeley Community Theatre, Encore

20 June 1992
RFK Stadium, Washington, DC

Here Comes Sunshine

23 February 1974 – 6 December 1992 [1,213 shows]

Again from Glide Magazine: The future of the Grateful Dead was in doubt after Jerry Garcia became ill following Summer Tour 1992. The group canceled their fall tour to allow their leader to heal and returned for a few shows in early December. At one of these December shows, the Dead dusted off the beautiful Here Comes Sunshine with a new arrangement. While I’m not a fan of the arrangement, I – and if you listen to the audience, plenty of Deadheads in attendance – was thrilled to see the song return to the fold.

23 February 1974
Winterland Arena, SF, CA

Whole show only available

6 December 1992
Compton Terrace Amphitheatre, Chandler, AZ

Open the show with…

Dead Bust Outs

Eugene Pop Festival

Eugene Pop Festival

Held at the University of Oregon’s  Hayward Field on July 26, 1969

Cost: $5;  attendance: 5,000

1969 festival # 26

Most pictures from this link   and information from Eugene Musicians dot com

F.A.M.E. stood for Film, Art, & Music in Eugene.

Unfortunately, the event did not go as planned and several scheduled acts,  including The Byrds and The Youngbloods, didnot perform.

Bands that did perform: The Doors, Them, Alice Cooper, Rockin’ Foo, J Geils Band, Peter, River, Truth, The Bumps, and Zu.

Eugene Pop Festival
Newspaper: Eugene Register-Guard Author: Unknown Publish Date: July 18th – 1969

The Doors arrived only minutes before taking the stage and played an extended set (70 minutes instead of 45 minutes) to make up for the missing bands.


As you will be able to read from the newspaper articles below, the announcement that the Byrds and Youngbloods, two of the biggest names on the bill,  drew an angry reaction from many in the crowd some of whom demanded their money back.

Boyd Grafmyre
Former Seattle concert producer Boyd Grafmyre, pictured here in Seattle in 1970. (Courtesy of Damien Grafmyre)
Former Seattle concert producer Boyd Grafmyre, pictured here in Seattle in 1970. (Courtesy of Damien Grafmyre)

Boyd Grafmyre promoted the event. He was becoming one of the biggest names in rock music production in the northwest.

FAME Expo - Agreement

Here is his obituary from the Seattle-Times dated December 13, 2019If you saw some of the biggest bands perform in Seattle back in the ’60s  — The Doors, Led Zeppelin or Jimi Hendrix at the Eagles Auditorium, or the Seattle Pop Festival in Woodinville — you can thank Boyd Grafmyre.

“He really was responsible for bringing the music scene to Seattle in the late 1960s,” said Joseph “Lightnin’ Joe” Meyering, a musician and the owner of the JAM PRO NW recording studio in Port Townsend. “It was all him, or those bands probably wouldn’t have made it up here. Boyd got those acts to Seattle.”

Mr. Grafmyre, who was still dreaming of producing the next big act, died Monday, Dec. 9, in Port Townsend. He was 79.

“He would always tell me, ‘I have this deal, it’s going to work, it’s going to happen next month,’ ” remembered his son, Damien. “Sometimes I think he was living for what he had.

“But he had a creative mind, and he had an ear for music. He knew what was good, and what was not good.”

Born in Bellingham and raised in Seattle, Mr. Grafmyre graduated from Queen Anne High School and had dreams of becoming an actor. At 19, he moved to Los Angeles and studied at the Pasadena Playhouse, then went to New York for a spell before he returned to Seattle. He was drafted and spent six months as a reservist in the civil affairs unit of the Army.

He spent a year at Seattle Repertory Theatre, where he met his future wife, Jana Thurner. They had two sons, Dylan, now 51, and Damien, 48. The couple later divorced.

In 1963, Mr. Grafmyre was asked to be the tour manager for a combination gospel and pantomime show. One day, he pulled the bus over next to a cornfield and watched the performers stream out and dance around in the stalks.

“I took one look and decided I was through with actors and that kind of temperament,” he told The Seattle Times in 1969. He returned to Seattle and joined a promotional agency called Trips-Lansing that was putting on a festival at the Eagles Auditorium at Seventh Avenue and Union Street, where the ACT Theatre now operates.

Mr. Grafmyre saw the crowds, rented the space on his own and started booking talent for weekend shows — but he barely broke even. That problem was solved in the spring of 1967, when he booked The Doors — the band had just released “Light My Fire” — and had to turn away 4,000 people.

Other acts followed: Steve Miller, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, who famously stayed at the Edgewater Hotel during their booking at the Green Lake Aqua Theater. Joe Cocker said he gave one of his best performances at the Eagles Auditorium, which Mr. Grafmyre took pains to ensure had good acoustics, sound system and lights.

In 1969, Mr. Grafmyre booked a property in Woodinville for the three-day Seattle Pop Festival, which drew more than 50,000 people to see artists such as Chuck Berry, Santana, the Byrds, Ike & Tina Turner, Ten Years After and The Doors.

Damien Grafmyre and his brother were raised in Hawaii after their mother remarried, to a minister. (“I have a rock ‘n’ roll father and a minister father,” he said).

Despite the distance and their father’s musical aspirations, they were connected.

Former Seattle concert producer Boyd Grafmyre, pictured here in Austin, TX in 2012. (Courtesy of Damien Grafmyre)
Boyd Grafmyre, pictured here in Austin, TX in 2012. (Courtesy of Damien Grafmyre)

“He never mistreated us and always loved us,” Damien Grafmyre said. “He wasn’t there, physically. His lifestyle was music, and that’s probably why he and my mom got divorced. But he was always a loving person.”

Mr. Grafmyre was still hoping to get back into the music business, “but I don’t think he knew how to do it,” his son said.

Mr. Grafmyre spent the last years of his life in a small apartment in Port Townsend, where he walked four miles a day, greeting everyone in his path.

Two years ago, Mr. Grafmyre was diagnosed with throat cancer, which was treated, but recently affected his ability to swallow. He went to the hospital for tests and went into cardiac arrest. He never regained consciousness.

In the days before he died, Mr. Grafmyre’s family sat in his room, talking and playing the music of Led Zeppelin, Neil Diamond and Hendrix. Meyering came in and played his harmonica.

Meyering’s fondest memories of Mr. Grafmyer are seeing him sitting with his feet hanging out the window of his top-floor place, looking out at the water, a glass of wine in one hand, the other waving hello.

“It was always good to see him,” Meyering said. “Boyd always had good energy and a smile. And he was always working on the next big thing, the next big artist he was thinking about promoting.”

Mr. Grafmyre is survived by his sons and three grandchildren: Jacob, Sebastian and Rose Elane.

No services are planned. Mr. Grafmyre will be cremated and his ashes spread in places he loved: Port Townsend, Bainbridge Island and in Seattle, where his mother and sister were laid to rest.


The next 1969 festival is the Seattle Pop Festival.

Related articles

Eugene Pop Festival
Newspaper: Eugene Register-Guard Author: Mike Stahlberg Publish Date: July 27th – 1969


Eugene Pop Festival
Newspaper: Eugene Register-Guard Author: Unknown Publish Date: July 28th – 1969

Ronald Leis Woodstock

Ronald Leis Woodstock

May 22, 1936 – June 18, 2016
Ronald Leis Woodstock
From the Nugget News, June 21, 2016 (

When we think of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, we typically think of the great bands that played. And rightly so, but Woodstock Ventures had a larger vision in mind when their little party turned into the most famous festival of all time.

Nearly every festival before Woodstock, during 1969 itself, and ever since, was held over a series of days that one attended, left, and returned to.

Woodstock was a festival that one went to and could live there. Why would one stick around for the hours between music? Remember the name of this festival: Woodstock Music and Art Fair. It was intended from the beginning to be much more than music. It was intended to be like a fair with many attractions like rides and merchandise. And art.

Ronald Leis…Art