Twenty-seven years ago today, the world lost a great keyboardist by the name of Brent Mydland. Mydland had performed with the Grateful Dead from 1979 through 1990, contributing his unique vocal harmonies and written compositions to the band throughout his tenure. While Mydland was a great musical fit for the band, the commitment wrought havoc on his personal life, and eventually, the musician spiraled out of control. Mydland’s last show with the Grateful Dead was on July 23, 1990, at the World Music Theater, in Tinley Park, Illinois. The last song he sang that day was “The Weight“, with his portion concluding with the words, “I gotta go, but my friends can stick around.” Three days later, Brent succumbed to the grueling lifestyle of the Dead. He was 37 years old.
Though the songs rarely get played today, some of Brent Mydland’s compositions are among fan favorites from the later Grateful Dead era. Tracks like “Just A Little Light,” “Maybe You Know,” and the emotional “Easy To Love You” were all written by the keyboardist, and it’s the latter that soundtracks this beautiful montage video,courtesy of Tito Garcia. With video of performances from the 1979–1990 era of the Dead’s career, you can watch the great keyboardist work his magic with the band we all know and love. Twenty-seven years later, we still miss you, Brent. Hope you’re up in heaven somewhere jamming with Pigpen, Keith, Jerry, and the rest of the gang.