48 years ago tonight, the Grateful Dead closed out their infamous Europe ’72 Tour with the final show as part of a four-night run at the Lyceum Theatre in London on May 23rd-26th, 1972. It was during the tour’s final show when the band performed a pair of songs in “Truckin'” and “Morning Dew” which would go on to be featured on the Dead’s Europe ’72 live double-album.
The performances of both Grateful Dead fan favorites came at the start of the show’s second set. Following a loaded first set which included early-Dead setlist staples like “Sugaree”, “Mr. Charlie”, “Playing In The Band”, and “Jack Straw”, the band returned to open the second half of the show with “Truckin'”. As fans who’ve heard the show’s recording already know, guitarist Bob Weir introduced the song by proudly stating its position atop the radio charts in Turlock, CA. Their performance of “Truckin'” that night would also go on to be stretched out to an impressive 18-minute jam. Following a performance of “The Other One”, the band slowed things down to emerge from the psychedelic jam into their cover of Bonnie Dobson‘s indie-folk tune, “Morning Dew”.
The band’s longtime recording tech Betty Cantor-Jackson recently shared her wild memories of the tour’s final performance during a Reddit AMA, as she stated:
I was in Europe ’72 at the Lyceum in London. It was one of the last nights and everybody was very high. I was out in the truck recording, and all of a sudden the truck starts rocking and banging. I was in this metal box, with people banging on the side the truck, and I’m higher than crap. So, I called out to the stage for help.
Buddy Cage with the New Riders saw what happened. He said Rex went over to the big fire door, it was like four inches thick, he ripped that door right off and wiped out the five guys out who were beating on the truck. He rescued me. That was fun memory.
Listen to the entire show featuring a second set “Truckin'” and “Morning Dew” below.
Grateful Dead – Lyceum Theatre – 5/26/1972
[Video: Jonathan Aizen]