Screengrab via Grateful Dead "Uncle John's Band" 7/17/1989
The latest installment in the ongoing Grateful Dead archival series, “All The Years Live“, is available now on the band’s YouTube page. This newest release captures “Uncle John’s Band” from the Dead’s July 17th, 1989 performance at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, WI.
This live cut may already be familiar to some fans, as it was featured in the 1997 concert film Downhill From Here, which captured the Dead’s three-night run at Alpine Valley on July 17th–19th, 1989. Unfortunately, this would mark the Grateful Dead’s final performances at the iconic Midwestern venue, as the city of East Troy eventually chose to ban the group from ever performing there again, citing the rise of drug use and crime. Luckily, that ban would be lifted for later, post-Jerry Garcia incarnations of the Dead, including The Other Ones and today’s stadium-selling act Dead & Company.
For now, Deadheads are left with this fond memory of the band at one of its late-career peaks. The summer of 1989 saw a clean and lucid Jerry leading the band full force through what would become some of the most iconic shows of the Dead’s final decade. Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux notes in the video’s description,
From one of the Grateful Dead’s first home videos, Downhill From Here, this version of Uncle John’s Band is a complete scorcher, start-to-end. The opening track from Workingman’s Dead was played more than 330 times by the Dead, and this is one of the best.
Watch the Grateful Dead perform “Uncle John’s Band” at Alpine Valley on July 17th, 1989 in the latest installment of “All The Years Live”.