Ramble On Ron

Diamonds, Music and other Facets of Life

My First Dead Show – RFK Stadium 7/12/1990

Posted on | July 20, 2009 | 6 Comments

Just about nineteen years ago I went to an event that changed my life.  It was my first Grateful Dead show at RFK Stadium.  So I was just graduating high school and I went up to College Park Towers where my sister was living (and sort of going to school) before the show.  Now Ellyn was a big time Deadhead at this point, probably on tour for most of that summer.  So I get to her apartment and start partying, having a great time and getting excited for the show.  We got in the car and it must have taken an hour to get to the stadium that was only a few miles away and then, BAM – I forgot my tickets.  In my haze I left the tickets back at the place, and there was no turning back.  Of course I freaked out and my big sis said, “Ron, don’t worry we’ll get them at the show.”  I was like, “What are you talking about?”  Of couse I had no clue.  We got to the show, Ellyn’s arm went in the air and there were our tickets.  In fact, I still have the original untorn ticket stub.

It was a great show.  “Good Times” opener, “Bertha” and this “Box of Rain” which was an appropriate song since it was POURING down rain.  Everyone broke through the gate and crashed the floor. (which is why Phil did the “take a step back” game in this video)  We didn’t care.  I was hanging with my bandmate Brett and my sister on the floor in the mud having a great time.

Here’s the setlist for you hardcore Deadheads:

Let The Good Times Roll, Feel Like A Stranger, Bertha, A Little Light, Queen Jane Approximately, Stagger Lee, Cassidy, Tennessee Jed, The Music Never Stopped Box Of Rain, Victim Or The Crime-> Foolish Heart-> Dark Star-> Drums-> Jam-> All Along The Watchtower-> Dear Mr. Fantasy-> Hey Jude Reprise-> Touch Of Gray, E: The Weight

I actually have some of this show on DVD as a filler from RFK 6/14/91 (another great one) – get a copy of “View From The Vault II” – click here to buy and click here to just listen.


  • Olga

    I was there. It was muddy….but so was EVERY SINGLE RFK show I ever saw. I was 14…it was the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of HS, and we obviously didn’t have any money. I made jewelry and sold it in the lots for ticket and party money. It was one of the first shows I saw outside of NYC area, maybe my 20th show overall, and I, too got a miracle… We stayed at a HoJo that I don’t think exists anymore and it was us, and a HUGE travelling gospel group from Southern Georgia. It was quite a mix….Good times, good times….

  • Thanks Olga for that great comment! Wow on tour at 14 – that’s DEADication 🙂

  • Olga

    I was a very mature and responsible 14 year old….

  • My first Dead show was May 1980 (Met Stadium; Bloomington, MN)– the evening before my high school graduation. Seniors were supposed to gather by 11:30 AM in the auditorium before the ceremony for practice. I was dead last in showing up for ceremony rehearsal, donning my Dead shirt from the previous night’s show. Everyone hooted and howled as I entered the auditorium — what a memory. I also made a banner for that show. The red, white and blue paint seeped through the bed sheet and on to the basement cement floor. My dad wasn’t upset. His only question was, “When are you and your buddies going to repaint the basement floor?” — ’nuff said dad!

  • Pdevinerdi

    My first dead show also.

  • owen

    My first show too! I was 15 and from McLean. My life was about to change… dead shows and rainbow gatherings and communes after that. lol. Then straight laced and now the Middle Way. 🙂