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Grateful Memories from the LA Memorial Coliseum June 1, 1991

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (Kevork Djansezian/Getty)

Do you have a favorite sports stadium?

Mine would have to be the L. A. Memorial Coliseum.

When I was growing up, I’d watch quarterback Roman Gabriel and the Rams playing football at the huge structure in southern California.

On June 1, 1991 I was sitting in the coliseum watching the Grateful Dead play.

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during X Games 16 2010 (Harry How/Getty)

It was the start of the last Summer I’d spend living in Monrovia, although I didn’t know it at the time.

We were having fun attending all the live shows we could including the Grateful Dead’s only L.A. performance of 1991.

The show began at 1 p.m. with the opening act out of South Africa, Johnny Clegg and Savuka.

It was a hot day hanging out in the sun with Maria, Paul and Suzanne. The concert was hot too, the Dead jammed through ‘Shakedown Street,‘ which always gets the crowd grooving, right into a cover of Robert Johnson’s ‘Walkin’ Blues.’ They also covered Bob Dylan‘s ‘Queen Jane Approximately’ before finishing the first set with ‘Deal.’

Eating Marshmellows (Darryl James/Getty)

One of the highlights of the show was a huge, wild marshmellow war which broke out during the break. I don’t know who brought all the treats or whether a ‘Cream Puff War’ was actually planned, but it was fantastic. (A Jerry Garcia tune off the band’s self-titled debut album in 1965 is called ‘Cream Puff War’)

No one got hurt, some even got fed, and a lot of frustrations were released in the name of frivolity. The next time your party gets too tense, break out the marshmellows.
It was nothing but smiles, smiles, smiles heading into the second set with a couple new songs from the Grateful Dead’s ‘Build To Last’ album, ‘Picasso Moon’ and ‘Foolish Heart.’
The show increased in intensity up to ‘I Need A Miracle’ and a ‘Throwing Stones’ into Buddy Holly’s ‘Not Fade Away’ medley that had the crowd singing long after the band was gone.
They came back for an encore of ‘One More Saturday Night.’
My dream trip into the L.A. Coliseum to see my favorite band perform had been fulfilled.

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