It has been thirty years since the July 4 Grateful Dead, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and Bob Dylan concert outside of Buffalo, NY. I traveled a long way with two friends to get to that show and have subsequently met a bunch of people from my neck of the woods who also went.
I have many crystal clear memories from that event while other moments have faded. For example, although I have absolutely no memory of this twenty minute drum solo, I can totally recall—in all their sartorial splendour—each and every piece of clothing that the members of the Dead wore:
Actually, in hindsight, many questions linger about the overall fashion of that day (along with a few answers) including:
- Bob Dylan wore that iconic, red shirt that states unequivocally: “This is Buffalo; July 4, 1986.” But what kind of material was it made from? I don’t know, but I think it’s probably mentioned in the Bible.
- Was Stan Lynch a fan of Miami Vice?
- I live in Canada and over the years have done a lot of work outdoors in the freezing cold; other than that scenario, can anyone describe a solid, practical use for fingerless gloves?
- Did Tom Petty’s jeans make his bum look flat?
- Did Mr. Dylan’s outfit clash with his backing-vocal group?
- Was that one of those “radical”, PLO scarves? No.
- What happened to my shirt that day? I have no idea.
- What type of footwear, exactly, was Bob Weir wearing with his shorts and socks ensemble? CHECK ONE: a. Shoes b. Sneakers c. Slippers
A reviewer from Pittsburgh seemed to enjoy the event. (Clearly, he didn’t have to cross the border 45 minutes after it was over.)
This archive is a reflection back on an interesting and independent day.