Saturday, October 24, 2009
The Grateful Dead's versatility and improvisatory skills extended to their acoustic sets, in which lead guitarist Jerry Garcia reached back to his early 1960s roots in folk, bluegrass and old time music. Here the Dead perform a hypnotic "Birdsong" at Radio City Music Hall in 1980. Band lyricist Robert Hunter wrote the song as a tribute to Janis Joplin: "All I know is something like a bird within her sang/All I know she sang a little while and then flew on." In his performances, bassist Phil Lesh now sings the song as a posthumous tribute to Garcia: ""All I know is something like a bird within him sang..."