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Rare Grateful Dead concert film coming to theaters

Rare Grateful Dead concert film coming to theaters

GRATEFUL DEAD:Jerry Garcia, leader of the legendary group The Grateful Dead, works with his guitar on May 8, 1979. Photo: Associated Press

A rare German TV recording of the Grateful Dead on tour in Europe in 1972 is heading for the big screen for one night only.

The cult jam band was filmed onstage in a studio in Bremen for the show “Beat Club,” but only a few brief excerpts from the performance was screened on TV.

The complete 100-minute color film, which has never been screened in full, is now set to get its premiere in 360 U.S. movie theaters on July 17 as part of the annual Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies event.

The tracks played during the show, including “Bertha” and “Sugaree”, would later be featured on their Europe ’72 live triple album.

The 1970s gig is reportedly one of the last video recordings of the group with band co-founder and keyboardist/singer Ron McKernan, aka Pigpen, who had to quit touring in 1972 due to severe liver damage. He died the following year.

A statement issued by Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux reads, “There’s never been a show from this era filmed so clearly in its entirety, and this audiovisual document captures the band at arguably their creative zenith.

“As a Deadhead (Grateful Dead fan) and an archivist, this is some of the most exciting footage of the Dead I’ve ever come across.”

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