Grateful Dead with Pete Townshend – Not Fade Away (Live in 1981)
Back in 1981, Pete Townshend sat in with the Grateful Dead on Rockpalast. Rockpalast – Rock Palace – is a classic German music show that broadcasts whole concerts. It’s still in production today. I’m not sure if Townshend sat in on both sets, but I know he played on at least one other song – “Wharf Rat” – because I’ve posted about that one before.
This version of “Not Fade Away” – like so many others by the Dead – is a serious jam. Townshend plays rhythm to Jerry’s lead, and his style of playing adds an extra urgency and drive to the song. It’s a lot of fun to watch how much they all seem to be enjoying themselves. I’m reading Bill Kreutzmann’s Deal right now, and apparently The Who came to his hotel room after Monterey Pop to see if Bill and the rest of the Dead wanted to “hang out.” So by this time, they’d known each other for about 15 years.