A new box set captures the Grateful Dead's best gig and confirms my teenage hippy self's belief: their glorious psychedelia was no one-trip wonder, finds Nigel Williamson.
In one of rock'n'roll's better jokes, a Grateful Dead fan turns up to see his favourite band and finds to his distress that his stash of drugs has run out. "Man, this band really sucks", he announces as the Dead take the stage and he hears them for the first time in sober-minded clarity.
He must have caught them on a bad night. My first Grateful Dead show in 1972 as a teenage hippy neophyte was unforgettable. The group was at the apex of its acid-laced glory and I had no doubt that they were the finest band I had ever seen.