It Really Happened.....Barney Did, in fact, play with the Grateful Dead on 4/1/93! You weren't just altered.
First some background. I didn't take these shots, my brother Allan did. Allan Zuckerman, is a professional entertainer. He owns a New Jersey based business called "A to Z Entertainment", which coordinates Children's Entertainment for Corporate Events. He does all sorts of things, like Wedding, Bar Mitzvahs, Children's Birthday Parties, etc. (Visit his website for more info, if you care) .
As was typical for some of the Dead's NY treks (and I assume other "big" shows), the families would be in tow. Some of the Dead's members and Core Crew, had young kids that needed to be looked after. I guess rather then have them tripping over important electrical cables, delicate guitars and amps, it made sense to have a hospitality room backstage specifically for the kids.
Allan had been hired by Metropolitan Entertainment to provide Children's Entertainment for this room. I believe this particular run at Nassau was the first time Allan was hired by the Dead, but had been subsequently hired back for various shows at MSG and Giants Stadium. Allan was hired one or two nights of a run, but not for every night. They'd hire other entertainers to keep things fresh for the kids. Down the road, I was treated to a backstage pass for one of the MSG runs, but that's another funny story. (Aside from meeting Phil Lesh for the very first time (one of my idols), I had the unique honor of actually giving him a ticket to his own show!?)
Essentially, Allan was a glorified babysitter. The kids were mostly toddlers, with a couple of pre-teens in there too. At the time, Phil was the proud, wide-smiling parent of two young boys, maybe 3 & 5yos?. I think Jerry had a young daughter as well. Mickey had an older kid. Something like that.
So, anyway, my brother was working this show, and was responsible for entertaining the kids. Being it was April Fools, The Dead had this plan to have a Barney character onstage. So my brother was told at setbreak to get the kids to the side of the stage, so they can all see this special event. My brother had the foresight to carry along a camera. He snapped these shots. (There's some additional shots of Phil, Wife & Kids, but I'm choosing to NOT post these. An attempt to respect the privacy of Phil's Family.)
Anyway, my part in all this: I'm the hardcore Deadhead of the family, since my first show at Rutgers University, May 15th, 1981. It's ironic that this Nassau Run was my 138th show, but my brother was the one invited backstage!!! Go figure. I mean, he didn't know Jerry Garcia from Jerry Stiller, or Phil Lesh from Phil Donahue. He wasn't a big musichead, despite some attempts to introduce him to this world.. Shameful Advertising plug follows: I'm an engineer in real life, but do some Mobile Catering for BBQs/Pigroasts as well. (Check MY website at http://www.eddiesportablepigout.com).
Soon after, my brother made a bunch of copies of these pics and handed 'em to me. I believe he may have sent a copy off to the Dead Camp too, but who knows what became of them. They've sat in an envelope, in my drawer for all this time. These pictures begged for a better life than that. The event was so rare, and the shots were so unique, that it didn't seem right to let them remain in an envelope. With my scanner, my novice webmaster skills, and some webspace, I finally had a vehicle to get these seen.
Enjoy the memories.
The setlist, courtesy of http://www.deadbase.com:
|04-01-93 Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, N.Y. (Thu)|
|1: Jack Straw, TLEO, Minglewood, Candyman, Desolation Row, Stagger Lee, Eternity, Liberty|
|2: Iko Iko*, Saint, Crazy Fingers> Wave To The Wind> Drumz> Way To Go> Days Between> Lovelight E: Rain|
*with Barney the purple dinosaur on bass
ps. Here's a scan of the backstage pass, and two shots of the Dead's Catering Rig (Karen's Coastal Catering), which being a mobile caterer, had profound interest for me.
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