The Grateful Dead in Egypt

Words By J-man

In 1978 The Dead made their way to Europe for a tour across the globe. One of the stops on their European tour was Egypt. The result was a magical experience that included three nights of music near the Sphinx and Great Pyramids. The initial plan was to release the three night run as a live album, but after the first night's sound issues, the idea was quickly scrapped.

In the official recording's place, we bring you Owsley "Bear" Stanley's recordings...

Grateful Dead Live at Gizah Sound and Light Theater on September 14, 1978.

Ollin Arrageed*-> Not Fade Away, Me & My Uncle, They Love Each Other, Minglewood Blues, Peggy-O, Beat It On Down The Line, Deal Sugaree, Samson & Delilah, Scarlet Begonias-> Fire On The Mountain, Truckin'-> The Other One-> Drums-> Black Peter-> Around & Around

Where as many are critical of the Dead's performances over the course of the first two evenings, I feel that yes the songs are loose, but overall the performance was solid. The experience of seeing the Dead in such a special place far outweighs any sound issues that may have occurred.

The show was adventerous and deep with the highlight of the first evening for me being the "Scarlet>Fire". With the run's second performance comes sound improvement and a continuation of the magic...

Grateful Dead Live at Gizah Sound and Light Theater on September 15, 1978.

Ollin Arrageed*-> Promised Land, Friend Of The Devil, Mama Tried-> Big River, Loser, I Need A Miracle, Stagger Lee Jack Straw, Ship of Fools, Estimated Prophet-> Eyes Of The World-> Drums-> Terrapin Station-> Sugar Magnolia

The second night brought so much magic. If you listen closely, the crowd is buzzing and there was a lot of talk of the lunar eclipse that would take place the following evening. Highlights for me include "I Need a Miracle" and "Eyes of The World". Bill Graham has been quoted as saying "One of the great experiences of my life was dancing to 'Sugar Magnolia' in front of the Great Pyramid".

Night three would bring an other worldly experience as there was a full lunar eclipse during The Grateful Dead's performance...

Grateful Dead Live at Gizah Sound and Light Theater on September 16, 1978.

Bertha-> Good Lovin', Candyman, Looks Like Rain, Row Jimmy, El Paso, Ramble On Rose, Minglewood Blues, Deal, Ollin Arrageed*-> Fire On The Mountain-> Iko Iko, I Need A Miracle-> It's All Over Now, Sunrise, Shakedown Street-> Drums-> Truckin'-> Stella Blue-> Around & Around, One More Saturday Night

The highlights of evening three came in the form of "Ramble on Rose", "Deal" and "Fire>Aiko Aiko".

Eventually the Egypt recordings were released as a compilation of the three night run. The collective experience of the Egypt run in one that will go down in Dead history as one of the highlights. Thirty plus years later, we hope you enjoy the magic!


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