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“Yesterday’s Dead Today”, Monday, August 24th, 7-9pm Eastern

Written by on Saturday, August 22, 2020

“It is said that, if you lined up all those who have ever been to a Grateful Dead concert head-to-toe, the line would stretch around the moon, and about halfway back. And nobody would complain!”

WSLR is slowly coming back with a very sparse number of live studio programmers, albeit with very specific instructions as to how to protect both ourselves and our fellow WSLR volunteers.

Grateful Dead
Boreal Ridge Ski Resort, Donner’s Summit, CA
August 24, 1985
SBD > Cassette Master
(Sony D5/TDK MA-R90)
Thanks to Joani Walker and Paul Scotton for the tapes
All transfers and mastering By Charlie Miller

Billed as “The Highest Grateful Dead Concert”!
Reckoned by many to be “the worst show ever”. In the past I broadcasted another “worst show” and callers
loved it. Remember Jerry in “The Grateful Dead Movie” telling how, after a gig, he said it was “effed”. Got so
mad he threw Phil down the stairs(“…and we’d been tight for years…”). Admitted that they later used material in
a release.

Beauty is also in THE EAR of the beholder. My only beef is that, like many dates around this time, they play
stuff too fast…

My opinion, “It’s a Dead Concert!”

Disc 1 – Set 1:

  1. tuning
  2. Alabama Getaway >
  3. Greatest Story Ever Told
  4. West L.A. Fadeaway
  5. New Minglewood Blues
  6. Friend Of The Devil
  7. Hell In A Bucket >
  8. Don’t Ease Me In

Disc 2 – Set 2:

  1. tuning
  2. Feel Like A Stranger >
  3. China Cat Sunflower >
  4. I Know You Rider
  5. He’s Gone >
  6. Drums >
  7. Space >
  8. Truckin’ >
  9. Black Peter >
  10. Around And Around >
  11. Turn On Your Lovelight


  1. Day Tripper

This review from the Master himself:
Reviewer: Charlie Miller
Subject: Good Show!!!
I don’t know why anyone would call this the worst show ever. It’s a good show.

This review is from Charlie Miller himself:
REVIEW: Good Show!!!
I don’t know why anyone would call this the worst show ever. It’s a good show.

REVIEW: YES! Thank You Charlie!
Charlie beat me to the punch…I have heard those same words about this show. I have been pumping this
particular Stranger->China-> Rider through my speakers since I was like 16 or 17 years old-so soooo wish I was
on a ski lift in the middle of the summer up to Grateful Dead peak in the summer of ’85. My experience has
always been a low gen. audience-as ALWAYS I am very very psyched to have a Miller delivery of another solid

REVIEW: I Third That
I wasnt there, I saw Alpine through Ventura, but I always thought this show got a bad rap. Is it the Fix or Greek
or second night Richmond or 4.7? No. Worst show ever? No. I thought 4.6 first night Philly was worse. I know
a couple of people who went and anything negative I heard from them was more about the venue, not the show
itself, i.e. the dust, the traffic, one road, etc. Which were perhaps valid since everyone said the same thing and
the band never went back.

REVIEW: 8-24-85
Good show. Nice sound.

REVIEW: At the Boreal Ridge show
Yeah it was a weird couple of days… Most of the local shops restaurants ran out of food/supplies by the day of
the show. A buddy of mine were low on funds and eating at a local place, the coolest waitperson gave us a huge
plate of fries to share. Never forget that…
Yeah Bobby was kicking the heck out of his amp… What was more impressive though, he was wearing a super
thin set of sneakers, dang tuff feat from all that running I guess!!
It was a hot weird day, so-so show but nothing but good memories for me!!

REVIEW: Highest elevation show
I drove up the mountain and camped on the back side, bedded down at dark – probably 10. Woke to all the
travelers everywhere who had drove through the night to get there from the desert. The local store was foraged
over and empty. It was a rushed show at a high altitude in the brutal heat. Friend of the Devil was magic and I
stayed the night in Reno. The attitude of the crowd was great, fun show.

REVIEW: Donner Party
This was a landmark show for me for many reasons. Touted as the highest Dead show ever, it was nice to be
backstage. 139 years prior, my forebears spent the winter nearby in what is known as the Donner Party. Patrick
Breen Jr is my second great grandfather; his father kept the now famous diary. We drove up from SF to Truckee,
staying at Nurse Barbie’s which was quite the social gathering in and of itself. I came back to this location
(roughly) 11 years later in 1996 to deliver the key note speech to the crowd gathered for the Donner Party’s
sesquicentennial, reading the lyrics to Big Head Todd’s Monument in Green. As for the show, I have fond
memories. There were technical difficulties and it was bloody hot. But I’m glad I was there among so many

Reviews from other recordings:
REVIEW: lets get real
i was there, had fun with all my tahoe city/donner lake friends, but this show in on way on any scale other than
the fun someone have deserve a 5. Thus, a 1 to bring some sanity back to the rating system (or should we just
label every GD show a 5?)

REVIEW: Highest show ever
This was my first show and WOW. Also my first trip. First time for a lot of things. My experienced deadhead
cousin turned me on. Drove up the day before and spent the night in the woods around a campfire with about 20
folks from San Fran sharing tales. These 2 guys just handed me what they called 5 hits of purple gels. That
morning i bit me off a piece of that KitKat bar, and remember beautiful scenery, beautiful people and good
music. There was such a long pause between sets that i took the other 4. Don’t remember what was real or not
after that. I was up against the stage in front of Jerry hanging on for dear life. Big dust swirls that contained the
music. Hot . Bunch of amp kicking on stage. I kept looking back at the big ass crowd that was there. i remember
crazies had climbed all the ski lift poles. Very strange surreal atmosphere. The best show ever.

REVIEW: My recollection
There was something going on with the band at this show. Jerry didn’t want to play. He walked away after a
song and the rest of the band followed him. There was five minutes and they reappeared. My take is that they
talked Jerry back. Bad vibes and Jerry was out of it. Sorry – that’s how I remember it. Beautiful venue. How the
people next to me smuggled in bean bag chairs and a 240L tank of nitrous oxide is still a mystery.

REVIEW: The best part was…
When the sound system got fixed and the entire bowl filled with a giant wave of vibrations that shook us down
to our bones. There was no perfect Grateful Dead concert and I wish I could have gone to 100 more.

You get the picture…