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The Betty Boards Are Now in the Grateful Dead Vault

Dean Budnick | February 16, 2017

While to some degree this was buried in the announcement regarding the forthcoming release of the Grateful Dead’s May 1977: Get Shown The Light box set, the famed Betty Boards are now officially part of the Grateful Dead vault.

A few years ago we reported on the saga of the Betty Boards, which include more than 350 reels of Grateful Dead soundboards recorded by audio crew member Betty Cantor-Jackson, that found their way into a May 1986 storage auction in California’s Marin County (you can read the entire saga here). These tapes remained in private hands for many years, although copies did eventually circulate (eventually some of the original reels began to deteriorate before Rob Eaton helped to restore them). For many, of course, the Holy Grail may well be the May 8, 1977 show in Ithaca, NY at Cornell’s Barton Hall.

Archivist David Lemieux notes, “During the 18+ years I've worked with the Grateful Dead, no concert has garnered as much attention and as many requests for release as Cornell, with the New Haven, Boston, and Buffalo shows following very closely behind. For those who didn't know the history of these master tapes and about their absence from the band's vault, and for those who have, like us, lamented this hole in the collection, we join with you in celebrating what might be, minute-for-minute, song-for-song, the most high quality Grateful Dead release ever produced."

May 1977: Get Shown The Light
presents 5/8/77, along with three previously unreleased performances: Veterans' Memorial Coliseum, New Haven, CT (5/5/77), Boston Garden, Boston, MA (5/7/77), and Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY (5/9/77).

As for what might well follow, here is a list of known Grateful Dead Betty Boards:

02.18.71 The Capitol Theater, Port Chester, New York
02.19.71 The Capitol Theater, Port Chester, New York
02.20.71 The Capitol Theater, Port Chester, New York
02.21.71 The Capitol Theater, Port Chester, New York
02.23.71 The Capitol Theater, Port Chester, New York
02.24.71 The Capitol Theater, Port Chester, New York
04.05.71 Manhattan Center, New York City (End Of 2nd Set Only)
04.06.71 Manhattan Center, New York City
04.07.71 Boston Music Hall, Boston, Massachusetts
04.08.71 Boston Music Hall, Boston, Massachusetts
12.14.71 The Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
05.04.72 The Olympia Theater, Paris, France
08.21.72 Berkeley Community Theater, Berkeley, California
08.22.72 Berkeley Community Theater, Berkeley, California
08.25.72 Berkeley Community Theater, Berkeley, California
08.27.72 Old Renaissance Faire Ground, Veneta, Oregon
03.16.73 Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, Long Island, New York
03.21.73 Memorial Auditorium, Utica, New York
03.22.73 Memorial Auditorium, Utica, New York
03.24.73 Spectrum Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
05.26.73 Kezar Stadium, San Francisco, California
06.22.73 Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, B.C.
06.10.76 The Boston Music Hall, Boston, Massachusetts
06.11.76 The Boston Music Hall, Boston, Massachusetts
06.14.76 The Beacon Theater, New York City
06.15.76 The Beacon Theater, New York City
06.29.76 The Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, Illinois
02.26.77 The Swing Auditorium, San Bernadino, California
05.05.77 New Haven Coliseum, New Haven, Connecticut
05.07.77 Boston Gardens, Boston, Massachusetts
05.08.77 Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
05.09.77 War Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, New York
09.29.77 The Paramount Theater, Seattle, Washington
10.02.77 The Paramount Theater, Portland, Oregon
10.28.77 Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall, Kansas City, Missouri
10.29.77 Field House, Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, Illinois
10.30.77 Assembly Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana
11.01.77 Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan
11.05.77 War Memorial, Rochester, New York (End Of Show)
11.06.77 Broome County Arena, Binghamton, New York
04.07.78 Hollywood Sportatorium, Hollywood, Florida
04.10.78 The Fox Theater, Atlanta, Georgia
04.11.78 The Fox Theater, Atlanta, Georgia
04.12.78 Cameroon Indoor Stadium, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
04.14.78 Coliseum, Virginia Polytechnic, Blacksburg, Virginia
04.15.78 William And Mary College, Williamsburg, Virginia
07.07.78 Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison, Colorado
07.08.78 Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison, Colorado
10.18.78 Winterland, San Francisco, California
04.22.79 Spartan Stadium, San Jose, California