Gawker.com reprinted Alan Baird's Saturday Night Live stories and one of 'em is 'bout the Dead. I'm a sucker for GD anicdotes!!!
Originally from TheMorningNews.org:
The Grateful Dead begin psyching themselves up to perform 20 minutes before air, and by the time we let the audience take their seats, clouds of marijuana smoke in the entry hall have reduced visibility to five or ten feet at best.Then the red ‘On Air’ light starts blinking, and through the heavy double doors, I can hear SNL’s house band rip into the theme music. Don Pardo’s dulcet tones announce the Dead and their guest host. Later, I’ll go inside to watch some of the sketches that have survived dress rehearsal, and none of us will miss the two musical performances. But for now, I stand in the empty hallway, sucking up a few lungfuls of second-hand reefer. After an earlier rehearsal, Jerry Garcia gave me one of his plastic guitar picks, and I run a finger along its triangular shape, resting securely in my pocket. This little treasure will look mighty fine, pasted into the ol’ scrapbook.
By the way, I love the Dead for the Jams - the longer the better. Considering the time limit and format of SNL, I didn't expect to really enjoy the Dead's appearences. But, I must say, the Dead sounded Phat!