Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia Last Performance
The End of an Era
On July 9, 1995, Grateful Dead played with Jerry Garcia at Chicago’s Soldier Field for the last time. Exactly a month later on August 9, the iconic frontman was found dead at a rehabilitation clinic. He died from heart attack at 53 years old.
The show, which was opened by The Band, didn’t go smoothly. There were equipment problems and Garcia had to replace his “Rosebud” guitar with his older “Tiger.” And he clearly wasn’t in good shape. It was the final night of their spring/summer tour – that run saw Garcia struggling as his years of hard living caught up with him.
Garcia’s health began to decline in the early 1980s. Several times, he would seem distracted and disengaged on stage. His voice was different mostly because of heavy smoking and by this time, he gained a lot of weight. In July 1986, he went into a diabetic coma. Even though he woke up five days later, he had to learn how to play the guitar again.
He fully recovered but got sick again in 1992. He dabbled with narcotics again between 1993 and 1994 to help with the pain. In early 1995, he suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome which affected his guitar playing. He was also suffering from weakness and numbness in his extremities due to diabetes.
Check out the video of his final show below.
Grateful Dead’s July 9, 1995, Set List
“Touch of Grey”
“Little Red Rooster”
“Lazy River Road”
“When I Paint My Masterpiece”
“Samson and Delilah”
“So Many Roads”
“Samba in the Rain”
“Drums / Space”
“Black Muddy River”
“Box of Rain”