Musically Speaking
The End Of An Era: "The Closing Of Winterland"
By Mary J. Peterson
Jan 1, 2004 - 10:30:00 AM

SAN FRANCISCO—"Grateful Dead: The Closing of Winterland" is a 2 DVD set released in November, which captures the Grateful Dead and the San Francisco music scene in the late 1970's with accuracy and fondness.


Photo courtesy of
It was New Year's Eve in 1978 when the final show was held at the legendary Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. The famous Bay area ballroom was in disrepair and rock and roll promoter Bill Graham decided not to renew his lease on the historic structure. Graham chose his favorite band The Grateful Dead to commemorate the final bash at Winterland.


Past shows at the venue included The Band's all-star "Last Waltz" on Thanksgiving night in 1976 and the Sex Pistols’ "Flameout" in January of 1978. The DVD "The Closing of Winterland" is the actual broadcast of the final show at the Ballroom, which was simulcast locally on public TV.


Joining the show were The New Riders of the Purple Sage and The Blues Brothers. Extras also included in the set are a collector's booklet with color photos, exclusive interviews and a Winterland documentary film. This set is an essential for any rock fan wishing to relive the San Francisco music scene during this era.

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