50 Rarely Seen Images From Woodstock 1969

The Grateful Dead’s Set Was Literally Electrifying

woodstock grateful dead
Henry Diltz/1stDibs

When the Grateful Dead took the stage for their performance on Saturday night, it was pouring rain. Rain and electrical instruments don’t work well together. “It was raining toads when we played. The rain was part of our nightmare. The other part was our sound man, who decided that the ground situation on the stage was all wrong.”

“It took him about two hours to change it, which held up the show. Every time I touched my instrument, I got a shock. The stage was wet, and the electricity was coming through me. I was conducting! Touching my guitar and the microphone was nearly fatal. There was a great big blue spark about the size of a baseball, and I got lifted off my feet and sent back eight or ten feet to my amplifier.” —– Bob Weir.