More Like Bonghamton
On the morning of 11/6/77, Garcia woke up in a hotel room (he was only semi-regularly setting them on fire that tour) and decided he was going to solo.
Now, Garcia always soloed, for this was his purpose; if there was music playing, he would solo over it until it was time to go home. It’s what he did.
Perhaps, that afternoon, Garcia soloed. Did he take a nap? If so, he briefly stopped soloing.
But then it was time for the show, and the solos. Actually, it would be wrong to call them solos, because the entire evening is just one long solo, while the band plays different tunes underneath. There are short breaks in the guitar solo, but only for cigarette solos.
The show climaxes, famously, with the Greatest Truckin’ Peak EVAR. (My ironic detachment aside, it actually is.) You know how it goes:
Wheedley deedley deedley DEE!
Wheedley deedley deedley DOO!
You get the point, but here’s why the Dead are the best band in the entire world, for the wrong reasons: if any–ANY AND EVERY–other band played the end of a song like that once, they would do it that way every time after. Bon Jovi would end the show that way every night.
The Dead played it once, and by accident. God bless the Grateful Dead and all her ships at sea.