These 1981 shows at the Greek Theatre on UC Berkeley’s Eden-like campus began an annual tradition and also ushered in a series of annual outdoor shows in California, including the Frost Amphitheatre at Stanford, Ventura, and CalExpo in Sacramento. Each year through 1989, local Deadheads would be treated to a trio of shows at the band’s outdoor “home court,” The Greek.
Blair Jackson, Grateful Dead historian said, “Those 1981 shows were the greatest.” “It was the first time in the modern era that they played the Greek. One thing that’s interesting about it is there are no soundboard tapes from it. For some reason it’s only audience tapes. It was the first of the really good venues,” Jackson said. “The Greek was like this warm and special place for the Dead. It was always a great scene outside. The ’81 shows were great. Brent had been in the band for two years at that point and was broken in and they were on kind of a high.”
The main star of that weekend’s shows was the Berkeley weather in September and the majestic expanse of an outdoor theater, which was built in 1903 to resemble the ancient Greek theater of Epidaurus. The theater sits at the high end of the UC Berkeley campus, like the campus football stadium nearby, with a killer view and the swirling Berkeley Hills winds that could feel like an invigorating slap in the face.
Artist Daniel Ziegler – who also did the Greek poster for 1982 - has lived and worked as an artist and designer in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1977. In addition to print media, he has produced work in film and video, architectural signage, interactive media, and interface design. He currently works independently at his studio in Berkeley, California, producing graphic art for a wide range of clients, and teaching a class in design theory.
Daniel is a painter, a cartoonist, a husband and a dad. He holds a BFA degree from the Fine Arts Department of the University of California at Berkeley.