The time Bill Walton took the Celtics to see the Grateful Dead

The time Bill Walton took the Celtics to see the Grateful Dead

He died yesterday at the age of 71 Bill Walton. No, he is not a musician. He was one of the greatest basketball players in history: a center who changed the way of playing, a legendary career marked by two titles, one with the Portland Trail Blazers in '77 and one with the Boston Celtics in '86 , but also from a myriad of injuries. And he was a huge fan of Grateful Deada band he has seen in concert over 850 times.
The music of the group Jerry Garcia it was an integral part of his life, as he recalled in a 2016 interview with Jambase: “We went there every time, that's all we did.

They played every weekend and then there was the Jerry Garcia Band, Ace and all the other bands I loved like Neil Young, Crosby, Stills & Nash, the Eagles, the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen. It was literally all the time and we still do it, and it's not enough. If it's Grateful Dead music or Grateful Dead musicians, we're there.”

In a video released after his passing, originally filmed to promote his 2016 book 'Back from the Dead,' Bill Walton – known among the band's fans, i Deadheadslike “Grateful Red” and “Big Red Deadhead” – talks about the time he brought his teammates Boston Celtics to see i Grateful Dead live at the Centrum in Worcester (Massachusetts).

This is Bill's story: “The band was finishing the warm up and playing the last notes, the excitement is truly palpable. You have goosebumps, electric as can be. Jerry Garcia steps forward into that ray of light , right where his microphone is, to make sure everything is perfect, to make sure all his pedals are all there. Then he looks to the side of the stage, where Walton is standing with teammates Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish and Dennis Johnson and he looks Larry Bird in the eye, he looks at him, gives him a funny wink and says, 'Larry, this is what we do,' and then turns to the audience and blows it all up, five or six hours Incredible the crowd was on fire.”
And he goes on to say, “After the concert is over, the band runs off the stage, they have to go to the next show, the lights come on, everyone's eyes are brighter than ever. The Celtics guys look at me and say, 'Wow! Oh my God! Can we come back tomorrow?' And they haven't stopped since.”

In 2001
Bill Walton
was inducted into the Grateful Dead Hall of Honor, which he described as the “greatest honor” of his life. As he wrote in a text included in the official program for the Dead's Fare Thee Well 50th Anniversary Reunion concerts at Soldier Field in Chicago in 2015. “From the beginning, the Grateful Dead have always made me proud, confident and courageous. They gave my life purpose and meaning. They gave me a reason to believe in the beauty, humanity, kindness and goodness in this world. They gave me a living, thriving culture of growing curiosity and exploration experimentation that has led to the spirit of generosity that I know will overwhelm us all while we are here, and beyond.”