Johnny Colla Weighs In On His Hometown And Some Interesting Grateful Dead History
Former Suisun City resident Johnny Colla and the rest of Huey Lewis and the News jammed with the Grateful Dead on March 12, 1988, at the San Francisco Civic Auditorium. The occasion was the Bay Area Music Awards, also known as the Bammies.
The Grateful Dead’s 1987 album “In The Dark” cleaned up at the Bammies that year. The awards they collected included Best Album, Best Bassist (Phil Lesh), Best Drummer (Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann), and Best Guitarist (Jerry Garcia). Garcia also took home the Musician of the Year award.
The all-star jam session included two tunes the Dead had covered on studio/live albums, Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” and Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “Turn on Your Love Light.” The two bands were also joined by John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival for the encore, rock ‘n’ roll legend Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally.” It featured Colla adding a wailing sax solo.
Johnny Colla: I remember having mixed feelings about jamming with the Grateful Dead. On the one hand, at the time their cult status was increasing exponentially, so I figured this meeting would most likely end up being one for the history books. On the other, I wasn’t really a Dead fan myself. I think what convinced me to do it was how important it was for Huey’s mom, who was an original Deadhead, plus the fact that we were going to play “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl,” stepping way back in time when Pigpen was still an integral part of the band (and when I actually was a fan of the band!). Huey absolutely knocked that tune out of the park, channeling both Pigpen and Sonny Boy Williamson! read full article