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The Daily Volcano Quote: the rock band and the volcano 14 July 2011

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Perhaps the most incredible Weather Control story involves the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. The Dead was reportedly playing at Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon. A short way into the second set, the Dead played the song “Fire on the Mountain”. Legend has it that while the band was playing a particularly “hot” version of that song, the volcano erupted. When the show was over, Deadheads emerged to find volcanic ash falling everywhere. Though it was never explicitly said that the Dead “caused” the mountain to erupt, everyone agreed that the intensity of the song and the eruption were somehow connected. In fact, the Dead did not actually play in Portland until June 12, 1980, almost a month after the major May 18 eruption of Mount St. Helens, but they did play “Fire on the Mountain” at that show, probably as a tribute to the volcano. This legend shows how history and folklore combine very quickly — in this case within ten years — to create a memorable story.

Revell Carr, ‘Deadhead tales of the supernatural: a folkloristic analysis’, in Robert G. Weiner (ed.), Perspectives on the Grateful Dead (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999), pp. 209-10. The Grateful Dead may not actually ever have made a volcano erupt, but they could have done if they had wanted to.

The Daily Volcano Quote: from Monday to Friday, a new eruption of volcanic verbiage each day.

The Volcanism Blog

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Comments

1. Andrew Cooper - 14 July 2011

There were several memorable eruptions through the month of June and into the summer, including some that showered Portland with ash (Yes, I was there). The USGS site lists June 12, 1980 as a significant event with over 50 million cubic yards of material erupted.

2. parclair - 15 July 2011

Heh, Deadheads are big on believing in auspicious coincidence. It’s been a fun, long strange trip.


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