Thursday, June 2, 2016

McArthur Court, University Of Oregon, 1801 University Street, Eugene, OR

Capacity 9000
McArthur Court was a basketball arena located on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene and the former home of the Oregon Ducks men's and women's basketball teams.(1)(2)
McArthur Court saw its first game on January 14, 1927, a 38–10 Oregon victory over Willamette University.
Also known as "The Pit" or "Mac Court," it was known as one of the most hostile arenas in the nation. 
The arena is named for Clifton N. (Pat) McArthur, U. S. Congressman and Oregon student-athlete and the school's first student body president.[3]
Photo courtesy of Ron Daggett
It's unique and antiquated structure has the fans on top of the court. The maple floor bounces under the weight of the student section that surrounds the court.[4] In 2001 Sporting News named it "best gym in America".[5]
The arena was funded by a $15 fee imposed by the Associated Students of the University of Oregon and the mortgage papers were burned as part of a public ceremony after the building was completely paid for.[7]
It was replaced in 2011 by Matthew Knight Arena.[1][2]

Jerry performed here on
5/31/69 Grateful Dead
I:Hard To Handle;Cold Rain And Snow;Yellow Dog Story;Green Green Grass Of Home;Me And My Uncle;Cryptical Envelopment>Drums>The Other One>Cryptical Envelopment>Sittin On Top Of The World;It Hurts Me Too;Turn On Your Love Light
II:He Was A Friend Of Mine;Dark Star>Doin' That Rag>Cosmic Charlie
Encore:It's All Over Now, Baby Blue;And We Bid You Good Night
Palace Meat Market opened.
Promoters Stan McGriff[20] and Oregon Radio Club.
5/31/69 Unknown photographer
This performance was originally scheduled for Hayward Field according to advertising in the Daily Emerald, May 28, 1969.
Jerry imitates a pedal steel guitar on Green Grass.[10]
"Billy is singing on Lovelight along with Ken Babbs."[8] Ken Babbs speaks in Green Grass, Baby Blue and other spots.
"Ken Babbs starts Baby Blue with a sad little rap; he's also heard rapping at length after Cold Rain & Snow."[16]

"Ken Babbs was indeed onstage "in some capacity," chattering away during the Dead's downtime; they sound quite at home with him. (Jerry even crows, "Free turf! Anyone can do anything they want to!" while Ken babbles.) One Archive reviewer mentions that "Kesey had recently returned to Oregon" and there were free ice cream cones! [I think Kesey had been in Oregon since the end of '67, but perhaps there was another occasion for the festivities.]
A distressed announcer at the end of the show tells the crowd, "Lots of people snuck in, and they only sold 1500 tickets, and they're 400 dollars short." So he asks the audience to give money at the door when they leave!"[9]

1/22/78 Grateful Dead
I:New Minglewood Blues;Dire Wolf;Cassidy;Peggy-O;El Paso;Tennessee Jed;Jack Straw;Row Jimmy;The Music Never Stopped
II:Bertha>Good Lovin';Ship Of Fools;Samson And Delilah;Lady With A Fan>Drums>The Other One>Saint Stephen>Not Fade Away>Around And Around
Encore:U.S. Blues
Photo by Bruce Polansky
Promoter Bill Graham Presents and Double Tee in Association with EMU Cultural Forum.
Jerry wears a baseball style jersey with two white stripes on each shoulder and plays the guitar Wolf.[21]
"I worked my way to the third row, third seat from center. Security came over to me and told me straight up that it wasn't my seat cuz it belonged to his girlfriend. AND SHE COULDN'T MAKE IT so he told me to enjoy the show!! 
His girlfriend, even tho she wasn't there, wanted to hear Jack Straw, so I yelled out to Bobby and he turned around to the band and they went into Jack Straw. Very Cool. 
As they took a breather after Samson and Micky pointed at me and say to those around him "This guy is going to go nuts" I Did!!
In case it hasn't been noticed, when Jerry is doodling (Close Encounters jam) no one is playing with him. In all my shows, it was the only time where I saw the rest of the band find a seat and let their jaws drop to the floor with the rest of us. It also helped that Ken Kesey was in the audience and there was a Jester roaming the front few rows dosing people."[11]

"Bobby and Jerry were jumping up and down during the Jerry-fan section at the end of Jack Straw - I never saw the big guy that animated again after that."[12]

"I was standing in the lobby during intermission in a circle passing around a joint; I keep trying to pass it to the guy on my left, not looking at him, just trying to get him to take this joint. Finally I look over and realize he's not taking it because he's a City of Eugene police officer. Then, later, during Jerry's solo, this big cowboy sitting behind us gets up and announces disgustedly, to no one in particular, "Who does this guy [Garcia] think he is, Jimi Hendrix or somehing?" and walks out. Well, this is (and was) rural Oregon and I guess the guy just wandered into the wrong concert."[13]

"What happens in TMNS is nothing short of divine rapture. Jerry's wiggling leads pick the locks of Heaven and throw the gates wide. Then the Dead roll right in- in proud style- jamming all the way and rocking the celestial halls of Ever After, leaving no pillar unshaken. No other band can ride such a pure wave on the muse's tide for as long or as unadulterated as the Dead. Jerry's fingers dance around with their own freedom and cascades of notes will bathe your soul in sense and color as the music plays the band. I found myself laughing and shaking my head in disbelief. Absolute mind blowing a cosmic dandelion into a sparkling sentiment of LOVE."[14]

"The other thing that sticks in my mind was that the stage set was a scaled down version of the Autzen Stadium set from the summer before. There was the huge rainbow stretching across the top of the stage with the sun in the middle. The difference was that at Autzen, there were hangings in front of the speaker columns at each end of the rainbow that completed the diorama."[15]

"Bill Graham, producer of the tour, showed up at Eugene January 22 with 50 red t-shirts emblazoned with Healy's picture behind bars, and "Free The Bakersfield 2" on the back.(19) Healy was busted in Bakersfield on January 14 for resisting arrest and public drunkenness. Graham persuaded the band and everyone else on stage to put them on at the end of the show.[19]

8/16/81 Grateful Dead
I:Jack Straw;Friend Of The Devil>El Paso;Loser;New Minglewood Blues;Peggy-O>Little Red Rooster;Deal
II:Feel Like A Stranger;Scarlet Begonias>Fire On The Mountain; Estimated Prophet>Eyes Of The World>Jam>Drums>Space>The Other One>Stella Blue>Around And Around>Good Lovin'
Encore:It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Promoter Double Tee/John Scher Presents.
"During Drums they rolled Ken Kesey out in a psychedelic circus cage known as the Thunder Machine, while Ken Babbs rapped at the mic."[6]

"Kesey or Babbs were on stage. They were, for sure, at the '81 Mac Court show...Thunder Machine was wheeled out right on stage and they beat the heck out of it. Babbs also had a mic and was doing some insane-o rap."[18]

"Over 100 degrees outside that day. . .very foggy in the gym. I remember people hanging out in the old cemetery across from Mac Court and thinking, "How fitting."[17]

"I had my one and only backstage pass for this show! At the break I followed everyone down to the locker room. I remember Kesey and Babbs were there and I spotted Jerry standing off to one side talking to two little girls, so I strolled over and lit a joint and smoked it with him !!! Later my friends and I partied with the rest of the band at the Valley River Inn ! What a mighty time!"[18]

McArthur Court (University Of Oregon), Eugene, OR 
1.)^"Transforming Campus: Basketball Arena". University of Oregon Development: Campaign Oregon.
4.)^"Where we play". Oregon Daily Emerald. September 20, 2004.
6.)^Mr felina, comments, 2013-02-08, Other Stuff,
7.)^"McArthur Court". University of Oregon, Official Athletic Site.
8.)^hockey_john, comments, 2012-10-31,
9.)^Light Into Ashes, comments, 2011-12-01,
11.)^Lindy8018, comments, 2010-07-02,
12.)^Ray Sachs, comments, 2007-03-18,
13.)^Drake, Jeff, comments, 2005-04-19,
14.)^zuben, comments, 2004-12-14,
15.)^nassau73, cooments, 2009-01-15,
17.)^danf, comments,
18.)^Mojohand, comments, 2014-01-18, Garcia,
19.)^Gans, David, Dead Ahead, BAM #27, 1978-02, pg. 72.
20.)^MS 332 Ser. 3, Box 1:13, GDR: Show Files: 1968-1969, Venues and Promoter List, 1968, Northwest Tours Notes, Grateful Dead Archive, Special Collections, McHenry Library, UC Santa Cruz, CA.

21.)^Polansky, Bruce, photographer, 1978-01-22.

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