On this day in music history: December 31, 197…

On this day in music history: December 31, 1978 – The Grateful Dead headlines the final show at the Winterland Arena in San Francisco, CA. The famed concert venue owned by rock promoter Bill Graham also features The Blues Brothers and New Riders Of The Purple Sage as the opening acts on the show. The eight hour long concert is simulcast on local radio station KSAN-FM and the live broadcast is carried on local PBS television station KQED in San Francisco. The concert concludes with a breakfast at dawn with the audience. It is also one of the last live performances by The Dead to include band members Keith and Donna Jean Godchaux. The couple are having martial difficulties that exacerbated by Keith’s heroin use, which impedes on the band’s touring schedule. They eventually leave the band in February of 1979, and are replaced by keyboardist Brent Mydland, who remains with The Grateful Dead until his drug overdose death in 1990. The show is released on CD and DVD as “The Closing Of Winterland” in 2003. Following the closing of the venue it sits vacant and derelict for several years, before the building is finally demolished in 1985. Apartment buildings are constructed at the corner of Post and Steiner Streets where Winterland once stood.