Dennis Elsas, the legendary WNEW-FM deejay and current jock for New York’s WFUV, has interviewed legions of musicians from John Lennon to Elton John. Now, Elsas is combing through some of his own personal archives and releasing them to the public on his Website.
The most recent addition is a 1984 interview with Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead on the eve of the band’s 20th anniversary, and has not been seen since it originally aired on PM Magazine (warning: contains fashion flashbacks to the 1980s). “The band had already begun to attract a second generation of Deadheads — extremely loyal fans who may have been too young to experience the ’60s firsthand, but were determined to embrace the experience in every way possible,” writes Elsas. “Jerry was in town to play a show with John Kahn at the nearby Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ. It was just one of several side projects he would often pursue. Relaxed and happy, it was surprising and sad when just a few months later he entered a difficult period that lasted nearly two years plagued by drug and health issues.”
Also newly posted is a 1971 memo from fellow WNEW-FM jock legend Scott Muni, outlining the details of a WNEW-FM live broadcast of the Grateful Dead playing New York’s Felt Forum on December 3, 1971. The site serves up other rare interviews with the Ronnie Wood, Paul Simon, Grace Slick, Pete Townshend, Levon Helm and Joni Mitchell.