I was at the 76 show! I went down to battery park without tickets to go see the pirate's ball. I had no idea what I was getting into. Tickets had been on sale for days & I had seen several Garcia band shows in the area that week. It sold out before I knew it was a boat ride with the band. One of my friends found someone with tickets but he told me I had to buy them. When my friend took me to the guy, he was a hell's angel and he had some passes for sale. I was nervous, but he told me they were good and I bought them from him. A little while later there was a roar in the air. Next thing we knew, the hell's angels came down broadway in formation! It was a site to behold! There were angels from all over, it was incredible. The boat pulled into the dock & it was flying the flag, Hell's Angels USA. It was mind boggling. I got separated from my friends in the mob scene getting on the boat. I found myself going up a metal staircase on the boat and some people had been going down the same stairway. At the top of the stairs was a huge hell's angel with tattoos all over his belly and an open leather vest. There was a chain across the top of the stairs and this angel(whose name was tiny) looked down at me and said, "gotta pass?". I had the pass in my hand & I held it out, he moved the chain & let me in. I was suddenly surrounded by angels and Garcia walked by right in front of me. I was backstage! There was a large garbage pail full of ice & beers, Heinekens & buds. Garcia grabbed a heine, surrounded by angels, I grabbed a bud. The first 3 rows of the audience were roped off as part of backstage. It was incredible. I remember Bo diddly playing and then eventually Garcia band came out. They rocked the boat. Literally! I remember when they played 'they love each other', Jerry's riff had everyone moving & I swear jerry knew he could tip the boat if he wanted to! I was sitting in the first row next to an angel with a freakin silver gauntlet with interchangeable hook/spike/whatever. It was one of the best nights ever, but also the scariest! As someone else said above, there were tanks of nitrous on board & there was a pic & story about the show in High Times magazine, so they might have supplied it like someone said. The pic actually had someone I knew from high school in it and when I eventually talked to him years later, he told me when the nitrous tanks were empty, some angels threw them overboard! As I said, scary night!
Here is the footage from the legendary pirates ball in 1976 - so tasty!
http://www.concertvault.com/jerry-garci ... 13166.html