This post originally appeared at the now disappeared Global Elite Music Radio Podcast Supershow website on June 26, 2018 and is now posted here for posterity and because who doesn’t need more Hamza El Din With The Dead in their lives, right?!
In September 1978, the Grateful Dead traveled to Egypt to play three shows at the base of the Great Pyramid of Giza, under the gaze of the Great Sphinx.
The shows were the culmination of a band of seekers being drawn to places of power. In many ways, the shows were Phil Lesh's personal project. He says:
"it sort of became my project because I was one of the first people in the band who was on the trip of playing at places of power. You know, power that's been preserved from the ancient world. The pyramids are like the obvious number one choice because no matter what anyone thinks they might be, there is definitely some kind of mojo about the pyramids."
The shows also lived out the ideal of international collaboration, The Dead were famous for having other people sit in, from jazz musicians like Ornette Coleman to Nubian Sudanese composer, oud player, tar player, and vocalist Hamza El Din (Listen to "Did Nura Remember (Gillina Nura)" by Hamza El Din. From the 1965 album Al Oud featured on Episode 02 of the Global Elite Music Radio Podcast Supershow).
El Din had already garnered international recognition by this time, having played the Newport Folk Festival in 1964 and we are happy to feature his 1965 track "Did Nura Remember (Gillina Nura)" on Episode 02 of our podcast.
In October, El Din returned the favor and played with the Dead at Winterland: "El Din opened the show solo, offering his divine percussion before the Grateful Dead slowly emerged to join him for an ecstatic rendition of “Ollin Arageed”, a number based off a Nubian wedding tune, before embarking on a soaring half-acoustic, half-electric jam."
Watch "Ollin Arageed - Egypt 9-16-78:
Listen to the Dead with Hamza El Din 10/21/78:
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Listen to "Did Nura Remember (Gillina Nura)" by Hamza El Din. From the 1965 album Al Oud featured on Episode 02 of the Global Elite Music Radio Podcast Supershow.