Former Grateful Dead keyboardist Brent Mydland was 37-years-old when a drug overdose tragically ended his life on July 26, 1990. Mydland’s tenure in the band was the longest of any of their many keyboardists, lasting from April 22, 1979 to his final performance with the iconic group on July 23, 1990.
The Brent era ushered in an array of new keyboard instruments alongside his gritty, soulful vocals. Mydland’s contributions shaped the Dead’s ever-evolving sound, earning writing credits on such favorites as “Hell In A Bucket,” “Just A Little Light,” “Blow Away” and “Tons Of Steel.”
Another of Brent’s originals was the heartfelt ballad “I Will Take You Home,” which was written with lyricist John Perry Barlow. Mydland led a poignant rendition of “I Will Take You Home” during the second set of the Grateful Dead show held on September 15, 1988 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Mydland started to play “I Will Take You Home” and after singing the opening lines, he approached the song’s verse: Daddy’s come ’round for his darlin’ again / Hold my hand with your little fingers / Daddy’s loving arms gonna gather you in. At that point, his daughter Jessica was placed on stage next to her dad and sat on his piano bench for the duration of the song.
Coming out of a second set “Space,” the father/daughter moment can be seen in this video below via the JamBase Live Video Archive (JBLVA) :
[Originally Published: July 26, 2017]