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Bands: Grateful Dead / 10 cc; Reggie Knighton
Venue: Capitol Theatre, Passaic NJ
Date: November 24, 1978 / November 25, 1978
Quality: Uncirculated program; Cover art.
Comments: I used to wear a pocket protector. I don’t dance, and I was still hopelessly engaged in a battle with the printer to get the logo printed properly in the center. Meal ticket (1985) courtesy Moyssi; Meal courtesy Cy Kocis.
Mr Jiggs Takes a Powder
Even though she does not appear on the bill, there’s more than a little anecdotal evidence that this was the show in which "Mr Jiggs" made her appearance on stage and disappearance down the main isle and out the front door into the streets of Passaic. My own experience with Mr Jiggs was a little too close for comfort.
The lighting crew workshop, gel storage, and spare parts bin was reached by climbing a ladder from the crew room just off stage right. Unbeknownst to me, Mr Jiggs’ trainer temporarily stashed the chimp in the crew room while he took care of his own business. I blandly opened the door, walked in, closed the door behind me and—just as I was about to climb up into the lighting shop—noticed a large, hairy animal staring eyeball-to-eyeball at me.
This female chimp weighed in at about 135 pounds (same as me at the time) but had four powerful limbs, very big and very yellow teeth, even yellower whites of her eyes, and a grip that plainly said “Make my day”. She put her arms around me and pulled me down into the seat next to her. It is times like this that make you understand the need for religion.
Thankfully the trainer arrived at that moment and, by the look on his face, I knew that there might be something to worry about. He told me not to move a muscle and spent about ten years talking Mr Jiggs into releasing her grip on me. It was my good fortune not yet to know that chimps bite the faces off their prey. It’s a monkey thing.
And it was THIS show that Mr Jiggs decided, in the middle of her performance, to jump off the stage and run out of the theatre with ushers and security staff in hot pursuit down Passaic's main drag. And the band played on. Although stricken with peneumonia, Jerry Garcia does an incredible version of Sugaree...—Moyssi Video links to the Grateful Dead at the Capitol Theatre on November 24, 1978: