Footage ’87: Garcia and Santana Burn Up “Fire On The Mountain”

by Peter Wendel
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Garcia.SantanaHere’s a real treat – one bound to put a big smile on your face. Guitar heroes Jerry Garcia and Carlos Santana join Mickey Hart and a sea of African percussionists to lay down a huge performance of “Fire On The Mountain.”

The big, bouncing carnival scene takes place at a February 1987 benefit for World Music in Schools at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Petaluma, CA. As far as I can tell, here’s the primary personnel onstage for “Fire On The Mountain”:

Jerry Garcia (guitar, vocals)
Carlos Santana (guitar)
Mickey Hart (drums)
Baba Olatunji (drums)
Hamza el Din (tar)
Bobby Vega (bass)

Good clean fun with an energized Garcia delivering a strong vocal performance and a soaring solo at 1:55. Not to be outdone, Carlos lays down a burner at 3:45 that dumps gas on the fire. Heading into the close, the dueling exchanges between the two are absolutely priceless. Uncle Jer is definitely feelin’ it (check the video at 7:00). Although the sound leaves a little something to be desired, this is not-to-be-missed footage.

Peter Wendel is a journalist and PR consultant. He's attended hundreds of concerts and festivals, including the Peach, Mountain Jam, the All Good and Lockn'. He's ridden legendary Grateful Dead runs from Ventura County Fairgrounds to Irvine Meadows (CA) from the Nassau Coliseum (NY) to the Boston Garden (MA). Peter is a former U.S. Marine who – after running into trouble with every last one of his commanding officers – received an honorable discharge and a direct order never to return. Born in California and raised in New Jersey, Peter lived in Boston and Joshua Tree (CA) before settling in the nation's capital. Find him on tour at