It seems like a no-brainer to pair Bill Walton and the Grateful Dead in a project together, and that is exactly what ESPN is doing.
On Wednesday, ESPN will air an extreme sports documentary titled, “Fire on the Mountain” – a film focusing on extreme sports athletes and one that will be narrated by Walton while and consist of a Grateful Dead soundtrack.
The film, created by professional skier and filmmaker Chris Benchetler, will feature fellow skier Michelle Parker, snowboarders Jeremy Jones, Danny Davis, Fasani and surfer Rob Machado as they embark on an improvisational extreme sports journey.
The film’s title, “Fire on the Mountain,” is from the Grateful Dead song off their 1978 album “Shakedown Street” as David Lemieux – the audiovisual and legacy manager for the Grateful Dead – supervised the music in the film.
A new original Grateful Dead composition titled, “In the Beginning There Was Fire” will debut in the film as well.
Walton, an ESPN basketball commentator and Grateful Dead aficionado, is a fitting choice as the documentary’s narrator.
In a press release from ESPN, Walton describes the film in only a way that he could.
“Recently, while shadow boxing the apocalypse, and wandering the land, I came upon the creation of the world, and the birth of fire,” he said. “I quickly spiraled round and round, and was immediately sucked into the vortex of Fire On The Mountain – The Movie. It has become a harmonic convergence of the highest order, bringing together the best of the best of the best – of everything, with as fine a group of young, dynamic, action-figure super-heroes, as there is in the known universe.
“Like me, they love the edge, nature, the groove, rhythm, sport, and the culture and rhythmic beat of the Grateful Dead. The new young guys asked me to speak. I channeled everyone and everything I’ve known in my now 53 years with the Grateful Dead. Mickey Hart, there from the beginning, led a responsive charge to my call to action. The result is Fire On The Mountain—The Movie, as great a project and team, driven by glorious purpose and song, as I’ve ever been a part of.”
The film debuts on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday and will air again on Nov. 22 at 4 p.m. ET on ABC.