Friday, July 10, 2009

Bill Kreutzmann’s All-Stars 1984

Bill Kreutzmann’s All-Stars

David Nelson-guitar, vocals
Larry Murphy-steel guitar, violin, guitar
Lazer Murphy-bass
Bill Kreutzmann-drums

January 21, 1984 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
January 28, 1984 Keystone Palo Alto, Palo Alto, CA
March 2, 1984 The Stone, San Francisco, CA
March 9, 1984 The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, CA

I used to copy down everything from the Grateful Dead Hotline. Since there was no internet, sometimes I just wrote down the information and wondered what it was. Although I lived in the East Bay at the time, I don’t know anyone who went to these shows, so I don’t know what the band sounded like or what material they played. So despite the invention of the internet, I still know little more about this group than when I wrote this information down.

I do vaguely recall some information from BAM Magazine or Relix or something, that suggested that this band was based in Garberville, where Billy K lived, and perhaps had played some gigs up there before playing in the Bay Area. At the time, I believe David Nelson was playing in a Zydeco band.


  1. There are a few paragraphs in the Deadline column in Golden Road #2, Spring 1984, pp. 6, 11.

  2. I don't think Kreutzmann ever lived in Garberville. I lived in Redway (the evil twin sister city to Garberville) for years and never heard that.

  3. i saw the berkley show. murphy had a "whammy lever" mounted on top of the whammy bar on his guitar and whammy'd it w/his pinky. they did a lot of country.

    i believe this band (at least some kreutz band) played the caspar inn around '82 or '83...

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    1. Chris, thanks for taking the time to unravel this.

  5. Lazer Murphy currently resides in Olympia, Washington. He recently told me that he is finally rested up and ready for round 2. Here is a bit of info on the Allstars. Larry Murphy Sr. did not play a steel guitar. He played a b-bender that he invented on a Bigsby vibrato on his ES 355 Gibson. He was noted for his pedal steel guitar rides that were often more authentic than an actual pedal steel. Sadly, Larry passed away fall of 1999. Lazer is currently working with my group, a Seattle area psychedelic country rock /Western Swing band ( - playing lead guitar and lap steel. Lazer met Bill Kreutzmann in Garberville while working with the Healy-Trease band. Billy was a guest drummer. Shortly thereafter, Bill and Lazer formed the Allstars and brought in David Nelson and Larry Sr. to finish out the roster. They rehearsed for about a year in the Grateful Dead studios (Club Front) in San Rafael. Although Lazer has played with many other national artists over his career, he looks at his time with Kreutzmann as a career highlight.

  6. I attended the Berkeley show and enjoyed it but why did they not play more shows? They seemed to really be digging what they played and the crowd responded rather well. I recall the encore was Rodney Crowell's "I Ain't Living Long Like This"...

  7. Replies
    1. Pyramid Pins
      Garberville, CA halloween 1982.
      Helluva show, read about it in "Outlaws in Babylon".

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