Monday, July 6, 2009

June 1, 1968 Panhandle, Golden Gate Park: Grateful Dead/Charlie Musselwhite/Petrus

The Dead, Charlie Musselwhite and Petrus were playing three nights at the Carousel on May 30, May 31 and June 1. With typical upside down logic, the entire bill played for free in the Panhandle on the last day (Sunday). While it may have made good publicity for the evening's show, it would have been better if it had been done earlier in the run. This performance is alluded to in various places, but I never seen it broken out in a list separately, so I am doing it here. I will add the reference when I can find it.

I believe this was the last time the Dead played in the Panhandle. They had moved out of 710 Ashbury for good in March, so casual shows were no longer possible. It is a footnote of importance to San Franciscans that the Panhandle is not actually part of Golden Gate Park, although it is sort of adjunct to it. The Panhandle is between Oak and Fell Streets, from Stanyan (bordering Golden Gate Park) just east to Baker.

Petrus featured singer Ruthann Friedman, who had written “Windy” for the Association, and guitarist Peter Kaukonen (Jorma’s brother). They were based in Half Moon Bay. Friedman had been a folk singer in the 60s, playing up and down California. Friedman had also sang the song “Little Girl Lost and Found” by The Garden Club, a made-up group (all the voices were hers), which was a modest hit in Los Angeles. Although Petrus broke up, Friedman released a 1969 album on Reprise called Constant Companion that was a collector’s classic (cd released on 2006 on Water), which also featured guitar by Kaukonen.


  1. I am surprised you've never cited the evidence for this show, considering you're often suspicious of reports of the Dead's free SF park shows!

    One interesting thing, this was apparently the last free Dead show in San Francisco in 1968 - they'd done a famous one before, March 3 on Haight St, but in '68 they were doing more free shows outside of SF.
    I think they only played Golden Gate Park once more, the free show in 5/7/69. Clearly once they moved out of the city, playing free local park shows on a whim didn't occur very often.

    (Actually I still think it would be useful for someone to list all the Dead's known free shows...)

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    1. Right, but the Panhandle isn't actually part of Golden Gate Park. It's next to the Park, but its just a grassy area between Fell and Oak, not part of the park at all.

  5. Sorry,
    You said they never played Golden Gate Park again, I kinda thought you meant the Panhandle. Please disregard.