The Grateful Dead headlined a show at UCSB. The supporting acts were Warren Zevon and Elvin Bishop, as at the time the Dead themselves were not enough a draw to fill even a small stadium in Santa Barbara.
I was in college in Berkeley at the time, and friends drove down for the show. I cross examinde them upon their return the next day, and one very observant friend mentioned that Jerry Garcia came onstage and played a blues song with Elvin Bishop, taking a brief and unmemorable solo. I have never read any mention about this since, but I am absolutely confident that my friend (hi Mitch) did not imagine it, so I am posting it here.
When Elvin Bishop left Chicago and the Butterfield Blues Band to move to San Francisco in May 1968, he appeared on stage regularly with Garcia and the Dead for the next year. As his own career took off in the 1970s, his hectic touring schedule meant that he rarely crossed paths with the Dead. Thus it is not surprising that a rare instance of appearing on the same bill with the Dead would engender a Garcia guest appearance.
Although Bishop has always affected an “aw shucks” country-boy persona, he is a very sophisticated guitarist who always has a top-flight band. I do not know if Melvin Seals was his organist in 1978, but he definitely was by 1979, and future Bob Dylan and Garcia Band drummer Don Baldwin was already Bishop’s drummer.