Wednesday, September 30, 2009

November 15, 1968 Coliseum, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR: Grateful Dead/Mint Tattoo/City Blue

I was looking at a poster site and discovered an unknown Dead show. The link is here.

The poster advertises The Grateful Dead with Mint Tattoo and City Blue at the Oregon State University Coliseum, in Corvallis, Oregon on Friday, November 15, 1968. The dead were scheduled for Vancouver on Saturday, November 16 and then Eagles Auditorium in Seattle on Sunday, November 17. Most San Francisco bands like to play dates in two or three of the Northwest cities on a weekend, as it made sense to stop in Oregon on the way to Seattle or Vancouver. I do not see this show listed in Deadlists or Dead.net, and up until now knew nothing about it.

According to Deadlists, the Vancouver show on Saturday the 16th was canceled, but the Dead played two shows in Seattle, one an afternoon benefit. I wouldn't be surprised if the afternoon show was only possible because the Saturday show in British Columbia had been canceled. The Moody Blues were playing Eagles on Friday and Saturday, so they couldn't add a show there on Saturday night.

This begs a couple of questions:

was the Corvallis show canceled, along with Vancouver? My guess is that it was not, because it may not have been financially viable to do only one paying gig in Seattle for the entire trip.

was there a stealth show in Oregon or Seattle on Saturday night? This is intriguing, because if you were in a rock band and had a free Saturday night in the Northwest, what would you do? We need to keep our eyes open for unexpected Dead sightings in the Northwest on November 16, 1968, because they might be true.

Mint Tattoo was a Bay Area based band featuring Sacramento musicians, guitarist Bruce Stephens and organist/bassist Burns Kellogg (plus drummer Gregg Thomas). Mint Tattoo released an album on Dot in 1968, and then Stephens and Kellogg joined Blue Cheer in 1969. I don't know anything about City Blue; presumably they were a Corvallis band.

12 comments:

  1. I've wondered about this show for a while (that poster appeared on ebay 2-3 years ago, I put it up on the GD poster archive at deadlists.com/posters/1960s/19681115.html) so it's nice to see some of your speculation.

    I believe I saved the ebay auction's web page so I'll go back and see if the seller had any additional info. (I'm guessing he didn't, otherwise I would've put it on the poster archive page)

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  2. One other point - you questioned whether the 11/17 afternoon show was possible only because the 11/16 show had been cancelled. The poster and a newspaper ad (Seattle Helix) for the Seattle shows clearly indicate two shows were scheduled, one at 3 and one at 9. So the cancellation of the Vancouver show had no bearing on the Seattle afternoon show.

    Poster and ad are at deadlists.com/posters/1960s/19681117.html

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  3. Do you have any idea how near to November 16 the Vancouver show was canceled? Its plain from the advertisement that the afternoon benefit was scheduled, but my question would still be whether it was added later (albeit still in time to advertise) because of a cancellation. A night time show in Vancouver means a load out after midnight, and then a 3-hour drive to Seattle for a noon load-in. Not impossible, but kind of a squeeze. If there's no Vancouver show, then its just a leisurely drive up to Seattle for Sunday's show.

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  4. The Grateful Dead may have been in Eugene as the did a number of free shows at the EMU ballroom around this time

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  5. hodesy, your comment is very interesting. There had to be a reason to leave a "hole" in their schedule on a Saturday night (November 16). A planned stealth free concert at Eugene would certainly fit the bill.

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  6. I would have thought that any stealth appearances at EMU would have been mentioned in the U of Oregon newspaper, the Daily Emerald. There were reports of the January '68 and January '70 shows, but nothing from November '68. http://libweb.uoregon.edu/dc/newspaper/index.php is where you can do some poking around.

    That said, it's entirely possible that something happened and wasn't mentioned, or that it was mentioned and didn't end up getting indexed in the library database. With such a precise date, I'd think it'd be worthwhile for any intrepid Corvallis- and/or Eugene-based affiliates of LLD to go spin some microfilm ...

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  7. Also, a free Dead concert at EMU Ballroom may not have been authorized. Some student group might have gotten permission for a dance, and not named the group. As a result, it may not have been referenced or reviewed. Another thing to look for would be events at EMU Ballroom on that date that could have been co-opted (a student dance marathon, etc).

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  8. This definitely took place. Marshall Adams, guitar player for Big City Blue had this to say: "Big City Blue came together for the Grateful Dead Concert at OSU Gill Coliseum in Fall Term 1968. We were to open and Mint Tattoo was to also be featured. We had one set of material with Jimmy Hibbs doing most of the vocals and rhythm guitar, Jim Knight on Bass, Ron Leach on drums, and Marshall Adams on lead guitar and folk flute. Well we opened and it went quite well.........35 minutes later we went back on and did our set again. Seems that Mint Tattoo was busy out in the parking lot doing whatever bands would do in a parking lot."

    see:

    http://pnwbands.com/bigcityblues.html

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  9. Dark Toast, thanks for the on-the-scene report.This certainly confirms the event. A great story about Mint Tattoo as well.

    Do you have any idea if the Grateful Dead played anywhere in Oregon the next night (Saturday November 16, 1968)? There were periodic rumors of free stealth shows at EMU Ballroom in Eugene, and I was wondering whether Nov 16 might have been such an event.

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  10. I don't have info on an EMU show, but I do have info on other undocumented Dead shows. I'm going to send you an email in a few minutes.

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  11. Hoping this blog post by Corry Arnold and the Deadlists entry can be brought into dialogue.

    Indeed, I would strongly urge Deadlists folks to comb through Lost Live Dead when undertaking updates (which are always very, very welcome - thank you).

    http://www.mail-archive.com/deadlists@nemesis.cs.berkeley.edu/msg04040.html

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  12. I always wondered what happened to that missing finger!

    This is Dave Sorochty the 1968 Deadlists caretaker. I am in touch with Corry as of yesterday.

    I've found out about a number of unlisted Dead shows on my own - ususally by checking for old newspaper listings on NewspapeArchive.com or the goodle newspaper listings. I start looking through Corry's pages and it looks like he has already foud out about most of them and more. Very cool!

    Teddy and I took things as far as we could back when we were originally updateing Deadlists. Things definitely need to be cleaned up, as well as to incorporate all the new info that has come out since then. I've been working on some updates, which you may have seen if you are on the Deadlists email listing.

    If there are any other web pages like this, please let me know.


    Dave

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