An awesome theory, but apparently not the case. A loyal Commenter gives me the sad but accurate news
Hate to ruin a good theory, but unless Kathie Staska and George Mangrum were *really* into promoting the ruse, it doesn't seem like it holds up. Check out the "Rock Talk from KG" column in, e.g., the Fremont Argus from 1/24/75.Despite my brief (36 hour) elation that I had cracked a secret Keystone code, I'd rather be right. Still, I will say in my (rather self-serving) defense that Lucky Strike must have had some connection to Keystone management, since getting pre-empted for big shows by a local headliner more than once isn't likely to be a coincidence.
"Lucky Strike is the best East Bay band that is not yet on a record label. A very easy band to get behind. They are a very together clear sounding group of six young men that play danceable rock. When they play clubs in your area Lucky Strike is a must to see and hear. They play their own material and it is excellent."
I have been poking around this and the theory really *almost* works. There are many "Lucky Strike" dates that could plausibly be Garcia dates. There are many that couldn't (e.g., November 8, 1974), but maybe Merl and Martin and them would just jam without Jerry. But the above --and evidence that Lucky Strike played other venues, including Winterland-- seems pretty cut-and-dried.
Its a good lesson though--I had heard from many people that Jerry was a Camel guy, and I didn't pay attention.