Monday, January 11, 2010

January-April 1967 Grateful Dead Itinerary Overview

I have had a number of posts about Grateful Dead shows in the Spring of 1967, and I thought I would summarize them, both as a navigational guide and in order to make a few points. What follows is a list of known or possible Grateful Dead performances from January to April 1967. Previously established gigs can be analyzed in Deadlists or elsewhere, and stand without comment (I have linked to existing posters where possible). Any remarks I have are usually in addition to the relevant posts, which I have linked to.

The general focus of this list is on the idea that the Dead, while underground legends, were living hand to mouth and looking for gigs. At the same time, almost all gigs were still on weekends, so my analytical goal is to try and fill in gaps on Fridays and Saturdays. Any insights, knowledge or corrections are eagerly welcomed.


January 1, 1967 Panhandle, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Grateful Dead/Big Brother and The Holding Company   free concert

January 6, 1967 Freeborn Hall, UC Davis Grateful Dead/Big Mama Thornton
This was a Friday night show, probably a Winter Quarter "kickoff" dance at UC Davis. Normally I would look for a corresponding Saturday night gig, but this near to New Year's there may have been nothing much going on in the Bay Area.

January 13, 1967 Berkeley Community Theater The Mamas and The Papas/Grateful Dead/Canadian Fuzz (early show) 
January 13-14-15, 1967 Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco Grateful Dead/The Doors/Junior Wells Chicago Blues Band
January 14, 1967 Polo Grounds, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Human Be-In
I have written about this weekend at some length.

January 20, 1967 Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica Grateful Dead
It is surprising to see a Friday night (20) gig without a corresponding Saturday gig, but I am assuming that they were in Los Angeles to work on their album and their schedule may have been different. This was also an odd event because the Dead played on the same bill with Timothy Leary, and at least some of the time probably jammed while he gave a dull speech. Given the peculiarity of this event, I don't think this falls into the normal touring pattern, so I'm not assuming a Saturday night (21) Southern California show, although its still possible.

January 27-28, 1967 Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco Grateful Dead/Quicksilver Messenger Service
January 29, 1967 Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco Grateful Dead/Big Brother and The Holding Company/Moby Grape "Mantra Rock Dance" Krishna Consciousness Comes West
The general pattern for the major San Francisco rock bands in early 1967 was that they looked for paying gigs on Fridays and Saturdays (such as Jan 27-28), including Sunday afternoon at the Fillmore, and then played benefits or fun gigs on Sunday nights.

February 5, 1967 Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco Benefit for the US Strike Committee
Jefferson Airplane/Quicksilver Messenger Service/Dino Valente/New Delhi River Band/Loading Zone/Country Joe and The Fish/Grateful Dead
This possible show was a new discovery. Ralph Gleason's February 3, 1967 Chronicle column lists the performers at the Sunday night benefit and says that the Grateful Dead will join them "if they're back recording from L.A." [not on Deadlists]

February 10, 1967 Santa Venetia Armory, San Rafael Grateful Dead/Blue House Basement/Baltimore Steam Packet
The Sopwith Camel were originally scheduled to play this Friday night Ralph and Al Pepe production at the Armory. However, the Camel ended up having East Coast obligations and the Dead took their place.

It may be that the Dead did not want to commit to gigs in case they were not finished recording, but after the speed with which they recorded the first album they were then free to look for gigs. With that in mind, I am looking around for a possible gig on Saturday night (February 11), most likely outside of San Francisco in a place like Merced or Stockton.

February 12, 1967 Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco Abe Lincoln's Birthday 
Grateful Dead/Moby Grape/Sly and The Family Stone/New Salvation Army Banned/Notes From The Underground Council For Civic Unity Benefit

I am looking for possible gigs on Friday and Saturday, February 17-18.

February 24-26, 1967 Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco Grateful Dead/Otis Rush and His Chicago Blues Band/Canned Heat Blues Band

March 3, 1967 Winterland, San Francisco The First Annual Love Circus
Grateful Dead/Moby Grape/Loading Zone/Blue Crumb Truck Factory
This controversial gig took place on a Friday night, and I am looking for a Saturday night (March 4) gig outside of San Francisco. I talk about some of the issues surrounding it here.

March 5, 1967 Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco Moby Grape/Country Joe and The Fish/Big Brother and The Holding Company/The Sparrow/The Grateful Dead
This was a benefit for the Straight Theater. The poster (by B. Kliban) is well known, but per the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dead seem to have been added at the last minute. [not on Deadlists]


March 10-12, 14-15, 1967 Whiskey A Go Go, San Francisco Grateful Dead
I have written at length about this obscure satellite of the famed West Hollywood Whisky A Go Go, and I wrote about whether or not the Dead played there. At that time I felt they likely did not play, but I have since revised my opinion and think they played the shows. I will publish all this later--for now I think we can book the Dead as having played the San Francisco Whisky on March 10-12 (Friday-Sunday) and March 14-15 (Tuesday-Wednesday).

The tiny article and the first ad (mentioning the Escovedo Brothers) are from the Monday, March 13 SF Chronicle; the last ad (mentioning the Coasters) is from the Wednesday, March 15. Although there is an inherent contradiction over which day the Dead ended, and its possible that the "Last Times Tonight" is a misprint (note the grammatical inaccuracy), and the band closed Thursday, for now I will assume the Dead closed out their Whisky gig on Wednesday March 15.

March 17-18, 1967 Winterland, San Francisco
March 19, 1967 Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco
Chuck Berry/Grateful Dead/Johnny Talbot And De Thangs

March 20, 1967 Fugazi Hall, San Francisco 'The Grateful Dead'Album Release Party
The Dead played their Warner Brothers album release party at a tiny North Beach hall on 678 Green Street on a Monday night. They only played a few numbers before they lost power. This was a known event (it appears in The Illustrated Trip ) but it wasn't known until now if the band played.

March 24-25, 1967 Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco Grateful Dead/Johnny Hammond and His Screaming Nighthawks/Robert Baker
March 26, 1967 Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco The Grateful Dead/Quicksilver Messenger Service/Johnny Hammond and His Screaming Nighthawks/Robert Baker
This well known event does not appear in Deadlists, but it appears in other chronologies, so it seems to just be an oversight. On Sunday night, Eric Burdon and The Animals showed up and played a few numbers on the Grateful Dead's equipment.

March 26, 1967 Griffith Park, Los Angeles "Love-In"
There was an outdoor Be-In at Griffith Park, and some sources place the Grateful Dead there, while others do not, and still others recall nothing whatsoever. The band would have had to fly to LA, play the gig, and fly home to the Avalon, but with SF/LA airline tickets only about $19 one-way (not a lot of money even then) its well within the realm of the possible.



March 28-April 2, 1967 The Rock Garden, San Francisco Grateful Dead/Charles Lloyd Quartet/Mystery Trend
I have found out more about this mysterious venue, which I will write about in Rock Prosopography,  but not much more about the Grateful Dead's performance. The short version is that a Prankster persuaded a successful North Beach operator to open a rock club on the Southern edge of the City, but the venue was too far from both the Haight Ashbury and the suburbs, and at the time psychedelic bands drew more of an underage crowd, so the bar was more of a hindrance than a source of revenue (hence the adage "Never Trust A Prankster').

Although the Dead went to Southern California later in the month, its still odd that they had no paying gigs on April 7-8 and April 21-22.  Its not like they were recording. What were they doing? I have to think some gigs are missing, possibly including some in Southern California on April 21-22.


April 9, 1967 Panhandle, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Grateful Dead

Charles Perry (in his book Haight Ashbury: A History) lists the Dead as playing the Panhandle on this Sunday afternoon. [not on Deadlists]

April 9, 1967 Longshoreman's Hall, San Francisco Week Of The Angry Arts West
Grateful Dead/Quicksilver Messenger Service/Sopwith Camel/Country Joe and The Fish/Big Brother and The Holding Company
"Spring Mobilization To End The War In Vietnam/Benefit Dance"
The poster for this event is well-known, but does not include the Grateful Dead. Ralph Gleason reported that they were scheduled to perform. That's not a guarantee they did in fact perform, but its at least a likely possibility [not on Deadlists]

April 11, 1967 outside San Quentin Prison, Marin Country Joe and The Fish/Grateful Dead/others
This has been hard to pin down, but it appears that all of Country Joe and The Fish and some or all of the Dead played a free concert at San Quentin as part of a demonstration and protest against the execution of one Aaron Mitchell. [not on Deadlists]


April 12, 1967 Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco Mime Troupe Benefit
Jefferson Airplane/Grateful Dead/Quicksilver Messenger Service/Moby Grape/Andrew Staples/Loading Zone
A Wednesday night benefit to raise money for the SF Mime Troupe's legal expenses.

April 14-15-16, 1967 The Kaleidoscope, Hollywood Jefferson Airplane/Grateful Dead/Canned Heat
The Kaleidoscope was a venture by Canned Heat's managers (Skip Taylor and John Hartmann) to open a Fillmore-style venue in Los Angeles. This original weekend was supposed to be at a building on 1228 Vine Street, but a last second injunction stopped the show.

For the weekend the show was moved to the Embassy Ballroom in the Ambassador Hotel, at 3400 Wilshire, which also housed the legendary Coconut Grove Ballroom. The Kaleidoscope then had a few gigs at Ciro's (at 8433 Sunset Blvd, now The Comedy Store), and reopened in 1968 at 6230 Sunset Blvd (yet another story). [not on Deadlists, but a known date]

April 17, 1967 Banana Grove at The Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles Grateful Dead
The Banana Grove was the nickname for the Embassy Ballroom at the Ambassador Hotel. Why did the Dead play a Monday night after playing the whole weekend? I have to assume this was a Warner Bros album release party, similar to the March 20 event at Fugazi Hall in San Francisco, also on a Monday. [not on Deadlists]

April 28, 1967 Stockton Ballroom, Stockton, CA Grateful Dead
Historically there has been some doubt about this show because there were questions about the provenance of the circulating poster. While I am unqualified to comment on the history of the poster, a recently discovered quote from Jerry Garcia suggests that the Dead did indeed play Stockton on this Friday night.

Ralph Gleason has a column on Sunday, May 14 Chronicle (above) about the rising popularity of San Francisco rock bands across the nation. Garcia is definitely referring to the Saturday show in Santa Barbara (below), and the context suggests they played Stockton that weekend as well, so I am following my own premises and asserting that the band filled their Friday night with a gig in Stockton.

There is a modest amount of information about the Stockton scene, such as it was, on the Brotherhood Of Light website. Assuming that the current Stockton Ballroom is the same as the old one, the address would be 9650 Thornton Road, Stockton, CA 95209 [not on Deadlists]

April 29, 1967 Earl Warren Showgrounds, Santa Barbara County Fairgrounds The Grateful Dead/The Doors/UFO/Captain Speed
A fairly substantial Saturday gig in Santa Barbara.

April 30, 1967 The Cheetah, Santa Monica Grateful Dead/Yellow Balloon/New Generation
There were two shows at 3:00 and 8:00 pm (it was a Sunday). The Cheetah was part of a sort of chain of Cheetahs which included venues in Chicago and Manhattan. The Santa Monica Cheetah was the former Aragon Ballroom, at 1 Navy Pier on the water. [not on Deadlists, but a known date]

As I learn more information, I hope to update and re-publish this post periodically. The current "open" dates where I am fishing for possible gigs are
  • Saturday, January 7, 1967
  • Saturday, February 11, 1967
  • Friday, February 17, 1967
  • Saturday, February 18, 1967
  • Saturday, March 4, 1967
  • Friday, April 7, 1967
  • Saturday, April 8, 1967
  • Friday, April 21, 1967
  • Saturday, April 22, 1967
I do not think every one of these dates has a gig, but I'll bet some of them do. Open dates in January and early February can be presumed to have been taken up with recording-related activity, but otherwise the band had to work to survive.

In the meantime, please put any insights, thoughts or corrections into the Comments.

For a similar overview of May-June 1967 known Grateful Dead performances, see here

18 comments:

  1. This is better than deadlists! You're right, they have a number of gaps - (they also omit the important Rock Garden run, as well as other dates you noted) - and lord knows when they'll ever bother updating.

    Though I'm hesitant to refer to the notoriously inaccurate setlists.net - it does provide a few more shows for April '67. (Which doesn't mean they existed, but might give us some hints. Notice that these are all shows outside San Francisco...)

    April 14, 15, 16 - Kaleidoscope, Hollywood
    April 17 - Banana Grove Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles (?!)
    And around the April 29 Santa Barbara show -
    April 28 - Stockton Ballroom, Stockton
    April 30 - Cheetah, Santa Monica

    I hope you can extend this list later into '67 - at least through May, and perhaps the June '67 NYC trip?

    Possibly Monterey was a bit of a turning-point in the Dead's popularity (in that more folks outside California at least saw their name) - starting in July, we see them playing a little Northwest tour, then some Canada/Michigan shows in August...September saw a return trip to Seattle, and even a trek to Denver...this suggests at least some attempt at an 'outreach'....

    From someone who saw the 7/18/67 Portland OR show:
    "All the 'heads' of Portland were there... This was back before the 'hifi' dead. Not so different from the debut album....frantic leads, meandering bass, single drummer, Fender amps turned up loud. Jerry playing his black Les Paul. Pigpen dinkin' away on the organ. Good stuff. A very intimate, but small event, in a very tasteful venue. No lightshow. A couple Portland bands trying hard to sound like Arthur Lee's Love."

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    1. More info about the 7/18/67 show:
      http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-20622-bringing_out_the_dead.html

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    2. JJK, that article is just great. For my rather selfish purposes, it would be perfect if trained Graduate Students in every town took it upon themselves to recreate Grateful Dead shows using eyewitness accounts.

      Jim Felt promoted the Dead at places like Springer's Ballroom and I believe the Paramount Theater in Portland.

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  2. Hey, thanks for all the updates. I had a bunch of this stuff in my notes, and forgot to even look at Southern California (am I from NorCal or what?).

    I updated the post accordingly.

    I have been grinding through the Entertainment sections of the SF Chronicle in 1967, all of them, every single one, and that is the basis of this post. I will keep grinding, and we will see what it brings us.

    As a footnote, based on my research from early 1967, the war in Vietnam has been going really, really well.

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  3. There is reason to be dubious about the April 28 Stockton date, as it is based on a poster whose provenance is doubtful. That doesn't rule out the gig, incidentally--just casts doubt on basing the date on the poster.

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  4. I am so grateful for this post, Corry. Thanks for your hard work!

    I think this might shed some light on the 4/17/67 "Banana Grove" date. A piece on the opening of the Kaleidoscope in the LA Times (Digby Diehl, "Kaleidoscope Opens at Embassy Room," Los Angeles Times, April 18, 1967, p. D10) includes this little nugget:

    "The Ambassador's new Banana Grove, as some dubbed the room, featured the electronic vibrations of Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, and the Canned Heat Blues Band. All three rock groups were happily received."

    This seemed to be a juxtaposition with the Coconut Grove, which I take to be a high-end club in the same hotel.

    As I can reconstruct from the article, it looks like the "International Kaleidoscope" was inside the Embassy Room, which was inside the Ambassador Hotel.

    One last tidbit from the article: this looks to have been a fallback location for the Kaleidoscope, following "an injunction against the club's intended residence at 1228 Vine Street by the building owner, National General Corp."

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  5. Ok, what an amazing detail. It still begs the question of why the Dead played a Monday night at the Ambassador after playing the whole weekend. The most likely explanation is that this was an album release party for Los Angeles Warner Bros staff, similar to the March 20 event at Fugazi Hall.

    Record company events tended to be on odd nights like Monday, because promo men, talent agents, etc were often committed on weekends seeing bands they were working with.

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  6. I have found evidence supporting the April 28 Stockton date, so I added it to the list. There may still be some vagueness as to the exact location and some other aspects (such as the promoter and the poster), but it seems clear that the band played in Stockton that night.

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  7. This is such great info Corry! Re: the 4/9/67 gig, you mentioned the GD were'nt on the poster. They were added to a couple posters at the last minute. At the link you provide you can see on the upper right of the poster is a notice that says 'plus the Grateful Dead' (It almost looks like a sticker). There are also a couple variants of the poster that indicate the GD will be playing. http://www.deadlists.com/posters/1960s/19670409b.html

    And following up on your last comment, what's the new evidence supporting the 4/28 date?

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  8. It's a mention by Garcia in the image posted above, under the 4/28/67 listing.

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  9. Doh! I read that yes I did. Somehow I forgot all about it by the time I got to the bottom of the page. I think it had to do with the fact that there was this band I used to follow around a lot...

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  10. i have a recording of labeled 4/8/1967 from GD at KPIX-tv studios,SF,CA setlist(and i'm listening to it right now !) is : 'Pleas Come Home' ,announcer intro, Ralf Gleason interviews Jerry/band, 'Cream Puff War', Pride of Man, Walkin' blues' enjoy life team!

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  11. Ralph Gleason had a series of television specials in 1967 that are the source of some of the best (and in some cases only) surviving video of great San Francisco bands from 1967.

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  12. I found a very fleeting reference by Garcia to what I think is the 4/30/67 Cheetah show. In a September '67 interview, Frank Kofsky asked Garcia if he's played in LA.

    GARCIA: Yeah, but we've never *really* played LA. We've played in the Cheetah down there.
    KOFSKY: Yeah, which is a drag.
    GARCIA: We played at all the shit places. And we can never get it on because it always brought us down so much. I mean, the people and promoters down there are all horrible, graspy... The whole LA snap, the whole hype, you know: bread, dollars and cents, and that's it. We've never gotten it on in LA. We've played there but we've never *done* it.

    Kofsky mentions the upcoming 9/15 Hollywood Bowl show & Garcia says, "We want to do that just for the flash of playing in the Hollywood Bowl...[but] nothing's gonna happen."

    This is remarkably negative on Garcia's part. The whole Feb-April '66 stay must have left a very bad impression (and it's true the Dead had a hard time finding places to play then).
    Garcia does remember the Santa Monica Cheetah show, and Kofsky immediately says it's "a drag."
    They also played the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in January '67 (with Tim Leary), presumably lumped in by Garcia with "all the shit places." These two shows are the only ones I recall in the LA area between April '66 and Sep '67, though maybe there were others.

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  13. A great find on the Cheetah quote. Remember that Phil got his bass stolen, so it must have been a tiring gig with nothing to show for it.

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  14. Wasn't Phil's bass stolen at the Hullabaloo in Hollywood on 6/16/67?
    But you're right, that's another LA club gig in that period that the band must have disliked.

    It still strikes me that Kofsky immediately calls the Santa Monica Cheetah "a drag," so that place must have had a bad reputation...

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  15. oh yes, whoops, I crossed up my LA clubs. Still, to your point, up until the Dead played The Shrine I don't think they had a good SoCal gig.

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  16. Waiting for a flight a couple of days ago I was pondering the April 9, 1967 date. The reason for this is that I have a third performance listed on my dog-eared old GD list. However, it could well be a duplicate of the Panhandle show or maybe it didn't happen. Anyway, The Longshoremen's Hall and Panhandle performances are well documented - The Panhandle sometime in the afternoon (plenty of photographs exist) and Longshoremen's late in the evening. However, there was planned a 2PM Haight-Ashbury "Street Dance" show organised by The Diggers (for one hour). I have always separated this from the Panhandle event as it followed a street theatre event at Haight & Ashbury - and it was called "Street Dance" - which would be inappropriate for Speedway Meadows. I have sent you an email containing the handbill that advertises the show.

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