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-April 1967 Grateful Dead Itinerary Overview
May-June 1967 Grateful Dead Itinerary Overview
May 1, 1967 Rendezvous Inn, San Francisco Grateful Dead
In May of 1967, The Dead, largely holidaying and rehearsing at the Russian River, had a regular Monday night gig at The Rendezvous Inn. The Rendezvous was a gay bar on Sutter Street, just above Powell, near Union Square. I don't know for certain the exact days, but McNally says they began "a brief series of Monday nights" (p.193) and the dates listed here are the first four Mondays in May. The band had a gig on May 29 in Napa, so I have assumed they played the first four Mondays in May.
There had been gay bars in San Francisco since at least the 1950s, though they kept a much lower profile than they did subsequently.[not on Deadlists]
May 5-7, 1967 Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco Grateful Dead/Paupers/Collage
The Grateful Dead were established Fillmore headliners, but their first album had been released in March. At this time, radio was quite regional, and the San Francisco bands' singles got airplay on local Am radio. The Grateful Dead’s single “Golden Road” received local airplay on KFRC (610). It went on to KFRC’s ‘Big 30’ chart on April 3, 1967, and peaked at #4 on May 10.
The Paupers were the hottest band in Toronto. After blowing away the Jefferson Airplane at the Café Au Go Go in March, Albert Grossman had signed them. The Paupers lineup at this time was founder Skip Propop on drums, super bassist Denny Gerrard, lead guitarist Chuck Beal and guitarist/vocalist Adam Mitchell. The Paupers played very well at the Fillmore, only to bomb a month later at Monterey. The band continued on for some years, with various personnel changes, but never lived up to their original promise.
Although the poster is ambiguous, the San Francisco Chronicle was very clear that there was a Sunday afternoon show.
May 8, 1967 Rendezvous Inn, San Francisco Grateful Dead
May 12, 1967 Marigold Ballroom, Fresno, CA Grateful Dead/The Road Runners
(Two shows 9:45 and 11:15)
For some reason the show has been historically noted as May 11, but in fact it was on Friday May 12, a much more logical night for an out-of-town show. I do think we have to look for a Saturday May 13 show somewhere in Central California.
May 15, 1967 Rendezvous Inn, San Francisco Grateful Dead
May 18, 1967 Awalt High School, Mountain View Grateful Dead (3:15 pm show)
fraught with potential. [not on Deadlists]
May 20, 1967 Continental Ballroom, Santa Clara Grateful Dead/Real Thing/Autumn People
The Continental Ballroom, at 1600 Martin Avenue in Santa Clara, near San Jose, was the South Bay's principal concert venue. It did not have a single operator like Bill Graham or Chet Helms, so it is somewhat less legendary, but every great Bay Area group played there, some many times (the building is still visible from Google Satellite, although I believe it is just a warehouse now).
Since the Dead played Thursday afternoon at a High School and Saturday afternoon in the South Bay, I am looking for a Friday night gig (May 19) somewhere in or near the Bay Area.
May 22, 1967 Rendezvous Inn, San Francisco Grateful Dead
I find it surprising that the Grateful Dead had no paying gig at all this weekend, so I am looking for gigs on Friday and Saturday, May 26 and 27. We know they returned to San Francisco by Sunday afternoon (see below) so it can't have been too far away.
May 28, 1967 Panhandle, San Francisco Grateful Dead
The Panhandle is a strip of grass between Oak and Fell Streets in San Francisco, bordered by Stanyan and Baker (and bisected by Masonic). Although it abuts the Western border of Golden Gate Park, San Franciscans are very firm about the fact that it is not Golden Gate Park proper. The Dead played their first free concert on this tiny strip on October 6, 1966, to mark the fact that LSD was now illegal in the State of California. The October 6 concert was a seminal event for too many reasons to discuss here, not all of them related to the Grateful Dead.
Since the Panhandle was a two-block walk from the Dead's headquarters at 710 Ashbury, free concerts in the Panhandle have been mythologized all out of proportion. I am largely alone in holding the belief that there were actually very few Grateful Dead concerts in the Panhandle and we know about almost all of them. This too is another topic, but I will say that most assertions for regular Grateful Dead concerts at the Panhandle are simply wishful thinking, supported only by the vaguest assertions that disintegrate under scrutiny.
With all that being said, here is a description of the Grateful Dead playing for free in the Panhandle on May 28, 1967, and I find the date quite convincing. Peter Vincent moved to San Francisco in late May 1967 and very thoughtfully (from my perspective) kept a diary.
May 29, 1967 Napa County Fairgrounds, Napa, CA Grateful Dead/Project Hope
Some Napa High School students helped book this show on a Monday night. The building appears to have been the one that is now known as Chardonnay Hall.
May 30, 1967 Winterland, San Francisco Jefferson Airplane/Big Brother and The Holding Company/Grateful Dead/Quicksilver Messenger Service/The Charlatans HALO Benefit
The Haight Ashbury Legal Organization was run out of 715 Ashbury by lawyer Brian Rohan, and mainly defended hippies busted for marijuana. This Tuesday night benefit featuring all the major San Francisco rock bands also featured a tape-delayed broadcast on KMPX-fm, which I believe is the first such event for a rock band. The Quicksilver Messenger Service and Jefferson Airplane tapes circulate.
Based on emcee Tom Donahue's comments on the broadcast when he introduces Quicksilver, I have asserted that at least one and possibly two of the groups on the poster did not show up. Leaving aside the Charlatans, either the Grateful Dead or Big Brother doesn't seem likely to me to have played. There was no contemporary review by Ralph Gleason or anyone else in the Chronicle, and I'm not aware of a Berkeley Barb review either, so this question remains unanswered.
Ralph Gleason does mention that the Grateful Dead were scheduled to leave for New York on May 31.
June 1, 1967 Tompkins Square Park, New York, NY Grateful Dead/Group Image
I have written extensively elsewhere about the Grateful Dead's first trip to New York City. They kicked off their stand in Greenwich Village with a free concert in nearby Tompkins Square Park.
June 1-11, 1967 Cafe Au Go Go, New York, NY Grateful Dead
The comment thread to the Tompkins Square post includes some interesting discussion of the Au Go Go stand. For more about the Cafe Au Go Go, see here. Incidentally, the poster for the Au Go Go stand was printed later, and the dates are inaccurate; the Dead played through Sunday June 11, although the poster says June 10. Since the poster was a commemorative item printed for sale, and after the fact, the incorrect dates didn't matter.
June 3, 1967 [venue], SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY Grateful Dead
The Dead had their traveling money stolen out of their hotel rooms as soon as they arrived, so after borrowing a little money from the club, they put on a sort of stealth fundraiser at SUNY Stony Brook in Long Island. Since the event wasn't exactly University approved, it was not publicized in the campus newspaper, and I do not believe it was held in the Gym, although its possible.
June 8, 1967 Central Park Bandshell, New York, NY Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead played another free afternoon gig in Central Park. The Cafe Au Go Go was impressed at how free concerts in the park generated fans at the club, an important lesson in San Francisco rock and roll economics. [not on Deadlists]
June 12, 1967 The Cheetah, New York, NY Grateful Dead/Group Image
At the close of their Cafe Au Go Go run, the Dead played a Sunday night event at a discoteque on 53rd and Broadway called The Cheetah Club. The Cheetah had opened in Times Square in April of 1966, and was the first sensory-overload-pull-out-the-stops 60s disco in NYC. I cannot do it justice in a brief entry, but for a fascinating analysis see the article at Its The Streets You Crossed Not So Long Ago.
The Group Image was a sort of collective of hippies, and they included a rock band, a light show and a production company. This event was sort of like an Acid Test, with a huge guest list, so many of the people at this event got in for free. [not on Deadlists]
June 15, 1967 Straight Theater, San Francisco Private Party
The Haight Ashbury community was trying to open their own neighborhood Dance Hall at the Straight Theater, on 1702 Haight. The remodeling was now complete, but the backers were still battling with the City of San Francisco over a Dance Hall permit. To celebrate the completion of the facility, a huge private party was held at the venue, supposedly visited by many rock luminaries in town for the Monterey Pop Festival, including Jimi Hendrix. [not on Deadlists]
The Grateful Dead were supposedly the entertainment, or among the entertainers. Anything could have happened--a few members could have jammed, the whole band could have played a brief or endless set, or anything in between. No one who was there will recall anything, of course. However, it has been somewhat definitively determined that Jimi Hendrix never jammed with Jerry Garcia or the Grateful Dead, so that delicious possibility can sadly be dismissed.
June 16, 1967 The Cheetah, Santa Monica, CA Grateful Dead
Rock Scully booked the Dead into a club in Southern California the night before Monterey. I have assumed they returned to the Cheetah Club in Santa Monica, which was affiliated with the Cheetah in New York City. They flew to Monterey from Los Angeles, so I assume they flew to Los Angeles the morning after the Straight Theater party. [not on Deadlists]
June 17-18, 1967 athletic field, Monterey Peninsula College, Monterey, CA
The Los Angeles organizers of the Monterey Pop Festival needed the San Francisco bands to make it hip, but they also needed everyone to play for free. The Grateful Dead, among others, thought that if they were playing for free that the entire festival should be free, a view not shared by the promoters. A compromise was ultimately struck, and campgrounds and a stage were set up at the athletic field(s) at the nearby Junior College. Interestingly, this was announced in the Chronicle some weeks earlier, so it was not a spur-of-the-moment decision.
The Grateful Dead, Quicksilver and other bands apparently played on the free stage on Saturday and Sunday. Robert Christgau has a good piece about seeing Peter Townshend backing Eric Burdon on "House Of The Rising Sun" at 4:00 am, so all sorts of bands and players participated, not just the Dead. [not on Deadlists]
June 18, 1967 Horse Show Arena, Monterey County Fairgrounds, Monterey, CA Monterey Pop Festival
The Mamas And The Papas with Scott McKenzie/The Jimi Hendrix Experience/Grateful Dead/The Who/Buffalo Springfield/The Group With No Name/Big Brother and The Holding Company/Blues Project
So much has been written about the Monterey Pop Festival that I won't belabor it here. The Dead played on Sunday, the Festival's closing night, unfortunately sandwiched between The Who and Jimi Hendrix. They played a half hour set, typical of almost every festival performer.
Big Brother and The Holding Company had played the day before, bringing down the house, and had come to regret their refusal to allow themselves to be filmed. Uber-manager Albert Grossman managed to get them on the bill again Sunday night, and they performed one song, the version of "Ball And Chain" seen in the Monterey Pop movie.
June 21, 1967 Polo Grounds, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Summer Solstice "Do-In"
Grateful Dead/Quicksilver Messenger Service/Mad River
The Grateful Dead and their crew "liberated" some of the equipment rented for the Monterey Pop Festival and played a few free concerts. This event, styled as a "Do-In" rather than a "Be-In," took place on the Summer Solstice and featured two stages at opposite ends of the Polo Grounds. I believe the Dead shared a stage with Quicksilver and Mad River, while Big Brother, The Jefferson Airplane and The Phoenix were across the way, but I may have the combinations of bands wrong.
June 24, 1967 El Camino Park, Palo Alto, CA Palo Alto Be-In Grateful Dead/Big Brother and The Holding Company/Sons Of Champlin/Anonymous Artists Of America
I have managed to determine the exact date of the Palo Alto Be-In, and I wrote about it at some length. For the record, I attended this show (I was nine years old).
June 28, 1967 Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, CA The Young Rascals/Country Joe and The Fish/Sons of Champlin/The Sparrow/The Grass Roots
The Grateful Dead were added to this Wednesday night Bill Quarry (Teens N Twenties) production at the last minute. Its my belief they were added to replace The Sparrow, who were probably on the verge of breaking up and had probably already moved to Los Angeles.
This was the first of what I believe to be 58 performances at this venue (including its post-remodeling name of the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center).
I am looking for some performances on the weekend of June 30-July 1.
As I learn more information, I hope to update and re-publish this post periodically. The current "open" Friday and Saturday dates where I am fishing for possible performances are
- Saturday, May 13 1967
- Friday, May 19, 1967
- Friday, May 26, 1967
- Saturday, May 27, 1967
- Friday, June 23, 1967
- Friday, June 30, 1967
- Saturday, July 1, 1967
I do not think every one of these dates has a gig, but I'll bet some of them do.
Please put any insights, suggestions, corrections or speculation into the comments.