Sunday, January 17, 2010

May-June 1967 Grateful Dead Itinerary Overview

I posted a list of known Grateful Dead shows from January to April 1967, both as a navigational guide and in order to make a few points. I am continuing the process with a review of known Grateful Dead shows for May and June 1967. As a point of comparison I have indicated what can be found in Deadlists, but I realize different shows are accessible on different lists (Deadbase, Dead.net, etc). Rather than focus on the status of different lists, I am trying to summarize known information and provide an opportunity for comment and speculation. Previously established gigs can be analyzed in Deadlists or elsewhere, and stand with little 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-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 CafĂ© 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)

Randy Groenke, a former banjo student of Jerry Garcia's, persuaded the Dead to play Awalt High School in Mountain View on a Thursday afteroon, where he was then a Senior. The listing above (with the High School name misspelled) is from Ralph Gleason's May 17 San Francisco Chronicle column. Although a friend of Randy Groenke's explained the connection to me (he too was a former student of Jerry's) I do not know the exact reason or occasion for this event. The young and wild Grateful Dead at a school full of willing and innocent teenagers was 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.

17 comments:

  1. Great post, as always. A few observations/questions.

    6/12/67: is the other act Blues Image or Group Image?

    6/17-18/67: I was under the impression that the community college in question was Monterey Peninsula College, but you show Cypress Community College.

    6/19/67: some place called Chicken on a Unicycle lists the GD and Richie Havens at the Carousel.

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  2. GD/Richie Havens at the Carousel is June 19, 1968--our bad.

    Monterey Peninsula and Cypress are the same place--or at least I did some research at one point that suggested they were. In any case, we are talking about the same place, the question is what it was named at the time.

    6/12/67 opener is Group Image, which Rock Scully called a "2nd Avenue Tribe."

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  3. I think Monterey Peninsula College is distinct, and correct in this instance.

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  4. I have corrected www.chickenonaunicycle.com in respect of the 1967 listing - it appeared for 1968 as well. I probably need to put some effort in to the Carousel - it is just one of those things that the larger and better known venues seem to get much less attention.

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  5. The list continues! Good work! Deadlists has so many gaps here....

    I don't have additional dates to offer, just some random comments:

    5/5/67 - You mention Golden Road being in the charts; our tape dated "5/5/67" obligingly has a Golden Road, but I believe this tape is actually from an Aug/Sept '67 show.
    (It was funny to see Ralph Gleason, in his notice of the Dead's Rock Garden shows a month earlier, call this single "Golden Miles"....)

    5/28/67 - That diary entry is interesting, but I'm a bit skeptical since it's been touched-up after the fact. The writer mentions listening to the Sgt Pepper album in the days prior to 5/28, though it wasn't released until June 1 - could be possible, though. And if he did see the Dead at the Panhandle around this time, certainly it wasn't after June 1! (I was also struck that he called it the "Human Be-In". Is this likely? Was there a "Human Be-In" every Sunday at the Panhandle?)

    6/17-18/67 - I'm sure I've seen accounts of Hendrix jamming with Garcia 'offstage' at Monterey, or even at the free stage - not so sure they're true. I said in a Hendrix post:
    "Though Hendrix spent hours after the shows backstage jamming with others like John Cippollina, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, the stories differ, and though some claim he played with Garcia, it seems he never did."

    Rock Scully noted, "I helped arrange impromptu jam sessions at the free campground we organized at Monterey College. We set up a stage and, after the shows, the various bands would put on jam sessions. Jimi Hendrix, Eric Burdon, Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, the Airplane... We all took acid together and played all night."
    Hendrix definitely played with Quicksilver Messenger Service members, at the least - as Gary Duncan said, "We played for two or three hours. That was fun. Someone should have gotten that on tape."

    JULY -
    Although it falls after your cutoff here, and perhaps belongs in your next update, I have to wonder about that two-week 'blank spot' in show dates before the Northwest mini-tour in mid-July. What were they up to?

    And a note about the Santa Clara Continental Ballroom - the Dead returned there on July 21-22. An audience member had the remarkable foresight to write a setlist:
    "My set list notes: Set one: 1. Viola Lee Blues (30:00) 2. Morning Dew (5:00). Set two: 1. The Golden Road (3:00) 2. (Pigpen song) (13:00) 3. New, New Minglewood Blues (4:00) 4. (????) (14:00) 5. He Won (?) (8:00) 6. Midnight Hour (15:00). All times are approximate since I was just looking at my watch. I had the first album, so I'm sure songs 2, 4 and 5 were not on it."
    Very interesting glimpse at a typical mid-'67 Dead show - note how long the Viola Lee is! (In the second set, the unknown songs are not likely to be well-known covers, so I believe that song 2 is likely Same Thing, song 5 probably He Was a Friend of Mine, and song 4 possibly Alligator, but that's just guessing.)

    And of course, July 23 has that most remarkable of events, a 1967 Dead tape....albeit a very short one, behind a Casady rap. Possibly something like this might've gone down at the 6/15 Straight Theater party? Seems like a strong Acid-Test vibe. Have to wonder if Hank Harrison or someone has more of this short recording....

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  6. Note: I saw Group Image at the Hotel Diplomat in 1968. 1st guy with a double neck guitar I ever saw.
    PS..they certainly filmed Big Brother the first night but we had to wait until 2005 for Monterey Outtakes DVD to be released. Has 4 songs, including the aforementioned Piece of My Heart.
    You will finally see the video to Combination of the Two, used audio only in the original film's (MONTEREY POP) title sequence.

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  7. On the Grateful Dead's happy birthday thread on Facebook today, a fan mentions that his first show was "1st show...Warlocks at King's Beach Bowl, Lake Tahoe, June, '67." Obviously they weren't the Warlocks anymore, so who knows? Maybe a clue of sorts though.

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  8. Well, since the Dead played Kings Beach Bowl on August 25 and 26, 1967, I'm less inclined to believe they played there in June as well. That being said, the Tahoe scene was casual enough that it could have happened at the end of June.

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  9. A contemporary review (by Miles in IT#16) notes of the June 12, 1967 performance at The Cheetah: "The Grateful Dead and the Group Image were at the Cheetah with an expensive light show. The Dead play like a more electronic version of Tomorrow, the Group Image are a mixture of the Soft Machine and A.M.M. — heavily experimental, heavily amplified. The light show is overdone and becomes tame. It seems to be preselected or programmed in some way though there seemed to be operators on the projectors."

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  10. AMM - a story to be told. Started I guess in 1965, a British jazz, electronic, improvisation group that played some early shows at the UFO. There was an album AMMMusic on Elektra and they have kept going for many years.

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  11. To follow up on that, AMM was a key improv group in the UK, somewhat like avant-garde jazz, playing entirely freeform and using 'found sounds' & amplified electric noise. Naturally, they were very 'underground' & didn't hit the charts!
    Though they're an important precedent for later experimental music, their most immediate influence was on Pink Floyd - Syd Barrett was quite enthralled with guitarist Keith Rowe's random prepared-guitar style, and used some of those techniques in early Floyd jams like Interstellar Overdrive & Astronomy Domine. (Barrett's slide scrapings and fondness for freeform noise, for instance, are very Rowe-esque; and when you hear stories of him detuning his guitar during performances, that's straight from AMM.)

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  12. From RMGD a link to a scan of the May 18th tickets http://tinyurl.com/67h4rsd

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  13. The June 16th show was at The Hullabaloo in Hollywood. A radio ad for it is track 29 on "Psychedelic Promos & Radio Spots Vol 6" that the yahoogroup U-SPACES assembled years ago.
    Here's the transcipt

    "They're here, in a Hullabaloo after hours exclusive the mightiest of all San Francisco groups, the Grateful Dead. Yes the fantastic Grateful Dead in their exclusive Hullabaloo debut this Friday for both the early show and the after hours. Plus Hullabuloo stars The Yellow Payges and with their new smash recording of "Children Ask", The Power. (brief clip "Children ask if he is dead...") Be there for the one and only LA appearance of the mighty Grateful Dead plus Hullabaloo stars The Yellow Payges and The Power. That's the Grateful Dead this Friday only, two big shows, 8pm at the Hullabaloo and 1am for the outasight Hullabaloo after hours. That's the Hullabaloo, Sunset and Vine in Hollywood."

    He sounds quite excited about it! As it was being advertised as "this Friday" I think we can be confident that there wasn't time for the venue to change.

    This was the show where Phil's Guild Starfire bass was stolen meaning he had to switch to a Fender for Monterey.

    Here's an interesting clip about the Hullabaloo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfpLw1uh2ac

    Also, "The Official Book of the Deadheads" has a listing for the Magic Mountain Music Festival, Mt Tamalpais Amphitheater, Marin County on the 15th before the Straight Theater that evening. As this event took place earlier in June (sources vary) while GD were in NYC they weren't there. But maybe they were originally booked to play but cancelled in favour of the Cafe Au Go Go run.

    Keep up the fine work, Paul

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  14. Paul--thank you so much for solving this mystery! Numerous sources refer to the Dead having played LA prior to Monterey, because Phil's bass got stolen, and yet no one recalled where. Now you've solved it, with amazingly firm evidence (by 60s standards) as well.

    The Yellow Payges have alluded to opening for the Dead, but couldn't remember where, so this must be the show.

    The Hullabaloo became the Kaleidoscope, and then the Aquarius. It's a movie theater now.

    Is the internet great, or what?

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    Replies
    1. Good to hear from Paul, although I do not know if the mystery is actually solving because according to Jac Ttanna of The Sons Of Adam, the band last gig before break up was at the Hullabaloo as opening act of Moby Grape. Although Jac do not remember the exact date, he clearly remember that backstage he spoke with Moby Grape and the latter told him that they were very excited because they will play at the Monterey Pop Festival the next day. So, we know for sure that Moby Grape played at Monterey on Saturday, June 17, so I always thinking that the show with The Sons Of Adam at the Hullabaloo happened on Friday, June 16, exactly, but now this new info by Paul confusing me (?!). Maybe Moby Grape and Sons Of Adam filling in for the Dead and the latter moved to the Cheetah? or maybe Jac Ttanna remember wrong and his band and Moby Grape played a day or two before around June 14 or 15? Who knows!

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  15. In response to your note:

    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.

    There are cancelled shows. The original schedule for the Avalon Ballroom for May 26-28 had the Grateful Dead and Charlatans listed. Blue Cheer and Joe Tate's New Salvation Army Banned came in to replace them. Perhaps a lurking conspiracy theory about the influence of Bill Graham? I will mail some evidence to support this.

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