According to Deadlists (and the Archive) both the June 6 (Friday) and June 8 (Sunday) tapes feature Elvin Bishop, and some have theorized that the tapes might be mislabeled and belong to the same show. In any case, numerous numbers from June 6 and June 8 feature lead guitarists other than Jerry Garcia. The opening numbers of June 6 lack Garcia, and Weir and Lesh even joke about it. On June 8, the middle of the set is taken up with a performance of blues standards, lacking any Grateful Dead vocalists for the most part, until Pigpen joins in at the end. A careful listening of both nights, however, suggests a wide variety of guests, and a somewhat simpler narrative.
The existing first set of Friday, June 6 features
- Smokestack Lightning (13:12)
- Green Green Grass Of Home (4:25)
- Me and My Uncle (3:56)
- Checkin' Up On My Baby (5:26)
- Beat It On Down The Line (2:39)
- Turn On Your Lovelight (46:59)
Wayne "The Harp" Ceballos was the leader of the group Aum. Aum was managed by Bill Graham, booked by Graham's Millard Agency and they played many shows with the Grateful Dead. After the opening number, Weir and Lesh joke about being "sadly depleted" and says "one guitar player is pretty much like another."
The segment on June 6 clearly features Wayne Ceballos on guitar. Whatever the Archive notes might say, its not Elvin Bishop singing on "Checkin' Up On My Baby," and it sounds a lot like Ceballos. Ceballos also seems to be singing Jerry's part on "Beat It On Down The Line" (and it isn't Elvin). Ceballos speedy style is very prominent on the solo on "Beat It." Jerry Garcia was famously late to shows, and I think this was the night that Bill Graham got fed up and simply put the band on stage with whatever player was in the house. Listen to it and decide for yourself. Garcia steps up on "Lovelight" and presumably Ceballos steps aside.
The June 8 show features some classic Dead, yet it is then followed by an odd segment that runs
- Turn On Your Lovelight (34:47)
- The Things I Used To Do (7:47)
- Who's Lovin You Tonight (5:13)
A careful listening to the entire "Lovelight" jam suggests a variety of other guests. From the middle of the song onwards there is some pretty substantial conga playing, a lot more active than Pigpen usually contributed, and possibly some additional drummers as well. There is a distinctly Latin feel, and that points directly at Santana's rhythm section. There were very few Latin percussionists playing in a rock vein at that time, and anyway, how many of them were friends with the Dead? Santana had just had a dynamic jam with the Dead in San Diego (on May 11), and had been in San Mateo recording their groundbreaking first album. I've got to assume they were taking a break in recording and went to the Fillmore West to hang out and play.
Because of the recording obligations, Santana only had some occasional local gigs at the time. According to the most reliable source, Santanamigos, Santana had no shows between a Merced show on May 30 and the Palo Alto High School Graduation Dance on Tuesday, June 10. The "Lovelight" jam also features some electric piano that doesn't sound at all like Tom Constanten, or for that matter anything like Gregg Rolie, who would have taken over the organ (rather than piano) if he were there. It beats me as to who it might have been--Albert Gianquinto?--but its got a different feel to it. Also, since Elvin Bishop ends up on stage on the next number, I have to think he had joined in on stage after the drum solo, if not before.
After the "Lovelight," Pigpen, of all people, comes out and introduces Wayne Ceballos (whom he calls "Wayne The Harp"). Pigpen rarely acted as Master of Ceremonies on stage, so this leads me to think that June 8 was the day that the whole band was too dosed to play. If Garcia was offstage, Weir had left (halfway through "Lovelight") and Lesh was as gone as he says he was in his book, that would leave Pigpen. Its still odd that Pig wasn't on for "Lovelight," but keep in mind that in the 1960s, a bunch of musicians who didn't know each other would have considered the song a standard that everyone knew, so they may have started it without Pig on stage.
Afterwards, Elvin Bishop and Pigpen briefly discuss (on and off mike) what songs to play, and settle for a couple of blues numbers. Pigpen isn't sure of the lyrics to some songs, and in fact sings the lyrics to "It Hurts Me Too" to "Who's Loving You Tonight." I don't know who else is onstage with Pig and Elvin, but I don't hear a second guitar, so I think its just Pig, Elvin, Phil and the drummers. Lesh's description of the event (pp. 146-150) more or less fits the tape, given the inherent confusion of such narratives (ahem).
The balance of the tape is the regular Grateful Dead. I have to assume there was a delay, if not a complete set break. In conclusion, I believe the June 6 and June 8 tapes to be accurate as marked. I think June 6 was the day Garcia was late, and Wayne Ceballos played for the first 5 numbers, and I think June 8 was the day Garcia was simply too high and stood down for the middle of the concert. It sounds like every (good) musician backstage was invited up for a jam on June 8, and if anyone could find a photo there might be some interesting people on stage.