Thursday, September 24, 2009

Keith and Donna Band, Tour History 1975

Keith and Donna Godchaux led their own band for about 8 months in 1975, while the Grateful Dead were on hiatus. The duo recorded an album that was released on Round Records in March 1975. Keith and Donna played intermittently around Bay Area clubs, and then did one tour of the Northeast. Keith and Donna then joined the Jerry Garcia Band in early 1976, bringing their time as bandleaders to a close until after they left the Dead.

The Keith and Donna Band was apparently a somewhat ragged group at the beginning, but I did see them at the end of their tenure, and they were pretty good. Not earthshaking, but way better than the average bar band. At the time, there was both an understandable if unfair comparison to the Garcia/Saunders group and Kingfish, and also some unreasonable hostility towards Keith and Donna. It seemed to be a fate of Dead keyboard players to be unpopular with many folks until after they had departed, so Keith's performances were complained about endlessly, and I felt irrationally, while he was in the band. Once Brent Mydland joined the band, Keith was revered, a process that seemed to repeat itself with Vince Welnick. As for Donna, she had monitor problems with the Dead that caused her to be offkey at times, but criticism of her often seemed more like the usual grumbling when women appear in all-male enclaves. As a result, although the Keith and Donna band were not the best Dead spinoff, they have never gotten any kind of consideration from obsessive Dead historians, so I will attempt to rectify that now with a brief concert history.

This concert history comes from various sources that are available,  including East Bay newspapers in 1975 that have yielded up numerous obscure club dates. However, Bay Area nightclubs only publicized their shows intermittently in the papers, so there are probably many more dates to be found, particularly in Marin County. My information about the Northeast tour is also limited, and I'm sure there are more dates to be found there. However, with no other lists accessible, I thought I would present my information as it currently stands (note: shows added to the original post are shown as added).

Donna Godchaux-vocals
Keith Godchuax-Yamaha electric grand piano, Fender Rhodes electric piano, vocals
Ray Scott-guitar
Stephen Schuster-tenor sax, flute, congas
Michael Larscheid-bass
Bill Kreutzmann-drums

Both times I saw Keith and Donna, Keith was playing the Yamaha Electric Grand as well as the Fender Rhodes. Up until 1974, he had played a full size Yamaha Grand. As a practical matter, a nightclub band had a hard time with a Grand Piano, so the Electric Grand (a sort of hybrid electro-acoustic piano) made more sense. Keith continued playing the Electric Grand throughout his tenure with the Dead.

Stephen Schuster had been the equipment manager for Quicksilver Messenger Service, played a little bit on their first album, and jammed onstage with them many times. He is still a working musician in the Bay Area.

Mike Larscheid had come from Green Bay, Wisconsin, and he played with many Wisconsin musicians in the Bay Area, including Jim Krueger and Dennis Geyer.

Ray Scott's career is otherwise unknown to me, but he was an active guitarist well into the 1990s, with Martin Fierro and others in Marin County. [update] Ray Scott had been in a high school band with Keith Godchaux and Sandy Rothman in 1964--they only rehearsed, never perforned (Keith played bass, Sandy electric guitar--thanks Jesse for the tip).

Tour History

April 17, 1975  Lion's Share, San Anselmo Keith and Donna
Someone emailed me about this once, and I have lost the reference. The show was taped, but the performance was so ragged the taper erased it. 
Update: It turns out that the taper did erase one of the Master Reels, but not before it was copied, so the whole tape has survived and has recently been re-circulated. Besides the regular band members, there was also a trumpeter. The most likely suspect would seem to be Hadi Al-Saadoon, but I don't have a way of confirming that yet. The taper reported that the show was ragged, but not as messy as he remembered. Listening to the tape today bears out his recollection.

May 11, 1975, Kresge Town Hall, UCSC, Keith and Donna and Friends

May 11, 1975 Kresge Town Hall, UCSC, Santa Cruz, CA Keith and Donna and Friends
Keith and Donna played two shows on the UCSC campus. The town hall had a capacity of 616. The poster lists Tom Donlinger as the drummer, rather than Kreutzmann. I have to assume that Donlinger played a number of May gigs as well, though I don't know for sure. Perhaps Kreutzmann didn't join until June. I have speculated about this show at some length elsewhere.

May 12, 1975 Yellow Brick Road, San Francisco Keith and Donna
The Yellow Brick Road, at 2215 Powell Street, was more oriented towards soul and jazz music. A Monday night gig was probably a chance for the group to get their feet wet (added).

May 15, 1975  The Longbranch, Berkeley Keith and Donna
The Longbranch, at 2504 San Pablo, was a small club for bands on the way up. Presumably the band wanted to try themselves out in a low-pressure scenario, and in any case with Garcia and Bob Weir playing the clubs regularly, Keith and Donna were not an inherent attraction. The listing above is from the Hayward Daily Review of May 9, 1975.

May 16-17-18, 1975 Golden Bear, Huntington Beach, CA Keith and Donna
[update] Commenter runonguinness spotted this listing in the Illustrated Trip. The Golden Bear was a legendary club on the Pacific Coast Highway.

May 23-24, 1975 Great American Music Hall, San Francisco New Riders of The Purple Sage/Keith and Donna
I wonder if Keith or Donna sat in with the Riders? They certainly had done so before.

June 6, 1975 River City, Fairfax Keith and Donna
I suspect Bill Kreutzmann started playing with the band at this show.

June 7, 1975 The Longbranch, Berkeley Keith and Donna

June 11, 1975 Sophie's, Palo Alto, CA Keith and Donna
[update] Sophie's was at 260 South California in Palo Alto. The club later became the Keystone Palo Alto. Bill Kreutzmann had definitely joined the band by this time. Commenter runonguinness found the date in The Illustrated Trip.

June 12, 1975 The Bodega, Campell Keith and Donna
The Bodega, at 30 South Central Avenue in Campbell (just West of San Jose), was a South Bay saloon that mostly featured local bands. Bodega manager Ken Rominger was also the manager of the Palo Alto club Sophie's (later Keystone Palo Alto).

June 13-14, 1975 Keystone Berkeley Keith and Donna/Heroes (13)/Osiris (14)
The Keystone Berkeley, at 2119 University Avenue (at Shattuck), was one of the Bay Area's premier rock clubs. Jerry Garcia played there regularly from 1971 to 1985. These two shows were Friday and Saturday nights, so these were sort of a coming out party for Keith and Donna.

Heroes (opening on Friday June 13) featured guitarist/vocalist Bill Cutler, along with Scott Quik (Horses, Sammy Hagar), Austin DeLone (too numerous to mention), Pat Campbell (Good Old Boys) and drummer Carl Tassi.

Osiris (opening Saturday June 14) was a Palo Alto band that featured lead singer Kevin McKernan, Pigpen's younger brother, who looked very much like him.

June 17, 1975 Winterland Jerry Garcia and Friends/Kingfish/Keith and Donna/Mirrors
This was the famous Bob Fried Memorial Boogie, where The Grateful Dead played their new Blues For Allah material. I believe Mickey Hart sat in with Keith and Donna as percussionist, and Kingfish played two full sets prior to the Dead. The Mirrors were a local group featuring singers Trish Robbins and Jill Bergman.

June 20-21, Margarita's, Santa Cruz Keith and Donna
Margarita's was a new rock club in Santa Cruz, at 1685 Commercial Way. They had a very exciting booking policy for their first year, but the area wasn't really big enough to sustain the club. (added).

June 23, 1975 Yellow Brick Road, San Francisco Keith and Donna/Fiends On The Loose w/Snooky Flowers
The band returned to Yellow Brick Road, once again on a Monday night, having played there in May (added).

June 27-28, 1975 Lions Share, San Anselmo Keith and Donna
The Lions Share at 60 Redhill Avenue was a well-known Marin musicians hangout.

July 4, 1975, Toulomne County Fairgrounds, Sonora, CA: Kingfish/Commander Cody and The Lost Planet Airmen/Stoneground/Keith And Donna
An eyewitness reported seeing this show. Sounded like a good time.

July 11-12, 1975 Inn Of The Beginning, Cotati, CA Keith and Donna/Maltese Turkey
The Inn Of The Beginning, at 8201 Old Redwood Road in Cotati, was a tiny musicians hangout near Sonoma State College. Maltese Turkey featured James Ackroyd, an old pal who had been in the group James and The Good Brothers. Research has revealed that the Keith and Donna band's agreement was for 70% of the door plus five pitchers of beer.

Trumpeter Hadi Al-Sadoon was listed as a member of the band.

July 20, 1975 The Orphanage, San Francisco, CA: Keith and Donna
[update] JGMF discovered this date. See August 29-30 '75 (below) for more about the venue.

August 4, 1975  Odyssey Room, Sunnyvale Keith and Donna
The Odyssey Room, at 799 El Camino Real in Sunnyvale, was another South Bay saloon, a jumping place that featured local bands and probably sold a lot of drinks. I wonder if Garcia played with them (see notes below)?

August 5, 1975  Keystone Berkeley Jerry Garcia Band
This listing for The Jerry Garcia Band comes from Deadbase, without attribution. Deadbase's source was me. Based on my long ago notes, it appears that this date was from a list compiled by Dennis McNally. For the reasons described below (see August 20-21), I think this was a Keith and Donna show with Jerry Garcia playing lead guitar and singing a few songs.

August 8, 1975 River City, Fairfax, CA: Keith and Donna

Thanks to @GratefulSeconds for the ad. Where was Slade's?
August 11, 1975 Slade's, Mendocino,CA: Keith and Donna
Fellow scholar @GratefulSeconds found this long-lost date, with the Keith and Donna Band playing on the Mendocino coast on a Monday night. It's murky where Slade's actually was. It may have been somewhat south of Mendocino proper. [update: Slade's was in the town of Mendocino, at Lansing and Ukiah).

Keith and Donna play a weekend at Slade's.
August 14,15,16, 1975 Slade's, ?Mendocino? , Keith and Donna (early and late shows)

@GratefulSeconds also found this weekend booking, where Keith and Donna played Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Slade's-wherever that was. The tag "Pacific Union House" implies an old railroad hotel, but that's just a guess. It may have been some kind of weekend resort. It would have been a pretty interesting weekend with Keith, Donna and Billy there.

Note also that the Monday (Aug 11 above) and the weekend at this distant Mendocino coast resort was bracketed by two remarkable days at the Great American Music Hall on August 12 and 13, now a major part of the Grateful Dead legend.

August 18, 1975 Keystone Berkeley Keith and Donna
This show was listed in the Hayward Daily Review as a Keith and Donna show. Since it was a Monday night, I don't think that it was a Garcia show, or else they would have listed it as such in order to sell out a Monday. This wouldn't have' precluded Jerry from just showing up anyway, however.

August 20-21, 1975 Great American Music Hall, San Francisco Jerry Garcia Band
The Hayward Daily Review lists these Wednesday and Thursday shows at the Great American Music Hall (859 O'Farrell, and still going strong) as The Jerry Garcia Band. In fact, we have a lovely tape of August 20 (I think it is a Betty Board), and Jerry Garcia joins Keith and Donna. He plays lead guitar on all their songs, as well as singing 'Tough Mama" and "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You." I have to assume the next night was the same configuration. Although the tape is incomplete, the entire group sounds great, and Jerry of course puts it over the top.

The last performance of Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders was July 6 at Keystone Berkeley. Why Garcia stopped playing with Merl has never adequately been explained, although presumably Jerry just wanted a change. The Jerry Garcia Band with Nicky Hopkins does not start playing until September 18. My own theory is that John Kahn was simply busy, and Jerry just wanted to play, so he sat in with Keith and Donna for August. That is why I think the August 5 show was Jerry with Keith and Donna, and the August 18 show may have been as well.

Both the August 20 and August 30 show (below) feature an unnamed trumpeter. Numerous Garcia tapes in the 1970s feature trumpet players, all unnamed--I wonder if they were the same one? One could postulate the usual Marin suspects--Luis Gasca, Bill Atwood, and so on, but I really don't know. Many of Garcia's band mates are no longer with us, either, so its hard to think who we could ask about that.

[update] A Commenter adds a great eyewitness account of this weekend
"In fact, Garcia played the Great American Music Hall on August 20 and 21 with the Keith And Donna Band... We do not actually have eyewitnesses from either show"
You do now. I was at both. I was 19, had just arrived in San Francisco the day before (August 19), was staying in Mill Valley, and read in the Marin Independent-Journal that the JGB would be playing at the GAMH. I'd never heard of the venue, ha no idea where it was, but of course I said, "I'm there!"
And I was, phony ID in hand, only to find the show was sold out. With half a dozen dedicated Heads, I hung around on the sidewalk, clustering toward the door whenever it opened and the music came spilling out. The band took a break, and a few people left, and the doorman eyed us and said: "OK, come on in, but you gotta pay full price!" and we happily did. 
Same exact scene the next night. I remember two guys with us on the sidewalk who got tired of waiting out in the cold (August in SF, you know) and decided to go to a place called Bimbo's to hear a new band called "The Tubes." :-) The rest of us dismissed them as wimps, and again got in for the second set. 
I remember K&D were auditioning a new guitarist for their band, and the first night he was clearly intimidated by sharing the stage with Jerry. Garcia being Garcia, of course, he kept encouraging the new guy to play, and by the second night they were both rocking out. I mentioned this to Keith about a month later when we were at the River City bar in Fairfax, and he was pleased someone had noticed. I do not remember the younger guitarist's name. 
Anyway, as a young Deadhead's introduction to the "Scene," those two shows were about as unexpectedly sweet as it could get! 

August 29-30, 1975 The Orphanage, San Francisco Keith and Donna with Jerry Garcia
The Orphanage, at 807 Montgomery, had been a happening North Beach club about 1973, and was now less so. Still, this was a comparatively high profile gig, compared to The Odyssey Room. Fortunately, a tremendous tape survives. Jerry sings some Dylan songs, and may have been trying out his Travis Bean guitar as well.
Update: A commenter has discovered a listing for two shows at The Orphanage, for August 29 and 30, so it appears that Garcia played two shows with Keith and Donna (on Friday and Saturday).

September 12-13, 1975 River City, Fairfax, CA: Keith and Donna

September 18, 1975 Inn Of The Beginning, Cotati, CA Keith and Donna/J.C. Burriss

September 19-21, 1975 Golden Bear, Huntington Beach, CA Keith and Donna/Harvey Mandel
Thanks to JGMF for this citation. Here's to hoping that the great Harvey Mandel plugged in for a few numbers with Keith and Donna.

September 26, 1975 Acker Gym, Cal State Chico U., Chico, CA: Kingfish/Keith and Donna
Commenter David found this Friday night show in the Chico State student paper.

September 29, 1975 Keystone Berkeley Keith and Donna
This Monday night gig at the Keystone seems like a warm up gig for the more high profile gigs that would follow.

October 4, 1975 Winterland Kingfish/Sons of Champlin/Keith and Donna
A friend attended this show (hi Mitch) and said that Keith and Donna played great.

October 12, 1975 "Oktoberfest" Hidden Valley Park, Hayward Keith and Donna/David LaFlamme/Collected Works/Ron Thompson/Scott Hall
This was a two-day outdoor weekend event (The Sons headlined the day before). I can't identify the exact location, but the listing says "off Mission Blvd, behind Weibel Winery."

October 17, 1975 Concord Pavilion Jerry Garcia Band/Kingfish/Keith and Donna
I attended this show, and I can attest to the fact that Keith and Donna played great. Bill Kreutzmann is a tremendous drummer, and the straight ahead style of the Keith and Donna Band really showed how powerful a drummer he can be in a conventional rock context. Stephen Schuster played lively solos on tenor sax and flute, and he wasn't a joke on congas, either. Donna's voice sounded great. Keith's singing was a bit weak, probably the weakest link in the band.

November 6, 1975 Elting Gym, SUNY, New Paltz, NY Kingfish/Keith and Donna
Kingfish and Keith and Donna toured the East Coast in November. In the Bay Area, with Jerry Garcia a regular in nightclubs since 1970, Deadheads were very casual about the opportunity to see Grateful Dead spinoffs. In the East, however, the chance to see 4 members of The Dead (Weir, Kreutzmann, Keith and Donna) plus an ex-New Rider (Dave Torbert) in the same night was somewhat of a big deal. The Kingfish/Keith and Donna bill played medium sized theaters that neither band could have played at home. I have to presume that the bands also only used one crew and one sound system, another efficiency.

November 7, 1975 Beacon Theater, New York, NY Kingfish/Keith and Donna (early and late)

November 9, 1975 Pritchard Gym, SUNY, Stony Brook, NY Kingfish/Keith and Donna
We only have scattered dates from the East Coast tour, mostly based on what tapes have survived. The Beacon show was on a Friday, and the Stony Brook show was on a Sunday. I have to believe the bill played somewhere in the Tri-State Areaon Saturday night. I don't think the tour played every night, but most tours make sure they fill in their weekends.

November 10, 1975 War Memorial Auditorium, Trenton, NJ Kingfish/Keith and Donna
The small auditorium was about 2/3 full, not bad for a Monday night in New Jersey in November. [added]

November 12, 1975 New Century Theater, Buffalo, NY Kingfish/Keith and Donna
The tour hit Buffalo on a Wednesday night. Thanks to commenter David for tracking this down. Also, he found excellent photos of the show.

November 14, 1975 Brooklyn College, New York,  NY Kingfish/Keith and Donna
Again, this show was a Friday night, and I'm sure the bands played somewhere Saturday night. Kingfish played My Father's Place in Long Island on Tuesday, November 18 (a tape survives of both shows) but I don't know if Keith and Donna would have played with them in a club.

November 20, 1975 Fieldhouse, Sullivan County Community College, South Fallsburg, NY: Kingfish/Keith and Donna

November 21, 1975 Loews Theatre, Syracuse, NY Kingfish/Keith and Donna

November 22, 1975 Masonic Temple, Scranton, PA Kingfish/Keith and Donna
I do know a Scranton native who attended this show, and it was a very big deal for any Grateful Dead related bands to play in Scranton. He had nothing much to compare it to, but he thought it was a terrific show (and he went to Harvard).

November 23, 1975 Orpheum Theatre, Boston, MA Kingfish/Keith and Donna

November 24, 1975 Palace Theater, Albany, NY Kingfish/Keith and Donna
This was a Monday night show, which suggests that the tour played a lot more than just weekends.

[updatePer a Commenter who reviewed the show for the Albany Knickerbocker News, Ray Scott was not present at the show. The writer interviewed Keith, who said that Scott had been fired at Garcia's recommendation. This seems strange, since Garcia wasn't there, but the writer points out that was at least Keith's explanation at the time. I don't know if Scott played any of the other shows on the tour after this.

November 25, 1975 Student Union, U Mass-Amherst, Amherst, MA Kingfish/Keith and Donna
[update] Thanks to a Commenter for this. There were early and late shows. Per another Commenter, Robbie Hoddinott fell ill and passed out at the beginning of the late show, and Keith came out and sat in for the balance of Kingfish's set.

November 28?, 1975 Thiel College, Greenville, PA Kingfish/Keith and Donna
A commenter writes

Somewhere between Nov 22-29, 1975, Kingfish & Keith & Donna played a small college (Thiel Coll) in rural western PA. And for our little coterie of Deadheads adrift in northeast Ohio at the time, it WAS A BIG DEAL! We showed up expecting a Dead show type crowd experience but instead were greeted by a practically deserted sleepy college town and equally sparsely populated theatre! We have an amazing story surrounding this adventure, perhaps for another time...It DOES get stranger
I have assumed that the date was Friday, November 28, although I don't know that for certain [update: I now believe the date was Tuesday, November 25] A correspondent adds
The show was in a (small) theater, probably in the student center (it definitely was not in a gym).  I'm not sure if the Passavant Center on campus was there in 1975 (2,000 seat) but if it was the venue, it would have been (way) less than 1/4 filled for that show.
This hitherto forgotten event serves as a nice reminder that when a band featuring a member of the Grateful Dead came to a smaller city or a more out of the way place, it was still a memorable event for those in attendance. Deadheads lucky enough to live in the Bay Area or New York City could be casual about regular Deadheads and accessible Garcia appearances, but part of the Dead's magic was their relentless journeying to unconquered territory (added).

November 29, 1975 Tower Theater, Upper Darby, PA Kingfish/Keith and Donna
This was the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Once again, a Friday show somewhere seems likely, so I have assumed it was at Thiel College.

December 2, 1975 Lisner Auditorium, GWU, Washington, DC Kingfish/Keith and Donna (early and late)
update: Reader sdwinkler found a flyer for the George Washington University show.

December 5, 1975  Capitol Theater, Passaic, NJ Kingfish/Keith and Donna
The tour appears to end on a Friday night at John Scher's Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey. Bob Weir and Kingfish played Saturday night at My Father's Place in Long Island (December 6), but once again I am not certain that Keith and Donna played with them.

The Northeastern tour is the biggest gap in the Keith and Donna concert history. We must be missing numerous dates.

December 19-20, 1975 Winterland Jerry Garcia Band/Kingfish/Keith and Donna/Clover
A Poco/Kingfish/Keith and Donna bill scheduled for Winterland on December 18 was converted to a Garcia Band/Kingfish/Keith and Donna bill for two nights. I attended the first night. Marin stalwarts Clover opened the show (Clover guitarist John McFee had played pedal steel on "Pride Of Cucamonga"). Ray Scott was not a member of the Keith and Donna band, and the group played without a guitarist. The band played a brief but excellent set, joined by Matt Kelly of Kingfish on harmonica for the set closing "Scarlet Begonias."

On the second night, for the last performance of the Keith and Donna band, Jerry Garcia joined them for their set. For the very last song, Garcia sang "Scarlet Begonias' to a rapturous reception from the crowd. The Keith and Donna band showed their chops by cruising along nicely with Garcia on an extremely difficult song, showing how musical they really were.

At the end of January of 1976, Keith and Donna joined the Jerry Garcia Band, replacing the departed Nicky Hopkins. If there were any plans to reactivate the Keith and Donna band, they were put aside with both the Garcia Band and the return to performance of the Grateful Dead.

Anyone with additional information about missing or inaccurate tour dates is actively encouraged to list them in the comments or contact me.

February 12, 1976 El Verano Inn, Sonoma, CA: Keith and Donna
Scholar and researcher David Kramer-Smyth found this listing in the Petaluma Argus-Courier of February 7, 1976. This Thursday night booking raises more questions than it answers.


  1. re: 8/30/75, there's a listing in the Oakland Tribune (8/29/75, p. 32, under the "Weekend Scene" heading) that says that Keith and Donna play "today and tomorrow". So I'd add 8/29/75 to your list of gigs.

  2. The November 24 Albany show was reviewed in the November 30 Troy (NY) Record. The reviewer (Donald Wilcox) was mainly bothered by terrible sound problems. Most interestingly, he says that Kingfish guitarist Robbie Hoddinott tried to sit in with Keith and Donna for several numbers, but was inaudible. If Hoddinott played with the band--and was audible--it would have probably sounded pretty good.

  3. The Kingfish/Keith and Donna tour played the Trenton War Memorial Auditorium, in Trenton, NJ on Monday, November 10. They were very favorably reviewed in the November 12 Bucks County (PA) Courier by Don Wolf. The modest auditorium was only 2/3 full.

  4. A few more comments related to your posting.

    First, the trumpet player on the 8/30/75 Keith and Donna Band show is, per Pat Lee's notes on his reel copy, Hadi al-Saadoon.

    Second, I am coming around to your view that the JGB with Hopkins might not have started until September. Via Google Books I just came across a listing in New York Magazine vol.8 no. 32 (August 11, 1975), p. 18 indicating that Nicky Hopkins had a gig 8/18-20 at the Bottom Line in New York city. This would seem to lend credence to the view that the "Jerry Garcia Band" that played on the 20th at GAMH wasn't the one with Hopkins playing piano, and was probably, in fact, the Keith & Donna band.

  5. Who was Hopkins playing with in New York?

  6. The ad says "Nicky Hopkins and Nils Lofgren".

  7. I have found a new date, Monday May 12, 1975 at The Yellow Brick Road in San Francisco. I have updated the post to reflect it.

  8. And yet another date, June 20-21 in Santa Cruz, although exactly where isn't certain. The Catalyst was not really a rock club at that time. The listing comes from a BASS tickets ad, and it says "Keith and Donna, S. Cruz Jun 20-21." I have updated the post.

  9. There's a brief review of the 12/2/75 Lisner Auditorium shows (two shows) in the Washington Post, December 4, 1975, p. C18.

    A few things of note:
    - two shows
    - venue was "more than half empty"
    - Kingfish set included "Jump for Joy" and "My Blue Tiara"
    - the opening act is referred to as the Godchaux-Kreutzmann band.

  10. Somewhere between Nov 22-29, 1975, Kingfish & Keith & Donna played a small college (Thiel Coll) in rural western PA. And for our little coterie of Deadheads adrift in northeast Ohio at the time, it WAS A BIG DEAL! We showed up expecting a Dead show type crowd experience but instead were greeted by a practically deserted sleepy college town and equally sparsely populated theatre! We have an amazing story surrounding this adventure, perhaps for another time...It DOES get stranger....Peace,
    Deb & Jase-Connecticut

  11. Deborah, thanks so much for this. I updated the post. Friday, November 28 seems like the most likely date, as being the Friday after Thanksgiving it might explain why the town was empty.

  12. Three more K&D gigs.

    Friday, July 11, 1975: Inn of the Beginning, Cotati, CA. Tickets $2.50. Band billed as Keith and Donna, Bill Kreutzmann, Ray Scott (guitar), Steve Shuster (reeds), Hadi al-Sadoon (trumpet, fluegelhorn), Michael Larsheid (bass). Second act was Maltese Turkey, which seems to have featured James Ackroyd of James and the Good Brothers fame.

    Saturday, July 12, 1975. As just above. I love that K&D's remuneration for these nights appears to have been 70% of the door plus five pitchers of beer.

    Thursday, September 11, 1975: Inn of the Beginning, Cotati, CA. $2.50. Second act appears to have been J.C. Burris.

  13. Fri, June 6, 1975: River City, Fairfax, CA. Source: "Rock Billboard" column, Marin Independent-Journal, June 6, 1975, p. 22.

  14. Just saw this. The Santa Cruz show was at Kresge Auditorium at UC Santa Cruz campus. I was there.

  15. Keith, thanks so much for this information. I updated the blog post. To my knowledge, the Keith and Donna shows would be the only time members of the Grateful Dead played on the UCSC campus.

  16. I have a poster for Kresge College's Keith and Donna and Friends on May 11, 1975. Two shows-730pm and 1030pm
    Royce Scott-guitar
    Steve Schuster-reeds
    Tom Dollager-drums

    Special Guest was Eric Andersen

    My scanner isn't big enough for posters but I'll send Corry what I can scan.

    1. Make that Ray Scott on guitar.

      Don Scott

    2. Any way to get a copy of the poster? "Ranger Don" is Don Scott, Ray's brother, and I'm putting together a collection of items relating to his career. Thansk

  17. Nov.7, 1975 had early and late shows. I have the late show and several others listed above.

  18. About Ray Scott:

    Ray's my brother. He's had a long and distinguished career in the Bay Area jazz scene, playing many clubs and larger venues -- played the Awhwahnee one New Year's, was flown to Paris, France, on the Millennium NY, played with the 49er band. He moved into salsa; and now Latin jazz, with his lady Anna Estrada. They've done 3 cds together, the latest being Volando.


    Don Scott

  19. Don, thanks for the updates on Ray Scott. Your brother has to be about the only living musician who hasn't made a big deal about playing about having played with Jerry Garcia. It's nice to see that his career has continued to thrive.

    1. Thanks, Corry. Yes, he's modest about his talent. Music is his life, and he lets that speak for him. I tried to get him to visit the Dead Archives, but he didn't want to do it. By the way, he and Garcia and I think Keith and Donna and others used to practice together in his room at night when we were in college. I saw a performance in a barn in Clayton, Bluegrass, and Ray and Jerry were (it seemed to me) the best in their bluegrass finger-picking duet. This would have been about 1962 or 1963, I think.

  20. I saw Kngfish with Keith and Donna at Umass Amherst in November 1975 at the student union. Great show

  21. an internet search turns up a ticketron ticket on worthpoint.
    hard to read but quite sure it say Saturday Nov 15, 1975.
    it is at the student union.

  22. I stand corrected-found a flyer. It was november 25, 1975 and there was an early and late show with both bands

    1. Shortly after the start of the second Kingfish performance, Robbie Hoddinot passed out on stage. Keith then came out and played with the band for the remainder of their set.

    2. Shortly after the start of the second Kingfish performance, Robbie Hoddinot passed out on stage. Keith then came out and played with the band for the remainder of their set.

    3. Thanks for this fascinating detail. I updated the post.

  23. Don Wilcox wasn't the only critic to review the Albany show; I reviewed the show for the Albany Knickerbocker News (a Hearst afternoon paper, now long defunct), and interviewed Keith, who I knew a bit from prior associations. Ray Scott wasn't there. I asked Keith why; he said he'd fired Ray, at Jerry Garcia's suggestion, "because he just didn't have any moves" (Keith also said that Ray had taken lessons from Jerry, but that the teacher was not impressed with this particular pupil).

    I have no idea whether Keith was right; I never heard Ray Scott play live. I'm just recounting Keith's perspective.

    Robbie Hoddinott sat in with Keith and Donna for a few songs, and yes, he wasn't amplified properly. Steven (not Stephen) Schuster's sax was the main lead instrument and provided the only memorable moments during the show. The band's performance was very lackluster, to put it politely, and Keith was one step short of comatose. Kingfish, by contrast, rocked, albeit politely.

  24. Here's a new one: Orphanage, 7/20/75.

    ad: SFECDB, July 20, 1975, p. 33.

  25. If anyone wants to see ray scott play live contact me his nephew by having an irish coffee at the Buena Vista in will take you info and find out for you where his playing currently in the bay area

  26. If anyone wants to see ray scott play live contact me his nephew by having an irish coffee at the Buena Vista in will take you info and find out for you where his playing currently in the bay area

  27. I am Ranger dons son
    Ray Scott's brother, my uncle,
    And I have been pouring Irish coffee at the the bv for seven years,and if anyone has the urge to see a guitar legend..

  28. I am Ranger dons son
    Ray Scott's brother, my uncle,
    And I have been pouring Irish coffee at the the bv for seven years,and if anyone has the urge to see a guitar legend..

  29. The Keith & Donna G. Band played in either Palo Alto or Menlo Park. It was a bar, and as I was underage, had to stay in the back room while the bouncer bounced a very-out-of-it-but-insistant Deadhead down the back stairs. It was at night and I'm pretty sure it was a bar with parking all around the building. That's about all I remember. Billy's pot was so strong, I ended up having a bad trip from the GG Bridge lights coloring the thick fog yellow. Afterwards, we drove to Mill Valley to Susila's parent's home.
    I'm sorry I can't be more detailed.
    Cheers, Marcia Kreutzmann

    1. Marcia, thanks so much for this eyewitness account.

      It sounds like I need to look for a summertime show at Sophie's in Palo Alto. The other Dead spinoff bands (Garcia/Saunders, Kingfish) played there, so it would make sense that K&D did as well.

      Sophie's was at 260 S. California Ave in Palo Alto, and there was a parking lot next to the venue. It later became the Keystone Palo Alto.

  30. You're most welcome Corry. This may be addressed somewhere else in your blog, but the artwork (on their baby's forehead) on the cover of K&D album was Jerry Garcia's or I have read that it is.

  31. The Sophie's show was almost certainly on June 11. "GD The Illustrated Trip" has the Dead's calendar for May/June 1975 on p 180 and the plan for 75-6-11 was "GD Session, Garcia - Keystone, Keith - Sophies". That would be back to back shows for Ken Rominger at Sophies and the Bodega.

    It also has "Keith Hunt. Beach" 75-5-16, 17 & 18.

  32. Concert poster from Kingfish/K&D Lisner Aud Wash DC Dec 2 75

  33. Thanks. I was at the New Paltz show. The one thing I specifically remember is the disappointment by some that Jerry didn't show up.

  34. I recently met the son of Mike Larscheid (bass). He runs the tennis program at a resort in the Georgia mountains.

  35. I remember getting one of those Keith And Donna Round Records album cover postcards in 75 that listed a bunch of nightclub dates in the Bay Area and was basically an invitation to come on down. Being only 20 at the time, I had to pass, unfortunately! I was a big fan of them both. Miss Keith an awful eyeful, too, these days maybe more than ever.

  36. Mike Larscheid recently departed this world.

  37. September 19-21, 1975: Harvey Mandel/Keith and Donna Godchaux with Bill Kreutzmann at the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach.

    1. thanks I added these.

      God, I hope Harvey plugged in at least one night.

  38. 6/23/75 Yellow Brick Road, 2215 Powell

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  40. Fellow scholar @GratefulSeconds found some intersting gigs on the Mendocino Coast, August 11 and August 14-16 1975. In between, of course, Keith, Donna and Bill played the Great American Music Hall.

  41. Found in the Berkley Barb
    Kieth & Donna
    June 2nd 1975 The Maltese Turkey, Lion's Share, San Anselmo

    1. Never mind it was just a very blurry image. Its the already known June 27 date

  42. Minor addition.
    Add opener to June 23
    June 23, 1975 Yellow Brick Road, San Francisco Keith and Donna/Fiends On The Loose w/ Snooky Flowers

    Here is the ad

  43. Minor change to the name listed on the ad
    From the LA Times (11 May 1975)

    May 16-17-18, 1975 Golden Bear, Huntington Beach, CA Keith & Donna & Friends

  44. Found a Slade's ad that listed the address as "Lansing and Ukiah", "Town of Mendocino"

    1. 10470 Lansing St Mendocino CA
      The building still stands. Houses a closed Rainsong store. Has a really long and interesting history.

  45. From The Daily Independent Journal (12 September 75)
    September 12-13, 1975 River City, Fairfax CA Keith and Donna [Fri-sat]

    1. The same Journal listing this time for the Inn of the Beginning
      Changes the date.
      September 18, 1975 Inn Of The Beginning, Cotati, CA Keith and Donna [thur]

  46. From the San Fran Examiner (3 aug 75)
    August 8, 1975 River City, Fairfax CA Keith and Donna

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  48. Very interesting listing
    From the Petaluma Argus-Courier (7 Feb 1976)
    February 12, 1976 El Verano Inn Sonoma CA Keith & Donna [Thursday]

    1. Thanks for all these, I updated the post. This one in particular is fascinating

    2. More listings for these dates
      Adds 13 and 14 and adds opening band
      From the San Fransisco Examiner (11 feb 1976)
      February 12-14?, 1976 El Verano Inn Sonoma CA Keith & Donna/Six Easy Pieces [Thursday-Saturday]

      But the Petaluma Argus-Courier (14 Feb 1976)
      Has Cayenne still as the Saturday the 14th band

    3. More listings for these dates
      Adds 13 and 14 and adds opening band
      From the San Fransisco Examiner (11 feb 1976)
      February 12-14?, 1976 El Verano Inn Sonoma CA Keith & Donna/Six Easy Pieces [Thursday-Saturday]

      But the Petaluma Argus-Courier (14 Feb 1976)
      Has Cayenne still as the Saturday the 14th band

    4. More on the El Verano Inn. Over 1974-75 new owners updated the dining room to fit 700. And started booking jazz bands. January 1976 they got bought out and the two new owners Bob Kiefer and Bruce Cassasa started to book bigger rock acts. That lasted till September when the Inn was placed in bankruptcy.

  49. From The Daily Independent Journal (5 sept1975)

    Sept 5-6, 1975 Sundance Lodge Lake Tahoe Keith & Donna [Fri-Sat]

  50. From a WSAN radio station Facebook group.
    December 3, 1975 Roxy Theatre Northampton PA Kingfish/Keith & Donna

    “Kingfish with the Keith and Donna Band opening occurred on December 4, 1975. The entire three tractor trailer Dead equipment trucks showed up. The small venue stuff was in the front of one of the trailers, so we had to empty that trailer into the Roxy parking lot to get to it and unload it, then reload all the big stuff back in. I had to head back to the station just before midnight to do my show so I don't know for sure whether or not they just loaded the gear into the back of that truck or went ahead and unloaded the big stuff so the small venue stuff could be put back in the front of the truck where it belonged.”

    1. Mistype (4 not 3)
      December 4, 1975 Roxy Theatre Northampton PA Kingfish/Keith & Donna

  51. Looks like also 4/18/75 at Lion's Share.
    4/25/75 at the Chateau Liberte.

    1. The Lions Share show has the Rowan Brothers also on the bill