Saturday, February 20, 2010

Grateful Dead/Jerry Garcia Tour Itinerary September-October 1969

I have been constructing tour itineraries for the Grateful Dead for brief periods of their history. There is so much information circulating on websites and blogs (including my own) that go beyond published lists on Deadlists and that these posts make useful forums for discussing what is known and missing during each period. So far I have reviewed
Rather than go in strictly chronological order, I am focusing on periods where recent research has been done by myself or others. Over time I hope to have the entire 1965-70 period. My principal focus here is on identifying which dates have Grateful Dead shows, which dates might have Grateful Dead shows, and which dates are in dispute or may be of interest. Where relevant, I am focusing on live appearances by other members--mostly Jerry Garcia, as a practical matter--in order to get an accurate timeline.

What follows is a list of known Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia dates, including The New Riders Of The Purple Sage, from September and October 1969. I am focused on which performances occurred when, rather than the performances themselves. For known performances, I have assumed that they are easy to assess on Deadlists, The Archive and elsewhere, and have made little comment. As a point of comparison, I am comparing my list to Deadlists and The Jerry Site (for Garcia dates), but I realize that different databases may include or exclude different dates (I am not considering recording dates, interviews or Television and radio broadcast dates in this context).

My working assumption is that the Grateful Dead, while already a legendary rock band in 1969, were living hand to mouth and scrambling to find paying gigs. Even by 1969, most paying performances were on Friday and Saturday nights, so I am particularly interested  in Friday and Saturday nights where no Grateful Dead performances were scheduled or known.

I have linked to existing posters where available.

September 1, 1969 New Orleans Pop Festival, Baton Rouge Speedway, Prairieville, LA
1969 was the Summer of outdoor Rock Festivals, and the Grateful Dead started September by completing a long run of Festivals, including Woodstock, Oregon, British Columbia and finally Louisiana.

The New Orleans Pop Festival was held at a tiny racetrack outside of Baton Rouge. It was a two day Festival and the Dead appear to have played on the last day. Numerous major acts performed to a crowd of about 50,000, which apparently included 116 undercover cops looking to arrest people for drugs.

The ad (left) is from the Panama City, FL News, from August 22, 1969. Note that the band name is "Greatful Dead."

update: According to Tom Constanten, the Jefferson Airplane sat in with the Dead at this show. The existing tape cuts off in the middle of "Lovelight"--perhaps the Airplane (or some of them, at any rate) joined in after that. 

September 7, 1969 Hyde Park, London, England Crosby, Stills and Nash/Jefferson Airplane/Grateful Dead/Joni Mitchell (canceled)
As if San Francisco's Wild West Festival fiasco wasn't enough, just a few days later (August 27) Ralph Gleason announced (above) plans for the Grateful Dead to join Crosby Stills and Nash, The Jefferson Airplane and Joni Mitchell to play a free concert in London for a Granada TV Special.

I have no idea how close this event actually came to fruition. It appears to have been enough of a plan, however, that the Dead and the Airplane had an empty weekend on their tour schedule. I do know that Graham Nash had throat problems around this time, and some CSN gigs were curtailed, but I have no idea if that was a factor.

September 6, 1969 Family Dog On The Great Highway Jefferson Airplane/Grateful Dead
I speculated on this mysterious show on a previous post, supported in turn by an epic Comment thread. I managed to get all tied up in knots, but it now appears that Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead played a show at The Family Dog On The Great Highway with little or no publicity. This may have been because they were booked at Winterland later in the month, and were not allowed to advertise (per their contract with Bill Graham) or it may have simply been that since they could sell out the show they didn't bother to advertise. I now realize that both bands were available because a (perhaps hare-brained) scheme to go to London had fallen through.

The Airplane were a significantly bigger band than the Dead at this point, so they closed the show. Excellent Owsley tapes survive of both sets, and his consistently accurate dating ultimately persuaded me that this show really occurred. Jerry Garcia and Mickey Hart jammed a little with the Airplane at the end of their set.

Its possible that either Hot Tuna or The New Riders of The Purple Sage played, but I have not yet been able to determine that. One interesting thing that remains undiscussed is what the Grateful Dead may have been doing on Friday September 5, as weekends were the most likely nights for gigs, and the Dead perpetually needed money.

September 7, 1969 Family Dog On The Great Highway Jam Session?
A tape also exists of a sort of oldies jam session between Jerry Garcia, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, drummer Joey Covington and some others (possibly Mickey Hart or Bill Kreutzmann). The reel is dated September 7. I do not know if this was
  • a late night jam from the Saturday (Sep 6) show, dated September 7
  • a Sunday afternoon "jam" show featuring whichever band members felt like showing up
  • an indication of another show by both bands on Sunday, September 7
I am personally inclined towards the middle choice, a Sunday afternoon jam, but I have no direct evidence (there was no mention of a weekend Dog show in Ralph Gleason's Chronicle column, before or after the event). Note that the guys who like to play the most (Jerry, Jorma, Jack) are the ones playing. If this supposition is correct, I would wonder if perhaps either Hot Tuna or the New Riders played the Sunday show, even if they didn't play Saturday night.

September 11, 1969 Family Dog On The Great Highway jam
I have since changed my tune on the September 11 show. Whatever the peculiar provenance of the tape, a nice audience recording of a single tune, "Easy Wind," with an early, simple arrangement, and a guest slide guitarist, I am now inclined to believe that some or most members of the Grateful Dead were at the Family Dog on this date. However, my current line of reasoning is that Chet Helms was holding an afternoon jam for musicians, so this event would not have been advertised. It was probably more like a Mickey And The Hartbeats show, where anything went, rather than a Dead show. I would speculate that the slide guitarist was Robbie Stokes, from the Family Dog houseband, Devil's Kitchen.
The activities of The Grateful Dead and its members are mostly unknown to me from September 7 to September 25 (I know there is a one-song tape dated September 11, 1969, but I find that spurious). In particular, I am looking for Dead or New Riders shows for the weekends of September 12-13 and September 19-20. I have looked through every San Francisco Chronicle for this period, and no shows or other activities are listed save the one below (Gleason's Chronicle column, Sep 17).

September 18, 1969 Inn Of The Beginning, Cotati New Riders Of The Purple Sage
I am assuming that throughout the months of September and October 1969, there were a number of low key shows by the New Riders Of The Purple Sage, many possibly on weeknights. One show we do know about, thanks to a surviving tape, is on Thursday, September 18 at the Inn Of The Beginning in Cotati.

Iconoclastic Cotati, CA was the "college town" associated with the then newly-opened (1966) Sonoma State College. Before wineries priced Cotati out of the range of regular people, the town was a bucolic hippie dream, a relaxed agricultural area, next to a college and still an easy drive to San Francisco. The Inn Of The Beginning, a sort of coffee house with music at 8201 Old Redwood Highway, opened on September 28, 1968 with the band Bronze Hog. The Bronze Hog still live in Cotati, and still periodically played The Inn Of The Beginning until it closed a few years ago, which nicely sums up the many charms of Cotati (and I'll bet they're not unknown at the Irish Bar which replaced it).

Cotati was a friendly out-of-the-way place for the New Riders to work on their material. One unique thing about the surviving tape is that Garcia sings more on this show than all his other Riders shows put together. While he takes no lead vocals, he duets with John Dawson on the choruses of all the covers (such as "Games People Play" and "Mighty Quinn"), and he isn't just humming along, either. Its an interesting insight into the way the Riders could have sounded, and another interesting peek at Garcia's willingness to experiment on stage. Of course, its very difficult to sing and play pedal steel at the same time, which is why no one does it, and presumably why Garcia didn't continue the experiment. Still, its a reminder that many unheralded Dead or Garcia shows were full of surprises.

I believe there were other New Riders shows at the Inn Of The Beginning around this time. At one point on the club website, it said words to the effect that "the Dead used to play every Tuesday for a year." While that is self-evidently incorrect, it does imply more than one Garcia show, at least, and I wouldn't be surprised to find more NRPS shows here between August 69 and Spring 1970, if I could ever figure out how to track them down.

September 26-27, 1969 Fillmore East Country Joe and The Fish/Grateful Dead/Sha-Na-Na
The Grateful Dead then embarked on a brief Eastern tour. Looking at the Fillmore East flyer, it is notable to remember that Country Joe and The Fish were billed over the Dead because they were a much more popular band. Although the Dead were growing in popularity on the East Coast, the band was still playing the Fillmore East under the conventional set-up of early and late shows both nights, so a bill had to sell out four shows. Once Live/Dead and then Workingman's Dead were released, the Grateful Dead could headline Fillmore East on their own, but at this time they still required a co-headliner.

Although the Dead were suitably legendary, in fact Country Joe and The Fish's first two albums (Electric Music For The Mind And Body and Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin-To-Die, both on Vanguard) had sold considerably more than the first two Dead albums.

At this time, Sha-Na-Na were apparently mostly still Columbia University students, and the band was still somewhat of a lark.

September 29-October 1, 1969 Cafe Au Go Go, New York, NY Grateful Dead
The Cafe Au Go Go had been an important venue in Greenwich Village, during the transition from the folk era to the rock era. Many great bands had appeared there from 1964-69 (for a complete list of performers, see here; for the history of the venue itself, see here). The Grateful Dead had introduced themselves to Manhattan with an infamous 11-day stand there, from June 1-11, 1967.

While the Dead had long since outgrown the 400-seat Au Go Go, owner Howard Solomon had closed the club, and sold it to new operators. There seemed to be a distinct San Francisco connection to acts that played the Cafe Au Go Go when it re-opened in July 1969. The link was probably former Au Go Go booker Barry Imhoff, now working for Bill Graham's Millard Agency in San Francisco. It seems that the Dead played a few shows at Cafe Au Go Go, after the Fillmore East shows, on Monday thru Wednesday, in order to make a little money while they waited for their Boston weekend to start.

I'm not certain who the new owners of the Cafe Au Go Go were, but the club was not the right size for the growing rock market, and it closed for good at the end of October 1969.

October 2-4, 1969 Boston Tea Party, Boston, MA Grateful Dead/Bonzo Dog Band
The Boston Tea Party was Boston's version of The Fillmore. A legendary venue in its own right, it too was too small to compete in the booming rock concert market. Because of a fire at the original site (at 53 Berkeley Street), the Tea Party had moved into the site of its competitor The Ark, at 15 Landsdowne Street. Thus, the Dead had played the venue before, on April 21-23, 1969, when it was called The Ark. The Dead played Thursday thru Saturday, a common booking at Boston Tea Party.

The Bonzo Dog Band were a very English, very hard to explain, comic theatrical rock band with a uniquely skewed view of the world. Americans, as yet untutored by Monty Python (with whom the Bonzos were friends) were not ready for their strange performances and humor, as they pondered the question "Can Blue Men Sing The Whites?"

October 5, 1969 Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, TX Jefferson Airplane/Grateful Dead/The Byrds/Poco
Sam Houston Coliseum, at 801 Bagby Street (near Downtown) was an indoor arena built in 1937. It had a capacity of 9200 and was one of Houston's main concert venues. Elvis Presley (Oct 14, 1956), The Beatles (Aug 19, 1965) and Jimi Hendrix (June 6, 1970) all played there. The venue was torn down in 1998.

This show was billed as a "Rock Jubilee" and scheduled from 1-6 pm. According to Christopher Hjort's excellent Byrds chronology (So You Want To Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star, Jawbone Books 2008), the show was delayed some hours due to equipment problems, and eventually the plug was pulled on the Airplane at 10pm. The Byrds played a shortened set, and presumably the Grateful Dead did also.

October 6, 1969 Family Dog On The Great Highway, San Francisco (doubtful)
This listing has appeared in various editions of Deadbase and elsewhere, but I don't think it happened. The source of it appears to be one of Dennis McNally's lists, where it appeared without comment. Notwithstanding that the Dead had just returned from a tour the night before, October 6 was a Monday, and Monday night shows were very rare for rock bands in the Bay Area at the time. I think this was just a mistaken listing, from somewhere (perhaps from September 6?) that got picked up.

If there was an event, it might have been the New Riders but that too is unlikely. The Grateful Dead would have arrived back from Houston on Monday morning, and rather than returning to their Novato warehouse, the crew goes to the Family Dog instead? I find it hard to fathom, but I am including it here in the remote chance that there might be a grain of truth to it.

There is no known Grateful Dead activity between October 6 and the October 24 show at Winterland. This is a surprisingly long time for a working band, particularly in October. Granted, their contract with Bill Graham may have precluded any Bay Area shows, but combined with the blank weeks in September (above), it suggests that one or some band members had something else going on--a health issue, a family obligation or a legal requirement--that might have interfered with the Dead scheduling weekend shows like they usually did. Of course, if my theory is correct, it wouldn't include any band members in the New Riders, since they played a number of gigs.

The weekend of October 10 (Friday) and October 11 (Saturday) once again shows no Grateful Dead or New Riders activity. There are lists that include Garcia shows from the Matrix, but as was pointed out in the comments, those are misdated from 1968.

October 9, 1969 Inn Of The Beginning, Cotati, CA New Riders Of The Purple Sage
I speculated that there were likely to be more New Riders shows at the Inn Of The Beginning, and I found one on Thursday, October 9 (the admittedly hard-to-read listing is from Gleason's Chronicle column of Wednesday, October 8).

From what I have been able to determine, during late 1969 The Inn Of The Beginning had relatively well-known club bands on Friday and Saturday nights (on the order of, say, Dan Hicks And The Hot Licks or The Bronze Hog). I have to assume they had lesser known local bands or solo performers on other nights. Thus it makes sense that Garcia and company could quietly book a Thursday night, probably with relatively little notice, because they weren't disrupting the club or changing another band's plans.

October 14-16, 1969 Mandrake's, Berkeley New Riders of The Purple Sage
Mandrake's was a pool hall in Berkeley on 1048 University Avenue, near the intersection of 10th Street and San Pablo Avenue. It had presented music since at least 1965, but when it was taken over in mid-1968 by Mary Moore, the wife of a jazz musician (Willie Moore), the club became much more serious about booking bands. Mandrake's tended to lean towards blues and rock acts, what today would be called "Roots" music. Thus the New Riders were a good fit for the club's bookings.

Mandrake's closed about 1973, and subsequently became Jerry's Stop Sign. 1048 University now appears to be a pet hospital.

October 17, 1969 unknown venue, San Jose (see below)
This date appeared on one of Dennis McNally's lists, with no explanation, and due to its appearance in Deadbase has taken on a life of its own. I doubt that any of the places it is referenced has more information than I do, which is close to none. In that respect it is similar to the phantom October 6, 1969 date at Family Dog (above).

That being said, however, I think there is a grain of truth to it. I am confident that this was not a Grateful Dead show, but I have good reason to think it was a New Riders show, although I don't know where. Due to the restrictions on advertised Grateful Dead performances prior to the Winterland show, I would find it very unlikely that the Dead would play a stealth gig in advance of their own show in San Jose two weeks later (see below).

However, since the New Riders were playing all week, and in general seemed to be "touring" the Bay Area, a Friday night show in San Jose seems very plausible indeed. I don't think there was much of a hippie club scene in San Jose, except around the campus, but Garcia still had plenty of ties to the old San Jose State crowd that had run the Off Stage. Peter Grant, who was almost a member of the New Riders, was an integral part of the San Jose folk scene. My own guess, based on little more than plausible speculation, is that the New Riders played a campus event sponsored by a San Jose State student group, as student groups got cheap and easy access to buildings.

Anyone from San Jose with any half-remembered rumors or speculation on this matter is urged to Comment (for various reasons, I don't think NRPS played the Jonah's Wail Coffee House, although it would be neat if they had).

Update: Found it.
October 17, 1969 Loma Prieta Room, Student Union, San Jose State College, San Jose New Riders Of The Purple Sage/The Fourth Way
 This listing from Gleason's column on Friday, October 17 confirms my hypothesis. I have assumed that where Gleason said "Student Union Ballroom" he was referring to the Loma Prieta Room, where the Grateful Dead would perform exactly two weeks later.

Another interesting note here is the opening act, The Fourth Way. The Fourth Way were an electric jazz rock band, originally formed to back John Handy. When Handy was unable to work with them, the band chose to continue on their own. The group were regulars at The New Orleans House in Berkeley, and ultimately released three albums on Capitol. The band consisted of New Zealander (via Boston) Mike Nock on electric piano, Ron McClure on bass, Eddie Marshall on drums and Micheal White on electric violin. In another post I had posited that White had joined the Dead for a few numbers at the Family Dog on August 3, 1969. The Fourth Way's presence at this San Jose show a few months later proves exactly nothing, but its the kind of tenuous link I find intriguing nonetheless.

October 22, 1969 Family Dog On The Great Highway, San Francisco New Riders Of The Purple Sage/Lazarus
At this juncture, the Family Dog put on a lot of modest shows on weeknights. There was a flyer for this event, and the clipping above is from that day's Chronicle. October 22 was a Wednesday, and it fits in with the pattern of the Riders playing around the Bay Area.

For more discussion of the New Riders in October of 1969, see here

October 24-26, 1969 Winterland Jefferson Airplane/Grateful Dead/Sons of Champlin/Doug Kershaw
Winterland, capacity 5400, was over twice the size of Fillmore West, so this was a substantial show, which is why the Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead were co-billed. The poster advertises two nights (Friday and Saturday October 24-25), and the third night (Sunday Oct 26) was added when ticket sales justified it. I'm sure this is how Bill Graham had it planned all along, but this is a relatively early instance of this strategy, which he would employ many times in subsequent decades.

Note that the New Riders of The Purple Sage did not open the show. Their seems to be an implicit assumption (whether by Graham or the band isn't clear) that the group wasn't quite read for prime time, which Winterland surely represented.

Parts of the Dead shows were recorded (in mono, I think) and broadcast later on KPFA-fm (Berkeley). This was part of a regular KPFA program (Sunday nights at 7:00 pm) that created a lot of fine 60s tapes that were among the first high quality tapes to circulate (of many bands) for years. On Saturday, October 25, Stephen Stills plugged in for a memorable "Turn On Your Lovelight." Apparently, Stills and David Crosby played some music as an acoustic duet between Dead and Airplane sets as well.

October 31, 1969 Loma Prieta Room, Student Union, San Jose State College, San Jose Grateful Dead
The poster for this show indicates that this was a campus event, since students can get tickets more cheaply than civilians. The show was not in the Gym (as is commonly assumed), but in the tiny Loma Prieta Ballroom in the Student Union, which has a capacity of only 588 (see for yourself).

I believe this show woulud not have been advertised until after the completion of the Winterland shows. However, a few flyers around the San Jose State campus and the tiny hall would have quickly sold out. Since it was some kind of student event, the economics were somewhat different than a regular rock concert.

Campus events usually have curfews and other limitations, so I would be surprised if the New Riders played at this show, although its possible.

November 1-2, 1969 Family Dog On The Great Highway Grateful Dead/Danny Cox/Golden Toad
The Grateful Dead headlined Saturday and Sunday at the Family Dog, while playing Friday night--which was Halloween--at San Jose State. Its my belief that the Dead were effectively promoting the Family Dog shows themselves, and both wanted to insure that they didn't compete with themselves (thus playing a small venue in San Jose) while insuring some sort of payday (since there was no guarantee of a profit at the Family Dog).

After the Summer debacles of the Light Show Strike and The Wild West cancellation, Chet Helms's Family Dog was in dire financial straits. It appears from various flyers that many of the shows at the Family Dog for the back half of 1969 were put on by different promoters, who would rent the Dog and its equipment. I think the Dead were effectively co-promoters of this show, although I can't prove it. Then-manager Lenny Hart was working closely with Chet Helms at the time, accounting for many of the performances at the Dog by the band.

The only handbill for this show, while elegant, seems to be very simply put together and was probably cheap and easy to produce, a sign of a low-budget program. My assumption is that the Dog show could not be advertised until the Winterland shows were complete. The fact that there was a different show on Friday night, without the Grateful Dead, indicates that there was no late change of plans involving the San Jose State show.

Danny Cox was an African-American folk singer from Kansas City, friendly with Brewer & Shipley, who later put out a 1971 solo album (produced by Nick Gravenites) on which both Merl Saunders and John Kahn played (Birth Announcement on Dunhill). The Golden Toad played Medieval and Renaissance music on traditional instruments, and were well known for playing the Renaissance Faire in Marin (and elsewhere). Golden Toad leader Bob Thomas was an old friend of Owsley's, and among many other accomplishments created the Grateful Dead's 'Lightning Bolt' logo, as well as the covers to the albums Live/Dead and Bear's Choice.

Open Weekend Dates, September-October 1969
For the period of September and October 1969, there seems to be quite a few weekend dates without a performance by either the Grateful Dead or Jerry Garcia. I am not aware of any recording occurring at this time, although perhaps the band was mixing Live/Dead. Nonetheless, while I do not think all the dates below will feature missing shows, I suspect some of them will.
  • Friday, September 5, 1969
  • Friday, September 12, 1969
  • Saturday, September 13, 1969
  • Friday, September 19, 1969
  • Saturday, September 20, 1969
  • Friday, October 10, 1969
  • Saturday, October 11, 1969
  • Saturday, October 18, 1969
Anyone with additional information, ideas or speculation about any of the performances during these two months, please put them in the Comments. As new information arises, I will update this post.


  1. A couple of notes:
    (a) September 26/27 at the Fillmore East. Probably not relevant, but the Grateful Dead were replacing Mountain in the line up.
    (b) October 12 at the Matrix. You ask who played the weekend shows there - it was Jesse Fuller.

  2. About October 5, 1969 gig: Corry you say Grateful Dead played but in your old "Jefferson Airplane Performance List" post on 'Rock Proposography 101' you say GD not finally they played or not?

  3. A little addiction about NRPS gig on October 22, 1969 at Family Dog On The Great Highway.... the complete bill is: NRPS, Apple Jam, Garden Of Delights, Films.

  4. About October 24-26, 1969 gig at Winterland: Corry in your old post about "Jefferson Airplane Performance List" and in your "Winterland Shows List" too, you billed Doug Kershaw too....finally he play or not?

  5. Interesting...I'll have to look into the Doug Kershaw thing, and see where I got it. I have a vague idea I have a tape somewhere.

  6. I can confirm that Doug Kershaw did play the Winterland shows.

  7. Great job, as always. I just have a few small comments/questions.

    First, you list 1969-10-12, based on Gary Jackson's (right?) diaries. But I don't remember seeing this date in his diary. The list of Matrix shows based on his info does include "Jerry Garcia and Friends" 1969-10-08 through 1969-10-12. I had speculated at that these dates derived from the mistaken listing in Art of Rock. Looking back on it, that might account for the 8-9-10th, but not the 11th-12th. So, do you now think that the 12th happened? If so, wouldn't it be logical to think (based on the same source) that the 11th happened?

    Regarding 1969-10-16 at Mandrake's, where does this come from? I have just posted to the Jerry Site the image of an ad for NRPS at Mandrake's on 10/14-15. The 16th looks like Clover and The Crabs at Mandrake's.

  8. Point taken on the third night at Mandrake's. Two nights made more sense anyway (I have no idea why I had three).

    My understanding was that there was a NRPS gig at Matrix around Oct 12, so to some extent its a placeholder. Joe I think knows more about it, so I'll leave it be for the moment until we get some more information.

    With that being said, it would make sense if there were more NRPS gigs at the Matrix.

  9. Yikes! A closer look at the scan of the NRPS ad I just linked suggests that it is from April 1970, not October 1969. Not sure how I got my wires crossed, but it looks like I did.

    So now I have a few questions.

    1) is there any evidence for Mandrake's NRPS shows in October 1969? 14th, 15th, 16th, any/all? I have myself confused.

    2) since the scan is undated, what are we to infer about the dates of the Mandrake's New Riders shows? To the left, the Family Dog has the April 10-11-12 listings. But above, the New Orleans House listing is for a week after that. I am going to go with Tuesday April 21 and Wednesday April 22 for the New Riders shows at Mandrake's. Those are open dates on Garcia's schedule, unlike the week earlier, when the Wed (4/15/70) found the GD at Winterland.


  10. I can confirm the Mandrake's shows - advertised as Jerry Garcia, NRPS. An advertisement appears in the Berkeley Tribe. I will email it over.

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  12. OK, my apologies to Corry. I will be posting the *correct* ad for the NRPS shows at Mandrake's, which do indeed appear to have been Oct. 14-16, 1969.

    The good news is that, if the ad linked above is correct, there may also have been NRPS shows at Mandrake's in April 1970 that I have not previously been aware of.

  13. The April 70 Mandrake's shows fit in with the theme of breaking in NRPS for the Dead's upcoming National tour. Mandrake's, then Family Dog, then Peninsula School, then Matrix, giving everyone a chance to get their feet wet.

  14. April 22 and 23, 1970 can be confirmed at Mandrake's - with support both nights from the Robert Savage Group. Clover and The Crabs do indeed perform on the Thursday. April and May 1970 saw some great shows in Berkeley and some unusual proototions - how about Doug Weston putting on Phil Ochs at the berkeley Community Theatre on May 2.

    As a teaser - I have not cropped the advert for the shows as you may wish to glance across at the beautiful ad for Charlie Musselwhite at the Family Dog - with support form the new Riders of the Purple Sage - Mickey Heart (sic) and his Heartbeats and Bobby Ace and the Cards from the Bottom of the Deck - the personification of niftiness.

  15. A few small comments -

    The canceled 9/7/69 show: Rock Scully flew to London in early September to arrange the free Hyde Park show (inspired by the Stones' Brian Jones memorial show back in July). I don't know why it fell through, but his being busted for LSD possession at the airport probably did not help! The idea didn't die, though - while in England, he talked to the Stones about doing a free show in San Francisco during their upcoming tour....

    9/11/69: An AUD tape of only one song from an unknown show is the most frustrating kind of AUD tape.... The Easy Wind is definitely an early arrangement though, so it's almost certain to be from September '69; the 9/11 date can't be too far off. The slide guitar guest is said to be Jorma Kaukonen. The venue is said to be unknown, which raises all kinds of questions.

    Speaking of audience tapes - it is both remarkable & puzzling that four New York shows from 9/26 to 9/30 were caught on AUD tapes - and all the tapes are incomplete, mostly at 45 minutes.
    Apparently the Dead played early & late shows at the Cafe au Go Go, which was unusual for them.

    10/2-4/69: The Dead seem to have had a good relationship with Boston in '69, playing three 3-night runs there that year. I think it was the only city outside of SF and NYC where that happened. Someone there must have liked them.... It's a shame this run isn't circulating, given how they played the other two runs.

    10/5/69: An audience member recalled Lovelight from this show. (It's amusing that, when strapped for time, the Dead chose their longest number....)

    10/24-26/69: You mention the Dead's Winterland shows being broadcast (in part) on radio; but the only part of these three shows that circulated in the old days was a half-hour from 10/25. (This show is also the first time Stephen Stills played with the Dead.)

    And, it was in a fall San Francisco show that sheriffs repossessed Pigpen's organ from the stage before the show. I don't know what date, though....

  16. Re the 10/25/69 Stills sit-in, NB too that 10/24/69 was supposedly the date that Garcia laid down the steel track for Teach Your Children.

  17. Although I am not certain of the exact parameters of the KPFA Sunday night show in the 1960s, I am fairly certain that they only broadcast 1/2 hour or hour pieces of shows. This would explain why there were great "pieces" of shows (and not just by The Dead) circulating for years, without the corresponding complete show.

    I got the 10/25/69 chunk decades ago, and at the time it was one of the few listenable 60s tapes available.

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  19. I was at all the shows in both the 9/26-27 run at Fillmore East and 9/29-10/1 at Cafe au Go Go. With two shows a night at both venues, that makes it my most insanely concentrated GD show cluster ever: 10 shows in six days, with the 28th off! (Of course, when the band played one-a-night, multiple-set shows with no co-billed acts in later years, you actually got more music, but this was a most enjoyable marathon nonetheless.

    Some tidbits about the two runs:

    Although Country Joe and the Fish were indeed the top-billed act at those Fillmore shows, they did an amazingly gracious and sensible thing: after the Dead blew the roof off the dump at the first three shows, Joe McDonald voluntarily surrendered the closing slot for the 11:30 show on the 27th and played in the middle instead. He explained from the stage by saying something along the lines of: "We can't follow the Grateful Dead... NO ONE can follow the Grateful Dead. They're the greatest fuckin' band in the world!"

    The Cafe au Go Go shows had a different opening act on each of the 3 nights. Don't remember the exact order in which they appeared, but they were: Singer-songwriter Eric Mercury; pioneering rock guitar god Lonnie Mack (a real treat, I'll bet, for Garcia and Weir, who both cited Lonnie as an early hero and influence); and the beautifully demented Holy Modal Rounders (who, I think, still had budding playwright Sam Shepard as their drummer). I remember Peter Stampfel's wild fiddling style being a bit of a problem, as his bow kept hitting the subterranean club's low ceiling.

    Since Tom Constanten was the primary keyboardist at the time, Pigpen played congas, maracas and other small percussion when he wasn't singing or playing harmonica (or taking his turn at the B-3 for the occasional blues tune). But his congas wouldn't fit with all the gear on the club's rather tiny and low stage, so he was actually seated at floor level, squeezed in among the paying customers - at some of the shows, right next to me and my friends. During a tuning interlude in one set, with audience members yelling out requests, Pig turned to our table and casually asked "what do y'all wanna hear?" I said "How 'bout that new song about Casey Jones?" Pig yelled "Hey, Garcia... how 'bout Casey Jones?" Garcia said "OK!" Request granted!

    About the au Go Go closing in 1969... it did surface yet again in 1970, with a different physical configuration. Instead of the stage against the east wall of the building mid-room, surrounded on three sides by audience, the new incarnation had more of a conventional proscenium setup, with the stage at the south end of the room, with all seats facing toward it. I went there a few times when it had that look, most memorably for several Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks shows shortly after "Where's The Money?" came out.

  20. Gary, these are amazing comments, particularly on getting Pigpen to relay your requests.

    You know that I have attempted the complete story of the Cafe Au Go Go on another blog?

    (which I will now update, of course)

    thanks so much!

  21. My, pleasure, Corry! And thanks in return for the pointer to your au Go Go history. If I can contribute any memories over there, I will!

    A few more random memories of the Dead run there...

    At one of the shows, the little cannon that was sometimes fired after "one man gathers what another man spills" in "St Stephen" was deployed, but too close to Phil Lesh and *way* too loud in that claustrophobic space. Phil made his displeasure known with a healthy little burst of invective.

    My friends and I got there good and early one of the show days so we could get seated front and center, and were first in line. From that vantage point, we were treated to the spectacle of Garcia happily striding toward the club with a bulging paper bag from a quick shopping excursion across Bleecker Street. "What did ya get, Jer?," someone asked. "COMIC BOOKS!"," he replied, with a gleeful grin. He must have had a couple of dozen comics there - he collected 'em passionately. Also remember Jerry shamelessly flirting (and with good reason!) with the stunning six-foot-tall blonde who served as the club's hostess. 41 years later, I *still* remember her!

  22. By way of anticlimax, after Lambert's recollections, I'd like to note that Ned Lagin first saw the GD in October '69 at the Boston Tea Party. He says that there were only 100-200 people there, and that the place held 400 people. (The latter, of course, can be checked and is probably known more definitively by the readers of and writers on these pages.)

  23. Source for the above is Mick Skidmore, "Ned Lagin: An Interview," Relix 18, 3 (June 1991), p. 31.

  24. A correct story about the canceled Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's Hyde Park gig......

    Contrary to what is written by Ralph J. Gleason in his above article, the Hyde Park free concert was originally scheduled for Saturday 6 (not Sunday 7) and Joni Mitchell was not scheduled to play (his presence was reasoned only because she was Graham Nash's girlfriend at that time). The "some additions what to be announced" to which RJG refers was the Quicksilver Messenger Service. The show was first postponed to one of the following Saturdays and later canceled not because Graham Nash had "throat problems" as you said (Graham was found to have nodes on his vocals cords in previous July 1969 and their planned debut at the Fillmore East on 25-26 was canceled for this problem) but because at the time Graham was having trouble with his work permit for the U.S. and if he had gone to England, he wouldn't have been able to return to the U.S. for at least six weeks.

  25. "the little cannon that was sometimes fired after "one man gathers what another man spills" in "St Stephen""

    Ah! So THAT'S what that sound is! I've learned a lot by working my way backwards through this blog, but this was the first "ah, ha!" moment for me.

  26. Tom Constanten's memory that the Dead jammed with the Airplane at the 9/1/69 New Orleans Pop Festival was tantalizing but unproven.
    However, an advance schedule for the festival had it concluding with a 1 a.m. "Jam Session featuring Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Cat Mother, Santana, Chicago Transit Authority, and Beautiful Day."

    I wasn't able to search the Baton Rouge papers or the New Orleans Times-Picayune from 9/2/69 for reports on the festival, but it was covered in multiple articles, so there was probably some mention of the jam.

  27. For what it's worth, apparently Garcia was in Northern California judging a pot contest on 9/19/69.

  28. The Chronicle noted the changed date of the London show to September 13 in the September 5 edition with some added detail (Ace of Cups were going) that it was on as late as Sept 4