Friday, April 15, 2016

Grateful Dead Performance List July-December 1967

I have been working on this list for my own purposes, so I thought I would post it. Since there is no longer a definitive list of Grateful Dead shows that is easily accessible online, I have decided to post my own lists for brief periods of time. I will include links to where I have information on some dates that are not widely known, but I will be minimizing discussion of individual performances. In Tour Itinerary posts I have talked about even shorter periods of time, with the intent of creating a narrative that describes the Grateful Dead's activity during that window. This post is more of a simple list, however, to use as an anchor for research. My plan is to keep these lists up to date on an ongoing basis. Please suggest any additions, corrections or reservations in the Comments. For other posts listing Grateful Dead performances, see the link here. This post will list Grateful Dead performance dates from July through December of 1967.

The Stanford Daily of July 4, 1974, featured an article about the free Be-In at El Camino Park in Palo Alto on July 2.
July 2, 1967 El Camino Park, Palo Alto, CA: Grateful Dead/Anonymous Artists of America/New Delhi River Band/Solid State/The Good Word Mary Poppins Umbrella Festival and Be-In [free concert]
Using equipment that they "borrowed" from the Monterey Pop Festival, the Dead played a free concert back in Palo Alto. I had thought that this concert was on Saturday, June 24, but an article in the Stanford Daily confirmed the date of Sunday, July 2. The Anonymous Artists Of America included Jerry Garcia's wife Sara (they were now separated), and future New Riders David Nelson and Dave Torbert were in the New Delhi River Band.

July 13, 1967 PNE Agrodome, Vancouver, BC: Grateful Dead/Daily Flash/Love-In
The Agrodome was Vancouver's largest venue. "Love-In" may refer to a title to the event, not a band. The Daily Flash were a popular psychedelic Seattle band.

July 14-15, 1967 Dante's Inferno, Vancouver, BC: Grateful Dead/Collectors/Painted Ship
Dante's Inferno, at 1024 Davie Street, would later become more famous as The Retinal Circus, Vancouver's principal psychedelic ballroom. Both opening acts were British Columbia bands. The Collectors evolved into the 70s group Chilliwack, named after a Vancouver suburb.

July 16, 1967 Golden Gardens Beach, Seattle, WA; Grateful Dead (afternoon free concert)
Golden Gardens Park is in Ballard, a neighborhood of Seattle. I do not know if the Dead actually played on a beach at the park (the park is on Puget Sound). I would expect they played on a grassy field rather than a beach. During 1967, the Dead tried to play outdoor free concerts in as many cities as possible, a strategy that paid massive dividends many years later. Golden Gardens is not far from El Roach, where the Dead played on August 20, 1969, when they were rained out of the Aqua Theater.

July 16, 1967 Eagles Auditorium, Seattle, WA: Grateful Dead/Daily Flash/Magic Fern
The Eagles Auditorium was at 1416 7th Avenue, at Union Street. It had been built in 1924 for The Fraternal Order Of The Eagles. By 1967, it had become Seattle's principal psychedelic ballroom, and The Daily Flash were regular headliners there. The Magic Fern were another Seattle-area band.

The Portland Art Museum today, at 1119 SW Park, now known as The Mark building. It was the site of the Masonic Temple, where the Grateful Dead played on July 18, 1967 (photo M.O. Stevens, from Wikipedia)
July 18, 1967 Masonic Temple, Portland, OR: Grateful Dead/Poverty's People/US Cadenza/Nigells
The Masonic Temple was at 1119 SW Park Avenue. The building was on the same block as the Portland Art Museum. One floor of the Masonic Temple was a ballroom that could be rented, and it was used for rock concerts in the 1960s. The then-small Portland market was useful for weeknight gigs in between California and Seattle. The Masonic Temple show was on a Tuesday night, and the opening acts were all local Portland bands. In 1992, the Portland Art Museum bought the Temple, and ultimately merged the buildings, an the ballroom is now part of the Portland Art Museum.

July 21-22, 1967 Continental Ballroom, Santa Clara, CA: Grateful Dead/Sons Of Champlin/Congress of Wonders/Phoenix
The Continental Ballroom, under various names, was the primary rock venue in the San Jose area in the 1960s. However, since it was never under the aegis of a single promoter, it was far less celebrated than places like the Fillmore or the Avalon. Nonetheless, there were lots of great events at the Continental, and plenty of them involved the Grateful Dead. The arena was a former roller skating rink, and the Warlocks had played there in 1965 when it was called the Continental Roller Bowl. The Continental was at 1600 Martin Avenue in Santa Clara, actually a suburb of San Jose, but generally part of the San Jose downtown.

In the Summer of '67, Quicksilver manager Ron Polte booked the Continental for several weekends that featured all the best San Francisco rock bands. San Jose and its suburbs had a huge indigenous teenage rock market, but all of them must have been happy to see the Fillmore bands nearby. At the time, the Sons Of Champlin, Congress Of Wonders (a comedy group) and Phoenix were all affiliated with Ron Polte's booking agency.

July 23, 1967 Straight Theater, San Francisco, CA: Grateful Dead/Big Brother and The Holding Company/Wildflower/Phoenix
The Haight Theater had been an old 1500-seat movie theater in the heart of the Haight Ashbury, at 1702 Haight Street (at Cole). It had been a rehearsal hall for the Grateful Dead and other bands in early 1966, and plans were afoot to turn it into a performance venue. However, the process had been delayed by city officials who refused to approve the new Straight Theater for a "Dance Permit," an antiquated means of city control that stemmed from Prohibition days.

However, the Straight had a debut weekend on July 21-23, with the Dead and Big Brother headlining on Sunday July 23. Quicksilver Messenger Service (Friday July 21) and Country Joe And The Fish (Saturday July 22) headlined the other nights. A tape circulates with Neal Cassady rapping over a "Lovelight" style jam. However, the issue of the Dance Permit was not yet resolved, and any dancers could potentially be subject to arrest (this was not a joke--it would actually have been illegal and dancers would be subject to arrest, no small thing to a hippie with a few joints in his pocket).

An aerial view of the former O"Keefe Center, at 1 Front Street East in downtown Toronto, ON, now known as the Sony Centre (as seen from the CN Tower on Sep 23, 2009). Bill Graham brought the Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead to the O'Keefe for eight shows in six days from July 31 through August 5, 1967.
July 31-August 5, 1967 O'Keefe Centre, Toronto, ON: Jefferson Airplane/Grateful Dead/Luke And The Apostles Bill Graham Presents the San Francisco Scene (matinees Wed Aug 2 and Sat Aug 5)
The ever innovative Bill Graham tried to take San Francisco on the road in the Summer of '67. He took the Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead to Canada, with posters that said "Bill Graham Presents The San Francisco Scene." The two bands played the O'Keefe Centre (now the Sony Centre), Toronto's premier downtown performance venue, at 1 Front Street East. It had opened on October 1, 1960, with a capacity of 3,191. The Dead and The Airplane played six nights, from Monday through Saturday, including double-show matinees on two afternoons. Bonnie Dobson, the writer of "Morning Dew," attended one of the shows, but she was too shy to go backstage.

Opening all the shows were the Toronto band Luke And The Apostles, a happening electric blues band from the Yorkville district. Yorkville was the bohemian neighborhood in Toronto, sort of a Canadian Greenwich Village, and the locals over the years had included Neil Young, Joni Anderson (later Mitchell), Ian and Sylvia, The Sparrows (later Steppenwolf, when they went to LA) and Rick James (back when he was still just AWOL from the US Navy).

With his usual acumen, Graham had primed the pump by having the Jefferson Airplane play a free concert the week before, at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto on July 23. Luke And The Apostles and a group called Spring Garden Road were also on hand, but the Dead were still back in San Francisco. However, in classic San Francisco fashion, the Airplane had already given their potential fans a free taste of what to expect, an absolutely unprecedented approach to promoting rock shows.

August 6, 1967 Place Ville Marie, Montreal, QC: Jefferson Airplane/Grateful Dead (afternoon free concert)
Montreal in the 1960s had a booming rock scene. Bill Graham came through the city with two of the hottest bands from what was the coolest city in rock at the time, and had them play a free concert downtown at lunchtime. This was unprecedented in Montreal, as it was everywhere else, giving it away for free with the implicit assumption that you couldn't resist paying for it. The only flaw in this strategy was that the Dead never played Montreal or Quebec again, and I'm pretty sure that the Airplane didn't either.

August 6, 1967 Youth Pavilion, Expo '67, Montreal, QC Jefferson Airplane/Grateful Dead (free concert)
The International World's Fair, known as Expo 67, was held in Montreal from April 27-October 29, 1967. By any standard, the fair was hugely successful. The Dead and The Airplane played for free outdoors at the "Youth Pavilion." The bands probably actually got paid, but as far as I know it was free for the fans, except insofar as they had had to pay for admission to the fair itself.

The Dead, being the Dead, inexplicably decided to do a runner on Graham and the Airplane, abandoning the tour. Graham and the Airplane went on to play shows in Rochester (Aug 7) and Springfield, MA (Aug 8), but the Dead had rented cars and driven to Millbrook, NY. Of course, the Dead had no money, but they had hooked up with some wealthy patrons who could finance the trip. Millbrook was the home base of Timothy Leary and his own patrons. The Dead weren't particularly sympathetic to Leary, but they could smell a good party from a few hundred miles away,

August 10, 1967 rooftop, Chelsea Hotel, New York, N:Y Grateful Dead
As part of their New York adventures, the Dead agreed to play a rooftop concert for Emmett Grogan of The Diggers. Grogan, a real character, had helped found The Diggers back in San Francisco. According to McNally (p.211), the concert on the rooftop of the Chelsea Hotel was something called Trip Without A Ticket. I have no idea how many people actually attended this event--probably not very many, but Grogan was very shrewd at creating what would now be called "free media."

August 11, 1967 Grande Ballroom, Detroit, MI: Grateful Dead/Rationals/Gang or /Southbound Freeway/Bishops
August 12, 1967 Grande Ballroom, Detroit, MI: Grateful Dead/Rationals/Gang or /Southbound Freeway/Ashmollyan Quintet/
The Grande Ballroom in Detroit had a lively rock scene that had been inspired by Detroit DJ Russ Gibb's visits to San Francisco. Starting in October 1966, The Grande was a happening underground scene, with posters and light shows rather than traditional industry support. For all it's San Francisco inspiration, however, the Detroit scene was louder and more R&B oriented than the San Francisco ballrooms. Bands like the Grateful Dead and County Joe And The Fish were just too folkie for the locals, who preferred harder rockers like the MC5. Numerous Michigan and Midwest bands made their bones at the Grande from 1966-68, and were popular throughout the region, even though they were not well known elsewhere in the country.

The handbill had Southbound Freeway with Bishops (Friday) and Ashmollyan Quintet (Saturday) opening for the Dead and The Rationals. A newspaper ad, probably produced nearer the concert, just had the Dead, The Rationals and Gang on both nights.

A current photo of the Bandshell at West Park in Ann Arbor, MI, where the Grateful Dead played a free concert on August 13, 1987. The metal sculpture was probably not there back in the day.
August 13, 1967 West Park, Ann Arbor, MI: Grateful Dead (afternoon free concert)
Ann Arbor, MI, home of the University of Michigan, was about 40 miles from Detroit. University of Michigan is always paired with UC Berkeley as the best public universities, and in the 60s they were also amongst the most forward looking and radical as well. There was always a lot of connections between Berkeley and Ann Arbor, in politics, music and other ways. In that respect, Ann Arbor was a far more fruitful pasture for the Dead than Detroit city.

On the Sunday following the Grande Ballroom shows, the Dead played a free concert in West Park in Ann Arbor, at 215 Chapin Street, under the bandshell. This was apparently the first outdoor free concert in Ann Arbor. McNally (p.211) reports that the free show was financed by Warner Brothers, to promote the album. Notorious Michigan radical John Sinclair was involved, so the Dead were right in the thick of the local political ferment, and there are color photos of the shows.

However, while Ann Arbor may have seemed like a perfect place for the Dead to build an audience with a free concert, a few things got in the way. The first was that the Midwestern weather in Ann Arbor is never very favorable to outdoor shows, and the August show was when school was out. Furthermore, most Ann Arbor students caught their rock shows in Detroit, so there was a lot of overlap. Thus, while I'm sure the Dead had many early adherents in Ann Arbor, those fans were more likely to move to Berkeley than build up the audience in Michigan.

The Kings Beach Bowl in North Lake Tahoe opened in the Summer of 1967. The debut concert on July 21, 1967 featured Country Joe And The Fish and The Creators. The Creators were the house band, along with the Simultaneous Avalanche Light Show, who were from the Sacramento area. The Grateful Dead played later in the Summer, along with other San Francisco bands.
August 19, 1967 American Legion Hall, South Lake Tahoe, CA: Grateful Dead
August 25-26, 1967 Kings Beach Bowl, Lake Tahoe North Shore, CA: Grateful Dead/The Creators
The Grateful Dead returned to the Bay Area, and promptly spent a week in Lake Tahoe, bracketing both weekends with shows on the South and North side of the Lake. Lake Tahoe was the winter and summer playground of San Francisco and Northern California, and there was a huge teenage population on any given night from Memorial Day to Labor Day. In the 60s, there was a unique and largely forgotten rock scene in Lake Tahoe that I have explored at length. Most or all of the teenagers at Lake Tahoe would have recognized the Grateful Dead and other bands from Fillmore posters, even if they were too far from (or not allowed to go to) the Fillmore itself.

The Grateful Dead played Saturday night (August 19) playing the Legion Hall on the South Shore for operator Jim Burgett. The next weekend (August 25-26) they played the new Kings Beach Bowl in North Shore, a converted bowling alley. In between, some band members returned to San Francisco, about a five hour drive. Amazingly, Jerry Garcia and Mountain Girl went camping, at least for a few days. Jerry Garcia probably returned to the City to catch Cream at the Fillmore during this week.

There is a reference to a canceled show at Mt. Tamalpais Amphitheater on August 20, where the power was cut and no bands played, and it turned into a "boogiefest" (implying a giant drum circle). However, while the Dead may have been initially scheduled for such an event, after the July 1-2. 1967, "Festival Of Growing Things," there were no more electric rock events scheduled at Mt. Tam for decades. So while some local fans may have heard some rumors, there was no chance the Dead were going to show up.

August 28, 1967 Lindley Meadows, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA: Big Brother And The Holding Company/Grateful Dead Chocolate George's Funeral (free afternoon concert)
After their return to Lake Tahoe, the Dead reappeared in San Francisco for the Monday funeral of a popular Hells Angel known as Chocolate George. Big Brother and The Dead played for free, and a ceremonial funeral was held with George's casket (I do not know where he was actually buried).

It was actually a momentous week for the Grateful Dead. Old pal Robert Hunter returned to California from New Mexico, ready to accept Jerry Garcia's offer to be house lyricist. Hunter made landfall at Karl Moore's house in Palo Alto, and Phil Lesh drove down to pick him up. Meanwhile, Cream was still at the Fillmore, and Garcia found time to see them again.

The history of poster collecting has made it appear that the Dead played a show in Santa Cruz County at Cabrillo Junior College on September 2, 1967. The poster was in the book Art Of Rock, and everyone assumed that the event had occurred. In fact, although rock events had been held at the Cabrillo College football field before, I looked into it, and the show was canceled before it happened, as neither the school nor the county wanted a Monterey Pop Festival on their doorstep.

September 3, 1967 Dance Hall, Rio Nido, CA: Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead do appear to have played a Sunday night gig at the tiny dance hall in Rio Nido, CA, a tiny unincorporated community in Sonoma County. There was a tiny dance hall, with room for a few hundred patrons, that dated back until at least the 1940s. It was an ideal spot for out-of-the-way activities where little scrutiny was desired, and the Grateful Dead had some good times there, before they simply outgrew the place.

It is the stuff of legend that the newly-arrived Robert Hunter was sitting outside the Rio Nido Dance Hall, listening to the Dead rehearse what would become "Dark Star," and started to write down the lyrics. Although the date may in fact be September 4, it would not likely have been an actual show. September 4 was Labor Day, although I suppose it is possible that the Dead did play a show that night. More likely, the Dead had left their equipment in place, and were rehearsing there because they could.

The Grateful Dead returned to Eagles Auditorium on September 8-9, 1967, headlining two shows over local bands Magic Fern and Fat Jack.
September 8-9, 1967 Eagles Auditorium, Seattle, WA: Grateful Dead/Magic Fern/Fat Jack
The Grateful Dead returned to Eagles Auditorium in Seattle for a weekend of shows. This was a consistent pattern with the Grateful Dead, where they would play a show in a city, and stick in a free concert in the afternoon, as they had in Seattle (with a free concert at Golden Gardens Beach on Puget Sound on July 16). When they returned, they had a bigger audience the next time around. I should point out that the Dead are hugely popular in Seattle to this day.

Opening the show along with Magic Fern was another newly-arisen Seattle psychedelic band, Fat Jack. Fat Jack was out of Bellngham, WA, where they had opened for the Jefferson Airplane (on May 27 '67) as The Safety Patrol, with Kathi McDonald as lead singer. One of the band members recalls
Shortly after this we fired Kathi because she wouldn't rehearse!!!! We were too dumb to realize that some people don't need to rehearse…they are born ready.  It was the best thing we could have done for her, because she immediately went to San Francisco and got discovered by Ike Turner.  She was replaced by Ken Cantrell.  We had “conquered” Bellingham, so we drifted into Seattle.  Our manager was in the right place at the right time when the band that was to open for The Grateful Dead at Eagles Auditorium couldn't go on after their drummer broke his leg in a wreck. So within one week of blowing into town we're on the stage with the Grateful Dead (fall of 1967).  A lot of Eagles jobs followed, opening for Country Joe & The Fish, Charles Lloyd, John Fahey, Blue Cheer, etc.
September 9, 1967 Volunteer Park, Seattle, WA: Grateful Dead (afternoon free concert)
Once again, the Dead played for free, this time near downtown Seattle, just a few miles from the University of Washington.

September 15, 1967 Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA: Jefferson Airplane/Grateful Dead/(Big Brother And The Holding Company) Bill Graham Presents The San Francisco Scene
Bill Graham was still taking the Fillmore bands on the road. He booked a concert at the huge Hollywood Bowl, featuring the Airplane, the Dead and Big Brother, although Big Brother actually canceled. I don't know how many people actually attended. The Hollywood Bowl, at 2301 North Highland, had a capacity of over 17,000.

September 16, 1967 Elysian Park, Los Angeles, CA: Jefferson Airplane/Grateful Dead (afternoon free concert)
The day after the Hollywood Bowl show, the Dead and the Airplane played a free concert at Elysian Park in Los Angeles. Elysian Park is in Central Los Angeles, near the foot of Sunset Boulevard, and not far from Chavez Ravine and Dodger Stadium. Elysian Park was established in 1886.

September 16 (?), 1967 Convention Center Rotunda, Las Vegas, NV: Grateful Dead
In Tom Constanten's autobiography, he recalls his live debut with the Grateful Dead at the Las Vegas Convention Center around this time (he writes "Sept. 67?"). TC was stationed with the Air Force near Las Vegas at the time. He would hardly have forgotten such a memorable moment, so I am confident that the Dead played Las Vegas Convention Center around this time. However, we cannot date it exactly.

Some time ago, I speculated about it at some length and thought that Saturday, September 16 was a likely date, right after the Friday night Hollywood Bowl show. However, it seems a lot less likely date now, since we know the Dead played a free concert in LA that afternoon. I doubt they played in Las Vegas that night, and I also doubt they played any weeknight. What seems more likely is that they played a weekend gig in Las Vegas in October, perhaps Friday October 13 or a night on the weekend of October 20-21, while they were recording Anthem Of The Sun in Los Angeles. The Convention Center Rotunda, built in 1959 with a capacity of 6,130 seems the most likely venue, if somewhat large for the band. Possibly they shared the bill with another group.

The third weekend for Chet Helms' Family Dog in Denver at 1601 West Evans was held on September 22-23, 1967, featuring the Grateful Dead and Mother Earth.
September 22-23, 1967 The Family Dog, Denver, CO: Grateful Dead/Mother Earth
Chet Helms had plans to expand the Family Dog footprint beyond San Francisco. His idea was that he could compete more effectively with Bill Graham if he could offer touring bands multiple weekend gigs in different cities. Helms' first effort was Denver, which seemed like a great idea. It was a booming town, and it made sense for rock bands to stop in Colorado on their way to and from California. For his venue, Helms leased a building at 1601 West Evans, the former site of a very mysterious franchise of the Whisky-A-Go-Go.

The Denver Dog, as it was known, had opened on September 8, 1967 with Big Brother And The Holding Company. Quicksilver headlined the next weekend, and the Grateful Dead headlined the third weekend. It was a great idea and a good plan, except for one thing: the County Sheriff. The Sheriff hated hippies, and constant harassment of the venue, the bands and the fans rapidly drove the Denver Dog into economic failure. The career of Canned Heat was ruined due to an untimely bust, and no doubt many lesser known patrons had their lives wrecked by pot busts and other problems. Bob Seger's song "Get Out Of Denver" immortalizes the view of hippies held by the Sheriff's Department at the time.

Helms had pulled out of Denver by the end of 1967, although some employees of the Denver Dog continued to put on shows through mid-1968. Their use of the Family Dog logo was tolerated, although from a historical point of view, the '68 shows were not Family Dog. One of the key figures in the 1968 operation was young Barry Fey, who became the biggest promoter in Denver and the Mountain West in general. Opening act Mother Earth was based in San Francisco, even though most of the members were from Texas, and lead singer Tracy Nelson was from Madison, WI.

September 24, 1967 city park, Denver, CO: Grateful Dead
True to their pattern, the Grateful Dead played a free concert at a city park in Denver. I'm not sure exactly which park it was, although there are photos. The photos show a very small and casual event, with not even a raised stage. Now, of course, the remaining band members can play Folsom Field, but it seems to have started with a little fun in the park on a Saturday afternoon.

September 29-30, 1967 The Straight Theater, San Francisco, CA: Grateful Dead/Sons Of Champlin
The Grateful Dead returned to the Straight Theater for a weekend of shows. The venue still did not have a Dance Hall Permit, but they discovered that dance lessons did not require a Permit. Thus dancer Anna Halprin began each evening's program with some dance instruction, and the bands provided a few hours of music for everyone to "practice." This charade sufficed to cause the police to leave the Straight alone. Some silent video circulates from this event.

Mickey Hart went to see the Saturday night show (Sep 30), and at the break another drum set was procured so he could sit in. By the end of the show, Hart was in the Grateful Dead.

October 1, 1967 Greek Theatre, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Grateful Dead/Charles Lloyd/Bola Sete
On Sunday, the Grateful Dead debuted at the Greek Theatre in UC Berkeley. "The Greek," as it is known locally, was built in 1903, modeled after theaters in ancient Athens. The funding was provided by William Randolph Hearst. The Greek has a capacity of 8,500, huge by the standards of 60s rock concerts, so it wasn't widely used until the rock market got big enough to absorb crowds of that size. The first performance at The Greek was of Arisophanes "The Birds." Speakers at The Greek have included Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, and shoulda-been President Robert F. Kennedy. Musical performers at The Greek have been too numerous to mention.

Bola Sete was a popular jazz guitarist, and Charles Lloyd was friendly with the Dead. His quartet at the time probably included Keith Jarrett, Ron McClure and Jack DeJohnette. The Grateful Dead would go on to play many memorable shows at The Greek in the 1980s, as would Jerry Garcia. The venue is still going strong, after a recent seismic retrofit.

The Grateful Dead headlined a Saturday night concert at The Continental Ballroom in Santa Clara (a San Jose suburb) on October 14, 1967. The opening acts were local groups The Powers Of Evil and Om.
October 14, 1967 Continental Ballroom, Santa Clara, CA: Grateful Dead/Powers Of Evil/Om
The Grateful Dead headlined another show at the Continental Ballroom on Saturday, October 14. I don't know who the promoter might have been. The other acts are familiar names from psychedelic San Jose area shows at the time, although I know nothing about them specifically.

The famous "Trip Or Freak" poster was a collaboration of Kelly, Mouse and Rick Griffin. The poster was made particularly famous by Paul Grushkin's book The Art Of Rock. However, I cannot confirm that the concert advertised for Halloween 1967 was actually held, since the same bands had played Winterland just nine days earlier.
October 22, 1967 Winterland, San Francisco, CA: Big Brother and The Holding Company/Grateful Dead/Quicksilver Messenger Service
October 31, 1967 Winterland, San Francisco, CA: Big Brother and The Holding Company/Grateful Dead/Quicksilver Messenger Service
There is something odd and unexamined about these two posters from Winterland. BGP had first call on Winterland, but other promoters could use the hall. Often the San Francisco bands would finance their own shows at Winterland, sometimes hiring some or all of Graham's production staff to do so. Usually those shows were not on Friday and Saturday nights. Certainly, the October 22 show was a Sunday night, and the Halloween show would have been on a Tuesday. The posters advertise the same three bands for both events. There seems to be a vault tape of the Grateful Dead show on October 22, 1967, so it seems likely that all three bands put on a Sunday night Winterland show on that date.

However, Winterland had an official capacity of 5,400, which was huge for the rock market at the time (the Fillmore was about 1,500). Without Jefferson Airplane, there was no way SF bands could fill Winterland, given that they played around the area constantly. There's no reason to think that the bands didn't play on October 22. However, it seems extremely unlikely that the bands would repeat the booking just nine days later, even if it was Halloween. Is there any evidence other than the poster that the 1967 Halloween concert actually took place?

My hypothesis is that the "Trip Or Freak" poster is so memorable that it has become notable in collecting circles, as well it should have. However, many posters were produced for shows that did not occur, and I am waiting for evidence that the Halloween show actually happened. More likely, the bands were considering various dates, and more than one poster got produced.

November 10-11, 1967 Shrine Exposition Hall, Los Angeles, CA: Buffalo Springfield/Grateful Dead/Blue Cheer
The Grateful Dead had headed down to Los Angeles to start work on their second album. Once again, they recorded with Dave Hassinger at RCA Studio A (at 6363 Sunset Blvd), where they had recorded their first album. The sessions weren't that fruitful, as everyone knows, but in between the sessions they found time to play a weekend of shows at The Shrine Exposition Hall in Los Angeles with the Buffalo Springfield and the San Francisco band Blue Cheer.

The Shrine Exposition Hall was Los Angeles' premier concert venue in the 1960s, and there has been very little detailed history of it (I am working on it). Pinnacle was the first big concert promoter at the The Shrine, and they put on many classic shows that were immortalized by great posters. The Shrine was built in 1925 by the Al Malikah Temple of the Masonic Order.  The building is in a Spanish Colonial Style with a Moorish flair.  The main entrance to the Auditorium was at 665 West Jefferson Street.  The stage is huge (186 by 72 feet) and it is a popular home for the Academy Awards.  The Auditorium has 6,489 seats on three levels.  The Exposition Hall, part of the same complex but around the corner at 700 West 32nd (at Figueroa) is a 56,000 square foot open area that was (and is) used for trade shows and conventions as well as rock concerts.  Most rock concert listings that say “Shrine” are typically at the Exposition Hall rather than the Auditorium.

December 8-9, 1967 Psychedelic Supermarket, Boston, MA; Grateful Dead
Unhappy at RCA Studios, the Grateful Dead had trucked their equipment eastwards, and continued recording Anthem Of The Sun with Dave Hassinger at Century Studios in New York. While the band was in New York for most of a month, they presumably needed to play some shows in order to raise some needed cash. The Boston rock market was always booming, and by 1967 there were already competing psychedelic venues. The Dead accepted a weekend booking at a now-obscure place called The Psychedelic Supermarket. The Supermarket was a converted parking garage near Kenmore Square, at 590 Commonwealth Avenue. Actually, the entrance was in an alleyway, but the Commonwealth Avenue address made the place easier to find.

The Psychedelic Supermarket had been rapidly created to accommodate a Cream booking. Promter George Popadopolis had run a nearby folk coffee shop, called The Unicorn (at 815 Boylston), but he saw an opportunity when Cream was available. However, although numerous fantastic acts played the Psychedelic Supermarket, the venue is not remembered fondly by either bands or fans. The promoter was notoriously cheap, the venue unattractive and the sound was terrible. The Supermarket lasted through the end of 1968, briefly changed its name to The Unicorn, but faded away by mid-69. The venue became a movie theater called The Nickelodeon, and was ultimately torn down to provide a new science building for Boston University.

December 9, 1967 Atwood Hall, Clark University, Worcester, MA: Grateful Dead (afternoon show)
Atwood Hall was a relatively tiny auditorium, capacity 658, on the campus of Clark University. Although an April 20, 1969 performance was known, the Archive comment thread indicated that Jerry Garcia apologized for the band's previous appearance 18 months earlier. Thanks to the internet, my post on this subject brought forth the details, including the hitherto unseen poster at the top of the post.

As the Dead were playing Boston for a payday,  an afternoon show at a nearby University was another way to get some funds. Since the show was probably subsidized by Clark U, the band could get their fee even at a tiny place. By the same token, since the venue was small, the booking wouldn't interfere with any agreement with the Psychedelic Supermarket. Clark University, founded in 1887, was a small liberal arts school in Worcester (pronounced, I believe "wooster"), about an hour West of Boston.

Although I am not generally interested in debunking incorrect dates, I should point out that there is no evidence whatsoever, none, that the Grateful Dead played the Shrine Auditorium on December 13, 1967, much less debuted "Dark Star" there. For one thing, the band was on the East Coast, and for another, there were never weekday shows at the Shrine. In any case, there is no other evidence.

An ad for the December 22-24, 1967 Grateful Dead concerts at Palm Gardens on W.52nd Street in Manhattan. The Palm Gardens was an old ballroom from the 1920s, and seemed to be a base for The Group Image, who were a band, a commune and a sort of community organization all at once.
December 22-24 Palm Gardens, New York, NY: Grateful Dead/The Gray Company/Aluminum Dream/Group Image
The Grateful Dead had finished their unsatisfying NYC recording effort by the end of December. With all their equipment and crew in the East, the band must have needed money to get home. The band played a weekend show at The Palm Gardens. It was at 310 W. 52nd Street, right near Midtown and the Broadway theaters. Of course, Its All The Streets You Crossed has the best information. The Palm Gardens seems to have been a ballroom from the 1920s, and was one of the home bases of the NYC hippie rock band The Group Image, who acted sort of as hosts of the Grateful Dead when they were in town. I don't know anything about The Gray Company or Aluminum Dream.

December 26-27 Village Theater, New York, NY: Grateful Dead/Peggy Emerson/Take Five
The Grateful Dead played a weekend in old theater in the East Village, at 2nd Avenue and 6ht Street. The Village Theater would become famous a few months later when Bill Graham and Albert Grossman would refurbish it and open it as the Fillmore East, but in late '67, it was just another old theater. According to numerous sources, on at least one night, the rundown building had holes in the roof, and when it snowed, it was actually snowing on the stage.

December 29-30, 1967 Psychedelic Supermarket, Boston, MA: Grateful Dead
The Dead seemed to have returned to The Psychedelic Supermarket for another weekend. This suggests that the first weekend must have gone pretty well. I have to assume, by the way, that there were opening acts for both Supermarket weekends, but I don't know who that might have been. The Supermarket just had generic flyers, not posters, and there was no specific information in the MIT student paper (the best source) nor the Harvard Crimson.

>December 31, 1967 Winterland
The Grateful Dead were scheduled to arrive in San Francisco during the day, and expected to go jam with Quicksilver Messenger Service at Winterland that night. Quicksilver was playing that night along with Jefferson Airplane and Big Brother. The story goes, however, that while the band arrived home in time, someone made them some brownies, and they all fell asleep--no doubt due to the delicious chocolatey goodness--and they never got to Winterland to jam. It's possible that Bob Weir and a drummer did turn up on stage later that night, but there wasn't a quorum of band members.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Greg Errico Career Overview 1965-1983

Greg Errico drumming in Sly And The Family Stone around 1968, laying it down for people who only need a beat
Grateful Dead fans have seen drummer Greg Errico's name over the years, sitting in on the odd album track here and there, or listed on tape boxes. Errico played on some projects with Mickey Hart, and periodically he was the drummer for the Jerry Garcia Band as well. Once he even played drums for Bob Weir. Some Deadheads are certainly aware that he was the drummer for Sly And The Family Stone, and some of them are aware that Errico has done more than that.  Like many musicians associated with members of the Grateful Dead, Errico in fact has a long and fascinating musical history with a wide variety of musicians and a panoply of musical styles.

Interspersing some of Errico's music history with his participation with the Dead gives a nice overview of how Errico was so much more than just another drummer. It will not provide an exhaustive list of all of Errico's music, since that post would be too long. However, despite his low-key presence, Errico has had a fascinating musical career, and the music he has participated in offers some surprising contrasts to the music he has played with members of the Dead.

A photo of San Francisco's VIPs, performing in the 1960s, from the site of saxophonist Donald DeWitt (Greg Errico is not the drummer in this photo).
The VIPs
Greg Errico went to Mission High School in San Francisco, and one of the hottest bands in town was a dance band called the VIPs, featuring lead singer Leon Patillo. The VIPs were a popular group, probably playing R&B hits of the day, and making decent money. Errico was still in high school, but starting in about 1964, when the regular drummer couldn't make a gig, Errico would deputize for him. So even before he had left school, Errico had played some relatively big shows for the time, and obviously acquitted himself well.

This post is as good a place as any to clear up some confusion about the first Bill Graham show at the Fillmore on December 10, 1965, (the second Mime Troupe Benefit), when the Grateful Dead were billed as "Formerly The Warlocks". Due to a mistake in Ralph Gleason's review of the show, the VIPs were credited with performing at the show. However, it was actually a Palo Alto group called The Vipers (a predecessor of Mt. Rushmore and Phoenix), so there's no chance that Errico actually played the Fillmore that night, since the VIPs didn't play. The VIPs were a popular local group, and Leon Patillo went on to sing with Santana in the 70s, so it seems logical that they would play the Mime Troupe show at the Fillmore, but in fact it was The Vipers.

Freddy And The Stone Souls
Sometime after leaving high school, probably in mid-1965, Greg Errico joined a group with guitarist Fred Stewart, later to become famous as "Freddie Stone." The group was mostly known as Freddy And The Stone Souls, and apparently mostly played R&B covers. They were a very popular group locally (they played the Fillmore on Sunday evening, April 3, 1966, with the VIPs and The Invaders). They played around the same circuit as Freddie's brother Sylvester, then known locally as the popular DJ Sly Stone on KSOL-am ("K-Soul") out of Oakland. Sly's band was known as Sly And The Stoners, but they did not play around as as much, In early December 1966, Errico went to a Stone Souls rehearsal, only to find Freddie and Sly hanging out, and plans afoot to start an entirely new band.

Sly And The Family Stone, early 1967. Drummer Greg Errico is back row, middle
Sly And The Family Stone
Joel Selvin, quoting saxophonist Jules Broussard, said "there was Black Music before Sly, and there was Black Music after Sly" (Sly And The Family Stone: The Oral History. 1997: Dell Books). It couldn't be said better. Sly And The Family Stone were one of the most essential groups of modern music, not just the sixties. They merged all the virtues of sixties rock and sixties soul. They were a self-contained writing  and performing unit, they were stylish and hip, and they could make any crowd dance to the music. Sly And The Family Stone's music still sounds great today, a fact we know because we hear it constantly on commercials and oldies stations.

Sly And The Family Stone began performing very quietly, in December 1966. Initially they only played one venue, a new joint called The Winchester Cathedral, on El Camino Real in Redwood City, a few miles North of Palo Alto. They played what were then called "Breakfast Shows," from 2-6am on Saturday and Sunday mornings (Friday and Saturday late night). In California, the bars close at 2am, so all the musicians would come to the Breakfast shows to hang out. Officially, liquor was not served at Breakfast Shows, but I'm sure some turned up somewhere. In any case, Errico played drums for the band. Brother Freddie Stone played guitar, cousin Larry Graham played bass, friends Jerry Martini (saxophone) and Cynthia Robinson (trumpet) were the horns, and Sly himself played keyboards and was the principal singer (sister Vaetta "Rose" Stone didn't join on vocals and piano until the end of 1967).

One of the many musicians who saw the formative Sly And The Family Stone at Winchester Cathedral in the early days was Mickey Hart. At the end of 1966, Hart was managing a drum store in San Carlos, with his father. Whether or not Mickey had any drum gigs at the time--a subject that has been elided over the years--like other musicians he found his way over to Winchester Cathedral for the Breakfast Show. Joel Selvin has written a great book about Sly And The Family Stone, full of eyewitness accounts, and Hart is quoted at length describing how powerful the original lineup was, a full year before the world found out.

According to an interview for a Jerry Garcia Band retrospective release that David Gans was kind enough to share with me, Hart and Errico became friends in about 1968. Hart simply invited himself over to Errico's house in Mountain View and introduced himself. They were both drummers, both in major Fillmore bands, and clearly had a lot in common, so they hit it off. In those days, both of them were constantly on the road, so they may not have had too many opportunities to spend time together, but the connection was made.

Rolling Thunder, Mickey Hart's solo album, released on Warner Brothers in September 1972
1971 The Barn, Novato, CA: Rolling Thunder sessions
Greg Errico left Sly And The Family Stone in 1971.  Although the band was more popular than ever, there were numerous financial and chemical problems swirling around Sly, and Errico decided to step aside. Having toured non-stop for years, Errico chose to focus on studio work, as both a producer and session musician. Around 1970, Errico had spent some time living on Mickey Hart's ranch in Novato. Hart and Errico already went back a ways, but this brought Errico more directly into the Grateful Dead orbit. Errico worked on some projects and appeared on a few albums throughout 1971-72, but mostly he kept a low profile.

Errico is credited with performing on the track "Blind John," on Hart's '72 Warner Brothers album Rolling Thunder. The song was written by "Curly Jim" Stalarow (who introduced Bob Weir to the song "Me And My Uncle") and Peter Monk (nee Zimmels) who would later write the lyrics to "Passenger" with Phil Lesh. Members of the Jefferson Airplane played on the track, and the Airplane even performed it live a few times in 1972.
The credits for "Blind John" were:
  • Steven Schuster - flute
  • Grace Slick - piano, vocals
  • Mickey Hart - field drums, tympani
  • Greg Errico - drums
  • Tower of Power Horns
  • Barry Melton - guitar, vocals
  • David Freiberg - guitar, vocals
  • Paul Kantner - vocals
Thus the track included members of The Grateful Dead, Sly and The Family Stone, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Tower of Power and The Fish--a true SF All-Star lineup.

Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles Live!, recorded in Hawaii on New Year's Eve 1971, and released on Columbia in 1972. Santana and a few members of his band sat in with the Buddy Miles Express, while Errico played drums.
The 1970s
By the end of 1972, Santana, another legendary San Francisco band, was falling apart as well. Santana guitarist Neal Schon teamed up with Errico and expatriate bassist Pete Sears and they informally had a kind of band. San Francisco had a thriving recording industry at the time, and the original idea was that the trio would become the SF version of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, a recording unit for visiting artists. It was a good idea, but it never came to fruition in the way the members expected.

The Schon/Sears/Errico band played at least one show, on January 27, 1973, which was broadcast on FM radio.Whatever their plans, Pete Sears moved on, and seems to have been "replaced" by former Sly bassist Larry Graham. Graham had also left the Family Stone, and had agreed to produce a local funk band called Hot Chocolate (no connection to the British group of the same name). However, Graham liked the group so much, he ended up joining the band, and they changed their name to Graham Central Station.

However, before Graham Central Station became well known, they would play gigs at Keystone Berkeley, co-billed with Schon and Errico. It appears that Graham Central Station would play a set, and Schon, Graham and Errico would play some sort of funky jam set as well. Graham went on to huge success with Graham Central Station, and Errico faded away from working with Schon. Schon found other players, and they went on to form the monumentally successful Journey. Thus, Errico seems to have had opportunities to work with two hugely popular 70s bands in their infancy, and appears to have happily let them both pass by.

The debut album by Betty Davis, released in 1973 on Just Sunshine Records, produced by Greg Errico
Betty Davis
Betty Davis, though not a well-known singer in her day, has a considerably higher historical profile now. Greg Errico produced her debut album, now an influential record that is widely sampled. At the time, Davis was known as being Miles Davis' ex-wife (she was pictured on the cover of Davis' 67 album Filles De Kiliminajaro). In fact, Davis was a remarkable composer and artist, years ahead of her time. Errico recorded her debut album at Wally Heider's studio in San Francisco in 1972 and 73, with a variety of San Francsico heavies. Musicians included Errico and Larry Graham from The Family Stone, Doug Rauch and Neal Schon from Santana, Pete Sears, Merl Saunders and numerous other hot players.

Weather Report
In mid-1973, Errico was asked to join the groundbreaking fusion band Weather Report. This was a real departure for both Weather Report and Errico. At the time, Weather Report was playing very forward-looking music, picking up where Miles Davis had left off with Bitches Brew. The hiring of Errico was the first whiff that Weather Report's founders had any funky interests. Errico toured with Weather Report for the balance of 1973. Though the band never released any material with Errico, some fine live tapes of Errico and Weather Report can be found at Wolfgang's Vault. Weather Report's late 1973 lineup was:
Wayne Shorter-soprano and tenor saxophones
Joe Zawinul-electric piano, synthesizers
Miroslav Vitous-electric and acoustic bass
Greg Errico-drums
Dom Um Romao -percussion
Weather Report played electric jazz in a very open style, quite a departure for Errico at the time. Errrico had more or less replaced drummer Eric Gravatt, who was an excellent straight ahead jazz player. Head Weatherman Joe Zawinul recalled Errico's playing fondly, particularly on the song "Boogie Woogie Waltz"
Zawinul has called “Boogie Woogie Waltz” “a hip-hop in 3.” Long before “hip-hop” entered the vernacular, he described its structure to Jazz Forum magazine. “There are only five sentences. There is an introduction, an interlude and a dance at the end. And in between, everything is free.” [JF76]

He has also said that former Sly And The Family Stone drummer Greg Errico played ‘Boogie Woogie Waltz’ better than anybody. [DB01] Errico manned the drum chair for Weather Report between Sweetnighter and Mysterious Traveller, but never recorded with the band. He told Glasser, “[Zawinul] still tells me that to this day! He was talking about that song ‘Boogie Woogie Waltz.’ He said, ‘I finally stopped playing that song because I could never get someone to play it like that once you left the group!’ It was in 3/4, but not in the traditional way. I mean, it was in three but I would play four against it, and played it aggressively.” [IASW, 157]
David Bowie "Diamond Dogs" September 1974 tour
The ever-restless David Bowie had released the hit album Diamond Dogs in April of 1974, anchored by his classic song "Rebel Rebel." After an initial tour in the Summer, Bowie returned to the road for 12 dates in September of 1974, all in the Southern California area. His band included Errico on drums and Santana's Doug Rauch on bass. Guitarists Earl Slick and Carlos Alomar, and pianist Mike Garson headed up the front line, and there was an army of backing vocalists (including Luther Vandross). The tour continued on in October of 1974, but Rauch and Errico did not participate.

The July 1975 Keystone Berkeley calendar. When Ron Tutt was drumming, the band was billed as Legion Of Mary (such as on Sunday July 6
June 22, 1975 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Garcia/Saunders
Errico's first known live appearance with a member of the Grateful Dead was on June 22, 1975 at the Keystone Berkeley, with Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders. It is not impossible, however, that Errico had already subbed at an occasional Garcia/Saunders show as far back as 1974.

At the time, shows billed as Legion Of Mary had to include Ron Tutt on drums, along with Garcia, Saunders, John Kahn and Martin Fierro. If there was a different drummer, as there was on occasion, the show was billed as Garcia/Saunders, even if the repertoire was the same. Errico was as high-class as you can get for a fill-in. Think about it for a minute: Jerry Garcia wasn't able to get Elvis Presley's drummer for a night, so he got Sly's instead, replacing the drummer for one American musical giant with another.

The Keystone Berkeley calendar for December 1975. Note that this is a revised calendar, which advertises the Garcia Band's performance on Wednesday, December 1975. If Ron Tutt had been booked, it would have been a contractual obligation to advertise it, but he is not listed for either the 17th or 31st
December 17 and 31, 1975 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Jerry Garcia Band with Nicky Hopkins
When the Grateful Dead were off the road in 1974 and '75, Jerry Garcia did not play New Year's Eve for Bill Graham. Instead, he played quiet shows for Freddie Herrera at the Keystone Berkeley both years. The Jerry Garcia Band did headline a weekend of shows for Graham at Winterland on December 19 and 20, supported by Kingfish, Keith and Donna Band and Clover. These were well attended, but not sold out. Per Graham's standard contract, the Garcia Band New Year's Eve could not be publicized prior to the 19th and 20th, but that was alright. Keystone tickets were only sold at the door, the place would be packed anyhow, and neither Herrera nor the City of Berkeley wanted a false rumor around that the Dead might be playing there on New Year's Eve. The Garcia Band New Year's Eve show was only publicized the regular way, by flyers on Berkeley telephone poles and notices in the regular newspaper listings of local papers like the Oakland Tribune.

However, on New Year's Eve, the JGB drummer had a conflict: his other employer, Elvis Presley, was playing the Pontiac Silverdome, to a crowd of 60,00 or so. Thus Garcia needed a substitute for that night, and Errico got the call. Bob Weir and Matt Kelly played guitars (and harmonica by Kelly) for the second set, and Mickey Hart joined in on cowbell, per Errico's interview . New Year's Eve 75 was Nicky Hopkins last show with the JGB, as his unreliability made him an impossible fit for the professionals in the Garcia Band. The entire show was released as an archival cd in 2014, and you can hear it for yourself (incidentally, both Jerry and Elvis played "CC Rider" that night). Errico has a different style than Tutt, but he handled the chair admirably.

It has recently come to light, via a Keystone Berkeley calendar (above), that the Jerry Garcia Band played the club on Wednesday, December 17, with Errico on drums. This was generally confirmed by Errico in the interview, although he didn't remember the exact date. Technically, listing Garcia on a Keystone Berkeley calendar was a violation of the band's proximity clause with Graham, but the Keystone calendar was just on Berkeley telephone poles, and a small mailing list, so even Graham would not have fussed about it. The Garcia Band's contract at the time required that Hopkins, Kahn and Tutt had to be named as performers along with Garcia, in type at least 75% the size of Garcia's name. Since Tutt isn't listed for either date, it is proof that he was not booked.

June 23, 1977 Santa Rosa High School Auditorium, Santa Rosa, CA: Maria Muldaur and Special Guest [Jerry Garcia Band] Benefit for Camp Meeker
[update] Commenter Nick reports that Errico sat in with the Jerry Garcia Band for a benefit show at the Santa Rosa High School Auditorium on June 23, 1977. JGMF has determined that the gig was probably added late, and since Ron Tutt was engaged with Elvis Presley in Des Moines, IA, Errico got the call.

War harmonica player Lee Oskar's 1978 Elektra album Before The Rain, produced by Greg Errico
Before The Rain-Lee Oskar (Elektra 1978)
In 1978, Errico produced a solo album for Lee Oskar, the harmonica player for the popular band War ("Why Can't We Be Friends," "Cisco Kid" and numerous other hits). Mickey Hart played on the record. Oskar actually had a variety of Bay Area connections from the '60s, but I believe the connection between Oskar and Hart came from the 1970s, possibly from Errico. The album was almost entirely instrumental, and covered a variety of jazz and funk styles. Of course, it was hardly the sort of hit that inspired a follow-up. However, since Errico produced the album, that seems to have been the connection that got Lee Oskar on stage with the Grateful Dead a few times at Winterland in late 1978.

December 31, 1978 Winterland, San Francisco, CA: Grateful Dead
In the Fall of 1978, starting at the October 1978 "From Egypt With Love" shows, it became common for various people to join Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann during their drum duet. Errico joined in on some occasions. Certainly, Errico was onstage during the drum solo on December 31, 1978, as captured by the Closing Of Winterland video (from the KQED-tv broadcast). 

1979 Le Club Front, San Rafael, CA: Apocalypse Now sessions
In 1979, director Francis Ford Coppola invited Mickey Hart to create soundtrack music for his Vietnam War epic Apocalypse Now. Hart created a mainly percussion ensemble that improvised music to footage for the movie that was shown on a giant screen. Some of the music was edited into the movie, and a larger portion of the music was used on the 1980 album on Passport Records, The Rhythm Devils Play River Music. The sessions went on for some days.

The recording ensemble was:
  • Mickey Hart - percussion
  • Bill Kreutzmann - percussion
  • Airto Moreira - percussion
  • Michael Hinton - percussion
  • Jim Loveless - marimba 
  • Greg Errico - drums
  • Jordan Amarantha - congas
  • Flora Purim - vocals
  • Phil Lesh - bass
February 13-14, 1981 Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium, San Rafael, CA: Rhythm Devils
Hinton was a former drum student of Hart's. Hinton, Loveless and Amarantha had played with the Diga Rhythm Band. In 1980, music from the Apocalypse Now soundtrack sessions was released as an lp on the jazz label Passport Records. To publicize the album release, Micky Hart organized a concert of musicians playing in the style of the album, although of course the music was mostly improvised. The ensemble played two nights at the Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium in San Rafael, on February 13-14, 1980, billed as The Rhythm Devils. The shows were very well received. Musicians included Hart, Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh (on fretless bass), Airto Moreira and Flora Purim and Mike Hinton. Other musicians also joined in, and I wouldn't be surprised if Greg Errico had been one of them.

The Trio: Cochran/Bogert/Errico
Instrument manufacturers played a big, if hidden, role in the rise of rock music throughout the 1970s and '80s. Guitarist Bobby Cochran was a consultant for Ibanez guitars, and through Ibanez rep Jeff Hasselberger he met Bob Weir. Weir and Cochran initially performed together at some NAMM (National Association of Music Manufacturers) conventions in 1979. Cochran also had some bands that mostly played NAMM events, including a trio with bassist Tim Bogert from Vanilla Fudge and  Errico on drums.

In Atlanta in the Summer of 1979, Bob Weir had played with Cochran and his other NAMM trio, featuring Alphonso Johnson on bass and Billy Cobham drums. They had such fun that they conceived of the idea of Bobby And The Midnites. However, it took a few years for the band to come together. In the interim, Cochran played a few dates with Kingfish. On at least one of these dates (possibly the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach, CA on June 30-July 1, 1980), "The Trio," with Cochran, Errico and Bogert, opened for Weir, Cochran and Kingfish.

January 13, 1980 Oakland Coliseum Arena, Oakland, CA: Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead headlined a benefit organized by Joan Baez for the relief of Cambodian Refugees. The show was broadcast on FM radio, and also featured Jefferson Starship, The Beach Boys and guest appearances by Carlos Santana. A telethon raised money between acts. Djs mentioned that Greg Errico joined the Grateful Dead on percussion for their encore of "U.S. Blues."

July 18-August 9, 1980 member, Jerry Garcia Band (11 dates)
Greg Errico's first regular drumming assignment with a Grateful Dead member was with the Jerry Garcia Band for their Summer 1980 tour. Errico played 11 dates in total, including a few Keystone shows and a brief East Coast tour (Jerry Garcia Band #11b). The Garcia Band was in a transitional state at the time. They had reformed as a stripped-down four piece, with keyboardist Ozzie Ahlers and drummer Johnny d'Fonseca. Sadly, d'Fonseca had died in a car accident in the Spring, so Errico got the call to fill in. Ultimately Ahlers went off to focus on his own band (The Edge, with Lorin Rowan), and Garcia and Kahn probably knew that the configuration was short-time. Thus Errico was a perfect fit. A friend and a proven professional, Errico would not be looking for a permanent slot in the Garcia Band.

October 13, 1982-June 5, 1983 member, Jerry Garcia Band (36 Dates)
Errico's brief stint with the Garcia and must have been successful, because he got a return engagement. Once again, the Garcia Band was in transition after June 1982. Both female harmony vocalists (Julie Stires and Liz Stafford) had left the band, as had electric pianist Jimmy Warren. Errico played a few dates with the JGB as a quartet (Jerry Garcia Band #15a) and he also played the first shows with the new vocalists, who had been chosen by Melvin Seals (Jerry Garcia Band #15b). Errico played 36 shows in all.

Once again, Errico seems to have been intended as a fill-in player. We know that John Kahn was calling Los Angeles producers, asking who was a good drummer. Eventually his old friend Michael Stewart suggested David Kemper, who debuted on July 20, 1983 and Kemper stayed in the JGB for 10 years (Jerry Garcia Band #21a and #21b). So Kahn and Garcia knew they were looking for a permanent drummer, and Errico did not seem to have any such aspirations.

March 10, 1983 Perkins Palace, Pasadena, CA: Bob Weir And Friends
Errico's last known performance with a member of the Grateful Dead was with yet another member, Bob Weir. Weir played a benefit for Medical Aid To El Salvador, and while he had most of his band on board, drummer Billy Cobham and bassist Alphonso Johnson were seemingly not available, so the band was billed as Bob Weir And Friends rather than Bobby And The Midnites. The show was put on at an 1800-seat venue called The Perkins Palace, on 129 N. Raymond Ave in Pasadena. Originally built in 1921 as The Raymond Theater, the building had an interesting music history (it was Van Halen's rehearsal hall from 1976 to 1978, before they were famous). However, the building was sold to developers in 1985.

On the hotline, Greg Errico was announced as the drummer, along with lead guitarist Bobby Cochran, bassist Tim Bogert and pianist Nicky Hopkins. Bogert had been in the Midnites in 1980-81, when Alphonso Johnson had not been available, and of course Cochran, Bogert and Errico had played as The Trio. A tape eventually surfaced, broadcast by David Gans on the KPFA 1986 Marathon (Jan 28 '06). The band rocked through mostly standard numbers that would not have needed much, if any, rehearsal. It turned out that Midnites member Dave Garland also played tenor sax and piano, and a few other guests sat in (complete details are below in the Appendix 2).

Greg Errico had a unique musical relationship with the members of the Grateful Dead. As a certifiable rock legend of the same vintage as them, he was a personal as well as a musical peer. Since his primary focus was on production rather than performing, he was only interested in part-time work, which suited the structure of Garcia's bands until the arrival of David Kemper. Unlike most of Garcia's other part-time associates, Errico had an ongoing relationship with Mickey Hart and thus performed onstage with the Dead on occasion, making him a singular contributor to the kaleidoscope of associates in the band's musical universe.

Appendix 1: Released Recordings with members of The Grateful Dead and Greg Errico
Rolling Thunder-Mickey Hart (1972 release on Warner Brothers, recorded ca. 1971)
Errico played drums on the track "Blind John"
Garcia Live, Vol. 5: December 31st, 1975, Keystone Berkeley-Jerry Garcia Band with Nicky Hopkins (2014 release on ATO, recorded Dec 31 '75)
Errico played drums for the Jerry Garcia Band on December 31, 1975. Both sets were released on an archival cd. Guests Bob Weir, Matthew Kelly and Mickey Hart (on cowbell) joined in for some numbers.
Closing Of Winterland-Grateful Dead (2003 release on Rhino/Grateful Dead, recorded Dec 31 '78)
Errico joined Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann for the "Rhythm Devils" percussion jam on this 4 cd set. The concert was also released on DVD.
The Rhythm Devils Play River Music-Rhythm Devils (1980 release on Passport, recorded 1979)
Errico joined in Mickey Hart's percussion ensemble to help create soundtrack music for the movie Apocalypse Now.

Appendix 2: Bob Weir with Greg Errico
A Commenter sent in some details about the Weir show with Hopkins and Errico in Pasadena:

March 10, 1983, Perkins Palace, Pasadena, CA: Bob Weir and Friends with Nicky Hopkins Benefit for Medical Aid To El Salvador

d1t01 Minglewood
d1t02 Big Iron
dit03 Feel So Bad
d1t04 CC Rider
d1t05 Dance On Baby
d1t06 Youngblood
d1t07 Brother Bill
d1t08 Easy To Slip
d1t09 Book Of Rules
d1t10 I Found Love
d1t11 Women Are Smarter -> Drums//
d1t12 Josephine

-This show was also broadcast as part of the KPFA Marathon on Jan 28 '06.

Bob Weir - Guitar, Vocals
Bobby Cochran - Guitar, Vocals
Nicky Hopkins - Piano
Dave Garland - Keys, Sax
Tim Bogert - Bass
Greg Errico - Drums
Graham Smith - Harp
Freebo - Tuba
Mike Rogers - Steel Drums

Friday, February 5, 2016

Grateful Dead Performance List December 1965-June 1966

The poster advertising Bill Graham's third benefit for the Mime Troupe, and his second at the Fillmore Auditorium, on January 14, 1966. This was the first known instance of the Grateful Dead being advertised by that name, though now superseded by the Jan 4-5 flyer (below). Note that Graham, who hated the name, included "Formerly The Warlocks," apparently in an attempt to capitalize on their Peninsula following.
I have been working on this list for my own purposes, so I thought I would post it. Since there is no longer a definitive list of Grateful Dead shows that is easily accessible online, I have decided to post my own lists for brief periods of time. I will include links to where I have information on some dates that are not widely known, but I will be minimizing discussion of individual performances. In Tour Itinerary posts I have talked about even shorter periods of time, with the intent of creating a narrative that describes the Grateful Dead's activity during that window. This post is more of a simple list, however, to use as an anchor for research. My plan is to keep these lists up to date on an ongoing basis. Please suggest any additions, corrections or reservations in the Comments. For other posts listing Grateful Dead performances, see the link here. This post will list Grateful Dead performance dates from December 1965 through June 1966.
Prior to December 1965, the Grateful Dead had been known as The Warlocks. Elsewhere, I have made some efforts to look into Warlocks performances in the Fall of 1965, when they were still mostly working on the El Camino Real in the South Bay. This post begins my listing of performances of the Grateful Dead. While in general these lists do not include rehearsals and casual jams, for these earliest events there wasn't much difference between a show and a party, so I have taken a broader view of the listings. If people attended the show, I am considering it a performance, regardless of whether the event was scheduled or advertised. However, this is not a list of tapes, nor an effort to unravel spurious listings on tape boxes.

November 27, 1965 'The Spread", Dover Drive at Soquel Drive, (Ken Babbs' House), Soquel, CA: Soquel Acid Test
After a long series of LSD-infused parties, the Merry Pranksters decided to start inviting the public to them. The first effort was actually at Ken Babbs' property in then-rural southern Santa Cruz County. The house was torn down in the early 80s, but it was located on Soquel Drive in the town of Soquel, about a mile west of Porter Avenue, at Dover Drive. It is now the site of the 71 Dover bus stop, where a plaque commemorates the first official Acid Test.

Contrary to decades of rumor, the Grateful Dead did not in fact perform at this very first Acid Test. However, Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir were there, and the Pranksters--who were not musicians--had some instruments, and they picked them up and played them. While not a performance, if anyone had asked Jerry, Bob or Phil "what is the name of your band," they would have said "The Grateful Dead." They had found the name the week before, and they were no longer The Warlocks or The Emergency Crew or any other such thing.

December 4, 1965 43 S. Fifth Street, San Jose, CA: San Jose Acid Test
The second Acid Test was held the very next Saturday night, in San Jose. The Rolling Stones were playing the San Jose Civic Auditorium, and since that was where the hip young people would be going, it seemed that downtown San Jose would be the best place to go. There was no formula yet. A friend let the Pranksters use his house, and the Grateful Dead played in one of the rooms. Mysterious signs led people to the house, and they paid a dollar, and all was revealed, sort of. The event began after the late show by The Stones ended, and went on for about 50 years.

The Grateful Dead were not advertised or even announced, but anyone there who asked "who is the band" would have been told "The Grateful Dead." The house was at 43 S. Fifth Street, long since replaced by city hall. The actual house itself was moved, and can still be seen not far away, at 635 E. St. James St in San Jose

An ad from the San Francisco Chronicle of December 5, 1965, for the forthcoming SF Mime Troupe Benefit upcoming on Friday, December 10. "9 P.M. Till Dawn". The Warlocks were one of the many, many others.
December 10, 1965 Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA: Jefferson Airplane/Great Society/Mystery Trend/Grateful Dead/Gentleman's Band/Vipers Mime Troupe Appeal 2
Mime Troupe Financial Director Bill Graham had promoted a benefit concert at a loft on Howard Street to offset legal expenses from a recent bust by the local political theater troupe. It had been such a success, he held another benefit, this time renting a dance hall from African American promoter Charles Sullivan, who held the master lease on The Fillmore Auditorium on 1805 Geary Avenue, at Fillmore Street.

Ralph Gleason mentioned the Warlocks as having been present in his December 13, 1965 San Francisco Chronicle column. Whether they were announced as the Grateful Dead or The Warlocks is unclear. Since Gleason mentioned them as The Warlocks, presumably they were announced that way, even though they had changed their name. Apocryphally, Graham did not like the name Grateful Dead when he first heard it, although it's not even clear if Graham even met the band that night. The John Handy Quintet was booked, but did not play (apparently Handy was late, and Graham did not take kindly to it). The Vipers were a Palo Alto band. Ralph Gleason mistakenly listed the local San Francisco band The VIPs in his column, but that was incorrect.

The Muir Beach Tavern and Lodge circa 1942
December 11, 1965 Muir Beach Lodge, Muir Beach, CA: Muir Beach Acid Test
The Pranksters put on two Acid Tests on consecutive Saturdays in Muir Beach and Palo Alto. There is some dispute as to what order the actual events occurred. Since neither of the events was publicized in any sort of periodical, and all the attendees were on LSD, it's hard to say with absolute certainty what order they occurred. I did look into it at one point, however, and a preponderance of evidence--enough for a civil jury, but not a criminal one--suggests that Muir Beach was right after the Fillmore (December 11) and Palo Alto the next weekend.

The Muir Beach Acid Test was originally scheduled for Stinson Beach, also in Marin County, but moved at the last minute to avoid the cops. LSD was not yet illegal, but the cops didn't like it, and plenty of the attendees would have weed, speed or outstanding warrants, so police avoidance was sound policy. Some theorize that it was a Prankster plan to schedule the event at Stinson Beach, probably at the Community Center, and then move it at the last minute, but Pranksters don't really plan.

Muir Beach is in West Marin, an area that was abandoned for agriculture back in the 1950s, due to problems with the groundwater. Existing buildings were left in place, but no new development was allowed. The Muir Beach Lodge was just a sort of big room in the middle of nowhere, next to a windy beach--perfect for what the Pranksters had in mind. The Grateful Dead definitely played.

The building at 998 San Antonio Road that housed The Big Beat, where the Palo Alto Acid Test was held on December 18, 1965. The photo is from August 2009. The building was torn down in 2011.
December 18, 1965 The Big Beat, Palo Alto, CA: Palo Alto Acid Test
The Big Beat was Palo Alto's first rock and roll nightclub, not set to open until the New Year. Prankster Ken Babbs managed to rent it prior to opening, and Palo Alto had its own Acid Test. The Grateful Dead definitely played, too, along with a now-mysterious or possibly imagined all female band. The building that housed the Big Beat (above) was intact until 2011.

January 1, 1966 Beaver Hall, Portland, OR: Portland Acid Test
The Portland Acid Test definitely happened, but when it happened is another issue. Following Prankster logic, it would seem that it would have been on a Saturday night, but that would make it either Christmas 1965 or New Years Day 1966. It could even have been as late as January 7 or 14, but then you have to make sense of the Matrix dates below. Everyone seems to agree that there were snowy conditions in Portland, and that points towards New Year's Day. Keep in mind that all of the Grateful Dead/Pranksters crowd had no real family connections, so being out of town for the holidays was no big deal. The exception may have been Ken Kesey, but of course his family actually was in Oregon.

Beaver Hall was a small room at 425 NW Glisan Street that could be rented fairly easily. It was used occasionally for local Oregon rock shows in the later 60s and into the 70s. I did find a reference that said the Portland Acid Test was at a different Beaver Hall on the other side of town:
Many of you will fondly remember Beaver Hall on NW Glisan. But, did you know there was once another place named Beaver Hall near SE Hawthorne around 1510 SE 9th Ave? And, it was at this Beaver Hall that Ken Kesey's Portland acid test took place. City directory listings back up several memories of the event. I love research projects: 
From George Walker: "Well, for starters, there was only one Portland Acid Test, in December '65. I don't know the exact date, but I don't believe it was on Christmas." 
From Joe Uris: "I was at the famous Acid Test. In fact, I hold the original acid test poster. It was at an upstairs hall, I think off of Hawthorne in a place I’d never been before or since. In those days, in order to have a dance with underage people, you had to have a matron. And they had this black woman who was a very nice lady but she had absolutely no idea what the hell was going on. And they had spiked various things with LSD which I thought was not responsible. The Warlocks which later became the Grateful Dead were there and the movies were playing endlessly."
A handbill for the Grateful Dead at the Matrix on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 4 and 5, 1966. This would be the first known formal public use of the name Grateful Dead for commercial publicity.
update: The Yellow Shark comes up with an astonishing find
January 4-5, 1966 The Matrix, San Francisco, CA: The Grateful Dead
A new handbill has surfaced advertising the Grateful Dead as playing The Matrix on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 4 and 5, 1966. The Matrix flyer would thus be the first formal use of the "Grateful Dead" name in a commercial advertisement. The flyer fits a number of timelines. For one thing, there was a vague weekday date for a Matrix show usually assigned to late December, but this makes more sense. For another, this points to the Portland Acid Test being over and done with. Christmas '65 in Portland is looking more and more likely.

January 7, 1966 The Matrix, San Francisco, CA: Grateful Dead
The entire subject of the Grateful Dead playing The Matrix in January 1966 is confusing and contradictory. Labels on tape boxes are likely wrong, and mistaken details from a long-ago Owsley interview only confuse matters further. I am going with the best research on the performance dates of everyone at the Matrix, not just the Dead, so I am going with five dates, of which Friday, January 7, is the first. I look forward to any light anyone can shed on the subject (keep in mind that almost every link you find on the Internet will be of no value). update: the new handbill listing the Dead as playing January 4 and 5 makes January 7 more plausible.

January 8, 1966 Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA; Fillmore Acid Test
Kesey and The Pranksters finally held an Acid Test in San Francisco, and with historic prescience it was held at the Fillmore Auditorium. Although Graham had put on a show there, the room was still under the control of African-American impresario Charles Sullivan, and the Pranksters must have just paid his fee and gotten the date. The show has gone down in legend and need not be recounted here.

January 13, 1966 The Matrix, San Francisco, CA: Grateful Dead
I am assuming that the Dead played the Matrix on January 13 (Thursday), skipped Friday for the Mime Troupe Benefit at the Fillmore, and returned for Saturday and Sunday. This just seems plausible rather than based on any special knowledge.

January 14, 1966 Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA: Great Society/Mystery Trend/Grateful Dead/Sam Thomas and The Gentleman's Band Mime Troupe Appeal 3
The Grateful Dead were billed as Grateful Dead (formerly The Warlocks) because promoter Bill Graham did not like the new name, since he was apparently hoping for the commercial appeal of the locally popular Warlocks. It appears that January 14, 1966 was the first date for which the name "Grateful Dead" was formally advertised.

January 15-16, 1966 The Matrix, San Francisco, CA: Grateful Dead
I am positing for now that the Dead played these two nights at the Matrix.
A notice about The Trips Festival in the Theater Listings of the Oakland Tribune, Sunday, January 16, 1966
January 21-23, 1966 Longshoreman's Hall, San Francisco, CA; Grateful Dead (22-23)/Big Brother And The Holding Company(22-23)/The Jazz Mice (21)/New Brothers (22)/Loading Zone (23)/others
The Trips Festival was the public, commercial version of the Acid Test. It was a three-day event held at a fairly large venue in San Francisco, and it featured music, lights, dancers, audience participation and a vision of a brave new world. It was not officially an Acid Test--no electric Kool-Aid--but it seems that everyone there was lit up. Not only did the Festival sell out, it invented the modern rock concert as we know it. Just two weeks later, Bill Graham and Chet Helms were promoting a weekend of shows at the Fillmore with the Jefferson Airplane, advertising "The Sights And Sounds Of The Trips Festival."

The Grateful Dead played Saturday and Sunday, January 22 and 23.

January 28, 1966 The Matrix, San Francisco, CA: Grateful Dead
This date is uncertain, but some other scholarship has made a pretty good case for dating a "mystery tape" as January 28, 1966, and the Matrix seems like a pretty likely venue.

On January 29, 1966 the Merry Pranksters had a recording session at Sound City Studios in San Francisco, CA. Jerry Garcia and maybe other Grateful Dead members participated, but this was neither a performance nor an Acid Test. The session makes a January 29 Matrix gig far more unlikely.

February 1, 1966 Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA: Fillmore auditions
This Fillmore performance was not exactly a public appearance. Bill Graham took over the lease on the Fillmore Auditorium from the retiring Charles Sullivan, and he seems to have held an audition at the Fillmore for underground San Francisco rock bands starting on Tuesday, February 1, his first day of control. David Nelson was there, and he described it in Robert Greenfield's book. The band had auditioned as the Warlocks a few times, but I believe this to be the only time they auditioned as the Dead. Nelson:
I went up to their Tuesday night audition at the Fillmore. The other bands that were auditioning that same night were The Great Society and The Loading Zone. I remember I took acid that night, too. I walked in real early and nobody was even there. Bill Graham used to put a barrel of apples out. I saw the apples. I thought "Hmm. Probably for somebody private or something." I said "I'm hungry. I'll steal one anyway." So I took an apple and was just biting into it when Bill Graham walked in. I didn't know who he was. I thought "I hope he's just a janitor." I just started cooling it and then he walked by and I looked at him and nodded. He looked and nodded and then he did one of those Bill things. He stopped, did a slow double take and said "Who are you? Who are you with?" I said "Warlocks." I knew this would make him know I really was with them. Because this was the first night they were auditioning as The Grateful Dead (p.68-69).” 
This must have been a pretty remarkable event, all the hip bands in the Bay Area hanging out in their future home, trying to get a gig. Bill Graham inaugurated his Fillmore shows with the Jefferson Airplane on February 4 and 5. The Dead seemed to have earned a booking on Saturday, February 12, but they went to Los Angeles with Owsley instead. Bill Graham probably wasn't thrilled.

February 5, 1966 Northridge Unitarian Church, Los Angeles, CA: Northridge Acid Test
The Grateful Dead joined Owsley in a mad adventure, in which he moved them to Los Angeles in order for them to make it in the record industry. Owsley financed this venture with his retail income. Owsley was no millionaire. The band lived together in a big three story house in Watts, and rehearsed there also. Any rehearsal tapes from this period were recorded in the Watts house. According to an equipment receipt (from the Grateful Dead Gear book), the address was 2511 Third Avenue, which as runonguinness points out, was just south of the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10) and not that near Watts (assuming the address is accurate--Owsley could have used an accommodation address--the 4bed/3bath 3,967 sqft house is currently valued at a mere $951K)

The first Acid Test in Southern California was at a Unitarian Church in Northridge. There is some confusion about this date. It almost certainly was on Saturday night, February 5, but the date on the tape box is February 6. However, Owsley was not there, so he didn't tape it. It is likely that the tape is from another date.
update: fellow scholar runonguinness informs us that
The "Northridge Unitarian Church" (more properly the Sepulveda Unitarian Universalist Society) is still at 9550 Haskell Ave, North Hills. It is well worth a look at the "Onion" on their website

The Grateful Dead (along with the Mystery Trend and Our Lost Souls) were actually advertised as playing the Fillmore on February 12, 1966, in the Feb 11 listings of the Berkeley Barb (h/t Yellow Shark)
Some mislabeled tapes have circulated with a date of February 11, with a venue of The Questing Beast. This cannot be correct. We have looked into the history of the Questing Beast, and the Dead did not play there, notwithstanding they were in Los Angeles on February 11. The Questing Beast was a folk club in Berkeley with a psychedelic mural on the wall, not far from Owsley's cottage. Owsley probably had some affiliation with the place, and if the Dead had not gone to LA they might have rehearsed there, but they never actually did.

February 12, 1966 Youth Opportunity Center, Compton, CA: Watts Acid Test
An Acid Test was held in Watts on Saturday, February 12 (update: JGBP tells us that the Youth Opportunities Center was at 9027 South Figueroa Street in Compton).

February 25, 1966 Cinema Theater, Los Angeles, CA: Sunset Acid Test
Another acid test was held two weeks later at an old theater in Los Angeles, at 1122 No. Western Avenue. The Cinema Theater was only a block off Sunset Boulevard, and this is sometimes called The Sunset Acid Test.
update: Scholar and Commenter JerryGarciasBrokendownPalaces reports that
The following information is from an email between myself and Lawrence Schiller, the photographer. I'll be speaking to him later today to confirm.February 25, 1966 Empire Studios, 7417 Sunset Blvd: Sunset Acid TestCinema Theater, Los Angeles, CA, the Sunset Acid TestMoved to Empire Studios, 7417 Sunset Boulevard, a few doors down from Schiller's photography studio at 7403 Sunset Boulevard.
March 3, 1966 AIAA Hall, Los Angeles, CA: The Grateful Dead/"Psychedelic Experience" (film)
This was probably not an Acid Test. The AIAA Hall was at 7660 Beverly Boulevard and was used for various underground events through 1966. The most infamous was a hugely successful event with The Mothers on July 23, 1966, with a poster inviting everyone to "Freak Out." The address is now the site of The Broadcast Center Apartments.

March 12, 1966 Danish Center, Los Angeles, CA: Grateful Dead
There is some mystery about the show, although there is a tape. Of course, dating the tape has been confusing, too, but it seems to me that David Lemieux has confirmed that there are different March 12 and March 19 tapes. It is unclear where the Danish Center was. Most likely it was a social hall associated with the local Danish church, but I can't find any good information about a likely location for the venue (update: apparently 607 S. Western Blvd, Los Angeles, CA)

March 19, 1966 Carthay Studios, Los Angeles, CA: Pico Acid Test
Amazingly, Hugh Romney had managed to book UCLA's brand new Pauley Pavilion for an Acid Test, but at the last minute UCLA caught on and canceled it. The event was moved to the Carthay Studios. I don't actually know what the Cathay Studio was--perhaps a film studio--or where it was located (update: apparently 5907 W. Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA. A purported handbill is here)

March 25, 1966 Troupers Club, Los Angeles, CA: Grateful Dead/Del Close/Tiny Tim
All Night Harmonica Store Presents
The final show in Los Angeles was not actually an acid test, but a regular concert. Hugh "Wavy Gravy" Romney, one of Owsley's distributors, seems to have put on the show. Legendary improvisational comic Del Close was on the bill, but he seems to have provided a light show rather than comedy. Tiny Tim, an associate of all of them, and not yet famous from Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, may only have appeared in some kind of video or recorded accompaniment to the light show. The Trouper's Club was at 1625 North La Brea.

On the March 25 tape, Phil Lesh encourages the crowd to come out to the band's shows on April 6 through 9th (Wednesday through Saturday). Due to a cut in the tape, we do not where these shows were booked, and in any case they were canceled. Once Rock Scully had gotten a booking at Longshoreman's Hall, Owsley and the band abandoned the Pink House in Watts and returned to the Bay Area.

April 22-24, 1966 Longshoreman's Hall, San Francisco, CA: Grateful Dead/Loading Zone/The Answer
With the Bay Area rock underground booming, the Dead were offered $375 for three nights (per Rock Scully). This was enough money to get the band back from Los Angeles. Still, the group had no money, and band members couch-surfed until they could afford to move to Rancho Olompali on May 1.

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A radio spot has recently surfaced that may be for this show, with a dj apparently reading a press release. It is hard to verify "authenticity" with old radio spots, but this sounds right. The slight mistakes (like referring to Stewart Brand's presentation as "Columbus Needs Indians" rather than "America Needs Indians") point towards the real thing, as after-the-fact re-creations tend to be too perfect. The spot lists The Answer as a band, along with the Dead and The Zone. The Answer were a Berkeley band, and future Ace Of Cups singer Denise Kaufmann (aka Mary Microgram) sometimes sang with them.

Update: Chip Wright, former guitarist for The Answer (and now novelist), recalls that The Answer did indeed play The Longshoreman's Hall shows.

May 7, 1966 Harmon Gym, U. of California, Berkeley, CA: Grateful Dead/The Charlatans/Great Society/Billy Moses Blues Band
In 1966, a series of rock concerts were put on at Berkeley's basketball arena, Harmon Gym. The Gym was right off Bancroft Avenue, near Pauley Ballroom and the student union. Harmon Gym was built in 1931, and had a capacity of 6,500 (it replaced an older Harmon Gym, built in 1879, and expanded in 1900 to make the capacity 1,300, large for the time. The old site is now Dwinelle Hall). The middle Harmon Gym was replaced by a newer, larger facility (capacity 12,000) in 1999, and is now called The Haas Pavilion.

The band was billed as The Greatful Dead on the poster. As a sign that underground rock was not fully integrated into college campuses, even Berkeley, the show advertised an emcee, popular KYA-am dj Russ "The Moose" Syracuse. This was a typical teen show arrangement that had no part in the Fillmore/Avalon scene. Syracuse probably got a fee in return for hyping the show on his program. There was no FM rock radio at the time, so plenty of college students would have been listening to AM rock radio.

The Veteran's Memorial Building at 1931 Center Street in Berkeley (at Grove, now MLK Blvd), ca. 1940s. Provo Park and Berkeley Community Theater are just across the street. The Grateful Dead played the tiny auditorium on May 14, 166.
May 14, 1966 Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Berkeley, CA: Grateful Dead/Final Solution
One of the dynamics of the 1966 rock concert market in the Bay Area was that there was a huge audience for hip rock shows around the UC Berkeley campus. Numerous local promoters attempted to use various venues, Campus locations were usually limited to Friday and Saturday nights, and had all sorts of schedule conflicts and time restrictions. Various impresarios attempted to use in-town venues.

The Berkeley Veterans Memorial Auditorium was at 1931 Center (between Milvia and Grove, now MLK), right downtown and within walking distance of campus. I don't know who promoted the show. The building was only used a few times for 60s rock concerts. In 1994, I saw a concert there for a reunion of some old-time Berkeley bands (Country Joe Band with David Cohen, Bruce Barthol and Chicken Hirsh, Joy of Cooking and Lazarus) and I understood why. The room only hold a few hundred patrons, and was rapidly outgrown by the booming rock market in the area. Since a suitable Berkeley venue was never found, all of the students had to go over to the Fillmore and Avalon, and this was one factor in the success of the 1966-67 scene, before most of the bands had become famous.

The Final Solution was a hip band featuring some scenemakers like Ernie Fosselius, who played a big role in the TV show Sesame Street, providing animated films. He also made the movies Porklips Now and Hardware Wars. But back in 1966, Fosselius and his friends, all San Francisco State students, had an underground band that only played weird minor-key songs. On a whim, they named the group Final Solution while having no idea what it meant. They are rightly ashamed of that, and Fosselius and the others have refused any efforts to have an archival release.

May 19, 1966 Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, CA: Grateful Dead/Wildflower/The Outfit Benefit for The Straight Theater
The Dead, the Wildflower and The Outfit all rehearsed at the old Haight Theater at 1702 Haight. The plan was to turn it into a rock concert venue, so the Haight hippies would have a place to see bands in their own neighborhood. Only in 1966 San Francisco would a benefit be held at one venue, the Avalon, for another venue that would compete with it, but such were the times.

Wildflower were a pretty good band who had formed at the California College of Arts And Crafts in Oakland. The Outfit were an interesting band, who at the time featured lead guitarist Bobby Beausoleil, now doing life in prison as a result of murders committed at the behest of Charles Manson, another Haight Street resident.

May 22, 1966 Rancho Olompali, Novato, CA: Grateful Dead/Loading Zone
The Dead had moved into the crumbling Rancho Olompali mansion on May 1, and there was an almost continuous party there through the end of June. Equipment was probably more or less permanently set up next to the pool, and jam sessions with whoever was present seemed to have been frequent. Nonetheless, the official party, with invitations and all, was held on May 22, and there was some kind of regular (ish) performance by the Dead. This was the event where the BBC camera crew was present. and the famous (and now probably illegal) photos of Julia Bridgen (aka "Girl Freiberg") casually lounging around naked circulated far and wide, even without an internet.

May 28, 1966 Avalon Ballrom, San Francisco, CA: The Leaves/Grass Roots/Grateful Dead
The Dead's return to the Avalon on Saturday May 28 was also their debut at an official Family Dog show for Chet Helms. Over the years, people have assumed that the Dead also played on Friday (May 27), but a closer look at the poster shows a text box that says "Sat. only" next to the Grateful Dead.

The Leaves were a popular Sunset Strip band, and they had a popular hit single with "Hey Joe." The Grass Roots were produced out of Los Angeles by Phil Sloan and Steve Barri, who had written a hit song called "Where Were You When I Needed You." Sloan and Barri recorded the song, but then needed a band to become The Grass Roots and tour behind the single. A Bay Area band called The Bedouins got the call. The Bedouins winners of the 1965 San Mateo County Fair Battle Of The Bands, and mostly played R&B and Rolling Stones' type music. They added a few Sloan/Barri singles to their sets, and got much better bookings as The Grass Roots. The former Bedouins had a falling out with their producers later in 1966, and they were "replaced" by an entirely different band from Los Angeles, who went on to become the better-known version of the Grass Roots.

May 29, 1966 California Hall, San Francisco, CA: Grateful Dead/Charlatans LEMAR Benefit
The Grateful Dead headlined this benefit for LEMAR, a foundation for Legalizing Marijuana. Ahead of their time as always, perhaps the evil weed will become legal while members of the band who played the benefit are still around.

After the show, the Dead dragged their equipment to Gene Estibou's Buena Vista Studios, on the top floor of a mansion in the Haight. There they recorded the tracks that would be released as their debut single on Scorpio Records, "Don't Ease Me In"/"Stealin'".

June 3-4, 1966 Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA: Quicksilver Messenger Service/Grateful Dead/Mothers
The Dead had skipped out on their initial BGP booking (February 12) to go to Owsley in Los Angeles. It can't have sat well with Graham. However, once his competitor Chet Helms booked them, Graham couldn't let it lie, because Helms new better than Graham who was cool. One of these shows with Quicksilver Messenger Service was probably the one where Phil Lesh's amp broke, and John Cippolina invited their friend Dan Healy out of the crowd to fix it. When Garcia thanked him later, Healy criticized the sound system, and Garcia supposedly said "do you think you can do better?"

Frank Zappa's band was called The Mothers at this time. It was MGM who anxiously added "Of Invention" to their name. Besides playing one of the original Family Dog dances back in 1965, and the previous weekend at the Fillmore,  the Mothers had just finished a lengthy engagement at a rock club in Fremont called Frenchy's (where the Warlocks had been fired the year before).

June 10-11, 1966 Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, CA: Grateful Dead/Quicksilver Messenger Service/New Tweedy Brothers
The New Tweedy Brothers were from Oregon, but they had moved to the Bay Area for the summer. This was probably the show where the Dead's relatively massive--by 1966 standards--PA not only blocked the light show but made it impossible for Avalon soundman Bob Cohen to hear his team on the in-house intercom. Next time around (in August), the Dead had hung white sheets on the sound system to facilitate the lights, and Cohen had invented noise-canceling headphones.

June 12, 1966 [private residence], [Marin County], LSD Conference Party
Weed was illegal, but not LSD. The University of California at San Francisco, primarily a medical school located very near the Haight-Ashbury, seems to have hosted a conference on the medical benefits of LSD research from June 13-18. Apparently, there was a party at a Marin mansion with a swimming pool, and the Grateful Dead performed. Memories seem foggy.

June 17-18, 1966 Veterans Hall, Santa Rosa, CA; Grateful Dead/Jaywalkers
There is a poster for this show, but nothing else is really known about it. Thunder Machine Productions implicitly suggests the Pranksters, but Kesey was on the lam in Mexico, so it's not clear exactly who the promoters might have been. Santa Rosa was mostly a rural agricultural community at this time. However, there was an extension of San Francisco State College in Santa Rosa, and it was a tiny oasis of long-haired stoners. SF State Extension became Humboldt State within a few years, but the seeds--appropriately enough--had been sown by the SF State extension.

The weekend of June 24-25 seems a likely candidate for a "lost" date or two, but none have yet turned up.