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Monday, December 28, 2009

GD: April 1-3, 1969, Dinner Key Auditorium, Miami, FL (CANCELED)

Grateful Dead
Dinner Key Auditorium
Miami, FL
April 1-3, 1969

A three-day happening from April 1-3, 1969 at the Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami was canceled after the March 1st onstage antics and subsequent arrest for lewd and lascivious behavior, indecdent exposure, and other charges of the Doors' Jim Morrison. The decision to deny permission for the event was made by one George MacLean, lessee of the auditorium from the city, who noted that participants proposed for the happening were "the same type people and the same type music as The Doors" (1).

"The Expanded Spiritual Music Concert", was to involve a showing of the Jeebus-themed film "The Greatest Story Ever Told" and musical performances by "groups such as" the Grateful Dead, Country Joe and the Fish, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Steve Miller Band, Sweetwater, Joe Smith and the Believers, and the New Rhythm and Blues Quartet.

The "Easter Rock" event promoters ("Together Productions") sought an injunction to allow the show to proceed, but were denied in March by a Dade County Circuit Judge (2). It seems not to have helped that at least one of the promoters had an outstanding warrant for illegal drugs possession.


(1) "Easter Program with Rock Groups is Banned in Miami," Herald-Tribue, March 19, 1969, p. 16, retrieved via Google News.
(2) Barbara Malone, "'Easter Rock' Producers Lose Court Round," Miami News, March 20, 1969, pp. 3A-4A, retrieved via Google News.


  1. Man, this would have been a good one. A film about Jesus, and then the finest San Francisco had to offer at the time. If that wouldn't have been a "Come To Jesus" moment, what would be?

    Some of the groups were also playing a few days earlier at Lockhart Park, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, where WSRF Surf Radio Presented the First Annual “Easter Rock Festival” (March 30-April 2).

    Steve Miller, Creedence and Sweetwater were booked for that one (along with Canned Heat, Grass Roots and the Strawberry Alarm Clock, plus the MC5 who didn't show due to outstanding drug warrents).

  2. Blair Jackson's liner notes for the new release Road Trips: Vol 4, Number 1: Big Rock Pow Wow 69 place these shows from April 5-6. Now I feel like I should double-check these dates.

  3. So, the AP wire story clearly says April 1-3, not 5-6. It's possible, given the chaos that seems to have reigned around this event, that at some point an attempt was made (and possibly announced) to push it back a few days, so I doubt we are in the realm of the cut-and-dry here. Anyway, another source for this one:

    AP, "'Grateful Dead' Banned Following 'The Doors'," Panama City News, March 19, 1969 (Wednesday morning), p. ?3?.

    Thanks to Yellow Shark for sending the scan!

  4. I would've been inclined to go with Blair's April 5-6 dates here, as April 1-3 was a Tuesday-Thursday...not the most propitious days for an "Easter Rock" festival, especially since Easter was on April 6!

    But if two contemporary news stories both say April 1-3, I guess those were the days.

    McNally notes that the Dead were told on March 18 that the Miami show was canceled. "It's this underground pop music," George MacLean said; "I don't think our community could stand another affair such as that!"

    I suppose the Dead's Avalon April 4-6 run must have been booked after the cancellation...

  5. I should have done my homework, because I was in the presence of the Miami Herald from this era, I checked around the dates (4-1/3/69), but of course doggie no barkie - a look at my own post would have told me to look a few weeks earlier, when the deal went down. D'oh!


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