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Monday, December 28, 2009

Mickey and the Hartbeats, October 1968

Someday I may write up a post about these shows that I love so much and that are so central to my thinking. But for now I just wanted to show off the poster I splurged and bought myself.

! note: Note the misdating to 1969 by Grushkin's AOR.
! ref: AOR 2.118: October Calendar; The Matrix, San Francisco, 1969 [sic]; Artists: George Chacona, Marty Rice (Grushkin 1987, 166).
! ref: Grushkin, Paul. 1987. The Art of Rock: Posters from Presley to Punk. Artworks photographed by Jon Sievert. New York: Abbeville Press Publishers.

! note: Note dates 10/8/68, 10/9/68, 10/10/68, for searchability.


  1. Nice poster....

    I wondered if you agree with the Lost Live Dead blogger that Garcia was using these Hartbeats shows to audition for someone to replace Weir?
    I'm pretty skeptical....however much Elvin Bishop liked playing with Garcia, with his heavy blues leaning, I just can't see him in the Dead. (Any more than David Crosby, later on.) All the Hartbeats guests were in their own bands, I think. The player who guested most at these shows was Jack Casady (sitting in for Lesh) - so does this mean Garcia wanted to yank him from the Airplane and get a second bass player for the Dead?
    When the Hartbeats shows started in Oct '68, Garcia may have been in doubt about what was going to happen with the Dead. But I feel like the Hartbeats thing was always meant to be a side-project, like the gigs with Wales & Saunders (& OAITW)'s kind of the first sign that one band wasn't going to be enough for Garcia!

  2. Yeah, I don't think it was an audition. I think it was just jamming around.

    And I agree that this is the first sign that GD wasn't enough. I am working on a big project about Garcia outside the GD (but during the GD era), and these shows are pivotal for just that reason!

    We know/assume that Garcia gigged around a bit outside the GD, but 5/21/68 is the earlier piece of tape we have of him playing live outside the GD after the GD's formation. Then there's the Olompali thing in July, and then the Hartbeats shows.

    So here's an open question ... anyone know of Jerry playing live outside the GD between 1965 and 5/21/68?

  3. Dwork and Muellner (1998, 13) includes some interview material with Peter Abram, Matrix proprietor.

    "Peter Abram: 'It would have been called Grateful Dead Jam or something like that, but Chet Helms got freaked out because he was having them at the Family Dog event the following weekend and he insisted that they not play.' A compromise was made ... The gig would go on, as long as the name Grateful Dead was omitted from promotions, and so Mickey Hart and the Hartbeats was born."

    Dwork, John, and Alexis Muellner. 1998. “Inside” the System: The Soundmen Cometh. In The Deadhead's Taping Compendium, vol. I, edited by Michael M. Getz and John R. Dwork (New York: Henry Holt/Owl Books), pp. 5-18.

  4. AOR 2.118: October Calendar; The Matrix, San Francisco, 1969 [sic]; Artists: George Chacona, Marty Rice (Grushkin 1987, 166).


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