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Saturday, January 30, 2010

NRPS: Bear's Lair, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, August 1, 1969

update: LIA has posted text from the various goings-on at the Family Dog On The Great Highway this night.

Corry at Lost Live Dead has just posted a GD/JG performance list from July-August 1969.

I don't have much to add, but since he mentions the New Riders of the Purple Sage gig(s) from August 1, 1969 at the Bear's Lair, UC Berkeley, I though I'd post some scans that I have.

I especially like the one above ... "Jerry Garcia with Marmaduke", but the picture shows Jerry and Mickey Hart.


A few notes from all of this.

1) there seem to have been two shows, at 8:30 and 10:30
2) Mickey Hart was on drums (no surprise there), but as Corry notes we don't know who played bass. I'd have to guess Phil, but it's just a guess.
3) they appear not yet to be called the New Riders of the Purple Sage, though that's how I'll refer to this. As Corry notes, it's not until the end of the month that this name appears *anywhere*.


  1. These are great. Given that the clippings are from before August 1, it means that Jerry Garcia had already decided to bail on the August 1 Grateful Dead show at Family Dog.

    It does put a different spin on McNally's story about the Dead negotiating with the Light Shows and Chet Helms that night--they knew Garcia (and Hart, and maybe Phil) weren't going to play the Family Dog anyway.

  2. In a post at, a user going by the moniker "Hard2Handle" offers this:

    We'd been to see a band called "Marmaduke" at Sproul Hall basement coffee house at UCB. Yes, indeed - later known as NRPS. John "Marmaduke" Dawson with Jerry on steel, Mickey on drums, and a blond-haired guy on bass.

    Now, this particular poster saw a lot of GD and seems unlikely to have failed to recognized Phil Lesh ("some blond-haired guy"). Thoughts?

    BTW, the same poster says that Bill and Mickey crossed the light artists' picket line on ca. 8/1/69.

  3. D'oh! Not Bill and Mickey. He says "Billy and Bob ... and maybe Mickey jamming."

  4. Wasn't Bob Matthews blond-haired? I seem to remember him looking blond in the pictures I've seen. This may well have been the early NRPS period when he was on bass for a little while.

    The comment on 8/2/69 is worth quoting in full:
    "They were picketing outside the Family Dog - projecting the light show on the front of Playland. They had an extension cord coming from inside, and I noticed a handwritten sign in the window that said "Power supplied by the Family Dog," and as I was reading it, I noticed - thru the window - Chet Helms nodding and smiling.
    Everybody was debating whether to honor the pickets, or ashamedly break solidarity just to see the Dead. I'm ashamed - I crossed - I'd hitched all the way from Minnesota just to see the boys - but the joke was on me, as the lightists had convinced Jerry not to cross - "I ain't goin' in!"
    So there we were, watching Billy and Bob (scabs!) and maybe Mickey jamming. They said, "Anybody that can play can play." That wild guy that danced with everybody - remember him? - got up and played drums. I was too chicken, damn it.
    One night when Jerry did show up, they had a couple of guys sitting in on flutes - very informal."

    Some very interesting details there. One, that several other Dead members had no problem with playing the Family Dog on 8/1.
    Also, two flute players sitting in with the Dead? That sounds almost like the 8/3 show (sax & violin), but may be another unrecorded event.

  5. True!
    Two flutes, though?
    The 8/28/69 was, as far as we know, not advertised in print at all; and yet on the tape, there is clearly a big audience there who presumably heard about it somehow.
    So I think it more than likely there were more Family Dog jam events that we know nothing about.

  6. Flutes could have been very difficult to work into the mix, so they may not be apparent on a tape.

    I gather that many of these underreported Family Dog shows were advertised by handbills tacked up on telephone poles, many of them around the Playland neighborhood (Ocean Beach and "The Avenues" in SF parlance). I think the handbills did not have art, just printing, so they were rarely or never preserved on dorm walls.

  7. I was at that show. When I find the ticket again, I would
    I will donate to archives. Bob Matthews played bass. Garcia wanted to name the band The Murdering Punks. They all went over to the gig at The Great Highway. My friend, Carol Green and I hitched a ride with Ken Candelero in one of their white vans with the equipment. Stayed at Weir's house that night. Next night on way to Great Hwy gig, the Golden Gate Bridge traffic stopped for a WHILE. Soon after Peter Grant, who taught Garcia the pedal steel, and Weir got out of the pickup, got guitars and began serenading people in cars with their traveling minstrels impersonations, the traffic picked up.

  8. Wow, that is amazing. Thank you for sharing your memories!


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