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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

NRPS, January 1971

I have some uncertainty about whether NRPS played with the GD during the handful of January 1971 shows. The New Riders' official tour history from 1971 has listed these shows:

1/21/71, Freeborn Hall, UC Davis, Davis, CA
1/22/71, Lane Community College, Eugene, OR
"1/25/71", Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, WA (should be 1/24/71)

The problem, for me, is that I haven't been able to find any evidence that the NRPS were actually at these shows. I have seen a nearly illegible scan of a University of Oregon Daily Emerald piece dated 1/21/71 that, as far as I can make it out, makes no mention of the New Riders. A report on a gate-crashing incident from the same publication, date unknown but certainly right afterward, is simililarly silent. The Seattle Times mention to the left notes that Ian and Sylvia are on the bill --interesting in its own right for us NRPS-ologists, given that Buddy was probably still with them!-- but no NRPS.

Rob Bleetstein, the NRPS archivist, told me where the listings came from, and while I don't recall the specifics I think it was just assumed that the NRPS were at these shows. I have my doubts, for two main reasons.

First, the dog don't bark in any documentary evidence that I can find. I'll keep looking.

Second, NRPS were at Wally Heider's on 1/18-20/71, based on documents I have seen. I'll bet they had to stay home and work on the album while Jerry and the boys took off for a few days.


  1. If Buddy Cage was still with Ian & Sylvia in January 1971--and I think he was--its reasonable to think he would remember opening for the Dead in Seattle, since he had already met Garcia and the band the year before.

  2. Corry, I see these notes from you re: 1/24/71: "The band, still unknown outside of Grateful Dead circles, are billed on the poster as 'The Riders of The Purple Sage.'" That seems a pretty good indication that NRPS were at that show, at least.

    BTW, Buddy Cage confirms that he was *not* there. He had left Ian & Sylvia by Xmas 1970.

  3. Since I can't figure out how to post an image here I'll just hope someone else can do that with this link. It's the poster for 1/24/71.

  4. re 1/24/71, there are three eyewitness accounts at ( confirming the NRPS.

    Reviewer: gdesilet
    June 8, 2004
    Subject: i was there!!!
    ... new riders opened with jerry and played a wonderful set ...

    Reviewer: Dr Bob
    August 22, 2004
    Subject: What a show it was, I was there too!
    NRPS Opened this show, and for some reasion the Dead was a bit late getting on stage ...

    Reviewer: The Tailgunner
    June 22, 2008
    Subject: 1st GD show
    ... Ian and Sylvia were the openers followed by NRPS ...

  5. This tells the story:

    1. That story from Jim Lowry (of the Notary Sojac opener) about the 1/22/71 LCC show is great, talking about the pandemonium of the gate-crashers & the crowd packed in to the point of hysteria. One commenter recalls, "There is an oft-repeated story of the Fire Marshall arriving to inspect the proceedings, fainting, and being carried away on a stretcher."
      And yet, the Dead took it in stride and calmed everyone down - the author notes, "The Dead must have seen things like that before, as it apparently bothered them little, if at all."

      Anyway - this is old news, but newspaper reports confirm that the New Riders opened at all three January '71 shows.
      I suspect that the number of 1971 shows the NRPS were NOT at could be counted on one hand...

  6. What about Vancouver Pacific Coliseum with Ian & Sylvia on the 23rd? That show never seems to be mentioned, perhaps it was cancelled. There's been a flyer for it on wolfgangs for years.

  7. Interesting, I hadn't seen that. I suspect WV just has the wrong date. There's no mention of 1/23 on the actual image, is there?

    1. True, there is no date or city mentioned but there is no known matching Pacific Coliseum Saturday show. Deadlists has a cancelled 1968-11-16 Saturday show with the Dead, Loading Zone, Little Dion and Chuck Berry and there is the 1967-7-30 Saturday PNE Garden Auditorium Trips Festival neither of which match the flyer. The given date fits a spare Saturday when the Dead were in the area and they played with Ian and Sylvia the following night so I think it is correctly dated. That's not to say the show actually happened of course.

    2. Here are the contemporary sources I have around 1/24/71.

      ad: Seattle Times, December 20, 1970, p. E1;
      announcement: "Grateful Dead in Sunday Show," Seattle Times, January 21, 1971, p. D2;

      I searched the Seattle papers a few years ago, and no mention of 1/23/71. So, whatever WV has and whatever the logic of a Saturday show, the dog's non-barking leads me to conclude that it never happened. My hunch is that it's just an error at WV.

  8. I think that another matter worth addressing is Deadbase's statement of 1/21/71: "Without Mickey Hart." On, in the "Shows and Lyrics" section, it also says "Without Mickey Hart." (this information is actually right from Deadbase as well). However, I believe that Mickey Hart was present. I think I see him in one of the photos that the university newspaper (The Aggie) printed. Also, I think I have read one article about the concert, and they mention that he was there.

  9. That's the kind of thing that I can't hear, and I am not confident I know one way or another. But that is interesting.

  10. Oh, he was there. He was mentioned in a newspaper review, and can be heard in the tape of the show. This is one instance where deadbase's info was wrong (though their setlist was right).

  11. Funny, I was looking at Jan 1971 archives and in the Jan 30, 1971 LA Times, there is a review of Ian and Sylvia from 1-28 at the Bitter End West where they play "the Grateful Dead's 'Last Lonely Eagle" (sic) backed by David Wilcox on guitar with no mention of Buddy Cage


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