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Friday, August 08, 2014

Context: May 1976 BAM listings

More color.

May 21, 1976, Garcia Band plays Orpheum in San Francisco, while Garcia's erstwhile bandmate, Merl, is stuck playing Fonzie's in San Jose, the latter mostly still orchards and low riders rather than silicon and Teslas. And other fun stuff.

Oh, and it looks like Mingus didn't play Keystone Korner in May '76. I suspect that tape I have labeled as May is actually from the previously mentioned run in April.


  1. For anyone interested in the nuts and bolts of the history of Bay Area rock in the 70s, these BAM listings (in this post and the one before) are invaluable. Of course, almost no one is interested in this esoteric subject. Suffice to say, since BAM was free and had just begun publication (I think only a few months before this), numerous clubs had their listings published even though they could not or would not pay for advertising in better known publications. Thus we see the addresses and bookings of long gone clubs that have escaped our notice.

    From a Grateful Dead perspective, two listings stand out from the May '76 BAM calendar:

    On May 12-13, 1976 at the Shady Grove Cafe (at 1538 Haight in San Francisco), the featured act is the Jack Bonus Quartet. Back in the 60s, Jack Bonus had been a semi-member of Earth Opera, with David Grisman and Peter Rowan. In 1973, Bonus had released a solo album on Grunt Records. Jack Bonus is best known amongst Deadheads for having written "Hobo Song," recorded by Old And In The Way.

    Jack Bonus had a variety of personal and health problems, and I did not realize he was actually able to be booked at clubs. I suspect these shows were not a success, because he didn't seem to have played any other shows, but the fact that Jack Bonus was booked at all is fascinating. I wonder who was in his band?

    On May 20-21, 1976, at the Freight And Salvage (at 1827 San Pablo in Berkeley)Lawrence Hammond And The Whiplash Band were the featured act. Hammond had been in the legendary 60s psychedelic band Mad River. By the early 70s, Hammond had migrated over to a country-rock style, some years ahead of it being really lucrative.

    The significance to Deadheads, however, is that the 1976 iteration of Lawrence Hammond's Whiplash Band included lead guitarist Jeff Parber. Parber, a fine guitarist much appreciated by other musicians, became very ill in 1979 and died in 1991. In 1996, it turned out that Jeff Parber was Bob Weir's younger half brother.

  2. Another Jack Bonus sighting: May 23-25, 1972, In Your Ear, 135 University, Palo Alto. listing: Night Times, May 17-30, 1972, p. 6.

  3. And another, June 15-17, 1972 at North Beach Revival, opening for Charley [sic?] Daniels.

    BTW, is that Charlie Daniels who was around the Bay Area at this time the same guy who'd become famous?


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