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Saturday, September 03, 2016

Altamont Dreams

I have so little time for this hobby these days. I have fallen way behind on my reading, but I really look forward to reading Joel Selvin's Altamont, among other things.

With that in mind, I did want to put down this little tidbit I found in the Grateful Dead Archive at UCSC concerning the December 4-7, 1969 Dead shows at Fillmore West (1). I can't remember if there are additional pages of this in the folder, but there's a handwritten page which looks basically to be a handwritten (not sure by whom - Lenny? Rock?) contract addendum, probably drafted early December sometime.

Condition. In the event of a free concert, it is agreed that the members of the Grateful Dead and the members of Fillmore West families will participate in said concert and hereby forego the Saturday evening [12/6] performance at the Fillmore West. The Grateful Dead will forego $2,000 - and no comps for Saturday nite.

Condition. Because of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding this coming weekend and the presence of the Rolling Stones, Terry Reid parties -- also the homecoming of the Jeff Plane -- it is hereby requested that the promoter provide the Grateful Dead 75 more comps.

Request. That in the event of a free concert, the Grateful Dead and the Rolling Stones hereby request permission to use the premises of Fillmore West Saturday nite for a private, by invite only party -- the most memorable evening in San Francisco ballroom history!!

Ahhhh, what might have been!

(1) Grateful Dead Archive, Special Collections, UC Santa Cruz, ms 332 Series 2: Business, Box 2, Folder "Contracts - Fillmore West, December 4-7, 1969 - Production".


  1. "Terry Reid" parties: Terry Reid was a fantastic, underrated guitarist and singer. Jimmy Page had asked him to be in Led Zeppelin in late '68 and he said no, because he had a new record deal and a commitment to open for Cream on their farewell tour. So he suggested Robert Plante and the rest is history.

    Nonetheless, Reid opened for the Stones, and CBS must have been putting on a big promotional push for him.

  2. The Dead may have wanted these conditions, but the question is, did Bill Graham agree to any of them? Per McNally, he still expected the Dead to play their Fillmore West show that night....though that seems a little unrealistic!

    1. The Dead did not play FW on that Saturday night, and I doubt that The Flock or Humble Pie played. I think Jerry Shirley and certainly Peter Frampton (of The Pie) are around, I wonder if anyone ever asked them?

      I think Bill was being a realist--if Altamont happened, he'd have no headliner and the whole Bay Area would be out of town anyway. The band's fee would be reduced by $2000, but since the Dead wouldn't be getting free tickets for that night (the comps), they would end up having their payday reduced by slightly less than $2K.

      The normal arrangement would be something like--I am making up numbers for illustration's sake--$7500 for four nights, plus 25 free tickets each night at $4 each--so the band would get $7100 ($7500-(4 x 25 x $4)).


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