The gig was in Santa Barbara. Like another one a mere four months later (5/29/69), it took place in Robertson Gymnasium (“Rob Gym” for those who pick up games there), on the stunning campus of U.C. Santa Barbara (UCSB). [update: I see that dead.net already knew this.] Must have been a ‘head or two on the Program Council that year, though, as I'll note, looks like only the latter was fully campus-sponsored.
Background: Grateful Dead in Santa Barbara
4/29/67 Earl Warren Showgrounds Santa Barbara CA
1/17/69 Unknown Venue Santa Barbara CA
5/29/69 Robertson Gym - University Of California Santa Barbara CA
5/20/73 Campus Stadium - University Of California Santa Barbara CA
5/25/74 Campus Stadium - University Of California Santa Barbara CA
2/27/77 Robertson Gym - University Of California Santa Barbara CA
1/13/78 Arlington Theatre Santa Barbara CA
6/4/78 Campus Stadium - University Of California Santa Barbara CA
There are some interesting Jerry engagements in lovely old Santa Barbara, too, but I will break form and ignore them for now.
Ads and Such
With a little slaving over a hot microfilm reader, I found the following:
! ad: El Gaucho, January 16, 1969, p. 3;
! caption: El Gaucho, January 17, 1969, p. 1;
! ad: El Gaucho, January 17, 1969, p. 3;
! listing: El Gaucho, January 17, 1969, p. 5.
Here’s the day-of-show ad:
"Kappa Sigma presents In Concert Santana Blues Band / Grateful Dead / Travel Agency, lights by Dry Paint, January 17 , 8:30 PM, Robertson Gym (Bring Your Own Pillow)"Brief Analysis
Thank you, El Gaucho!
The ad reinforces the lost-from-memory feel of the gig, a bit of an in-your-face guerilla exercise with Kappa Sigma. The Santana Blues Band and its successors are well documented, and this show is not listed at the canonical Santanamigos site. If I were an objective observer, I would say SBB headlines over the Dead as a matter of presentation, which is pretty amazing given how early in Santana's run this occurred. It's useful to remember just how Spanish Santa Barbara is, perhaps - maybe Santana would bring the vaqueros' kids in from the high school.
El Gaucho advertises what's going to go down in technicolor glory, even through bad microfilm in black and white. In the sweet spot, top-left of the front page, soak in the picture of a bunch of crazed Deadfolk in various degrees of sprawling on the steps of 710 Ashbury, over caption beginning “DROPPING IN ROBERTSON GYM”, (caps original), and a–wink-wink and a-nudge-nudge.
|Bring Your own Pillow|
Perhaps it’s no surprise that the show seems to have fallen somewhat out of memory – many may not have imprinted for very long in situ, more the decaying trails of an up-close camera flash.
Listening to the Dead tape now and it's pretty bad. Pigpen is lost in Lovelight, even Dark Star > Steven > Eleven leave me totally flat. Death Don't is good, TIFTOO is fine but uneventful, and a *very* tentative Cosmic Charlie closes things out. The show is way below average for the period, for sure. It sounds like a good crowd which cheers a lot for the Lovelight (maybe the sound was bad), but eventually The Man drops in and shut things down, and young Mr. Weir puts a point on things:
They say that's all there is, so I guess that's all there is.And goodnight to you, too.