June 19, 2018

1967 Mystery Show Photos

Compiling the list of 1967 shows, I came across photos of several shows that are unknown and undated. I thought I'd post the photos here, in case any readers have clues about the dates!

The first show - in the Panhandle, April or May 1967:

We can generally narrow down a date range for a photo by the instruments the Dead are playing, which changed from month to month. This show was played sometime between 4/9/67 and 5/29/67. The Dead might have played in the park any number of times that spring, but one tempting date is 5/14/67, when Jefferson Airplane are known to have played in the Panhandle with "others" (perhaps the Charlatans) - and photos show the Airplane's truck parked close to the same spot:

The Dead photo may well be from a different day, though.


The second show - in the Spreckels Bandshell, Golden Gate Park, summer 1967:

This distant photo doesn't help with even an approximate date, except for the season, but the "Jazz Rock Concert" was clearly a scheduled event, likely with other bands playing as well. The San Francisco Examiner probably had a listing for the concert which can be found - although the Dead may have substituted for a different band.


The third show - somewhere in August/September 1967:

This photo was published in the Taping Compendium, labeled only "Paloma, California, circa 1967." The photographer was Don Snyder (who published a similar shot in his 1979 book Aquarian Odyssey).
There is no chance the Dead ever played in the town of Paloma, though if the label's right, it's possible they might have played in some venue or area called "Paloma" or "La Paloma," of which there are many in California. Snyder was visiting the Bay Area from New York and didn't necessarily keep a good record of where he took his photos; but he definitely photographed Chocolate George's wake in Golden Gate Park on 8/28/67, so this show is thought to be near that date.
If it's not from an unknown show, it could possibly be from one of the Lake Tahoe shows the previous weekend, or from Rio Nido the next weekend. I'm uncertain how far outside San Francisco Snyder would have traveled, though.


The fourth show - in Golden Gate Park, June or July 1967. This was a large event with many photographers present:

Considering the size of the crowd, other bands probably played as well. Jack and Jorma from Jefferson Airplane were there, though I don't know of any photos of the Airplane playing:

There was at least one mystery player who appeared on stage before the Dead:

These photos were formerly thought to come from the 6/21/67 Summer Solstice festival in the park, until film of the Dead's actual 6/21/67 performance appeared. So this show was played sometime between then and the brief Northwest tour in mid-July. No Golden Gate Park appearance is known in that time range, though it's surprising that an event this size never appeared on any Dead show lists. (Whenever some of these photos are posted online, they're generally labeled as the January Be-In, which is not the case.) My speculation is that this was some forgotten Fourth of July celebration in the park.

If anyone knows what dates these shows might be from, please comment!


  1. All this is even more tricky involving the stories and pictures of 67-06-21: 1 – it's always told there were 2 revolving stages/truck stages in GoldenGatePark ... yes, pics show truck stages in GGP 2 – but what about the famous Charlatans pic w/ the SummerOfLove banner ? that is in the Panhandle ... is it also 67-06-21 ? ... could this be the "second stage" or even a third ? 3 – another pic of the Airplane at the Panhandle shows part of the exact SummerOfLove banner behind Dryden, so very likely these Airplane pics are 67-06-21

    1. It's a tricky question!

      1) That Charlatans photo is generally dated 6/21/67, but on no evidence I know of, except for that banner. (And the "Council for a Summer of Love" had been formed clear back in April.)
      2) Assuming that banner was only displayed at one show, that would mean it was a single Charlatans/Airplane show in the Panhandle. But that wouldn't explain why they were playing there that day when all the other bands were over on Speedway Meadows.
      3) Two later witnesses say they saw Jefferson Airplane playing in Golden Gate Park that day (along with Big Brother). But they may be unreliable - this isn't verified by contemporary sources (news stories or films), which is an odd omission, considering the Airplane was the most famous band in town.

      It's perilous trying to piece together these ancient events from incomplete sources and a few undated photos - but hopefully one good source or witness will turn up!

  2. I have 41 pics from that day. Would be a shame to have them sit here with the wrong date on them the whole time. Hopefully someone will come forth with some reliable info as to which day it actually was.