Saturday, July 21, 2012

Boston Tea Party (The Ark), 15 Lansdowne Street, Boston, MA

Entrance signage

Capacity 2425

Built by the congregation of abolitionist and Unitarian preacher Theodore Parker, the four-story Second Empire structure on Appleton (Berkeley) Street opened as a meeting house in 1872.
By 1886, the building was being used for community social work after it was taken over by the Benevolent Fraternity of Unitarian Churches. Above the original entry on Berkeley Street, a huge window depicts the Star of David, leading to erroneous assumptions the building was once a synagogue.
By the time the lease on the Berkeley Street building passed from Mel Lyman's hands to recent Harvard Law School graduate Ray Riepen in late 1966, the building had become The Moon Dial, a venue for underground films, which then morphed into Filmmakers Cinematheque and attracted an audience and budding filmmakers from Boston University and M.I.T.

"People such as Ray Riepen, a corporate lawyer who handled civil trials for the Kansas City attorney's office went to Harvard Law School and became the first underground mogul as the owner of a club the Boston Tea Party, originator of the FM rock station WBCN-FM, and publisher of the alternative weekly The Phoenix who later lost it all and went back to Kansas to practice law and presiding as a circuit court judge..." from a review of Mansion on the Hill.

In late ‘66 the building became home to the Filmmakers Cinematheque, which showed “underground” movies by Andy Warhol, among others.

To support the film programs, it was decided to hold a series of weekend “dance concerts” like those then happening at the Fillmore and Avalon ballrooms in San Francisco.(3)  It began as the project of a group of local underground film-makers, titled Films Cinematheque, who felt that they needed a psychedelic salon. They were in it mainly for the good times, and they chose an abandoned temple at 53 Berkeley St. for their room. An M.I.T.-based mechanical wizard named David Hahn contrived the light show, which was run from a secondhand Univac which he had picked up for five dollars.

The address 53 Berkeley Street (at the corner of Appleton Street in the South End) was the original home of the Tea Party.

It was on January 20, 1967 that The Boston Tea Party first opened its doors in a building constructed in 1872 as a Unitarian meeting house at 53 Berkeley Street. The land it stands on was donated to the Unitarians by wealthy Boston merchant John Gardner, whose son Jack married famed socialite Isabella Stewart. Her Italian palazzo-style home later became one of Boston’s most renowned and revered museums.
On the first night, says Don Law, 400 friends showed up, but the amazing thing was that 300 paying customers showed up as well. In the early days, Law recalls, the audience was an incredibly strange mixture. You'd have four nuns in the balcony, a couple of Harvard professors around for a look, 14 girls from Dorchester and a guy from M.I.T. It was basically the scene for the Cambridge aristocracy. Somewhat awed by the proportions of the former temple and the newness of it all, the teeny-bopper element stayed away. Although it booked very few good acts and ran on a shoestring, The Tea Party flourished under the imaginative direction of its owner, Ray Riepen. Financial success lasted precisely as long as the novelty did.(5) 
The show on the opening weekend and the next one featured The Lost. In that group, his first band, was Willie “Loco” Alexander, who later became a mainstay of Boston’s punk scene. Then came the Tea Party debut of The Hallucinations, whose frontman Peter Wolf went on to hit records and the cover of Rolling Stone with The J. Geils Band. Soon the film showings ended, and the Tea Party began presenting acts from out of town. The Velvet Underground first came up from New York City in May ‘67, and because they didn’t perform in New York again for the next three years, the Tea Party in effect became their home club.
It also became a favored destination for many top rock and blues artists, and a must-play venue for bands on their first U.S. tour.

This is from The Tech, an MIT student newspaper from 1967.........
Appearing Saturday and Sunday nights at The Boston Tea Party are the Chambers Brothers, currently on the pop record charts with their song "All Strung Out." Well known around Boston, they are famous for their blending of pop, gospel, and blues. Also started last month and continuing at 53 Berkeley in Boston is the local branch of Film Maker's Cinematheque and the Boston Tea Party with experimental lighting and electronics by an MIT graduate. With the establishment of the Cinematheque, Boston has become one of the best cities in the country for experimental film and the small colony of Underground film-makers is growing rapidly. Stop in Tuesday to Thursday evenings. Their program usually features the works of individual film-makers who frequently are in attendance to discuss their work; January, Harry Smith and Gregory Markopoulos made the trip to Boston. Of course, our own Film Society is very active and Stan Brakhage will be at the Institute sometime in April. Weekends the Cinematheque literally and figuratively sheds its skin to become the Tea Party. Boston's first environmental light show and dance perhaps more accurately described as light show and crush..(5)

The original Jeff Beck Group, featuring then-unknown Rod Stewart and future-Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood, played here in June ‘68.

B.B. King made his first appearance before a white Boston audience at the Tea Party in April ‘68 after years of performing at black clubs in town.(5)

Led Zeppelin debuted in January ‘69. (3)

The Tea Party location on Berkeley Street may have closed on June 28, 1969 when Chicago Transit Authority and Alice Cooper played there (as listed on the June 1969 Tea Party calendar).(5)

In July ‘69 the club relocated to a larger space at 15 Lansdowne Street, where The Ark was about to close. Throughout its existence the Tea Party showcased and inspired local musicians, and was a major catalyst for the rock scene in Boston.(3) Fenway Park is just across the street.

Over the years, the building at 15 Lansdowne Street has served many different purposes. At the turn of the century, retailer Eban Jordan, of Jordan Marsh and founder of The Boston Globe, built 13-15 Lansdowne Street to house his delivery horses, carriages and trucks.

In 1969, 15 Lansdowne Street entered the entertainment arena as a psychedelic club called The Ark. (2)
The ill-fated Ark opened and closed within 17 weeks, losing about $400,000. The Ark tried to create a tame, elegant aura of psychedelia and sell it to the tie-and-jacket crowd. Its owners created a second - rate version of New York's Electric Circus. They were three- and-a-half years behind the time in a business where, if you're four months late, you're dead,.... says Law.
   ....The Ark, people said, Look at that dump on Berkeley street, there's no reason why it should be succeeding, says Law. They were right, it was a dump, but it had a following. ....Of course, we tried to help them every way we could, he says, beaming mischievously. We told them, yes, environments were really where it was at, and yes, we were amazed at how quickly they had grasped the obvious..... But the Ark sank even before it opened. Its owners had been hustled... into believing that computerized art had a brilliant future, and they had invested thousands in a virtual IBM complex to run a mediocre light-show. They left no financial reserves with which to pay for talented acts. Within weeks they faced their desperate financial situation and sold out to the Tea Party. Thus the Tea Party now sits in the Ark's old headquarters on Lansdowne Street. The full-time staff has shrunk from the Ark's magnificent maximum of 45 to a bare minimum of three.(5)

Soon after, the legendary Boston Tea Party, managed by Don Law, moved into the 15 Lansdowne Street address. Both the Tea Party and its predecessor The Ark played host to many of rocks most celebrated acts such as Bob Dylan, The Who, Led Zeppelin and The Grateful Dead. Don Law would later become one of Americas premiere concert promoters.

“The two shows I remember where I just sat with my mouth open was that Yardbirds show [in Connecticut which his first band Chain Reaction opened for] and Led Zeppelin at the Boston Tea Party in 1969.”
--- Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith, article in Rolling Stone, 4/21/05

John Paul Jones recalls the show:
   As far as I'm concerned, the key Led Zeppelin gig - the one that put everything into focus ... was one that we played on our first American tour at The Boston Tea Party. We'd played our usual one-hour set, using all the material from our first album and Page's White Summer' guitar piece and, by the end, the audience just wouldn't let us off the stage.
   It was in such a state that we had to start throwing ideas around ... just thinking of songs that we all might know or some of us knew a part of, and work it from there. So we'' go back on and play things like I Saw her Standing There' and Please Please Me' ... old Beatles favorites. I mean, just anything that would come into our head, and the response was quite amazing.
   There were kids actually banging their heads against the stage .... I've never seen that at a gig before or since, and when we finally left the stage we'd played for four and a half hours. Peter (Peter Grant ... Zep's manager) was absolutely ecstatic. He was crying and hugging us all. You know with this huge grizzly bear hug. I suppose it was then that we realized just what Led Zeppelin was going to become.....(5)

“Most people don’t know this but Fleetwood Mac back in its original form was a kick-ass blues rock band! Joe (Perry, lead guitarist) and I were insane about them when we were teenagers in the ‘60s. We went to see them at least 2 or 3 times at this place called The Boston Tea Party, which is this legendary cathedral of the hippy era. It was a local psychedelic trippy San Francisco kinda club which was really happening at the time.”
--- Tom Hamilton, bassist for Aerosmith, interview on, 11/06/0(3) 

The handbill for the 7/14 through 7/16/69 concerts featuring Procol Harum & Blodwyn Pig list the venue as 15 Lansdowne Street (behind the centerfield bleachers of Fenway Park), where the Tea Party had moved in July 1969. According to a Tea Party gig listing, Larry Coryell played the Tea Party on 7/12/69, the the only show played in-between the 6/28/69 & 7/14/69 shows. I have not seen a poster for this gig, so I am not sure where it was performed, but it was more than likely played at the 15 Lansdowne location.
From the street you went up some steps to the double front door, then went up two flights of wooden stairs to the level where the Tea Party was. There was no ground floor lobby. Inside, there was a high arch over the stage which was still emblazoned with the words "Praise Ye The Lord."
The accompanying light show covered the walls with the colorful and fluid shapes of immiscable colored oils between sheets of transparent materials on overhead projectors pulsating to the beat, along with film clips of trains rushing at you and for Zep the Hindenburg disaster. Some nights there would be light shows on three walls.
Upstairs they had a black light room where your white clothes would glow. The balcony had seats and offered a great view. At some point downstairs in front of the stage they added rows of theatre seats (old) because at this point we stopped dancing and listening became more important. 

The rise of the disco era saw ownership of the space change hands once again.
A young Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager with their partner Jon Addison bought the building and converted it into a glamorous discotheque aptly named 15 Lansdowne. A few years later they sold out to Addison and went back to New York City and opened the infamous Studio 54 and later Morgan's Hotel, which would start the boutique hotel revolution. 
Meanwhile, Addison hired a young hotshot, Patrick Lyons, to manage the venue now renamed Boston, Boston.
In 1980, he and a group of investors bought the property. The building was converted into condominiums in 1982. The performance area was actually converted into two floors. There was also a 7-11 convenience store at the street level. Eventually the rest of the Lansdowne Street clubs. Boston, Boston became Metro and after installing the domed roof in 1988, Citi.

The building at 15 Lansdowne Street has been called Avalon since 1992. Avalon underwent a major multimillion-dollar renovation in 1999. The new Avalon included an additional 7,000 square feet of space created by annexing the Mama Kin Music Hall, a 600-person club, which was located next door.(2)

The mastermind behind the Boston Tea Party club was Ray Riepen. Riepen is a legendary character . Besides the Tea Party he started WBCN and The Phoenix. He had vision and smarts. His story can be found in the book Mansion on the Hill by Fred Goodman which covers the rise of the counter culture business man.
Ray Riepen

From "Ken Melville"
04-19-2011, 12:09 am
At the Ark we (Fire & Ice) opened for Mike Bloomfield and the Super Sessions Band--I think it was Buddy Miles, Billy Cox and somebody other than Al Kooper on organ. Also on the bill was Otis Spann but he showed up with no piano, so he had to use ours--Don Grolnick's. A Wurlitzer A200. Spann was totally hammered as usual and promptly pounded so hard on the keys be blew out my Fender Twin Reverb's speakers. We got paid about $15 apiece for the gig so I couldn't afford to replace them. But at least we had a great jam at the end of the night with me and Mike fronting Otis (who by now was playing through the PA via miking the tiny A200's speaker) and the SS boys. I liked the Ark, big, huge high ceiling, and a little sense of design to it (had some huge Christo-like curtain on part of it)(, as opposed to the Tea Party's raw untouched original church space.

From "Dick Carter"
09-21-2011, 04:06 pm
Actually, the piano was mine, an old Wurlitzer, although it was of course Don Grolnick that played it (I played sax) and Otis broke the piano too. We didn't open for the other band ("The American Flag", with Bloomfield, Miles, Spann, and a horn section, including I think David Sanborn) they had just played a gig in a stadium, and felt like playing some more, and walked into the club and asked if they could sit in. And of course they took over the stage. The $15 sounds about right. Mike was found dead in his car, of an overdose, I think, some months after that night. The place was previously called "The Garage", (it used to be a garage, that had been turned into a rock club) and still had an old car hanging from the high ceiling). It was also used for boxing matches, and the stage we played on was also the boxing ring. The year was 68 or 69, I think. 

Performance List

1/20, 21 Fri-Sat The Lost
1/27, 28 Fri-Sat The Lost
3 +4 Fri-Sat The Lost

3 +4 Fri-Sat The Lost / Catharsis
17+18 Fri-Sat Beacon Street Union / Hallucinations
24+25 Fri-Sat The Cloud / Bagatelle

3-4 Fri-Sat Hallicunations/Edens Children/Bagatelle
10+11Fri-Sat Lothar & the Hand People/Orphans
17+18 Fri-Sat Lothar & the Hand People/The Hallucinations
24-25 Fri-Sat The Bagatelle/The Growth

14-15 Fri-Sat Lothar & the Hand People / Front Page
21-22 Fri-Sat Lothar & the Hand People / Hallucinations
28-29 Fri-Sat David Blue and the American Patrol / Ill Wind

5+6 Fri-Sat Orphans / David Blue and The American Patrol
12-13 Fri-Sat The Lords and Ladies / The Orleans
19+20 Fri-Sat Beacon Street Union / Children of Paradise
26-27 Fri-Sat Andy Warhol's Velvet Underground / Ferris Wheel

2+3 Fri-Sat Hallucinations/Jeremy Steig
9+10 Fri-Sat Andy Warhol's Velvet Underground/Beacon St Union
16+17 Fri-Sat Ill Wind / Hallucinations
23+24 Fri-Sat The Grass Menagerie/ The Beacon Street Union
30 Fri Lothar & the Hand People/The Shakers

1 Sat Lothar & the Hand People/The Shakers
7+8 Fri-Sat The Ragamuffins/The Street Choir
14+15 Fri-Sat The Peanut Butter Conspiracy/90th Congress
21+22 Fri-Sat The Free Spirit/The Shakers
28+29 Fri-Sat The Paupers/Bagatelle

4+5 Fri-Sat Peanut Butter Conspiracy/Bagatelle
18+19 Fri-Sat Hallucinations/The Ultimate Spinach
25+26 Fri-Sat Country Joe and the Fish

1+2 Fri-Sat Catharsis/The Mushroom
8+9 Fri-Sat Canned Heat/90th Congress
15+16 Fri-Sat Wildflower/The Bagatelle
22+23 Fri-Sat The Mushroom/The Hallucinations
29+30 Fri-Sat Children of Paradise/Beacon Street Union

6+7 Fri-Sat Canned Heat/Ultimate Spinach
13+14 Fri-Sat The Luvs/The Grass Menagerie
20+21 Fri-Sat Phluph/The Cloud
27+28 Fri-Sat Sidewinders/Bagatelle/Hallucinations

3+4 Fri-Sat The Bagatelle/The Mandrake Memorial
17+18 Fri-Sat Butter/Bo Grumpus/Salvation
24+25 Fri-Sat The Ultimate Spinach/The Baul Singers & Dancers of Bengal

1+2 Fri-Sat Kaleidoscope/ The Chain Reaction
8+9 Fri-Sat Clear Light/The Street Choir
15+16 Fri-Sat Richie Havens/The Bagatelle
22+23 Fri-Sat Lothar & The Hand People/Beacon Street Union
29+30 Fri-Sat The Hallucinations/Children of God

5+6 Fri-Sat The Cloud/Ill Wind
12+13 Fri-Sat Ultimate Spinach/The Colt Brothers/Conception
19 Fri Festival of the Boston Sound
Beacon St Union/Butter/Hallucinations
20 Sat Festival of the Boston Sound
Bagatelle/Jessie's First Carnival
26+27 Fri-Sat Tim Buckley/Nazz

2+3 Fri-Sat H.P. Lovecraft/ Butter
9+10 Fri-Sat Eric Andersen/ The Grass Menagerie
16+17 Fri-Sat The Bagatelle/The Apple Pie Motherhood Band
23+24 Fri-Sat The Peanut Butter Conspiracy/PPMWW

1 FriThe Chambers Brothers/South End Hate Band
2 SatThe Chambers Brothers/Hallucinations
8+9 Fri-Sat J. Geils Blues Band/Canned Heat
15-16 Fri-Sat The Beacon Street Union/The Hallucinations
22+23 Fri-Sat Velvet Underground/United States of America
29+30 Fri-Sat Ultimate Spinach/Butter

4 Thurs Muddy Waters w/Otis Spahn/The Hallucinations
5+6 Fri-Sat Amboy Dukes/The Tangerine Zoo
11 Thurs Yardbirds/Steve Miller Band
12 Fri Yardbirds/Steve Miller Band/Cloud/Earth Opera
13 Sat Yardbirds/Steve Miller Band/Earth Opera
18 Thurs B.B.King/Cloud
19+20 Fri-Sat Siegal Schwall Band/J Geils
25 Thurs Procol Harum/ The Hallucinations
26 Fri Howling Wolf/The Beacon St Union / The Hallucination
27 Sat Howling Wolf/The Beacon St Union

2 Thurs Traffic / Butter
3+4 Fri-Sat Butter / Clear Light/Tim Rose
9-11 Thurs-Sat Blue Cheer / Quill / Bagatelle / The Hallucinations
16 Thurs Velvet Underground / Hallucinations
17+18 Fri-Sat Velvet Underground / Bo Grumpus
23-25 Thur-Sat John Lee Hooker / Hallucinations/Quill
30+31Thurs-Fri Van Morrison Controversy / Ill Wind

1 Sat Van Morrison Controversy / Ill Wind
6-8 Thur-Sat The Cloud / Group Image
13-15 Thur-Sat Quicksilver Messenger Service / Hallucinations
19-22 Wed-Sat The Bagatelle / J.Geils Blues Band

4-6 Thur-Sat The Ultimate Spinach / Listening
18-20 Thur-Sat Lothar & the Hand People / The Hallucinations
25-27 Thur-Sat Beacon Street Union / The Cloud

1-3 Thur-Sat The Nazz / Kaleidoscope
8-11 Thur-Sat Staple Singers / Bo Grumpus w/Felix Pappalardi
15-17 Thur-Sat Eden's Children / The Velvet Underground
22-24 Thur-Sat Apple Pie Motherhood Band / Wind in the Willows
29-31 Thur-Sat Albert King / Jeremy Steig & the Satyrs

5-7 Thur-Sat Ars Nova / Ford Theatre
12-14 Thur-Sat Buddy Guy / Quill
20-21 Fri-Sat Eden's Children / J Geils Quintet
27-28 Fri-Sat The Velvet Underground / Fire and Ice

3-5 Thur-Sat Rhinoceros / Quill
10-12 Thur-Sat Ten Years After / The Listening
17-19 Thur-Sat John Mayall & the Blues Breakers/ Bones
22-23-24 Tue-Thur Jeff Beck / Kensingtom Market/Earth Opera
25-26 Fri-Sat Headstone Circus / Far Cry
31 Thurs James Cotton Blues Band / SRC

1+2 Fri-Sat James Cotton Blues Band / SRC
7-9 Thur-Sat Terry Reid / The McCoys
14-16 Thur-Sat Buddy Miles Express / Dino Valente
21-23 Thur-SatJ. Giles Blues Band / Listening
29+30 Fri-Sat Lothar and the Hand People / The Cloud

5-7 Thur-Sat Pacific Gas and Electric / The Quill
12-14 Thur-SatThe Velvet Underground / MC5
19-21 Thur-Sat Fleetwood Mac / Ill Wind
26-28 Thur-SatCharles Musselwhite Blues Band / The Listening

2-4 Thur-Sat B.B. King / Fire and Ice
9-11 Thur-Sat The Velvet Underground / Holy Modal Rounders
16-18 Thur-Sat Mother Earth / The Insect Trust
22 Wed The Velvet Underground The Tea Party Birthday Party� Free Admission.
23-25 Thur-Sat Led Zeppelin / The Raven
30-31 Thurs-Fri Savoy Brown Blues Band / J. Geils Blues Band

1 Sat Savoy Brown Blues Band / J. Geils Blues Band
6-8 Thur-Sat Lothar and the Hand People / The Raven
13-15 Thur-Sat Jethro Tull / Silver Apples
20-23 Thur-Sat The Byrds / The Flying Burrito Brothers
27-28 Thurs-FriBuddy Guy/ Woody's Truck Stop

1 Sat Buddy Guy / Woody's Truck Stop
6-8 Thur-Sat Chicago /J.Geils Blues Band
13-15 Thur-Sat The Velvet Underground / Wilkinson's Tricycle
16 Sun Barry and the Remains / The Lost
20-22 Thur-Sat The Nice / The Raven
27-29 Thur-Sat Rhinceros / Aynsley Dunbar

3-6 Thur-Sat Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & Trinity/SRC
11-13 Fri-Sun Family/Sweetwater
18-20 Fri-Sun Albert King/Big Mama Thornton
Posters after this have the Landsdown Street address.  
6-8 Thur-Sat Jeff Beck Group w/Rod Stewart/ The Nice
9-11 Thur-Sat Poco/Family
13-15 Thur-Sat The Who / Roland Kirk
16-17 Sun-Mon Joe Cocker Grease Band / Roland Kirk
22-23 Thur-Sat Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band / It's a Beautiful Day
27-29 Thur-Sat Led Zeppelin / Zephyr
30-31 Sun-Mon Velvet Underground / Allman Brothers Band

5-7 Thur-Sat Delaney, Bonnie and Friends (Eric Clapton) / Serfs
12-14 Thur-Sat Johnny Winter/ The Raven
19-21 Thur-Sat Dr John the Night Tripper/Allman Brothers
23-24 Mon-Tue Savoy Brown Band/Crazy World of Arthur Brown
26-28 Thur-Sat Chicago Transit Authority/Alice Cooper

11 - Fri Velvet Underground
12 - Sat Larry Coryell/Country Funk/The Quill
14-16 Mon-Wed Procol Harum/Bloodwyn Pig
23-25 Wed-Fri Jethro Tull/The Free
26 Sat Tom Rush/Terry Reid/ The Free
31-Aug 2 Thur-Sat Ten Years After/Magic Terry & the Universe

5-7 Tue-Thur B.B. King/Teagarden and VanWinkle
8+9 Fri-Sat Mother Earth/Teagarden and VanWinkle
14-16 Thur-Sat The Velvet Underground/The Serfs/Country Funk
21-23 Thur-Sat Savoy Brown Blues Band/Santana Blues Band
28-30 Thur-Sat Spooky Tooth/The Flock

4-6 Thur-Sat Raven/Tyrannosaurus Rex/Don Cooper
9-11 Tue-Thur Ten Years After/ The Stooges
12+13 Fri-Sat Ricky Nelson/The Coasters/NRBQ
18-20 Thur-Sat Chuck Berry/Bo Diddley/Mountain
25-27 Thur-Sat J Geils Band/ Lonnie Mack/ The Move
30 Tue Mandrake Memorial/Apaloosa/Dirty John's Hot Dog

2-4 Thur-Sat Grateful Dead/Bonzo Dog Band
7 Tue Mocha Chip/Ascension/Boswell
9-11 Thur-Sat Spirit/Elvin Bishop Group/ Sha-Na-Na
16-18 Thur-Sat Steve Miller Band/ Liverpool Scene
23-25 Thur-Sat The Kinks/Lee Michaels/The Quill
30-Nov 1 Thur-Sat Super Session's Al Kooper/Aum/King Crimson

6-8 Thur-Sat Taj Mahal/Bloodyn Pig
11-12 Tue-Wed The WHO/Tony Williams
13-15 Thur-Sat Santana/ Grand Funk Railroad
20-22 Thur-Sat Mountain/Humble Pie/Eric Mercury
23 Sun The Incredible String Band
26-29 Wed-Sat Joe Cocker & Grease Band/Fleetwood Mac

4-6 Thur-Sat The Nice/Allman Brothers Band
8-9 Mon-Tue Jethro Tull
11-13 Thur-Sat Johnny Winter/Sons of Champlin/Ten Wheel Drive
19-21 Fri-Sun Sha-Na-Na/New York Rock and Roll Ensemble
26-28 Fri-Sun Fleetwood Mac/Tim Hardin
29-31 Mon-Wed The Grateful Dead

2-3 Fri-Sat Mountain/Blues Project/Dion DiMucci
8-10 Thur-Sat B.B. King/Cold Blood/J Geils Band
15-17 Thur-Sat James Cotton Blues Band/Kaleidoscope
22-24 Thur-Sat The Byrds/Doug Kershaw
29-31 Thur-Sat The Staple Singers/MC5/Rhinoceros

5-7 Thur-Sat Fleetwood Mac/The James Gang
8-9 Sun-Mon Delaney & Bonnie & Friends w/Eric Clapton
12-14 Thur-Sat The Kinks/Rensissance
19-21 Thur-Sat Spider John Koerner & Willie Murphy/E Mercury
22 Sun NRBQ/Livingston Taylor/The Proposition/Club Wow
26-28 Thur-Sat The Everly Brothers/Sha-Na-Na

1 Sun Neil Young & Crazy Horse/Country Funk
2-4 Mon-Wed Ten Years After/Redbone
5-7 Thur-Sat MC5/Family/Stone the Crow
12-14 Thur-Sat Mother Earth/Argent/Mocha Chip
15 Sun Santana
19-21 Thur-Sat Youngbloods/Livingston Taylor/Seals & Croft
26-28 Thur-Sat Lee Michaels/Rod Stewart & Faces/Zephyr

2-4 Thur-Sat Mountain/Ronnie Hawkins
9-11 Thur-Sat Quicksilver Messenger Service/Sugar Creek/Roxy
12 Sun Pink Floyd
16-18 Thur-Sat Van Morrison/Blodwyn Pig/Blues Image
19 Sun Pentangle/Livingston Taylor
23-25 Thur-Sat Manfred Mann/Cold Blood

3-4 Sun-Mon The Incredible String Band/The Stone Monkey
7-9 Thur-Sat Buddy Miles/NRBQ/Ambergris
10 Sun John Sebastian/Ramblin' Jack Elliot
14-16 Thur-Sat John Hammond/Seals & Croft/The Insect Trust
21-23 Thur-Sat Little Richard

7-8 Sun-Mon Traffic/Fairport Convention/Sugar Creek
15-17 Mon-Wed Ten Years After/Mott The Hoople
18-20 Thur-Sat Poco/The Brethren

11-13 Mon-Wed The Byrds/Colosseum

10-12 Thur-Sat Fleetwood Mac/Fairport Convention
13 Sun Miles Davis/Osmosis
8-10 Thur-Sat Mungo Jerry/Humble Pie/Spider John Koerner

Closed for good in December 1970.

The address 15 Lansdowne was a House Of Blues but since then the building's been demolished.

Jerry never performed at the original Boston Tea Party at 53 Berkeley.
Jerry did perform at 15 Lansdowne on
4/21/69 Grateful Dead (The Ark)
4/22/69 Grateful Dead (The Ark)
4/23/69 Grateful Dead (The Ark)
10/2/69 Grateful Dead and Tarot (Tom Constanten) (Boston Tea Party)
10/3/69 Grateful Dead and Tarot (Tom Constanten) (Boston Tea Party)
10/4/69 Grateful Dead and Tarot (Tom Constanten) (Boston Tea Party)
"I ... remember that between sets there was a mime/music improv that involved a mime (I do not know who he was) with Jerry, Mickey and TC doing improv music behind him. It was different, strange and weirdly engaging."(1) The mime was Rubber Duck (Joseph Lennon McCord).(6)

12/29/69 Grateful Dead (Boston Tea Party)
12/30/69 Grateful Dead (Boston Tea Party)
12/31/69 Grateful Dead (Boston Tea Party)
"There was the famous New Year’s Eve gig with the Dead when they served spiked acid punch. Jerry Garcia was a hoot to hang out with."(4)

1.)^Jerry Garcia's Middle Finger, 2012-01-29, comments
2.)^Sweeney, Emily, Boston Nightclub History: Lesson #1, 2007-09-12,
3.)^Music Museum of New England,
4.)^Guiliano, Charles, Hello Freeform Radio, Bye-Bye Boston Tea Party, 2011-04-18,
5.)^Lovell, Paul "Blowfish", The Boston Tea Party Club,
6.)^chsid, comments, 2010-05-03,


  1. My aunt met Jerry at the Boston Tea Party and was smoking a joint with him when she suddenly got ejected....for smoking a joint! (she always says that Jerry did nothing to save her from being ejected!).

  2. JW,
    Great little story that I'll add to The Encyclopedia Of Jerry Garcia Music Venues, to be published in 2015.

  3. I was at one of the April '69 shows with the Dead, when I was not quite 16 years old. When the Dead took a break after their first set, Jerry just sat on the right-hand edge of the stage and chilled. I went over to him and said, "Great show", and he replied in the high-pitched squeaky voice of his, "I think it's shitty", which took me a bit aback. I asked him about his guitar, being a player myself, and he said it was just an ordinary SG Standard. I took a large triangle-shaped pick from my pocket and offered to trade it for one of his. He took it and played a few short riffs on his (unamplified) guitar and handed it back to me, then showed me one of his. It was a regular-shaped pick, but was made out of thick clear plexiglass and said, "I get mine custom made from a guy in Frisco". He declined to trade.