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Friday, September 28, 2012

Underground Hofbrau, 1029 El Camino Real , Menlo Park, CA

The Underground was a coffee house/pizza parlor on El Camino Real in Menlo Park. It was a block north of the original location of Kepler's and two doors north of the old Discount Records. (Michael Parrish)

In April 1969, while on tour in Colorado, Garcia bought a pedal steel guitar. Looking for an opportunity to play the instrument, he discovered that old Los Altos pal John Dawson was performing his own songs at a Hofbrau in Menlo Park called The Underground, somewhere on El Camino Real in Menlo Park. Another old South Bay friend, David Nelson, without a band at the time, joined in playing electric guitar.
Dawson, Nelson and Garcia would go on to found the New Riders of The Purple Sage, although they would not be known by that name until August. The trio played most Wednesday nights at The Underground, however starting May 7 (probably May 14, May 21 and June 4 also, and possibly June 18). Their last gig at The Underground was probably June 25. It is a little-remarked fact that the first gigs of both the future Grateful Dead and the future New Riders took place within walking distance of each other in downtown Menlo Park.
It is currently The Oak City Bar And Grill, but it's unknown whether the buildings have been remodeled or if The Underground was at the same place.(1)




Jerry performed here on
5/7/69 John Dawson
5/14/69 John Dawson
5/21/69 John Dawson
6/4/69 John Dawson
6/11/69 Bobby Ace And The Cards Off The Bottom Of The Deck
6/25/69 New Riders Of The Purple Sage





1.)^Arnold, Corry, The Grateful Dead and Menlo Park, 2010-02-06, Lost Live Dead, http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2010/02/grateful-dead-and-menlo-park.html
2.)^Dawson, John "Marmaduke", The Early days Of The New Riders, http://www.nrpsmusic.com/band/earlydays.html

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