Thursday, December 6, 2012

Veteran's Memorial Auditorium, 1351 Maple Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA

Capacity 1200

Just across Highway 12 from the Sonoma County Fairgrounds this building contains the Auditorium, dining room, Lodge room, North Room,Judge's Chamber, and Conference Room.

Jerry performed here on
6/17/66 Grateful Dead (Thunder Machine Production)
6/18/66 Grateful Dead (Thunder Machine Production)
6/27/69 Grateful Dead and Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
6/28/69 Grateful Dead
"The first night (June 27), after CGSB and Hot Tuna (Jorma, Jack, Joey) had played their sets, Mickey Hart had not yet arrived. It might seem that the Dead would be unconcerned, since Bill Kreutzmann can hold down the drum chair quite well on his own. For whatever reason, the Dead invited CGSB drummer Tom Ralston to sit in with the band until Hart arrived. Ralston was originally from Michigan (where he was in a band called The Renegades), had migrated to Berkeley and played with the group Sky Blue before joining CGSB, and he later played with Country Joe McDonald for some time.
Although an accomplished drummer, Ralston was quite surprised to be asked to sit in with the Dead with no preparation. Hart arrived after a few numbers, but it was a memorable night for the Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band. Since so many Dead tapes are accessible, you can decide for yourself what you think of Ralston’s drumming—he certainly doesn’t embarrass himself. No one precisely recalls when Hart arrived and stepped in, but it was certainly before “Dire Wolf” (the 8th song of the first set) which was later released on an archival cd."(1)

Grateful Dead, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, Joey Covington, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band.
Jerry Garcia played pedal steel guitar with CGSB during one of these shows, probably the first night. Kaukonen and Casady were not yet calling themselves Hot Tuna. On the first night, Mickey Hart had not arrived at the show on time, and Tom Ralston joined Bill Kreutzmann in drumming for the Dead for the first few numbers. One song from June 27, 1969 (“Dire Wolf”, with Bob Weir on lead vocals and Jerry Garcia on pedal steel) was even released by the Dead, on the 2003 CD re-release, but it is unclear if Ralston actually played on it. Since it appears to be the 8th number in the set, foggy memories suggest that Hart had arrived and retaken his drum chair by this time. At the time, Jerry Garcia had just purchased his pedal steel guitar and was just beginning to work with John “Marmaduke” Dawson and David Nelson on the band that would become the New Riders of The Purple Sage. During Grateful Dead sets, Garcia played pedal steel guitar on a few numbers with the Dead, but he was clearly looking for new opportunities to test his chops, and thus he offered to sit in.

Brian Voorheis doesn’t recall the precise set list, but he does remember the country styled songs they were playing, some of which Jerry would have sat in on:
Who Will Buy The Wine (from Skiffle album), A-11 (a Buck Owens tune about a jukebox selection that makes him cry ), How High's The Water, Mama? (a Johnny Cash classic sung by Gary), County Fair (a Gary Salzman original ),and I may have done Johnny Cash's There You Go - can't remember if I was doin it yet. There could also have been Gary's other originals, (It's Hard To Keep Your Head Above The) Waterline, and I Couldn't Marry Juana (Cause I Couldn't Get Her Out Of Mexico).



  1. The Trip A Go-Go handbill is actually for a show for the Vets Memorial Hall in Berkeley where the Grateful Dead performed on May 14, 1966 (with the Final Solution).

    The June 27, 1969 show also saw Casady, Kaukonen and Covington perform as well as the CGSB. Tom Ralston of the CGSB sat in with the Grateful Dead for a few number - in place of Mickey Hart.

    The June 28, 1969 show also saw Casady, Kaukonen and Covington perform as well as the CGSB. Jerry Garcia sat in with the CGSB.


  2. Hi Ross,
    I made the correction to 5/14/66. Thanks! Do you know if Jerry played with CGSB on June 27, 1969?

  3. Our understanding (from teh CGSB) is that he only sat in on June 28. Ross

  4. I saw the Jerry Garcia Band at the Santa Rosa Vets Building at least once in the late '80s…I should still have the ticket stub somewhere.. --T. Martin