Monday, May 15, 2023

The Encyclopedia of Jerry Garcia Music Venues Kickstarter campaign is going LIVE! on June 3, 2023!

Just a quick heads up. I've been busy with The Encyclopedia of Jerry Garcia Music Venues.

Finally, after 14 years of research, the book is ready for a Kickstarter campaign. The link will go live 0n June 3, 2023. You check here and many other places for the link or send me your email address to and I'll send it to you. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Encyclopedia Of Jerry Garcia Music Venues UPDATE! Kickstarter going LIVE! on June 3, 2023.

Fourteen years ago I began writing The Encyclopedia Of Jerry Garcia Music Venues. It's the only book that combines all of Jerry's side band dates and the Grateful Dead's dates together by venue. 
Alphabetically by state, there are 1300 venues that include rehearsal, recording, performance, living spaces and planned/canceled show venues. 
The history of each venue is here including architects, builders, owners, opening night performances and other notable appearances, murals, statues, stage prosceniums, backstage areas, pipe organs, secret rooms, hidden tunnels, restorations and demolitions. 

Jerry's history at each venue includes the bands he played with, set lists, opening acts and other information giving the reader an idea of what went down at every date on every tour. In many cases via dated photos, what guitar Jerry was playing, and other anecdotal stuff that we love to read.

I've added eye witness reports to as many specific dates as possible. These are numerous, hysterical and heartwarming.

There are thousands of footnotes for verifying all the information.

Thus far I‘ve collected 950 hi res venue photos approved by over 900 photographers. I've utilized college and public library special collections, historical societies, museums, architectural firms, Flickr and others. 

Jerry owned over 135 musical instruments in his lifetime, giving away most of them. Each is documented, many with hi-res photos.

Envision two large two volumes similar to an old bible. This is a book that resembles the records kept for medieval pilgrimages to holy sites. People will want to know centuries from now where it all took there ya go!

LATEST UPDATE May 14, 2023:
I am so proud and excited to announce that the Kickstarter campaign for The Encyclopedia of Jerry Garcia Music Venues is going LIVE on June 3, 2023! I'll post the link here and in many other places. If you'd like me to send it to you please send your email address to

Friday, August 18, 2017

Acker Gymnasium, Chico State, Chico, CA

Acker Gymnasium
430 Warner Street
    Chico, California
    Capacity: 2000

Originally constructed and completed in 1961 and named for Art Acker. Acker came to Chico State in 1923. He was a basketball coach at Chico State who lead the Wildcats to the Far Western Championship victory in 1937. He coached every sport at Chico State except skiing and wrestling.
The building was recently renovated with new flooring, seating, and sound system.

3/17/82 Jerry Garcia Band
I: How Sweet It Is; Catfish John; Simple Twist Of Fate; Let It Rock; Sitting In Limbo; Mystery Train
II: Sugaree; I'll Take A Melody; Tore Up Over You; Russian Lullaby; The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down; Dear Prudence; Tangled Up In Blue
Jerry plays the guitar, Tiger. Dave Torbert fills in for John Kahn for the first set.

For many years it was thought that this show was held at Laxson Auditorium.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Encyclopedia Of Jerry Garcia Music Venues Kickstarter Campaign is going LIVE! on June 3, 2023.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Jerry Garcia Amphitheater (McLaren Park) 116 John F. Shelley Drive San Francisco, California

   At 312.54 acres, McLaren Park is the second largest park in San Francisco by area, after Golden Gate Park. The park is surrounded mostly by the Excelsior, Crocker-Amazon, Visitacion Valley, Portola and University Mound neighborhoods.
   Dr. John Hays McLaren (1846–1943) served as superintendent of the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA for 53 years. He was friends with John Muir, and dedicated his life to vigorous advocacy and development of the 1,017-acre Golden Gate Park, one of the largest public parks in the world, using considerable political skill in addition to his remarkable gardening skill. The McLaren Park in the southern part of San Francisco is named after John McLaren, as is McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park, where he lived until his death. East Bay's Tilden Park also has a meadow named after him. A small statue of McLaren was erected in the park which he had hidden away only to be discovered after his death.
After his death at the age of 96, McLaren's body lay in state in the San Francisco City Hall Rotunda. Afterward, the funeral cortege drove his casket through Golden Gate Park as a special honor.
John McLaren Park was once a part of Rancho CaƱada de Guadalupe la VisitaciĆ³n y Rodeo Viejo,[1] an 1840 land grant which included much of present-day San Bruno Mountain, the city of Brisbane, Guadalupe Valley, and Visitacion Valley. The then-governor of Mexico (including present-day California), Juan Bautista Alvarado granted what is now known as John McLaren Park to the local authorities in 1840.[2]
   The Works Progress Administration was responsible for the construction of a scenic drive in the 1930s.[3] At that time, the park also featured a stable and equestrian trails, but horseback riding within the park was later discontinued due to the difficult of maintaining a separate set of equestrian trails.[4] The current 318-acre (129 ha) park boundaries were established in 1946.[3
Coffman Pool, McLaren Park's first recreation facility, was constructed in the southeast corner of the park in 1958.[3] A master plan for the park was published in 1959 which called for the creation of more recreational facilities, including a 9-hole golf course (later named the Gleneagles Golf Course), overnight campsites, picnic areas, trails, two lakes, and parking areas.[3] Before 1978, McLaren Park only had eight picnic tables.[5]
The San Francisco Recreation Department constructed a multi-purpose outdoor amphitheatre in the center of McLaren Park in 1970 and named it the McLaren Park Amphitheatre;[6] it officially opened in 1971 with "excellent acoustics" for the 700 seats.[1] In 1997, it was noted the amphitheatre had not seen many shows, possibly because of the limited stage, storage facilities, dressing rooms, and parking.[5] The first "Jerry Day" celebration was held in 2003, celebrating Excelsior native Jerry Garcia, and in July 2005, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission passed a resolution officially renaming the venue the Jerry Garcia Amphitheatre.[1][6] Garcia had grown up not far from the park, at 87 Harrington Street.[6]

Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, McLaren Park, San Francisco, CA
1.)sflinlad , 2016-08-30,  "McLaren Park History [blog]”, McLaren Park Collaborative.
2.) Cindy, 2012-11-22,  "Philosophers Walk on the Top of the World”, Art and Architecture SF [blog].
3.) John McLaren Park Master Plan (PDF) (Report). Recreation and Park Department, City and County of San Francisco. 1997. pg. 7.
4.) John McLaren Park Master Plan (1997), p. 17
5.)John McLaren Park Master Plan (1997), p. 16

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Boutwell Auditorium, 1930 8th Avenue North, Birmingham, Alabama 

Capacity 6000
In 1924, working with local architects, Thomas W. Lamb (a nationally-known theater designer) designed Birmingham's Municipal Auditorium in Linn Park (formerly Capitol Park) with a view of City Hall.  Boutwell's interior artistic design of art deco remains, however, in 1957, Charles McCauley remodeled the exterior to have a modernist look of marble, aluminum and glass. 

The auditorium was renamed for Mayor Albert Boutwell, a Democrat. He was elected to the Alabama State Senate in 1946, Lieutenant Governor in 1958 and Mayor of Birmingham in 1963. 
Charles Lindbergh, an American aviator, (who made the first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Paris on May 20-21, 1927), was toasted at a banquet held in his honor at the Birmingham Municipal (Boutwell) Auditorium during his U.S. flying tour visit in 1927. [8]
The auditorium was the site of the 1938 Southern Conference for Human Welfare to discuss issues of human welfare on the way toward overcoming the effects of the Great Depression.[9]

The Boutwell is one of the sites identified as important to the Civil Rights Movement and is listed among properties included in a proposal for Alabama's Civil Rights Churches to be added to UNESCO's roster of World Heritage Sites. [9]
Boutwell, formerly known as Birmingham Municipal Auditorium, was the site of a white supremacist attack. Klansmen stormed the stage and brutally attacked Montgomery native Nat "King" Cole in 1956, the white audience gasped in horror. These average local white teenagers screamed in shock as they watched policemen wrestle to the ground the white opponents of rock'n'roll. The sold-out crowd applauded the arrest of the Klansmen and remained in their seats, calling for the return of Cole to let him know they did not sanction the violence. The gracious singer came back on stage, later explaining to a reporter, "I thanked them for coming to the show and told them I knew they didn't hold with what had just occurred. I noticed some people were even crying."[2]

12/15/78 Grateful Dead
I:The Promised Land;Shakedown Street;New Minglewood Blues ;Friend Of The Devil;El Paso;From The Heart Of Me;Brown Eyed Women;Cassidy;Deal
II:I Need A Miracle>Bertha>Good Lovin';It Must Have Been The Roses;Lady With A Fan>Playing In The Band>Drums>Space>Stella Blue> Truckin'>Playing In The Band. Encore:U.S. Blues
Promoter John Scher in association with Tony Ruffino and Larry Vaughn.
Jerry plays the Travis Bean 1000A #715 guitar.[7][10]
"The staff at Boutwell said they sold out of beer (120 kegs) before the first set was over. It was the first time beer had ever sold out at Boutwell."[5]

"During the Stella Blue sung verses, it feels like it's just Garcia and Keith at a tiny nightclub. 
His voice couldn't be more earnest."[6]

4/28/80 Grateful Dead
I:Alabama Getaway>The Promised Land;They Love Each Other;El Paso;Althea; Looks Like Rain;Tennessee Jed;Far From Me;Feel Like A Stranger;Deal
II:China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider;Samson And Delilah;He's Gone>The Other One>Space>Drums>Space>Black Peter>Sugar Magnolia
Encore:Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad
"I met Jerry and Bob out behind Boutwell before the show, they signed our copies of Go To Heaven we had just picked up down the street, and hung around out behind the venue chatting and allowing photo ops. We then snuck in to the room to watch Phil set up and play solo for a while. He stopped to chat with us from the stage and was equally friendly and interested in hearing from us tour folks."[3]

Boutwell Auditorium, Birmingham, AL
2.)^Eskew, Glenn T., VIEWPOINTS: Birmingham's Boutwell Auditorium's history should earn its preservation, 2011-10-09,
4.)^Alabama Lieutenant Governors,
10.)^McDavid, J.C., photographer, 1978-12-15.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The 400 Club, 400 1st Street, San Francisco, CA

John J. Lerman owned a three story plus basement building here in 1909. This was an 18 family dwelling costing $20,604.78. There were nine stairways located in the front and rear of the building. The lot had 115’ of frontage on First Street. It was on the corner of First and Harrison.[9]

On May 13, 1952, the building was five stories with a thirty family occupancy. Three sets of rear stairs were to be replaced. It was owned by Herman L. Vogel.[10]

An application for building permit additions, alterations or repairs, dated 12/12/53 was submitted by Mrs. R. Garcia. Ground floor was 2200 square feet. Present use was Apartments (six families) and store.[8]

“Then Union Oil decided they wanted to put their office building where the bar was,”, Tiff says, “so the business moved across the street again, to another corner. There was a seaman’s hotel there, too, and on the ground floor there was the 400 Club. The original 400 Club had been a bawdy seaman’s bar, but my Mom turned that into a typical ’50’s nightclubish-type place with the emphasis on the little restaurant. It had red naugahyde stools and a solid mahogany circle bar. It was classy, a nice place considering the other one she had.
When I was in the service, my Mom turned the top floor into this real flashy apartment-three bedrooms with a total view of the downtown and the Bay Bridge.”[7]

After the Garcia's moved across the street to 400 1st Street in 1954[5], and thus renamed the bar "The 400 Club," and then moved into the top floor apartment, Jerry got to work on spending his day's hanging out downstairs with the sailors while his mom poured beer and kept the bar rollin'. You can just imagine a young 12-year old Jerry sitting down at the bar listening to tales from sailors about being Shanghai'd and whisked away, off to sea and to distant and exotic well as hearing sea chanties being sung day and night by drunk seamen....Yes, Off to Sea Once More!! [1]

In 1953 there was also a 400 Club at 2562 3rd, San Francisco.[6] There was also a 400 Club on 17th Street, San Francisco, where Sally Rand performed.

8/1/57 Solo
Jerry plays a Sears Silvertone, Harmony model guitar.[4]
"I grew up in a bar," Jerry said. "And that was back in the days when the Orient was still the Orient, and it hadn't been completely Americanized yet. They'd bring back all these weird things. Like one guy had the largest private collection of photographs of square-riggers. He was an old sea captain, and he had a mint condition '47 Packard that he parked out front. And he had a huge wardrobe of these beautifully tailored double-breasted suits from the '30s. And he'd tell these incredible stories. That was one of the reasons I couldn't stay in school [later]. School was a little too boring. These guys gave me a glimpse into a larger universe that seemed attractive and fun and, you know, crazy."

Jerry talks about the accordion."Oh, it was a beauty!" he said. In the heat of conversation, his voice rises, and he grins with the relish of a man who's sinking his teeth into a steak that he shouldn't be eating. "It was a Neapolitan job. My mother bought it from a sailor at the bar."[3]

The 400 Club, San Francisco, CA 
3.)^Barich, Bill, Still Truckin', 1993-10-11, New Yorker.
4.)^White, Timothy, From the Beatles to Bartok, Goldmine, 1990-11-02, pg. 122, Joseph Jupille Archives.
5.)^Polk's City Directory, 1954-1955.
6.)^Polk's City Directory, 1953, pg. 2237.
7.)^Garcia, Tiff (Jerry’s brother), Jackson, Blair, Garcia: An American Life, pg. 15.
8.)^application for building permit additions, alterations or repairs, 1953-12-12, City and County of San Francisco 
9.)^Application For Building Permit, 1909-04-16, San Francisco 
10.)^Application for permit to make additions, alterations or repairs, 1952-05-13, City and County of San Francisco