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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ron Kurtz's house, Bloomington, IN

Ron Kurtz wrote "Body Centered Psychotherapy: The Hakomi Method".
The Hakomi method combines Western psychology, systems theory, and body-centered techniques with the mindfulness and non-violence principles of Eastern philosophy.[1][3] Hakomi is grounded in seven principles:
The first five principles are set forth in Kurtz's book, Body Centered Psychotherapy. The other two were added later.[5]
Practitioners of Hakomi look at people as self-organizing systems, organized psychologically around core memories, beliefs and images; this core material expresses itself through habits and attitudes that make people individuals. Hakomi is a method for helping people transform their way of being in the world through working with core material and changing core beliefs.[6]
Hakomi relies on mindfulness of body sensations, emotions and memories. It follows this general outline:[6][7]
  1. Create healing relationship: Client and therapist work to build a relationship that maximizes safety and the cooperation of the unconscious.
  2. Establish mindfulness: Therapist helps clients study and focus on the ways they organize experience. Hakomi's viewpoint is that most behavior are habits automatically organized by core material; therefore studying the organization of experience is studying the influence of this core material.
  3. Evoke experience: Client and therapist make direct contact with core feelings, beliefs and memories.
  4. State specific processing: If the client is ready, the therapist helps the client transition to state-specific processing. Hakomi recognizes three such states:
    • mindfulness
    • strong emotions
    • childlike consciousness
  5. Transformation: Client realizes that new healing experiences are possible and begins to have these experiences.
  6. Integration: Client and therapist work to make connections between the new healing experiences and the rest of the client's experiences.

Ron Kurtz passed away in Ashland, OR in January, 2011.
"Ron was a quiet, under-recognized prophet who somehow brought forth this incredible, magical method of going into a state of such intense, loving presence, embodying a father's love that anyone touched by it was inspired and changed."(4)

Jerry performed here in
1961 Sandy Rothman
"...and on the front porch and early-psychedelic living room of a guy named Ron Kurtz (later to become a well-known bodywork author."(1)

1.)^Rothman, Sandy, 2012-03-18
3.)^Cole, J. David; Carol Ladas-Gaskin (2007). Mindfulness Centered Therapies. Silver Birch Press, pg 35, 37.
4.)^Darling, John, Hakomi author Ron Kurtz, 76, dies in Ashland,
5.)^Cole, J. David; Carol Ladas-Gaskin (2007). Mindfulness Centered Therapies. Silver Birch Press, pg. 36, 37.
6.)^Kurtz, Ron (1990). Body-Centered Psychotherapy. LifeRhythm, pg 2-4..
7.)^Kurtz, Ron (1990). Body-Centered Psychotherapy. LifeRhythm, pg. 72-74.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Funky Jack's Studio, Central Avenue, San Francisco, CA

Funky Features poster

Jack Leahy in center. Notice the poster.

In 1969 John Rewind, from the HooDoo Rythmn Devils, was teaching guitar at Roger Calkins Music on Market St. in San Francisco, CA. One of John's guitar students, Jack Leahy,"Funky Jack" who lived up the street from John in the Haight Ashbury district, had just closed his poster business Funky Features, and was getting into recording and was building a studio. When Jack heard John, he took the lead and started recording the band and making connections for the band to get a recording contract with a major label.(4)
Prior to Funky Features’ offiicial opening in 1969, Jack Leahy had built a workshop/studio in the basement of an old Victorian on Central Avenue, near the panhandle of Golden Gate Park.
Originally designed for personal use only, the small space became a popular place for young bands to rehearse and record new material under Leahy’s guidance. As the engineer continued to invest in his private workshop, he acquired enough gear (and spent enough money) that he opened the studio to outside clients in 1969. Preferring to work fast in order to cater to bands on a budget, Leahy’s comfortable space turned out a healthy number of demos and masters, with many referrals coming from the neighbors across the street, Big Brother & the Holding Company.
Producer David Rubinson reportedly brought some of his Fillmore Records acts, such as Cold Blood, to the studio. Acts such as Steve Miller, HooDoo Rhythm Devils (managed by Leahy), Country
Joe McDonald, Link Wray, Terry Garthwaite, Wah-Wah Watson, Herbie Hancock, and Steamin’ Freeman also spent time in the upper Haight studio.
Th e 20×20–foot studio had a Steinway grand piano at one end. A Hammond B3 organ with a Leslie speaker and an antique Everett upright tack piano could be rolled in as well. Leahy worked on an
equally antique console comprised of Ampex and Shure mixers, recorded to 3M 8-track (he later acquired a 16-track), and listened on a pair of JBL monitors. When the HooDoo Rhythm Devils
signed with Capitol Records in 1971, they reportedly spent part of their advance on a 16-input console for Leahy.(1)

Rock Love 
Capitol 748
Steve Miller – Guitar, vocals
Ross Valory – Bass guitar
Jack King – Drums
Recorded at Funky Features, San Francisco.
Engineered by Jack Leahy
Produced by Steve Miller

In 1979, Leahy moved his recording operation to Russian Hill to open the aptly named Russian Hill Recording. An odd, fan-run museum called The Jimi Hendrix Electric Church took over the lovely Victorian on Central for a few years before it reverted back to a residential space.(2)

Jerry recorded here in
1973 or 1974
In answer to a question about how often Garcia recorded at Heider's, Stephen Barncard recalled that, "We did do a track for Bill Cutler about 1973 or 74 at Funky Jack's Studio in the Haight."(3)

1.)^Johnson, Heather, If These Halls Could Talk
2.)^Leahy, Jack,
3.)^Barncard, Steve, 2012-04-18
4.)^Bishop, Pete (1978) "'Kidding' - Rough Urgency", Pittsburg Post-Gazette, March 25, 1978

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,
2.)^Dawson, John "Marmaduke", The Early days Of The New Riders,

Thursday, September 27, 2012

St. Michael's Alley, 436 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA

St. Michael's Alley, 2010

"You could shoot a cannon down University Avenue and not hit a thing," said Vernon Gates, who opened the first incarnation of his cafe, St. Michael's Alley, in 1959. (2)

Opening as a kind of European-favored coffehouse in the late 1950s, it just caught the end of the Beats, helped launch Joan Baez when folk took over and became the happening spot in town.  In the mid 60’s it garnered a bad reputation, making police watch lists and drawing the wrath of mainstream Palo Alto. 

Because Palo Alto lacked hot spots in 1959, the crowds at St. Michael's Alley were large when it opened April Fool's Day. So large, in fact, that Gates locked the doors by noon. Before long, he became an impresario, presiding over a host of beat poets, intellects and local musicians like Joan Baez, The Jefferson Airplane, and the Warlocks, a band soon to call itself "The Grateful Dead."
Robert Hunter washed dishes in the back, and Jerry Garcia picked his banjo out front. Certain customers loitered with a 25-cent purchase. "Jerry used to come in, nurse one cup of coffee all day, and pick up all the chicks," said Gates.

Because in its early days St. Michael’s Alley was really just a hipster hole-in-the-wall.  Opening at 436 University Avenue on April 1st, 1959, owner and former political pollster Vernon Gates was looking to capture the spirit of the European cafes that he had known during his studies at the University of Innsbruck in Austria (St. Michael’s Alley is actually the London street where many of the first English cafes opened in the 17th Century).  Palo Alto’s Alley was a modest establishment, about 90 x 30 feet with a high ceiling and service bar in the back.  It had a dark, woodsy atmosphere, a piano painted speckled green against a side wall, and no bandstand. The atmosphere was cozy and informal.  As jazz musician Dick Fregulia remembers, “A piano player could literally play with one hand on the keys and the other hand reaching for a coffee cup on one of the adjacent tables.”

There were performances of all types --- folk singers, jazz bands, staged plays, poetry readings.  And while it wasn’t obvious at the time, the place was becoming a proving grounds for many rising stars.   Paly high schooler Joan Baez, members of Jefferson Airplane and Jerry Garcia and the members of the early incarnations of the Grateful Dead all played there.  Bob Hunter even washed dishes in the kitchen for a while.

It was a credit to Gates that such a creative atmosphere could thrive at St. Mike’s --- especially in a town as mainstream as Palo Alto in those days. From the beginning, the amateur watercolor artist and poetry writer pushed his employees to dance, paint and play music.  He saw St. Mike’s as a “bohemian establishment in a sea of Republicans.” And as such, it soon began attracting counterculture types from all over the Peninsula.

Perhaps too many.  When an 18 year-old Woodside girl was arrested for selling marijuana to her high school friends in 1964, the judge spoke from the bench about her entry into “the world of pseudo sophistication, the world of Saint Michael’s Alley.”  The local media ran with those comments and soon St. Mike’s acquired a not-so-wholesome reputation.  After the Palo Alto police department called St. Mike’s a hangout for “narcotics users and homosexuals,” the city attorney’s office tried to strip it of its beer license.  And in June of ‘65, a crackdown by Palo Alto police on what they called “a bunch of local beatniks” led to the arrest of 4 alleged frequenters of St. Michael’s Alley on drug possession charges.  Soon St. Michael’s more affluent clientele began to fade away.  As Gates would later recall, “Most of my paying customers…thought they would lose their security clearances [at work] if they came to the place, so I was virtually put out of business.”

This might help explain the memories that the somewhat cantankerous Gates had of the musical legends he once hosted.   Of Joan Baez he recalled, “She would go on signing all night and everybody would hang around and not buy anything.” Of the early incarnation of the Grateful Dead: “The only thing I credit myself with is kicking them out and telling them to go home and practice.”(1)

He did audition the Warlocks sometime in mid-1965, but he rejected them as being "terrible."(3)

In 1966, Gates closed St. Mikes and spent the next seven years designing silk screenings, writing metaphysical poetry and meditating “4-6 hours a day.”  But although he called this the happiest period of his life, Gates made an entrepreneurial comeback in 1973.  

In 1973, Vernon Gates opened a restaurant in Palo Alto called St. Michael's Alley. This time, the venue was on 800 Emerson Street (at Homer Avenue). This was about six blocks from the old St. Michael's Alley. The second time around, St. Michael's Alley was a relatively upscale restaurant rather than a coffee shop. (3)

It came to pass on Thursday, October 30, 1980 that former St. Michael's Alley dishwasher Robert Hunter came to be performing at the new St. Michael's Alley. The most remarkable thing about the show, however, is hearing a completely relaxed Robert Hunter bantering with the crowd and taking requests, clearly with people he knows.
Certainly it would have surprised owner Vernon Gates in 1965 to think that his dishwasher would be performing in an upscale version of his coffee shop a decade and a half later. Of course, it would have surprised Gates even more to know that the sloppy band of recalcitrants he had rejected would be playing Radio City Music Hall that very same night, singing many songs co-written by the dishwasher in question.(3)

And as Gates told the Palo Alto Times Tribune in 1991 “I made a conscious effort to drive away the people who destroyed St. Michael’s Alley.  They can’t support the business.  They were some of the finest people from Stanford, but they nickel and dimed us to death.”

Then again, perhaps the new clientele was the old counterculture with new affluent identities.  Gates seemed to consider this possibility later in the interview: “They grow up.  All the people who might have contributed to the demise of the first St. Michael’s Alley are middle-aged now… I have clients that have been coming in since we first opened 18 years ago.”

Despite the higher prices, there was still an alternative feel to the place--- Gates and employees hung their paintings in the windows and his dishwasher grew a corn garden out front.   There were weekly poetry and open mike nights in the so-called “Waiting Room” next door ---a kind of homage to the original St. Mikes.

But in 1994, the links to the past were severed when Gates sold St. Mike’s and got out of the restaurant business.  Now the “Waiting Room” is gone and St. Mike’s has taken an even sharper turn toward upscale cuisine and fine dining.  But no matter how much St. Mike’s changes to cater the capitalist Silicon Valley around it, the secret of St. Michael’s Alley remains safe with us --- it was once a pretty happening place. (1)

Jerry performed here in
Summer 1961 David Nelson
Yet another meeting place was one of the local folk music spots, St. Michael's Alley on University Avenue in Palo Alto. It's there that the area's most celebrated singer and activist, Joan Baez, got her start while she was still a student at Palo Alto High School. As Alan Trist puts it, 'Kepler's was the main spot in the daytime and at night everyone would go over to St. Michael's Alley.' Garcia and Phil Lesh met at St. Michael's Alley that year.(4)

Autumn 1961
Garcia and Phil Lesh met at St. Michael's Alley that year.(4)

1965 Warlocks
Vernon Gates did audition the Warlocks sometime in mid-1965, but he rejected them as being "terrible."(4)

2.)^Tindall, Blair, Mozart In The Jungle, Psychedelic Palo Alto
4.)^ Teddy GoodBear <>
5.)^Jackson, Blair, Garcia: An American Life, pg. 31, 43.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ron "Pigpen" McKernan's house, Santa Catalina Street, Palo Alto, CA

"Being at Kevin McKernans house when all of the original Grateful Dead were there playing music with PigPen (Ron McKernan)."(1)

Garcia remembered, “I spent a lot of time over at the Pigpen house, but it was mostly in Pigpen’s room, which was like a ghetto! I sat in his room for countless hours listening to his old records. It was funky, man! Stuff thrown everywhere. Pigpen had this habit of wearing just a shirt and his underpants. You’d come into his house and he’d say, ‘Come on in, man,’ and he’d have a bottle of wine under the bed. His mom would come in about once every five hours to see if he was still alive. It was hilarious! But yeah, we’d play records. I’d hack away at his guitar, show him stuff.”

Garcia gave several accounts of Pigpen’s early musical development:
“When I first met Pigpen he was 14 or 15 years old. He was hanging around Palo Alto, and I was the only person around that played any blues on the guitar, so he hung out with me. And he picked up, just by watching and listening to me, the basic Lightnin’ Hopkins stuff. Then he took up the harmonica.”
“Pigpen was mostly into playing Lightnin’ Hopkins stuff and harmonica… He wanted to play the blues, and I was like the guitar player in town who could play the blues, so he used to hang around; that’s how I got to know him. He took up harmonica and got pretty good at it for those days, when nobody could play any of that stuff.”
“Pigpen’s father was the first rhythm & blues guy around here. Pigpen played piano for a long time, just simple C blues runs and stuff like that, and he’d sing… He was hanging around at the various scenes that were going on in Palo Alto. At that time I was sort of a beatnik guitar player. And he’d come around to these parties and I’d be playing blues, and he’d watch very carefully and he’d go home and learn things, all on the sly. And he took up the harmonica as well back in those days… He was deathly afraid to play in front of anybody. He’d been playing harmonica secretly for a long time, and one time he got up on stage at a folk music place and I backed him up on the guitar; he played harmonica and sang. And he could sing like Lightnin’ Hopkins, which just blew everybody’s mind!”

Pigpen kind of had his feet in two worlds when he was in his teens. He liked to hang out at the black bars and blues clubs in East Palo Alto; but he was also part of the bohemian-folkie scene at the Chateau and Kepler’s bookstore.
Peter Albin: “He would be around playing at different places or at a party or something. It was all pretty informal. He’d play guitar mostly, and harmonica, and he played with Garcia once in a while… When he would come over to my parents’ place he would tickle the ivories, and I thought he was pretty good – though I never thought he’d become a keyboard player for a rock & roll band. I thought he was an excellent harp player.”
Robert Hunter: “He was a real scuzzy teenage kid with a terrible complexion. He must’ve been 16 or 17 when he started hanging around the Chateau. He had a scuzzy beard and he drank Thunderbird, and wore a fatigue jacket. He was the sort of guy that one would ordinarily discourage from showing up at one’s parties, except that he played a hell of a harmonica, and that was his passport. There weren’t many people at that time playing the kind of music he was, and I didn’t know any harmonica players at all.”
David Nelson: “It was amazing how this guy could play Robert Johnson and Lightnin’ Hopkins stuff. There just weren’t that many people doing it then… He was so authentic.”(2)

Tom Constanten:
"Pigpen's father was a blues DJ who went by the name 'Cool Breeze'. Pigpen had an encyclopedic knowledge of all the blues artists, and Pigpen was a remarkable blues singer. The world never got to see the full measure of Pigpen. He could do so many things - he was so deep, so broad. I used to room with him on the road and I shared a house with him in Novato. I mean you'd look at him and see this Hell's Angel sort of character who sings this narrow band of music, and he was really into so many more things. Pigpen had a different inner and outer image. While his outer image was kind of like Pirate Pete who would shoot his gun at your feet to make you dance, yet he was also the guy who brought a portable chess game along on the road because he liked to play."

Ned Lagin:
"I was very surprised at who Pigpen actually turned out to be, given what I had seen of him... I thought Pigpen would probably be on the opposite side of the planet from me, blues tough, but he turned out to be a very sweet person. To him, I was one of those whiz-kid rocket scientist genius kids that he always wanted to meet, but was on a different school bus going to a different place... But we could sit together and play piano together and hang out together. I think there was a great sensitivity in Pigpen that was the opposite of his down & dirty Lovelight personality."

Like Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin, Pigpen was a character and a talent that will always leave everyone wondering what the hell he would have become had he not chosen the hard drinking and partying lifestyle. "If he had survived in good health," grieved Catanese, "he might have helped plot a bluesier direction for the Dead. Or some think he might have gone off and fronted his own blues band."(3)

Dave McQueen, who was one of the East Palo Alto crowd that befriended Pigpen, tells a nice story about the teenage Ron McKernan: "I had an 'in' with the owner of the Choo-Choo Inn, a black honky-tonk on the tracks in San Mateo, through Lester Hellums, who would sit in with the house band. T-Bone Walker was going to play there and Ron heard about it from one of the corner kids. Ron was spending more time in East P.A. than he was at home at that point. Anyway, he came to me like any normal rotten teenager when he really wants something he can't scheme on alone, so I talked to the owner and got him a table right up front. T-Bone stood there and played right in front of him the whole night. Ron was in heaven! At the end he said to T-Bone, 'See you in 20 years, Mr. Walker!' He talked about it for weeks."(5)

Ron's grandparents were Frank McKernan 1891-1949 and Alice McKernan 1894-1973.(4)
His father, Phil, was a DJ known as "Cool Breeze" at KRE Berkeley in 1951 until 1956. He was born on March 26, 1920, died April 4. 1992.
His mother, Esther Elvera McKernan was born January 5, 1917, died October 16, 1989.
Little is known about his family or early life. (4)
Ron “Pigpen” McKernan was born Sept. 8, 1945 and died from alcohol abuse on March 8, 1973.

Jerry rehearsed here in
1961-1962 Ron "Pigpen" McKernan

1.)^ Rice, Bob, 2008-01-01,
3.)^ Singh, Gary, Metro, 2003-03-13 thru 19,
4.)^Dr. Tom, Pigpen was the Heart and Soul of the Grateful Dead, 2011-06-28,
5.)^Jackson, Blair, Garcia: An American Life, pg. 51.
6.)^Pringle, Colin, 2001,

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Country Dance Hall (unknown name), Richmond, CA

a Black Mountain Boys anecdote from Eric Thompson:
"I remember one time [the Black Mountain Boys] went to a real country dance hall in a place like Richmond [California, near Berkeley] and we played some tunes and these guys were very nice to us. They said 'That's a nice bluegrass sound.' They played Ernest Tubbs stuff in those places. You came in and you stamped your hand with a blue fluorescent stamp, and there was a bar in the back and there were fights. It was sawdust on a big wood floor. But we didn't make a lot of contact with that world. That was one of the few times we did. Usually it was more of a folk revival kind of thing and I don't think there were really the venues for it. There was no place like the Ash Grove or the Club 47 in Northern California, so we ended up doing things like playing on Gert Chiarito's program on KPFA and things like that — that was about as public as you could get. And then we'd play at these little tourist places in North Beach."(1)

Jerry performed here in

Late 1963-Spring 1964 Black Mountain Boys


 1.)^Jackson, Blair, Garcia, An American Life, pg 59

Monday, September 24, 2012

David McQueen's (David X) other house, Ramona Street, Palo Alto, CA

One night in St. Michael's Alley in Palo Alto I met Pigpen. He turned a friend and I on to a frequent jam session at the house of a "David X" in East Palo Alto. We'd go and give Pigpen a ride since he didn't have a car. (Andy Z.)

"We had an old house on Ramona Street in downtown Palo Alto — there was a one-block area in that part of Palo Alto where a few blacks lived; one block. Ron used to work at the gas station on the corner between the house we lived in and the mom and pop store where we bought our wine. Ron accosted me one day on one of my frequent wine runs: here was this young white kid with bad skin and he still had his baby fat, but he talked like a 60-year-old black blues man. 'Hey man, you the cat that's been havin' all them parties?' he said. 'I want to come over!' When I asked how old he was, he said, 'Damn that — I play guitar and harmonica,' except he called it a 'harp' just like a young brother." David McQueen(1)

Jerry always had a guitar with him wherever he went", McQueen continues,"One day, after doing a yard job, we were on the way back to my house in east Palo Alto. It was summer, kids were out playing in the streets, and Jerry was playing guitar and we were singing as we walked. I looked behind us at one point and there was a whole group of little black kids following us and dancing....When we stopped they were all over Jerry: Play some more! Play some more! Jerry loved it. (1)

Jerry lived and rehearsed here in

1.)^Jackson, Blair, Garcia, An American Life, pg 3, 42

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Norm "Pogo" Fontaine's house, Palo Alto, CA

Norm "Pogo" Fontaine was an East Palo Alto cat with deep roots in the jazz world, as well as an accomplished painter. Though he was in his mid-40's at the time, he hung comfortably in this mainly youthful party scene. In fact, his house, known as Pogo's Place, was another notorious party spot during this era.(1)

David McQueen, "He (Jerry) was listening to a lot of Reverend Gary Davis at the time. But blues, gospel, jazz -- he'd play it all. He used to jam with the drummers who came to play at Pogo's (Norm Fontaine's house)..."(1)

Jerry performed here in
Spring 1962
"One Saturday night in the Spring of 1962, Lesh and Garcia connected. They'd seen each other around, but at a party at Pogo's, Lesh remarked "Jerry, you sing and play good, I work for KPFA, how'd you like to be on the radio?"'(2) 

Norm "Pogo" Fontaine's house, Palo Alto, CA
1.)^Jackson, Blair, Garcia: An American Life, pg. 31, 42.
2.)^McNally, Dennis, Long Strange Trip, pg. 39.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Neil Rosenberg's house, Bloomington, IN

Neil Rosenberg As a Blue Grass Boy: While a student at the University of Indiana, Neil Rosenberg played in the house band at Bean Blossom for several years starting in 1961; in 1963 he also managed the park. During this time, he filled in on several occasions as a Blue Grass Boy.
Before and After: Neil Rosenberg continues to play bluegrass today; since 1973 he has played with the band Crooked Stovepipe. He is better known in the bluegrass world, however, as the author of the definitive book Bluegrass: A History. His writings also include the 1975 Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys: An Illustrated Discography (now out of print) and Bluegrass Odyssey, a collaboration with photographer Carl Fleischhauer. He created the "30 Years Ago This Month" column for Bluegrass Unlimited and wrote it for 13 years before turning it over to Tom Ewing in 1994.

"In Bloomington, where early Berkeley banjo mentor and later renowned bluegrass historian Neil Rosenberg lived while attending graduate school in Folklore at Indiana University, Jerry and I played often at Neil's house..."(1)

1.)^Rothman, Sandy, 2012-03-18.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Oregon State Penitentiary, 2575 Center St. NE, Salem, Oregon

Oregon State Prison 1880

Capacity 2100

The Oregon State Penitentiary is the oldest prison in Oregon and the only maximum security institution currently operated by the Oregon Department of Corrections.

Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP), the first state prison in Oregon, United States, was originally located in Portland in 1851.
In 1866 it was moved to a 26-acre (110,000 m2) site in Salem and enclosed by a reinforced concrete wall averaging 25 feet (7.6 m) in height. OSP is operated by the Oregon Department of Corrections as Oregon's only maximum security prison.
This postcard image from the 1920s shows the entrance to the Oregon
State Penitentiary
The penitentiary currently has special housing units for maximum custody inmates; disciplinary segregation; offenders with psychiatric problems; and inmates sentenced to death. Executions, which are performed by lethal injection in Oregon, are conducted at the penitentiary. The 196-bed, self-contained Intensive Management Unit provides housing and control for those death row and male inmates who disrupt or pose a substantial threat to the general population in all department facilities.
Most housing in the penitentiary is in large cell blocks with most inmates housed in single man cells that have been converted to double man cells to increase capacity. The penitentiary also has a full service infirmary and an administrative segregation (protective custody) unit.

Oregon State Penitentiary has a separate minimum security facility located on its grounds.[1] It was first opened in 1964 as Oregon's first women's prison,[2] and was called Oregon Women's Correctional Center.

Holy Roller
Lines formed to get into the Jerry show in 1982.

In 2010, the state closed the minimum security annex.[2][3]

Jerry performed here on
5/5/82  John Kahn (acoustic)

1.)^Oregon State Penitentiary,
2.)^Zaitz, Les. "Oregon to close prison, lay off 63 workers in $2.5 million budget cut." The Oregonian, 2010-09-30.
3.)^ Zaitz, Les, Oregon prison in Salem proposed for closure because of budget cuts, The Oregonian, 2012-02-01.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Oriental Theatre, 2230 N. Farwell Ave., Milwaukee, WI

“Ben Hur” was shown at the Grand Opening of the theater in 1927. (3)

Capacity 2500

When the Oriental opened on July 2, 1927, it featured 2 minaret towers, three marveleous stained glass chandeliers, 6 larger-than-life Buddhas, several hand drawn murals, 8 porcelain lions, dozens of original draperies, and hundreds of elephants.  The motif is not what first comes to mind today as being 'oriental.' Designed by Gustave A. Dick and Alex Bauer, this $1.5 million escape from mundane cares offered the theatergoer an incredible, dreamy pastiche of Moorish, Byzantine and East Indian themes.”(1)
“This crowd lined up on Oct. 16, 1929 to see The Greene Murder Case, a well-reviewed mystery starring William Powell, Jean Arthur and Florence Eldridge

The Oriental Theatre, located a mile north of downtown, a mile south of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and 5 blocks west of Lake Michigan, is at the heart of Milwaukee's alternative Eastside.

The lush sounds of the Kimball Theatre Pipe Organ introduces films, just like the good old days. This pipe organ is the largest of its kind in a theatre in America, and the third largest in the world.
Before a Friday or Saturday night show, there’s a unique sound coming from the main theatre. It’s the sounds of the Kimball Theatre Pipe Organ. An organ that is home to 95-year-old William Gans, better known as Bill.
Bill is a very sweet man who has a passion for music, the organ and films. He’s practically been living in theatres his whole life, learning from his Mother who used to play the organ back when there were silent films.
A lot of Milwaukee-area residents get to a show early just to hear Bill play the organ. They say, "It helps make The Oriental Theatre experience that much better."(2)

Backstage lightboard Photo by Eric Oxendorf

Photo by Eric Oxendorf

Photo by Eric Oxendorf

Photo by Eric Oxendorf

Photo by Eric Oxendorf

Photo by Eric Oxendorf

Photo by Eric Oxendorf

Photo by Eric Oxendorf

The Oriental Theatre is the world record holder for a current and continuing film engagement. The Rocky Horror Picture Show has played as a midnight film since January, 1978.

Jerry performed here on
4/19/75 Legion Of Mary

2.)^O'Brien, Brianna, The Oriental Theatre: The Art of The Organ/Make Milwaukee, 2012-01-22,
3.)^Milwaukee Journal, 1927-06-29, pg 10

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Big Bertha and Oofty Goofty, San Francisco, CA in the mid 1880's

Big Bertha arrived in San Francisco in the middle eighteen-eighties, posing as a wealthy Jewish widow searching for a good man to take care of her money, which she described as being far more than she could count. She required each suitor to transfer to her a sum of money, to be added to an equal sum of her own, the whole to be risked on an investment of which she alone knew the nature.
In this extraordinary manner she collected she collected several thousand dollars from a score of lovelorn males, not a penny of which was ever seen again by it's rightful owner. She was at length arrested, but none of her victims felt inclined to brave the torrent of publicity that would result from prosecution, she was released on nominal bail, and the cases against her dropped.(2)

 As Big Bertha gained fame, the manager of the Bella Union hired her and put her on display in an empty storefront on Market Street as "Big Bertha, the Queen of the Confidence Women, Admission Ten Cents." Bertha's act consisted of a long "confession" of awful crimes she had never committed, followed by an off-key rendition of "A Flower from My Angel Mother's Grave." This went over so well that she took her act to the Bella Union and turned in into a song-and-dance revue, which soon became the toast of the town.
The Bella Union served for almost 60 years from 1849 to the great fire of 1906, to provide a venue for some of the finest variety, minstrel and burlesque shows in the country, and was built on the site of the old Colonnade Hotel. It was originally used as a gambling saloon as well as for entertainment, in 1856 becoming a melodeon , but from 1893 was a waxworks and penny arcade. It was on the North side of Washington Street, near Kearny. Also in this photo are the Verandah and the El Dorado with Portsmouth Plaza in the foreground and Telegraph Hill in the background. Photo from 1856.

Meanwhile, another star named Oofty Goofty, plastered with tar and horsehair, was wowing them with his Wild Man of Borneo Act, during which he repeatedly snarled out his name while shredding hunks of raw meat with his teeth.

Big Bertha, the Queen of the Confidence Women, played a brief engagement at Bottle Koenig's and then went to the Bella Union, where she achieved considerable renown as a singer who couldn't sing, a dancer who couldn't dance, and an actress who couldn't act. Built as a gambling palace in 1849, the Bella Union quickly began hosting burlesque sideshows, which eventually supplanted gambling as the main attraction. Its biggest star was a 19th-century performance artist named Big Bertha.(2) Her work in the drama, indeed, was so remarkably bad that she attracted audiences from all over San Francisco and brought to the Bella Union and the Barbary Coast hundreds of citizens who had never vsited the quarter before and never did again. (2)

Her greatest triumph was achieved in "Romeo and Juliet", in which she co-starred with Oofty Goofty.
The management at the Bella Union, seeing the natural chemistry between San Francisco's biggest female and male stars, decided to cast Oofty and Bertha as the leads in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Their move was a decade ahead of its time, for it wasn't until 1896 that Alfred Jarry destroyed Macbeth with his outrageous parody Ubu Roi. Though the Bella Union version of Romeo and Juliet pretty much stuck to the original script, a few minor revisions in stage directions were necessary. Big Bertha was so heavy she couldn't possibly be hoisted to the balcony, which wouldn't have supported her in any case. So Oofty Goofy howled out Romeo's lines from the balcony, while Bertha played Juliet from the ground. Oofty Goofy, unable to shed his typecast persona, played Romeo as the wild man of Borneo; Bertha emerged from each performance covered with bruises from head to toe.
This was probably the most popular production that Ned Foster had ever staged, but within a week he was compelled to take it off the boards, for Big Bertha complained that as a lover Oofty Goofty was entirely too rough. She flatly refused to act with him any longer.
Soon thereafter Foster presented here in a condensed version of Mazeppa, in which she made her entrance strapped to the back of a donkey. This was also greeted with great acclaim, until one night the donkey fell over the footlights, carrying Big Bertha with him, and well nigh exterminated the orchestra. During the excitement Big Bertha, scratched and angry, crawled from beneath the braying donkey and, in language which she had doubtless learned during her career as an adventuress, indicated that she would never again play the role of Mazeppa. Thereafter she confined her stage work to singing, with an occassional dance, and appeared at various melodeons until 1895, when she obtained control of the Bella Union.

Big Bertha

In 1895 Big Bertha takes control of the Bella Union on Kearny Street, or was it Pacific Street, where the Holiday Inn is now located. When she can't sell liquor, she shuts the establishment down for good and leaves the Barbary Coast(1)

Oofty Goofty was the stage name of a sideshow performer who lived in San Francisco in the late 19th century.
Leonard Borchardt's first glimpse of America was brief. The fourteen year old stowaway from Berlin was discovered en route to the new world by the Captain of the SS Fresia. He was forced to stay on the ship, join the crew to earn his passage, return to Germany and back again to the United States, before being allowed to disembark in New York. From there Borchardt drifted from state to state before signing up for the U.S. Cavalry in Detroit. After learning he would be fighting Native American Indians who might scalp him - Borchardt deserted, sold his horse and gun to a farmer, and headed for San Francisco. He arrived in 1884 at the age of 22.

Borchardt would try any crazy scheme for money, starting with his impersonation of a "Wild Man of Borneo", the scam that was to give him his infamous moniker. He was painted with glue, stuck with hair, and laid out on a roof to dry for five hours. Then he was shackled in a cage and fed raw meat whilst scaring visitors with grunts and wails of "Oof, Oof". He performed this act in the Dime Museum Show and was a huge success; but his manager skipped town with the proceeds, leaving Borchardt close to death on account of his pores being blocked by whatever it was that had been fused to his skin. Borchardt made the news and was visited by curious medical students as he lay in a Turkish bath for five weeks waiting for the glue to dissolve. This cost the City $300 before he was well again. From then on Borchardt was known throughout California simply as Oofty Goofty.

Instead of shying away from the limelight as some might after such a to-do, Borchardt (now a celebrity of San Francisco's Barbary Coast), embraced his new persona and no dare was considered too much of a challenge. From one day to the next you would not know if you might find Oofty Goofty acting as a human skittle in Woodward's Garden where patrons would win a cigar if they hit him with a baseball, or hear of him heading to New York pushing a shiny red wheelbarrow for a bet, (a challenge that failed after 40 miles when he was knocked over in the darkness, landing head first in a creek).

For $20 he even allowed himself to be shipped in a box to Sacramento as a joke gift for a young lady. That they carted him there with the box updside-down, and left the package unopened in a warehouse over the weekend, did nothing to lessen his bravado, although he later admitted he was "pretty near played out that time".

But Oofty Goofty was made from tough mettle. Not only did he survive a court martial for his earlier desertion, escaping three years of hard labor by throwing himself off a cliff to achieve early dismissal on grounds of disability.
Oofty, after a long and illustrious career, met a different, sadder fate. His big career move came when an irate clubowner, embarrassed at having booked such a loser, had the bouncers pick up Oofty and throw him through the air and into the street. Oofty slammed into the pavement with enough force to crush the spine of an ordinary mortal.
Staggering to his feet and brushing himself off, he made a remarkable discovery: He felt no pain! Just to make sure, he entered the nearest saloon and offered to let its nastiest-looking denizen punch him for a nickel. Still, he felt no pain. Soon Oofty was earning a good living with his expanded repertoire: for a nickel you could slug him, for a dime you could kick his rear end with all your might, and for a quarter you could slam him in the butt with a baseball bat.
Practically every male in San Francisco, from the movers and shakers to the lowest denizens of the Barbary Coast, could brag of having banged on Oofty at least once. But finally, after decades of suffering the painless blows of fate, Oofty suffered the inevitable fatal blow. Heavyweight champ John L. Sullivan busted his spine with a pool cue, and Oofty died broke a couple of years later(1)
While San Francisco would undoubtedly have liked to claim this colorful character forever as its own, Oofty Goofty actually moved to Texas where his antics continued. Sullivan's legendary belting did not stop him from traveling from one oil field to the next, where he would invite drunken workers to thrash him with a baseball bat for cash. Neither did his fertile imagination subside when it came to entertaining the masses with his fanciful schemes for making money. The last we hear of him, Oofty Goofty favored racing to drink beer with a bar spoon and quail-eating contests that became all the rage at the time.(3)
Oofty Goofty's companion, Philomena Faulkner

This is not the same guy.
He was later parodied in popular culture, notably in a 1941 eponymous film and in a 1937 Our Gang short film called "The Kid From Borneo."
He is referred to in a story by Bill Pronzini, "The Bughouse Caper." [Kurland, Michael (editor) "Sherlock Holmes - The Hidden Years" New York, St. Martin's Minotaur 2004]

So is the Grateful Dead's Bertha maybe, actually about Big Bertha? I recall it was supposedly about a large fan in their office but perhaps this is more factual.

1.)^Weirde, Dr., Oofty Goofty Stars in Romeo and Juliet,
2.)^Asbury, Herbert, The Barbary Coast: An Informal History, pg. 136
3.)^Breach, Sam, Leonard Borchardt's “Oofty Goofty”,

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rancho Olompali, 8901 Old Redwood Highway, 3.5 miles east of Novato, CA

Rancho Olompali was a 8,877-acre (35.92 km2) Mexican land grant in present day Marin County, California given in 1843 by governor Manuel Micheltorena to Camilo Ynitia, son of a Coast Miwok chief.[1][7]
Camilo Ynitia was the son of Chief Olompali, who led a tribe of Miwoks in Marin. He was born in a mountainous region of Marin, near San Pablo Bay, but he was raised at Mission San Rafael.(16)
He had two daughters with his first wife, Cayetana, who died in 1850 after a fall from her
horse. Before he died, he married Susana Maria and, according to legend,  buried
saddlebags full of gold (from his sale of land to Black) in the hills of his ranch. Upon his
death in 1856, rumor spread that robbers searching for his gold had murdered him. The
details of his death are unknown, however. (17)

The name Olompali comes from the lost Coast Miwok language and likely means southern village or southern people, states the state park's brochure. It has been in existence since 500 A.D. or nearly 2,000 years. It was a major Miwok center in 1,200 A.D. and seems to have been one of the largest in Marin County.(15) 
The land grant is between present-day Novato and Petaluma.[4][5][6] A part of this land now comprises the Olompali State Historic Park.
 Camilo was the only Native American on the northern frontier of Alta California to secure and keep a large land grant for his tribe.[8]

At the time of the Californian revolt known as the Bear Flag Revolt, on 24 June 1846 the Battle of Olompali occurred when a violent skirmish broke out at Camilo's adobe between a troop of American Bear Flaggers from Sonoma and a Mexican force of 50 from Monterey, under the command of Joaquin de la Toree. Several men were wounded and one man was reportedly killed, the only fatality associated with the brief California revolution. (18)
With the cession of California to the United States following the Mexican-American War, the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided that the land grants would be honored. As required by the Land Act of 1851, a claim for Rancho Olompali was filed with the Public Land Commission in 1852,[9] and the grant was patented to Camilo Ynitia in 1862.[10]

In 1852 Ynitia sold most of his land to James Black, grantee of Rancho Cañada de Jonive and one of the largest landowners in Marin County. (11)

Camilo Ynitia was the last know Indian Chief Of the Marin County Area. He was the last known Indian to be shot with a bow and arrow, by his own people.(19)

Black's daughter, Mary, married Dr. Galen Burdell. Black's wife, Maria Agustina Sais, died in Dr. Burdell's dental chair in 1864.[11]
Although the dentist was absolved of blame, Mary's father could not forgive him. He said, "I don't want Dr. Burdell's name or Mary's included in my will," according to Mason. However, he had given Mary Olompali Ranch on her wedding day in 1863.
Black then started drinking. Visits to Mary's father were an ordeal. Mary's pregnancy seemed to make him worse.
"Black continued to ride about his property on horseback, often too inebriated to sit in the saddle," wrote Mason.
 In 1866 Black married Maria Loreto Duarte, Ygnacio Pacheco’s widow. By 1866, having amassed a small fortune from his dental practice and sales of a tooth powder he invented, Dr. Burdell and his wife left San Francisco and made their permanent home on the land they called Rancho Olompia.
"Late in 1869 he took a particularly bad spill, suffering a two-inch wound at the base of his skull. Softening of the brain followed, but he was still able to get about." Later, he died in convulsions so terrible an onlooker thought he had been poisoned.
The 1880 History of Marin said of him, "The leaves of the great book of life closed and another of California's oldest pioneers has passed from time to eternity."
Black's death brought family passions to the surface. Dr. Burdell had gone to the reading of the will at the Pacheco House, while Mary stayed outside. "Later that evening, he brought an attorney to read the will in a private suite of a San Rafael hotel. When the attorney left the room, Mary tore her father's signature off with her teeth, apparently swallowing it, since it was never found. She was arrested but quickly released, a story that was given sensational treatment in the San Francisco press," Mason wrote.
Retribution was only possible in a court of law. Mary hired three top attorneys and filed her contest in probate court in 1870. She claimed her father's mind had been influenced by his drinking, and he had been under the influence of his wife, Mrs. Pacheco. Mary asked for a jury trial and got it. Persons known to Mary testified against her father, and she won her case.(15)
James Black died in 1870.[12]

Galen and Mary now concentrated on Olompali. The 20,000 acres included large portions of Novato and Nicasio. "Here the retired dentist found ample outlets for his inventive mind. On the San Pablo Bay he ran his own soil reclamation project. His orchards were of many kinds of fruit: apple, pear, quince, fig, pomegrante, persimmon, apricot, peach and plum. Fifty acres were planted in 30 varieties of grapes, a kind of experimental vineyard with :a hint of noble wines to come." Dr. Burdel's banana trees did poorly, but his 200 orange trees were the equal of any on Los Angeles, Jack Mason wrote. (15)

Mary's property was hers alone, 950 acres at the head of Tomales Bay, once known as the Stocker Ranch. It soon became Point Reyes Station once the North Pacific Coast Railway came into being. Dr. Burdell managed the ranch.
"Mary Burdell, an energetic as her husband, planted the first ambitious garden in the county," wrote Mason. When she traveled to Japan, Mary brought home the first planting of exotics to the county.
Mary was a perfectionist in social etiquette. The tablecloth had to be of the finest linen, the silverware polished to the nth degree. She and her husband played lady and lord of the manor. Every Christmas they would deliver turkeys to their friends, and Galen would leave a gold watch at every home they visited.
Mary suffered with gallstones. In 1900, an operation could be put off no longer. She made out her will. It was to be divided three ways between her husband Galen, her son James, and daughter Mabel. She died during the operation.(15)

A major significant change occurred in 1911 when James Burdell (Galen and Mary’s son) hired a contractor for the then princely sun of $15,000 to expand and convert the wood frame building into a 26-room mansion. Interior fireplaces and a second story veranda were added. A row of white columns lined the façade toward the garden. The gabled roof was replaced with a flat roof, and stucco was applied to the exterior of the building. With the addition of electric lighting, the Burdell home became the premier residence in Marin County.
The mansion and ranch remained in the Burdell family until 1943, when it was sold to Court Harrington. Several changes of ownership followed during the next 25 years.(14)
The property had ended up in the hands of the University of San Francisco by the 1950s.
In the 1960s, they attempted to sell it various times, but when various buyers defaulted, the property kept reverting back to USF.(13)

"It was sort of a ranch estate that had a nice big house that looked kind of like tara in 'Gone With the Wind'. Then there was a lot of land around it -- hills, a creek in the back, a big lawn and the pool. It was maybe 1000 feet off the highway, so it was fairly secluded. in between the house and the pool the Dead would set up their equipment and play from time to time during the day. Usually there'd be members of other bands there too, like the Airplane and Quicksilver, and there'd be little jams with people who wanted to play. I remember that the Dead would be playing and Neal Cassady would be doing this strange little dance -- it was almost like breakdancing; very fluid. Out on the lawn there was this very far-out configuration of plumbing that was once part of a sprinkler system or something. It stuck out of the ground and stood maybe five feet high. I could'nt. figure out what the hell it was for. It was just a mess of pipes with faucets coming out of it that had been modified over the years. Very strange. So the Dead would be playing, and Neal would be dancing on the lawn with this bizarre metal partner. He'd dance around it, with it really. He had some pretty good moves, too. Neal was always in the thick of things. Those parties -- I'm not sure how many of them there were -- were always on a nice afternoon. Everyone would play all day in the sunshine -- just doing everything -- and then when the sun would start to go down and it got cold, people would pack it in. By the time it was dark most people were gone, but there were always enough people who were either around to begin with or who wanted to stay, so that the party would continue inside. in fact, with the number of people hanging out there all the time, it was pretty much a party all the time anyway. I don't. know if it was 24 hours a day, but every time I was there it was going."(20)

Grateful Dead June 1, 1966 at Olompali, Burdell Mansion, Grace Slick with baby in foreground.

Jerry and Jack, Burdell Mansion pool area, Olompali
Don McCoy leased Olompali in late 1967 and turned it into a hippie commune called The Chosen Family.(15) Donald Crawford McCoy developed the first houseboat neighborhood in Sausalito, and owned the houseboat where Otis Redding wrote "The Dock of the Bay."

An electric fire severely damaged the building at 5:00 A.M. on February 2, 1969.(14)

While many in the commune were working at a rock concert light show in San Francisco, an electrical fire broke out at the mansion and gutted it. The fire was part of a downward spiral Olompali-Barton blames on a decision to open the commune up to more than a closely knit circle of families. "There were the freeloaders who came," she said, "who sat in the 
living room playing music and not helping at all." Police raided the commune twice and busted members for drugs. And after the fire, two toddlers drowned in the ranch's pool when a woman  who was supposed to be watching them failed in her responsibility, Olompali-Barton said. The tragedy led to the commune's final collapse.[23]
The Chosen Family experiment ran from the fall of 1967 until late summer 1969, after an electrical fire had consumed the 26-room mansion that was its headquarters, leaving the commune in social and financial disarray.[28][29]
On June 14, 1974, Archeologist Charles M. Slaymaker found an old English coin dated 1577, and bearing the likeness of Queen Elizabeth I in the diggings at the site. He also excavated a portion of a "dance hall" used by the Miwoks[30]

In 1977, the State of California purchased the property from USF, and turned it into Olompali Historic State Park.(13)(21)
The site is located on the grounds of the Olompali State Historic Park, a short walk from the parking area.(14)

Photo by Syd Whittle 2007

Photo by Syd Whittle 2007
Photo by Syd Whittle 2007

Olompali Barn
Jerry lived and performed here from
Grateful Dead
"[Olompali] was a beautiful property where we could take long walks; hang out in the sun by the pool or on the porches and front steps; and the band could play anytime they wanted to without bothering any neighbors."[22]

Garcia remembered: “It was a great place. It had a swimming pool and barns and that sort of thing… We didn’t have that place very long, only about eight weeks. It was incredibly intense for everybody… Novato was completely comfortable, wide open, high as you wanted to get, run around naked if you wanted to, fall in the pool, completely open scenes. And I think it was the way they went down and the way people responded to that kind of situation. Everything was just super-groovy. It was a model of how things could really be good. If they really wanted to be. All that was a firming up of the whole social world of rock and roll around here…all the musicians in the Bay Area, most of them are from around here, they’ve known each other for a really long time in one scene or another – and that whole thing was shored up…at those parties. The guys in Jefferson Airplane would get together with Quicksilver and different guys, 81 different players, would get together and get high and get loose and have some fun… That was when we started getting tight with Quicksilver… They came and hung out at our place in Novato when we had our parties. And a lot of people like the various filmmakers and writers and dope dealers. All the people who were into doing stuff. People who had seen each other at rock and roll shows…in that first year. Those parties were like a chance to move the whole thing closer, so to speak. It was good times – unselfconscious and totally free. After that we moved back into San Francisco.”[33]

"It was sort of a ranch estate that had a nice big house that looked kind of like tara in 'Gone With the Wind'. Then there was a lot of land around it -- hills, a creek in the back, a big lawn and the pool. It was maybe 1000 feet off the highway, so it was fairly secluded. in between the house and the pool the Dead would set up their equipment and play from time to time during the day. Usually there'd be members of other bands there too, like the Airplane and Quicksilver, and there'd be little jams with people who wanted to play. I remember that the Dead would be playing and Neal Cassady would be doing this strange little dance -- it was almost like breakdancing; very fluid. Out on the lawn there was this very far-out configuration of plumbing that was once part of a sprinkler system or something. It stuck out of the ground and stood maybe five feet high. I couldn't figure out what the hell it was for. It was just a mess of pipes with faucets coming out of it that had been modified over the years. Very strange. So the Dead would be playing, and Neal would be dancing on the lawn with this bizarre metal partner. He'd dance around it, with it really. He had some pretty good moves, too. Neal was always in the thick of things. Those parties -- I'm not sure how many of them there were -- were always on a nice afternoon. Everyone would play all day in the sunshine -- just doing everything -- and then when the sun would start to go down and it got cold, people would pack it in. By the time it was dark most people were gone, but there were always enough people who were either around to begin with or who wanted to stay, so that the party would continue inside. in fact, with the number of people hanging out there all the time, it was pretty much a party all the time anyway. I don't. know if it was 24 hours a day, but every time I was there it was going."[20]
6/1/66 Grateful Dead
Jerry has no beard.
Weekend free-form celebrations of whatever anyone wished to celebrate, beginning in party clothes at the main house, ending naked in the sunshine by the pool. In addition to the Harley-scaled acreage, a huge outdoor oven cranked non-stop. It was the Diggers baking their daily bread to give away later in the park. As each participant got coated with flour, ghostly apparitions would leap from the oven to the pool, long hair flying in the wind. It was an easy scene for music and lovers, bands interwove and produced moments that were as high as they get.[26]

Don McCoy said, “The Dead played because they loved the sound. They'd get into these long, long riffs. They'd improvise. It would echo throughout the hills. You could go up in the hills anywhere and hear the music. It sounded like it was coming from above.”[35]

9/5/66 Grateful Dead
"The band was evicted from Olompali and refuged at Camp Lagunitas in ca. August 1966."[25]

"We moved to Rancho Olompali, that was the first place we had up here. And then we moved from there - we were only there for about a month or so - we moved from there over to 710.
Lydon: Who owned that? Did McCoy own that?
Garcia: No, no, it was owned by just somebody, I don’t know who it was, whoever owned it then. And they were thinking of putting up a historical monument, and stuff like that, and we managed to get it - we got together enough rent for six weeks there. And that was our first place, because we needed a place to practice and all that."[14]

10/66 Grateful Dead
"The Dead assaulted the senses with noise. A film played on a wall behind them. On the film, green and scarlet shapes, bounding, exploding, were refracted from lights high in the hall, the shapes created by oil and ketchup. A strobe flickered over all violently. Girls' breasts were painted in patterns like those on the wall by a man whose face was painted half-white and half-black."[27]

In the first Olompali Sunday Times under Personalities and Band Secrets, it states that Jerry owns a pedal steel guitar.[37]

 7/28/68 Jack Casady Mickey Hart
"Jerry's last transcendental acid trip was in the sixties, at Olompali  Ranch, in Novato. He developed three hundred-and-sixty-degree vision, died a  few thousand times, and saw the word  "All" float into the sky before he turned  into a field of wheat and heard "Bringing In the Sheaves" as a coda. "I think
I unravelled every strand of DNA in my  body," he says. "I felt both full and empty. I hardly spoke a word for two months, but it was worth it."[24]

Dennis McNally writes, “They still had a connection to Olompali, which had been taken over the previous December by their Ashbury Street neighbor, Don McCoy, who had inherited money and set up a commune at Olompali that taught children in the manner of the British experimental school Summerhill. Nicknamed by the students the Not School, it served eleven kids and included twenty-five people. Spiritual but not formally religious, it was a good place that summer, with the Dead visiting at times to play music by the pool. Mickey boarded a horse there…so it felt like an extension of the band’s scene.”[

January or February 1969
Grateful Dead
"the Dead and some of their family & friends went out to Olompali to take a group shot for their upcoming album Earthquake Country. They’d taken photos of just the band, but that wasn’t quite what they had in mind; they wanted more of a “family” portrait – women, children, animals, a communal feel. Some girls from the Olompali commune were invited to join them, and they arranged themselves in front of a picturesque tree on a hillside above the main house. Pigpen, then the most well-known face in the group, sat in front, while the rest of the band mingled with the crowd.
The photo was taken by Tom Weir (no relation to Bob), a San Francisco photographer. The Dead had also used him to take the back-cover photo for Anthem of the Sun
The people in the photo are surprisingly random – perhaps whoever was available that day.
A half-dozen girls from the commune sat in the photo. The McCoy sisters, Noelle Barton, and Siobhan McKendrick were the daughters of the commune’s founders (Don McCoy, Sandy Barton, and Sheila & Bob McKendrick, not pictured). Maura McCoy and Sheri Jensen sat by Garcia; Sheri’s sister Rhonda held Mickey's horse Snorty for him. She had been teaching the other girls at Olompali how to ride horses:
Jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi showed up; he had been hanging out with the Dead since their days at 710 Ashbury, and was even known to sit in at some shows.
Prankster Ken Babbs appeared, along with his partner Gretchen Fetchin and two of their children. He had known the Dead at least since the Acid Tests.
Band manager Jon McIntire appeared, but none of the Dead’s other managers like Rifkin or Scully (among others). McIntire was a recent addition to the Dead management team, having joined them during the Carousel days in early ’68.
Bill Kreutzmann brought his daughter Stacey and his new partner Susila Zeigler. She was then pregnant with their son Justin, who would be born in June. One lady is thought to be Cookie Eisenberg, then Mickey Hart’s girlfriend. (She was a New York travel-agency owner who’d met the Dead in spring ’68.) Oddly, some of the Dead's other friends like Mountain Girl or Rosie McGee weren't present, though photographer Tom Weir’s wife sat in.
The one person who hasn’t been identified is the woman standing behind Mickey Hart in the back. If anyone recognizes her, speak up!
It would also be nice to know who the dog was…"[32]

Maura McCoy recalls, "I was there the day the Dead came to the ranch to have their photo taken by Tom Weir for the back cover of Aoxomoxoa, and appear in the photo next to Jerry along with my sister and friends, some of whom went to live with Mickey at his ranch when the mansion at Olompali burned down [in February 1969]."[36]

Rancho Olompali (old bakery oven platform), Novato, CA

1.)^Ogden Hoffman, 1862, Reports of Land Cases Determined in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Numa Hubert, San Francisco
2.)^ "Miwok Indian Tribe". Access Genealogy.
3.)^ Olómpali State Historical Park brochure
4.)^ Original Mexican Land Grants in Marin County
5.)^ Marin County Ranchos
6.)^U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rancho Olompali
7.)^ Camillo Ynitia, Coast Miwok (1803-1856) - Catholic, Rancho Grant Owner
8.)^Mildred Brooke Hoover, Hero Eugene Rensch and Ethel Grace Rensch, 1966, Historic Spots in California Stanford University Press, Stanford California.
9.)^United States. District Court (California : Northern District) Land Case 10 ND
10.)^ Report of the Surveyor General 1844 - 1886
11.)^ Olompali Park Filled With History, Reutinger, Joan. The Coastal Post, Sept. 1997
12.)^ The Settlement of Nicasio: James Black
13.)^Hippie Archeology, 2014-06-09,
14.)^Lydon, Michael, Summer 1969:Jerry Garcia Interview, 2014-06-04,
15.)^Reutinger, Joan, Olompali Park Filled With History, The Coastal Post - September, 1997,
16.)^ Olompali Ranch,
17.)^ Davis, William Heath. Seventy-Five Years in California. San Francisco: John Howell
Books, 1967.
18.)^Seif, Dena (2006). University of California Irvine Camillo Ynitia, Coast Miwok (1803-1856) - Catholic, Rancho Grant Owner
19.)^Mason, Jack. Early Marin. Petaluma, CA: House of Printing, 1971.
20.)^Hunter, George, Grateful Dead Family Album, pg. 33.,
21.)^Arnold, Corry, Winterland, San Francisco "Monster Jam" for Olompali, March 17, 1969, 2010-04-26,
22.)^McGee, Rosie, Dancing with the Dead – A Photographic Memoir, Chapter 3.
23.)^Ferris, Susan, Former Commune is site of archeological dig, 2009-09-08,
24.)^Garcia, Jerry, Baritch, Bill, Still Truckin', 1993-10-11, New Yorker,
25.)^Dister, Alain. 2007. Grateful Dead: Une légende californienne. Paris: Le Castor Astral. ISBN 9782859207298, pg. 103, Elves, Gnomes, Leprechauns and Little People’s Chowder and Marching Society Volunteer Fire Brigade and Ladies Auxiliary String Band, 2014-01-26,
26.)^Brandelius, Jerilynn Lee, Grateful Dead Family Album, pg. 33.
27.)^Morgan, John, The Rock is Acid at Party Given by Grateful Dead, 1966-10-19, Redding, CA Record-Searchlight, October 1966:Acid Rock Party, 2012-02-15,
28.)^Pastino, Blake, Vinyl Records Excavated at Famous '60's Commune,
29.)Parkman, E. (2014). A hippie discography: vinyl records from a Sixties commune World Archaeology, 1-17
30.)^Newell, Theron, Olompali-Where History Was Made, 1975-06-07, Marin Independent Journal.
32.)^Who's Who In The Aoxomoxoa Photo, 2015-01-30, Grateful Dead Guide,
33.)^Reich, Charles, Wenner, Jann, Garcia, Signpost to New Space, pg. 32-33.
34.)^McNally, Dennis, Long Strange Trip,  pg. 262.
35.)^Who's Who In The Aoxomoxoa Photo, 2015-01-30, Grateful Dead Guide,
36.)^Light Into Ashes, comments, 2015-01-01, It Wasn't Courtney, 2015-01-01, Grateful Dead Guide,
37.)^Olompali Sunday Times #1, 1967-04.