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Friday, September 29, 2017

The Encyclopedia Of Jerry Garcia Music Venues UPDATE

Nine 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 nearly 925 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. Only about 65 more photos to locate! These are the toughest ones! There aren't any Jerry photos, mainly photos of the venues themselves, and in some cases, Deadheads. Well, there is one of Jerry at Place Ville Marie, Montreal, 8/6/67. He's got a thin leather headband on. No one's seen this one as the photographer thought she was shooting the Jefferson Airplane, who also performed for free that day.

Jerry owned over 125musical instruments in his lifetime, giving away most of them. Each is documented with 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.
To add your most unique, wildest memories of a specific Garcia performance to this book or to be notified when the book is ready, please send an email to

Latest update: Volume One is nearing completion by the book designer. Each Volume is about 1000 pages. Despite the expense, the decision is made to use all color photos.
Keep checking back here for progress.

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

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