Jun 18, 2020

June 12-13, 1970: Civic Auditorium, Honolulu, HI

HEADLINES  [excerpt]

Stevie "Guitar" Miller - what a flash you are. Not only do you blow us out at the Crater Celebration but at the Civic too. With his new group; addition of Jimmy Miller, Steve's younger brother on rhythm guitar. Steve told me, "Jimmy plays better than I do." Well, I won't go as far to agree with him, but it sure added the much needed full sound the Miller band had been lacking since the Boz Scaggs left the group many moons ago. I've always loved the Miller Band no matter what they did, but with the addition of Jimmy, live performances can now sound more like the albums.
As far as Steve's very short hair-cut: "I got tired of long hair, it gets to be a hassle, so I cut it every few years." Then a little later Steve says, "Actually, I tried to give myself a trim and blew it." With or without the hair, Steve Miller is one of the finest performers in rock today. When his latest album comes out this July, run down and buy it because this is the year for the Steve Miller Band.
Also on that Civic bill, Quicksilver Messenger Service putting across one of the tightest sets we've heard. Quicksilver has made Hawaii its home for the last month and a half, making music for their new album.  They have been living and working in a country house six miles into the cane fields of Haleiwa. Not only did they record one album but have created enough material for two and a half albums...now that's creativity! One comment that's been made before but should again be brought out is Dino Valente. He sticks out on stage like a sore thumb. It seems to me if he continues to dominate the stage, the group should change their name to "Dino Valente with Quicksilver." Why don't David Freiberg and Gary Duncan sing more? Dino has a nice voice but Gary's at least, if not David's, is just as good. Why not, for the sake of the group, be part of Quicksilver rather than being Dino (which by the way isn't his real name). I have always liked Q.M.S., but seeing Dino trying to take over the already great group turns me, as well as most of the Q.M.S. fans, off.
We hear Nickey Hopkins has left the group, we can only hope this is temporary because when Nickey plays things like "Edward (Mad Shirt Grinder)" with Q.M.S., it's one of the best highs we've ever felt in music. Nickey received a standing ovation for that piece of art...he modestly accepted the cheers... Now that's a person Dino Valente could learn from.
I missed the Grateful Dead...unfortunately...but judging from their new album "Workingman's Dead," which is the Dead's best recording effort to date, I bet the set was a gas.
Side note: Noah's Arc Lighting did the finest light show we've seen in the Islands, keep it up!

(by Ken Rosene, from the Honolulu Advertiser, 22 June 1970)



The opportunity to see top-rate talent here in Honolulu is fast approaching the level of San Francisco and New York. In the past and in the upcoming two weeks, about two or three dozen of the finest talent in the country have played or will play here, and that may explain in part a growing (?) insouciance. We're getting ho-hum blase and so Quicksilver and Steve Miller and the Dead with New Riders of the Purple Sage can't even fill the Civic.
Riders are pure country and good. They have Jerry Garcia playing pedal steel guitar and he's the best part of them.
Steve Miller's set, excepting a shaky start to "My Dark Hour," was great and the band, now with brother Jerry Miller, sounds bigger and better than ever. If anything, the set was too short. 

(by Steve Moore, from the Honolulu Advertiser, 22 June 1970)

Thanks to Jesse Jarnow.

& Quicksilver's set has been released as "Hawaii 1970": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpLiMY8fALg 


  1. As far as Dead content, these are two disappointing articles. Two reporters went to the show and neither one of them wrote about the Dead (though one liked Jerry with the New Riders).

    My main reason for posting was to clear up the persistent story that the Civic Auditorium shows were cancelled and the Dead played at the small Honolulu nightclub the Red Vest instead. Nonsense! The shows went on at the Civic as scheduled. How the Red Vest rumor started is still unclear.

    The other mystery is the guests that supposedly appear on the 6/13/70 show, Dino Valenti & Gary Duncan. I don't hear them on the tape. But a couple attendees on dead.net recall:
    "The band finished up with Pigpen doing Lovelight. Members of QMS plugged in and jammed through an extension of the number."
    "[I remember] Nicky Hopkins playing "Edward" and Jerry opening up on pedal steel with the Riders. Pigpen outdid Dino Valenti on "Lovelight" and Steve Miller was onstage at the end too."
    It's possible that the guests showed up after our tape cuts off, but I think it's more likely that the Dead also played Lovelight on the June 12 show, and that's when the guests appeared. (The June 12 tape is in the Vault, so perhaps we'll find out someday.)

    All the groups were returning to Hawaii after recent visits. The Dead had played Honolulu in January; Steve Miller had played the Andrews Amphitheatre (U of Hawaii) in early March; and Quicksilver & AUM played there on March 13. (QMS & AUM also played a free show in Kapiolani Park on March 16.)
    Steve Moore reviewed Quicksilver's show in the 3/23/70 Advertiser:
    "They put out 'Shady Grove,' a mediocre album except for Nicky Hopkins' fine piano work. It certainly is nowhere near the pacing and feel that marked 'Happy Trails.' But it has Hopkins and I would go to see the Monkees if he played with them. In fact the high point of the concert was 'Edward, The Mad Shirt Grinder' and the high point of that is Hopkins. He was the watershed and is really far better than the rest of the band as far as what he is doing. They do great Bo Diddley and other hard material but Hopkins does not fit. I would rather see him playing with Steve Miller...
    Quicksilver sounded tired and uninterested and so was I. But gosh, it sure was a treat to have a real rock and roll star in town: Dino Valente. He even wore his best purple shirt so you couldn't miss him. I've never seen the Stones perform but beside Valente, Jagger must pale. Or blush.
    Dino spent most of the evening yelling at the sound man to turn up the mikes. He said all sorts of clever, hip, performer type stuff and come to find out, the sound man was one that Quicksilver had brought with them. I see no need for Valente with the Quicksilver."

  2. Ken Rosene kept readers updated about Quicksilver in his "Headlines" column:

    Honolulu Advertiser, 4/20/70: "Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Grateful Dead will be hitting our shores again, June 13 and 14 at the Civic.
    Also on that bill are The New Riders of the Purple Sage, a spin-off group of the Grateful Dead similar to the trip Jefferson Airplane has with Hot Tuna. This gig will be a rock first in Hawaii with both Q.M.S. and the Dead recording live for an up-coming album. Q.M.S. arrives in Hawaii May 1 and splits June 15; while here they will record their fourth album for Capitol Records."

    5/4/70: "Quicksilver Messenger Service just arrived in town for a recording, taking place in Haleiwa. The country boys will be joined by engineers Dan Healey, John Palladino, and local engineer Barry Mayo... Of course, manager Ron Polte is here, and along with John Selby and Mac Laris of Capitol Records. They are looking for a Baby Grand piano for Nicky Hopkins...they need it 'til June 15."

    5/7/70: "At 7 p.m. Saturday [May 9], the Quicksilver Messenger Service...will perform a free 'antiwar' concert in Andrews Amphitheatre."

    5/25/70: "Jan Maddox of Sunbums was a little mixed up on dates when she mentioned that Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Grateful Dead would appear on June 7 for the Crater Celebration. The facts are that the Dead won't even be in town until June 8 for their Civic concert with Quicksilver on June 12 & 13. Quicksilver has already done one free concert at the University during strike week, so they won't be playing either."

    Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 5/29/70: "Sunday night [May 31], the Red Noodle will have a jam session featuring nationally prominent Quicksilver Messenger Service from 6-9:30 p.m. Should be a mob turn out to hear them." [I wonder if this was the origin of the "Red Vest" story?]

    Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 6/8/70, had a full article on the all-day June 7 Crater Celebration in Diamond Head Crater: "Mainland and top local combos included the Steve Miller Band, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Lambert and Nuttycombe, Theatre of Madness, Leon and Malia, and the Quicksilver Messenger Service. Linda Ronstadt...arrived in time to turn in one of the better performances of the day."
    (Ken Rosene also wrote briefly about the Celebration in the Advertiser, 6/15/70 - Quicksilver appeared after all.)

    "Just For Love," the first QMS album from the Hawaii recordings, was released in August '70. Although the poster for the Civic shows proclaims that "this concert will be recorded for future albums," Quicksilver's set was only released in 2014, along with some Haleiwa studio rehearsals.