Jan 25, 2019

Halloween 1969: San Jose State College


This Friday evening SJS is having its own “trick-or-treat,” when it brings out The Grateful Dead to play in the College Union Ballroom.
The Grateful Dead, pioneers of the San Francisco sound, will be making their first appearance at SJS Halloween night.
“The Dead” have added a little country to their blues and psychedelic elements, and the blend works well, according to people who saw them last weekend at Winterland.
“The Dead,” whose music has what many people term a euphoric effect, will play two sets, a total of one and a half to two hours. It is hoped that they will play some of their more famous sets which range from straight country, as in “Mama Tried,” to the blues encore, “Good Morning Little School Girl.” In the former, bass guitarist Phil Lesch produces a good country vocal sound, and in the latter, Ron (Pig Pen) McKernan is at his vocal best.
Lead guitarist Jerry Garcia also has a good set as does organist Tom Constante and rhythm guitarist Bob Weir. The dependable work of drummers William Kreutzman and Mickey Hart is ideal in the country tunes.
Accompanying “The Dead” will be the far out sounds of the “Experimental Flash.” In addition, two color horror films will be shown, “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula” and “Godzilla vs. The Thing.” Both films will be shown silently behind the bands.
The dance will be held from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. and admission is $2 for students and $3 for the public. Tickets are on sale in [the] Student Affairs Business Office, located on the second level of the College Union.

(by Marty Pastula, from the Spartan Daily, San Jose State College, 29 October 1969)


The Grateful Dead and Southbay Experimental Flash will perform at 9 p.m. tonight in the College Union to a masked audience.
In keeping with the theme of Halloween, the College Union Program Board (which is sponsoring the dance) has asked that all those attending tonight’s dance wear masks.
It is hoped that the debut of The Grateful Dead at SJS will be a pace-setter for future “name groups,” according to [the] CUPB student director.
The CUPB will provide masks for those who “forget their disguises.”
Tickets are still available in the Student Affairs Business office. [...]
[The] CUPB director added that in case it gets too warm, there will be “bobbing for apples” as refreshing but perhaps “ghostly” fun.

(from the Spartan Daily, 31 October 1969)


1 comment:

  1. Dead Sources returns! I'll be posting a bunch of articles from 1971 soon - but first, a few new discoveries.

    The Spartan Daily was the campus paper at San Jose State, and ran a couple announcements for this show. Unfortunately there was no later review of the show (and no eyewitness accounts that I've found), but it sounds like a fun evening, with a masked audience, monster movies, and apple-bobbing!

    The first piece isn't very well-written, but gives an interesting look at how the Dead were seen in late '69. The Dead's music is said to have "a euphoric effect." The author's heard from other show-goers that "the Dead have added a little country" to their set, but this is a positive turn: "the blend works well." He even names Mama Tried as a highlight (though mistaking the singer) and says the two-drummer approach is "ideal in the country tunes."
    Pigpen, alas, didn't sing Schoolgirl for the San Jose student crowd, but they did get a half-hour Lovelight.

    The New Riders had played in the same ballroom a couple weeks earlier, on 10/17/69. Here's the announcement from the 10/16 Spartan Daily:
    “Riders of the Purple Sage,” with special guest appearances by Jerry Garcia and Mickey Hart of the “Grateful Dead,” will be one of two bands playing tomorrow night in the new College Union on Ninth Street.
    A dance, sponsored by the College Union Program Board, will feature “Sage” and “The Fourth Way,” with guest appearances by members of the Charles Lloyd Quartet and John Handy’s group.
    The dance will be held from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the ballroom, on the third level of the College Union. Admission will be $1.50 for students, and $2 for the general public. There will be no pre-sale; all tickets will be sold at the door."
    [The 'guest appearances' were, of course, regular members of the groups.]