Jan 30, 2024

August 28, 1966: IDES Hall, Pescadero CA


PESCADERO - Mike Pickens chased the rabbit for 112 miles faster than anyone else in the Tour Del Mar bicycle race here Sunday, but didn't get his bunny. 
Although winning the grueling race over the coastal hills around this small town, Pickens did not receive his winning trophy from a Playboy Club Bunny as advanced publicity billings had promised. 
After showing up for Saturday's 25-mile criterium races, the Bunny did not appear Sunday for the Belmont Bicycle Club-sponsored affair, witnessed by a disappointing crowd of 350 spectators. 
On hand, however, were folk-rock groups, the Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger Service, who played long and loud in the post-race celebrations, organized by Belmont's Tom Preuss. 
[ . . . ]

(by Paul Savola, from the Redwood City Tribune, August 29, 1966)

See also: 


1 comment:

  1. In 1966, the Dead played for anyone who would have them, and turned up at all kinds of odd events. A debutante ball? The opening of a ski shop? A political picnic? A bicycle race? The Dead were there!

    This is just a short piece, but I included it partly for dating reasons. The poster says the "folk-rock" dances will be on three days, Friday through Sunday. But one attendee, Larry Rogers, wrote: “It was a 3 day gig, but the Dead just played for 2 nights. There were less than 10 of us there the first night, maybe 25 the 2nd night.” He asked the Dead if they'd come play a party at his house later on. Of course they were glad to, and played for 20 people at his cabin...
    Per his comment I thought the Dead didn't appear on Sunday, but here's a newspaper report telling us they did. Maybe they missed a different date - this reporter wasn't interested in the bands, only in the bike race (and the absence of a Playboy bunny to give the winner his trophy).

    One of the organizers wrote recently, "In '66 our Belmont Bicycle Club organized the “Tour del Mar” two day stage race in Pescadero, CA. We thought the race might attract more spectators if we had music and a dance after the races, so we booked three inexpensive local bands... Good racing and three days of great music." A 20-page program for the event was printed, and one of the sponsors was the Playboy Club (hence the promised Bunny). It seems the turnout was still pretty small, though, with "a disappointing crowd."

    I linked to an article with some memories of the event. Gary Fisher recalls, “There were more band people than there were people who came to the gig. Over the two nights there, maybe 100 people showed up to actually go to the gig.” One of the bike racers remembers the light show, "the first I had seen; it was an experience."

    I love how the poster hypes up the groups: all the bands (none of whom had an album) are "TV & recording stars," "national stars," etc. Colossal Pomegranate went on to total obscurity; no one even seems to remember them at this event!