Saturday, July 25, 2009

May-September 1968 Jefferson Airplane Performance List (Airplane IX)

As a result of my research into other areas of Rock Prosopography, I have ended up with a fairly detailed list of Jefferson Airplane performances from 1965-69. Since I have no other plans for it, I am posting it here. This list leans heavily on the posted Jefferson Airpane set lists document by Scott Abbott, as well as information from Jeff Tamarkin’s fine book Got A Revolution, but it includes considerably more shows. Please forward any changes, updates, advice or criticism.
(This amazing photo of the Jefferson Airplane playing at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, September 15, 1968 courtesy of Harrie Verstappen)

The previous installments listed known shows from Jefferson Airplane’s formation through 1965 and 1966. The first post in the sequence is here. This post covers known shows from May through September 1968. [dates that have been added since the original post are shown as added]

May 3-4, 1968 Fillmore East, New York, NY
Jefferson Airplane/Crazy World of Arthur Brown
For some reason, Spencer Dryden was not present for the last few dates, and Canadian drummer Jeff Cutler filled in at Fillmore East. Cutler was in a Toronto band called Jon Lee and The Checkmates, then based in Philadelphia, who would morph into a group called Rhinoceros. Hendrix drummer Mitch Mitchell also sat in for one of the encores.

May 5, 1968 Central Park, New York, NY (afternoon free concert)
Jefferson Airplane/Grateful Dead/Butterfield Blues Band
I assume Jeff Cutler, or someone, sat in on drums. 

May 8, 1968 Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco
Jefferson Airplane/Charlatans/Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks/It’s A Beautiful Day “Fire Dance” Alton Kelly Benefit

The Grateful Dead were scheduled, but did not play (they were elsewhere). Possibly the Steve Miller Band took their place.

May 17, 1968 Memorial Auditorium, Sacramento
Jefferson Airplane

May 18, 1968 Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, Santa Clara
Jefferson Airplane/Big Brother and The Holding Company/Grateful Dead/Steve Miller Band/Youngbloods/People/Sons of Champlin/Crome Syrcus/Transatlantic Railroad/Indian Head Band/Mourning Reign
Northern California Folk-Rock Festival

The first day of a two-day festival.

May 18, 1968 Shrine Exposition Hall, Los Angeles
Grateful Dead/Steve Miller Band/Taj Mahal

The Jefferson Airplane appeared as unannounced guests.

May 25, 1968 Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino
Jefferson Airplane/Iron Butterfly/Boston Tea Party

June 7-8-9, 1968 Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco
Jefferson Airplane/Grateful Dead/Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac were billed, but almost certainly did not appear, as their first American tour was delayed.

On Sunday, June 9, the Dead and The Airplane attempted to play Speedway Meadows, in honor of Bobby Kennedy, but they were blocked by the police who insisted that the Cub Scouts permit superseded their interests.

June 12, 1968 Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco
Jefferson Airplane/Steve Miller Band/Charlatans/Dan Hicks [added]

July 5, 1968 [venue], Tucson, Arizona canceled
July 6, 1968 Lagoon Terrace, Salt Lake City, UT canceled
The Lagoon Terrace show was made up on August 14.

July 12, 1968 [venue], Montreal, QE
Jefferson Airplane [added]

July 13, 1968 [venue], Asbury Park, NJ
Jefferson Airplane [added]
The most likely venue would be Asbury Park Convention Center.

July 19-20, 1968 Fillmore East, New York, NY
Jefferson Airplane/H.P. Lovecraft

July 21, 1968 [venue], McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
Jefferson Airplane/Kensington Market/Bittergarden

July 23, 1968 Keil Convention Hall, St. Louis, MO
Jefferson Airplane

July 24, 1968 [venue], Chicago, IL
Jefferson Airplane [added]

August 2, 1968 Selland Arena, Fresno, CA
Jefferson Airplane/Thermal Vibration/Just Another Rock Group

The promotional photo above is for this show, from the July 28, 1968 edition of the Fresno Bee.

August 4, 1968 Orange County Fairgrounds, Costa Mesa, CA Newport Pop Festival
Jefferson Airplane/Country Joe and The Fish/Grateful Dead/Elecric Flag/Canned Heat/Iron Butterfly/Steppenwolf/Things To Come/Illinois Speed Press (Sonny & Cher canceled).

This was a two-day festival (August 3-4). Big Brother and The Holding Company also played one of the days, though they were unbilled.

August 10, 1968 Community Concourse, San Diego
Jefferson Airplane

August 14, 1968 The Lagoon, Salt Lake City, UT (7:00 and 9:30 shows)
Jefferson Airplane

This was probably to make up for a canceled July 6 show.

August ?, 1968 Grant Park, Chicago, IL
Jefferson Airplane

August ?, 1968 Westbury Music Fair, Westbury, NY
Jefferson Airplane

August 28, 1968 Falkoner Centret, Copenhagen, Denmark
Jefferson Airplane/Beefeaters

August 29, 1968 Revolution Club, London, England
Jefferson Airplane

Possibly a private party.

August 30, 1968 [venue], Brussels, Belgium
Jefferson Airplane

August 31, 1968 Hayles Field, Ford Farm, near Godshill, Isle of Wight, UK
Jefferson Airplane/Crazy World of Arthur Brown/The Move/Pretty Things/Tyrannosaurus Rex/Fairport Convention

Sepember 4, 1968 Parliament Hill, Hempstead Heath, London, England (free concert)
Jefferson Airplane/Fairport Convention

September 6, 1968 The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm, London, England (two shows)
Jefferson Airplane/The Doors/Terry Reid/Blossom Toes

The Doors and The Airplane alternated headlining each night.

September 7, 1968 The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm, London, England
The Doors/Jefferson Airplane/Crazy World of Arthur Brown/Blonde on Blonde

September 6-7, 1968 Middle Earth Club, Covent Garden, London, England
Jefferson Airplane

I’m not sure about the conflicts with The Roundhouse on the 6th and 7th. The Airplane may have played late shows at Middle Earth.

September 10, 1968 Musikhalle, Hamburg, Germany
The Doors/Jefferson Airplane

September 12, 1968 [venue], Dusseldorf, Germany
Jefferson Airplane

September 14, 1968 Kongresshalle, Frankfurt, Germany
Jefferson Airplane/The Doors/Canned Heat

Photo: Harrie Verstappen
September 15, 1968 Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Holland
The Doors/Jefferson Airplane/Terry Reid

Possibly there are two shows, or possibly the Airplane play an early set for Dutch radio. Some of the Airplane’s performance is broadcast on VPRO-fm. Jim Morrison succumbs to Amsterdam’s ‘charms’ and does not appear with the Doors, so Ray Manzarek handles the vocal chores this night (the photo above is from the Concertgebouw on this night).

September 20, 1968 Konserthuset, Stockholm, Sweden
The Doors/Jefferson Airplane/Terry Reid/Savoy Brown

>September 1968. RCA releases the Jefferson Airplane's fourth album, Crown Of Creation.

September 29, 1968 Central Park, New York, NY
Jefferson Airplane

October 3, 1968 [venue], New York, NY Whitney Museum Benefit
Jefferson Airplane

October 6, 1968 [venue], Clarkson College, Potsdam, NY
Jefferson Airplane

For the next installment, see here.


  1. The Airplane apparently also played a gig on August 13, 1968 in Asbury Park, NJ. The venue is unknown to me, but I would assume it was the Asbury Park Convention Center. Supposedly Canadian drummer Jeff Cutler deputized for Dryden.

  2. Drummer Jeff Cutler, from the Toronto band Jon Lee and The Checkmates, apparently filled in for an absent Spencer Dryden at the Fillmore East on May 3-4. I assume Cutler played the afternoon gig in Central Park (May 5) as well, but I don't know that for sure.

  3. The Asbury Park date was July 13, 1968, not August. I have updated my post accordingly.

  4. Jefferson Airplane
    Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    September 15, 1968

    60:00 min. [VPRO FM Broadcast]

    01 - Rock Me Baby (9:40)
    02 - If You Feel (4:43)
    03 - Crown of Creation (3:33)
    04 - Interview with Grace (1:40)
    05 - Somebody to Love (3:47) *
    06 - Today (4:03) *
    07 - Plastic Fantastic Lover (4:35)
    08 - Nothing in Particular Jam (10:35)
    09 - Won't You Try / Saturday Afternoon (5:18)
    10 - In Time (4:19)
    11 - The Ballad Of You & Me & Pooneil // (7:43)

    From Mono broadcast except * from Stereo rebroadcast in the '90s.

    Paul Kantner (vocals, guitars)
    Marty Balin (vocals)
    Jack Casady (Bass)
    Jorma Kaukonen (guitars, vocals)
    Spencer Dryden (percussion)
    Grace Slick (vocals)

  5. I think that the confusion about Jefferson Airplane playing the Roundhouse and Middle Earth on the 6 and 7 September 1968 is explained by the fact that Middle Earth had moved from Convent Garden to the Roundhouse at least for these concerts. So JA did not play in Covent Garden those nights but just at the Roundhouse.

  6. AD is correct that the Middle Earth was running out of the Roundhouse at the time of these Jeffereson Airplane shows. The Covent Garden warehouse had started as the Electric Garden before becoming the spiritual home to the Middle Earth. Even before moving to the Roundhouse, a number of shows were rescheduled to larger venues in line with audience expectations. Later shows would also be held at the Royalty Theatre in Ladbroke Grove. The other thing that causes confusion is that the Middle Earth transitioned from simply being a venue to being effectively a promotional co-operative. If you look at the addresses associated with them they regularly changed from one rented house to another around the Holland Park and then Ladbrook Grove areas.

    As an aside, less than a month after these shows the Middle Earth were advertising the Grateful Dead playing the Roundhouse on October 11-12, 1968. The building sat empty that evening. Ross

  7. I saw them in Hamburg in a highly inadequate place, a concert hall with a conservative 1900 atmosphere, red velvet and stucco. They performed a light show with color drops between glass panes, projected to the wall.
    Though, I cannot remember the Doors as an opening act. Instead, we were waiting for ages until Jefferson Airplane appeared on stage. They started playing without a word of introduction, and wow! did they sweep me off my feet! It was the rock concert of my life.

  8. I do not think that The Doors actually played the Hambug show. There would have to have been an opening act, but I do not think that it was The Doors.

  9. Ross you're right! The Doors not played the Hamburg show.

  10. Corry,
    About the "conflict" The Roundhouse/Middle Earth on September 6-7, 1968. Roundhouse and Middle Earth is the same venue at that time.

    September 6, 1968: 'Middle Earth', New Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, UK with The Doors, Blossom Toes, Terry Reid (unbilled), Glenn McKay's Head-Lights

    September 7, 1968: 'Middle Earth', New Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, UK with The Doors, Blonde On Blonde, Crazy World of Arthur Brown (unbilled), Terry Reid (unbilled), Glenn McKay's Head-Lights

  11. Re: May 25, 1968 Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino Jefferson Airplane/Iron Butterfly/Boston Tea Party.....also on the bill: The Drift

  12. Thoughtful reader Dave sent in some great photos of the Jefferson Airplane at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, NL, on September 15, 1968, so I added them to the post. The great color shots give a great view of the light show as well as the band. Thanks Dave!

  13. The "thoughtful reader" didn't think of crediting me for the photo, which is my copyright, and which was ripped off my website Please give me credit for it?
    "Photo credit © harrie"
    Thank you.
    And by the way, I get rubbish when clicking on "Subscribe to Post Comments"

    1. "Subscribe to Post Comments" should give you an RSS feed. Is that what you are looking for?

      Blogger is pretty buggy, and only minimally engineered or maintained, as far as I can tell. It is what it is.

      By the way, I am pleased to you asserting your intellectual property rights. I am sure the author will be happy to grant your request. And that's how it should be! There's altogether too much unattributed copying and pasting in this digital world, generally. And for whatever reason, pictures seem to shed their attributions more than other creations.

    2. To be perfectly clear, I am not criticizing Corry. Pictures travel with such poor attribution, generally, that there is no known credit to give.

  14. Thanks for your help, Jerry. It's only now that I see the other photo, maybe not so amazing, is also by my hand-eye coordination. Same request!

  15. Harrie, thanks for the heads-up about the photos. I'm delighted to be able to identify the photographer.

  16. Thank you, Corry. If you knew what a struggle this often turns into. All the best.

  17. I have a question about this one:

    May 8, 1968 Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco
    Jefferson Airplane/Grateful Dead/Charlatans/Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks/It’s A Beautiful Day “Fire Dance” Alton Kelly Benefit

    Possibly the Steve Miller Band also played.

    Am I wrong to think the GD did not appear, since they were in the midst of a run of nights at the Electric Circus in NYC?

  18. This is a date we have never really nailed down exactly who played, although we have discussed it in the past and I need to dig back through old emails to see where we were last. Firstly, we can confirm that the Grateful Dead did not play. The Charlatans played as did Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks. It seems to be accepted that the Jefferson Airplane and IABD played - but I don't recall how we concluded that. Going way back Corry suggested that Steve Miller replaced the GD. I shall have a look to see what I can find.

  19. I'm glad someone remembers something, because I didn't. I updated the post accordingly.

  20. About the "Fire Dance - Alton Kelly Benefit" at the Caroseul Ballroom, I think there are some confusion about the exact date and the exact billing. I know, based on the two posters existing (printed in black and silver ink), that the benefit show was originally held for Wednesday, May 8, 1968 with The Charlatans, Jefferson Airplane, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, Steve Miller Band. Apparently the benefit show didn't happened that day and another poster was printed with the original date of May 8 and Jefferson Airplane's name have been printed over in silver ink because the date was changed to Wednesday, June 12, 1968 and JA removed from the line up exactly. Neither the old and/or the new posters had the names of Grateful Dead and/or It's A Beautiful Day printed. So for me there weren't two different shows at the Carousel on May 8 and June 12 (as we see in the above JA list and on Carousel list on "Chicken" website), but only one that happened only on June 12 and only with The Charlatans, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks and the Steve Miller Band.

  21. Thanks Bruno, your explanation makes a lot of sense.

  22. Re: August ?, 1968: Westbury Music Fair, Westbury, NY

    Actually this might be the April 21 date.

  23. Re: September 20, 1968 Konserthuset, Stockholm, Sweden

    Thanks to my friend and The Doors' historian Logan Janzen we now knows that Jefferson Airplane did not play with The Doors. A band called International Harvesters opened The Doors Stockholm show, and JA played another date afterwards.

  24. My first ever concert was a 4 act show at the Arizona Coliseum in Phoenix. (1st act I can't recall) 2nd was "Boston Tea Party" , 3rd Iron Butterfly ( who had yet to release In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, but heard it for the first time that night..and headlining - Jefferson Airplane with Surrealistic Pillow having been very recently released and hit "Somebody to Love" (which they closed with) all over the radio. WISH I had the exact date!