Saturday, December 26, 2009

Moby Grape Performance History January-June 1967 (Moby Grape II)

Moby Grape was one of the best of the San Francisco groups, but their never ending run of poor choices and bad luck has insured that they lead the woulda-shoulda-coulda category, with a long series of frustrations punctuating their career. Over the years, the nonetheless fascinating story of Moby Grape has been documented fairly comprehensively. However, there is no longer a good Moby Grape performance history on the Web, or at least not an accessible one, so I have constructed one for the years 1966-69. It was originally based on the one that was available on the web some years ago, but I have revised and added to it considerably.

My focus on this concert history is on Moby Grape's actual performance history, rather than an attempt to document their recordings or other aspects of the band's history. I have had to give some thumbnail information in order to make the history coherent, but I am aware that I am simplifying or leaving out many aspects of the band's history due to my narrow focus on concerts.

The Moby Grape Performance History will be in 6 parts (1966, early and late 1967, early and late 1968, and 1969). The history represents the best information available to me at this time. Anyone with additional information, corrections or insights into missing or incomplete performance dates please list them in the Comments or contact me.

Part I: 1966

Part II: January-June 1967 Performance History

January 13-14, 1967 Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco The Charlatans/Moby Grape/The Sparrow

January 13, 1967 Santa Venetia Armory, San Rafael Big Brother and the Holding Company/Moby Grape/Morning Glory 
Ralph and Al Pepe promoted this show. Note that Moby Grape had two gigs in one night, not unheard of in the days when bands had little equipment. Since Chet Helms ran the Avalon and managed Big Brother, he certainly had to be OK with Moby Grape's arrangement. The Armory show probably ended a lot earlier than the Avalon, leaving the Grape plenty of time to cross the Golden Gate Bridge.

January 29, 1967  Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco Big Brother and The Holding Company/Grateful Dead/Moby Grape
 “Krishna Consciousness Comes West”
Columbia Records signed Moby Grape in February 1967.

February 12, 1967 Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco  Grateful Dead/Moby Grape/Sly and The Family Stone/New Salvation Army/Notes From The Underground  
Benefit for The Council of Civic Unity
This was probably an evening show, after the scheduled Jimmy Reed/John Lee Hooker/Blues Project show in the afternoon. Sly and The Family Stone were a new band, knocking them dead at a place called Winchester Cathedral on the Peninsula.

February 14, 1967 The Ark, Sausalito Big Brother and The Holding Company/Moby Grape/Jack The Ripper

February 17, 1967 The Ark, Sausalito Moby Grape/Freudian Slips/All Night Apothecary
There were two shows each night.  The poster is very hard to read (see for yourself--h/t Ross for the scan). All Night Apothecary played a 2-6am Breakfast Show.

February 18, 1967 Sausalito Auditorium, Sausalito Moby Grape/Loading Zone "Totally Odd Ball"
According to an obscure poster, Moby Grape played this event in Sausalito on the same night as The Ark. Sausalito is very small, so two shows in one night is very plausible. I'm not certain where the Auditorium was located.

February 18, 1967 The Ark, Sausalito Moby Grape/California Girls/The Sparrow
The Sparrow also played the 2-6am Breakfast Show.

February 19, 1967  The Ark, Sausalito Moby Grape/Old Gray Zipper/All Night Apothecary
All Night Apothecary played the 2-6am Breakfast Show.

February 24-25, 1967  Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco Moby Grape/Charlatans

February 26, 1967  Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco B.B. King/Moby Grape/Steve Miller
B.B. King debuted at the Fillmore at this afternoon show, as did Steve Miller.

March 3, 1967 Winterland Love/Grateful Dead/Moby Grape/Loading Zone/Blue Crumb Truck Factory
 “First Annual Love Circus” Presented by Love Conspiracy Commune
The Diggers protested this show, due to high ticket prices ($3.50).  The Dead refused to play until the picketers were let in.  The Love Conspiracy Commune was supposedly backed by North Carolina pot dealers who called themselves “The Chapel Hill Mafia.”

March 5, 1967 Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco Big Brother and The Holding Company/Country Joe and The Fish/Moby Grape/The Sparrow  
“Benefit for Newstage and the Straight Theater” (poster by B. Kliban)

Moby Grape began recording their album in March of 1967 with producer David Rubinson, and continued recording through April. 

March 24-25-26, 1967  Winterland  Moby Grape/Chambers Brothers/The Charlatans (26th Fillmore afternoon)

March 31, April 1-2, 1967  Winterland, San Francisco  The Byrds/Moby Grape/Andrew Staples (2nd at the Fillmore, afternoon show)

April 12, 1967 Fillmore Jefferson Airplane/Grateful Dead/Quicksilver Messenger Service/Moby Grape/Andrew Staples/Loading Zone 
“Busted” Benefit for the San Francisco Mime Troupe  (Wednesday night)

April 22, 1967 Freeborn Hall, UC Davis Buffalo Springfield/Moby Grape

May 19-20, 1967 Winterland, San Francisco Love/Moby Grape/PJ Proby/Young Giants/Carousels  
“Rock Revolution”

June 3-4, 1967 Mt. Tamalpais Theater, San Rafael  Fantasy Fair and Magic Music Festival-Benefit for Hunter’s Point Child Care Center
Moby Grape was scheduled to play this two-day show on Mt. Tamalpais, but when it was rained out on June 3-4 and rescheduled for the next weekend, it appears that CBS preferred they fly to New York, as the band did not play Mt. Tam.

June 6, 1967 Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco Moby Grape  
Columbia Records Moby Grape album release party.
Moby Grape had recorded their sensational first album, and Columbia decided to go all out to promote it. The music was worth it, but the hype made hippies suspicious of the unknown band.

In a typical Grape moment, Seven hundred bottles of Moby Grape wine were provided, but no corkscrews. Janis Joplin sang with Moby Grape.  Members of the band were arrested early on June 7th for contributing to the delinquency of underage girls. Although the charges were ultimately dropped, it was another hurdle for Moby Grape to overcome.

June 8-9-10-11, 1967  The Scene, New York, NY Moby Grape/John Lee
The Scene was a tiny, very hip club on 46th Street, run by Steve Paul.  The record company apparently flew them to New York to introduce them to the industry.

John Lee was John Lee and The Checkmates, a popular Toronto band.

June 16, 1967 The Hullabaloo, Los Angeles Moby Grape
The Hullabaloo would change its name the next year to The Kaleidoscope.

June 16-17-18, 1967 Monterey County Fairgrounds Monterey Pop Festival
June 17, 1967 Horse Show Arena, County Fairgrounds, Monterey evening
Otis Redding/Booker T and The MGs (with the Mar-Keys)/Jefferson Airplane/Laura Nyro/Butterfield Blues Band/The Byrds/Hugh Masakela/Moby Grape
Although Moby Grape was not in the movie, there is professionally shot and edited footage circulating from their show.

June 24, 1967  Public Auditorium, Cleveland, OH Mamas And The Papas/Moby Grape/The Buckinghams

June 25, 1967  Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, PA Mamas And The Papas/Moby Grape/The Buckinghams

next: Part III July-December 1967


  1. A few additions: February 14, 1967 The Ark, Sausalito, CA - add Jack and The Ripper to the line up.
    February 17, 1967 The Ark, Sausalito, CA Moby Grape, Freudian Slips, All Night Apothecary (with the All Night Apothecary playing a 2am to 6am breakfast matinee)
    February 18, 1967 The Ark, Sausalito, CA Moby Grape, California Girls, The Sparrow (with the Sparrow playing a 2am to 6am breakfast matinee)
    February 19, 1967 The Ark, Sausalito, CA Moby Grape, Old Gray Zipper, All Night Apothecary
    (with the All Night Apothecary playing a 2am to 6am breakfast matinee).
    Also I can confirm the April 22, 1967 event was at Freeborn Hall - a poster exists.

  2. Re: June 8-9-10-11, 1967 The Scene, New York, NY Moby Grape/John Lee....(a) the exact date is "June 9-11, 1967" and (b) the exact bill was: Moby Grape / The Jon Lee Group / Tiny Tim

    Re: June 16, 1967 The Hullabaloo, Los Angeles Moby Grape...also on the bill: Sons Of Adam and (possibly) The Yellow Payges

  3. The great P.J.Proby at 75 still going strong. I attended one of his concerts in Nottingham,England a few months ago & he was brilliant. He was onstage non stop for 2 hours 10 minutes. To me this guy is a LEGEND!