Saturday, November 14, 2020

Keystone Berkeley, 2119 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA: 1972 Performers List

Keystone Berkeley, at 2119 University Avenue (at Shattuck) in downtown Berkeley, as it looked ca. 1982

Keystone Berkeley, 2119 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA: March 1-December 31 1972
The Keystone Berkeley nightclub was open in downtown Berkeley for a dozen years, from 1972 to 1984. With an official capacity of 500--probably exceeded regularly--and relatively convenient parking, the Keystone played a critical role in Bay Area rock history. These days, Keystone Berkeley is most recalled for hosting Jerry Garcia. Long after the Grateful Dead had made Garcia a huge star, he played the Keystone Berkeley over 200 times, more than any other venue

Yet numerous other rock stars, whether Bay Area residents or from out-of-town, played Keystone Berkeley. Sometimes they played it on the way up, and sometimes on the way down, and on occasion on the way back up, too. Keystone Berkeley was designed to sell beer, lots of beer, and because they could sell it, bands got paid. Bill Graham Presents dominated the Bay Area concert market, as they always had, but even a band with a record contract and a future needed a good payday for some walking around money. The monthly Keystone Berkeley always had acts worth seeing, as long as you liked it loud and rocking. 
Berkeley rock fans from the 1970s and early 80s generally have fond memories of the Keystone Berkeley. They saw good bands, they didn't pay much money to do it, and often the event was just spur of the moment. On a night with nothing going on, you and your roommate could hop in the car and catch Commander Cody, Jerry Garcia, the Dead Kennedys or whoever was on tap that decade. Maybe there was sawdust on the floor, and definitely beer. Ok, there wasn't much else. In the early days, there were some tables, and maybe some pizza--not so sure about that--but by the end there was just Miller Lite and Popcorn. Bands had to walk from the back of the house to the front, through the crowd, whether they were nobody or Jerry Garcia. People got there early, drank beer and hung out. Eventually, the band came out and played. It was truly a Berkeley institution. Was it a dump? Hell yes. But it was our dump.

There were other cubs in the Bay Area in the mid-70s, filling various niches, but Keystone Berkeley held down the slots for loud, bluesy guitar playing. In 1977, Keystone Berkeley combined forces with the Palo Alto club Sophie's. The combination of Keystone Berkeley and Keystone Palo Alto doubled both clubs' booking power. The Stone, on Broadway in San Francisco, was added in 1980. Herrera ran Keystone Berkeley, while Bobby Corona and his son (Bobby Jr) ran the other two. Garcia and the other Keystone regulars played all three venues, and the clubs were an essential piece of the Bay Area rock scene

Bay Area rock band histories often mention the Keystones, but the actual role and importance of the Keystone Berkeley is barely reflected upon. This post will look back at the Keystone Berkeley, and its genesis in 1972.
History of The Keystones
The Keystone Korner was a little San Francisco club on 750 Vallejo Street, a few blocks off Broadway.  Prior to being the Keystone Korner, the club had been called DenoCarlo's. DenoCarlo's was unmemorable, but still googlable, mainly because Creedence Clearwater Revival had a Monday night residency there back in 1968. 750 Vallejo is in North Beach, just off Broadway, not far from City Lights Books. When Freddie Herrera bought the club in 1969, across the street from the club was a closed police station, so Herrera named it "Keystone Korner, " with a vague allusion to "Keystone Kops." Herrera thought it could make it as a topless joint. It turned out, however, that Vallejo Street was just far enough off Broadway to attract no foot traffic.
According to San Francisco Chronicle rock critic Joel Selvin, Nick Gravenites wandered in one night. Gravenites was part of a community of white blues musicians from Chicago that had migrated to San Francisco. At the time, Gravenites was producing an album and wanted his guy (I believe Luther Tucker) to work out his numbers in a club. Pretty rapidly, however, Keystone Korner became the hangout for all those expat Chicago Blues musicians. Gravenites' pal Mike Bloomfield, a genuine rock guitar hero, very much liked playing some tiny joint instead of a big hall. Bloomfield performed regularly at Keystone Korner, so Bay Area rock fans had heard of the club, even if most hadn't been there. Keystone Korner puttered along through 1969 and 1970, hosting Bloomfield, Gravenites, Elvin Bishop and a variety of other blues oriented acts. There were no other rock clubs in the North Beach area, although the Matrix was over in the Marina, not too far away.

In April 1971, Keystone Korner owner Freddie Herrera started booking shows at The New Monk as well.
In 1971, when The Matrix closed, Jerry Garcia needed a new clubhouse, too. Since John Kahn played bass for both Bloomfield and Garcia, it's no surprise that Garcia and Merl Saunders ended up playing Keystone Korner as well. There were a lot of working musicians in San Francisco, and not so many places to play, so plenty of bands played Keystone Korner. Around April 1971, Freddie Herrera also took over booking shows for a Berkeley nightclub called The New Monk, often booking bands at both Keystone Korner and The New Monk on consecutive days.

Jazz musicians performing at the old Monkey Inn, at 3105 Shattuck, about 1958

The New Monk, 2119 University Avenue (at Shattuck), Berkeley, CA
Back in the early 60s, there had been an infamous bar popular with fraternities called The Monkey Inn. It was known universally as "The Monk." In those days, as some kind of Prohibition throwback, there were restrictions on serving beer or liquor close to campus (when I arrived at UC Berkeley as a freshman in 1975, the only liquor stores were at least a mile from campus, on Grove Street). The Monkey Inn was on the corner of Shattuck Avenue and Prince Street. The actual address seems to have been either 3105 or 3109 Shattuck, about one mile South of campus. Currently, those addresses are the La Pena Cultural Center, but on the corner is The Starry Plough nightclub, at 3101 Shattuck.

California liquor laws at the time were very restrictive, but much more fluid for restaurants. So a place like the Monkey Inn would serve pizza and burgers, and in turn could easily get a license to serve beer and wine. Frat boys and their prospective sorority dates would hang at "The Monk," as it was called, pounding down beers with abandon. There had been music regularly at the Monkey Inn. In the late 50s, a Dixieland band played 5 nights a week, and even recorded live at 'The Monk."
By the mid-60s, the music had migrated to rock and roll. John and Tom Fogerty, later famous in Creedence Clearwater Revival, recalled playing The Monk back in '64 or so, when the band was still called The Golliwogs, and when he and his bandmates were still fresh out of El Cerrito High School. Rowdy Frat Boys would buy beer for a dollar a pitcher--probably not very good beer--and it was a rowdy scene. The future Creedence lads learned early how to keep it rocking.

Around March 1968, the Monkey Inn moved closer to campus. The new location was at 2119 University Avenue, at Shattuck. The place was at the North end of the old Key Route turnaround at Shattuck Square. The location turned out to be prescient, since it ended up being near the Berkeley BART station, which in turn drove development around the immediate area. In any case, the joint was called "The New Monk," an obvious reference to all the locals, but not to anyone else. Most nights, the New Monk was a Frat boy hangout, with pizza and beer. On weekends, a local band would be booked for dancing. It being Berkeley and all, sometimes the band would later turn out to be famous. Creedence Clearwater played a weekend or two in April 1968, and Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen played there in 1969. Most of the time, however, it was just local bands on the make.

In April 1971, as The New Monk was trying to transition from "frat boy hangout" to "hippie rock club," Freddie Herrera took over the booking. This allowed Herrera to offer traveling bands two gigs, at Keystone Korner and New Monk, instead of just one. The New Monk was managed by one Bruce Feldman.

San Francisco Rock and Roll Economics, ca. early 1972
In the late 1960s, San Francisco was one of the bright lights in the popular music industry. Record companies, backed by big corporate money, signed every band in town. Different acts had their ups and downs, but there had been numerous hit acts coming out of SF--Jefferson Airplane, Sly and The Family Stone and Santana, just to name a few. There were big recording studios in San Francisco, too, such as CBS Studios and Wally Heiders,  so the record companies were still present in force. 

Live rock music was bigger business than ever, and with Bill Graham in town, every important band played the Bay Area without fail. Ironically, however, the rising importance of Bill Graham Presents and the concert industry had an unfortunate effect on any bands not in the very top tier. In the Fillmore days, three bands or more typically played Fillmore West, and lesser ballrooms like the Family Dog (whether at the Avalon or on the Great Highway) booked multiple bands as well. Every touring act played San Francisco, of course, but local bands got booked as openers. Thanks to the record companies, most of these bands had albums, but live performances probably put more cash in their pockets than their recording contracts.

Bill Graham had closed the Fillmore West in July, 1971. BGP had moved operations to Winterland (capacity 5,400), Berkeley Community Theater (3,500 reserved seats) and the Oakland Coliseum (capactiy ca. 15,000). The bands that played those venues were big stars. If there was an opening act, it was probably attached to the national tour, via the record company or talent agency. Paying slots for opening bands, even if they had an album, were few and far between in the Bay Area.

Weekend gigs at Keystone Berkeley paid good money. How much isn't precisely clear, but they were clearly 4-fugure numbers, which was real money in 1972. For a Bay Area band with a following, and maybe an album or two, playing Keystone Berkeley kept the band going. Some out-of-town acts also played Keystone Berkeley, usually because they were no longer flavor-of-the-month for opening big rock shows. Graham, apparently, didn't like bands playing Keystone Berkeley, but that of course was a sign that they served a real purpose. Financially speaking, Keystone Berkeley bookings replaced bottom-of-the-poster bookings for Bay Area bands. The bands probably played better music and got more cash playing Keystone, too.

Geography and Commuting
One factor that very much favored the Keystone Berkeley was its location relative to the rest of the Bay Area. Although the Keystone was in downtown Berkeley, directions to the club were very simple. It was on the intersection of two of the best-known streets in the city, so almost any East Bay resident could get there easily. Also, University Avenue had its own exit off Highway 80, so the Keystone was easy to find if you were coming from San Francisco, Marin County or other parts of Alameda County.
It is a peculiarity of Bay Area geography that some places that seem to be far apart are quite near when traffic is not a factor. Although not many people lived in Marin County, back in the 1970s a lot of musicians did. At the times when musicians drive to and from work, it was a very quick trip from anywhere in Marin to downtown Berkeley. Jerry Garcia, for example, lived in far Western Marin (Stinson Beach) in 1972, and he could make it to the Keystone Berkeley in about 70 minutes (even if he didn't speed in his cool Volvo 1800ES). As if that weren't enough, Fantasy Studios, at 10th and Parker, was on the way to and from Keystone Berkeley for anyone who lived in Marin. The popularity of Fantasy Studios and Keystone Berkeley with the Marin musical community makes perfect sense: Berkeley paid better than any Marin gig, because there were more people, but it was still near everywhere in Alameda County by freeway.

Also, although Keystone Berkeley was downtown, in 1972 it wasn't hard to park downtown at night. It is an irony that just a few blocks away from the dingy Keystone, an entire food revolution was happening. The "Gourmet Ghetto," which included Alice Waters' Chez Panisse restaurant, The Cheese Board, and Peet's Coffee (which begat Starbucks) were all just a few blocks North. At the time, though, Shattuck and University was an easy park, and also free. Just the thing if you got it into your head one night to hop in your roommate's MGB and go see the Jerry Garcia Band on the spur of the moment.
Also, although Keystone Berkeley was downtown, it was on the Northern edge of downtown, and their were plenty of potential patrons who lived within walking distance of the club. While the bigger acts were going to pull fans from all over the East Bay, and probably Marin or even parts of San Francisco, on weeknights the Keystone was just a local joint. When a band was playing Monday night for no cover, a lot of nearby residents probably dropped in for a beer. Thus the Keystone could advertise for bigger acts on weekends, but still have a modest, profitable night with local bands, a rare combination for an urban nightclub.

Blues Venues
In the late 60s, Bill Graham and others had regularly booked classic electric blues bands with rock acts, giving white rock fans a taste for the real blues performers. However, by the early 70s, blues acts were rarely booked with rock shows. At the same time, white audiences would not go to black clubs to see blues acts, which were hardly being booked there anyway. In the Bay Area, at least, the Keystone Berkeley helped fill the gap by providing good paying bookings for established blues acts. 
The other white rock club in the East Bay that regularly booked blues artists was Mandrake's, just 10 blocks West, down University Avenue  and San Pablo Avenue (at 1048 University). However, Mandrakes was far smaller, so Keystone got the best of the available blues artists.  It's also a fact that while there were a bunch of nightclubs in West Berkeley, on the San Pablo Avenue corridor (see the list below). Those areas were a lot seedier than downtown. Now, downtown itself wasn't that pretty in those days, but the fact is that further down University Avenue and San Pablo (around 10th Street) had significant African-American populations, and that made white rock fans from other parts of town less likely to go there. 
In fact, Keystone Berkeley had a wider variety of bookings than most rock clubs, since it paid better than other East Bay clubs. Keystone Berkeley had some folk, jazz and R&B bookings simply because bands on tour didn't have better choices in Berkeley or Oakland at the time. So while the emphasis of Keystone Berkeley was always going to be a loud, bluesy guitar--played by whoever--the booking was more eclectic than one might anticipate.
Advertising and Schedule
The Keystone Berkeley, as an economic entity, was designed to sell beer. Lots and lots of beer. That was what paid the bands--beer. If you don't understand the beer part of it, you are missing what made Keystone Berkeley tick. Remember also, that thanks to various factors, historical and political, there were far fewer bars in downtown Berkeley than there would be in most college towns. So a place with good, loud music and cold beer had far less competition than there would be in some places. According to California law, a joint like Keystone Berkeley could sell beer (and wine, hypothetically) if they served food, because that made them a "restaurant."
I know that in the early 70s, Keystone Berkeley had tables on the dance floor, mainly as an attraction to get people to come to shows early and start drinking beer. There appears to have been a little food, too. I know that over time, the tables went away, and so did any food. By the time I started going to Keystone Berkeley, in 1979, there were no tables and virtually no food. A former waitress once explained in a Comment Thread that the club served popcorn as their only food item. She also asserted that they only served Miller Lite, accounting for Keystone Berkeley's reputation for watered-down beer.
The Monk had probably been open 6 or 7 nights a week when it was a Frat Boy hang-out. The New Monk probably had had a similar schedule when it opened on University Avenue, even if there may have only been bands on the weekend. By the time the New Monk became the Keystone Berkeley, however, in March 1972, it was more of a music club. Keystone Berkeley was open when there was live music, and not otherwise. Also, as a "restaurant," The New Monk and Keystone Berkeley had the archaic admissions policy that allowed women over 18, but men only over 21. This was designed to allow college seniors to bring freshman dates. Strange as it seems now, this restriction was common in Bay Area clubs throughout the 1960s.
In 1972, Keystone Berkeley was certainly open every weekend, probably from Thursday to Monday. They would be open on Tuesday or Wednesday if a band was booked. By the same token, if no one was playing on Sunday or Monday, the Keystone Berkeley was probably closed. On Friday and Saturday, I'm confident a local band was hired if there was nothing else going, but not on other nights.
Back in '72, there were no advance tickets for Keystone Berkeley shows. The first computerized ticket service (Ticketron) had just started, but it was for Bill Graham and the theater, not nightclubs. Some nightclubs might have advance tickets, at least from the club itself, but Keystone Berkeley did not. One attraction of the Keystone to Jerry Garcia was that he could book a gig and then change the date, or cancel it, and no money had to be refunded. Since Garcia often played weeknights, anyway, the club would just be closed that night. To a lesser extent, popular bands like Tower Of Power or Elvin Bishop would benefit from this, as well. With no advance tickets, changing the schedule was no hassle (by 1975, most weekend Keystone shows save for Garcia did have advance tickets through BASS). In 1972, Keystone Berkeley was all cash and all right now, for the club, the bands and the fans.

The principal form of advertising for Keystone Berkeley was announcements on FM radio. The big rock stations, like KSAN, always had an "entertainment calendar" generally recited at around 5:30pm. The dj would list all the clubs, "at The Keystone Berkeley, tonight and tomorrow night, Elvin Bishop Group, and at the Lion's Share, Stoneground," and so on. FM rock radio was ever-present. The idea was that you heard the announcement in your car driving home from work, when you made a decision about the evening. By 1973, Keystone Berkeley also had ubiquitous flyers on bulletin boards around Berkeley, but I don't know how early that started. Shows were often listed in the newspapers, too, but the club didn't actually advertise until later.

Competing Clubs
In 1972, Keystone Berkeley was probably the second-best paying gig for local bands, other than playing for Graham. Other than for bands like the Dead and the Airplane, who could actually headline Winterland, Keystone Berkeley was probably the best booking.  There were a few other clubs, but they didn't really offer what Keystone did. If you've even read this far, you probably are at least curious about those clubs. Here are the Bay Area clubs (and one concert venue) that were open in 1972, but far enough up the ladder that at least some of the bands playing these clubs had released records.
Keystone Korner, 750 Vallejo St, San Francisco
Keystone Korner, owned and managed by Freddie Herrera, was somewhat smaller than Keystone Berkeley. It was in North Beach, near Broadway, and booked the same bluesy rock acts that played Keystone Berkeley. Herrera had opened the Keystone Korner in 1969. For the first half of 1972, Keystone Korner had roughly the same bookings as Keystone Berkeley, and most of the better known acts played both places (Herrera was booking them both).

In July, 1972, Herrera sold Keystone Korner to Todd Barkan. Barkan kept the name Keystone Korner, but booked jazz almost exclusively. While Keystone Korner under Barkan had perpetual financial problems, from a musical point of view it was the City's premier jazz club. Many great live jazz albums were recorded there.
The Boarding House, 960 Bush Street, San Francisco
The Boarding House, formerly Coast Recorders, and then Troubadour North, was a delightful little club, at 960 Bush (near Taylor),  between the Financial District and Chinatown. Bands loved it, but it was tiny and and hard to park, and also in the somewhat seedy Tenderloin. Other than Jerry Garcia, mostly the Boarding House favored quieter singer-songwriter acts, often with smaller ensembles. The intimate Boarding House also featured a lot of great comedy performers.
Mandrake's, 1048 University (at San Pablo), Berkeley
Back in World War 2, San Pablo Avenue was known as "Music Row," with nightclubs from Richmond to Oakland. There were still a few clubs. Mandrake's booked a lot of blues, and what we would now call "Roots" music

The Longbranch, 2504 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley
2504 San Pablo Avenue (at Dwight), although a tiny little building, was an infamous address in Berkeley music history. Previously it had been the Cabale Creamery, the Questing Beast, Tito's. Babylon and a few others. In late 1971, it had doubled in size to accomodate 300+ fans, and it was now the hard-rocking Longbranch. A barely-21 crowd, most of them living relatively nearby, bought lots of beer and liked it loud. On occasion, the Longbranch booked touring bands as well, although not major ones.

New Orleans House, 1505 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley
The New Orleans House was also on San Pablo, but a little further North (near Cedar Street). It had booked a lot of cool bands in the 60s, but the club was too out of the way in Berkeley to compete. Many of the booked bands had albums, but it was more of a "roots" club (although no one used that term) rather than an exclusively rock club.

House Of Good, 1839 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco
The House Of Good was only used intermittently for rock shows in 1972, but it was intriguing. It was a concert venue, albeit a small one, larger than the Keystone Berkeley, but smaller than the Fillmore Auditorium. I think House Of Good was booked by some of the people behind the Straight Theater (the Resners). The venue, at 1839 Geary Street at Fillmore, was just between the legendary Fillmore Auditorium (at 1805) and the tragic People's Temple (at 1859), also a former rock venue. 1839 Geary was better known as a rock venue, both as Theater 1839 (for Deadheads) and as Temple Beautiful (for punk-rock people). I suspect the unwillingness of white rock fans to come to largely African American neighborhoods limited the appeal of an otherwise special building.
Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell St, San Francisco
The Great American Music Hall, an elegant room housed in a former bordello, opened in August 1972. Initially, it only booked jazz. There were still a few jazz clubs around, The El Matador on Broadway, and The Both/And near the Haight (on Divisadero). But with the Broadway district moving from jazz to exclusively topless, there was room for another jazz club besides those two and Keystone Korner. 

The Lion's Share, 60 Redhill Avenue, San Anselmo
Marin County had most of the musicians, but none of the gigs. The only real rock club was the Lion's Share, which could fit 250-300 patrons. It was a real musicians' hangout, and lots of good bands ended up playing there--Jerry Garcia and Van Morrison among them--but it wasn't competing with the other clubs in a normal way.

Inn Of The Beginning, 8201 Old Redwood Highway, Cotati
The Inn Of The Beginning was a wonderful gig for Marin bands, but too far North of the city (in Sonoma County) to really compete. It could hold about 200 patrons. Simlar to teh Lion's Share, good bands would show up now and again, for fun, basically, but it too wasn't really competing with other clubs.

In Your Ear, 135 University Avenue, Palo Alto
A more intriguing club was In Your Ear, at 135 University in Palo Alto, formerly the site of the Poppycock. The Poppycock had been a sort of psychedelic rock crowd that ended up out of place in sleepy downtown Palo Alto. The club reconstituted itself, and booked jazz and blues acts, and few imaginative rock acts as well. It was pretty much the concept of the Great American Music Hall, which would open in San Francisco in August of '72. Fellow blogger CryptDev has the whole story of In Your Ear.  
Homer's Warehouse, 79 Homer Avenue, Palo Alto
The hard-rockin' Poppycock had closed in mid-1970, and the more sophisticated In Your Ear replaced it. Several blocks away, in a quonset hut across the railroad tracks, there was a hard-rockin' beer joint called Homer's Warehouse. Yeah, Jerry played there. CryptDev has the Homer's Warehouse Story, too. 
Bill Graham Presents, a few other promoters, and all these clubs made up the rock landscape in the Bay Area. For artists playing their own music, in a rock or blues idiom, Keystone Berkeley was the rank just below big concerts, and just above everyone else. A survey of New Monk and Keystone Berkeley bookings in 1972 gives us a good picture of AAA rock in San Francisco at the time. Some almost ready for the major leagues, some not quite there yet, and some having just missed the pitch.

New Monk Performers, January-February 1972

January 6-7, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: John Lee Hooker (Thur-Fri)
John Lee Hooker (1917-2001) had come from Detroit, and in the 60s white fans had become aware of his music thanks to Eric Burdon, Canned Heat  and others. By the early 70s, Hooker had moved to the Bay Area. I don't think he toured too much, but he played around the Bay Area with some frequency.  Hooker's current album was Never Got Out Of These Blues Alive, on ABC. Van Morrison joined Hooker for a few songs on the album. Morrison was known to show up when Hooker played the Keystone Berkeley, much to the delight of fans. 

Since Keystone Berkeley didn't advertise much, and New Monk even less, I am dependent on intermittent newspaper listings. While I am generally confident that the New Monk and Keystone Berkeley was open every weekend, and usually a few other days of the week, I am only identifying nights where some performer was advertised. In the New Monk period, the club may have been open for food and hanging out. Even when it became Keystone Berkeley, there were probably many nights where some local band played. However, if I don't have a listing, or some other kind of evidence, I'm not mentioning the missing date. Anyone with evidence--or even flashbacks--please note them in the Comments.

I am only describing performers once, the first time they appear on this list. If there had been a material change in a later appearance--a personnel change, a record release--or I actually know something about the event, I will mention it under the later date. [Update: thanks to Commenters, particularly fellow scholar JGMF, for some updated information from different sources. I have modified the post accordingly]
January 6, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Doobie Brothers (Thur)
The San Francisco Chronicle has the Doobie Brothers on this Thursday night.
In early 1972, The Doobie Brothers were another unknown band climbing the ladder. The Doobies were from the San Jose area, and they had built a following in the South Bay. They were largely unknown in the East Bay, however, so playing on a Thursday night at the New Monk was a way to get Berkeley familiar with the band.

The Doobie Brothers had released their first, self-titled album on Warner Brothers, back in April, 1971. It hadn't done well. Although the Doobies had gone on a National Tour (with Mother Earth), they were mostly still just slugging it out in the local clubs. At this time, the Doobies had just replaced original bassist Dave Shogren with Tiran Porter, and they had added Michael Hossack as a second drummer (along with John Hartmann). Guitarists Tom Johnston and Pat Simmons were the lead singers.

January 7, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Copperhead (Fri)
The San Francisco Chronicle has Copperhead on this night. Copperhead was the relatively new band formed by former Quicksilver Messenger Service lead guitarist John Cippolina. Membership was always somewhat fluid. At this time, the band probably had Cippolina and Jimmy Murray (himself ex-CMS ca. 1967) on guitars, Jim McPherson on bass, Pete Sears on keyboards and probably Gary Phillipett on guitar and Hutch Hutchinson on drums. Copperhead would go on to release a 1973 album on Columbia. They were promising, but never seeemed organized. 
January 8, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Tower Of Power (Sat)
Tower Of Power, though originally from Fremont, were the pride of Oakland. They had been discovered by Bill Graham at the Tuesday night Fillmore West auditions, and their first album East Bay Grease had been released on Graham's San Francisco label (distributed by Atlantic). By 1972, the label was gone, but Atlantic's sister label Warner Brothers had picked up Tower. Tower's immortal second album, Bump City, would be released a few months after this, just as the Oakland A's, Raiders and Golden State Warriors were making all things Oakland ascendant. 

Clover's second album on Fantasy Records, produced by Ed Bogas, Fourty-Niner (1971)
January 10, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Clover/Christian Black
When the New Monk, and later Keystone Berkeley, was open on a Monday night, it was set up so that a local band could build a following. Typically, a band would play every Monday night for a while, for no cover, or perhaps a dollar. Looking backwards, sometimes some really good bands played Monday night. Clover was one of those bands.

Clover was a true rarity, a Marin band whose members were really from Marin. Clover had formed in late 1967, out of a band called The Tiny Hearing Aid Company. Fantasy Records, flush with Creedence money, had signed Clover. The band released two poorly-produced but pretty good albums, their self-titled debut in 1970, followed by Fourty-Niner in 1971. Clover was a four-piece band, with lead and pedal steel guitarist John McFee, lead singer and guitarist Alex Call, bassist John Ciambotti and drummer Mitch Howie (McFee, Call and Howie had been in Tiny Hearing Aid). Clover worked out of Mill Valley.

By the end of '71, Fantasy seemed to have dropped Clover. Paradoxically, the band went and added two additional members, keyboardist Sean Hopper, who joined in August '71, and singer and harmonica player Huey Louis. Both were from Marin as well. Clover kept plugging along, playing Monday nights in Berkeley, even after two albums. The proximity of Mill Valley to downtown Berkeley made this a sensible gig for Clover.

Christian Black is unknown to me.

January 13, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Doobie Brothers (Thur)

January 14-16, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: HooDoo Rhythm Devils/Jesse, Wolff and Whings (Fri-Sun)
The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils were a funky rock band from San Francisco. They were apparently great live, and much beloved by their fans, but they never got over the top. In the early 70s, they were led by singer Joe Crane and lead guitarist John Rewind. In 1972, they would release their second album, The Barbecue Of DeVille, on Blue Thumb Records.
Jesse, Wolff and Whings released one album on Leon Russell's Shelter label, distributed by Capitol. The group featured lead singer Jesse Barish, lead guitarist Bill Wolff, bassist Kevin Kaufmann and drummer Kevin Kelley, among other members. The group was supposed to be called Wings, but Capitol had Paul McCartney's Wings, so they had to change the spelling.

Jesse Barish, per his bio, apparently played a little bit with the all-instrumental Orkustra (I think he played flute), back in the 60s. Bill Wolff was in a later version of the Peanut Butter Conspiracy. Kevin Kelly had been in The Rising Sons and The Byrds, among other bands, and both Kelly and Kevin Kaufmann had backed Phil Ochs.

When Jesse, Wolff and Whings fell apart, Jesse Barish went on to work with Marty Balin and Grunt Records. Barish ended up co-writing many songs with Balin, and as a result he has many songwriting credits on Jefferson Starship albums, such as "Count On Me."

January 17, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Clover (Mon)
January 20, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Doobie Brothers (Thur) 
It appears that the Doobie Brothers had a regular Thursday night gig at the New Monk, and later Keystone Berkeley, for much of the Spring of '72. The January 20 listing in the SF Examiner says "Tonight: Doobie Brothers and free beer." You have to be a pretty good band to make the crowd happy with that pitch (since I doubt the beer was really free).
January 21, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Clover (Fri) 
Clover was a weeknight band, but when there was an open weekend booking, they would get the call. This was how bands moved up in the heirarchy.
January 22-23, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Elvin Bishop Group/Clover (Sat-Sun)
Elvin Bishop had moved to the Bay Area from Chicago in Spring 1968. By 1969 he had a band and was regularly playing The Keystone Korner. Bishop was signed to Bill Graham's San Francisco label, distributed by Columbia, and he had released two albums. In 1969 and 1970. 
By 1972, Graham's labels had folded, but he had been picked up by Epic (a CBS label). Elvin's band featured Stephen Miller on organ (from the band Linn County) and Jo Baker on vocals. Baker, Bishop and Miller all shared vocals. Later in  1972, The Elvin Bishop Group would release Rock My Soul on Epic, produced by Delaney Bramlett. 
Clover, having played some Monday nights, was opening on the weekend. This was part of the ladder at New Monk and Keystone--bands played weeknights for a chance to open on the weekends, building an audience by becoming familiar. 
January 24, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Clover/Asleep At The Wheel (Mon)
I have no record of Clover playing New Monk or Keystone for the balance of 1972. But the band would go on to play Keystone Berkeley many, many times in the next several years. Keystone Berkeley was one of the gigs that kept Clover alive. In 1976, they were "rediscovered" by Nick Lowe, who had liked their Fantasy albums but had no idea they were still together. Lowe got the band a record contract and took them to England. They recorded a new album in 1977, six years after they had recorded their previous one. Without the Keystone Berkeley, Clover would have never been able to persevere.

Asleep At The Wheel were from Paw-Paw, WV, and played Western Swing music with a rock beat. In 1971, they opened for Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, and the Cody crew encouraged them to move to the East Bay. Asleep At The Wheel relocated to Oakland, and started playing regularly at local nightclubs. Asleep At The Wheel  played everywhere in the Bay Area. Note that they are opening for Clover on a Monday night here, so this must have practically been an audition. The Wheel would go on to play Keystone Berkeley many times.
January 27, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Doobie Brothers (Thur)
The Doobie Brothers played another Thursday night, also with "Free Beer" (per the Examiner). The Doobies probably played a few more Thursday nights--the details are conflicting. In July, 1972, they released their second Warner Brothers album Toulouse Street. Hits like "Listen To The Music" vaulted the band way beyond the Keystone, and they never returned to University Avenue. It was weeknights like these, however, that made old Berkeley rock fans recall when they saw someone big way back when they had to include free beer in the ad.

January 28, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Tower Of Power (Fri)
January 29-30, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Alice Stuart/Redwing (Sat-Sun) 
Alice Stuart was a fine blues guitarist and singer. Although she was from Seattle, she had been playing in the Bay Area since about 1964. Stuart had performed and recorded in a variety of settings. At one point in late 1969, she had even been the temporary bass player for the Lost Planet Airmen. In 1972 she led a trio named Snake, and they recorded for Fantasy Records.
Redwing was a Sacramento group that had evolved out of a popular 60s band called The New Breed. The best known member was bassist Tim Schmidt, who by 1970 had joined Poco (and would later join The Eagles). Redwing had made an album in 1970 for United Artists, and some of their material had also been released under the band-name Glad. By 1972, Redwing had been signed to Fantasy and released What This Country Needs.
January 31, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Clover (Mon)

February 2-3, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Linda Ronstadt/Country (Wed-Thur)
Linda Ronstadt had just released her third album (the self-titled Linda Ronstadt) in January of 1972. The New Monk, which did not often book mid-week shows, had her as a headliner for a Wednesday and a Thursday. Linda was known, through the Stone Poneys and a modest hit ("Long Long Time"), but nothing like the star she would become. Two nights in Berkeley were probably to get the band road-tested, and pick up a few bucks as well.

Veteran San Francisco music writer Phil Elwood enthusiastically reviewed the Wednesday night show, published the next afternoon (Feb 3). Elwood glowingly describes the Ronstadt we would all come to know and love. He mentions lead guitarist Richard Bowden and fiddler Gib Gilbeau in her band. Elwood also mentions that Ronstadt played a little fiddle too, something that did not stay in her shows. Needless to say, Linda never played the venue again.

Elwood describes Country as a polished but enjoyable country-rock band. I know nothing else about them.

February 4, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Tower Of Power/Jimmy Rogers (Fri)
February 5, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Stoneground/Jimmy Rogers (Sat)
Stoneground had been put together by KSAN impresario Tom Donahue in 1969 for an intended movie about a "traveling Woodstock" called Medicine Ball Caravan. The Grateful Dead were booked for the movie, but backed out at the last minute. However, Alembic sound had to honor their part of the contract, so the Dead had stayed home and recorded American Beauty with Stephen Barncard, while Bob Matthews and Betty Cantor went on the road with Stoneground.
Stoneground had just released their second record, Family Album on Warner Brothers. It was an expansive double-lp, recorded both live and in the studio.  Among the key members of Stoneground were singers Sal Valentino, Lynne Hughes, Annie Sampson and Deirdre LaPorte. Guitarist Tim Barnes also sang. Pianist Cory Lerios and drummer Steve Jenkins, both later in Pablo Cruise, were in Stoneground at this time. 

February 6, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: John Lee Hooker/Jimmy Rogers (Sun) 
February 11-12, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Elvin Bishop Group/Blue Mountain (Fri-Sat)
Blue Mountain was a local group out of  Palo Alto. Members at the time probably included Dave Rabiroff, guitar, Paul Sommer, guitar, and John Anning on drums. Hubert Tubbs, who later went on to Tower Of Power, had been the singer, but I don't know if he was at this time. 
February 16, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Cesar's Combo (Wed)
Most likely, Cesar's Combo was a group that usually played Cesar's 830 Club in San Francisco. They were led, at least informally, by trumpeter Luis Gasca, and played some sort of Latin-jazz-rock hybrid. 
February 18, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders, Armando Peraza and Friends (Fri) 
Jerry Garcia, John Kahn and Bill Vitt had started jamming at The Matrix in Spring 1970, with organist Howard Wales. Ultimately Wales mostly stopped playing with them, and Merl Saunders became part of the unnamed group. When The Matrix closed in Spring 1971, they started playing regular shows at The Keystone Korner in SF. Garcia and Saunders then played a few shows on 2119 University in 1971, when it was still the New Monk. Garcia developed a great professional relationship with Freddie Herrera, which would serve both of them well over the next dozen years.

Jerry Garcia would go on to perform at least 206 times at the Keystone Berkeley, a number that dwarfs his performances at any other venue (including Grateful Dead performances). He performed at Keystone Berkeley continuously from 1972 until 1984, in numerous ensembles.

Legendary conguero Armando Peraza was part of the Garcia/Saunders ensemble during this period. Pereza was a Latin Jazz stalwart and North Beach regular. Peraza later joined Santana, and was part of the group for many years.

February 22, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Bobby Hutcherson Quartet/Luis Gasca Latin Jazz Band (Tues)
The New Monk was not a jazz club, but at this time there were just about no paying gigs for modern jazz in the East Bay. I don't know why these two excellent bands were playing together on a Tuesday night, but jazz gigs were very few in the Bay Area at this time.

Bobby Hutcherson was an exceptional vibes player from Los Angeles. He had moved to New York, and had recorded for Blue Note as early as 1963. Hutcherson returned to California in 1967, and mostly played on the West Coast thereafter. While Hutcherson was a forward-thinking music, his music was quieter and more acoustic than some of his peers at the time.

Trumpeter Luis Gasca was an important part of the Bay Area's jazz and latin rock scene. He was crucial to the formation of the group Malo, and he worked with Azteca and Santana as well. In 1971, Gasca released the album For Those Who Chant. It featured the entire Santana band (at that time) and saxophonist Joe Henderson.

February 24-28, 1972 New Monk, Berkeley, CA: Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen/Asleep At The Wheel (Thur-Mon)
For the New Monk's "final" Saturday night, the headliners were Berkeley's very own Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. Cody and the Airmen had moved out to California in Summer '69, setting up shop in a rambling house in nearby Emeryville. The band played "hippie honky-tonk," a strange brew of Western Swing, traditional country, old-time rock and roll and Berkeley sensibilities. Their November 1971 debut album, Lost In The Ozone, which had spawned the hit single "Hot Rod Lincoln," included tracks recorded in July 1971 The New Monk.

The San Francisco Chronicle mentioned that the Airmen were "cutting a live album." Some tracks may have ended up on the band's second album, Hot Licks, Cold Steel and Trucker's Favorites. Opening the show on Saturday night (and possibly other nights) was Asleep At The Wheel, just about the only band remotely like the Lost Planet Airmen.

Keystone Berkeley Performers, March-December 1972

Freddie Herrera had been booking the New Monk since July 1971, and probably effectively running it since shortly thereafter. In March of 1972, Herrera renamed the club Keystone Berkeley, to make it a sort of "sister club" to Keystone Korner in San Francisco. At least initially, there appears to have been few differences for the club beyond the name change.
March 1, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders, Armando Peraza (Wed)
Herrera started Keystone Berkeley off with a relative bang. Normally, the New Monk had not been open on Wednesdays, nor would the Keystone Berkeley. Jerry Garcia was available, however, so that meant that Keystone Berkeley opened its doors with the man who would ultimately do the most to keep the club open.
March 2, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Sons Of Champlin/Frank Biner (Thur)
The Sons of Champlin had sort of broken up in early 1970. They thought they didn't have the rights to their own name, so they called themselves 'Yogi Phlegm" as a sort of joke. Club owners mostly called them The Sons Of Champlin. At this time, they played a sort of Soul/Fusion fusion. The lineup was Bill Champlin (vcls, organ, guitar), Terry Haggerty (ld gtr), Geoff Palmer (keyboards, vibes, bass), Dave Schallock (bass, guitar) and probably Bill Vitt on drums ( I don't think Jim Preston hadn't joined yet). The band were unsigned.

Frank Biner was a popular local soul singer. Over the course of the 70s, Tower Of Power recorded a few of his songs, and he put out a few albums as a bandleader, but back in '72 Biner was just another guy working the clubs. Biner was originally from Chicago, where he had recorded a few singles, but he had moved to the East Bay in the late 60s.

March 3, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Elvin Bishop Group/Frank Biner (Fri)
March 4, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Elvin Bishop Group/Blue Mountain (Sat)
Elvin Bishop had played the New Monk in both January and February, and now he was playing another weekend. Bishop had a record contract, but it was clubs that probably paid his band's rent. Note Frank Biner having played Thursday, and then opening for Bishop the next night.

March 8-9, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders and Armando Peraza  (Wed-Thur)
March 11, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Tower Of Power/Frank Biner Band (Sat
March 15, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders, Armando Peraza and friends (Wed)
Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders had played the first three Wednesdays that Keystone Berkeley was open (plus a Thursday, too). They would not play the club again until July. In the last week of March, the Grateful Dead booked a week of shows in Manhattan (at the Academy of Music), followed by almost two full months on tour in Europe. The Dead's adventures would be chronicled on their famous triple-lp set Europe '72. But it also meant that the financial juice from Garcia packing Keystone Berkeley on a weeknight was lost for the entire Spring.

March 20, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Frank Biner Band/Linx (Mon)
Linx is unknown to me.

March 23-24, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: New Riders of The Purple Sage (Thur-Fri)
Jerry Garcia had stepped away from the New Riders of The Purple Sage after playing with them through their Fall '71 debut album. November '71, Garcia had been replaced by Canadian pedal steel guitar virtuoso Buddy Cage. The second NRPS album, Powerglide, was released in April 1972.

The New Riders still shared booking and management with the Dead, so it's no surprise that booking agent Sam Cutler set them up for a Thursday night at Keystone Berkeley. The Riders would get a good crowd who liked beer, and the band would have had a chance to play some of their newer numbers before setting out on a big tour. The Riders would tour the East Coast in April, and then join the Grateful Dead in Europe for May. 
March 25, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Tower Of Power (Sat)
March 26, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Bobby Hutcherson/Luis Gasca (Sun)

March 30-April 1, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Harvey Mandel (Thur-Sat)
Harvey Mandel was another late 60s Chicago transplant. He had played guitar with Charlie Musselwhite, Canned Heat and John Mayall, among others. In 1972, he was mostly playing with a band called Pure Food And Drug Act, with violinist  Sugarcane Harris and bassist Larry Taylor (both of them also ex-Mayall).However, for a local show, it's possible that Mandel just used some local friends and jammed the blues with them.  
[Note: per JGMF, the Hayward Daily Review had Mike Finnegan and the Fletcher Brothers on Saturday as well as Sunday]

April 2, 1972: Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Mike Finnegan/Fletcher Brothers (Sun)
Mike Finnegan was a fine organist and singer from Kansas. He too had relocated to San Francisco in the late 60s, and had played with the excellent Jerry Hahn Brotherhood. Since then he had played with Big Brother (on How Hard It Is), recorded a little and played some local shows. Like Mandel, he was probably using local friends and jamming the blues. 

The Fletcher Brothers are unknown to me.

April 3, 1972: Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Frank Biner/Linx (Mon)
April 6, 1972: Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: HooDoo Rhythm Devils/Beans (Wed)
The Beans had recently moved from Phoenix, AZ. Within a year they would become infamous in the Bay Area as The Tubes. 
April 7-8, 1972: Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Stoneground/Ducks (Fri-Sat)
There was a Marin band called The Ducks, featuring guitarist and songwriter Kent Housman, but I don't know if this was the same one.
April 9, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Fletcher Brothers (Sun) 
April 10, 1972 Keystone Berkley, Berkeley, CA: Frank Biner Band/Max (Mon)
Max is unknown to me--possibly this was a misprint of Linx, who had been opening for Frank Biner on Mondays.
April 13, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Tower Of Power/Butch Whacks and The Glass Packs (Thur) 
Butch Whacks and the Glass Packs were a 15 piece rock and roll band dedicated to performing old style rock and roll hits from the 50s-early 60s. The band got their start as students at St. Mary’s College in Moraga playing frat parties, and eventually morphed into a very popular bay area club and theatre act. The Glass Packs played greaser rock and roll – supposedly like Sha Na Na, but with more energy and musical talent.

Why Don't You Try Me by Earth Quake, their second album on A&M Records (1972)
April 14-15, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Earth Quake/Linx (Fri-Sat)
Earth Quake had formed at Berkeley High School in the 60s as The Purple Earthquake. In 1972, they would release their second album on A&M Records, Why Don't You Try Me. A&M would drop Earth Quake by the end of the year, but the band would go on to play Keystone Berkeley many times, ultimately reviving their recording career by helping to start their own record label (Berserkeley Records).

April 16, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Gideon and Power (Sat)
Gideon and Power were a high-energy Gospel/Soul band from San Francisco with a dynamic lead singer, Gideon Daniels. and a swinging soul chorus. Their one album featured former AB Skhy guitarist Dennis Geyer and Elvin Bishop keyboardist Stephen Miller. Daniels was the one who taught future Bishop vocalist Mickey Thomas to sing.

April 17, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Frank Biner Band (Mon)

April 27-29, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Paul Pena/Jessie, Wolf and Wings (Thur-Sat)
Paul Pena, who was mostly blind due to a childhood condition, had a blues band in Philadelphia that had opened for the Grateful Dead at the Electric Factory in February 1969. Pena became friendly with Garcia. Pena moved to the Bay Area in 1971. Almost entirely blind by this time, he called the Dead office, who helped him get work.

Pena recorded two albums, both with a who's who of local SF players. His self-titled debut album came out on Capitol in 1972. The followup, New Train, was recorded for Bearsville in 1973, but (like many Bearsville albums) was tied up in litigation for decades and not released until 2000. However, Steve Miller had heard a copy of New Train, and made a big hit of Pena's song "Jet Airliner," providing Pena with a solid income.   Pena ended up living near Keystone Berkeley, so he played the club regularly. 

April 30, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Boogie Brothers (Sun)
There was  a Savoy Brown-connected group called Boogie Brothers, but that was some years after this (1974). I don't know who this was. 
May 1, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Frank Biner Band (Mon)
May 3-4, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Mike Bloomfield with Willie Dixon and The Chicago Blues All-Stars/Frank Biner Band (Wed-Thur)
Willie Dixon was a blues legend, but in the early 70s he was better known as a songwriter and Chess Records producer. By the time he started touring outside of Chicago, many of his songs had already been made famous by English rock bands: "Little Red Rooster," "Hoochie Coochie Man," 'Spoonful," "Back Door Man" and others. 
The Examiner's Phil Elwood reviewed Willie Dixon's Thursday night show (May 4). According to Elwood, the club was packed and Dixon was tremendous. Mike Bloomfield sat in, but guitarist Buster Benton shined as well. The band included Shakey Horton on harmonica and Lafayette Leake on piano, and of course Dixon on bass and vocals.

May 7, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Blue Mountain (Sun)
May 10-11, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Doc Watson and Son/Asleep At The Wheel (Wed-Thur) 
Doc Watson was the incomparable blind flatpicker from Deep Gap, NC, who had been discovered in the early 60s. He was accompanied on tour by his son Merle, himself a fine guitarist. Doc mostly played the folk circuit, but in the early 70s in the Bay Area there weren't really any good paying folk clubs. No matter---I'm sure Doc was great anyway.  

Doc Watson had become well known from his Vangaurd albums in the 1960s. Vanguard had dropped him around 1971, but Doc continued to tour around. His first album for his new record company, Poppy, was The Elementary Doctor Watson. Although it was a 1972 release, I don't know if it was out by this time. Doc toured all year around, so it didn't entirely matter.
May 12, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Elvin Bishop Group (Fri)
Elvin Bishop was the next most important act for the financial well-being of Keystone Berkeley behind Jerry Garcia. Bishop always played around the Bay Area, and Keystone Berkeley was a regular stop. Bishop lived in Marin, so the Keystone was an easy commute for him.

May 13-14, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: El Chicano/Hot Damn (Sat-Sun)
El Chicano was a popular Latin Rock band from Los Angeles. By early 1972, they had released two albums. Latin Rock (however you want to define it) was big in the Bay Area in the early 70s. El Chicano had a sort of hit with a Latin-rock version of Van Morrison's "Brown-Eyed Girl." There wasn't a significant Latin rock club in the East Bay, that I'm aware of, so once again Keystone Berkeley benefited by being the best available club for a somewhat broad array of music.

Hot Damn is unknown to me.

May 18-20, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: John Lee Hooker (Thur-Sat) 
May 21, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Herbie Hancock (Sun)
There still weren't really any East Bay jazz clubs that paid well in the early 70s, so the Keystone Berkeley was able to pick up some shows here and there, particularly for the younger and more electric artists.
Herbie Hancock had been part of Miles Davis' legendary quintet in the mid-60s, but he had left before they had gone fully electric. Nonetheless, by 1972 Hancock was heading toward a funkier electric sound. He had a great sextet and his current album would have been Crossings, on Warner Brothers. Hancock would not release his famous Head Hunters album until a full year later, so it is interesting to see him already using the name for the band. Presumably, Hancock's lineup was close to the band on Crossings (Bennie Maupin-saxophones, Julian Priester-trombone, Eddie Henderson-trumpet, Buster Williams-bass, Billy Hart-drums).

May 22, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Linx/Frank Biner Band (Mon)

May 25, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Wayne Cochran and The CC Riders/Tower of Power
May 26-27, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Wayne Cochran and The CC Riders/Dennis Geyer Band (Fri-Sat)
In May of 1972, Tower of Power released their second album, Bump City, on Warner Brothers Records. Their first album, East Bay Grease, had been released on 1970 on San Francisco Records, Bill Graham's imprint on Atlantic. Graham's label was no more, but parent company Warners had kept Tower. Bump City featured a new lead singer, Bay Area veteran Rick Stevens, and the same killer horn section and monsters Rocco Prestia and Dave Garibaldi on bass and drums. Bump City included the hit single "You're Still A Young Man," as well as the title track, "You've Got To Funkfize" and "Down To The Nightclub." It's still a classic. The Thursday night Keystone gig was probably a warm up for a National tour.
Wayne Cochran was a Georgia white soul singer with a giant white pompadour and outlandish nudie suits. Kind of a cult act, he released various singles and albums, and was picked up by Epic in 1972.  
Dennis Geyer had been the lead guitarist in the band AB Skhy, who had moved to the Bay Area in 1968 from Wisconsin. AB SLhy had released two obscure albums.

May 28, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Jerry Corbitt (Sun)
Jerry Corbitt (d. 2014)had been a singer and guitarist in the original lineup of The Youngbloods, and he moved with them to the Bay Area in Fall 1967.  Corbitt had left the group in mid-1968, however, and became a solo artist and producer.

May 29, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Jesse, Wolff and Whings/Frank Biner Band (Mon)
June 2-3, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Elvin Bishop Group/Charlie Daniels (Fri-Sat) 
By 1972, Charlie Daniels (1936-2020) had already had a successful career as a songwriter, Nashville session man and producer. He had played on some Bob Dylan albums, produced the Youngbloods successful Elephant Mountain album, and he played guitar, bass and fiddle.
In 1971, Daniels had released his first solo album, and formed a touring band with ex-Younblood Jerry Corbitt and ex-Hendrix bassist Billy Cox. By 1972, they were gone and Daniels was back with his second album, Te John, Grease and Wolfman. The band was a quarter featuring Daniels and  Taz ("Grease") Di Gregorio. on keyboards and vocals, who would end up being a key member in the future story of the Charlie Daniels Band.  
June 6, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Frank Biner Band/Jesse, Wolff and Whings (Tues)
June 9-10, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Boone's Farm/Wilderness Road (Fri-Sat)
Boone's Farm had released a country-rock album on Columbia, produced by Jim Messina. The band's lead singer Kent Sprague was later known as Kent Dubarri, half of the duo Dalton & Dubarri. Dalton & Dubarri released four albums in the 1970s, and were apparently a good live band. 
Wildnerness Road had been founded in 1968, to support the trial of The Chicago Seven. They apparently had an elaborate stage show that included political theater. By 1972, Wilderness Road had released their debut album on Columbia.

Note that both Boone's Farm and Wildnerness Road had debut albums on Columbia, and this was probably a "package" tour supported by the label.

June 12, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Frank Biner Band/Jack Frost (Mon)
Jack Frost is unknown to me.
June 15, 1972 Keystone Berkely, Berkeley, CA: Elvin Bishop Group (Thur) 

June 16-17, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Redwing/Ducks (Fri-Sat)
June 18, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Snooky Flowers and Headhunters (Mon)
Snooky Flowers was an established baritone sax player in the Bay Area. He had played in Janis Joplin's band, including at Woodstock, and had played and recorded with a host of others. Headhunters was the name of his own band, as far as I know.

June 19, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA; Frank Biner (Tues)

June 22, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Tower Of Power/Loading Zone (Thur)
Tower of Power and Loading Zone shared management and a rehearsal space.

The Loading Zone, from Oakland, had played the original Trips Festival back in 1966. By 1972, they had been through many different iterations. By this time, although they still broadly featured the mix of rock and soul as when they had started, they had no original members. They were good, though: Linda Tillery on vocals, Tom Coster on organ, Doug Rauch on bass, Tony Smith on drums and Bruce Conte on guitar (vocalist Wendy Haas had just left the band to join Azteca).

Sylvester and His Hot Band released their debut album on Blue Thumb in 1973
June 23-24, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Stoneground/Sylvester (Fri-Sat)
Sylvester generally performed as Sylvester And His Hot Band. Sylvester was a powerful R&B singer, in a contemporary vein, but with a gay sensibility and a very high-pitched vocal style.  Sylvester had a following in gay clubs in San Francisco at the time, but there really weren't equivalent places to perform in the East Bay. It appears that the Keystone regularly got good performers in a variety of genres for just that reason.  
Sylvester (Sylvester James Jr), with a background in church music, moved to San Francisco in 1970 and joined an infamous San Francisco performance troupe called The Cockettes. James went with the Cockettes to New York City, but ultimately returned to SF. Sylvester and The Hot Band played what would be called "Heavy Soul," although Sylvester's stage appearance was not mainstream. After two albums on Blue Thumb in 1973, and '74, Sylvester broke up The Hot Band. He went on to have a successful disco recording career in the late 70s.

June 26, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Frank Biner Band (Mon)
June 27, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: The Strawbs (Tues) 
The Strawbs were an English band, embarking on their first US tour. Originally they had been England's first (perhaps only) bluegrass band, The Strawberry Hill Boys, based in the Barnes section of London. Over time they had evolved into a rock direction. In February they had released their fourth album, Grave New World, on A&M. This was the first album after the departure of keyboard player Rick Wakeman, who had gone to join The Yes. The Strawbs would have a big UK hit in 1973 with "Part Of The Union," but they weren't well known at this time. It was rare for a touring band to play a Tuesday night at Keystone.

June 28, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Bill Hemmans (Wed)
Bill Hemmans is unknown to me.

June 29, July 1, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Charlie Daniels Band (Thur, Sat)
June 30, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Elvin Bishop Group/Charlie Daniels Band (Fri)
At this time, Daniels was recording as a solo artist, and the "Band" was just added to indicate he had a backing group. A few albums later, "Charlie Daniels Band" became the official name of the group. At this time, however, Daniels was just slugging it out on the road, another session guy trying to build his own career.

Obviously, Elvin Bishop was available Friday night, so he was booked with Daniels for that evening. Many years later, Daniels would name-check Bishop on his hit "The South's Gonna Do It Again," with the line "Ole Elvin Bishop pickin' on a bale of hay."
July 3, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Frank Biner Band (Mon)

July 5, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Swamp Dogg (Wed)
Jerry Williams Jr, who recorded as Swamp Dogg, was kind of a cult act. His song "Total Destruction To Your Mind" was a sort of late-night hit on KSAN, and Stoneground had done a popular cover of it. Dogg was kind of eccentric, but wrote and sang in a rock/R&B style. At this time, his current album would have been his third as Swamp Dogg, Cuffed, Collared and Tagged (released in 1972 on Cream).

July 6-8, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Mike Bloomfield/Charlie Daniels Band (Thur-Sat) 
Charlie Daniels was back for the next weekend, opening for Mike Bloomfield.  Although Daniels wouldn't have had much of a following in the Bay Area, he was probably getting a little "tour support" from his record company (in his case, Kama Sutra Records). They probably bought a few ads for his album on radio stations and in underground newspapers, and maybe they included a mention of his Keystone gigs (and other gigs around the Bay Area).
July 13-14, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders and Friends (Thur-Fri)
Jerry Garcia had not played the Keystone Berkeley since March, a very long time for him. Initially, the reason was that the Grateful Dead were touring Europe in April and May (which lead to the famous triple-album Europe '72). But there was another reason--when he went to Europe, Jerry had lost his band.

Garcia had a casual arrangement with Merl Saunders and John Kahn, but Garcia had the Dead and they did not. While Garcia was out of the country, Kahn had joined the newest edition of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Kahn moved to Woodstock, NY, and invited Saunders to join him. Both Kahn and Saunders were part of what would become Paul Butterfield's Better Days band. When Garcia had returned at the end of May, he found himself without a bar band. Now,--Garcia being Garcia--he just started another one, this time with no less than Vince Guaraldi and drummer Mike Clark, playing fearsome fusion music. This unnamed ensemble, however, played at a Fern Bar called The Pierce Street Annex (ironically, linked to the former Matrix).  

Nevertheless, Kahn and Saunders returned to the Bay Area for about two weeks, from late June to mid-July. Garcia played a frantic number of dates with them, because they were about to go back out on tour with Butterfield. Freddie Herrera was a big beneficiary: the Garcia/Saunders ensemble played June 30 and July 7-8 at Keystone Korner, and then July 13-14 at Keystone Berkeley. In between, Garcia/Saunders played a show at San Jose Civic and recorded an album (Tom Fogerty's Excalibur).

Herrera seems to have ceded control of Keystone Korner to Todd Barkan after the June 30 Garcia gig. A nice nod from Jerry--a packed gig before Herrera handed it off, so he could leave on a profitable note. And then two packed shows for new Keystone Korner owner Todd Barkan. Jazz bookings dominated Keystone Korner after the Jul 8 Garcia booking, and Herrera's attention was fully focused on Keystone Berkeley. By Sunday (July 16), however, Kahn and Saunders were playing with Paul Butterfield in Seattle, and Garcia had no band again.

July 15, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Boz Scaggs Band/Delta Wires (Sat)
Boz Scaggs was another act like Elvin Bishop, who got plenty of radio play on San Francisco FM stations, but was fairly unknown elsewhere. His second album, Moments, had been released in March 1971, and his third album, Boz Scaggs and Band, in December (both on Columbia). Songs like "We Were Always Sweethearts" and "Runnin' Blue" got regular airplay on KSAN, and Boz had a killer band. Still, he was unable to break out beyond the region. 

Jul 18-22, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Albert Collins/Full Moon (Tues-Sat)
Texas guitarist Albert "The Iceman" Collins had been recording since the 1950s. In 1964, he had a hit with the song "Frosty," and he became somewhat well-known. In 1968, the band Canned Heat was playing in Houston and attended one of his shows. The Heat offered to get Collins a record deal and live work, and he accepted. Collins signed with Imperial Records, moved to  Palo Alto, CA (of all places) in November 68. Collins' first Imperial album was  Love Can Be Found Anywhere. By 1969, Collins was a regular at rock venues throughout the West Coast.

In late 1971, Collins had signed with Tumbleweed Records, who released his album There's Gotta Be  A Change. Tumbleweed ran into financial problems, however, and would soon leave Collins without a label. Collins was booked for the entire week (Tuesday through Saturday) at Keystone Berkeley, a rarity at the club. Based on the next few weeks, it seems like this was a temporary experiment, since the next two weeks also had week long bookings.

Full Moon is unknown to me.
Albert King's 1972 album on Stax was I'll Play The Blues For You

July 23-29, 31 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Albert King
(Sun-Sat, Mon)
Left-handed blues guitarist and singer Albert King was also booked for a week at Keystone Berkeley, save for Sunday night. Albert King was a player for whom the white rock explosion of the 60s gave him the recognition that his talent deserved.

Albert King (1923-92) was from Mississippi via the Midwest. King had played all over Arkansas and the South in the 50s, eventually ending up in St. Louis. He released a variety of singles in the late 50s and early 60s, and he was known to blues aficianados and guitar players, mainly for the 1961 King release "Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong." Still struggling on the "Chitlin' Circuit," King moved to Memphis and signed with Stax Records.

Stax, affilated with Atlantic and based in Memphis, was mainly a soul label. Albert King recorded some singles with the Stax house band Booker T and The MGs (Booker T Jones, Steve Cropper, Al Jackson and Duck Dunn). The singles and some other recordings were ultimately released on the 1967 album Born Under A Bad Sign. The single of the same name reached #49 on the Billboard R&B charts.
Hip FM deejays had started playing the Bad Sign album, and King played the Fillmore in San Francisco in February 1968, with Jimi Hendrix and John Mayall (Albert and Jimi knew each other well from the Circuit). In March, Albert King opened the Fillmore East in Manhattan. Besides his great guitar playing, on stage he was a true giant, a full 6'7", playing a distinctive Gibson Flying V guitar.
"Born Under A Bad Sign" was a great song. More importantly for Albert, Eric Clapton liked it. Clapton was in Cream, on Atco Records, which was essentially a corporate label-mate with Stax. Cream recorded the song "Born Under A Bad Sign" on their August 1968 double album Wheels Of Fire.Once the Cream version of his song was released, white rock fans became fully aware of him. Musically, this was truly deserved, but Albert King had not really been a big name prior to this. To young rock fans, however, Albert was instantly elevated into the top pantheon of black blues guitarists.

Albert King played Fillmores East and West many times, and many a psychedelic ballroom in between throughout the 60s. In June of 1968, Albert played the Fillmore in San Francisco and recorded his classic live album Live Wire/Blues Power, released later in '68. Thanks to Clapton and Cream--Eric never failed to acknowledge Albert--all white rock fans knew that "Born Under A Bad Sign" was an Albert King song. By 1972, if you asked a suburban teenager "what do you think of Albert King," he would say "he did the original of that song Cream does." But few if any would have known what Albert King's current album was.

There weren't really good venues for blues acts in the Bay Area at this time. African-American clubs had mostly moved on from blues (save for The Showcase in Oakland), and while white rock fans would all loyally salute the blues, they weren't getting booked by Bill Graham at Winterland. In 1971, Albert King had released the album Lovejoy on Stax. It was recorded at Muscle Shoals Studio, with both the house band and Leon Russell's crew. Don Nix, a Russell partner, had produced the album. Albert's 1972 Stax album (I'm not sure of the exact release date) was I'll Play The Blues For You.

Albert King continued to tour and record up until his passing in 1992. Some criticism was leveled at him for re-recording a lof of songs on albums, and not doing a lot of different material. Don Nix, his former producer, revealed one of the key reasons when he published his own 1997 memoir, Road Tales And Recipes. It seems that Albert King couldn't read, and was too proud to admit it. When someone handed him a lyric sheet and asked what he thought, he had to hide his shortcomings. Nix himself overcame this by reciting the upcoming lyrics into Albert's headphones during recording, making it seem like he was reading the lyric sheet. But other producers seemed not to know, or care, and Albert King's albums never lived up to his early Stax promise.
I don't know how Albert King played at Keystone Berkeley in 1972. Still, I saw him outdoors at the Oakland Estuary Park in 1990, and he laid it down hard. In the sawdust-covered Keystone Berkeley, back in '72, big Albert King must have been a force. Blues Power.
July 30, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Big Brother and The Holding Company (Sun)
Albert King had played six out of seven nights, but on Sunday he rested. Taking his place was old San Francisco favorites Big Brother and The Holding Company. In contrast to some bands at the Keystone, Big Brother was at a low ebb. Janis Joplin had left the band at the end of 1968, but the band had recorded two pretty good but unsuccesful albums (Be A Brother and How Hard It Is). By 1972, however, the band was pretty much down to original guitarist Sam Andrews and singer Kathi McDonald, plus a couple of other Marin guys. They weren't terrible, but it was just a shadow.

Seatrain's 1971 album Marblehead Messenger (Capitol), produced by George Martin

August 1-6, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Seatrain/Jesse, Wolff and Whings/Alex Richmond
Seatrain was a band based in Cambridge, MA, but having important Bay Area roots. The story was convoluted, in a sixties sort of way. The bassist and drummer of the Greenwich Village band Blues Project (Andy Kulberg and Roy Blumenfield) had ended up in the Bay Area in 1968. They started a new band in 1968, and called it Blues Project, since the name was known. A few members came and went, and they changed their name to Sea Train. Their self-titled debut album was released on A&M in 1969.

Confusingly, Seatrain (having changed the spelling) signed to Capitol and released another self-titled album in 1970. Seatrain was based in Boston, more or less, but in the Winter of '69/70 they had stayed in Marin County. Guitarist/singer Peter Rowan was the front man, but instead of a lead guitarist they had veteran bluegrass fiddler Richard Greene on electric violin. Seatrain was interesting, and they had released the George Martin-produced Marblehead Messenger in 1971. By 1972, however, they were slowly grinding to a halt. Peter Rowan would leave Seatrain shortly after this, and go hang out with his younger brothers in Western Marin. Their wasn't a bluegrass scene in Stinson Beach, but his brothers were produced by mandolinist David Grisman, and it turned out that a banjo player lived just up the hill from them.

Per JGMF, Jesse, Wolff and Whings opened Tuesday (Aug 1) and Alex Richmond, unknown to me, for the balance of the week.
August 7, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Frank Biner Band/auditions (Mon) 
The listing for this show says "free food," Now, that was probably some tangy chicken, to get everyone to buy beer. It does mean, however, that the kitchen was operational, and that there must have been some tables. It's one of the clues that there was some semblance of the pizza/burger joint that had been the New Monk remained intact.

August 8-9, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Jerry Garcia-Merl Saunders (Tue-Wed)
Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders returned for a couple of weeknights at Keystone Berkeley. Fortunately for Garcia, questionable financial dealings around Paul Butterfield caused Saunders and John Kahn to quit that band and return home. Garcia lost no time in starting up the gigging. More importantly, the Grateful Dead, years ahead of their time, had decided to set themselves free of any record company. Garcia promptly took steps to make sure that Saunders and Kahn were profiting from the arrangement with Garcia, since he had the Dead and they did not. Garcia would agree to a live album on Merl Saunders' label (Live At Keystone on Fantasy), and Kahn would end up producing Garcia' first solo album for his own label (usually known as Compliments Of Garcia).
August 10, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Luis Gasca/Delta Wires (Thur)
Delta Wires were a hard-working band from Oakland. They had formed in 1970 at the California College of Arts and Crafts (on Broadway Terrace), and had been gigging ever since. They had a bluesy sound with a 3-piece horn section. They played East Bay clubs for many years, and developed a local following, but never graduated beyond the East Bay. [per JGMF, there is confusion about who played on this date]

August 11-12, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Tower Of Power/Frank Biner Band (Fri-Sat)
Frank Biner was moving up from the Monday night slot to opening on the weekends, part of the ladder for success at Keystone Berkeley. Granted, he was probably just filling an empty Saturday night, but the point of playing Monday night shows was to build an audience for a weekend opportunity.

August 13, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Grayson Street/Dixie Peach (Sunday)
Grayson Street were a sort of roots rock band from the East Bay. They were co-led by harmonica player Rick Kellogg and tenor saxophonist Terry Hanck, both of whom sang. Grayson Street never recorded, but many of its members ended up working with Elvin Bishop, Coke Escovedo, Tower Of Power and others.  Grayson Street was very popular down at the Longbranch, about 10 blocks West on University Avenue.

Dixie Peach was a folk rock band that featured singer Judy Newton and guitarist and songwriter Robert Otha Young. The two had started performing together when Newton was a student at Foothill College in Los Altos. Bassist Cecil Bollinger, formerly of the great South Bay group Weird Herald, was also a member.

Although Dixie Peach was just another local band on the Bay Area scene, Judy Newton would go on to become far better known in the 80s as country singer Juice Newton. Otha Young (1943- 2009) was her principal songwriter as well, so the two had a fruitful musical partnership well into the 21st century.
August 14, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Frank Biner Band w/members of Tower of Power (Mon) 
Biner was good friends with the members of Tower Of Power, particularly saxophonists Emilio Castillo and Steve "Doc" Kupka. They were probably the ones who joined for the night. Castillio, Kupka and Biner wrote songs together. Some were used by Tower Of Power, and one was used by Huey Lewis And The News.
August 16, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Country Weather/Rage (Tues)
Rage is unknown to me. 

August 17, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Sylvester and His Hot Band (Thur)
August 18, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders (Fri)
August 19, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Sylvester and His Hot Band (Sat)

August 20, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Stoneground (Sun)

August 21, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Elvin Bishop Group/Frankie Beverley and Raw Soul (Mon)
Frankie Beverly and Raw Soul had moved from Philadelphia to the Bay Area in 1971. They had started to build a following with their laid back sound, with sophisticated vocals on top of a nice groove. Marvin Gaye's wife heard them and ultimately they opened for Marvin Gaye on tour.

Raw Soul changed their name to Maze, and Frankie Bevely's Maze was not only a huge recording act throughout the 1980s, they remain a popular touring band to tnis day.

August 22-23, 1972 Keystone Berkely, Berkeley, CA: Mike Bloomfield and Friends/Frankie Beverley and Raw Soul (just Tues 22) (Tues-Wed)

August 24, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: HooDoo Rhythm Devils/Lamb (Thur)
Lamb had originally been a singer/songwriter duo of Barbara Mautitz (piano) and Bob Swanson (guitar). The band had been picked up by Bill Graham's Fillmore label, and added a rhythm section. By 1972, Lamb had released their third album (on Warners) Bring Out The Sun. Their sound was thoughtful and baroque, not really proper fare for the rowdy Keystone Berkeley.
August 25-26, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Cold Blood/Nick Gravenites (Fri-Sat) 
Cold Blood are generally associated with the East Bay funk sound of bands like Tower Of Power. The East Bay association was appropriate musically, but in fact Cold Blood had its roots in the South Bay. Lead singer Lydia Pense, from San Mateo, and bassist Rod Ellicott had been in a Peninsula Band in 1966 called The Generation. The Generation were known as the first Bay Area band to merge a horn section with a rock band. The Generation evolved into Cold Blood, and they were signed  to Bill Graham's San Francisco label (distributed by Atlantic).  Cold Blood  released two albums on San Francisco, their self-titled debut (1969) and Sisyphus (1970), which spawned a modest local hit with a remake of "You Got Me Hummin'."

After Graham's labels folded, Cold Blood ended up on Reprise. In 1972, they had released First Taste Of Sin. Lydia Pense was a powerful singer, and Cold Blood was a tight band, so the group was very popular in night clubs and at local dances. In retrospect, however, they sound as if they were trying a bit too hard, instead of just playing the music they liked.  

Nick Gravenites was one of the cluster of younger white musicians in Chicago who had learned the blues from the veteran African American players in other parts of town. Gravenities migrated to San Francisco in about 1966, joining his friend Ron Polte. By 1967, Mike Bloomfield had come out, too, and he and 'Nick The Greek' put together The Electric Flag

Gravenites had left the Electric Flag in mid-68. Gravenites got established as a producer, and he made successful records with Quicksilver Messenger Service (1968) and Brewer And Shipley(1969 and '70), among others. Gravenites had also performed and recorded with Mike Bloomfield until he got fed up with Bloomfield's instability. By '72, Gravenites was just playing around clubs with local musicians,  like many other established Bay Area rockers.

August 27, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Loading Zone (Sun)

August 28, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee (Mon)
Sonny Terry (1911-1986) and Brownie McGhee (1915-1996) achieved some fame in the 50's and 60s' as traditional folk blues artists, but in fact both had already had extensive performing careers in a variety of musical genres prior to that. By the 1970s, they were generally assocaiated with folk-style acoustic blues, and that appealed to mainly white audiences. There were few paying gigs anymore in white folk clubs, so once again the Keystone presented established blues artists.

August 31, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders (Thur)
September 1-2, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Jimmy Witherspoon/Grayson Street (Fri-Sat)
Jimmy Witherspoon (1920-1997) made his first recordings with Jay McShann in 1945. By 1950 he was well-known as an important jump blues singer, or "Blues Shouter." Witherspoon had the biggest hit with the standard 'Ain't Nobody's Business" in 1949. Witherspoon's star faded as tastes changed, but he was still popular and influential with musicians. In December 1971, Witherspoon had released the album Guilty!, which he made with Eric Burdon. 
Grayson Street very likely backed Witherspoon for his sets. 
September 6, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Loading Zone/Kimberley (Wednesday)
This was probably the next-to-last Loading Zone show. The Zone would break up shortly after this, but all the band members from the '72 version (see June 22) went on to various kinds of musical success.  Organist Tom Coster and bassist Doug Rauch would join Santana on their national tour a week later. Guitarist Bruce Conte would join Tower Of Power, and drummer Tony Smith would take over the drum chair for Malo (and later the Jan Hammer Group). Lead singer Linda Tillery went on to a successful career as a solo artist and also with the group Sweet Honey In The Rock, singing in a variety of genres. Loading Zone opened many musical doors in the Bay Area, merging soul with psychedelic rock, but it was other bands that got to walk through it.

Kimberley was a band associated with Santana's management, but I don't know much about them.
September 7-8, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Merry Clayton/Sylvester and His Hot Band (Thur-Fri) 
Merry Clayton had made her recording debut at 14, in New Orleans with Bobby Darin, back in 1962. She was well-established as a background singer with Ray Charles and others when she was called in one night to sing a part on the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter." By 1972, she had released two albums on Ode. Her most recent had been Merry Clatyon in 1971. Although she sang the famously soulful vocal for the Stones, on stage her material was in more of a Las Vegas-cabaret vein.
September 9-10, 1972: Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Cold Blood/Frank Biner Band (Sat-Sun)

Elvin Bishop's third album, Rock My Soul, produced by Delaney Bramlett, was released in 1972 by Epic Records.
September 11, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Elvin Bishop Group (Mon)
The Elvin Bishop Group could draw a crowd at Keystone any night of the week, so he was welcome on a Monday. By mid-72, Bishop had released his third album, Rock My Soul. It was an excellent album, produced by then-hot Delaney Bramlett. Bishop's first two albums had been on Fillmore Records, a Bill Graham imprint, but the parent company Epic released Rock My Soul. For whatever reasons, the album was credited to the Elvin Bishop Band instead of the Elvin Bishop Group.

Bishop's records were played pretty regularly on KSAN-fm, the largest rock station in the Bay Area. I think he got airplay on other Bay Area stations, too. The radio play accounted for Bishop's local popularity. But I don't think he got airplay outside the region, so he didn't tour much. Ultimately Epic would drop Bishop by mid-'73.

September 12, 1972: Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Tower Of Power/Azteca (Tues)
On Tuesday, September 12, 1972, Santana played an unannounced show at Keystone Berkeley. The show was reviewed (which is how its known), but its not clear if the show was invitation only or open to the public.  There's even a tape. Santana was preparing for a big tour, with a new lineup, and the Keystone Berkeley show seems like some kind of warmup.

I don't know if Tower of Power and Azteca also played. Azteca was an amazing 15-member band that played a remarkable hybrid of Latin jazz, soul and rock. They had multiple singers, a horn section and remarkable drumming. The band was led by Pete and Coke Escovedo. Members at different times included the vocalist Wendy Haas, guitarist Neal Schon, drummers Lenny White or Terry Bozzio, trumpeter Tom Harrell and numerous others. Everyone who ever saw Azteca said they were just incredible in person. There were many links between Azteca and Santana, so it wouldn't surprise me that Santana chose an Azteca show to make a guest appearance.

September 13, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Gideon and Power (Wed) 

September 14, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Herbie Hancock Headhunters (Thur)
Herbie Hancock had played the Keystone Berkeley in May, and it must have gone well. In this case, Herbie Hancock was in town for something called Black Expo '72 at the SF Civic Center (Sep 8-10) and the  Monterey Jazz Festival (Sep 16) , and he picked up extra bookings in between. Herbie played the Lion's Share in San Anselmo on Tuesday and Wednesday (Sep 12-13), and then the Keystone Berkeley on Thursday (Sep 14).
September 15-16, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Fanny/Country Weather (Fri-Sat) 
Fanny was an all-woman rock band, led by sisters June and Jean Millington. The Millington sisters had been professional musicians in the greater Bay Area since the mid-60s, leading various bands in the Sacramento area (including Svelt and Wild Honey). By the late 60s they had moved to Los Angeles.

By 1972, Fanny had made their third album for Warner Brothers, called Fanny Hill. Although there is always a bit of gimmicrkry to "all-girl" bands, all of the members of Fanny were successful professional musicians in their own right. Besides guitarist June and bassist Jean, Nicky Barclay played keyboard and, Alice De Buhr on drums. 

September 17, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: John Lee Hooker (Sun)
Somewhere around this era, a friend of mine went to see John Lee Hooker at Keystone Berkeley, and both Van Morrison and Elvin Bishop showed up to jam the night away. Whether or not it was this night--it could have been, but who knows--it was stories like these that kept the Keystone mystique potent. I heard the story from my friend many years later, but it gave me that feeling that "anything could happen at the Keystone Berkeley." I wasn't the only East Bay rock fan who felt that way.

September 19-23, 1972: Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: James Cotton Blues Band (Tues-Sat)/Delta Wires (Sep 19-20 only)/Buck (21-23)
James Cotton had played harmonica with Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, and had led his own band as well since the 1960s. He was a great performer, and had been playing for white audiences at the Fillmore since November 1966. The blues weren't as cool now, and mostly played to white audiences, but Berkeley was a more fruitful place to fill a weeknight booking than clubs in African American neighborhoods that had stopped booking the blues a long time ago. Cotton's most recent album would have been Taking Care Of Business, released in 1970 on Capitol. Matt "Guitar" Murphy was often part of Cotton's touring band.

Opening act Buck is unknown to me.

September 27-29, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Charlie Musselwhite/Nick Gravenites and Blue Gravy (Wed-Fri)
Charlie Musselwhite was from Memphis, by way of Chicago. In 1967, with an album under his belt, he took a month off from his Chicago factory job to play some shows with his band in the Bay Area. He stayed 30 years. At this time, his most recent album would have been Takin' My Time, on Arhoolie. The album featured Ukiah guitarist Robben Ford, but he had likely moved on by this time.
September 30-October 1, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Sylvester and His Hot Band (Sat-Sun)
October 5-7, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders, Tom Fogerty and Friends (Thur-Sat)
Former Creedence Clearwater Revival founder and rhythm guitarist was now a regular in the Garcia/Saunders band. The band didn't even have a name, much less "members," but Tom Fogerty was a regular. Tom was old pals with Merl from his Fantasy days, and Garcia apparently liked Fogerty's economic rhythm playing. Fogerty, who had left Creedence about two years later, didn't play at every show, but then Garcia didn't either.

October 8, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Banana and The Bunch
Banana And The Bunch were yet another byproduct of The Youngbloods. Multi-instrumental threat Lowell "Banana" Levenger, along with bassist Michael Kane and drummer Joe Bauer, had released the album Mid-Mountain Ranch in 1972 on Raccoon, the Youngbloods' Warner Brothers sponsored imprint. Since Banana could play jazzy piano, old-timey dobro and countrified pedal steel, among many other instruments, I suspect the live performances of Banana And The Bunch were pretty diverse. 

October 13-14, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Frank Biner/Around and Around (Fri-Sat)
Around and Around are unknown to me.
October 15-18, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA:  Albert King/Frank Biner (Sun-Mon only) Boone's Farm (Tues-Wed) (Sun-Wed)
Albert King was back, as was Boone's Farm.
October 20-21, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Frank Biner Band/Boone's Farm (Fri-Sat) 
Frank Biner had graduated from Monday night filler to weekend headliner. Now, granted, it was probably because no one else was available, but Biner had clearly done well enough that he would draw at least some fans.

October 23, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Frank Biner Band/Mason (Mon)
October 25-26, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Mike Bloomfield/Nick Gravenites and Blue Gravy (Wed-Thur) 

October 27, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Jimmy Witherspoon (Fri)

October 31, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Joy Of Cooking (Tues)
Joy Of Cooking was a Berkeley band, founded in 1969. The leaders were guitarist Terry Garthwaite and pianist Toni Brown, both of whom sang and wrote. What distinguished Joy Of Cooking was that while Garthwaite and Brown were fine singers and songwriters, they rocked pretty hard as well. Joy Of Cooking had long improvised sections between verses, just like bands with boys in them.  

Joy Of Cooking had established themselves at Mandrake's, playing weeknights. By '72, they were on their third album for Capitol, called Castles. Although a fine live act with a good local following, Joy Of Cooking never broke out of the Bay Area, and they had broken up by 1973.

November 3, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Elvin Bishop Group/Neal Schon, Gregg Errico and Pete Sears (Fri)
Guitarist Neal Schon had left Santana, drummer Gregg Errico had left Sly and The Family Stone, and bassist Pete Sears had moved over from England. Their idea was that they would form a band called The San Francisco Rhythm Section, providing backing for singers who would record at major Bay Area studios. It wasn't a terrible idea. The trio played occasional gigs, but this may have been theri very first one. They probably just jammed on familiar material.
About two years later, with some personnel changes, The San Francisco Rhythm Section evolved into Journey.
November 4, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders and Tom Fogerty (Sat)

November 6, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Frank Biner Band/Filet Of Soul (Mon)
Filet Of Soul is unknown to me. 

November 9, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Sons Of Champlin (Thur)
November 10-12, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Merry Clayton/A Thought In Passing (Fri-Sun) 
A Thought In Passing is unknown to me.
November 13, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Fat and Sassy (Mon) 
Fat and Sassy is unknown to me.

November 16, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Earthquake (Thur)
November 17-18, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: John Lee Hooker and Jungle (Fri-Sat) 
Jungle is unknown to me.

November 19, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Cal Tjader (Sun)
Cal Tjader was from the Bay Area, but peculiarly enough he was one of th godfathers of Latin Jazz. Once again, with no good East Bay jazz clubs, Keystone Berkeley got a good booking.
November 22, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Elvin Bishop Group/Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen/Alice Stuart A Benefit for Charlie Musselwhite (Wed) 
Apparently Musselwhite had been in a car accident.

November 23, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Banana and The Bunch/High Country
KPFA-fm, part of the listener suppored Pacifica Radio network, regularly broadcast nightclub shows from around the Bay Area. Banana and The Bunch had a set broadcast on KPFA. It was sponsored by Raccoon Records, the Youngbloods imprint on Warner Brothers. After the Youngbloods had hit it big with "Get Together," Warners was hot to re-sign them, and gave them their own label. Unfortunately, I don't know of this Banana And The Bunch tape circulating. 
High Country was a Berkeley bluegrass band led by mandolinist Butch Waller. They had released a 1971 album on Raccoon. I assume they were broadcast as well, although I don't know of that tape circulating either.

November 30, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Tower Of Power/Elephant's Tooth (Thur)
Up until now, Tower of Power had been an essentially local band.  By Fall '72, however, the band's single "You're Still A Young Man" had been in the Billboard National charts in September/October, and had peaked at #24.  So Tower of Power was getting a bigger national profile. Like many of the better known bands at Keystone Berkeley, such as Jerry Garcia or Elvin Bishop, Tower was playing a weeknight. The band could bring in a lot of people on a Thursday, and it left them free for weekend bookings farther afield.
Tower of Power's first set was broadcast on KPFA. A wonderful tape ciculates. Tellingly, the KPFA dj says "coming to you from the Keystone Korner, on the corner of University and Shattuck," inadvertently betraying the perennial confusion associated with the different Keystones.

Elephant's Tooth is unknown to me.
December 1-2, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Earthquake/Rockets (Fri-Sat)
The Longbranch, down at 2504 San Pablo Avenue, had doubled in size in the middle of the year, changing its name from Babylon. It now held 300+ people. Earthquake and The Rockets were regular headliners there. Moving 12 blocks closer to campus for a weekend gig was a sign of progress.

The Rockets featured transplanted New Yorker Eddie Mahoney on lead vocals. A few years later, he would become better known as Eddie Money.
Decmber 5, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Boz Scaggs (Tues-two shows 8:30-11:30) 
Boz Scaggs new album My Time had been released September. It was getting good airplay on KSAN and other FM stations. For this show, on a Tuesday, the Keystone turned over the house for Boz, with an early and a late show. This was rarely done by the club, since it inevitably meant less beer was sold. It was a sign of Scaggs' status in the Bay Area that he could have a double show on a Tuesday night.
December 6,-7 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders, Tom Fogerty (Wed-Thur) 
December 8-9, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Cold Blood/Trapeze (Fri-Sat) 
Trapeze was an English band, touring behind their third album You Are The Music...We Are Just The Band. The group was signed to Threshold Records, the imprint of The Moody Blues. Moody bassist John Lodge had produced their first two albums. Established producer Neil Slaven produced You Are The Music

Trapeze was a trio, with guitarist Mel Galley, bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes and drummer David Holland. The music was sort of funky hard rock.  Hughes would leave the band the next year to join Deep Purple, replacing Roger Glover.
Decmber 12-14, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Jesse Colin Young and Jerry Corbitt (Tues-Thur)
Jerry Corbitt had left the Youngbloods about 1968, before they had unexpectedly become really big when "Get Together" had hit in 1969. Corbitt was still friendly with the band, however, and I believe these were duo shows. The Youngbloods, despite their success, were actually on the verge of breaking up.
December 15-16, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: John Lee Hooker (Fri-Sat) 
One source has Luis Gasca and saxophonist John Handy on Saturday (Dec 16) instead of Hooker. Handy, an established jazz veteran, lived in Palo Alto, so the occasional one-off local date would make sense.
The 1971 album Sarah, by Sarah Fulcher, and produced by Steve Cropper for TMI Records

December 17, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Banana and The Bunch/Sarah and Friends
Sarah And Friends was a group fronted by singer Sarah Fulcher, who had released an album by that name on 1971 on TMI Records, produced by Steve Cropper. To the extent Sarah Fulcher is known at all, it was as a part-time member of the Garcia/Saunders aggregation. This period was the only one where she played around the Bay Area at all. Since a show at Cotati's Inn Of The Beginning a few days earlier (Dec 14 '72)  by Sarah & Friends was canceled, I wouldn't be surprised if this booking was too. 

December 19, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Buddy Guy and Junior Wells (Tues)
Weather Report seems to have booked a week, and then canceled.
Guitarist Buddy Guy (b.1936) was a member of Muddy Waters' band in the 50s and 60s and a Chess studio regular as well. He was  huge influence on Eric Clapton and other English musicians. His long-time partner, harmonica player Junior Wells, was also a major figure to younger rock musicians.

December 20, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders, Tom Fogerty (Wed)
There is a confusing history to this date, but it has to do with mis-dated tapes. There was a show the next week (Dec 28) at the Lion's Share at San Anselmo that was broadcast on KTIM-fm. For reasons that are unclear, some people thought the show was taped from this night at the Keystone Berkeley (maybe it was--I've never been certain). 
December 22-23, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Tower Of Power/Black Kangaroo (Fri-Sat)
Black Kangaroo was a power trio featuring guitarist Peter Kaukonen, the younger brother of the Airplane's Jorma. Kaukonen had just released a solo album on Grunt (the Jefferson Airplane's RCA imprint) called Black Kangaroo, and now led a group by that name.

December 26, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Earthquake (Tues)
December 27-28, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Country Joe McDonald/Staton Brothers (Wed-Thur)
Berkeley's own Country Joe McDonald was on a plateau at this point, starting a new band. He had split up with Barry "The Fish" Melton in mid-1970, although they periodically played together. McDonald's current record would have been the solo acoustic Incredible! Live on Vanguard. Joe would have been backed by his new All-Star Band. The old Big Brother rhythm section of Peter Albin (bass) and Dave Getz (drums) supported pianist Dorothy Moskowitz (ex-USA) and saxophonist Tucki Bailey. Sometimes the band was joied by some backup singers and also Barry Melton on lead guitar. The group would stay together in variouis forms for over two years.

The Staton Brothers were an East Bay band from Hayward who had been signed by the Monkees' management around 1967. Jeff and Mike Staton were both singing guitarists, broadly in the style of Buffalo Springfield. The band had toured with the Springfield and others in the 1960s. In late 1972, the Staton Brothers had released an album on Epic, but there was a problem with distributors, so the album did not sell. Ultimately both Staton brothers worked with Stephen Bishop and many others as guitarists and songwriters, mostly based in Nashville. Since "Staton" was often misunderstood, and just an adopted name anyway, they used different names.

December 29, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders, Tom Fogerty and friends (Fri)

December 30, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Stoneground (Sat)
Warner Brothers had recently released Stoneground 3. After beginning with a lot of hype and fanfare, Stoneground had fizzled. They were talented and good on stage, but with five singers in a ten-piece band, there was a lot to juggle. This was one of the band's last performances. The final Stoneground performance was January 6, 1973 in Sacramento, although of course the band would go on to reform many times in the next decade.

December 31, 1972 Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Cold Blood (Sun)