Friday, July 30, 2010

Grateful Dead Tour Itinerary January 1970

I have been constructing tour itineraries for the Grateful Dead for brief periods of their history. There is so much information circulating on websites and blogs (including my own) that go beyond published lists on Deadlists and that these posts make useful forums for discussing what is known and missing during each period. So far I have reviewed
Rather than go in strictly chronological order, I am focusing on periods where recent research has been done by myself or others. Over time I hope to have the entire 1965-70 period. My principal focus here is on identifying which dates have Grateful Dead shows, which dates might have Grateful Dead shows, and which dates are in dispute or may be of interest. Where relevant, I am focusing on live appearances by other members--mostly Jerry Garcia, as a practical matter--in order to get an accurate timeline.

What follows is a list of known Grateful Dead performance dates for January 1970. I am focused on which performances occurred when, rather than the performances themselves. For known performances, I have assumed that they are easy to assess on Deadlists, The Archive and elsewhere, and have made little comment. As a point of comparison, I am comparing my list to Deadlists, but I realize that different databases may include or exclude different dates (I am not considering recording dates, interviews or Television and radio broadcast dates in this context).

My working assumption is that the Grateful Dead, while already a legendary rock band by 1968, were living hand to mouth and scrambling to find paying gigs. Even by 1970, most paying performances were on Friday and Saturday nights, so I am particularly interested  in Friday and Saturday nights where no Grateful Dead performances were scheduled or known.

In January 1970, the Grateful Dead were starting to reap the benefits of their great new album Live/Dead, released in November 1969, which was receiving plenty of airplay now that FM rock stations were all over the country. One interesting note about the month of January 1970 was the fact of only one scheduled show by the New Riders of The Purple Sage, and no guest live appearances by Jerry Garcia. Given the surprisingly numerous NRPS shows in November, I cannot think this was simply a coincidence. We have discussed possible reasons for the paucity of NRPS shows between December 1969 and April 1970 elsewhere, so I will not recap it except to say that it appears the Riders did not have a bass player.

I have linked to existing posters where available.

January 2-3, 1970 Fillmore East, New York, NY: Grateful Dead/Cold Blood/Lighthouse
The Grateful Dead finished their brief, if lengthy National tour with a weekend at the Fillmore East. They played early and late shows on both Friday and Saturday night, which was the standard arrangement there.

Cold Blood was booked by Bill Graham's Millard Agency, as were the Dead. Lighthouse were a Canadian group who played a sort of orchestral pop, similar in some ways to Blood, Sweat & Tears.

January 10, 1970 Golden Hall, Community Concourse, San Diego, CA: Grateful Dead/Sons Of Champlin/AUM
The Grateful Dead returned to the West Coast and played a Saturday night in San Diego. San Diego was not a big enough market for the Dead to play two nights, but it seems surprising they did not wedge a Friday night show (on Jan 9) somewhere in the Los Angeles area. Of course, the band had just been there the previous month, but they played a small venue in Hollywood (The Thelma, Dec 10-12) and one in distant San Bernardino (The Swing on Dec 13).

The San Diego Convention Center was at 202 C Street. A former San Diego resident explained it to me
San Diego Convention Center consisted of 2 concert venues:   Golden Hall and Exhibition Hall.  Only a lobby between the 2 rooms. Golden Hall had seats, auditorium style with a rise and a high roof. Exhibition Hall was a low roof, no seats, concrete floor affair.  Community Concourse was another earlier name for the entire building including both halls
The Sons Of Champlin actually substituted for Savoy Brown at the last minute. The Sons road manager recalled that the stage had an Vaudeville-style platform that could be raised and lowered. The Sons went on too long for the promoter's liking, and when they launched into another number--"Turn On Your Lovelight," amusingly enough--the promoter lowered the stage as a warning, and The Sons descended out of sight, rocking away. At this time, "Lovelight" was a popular nightclub cover version, and had been since Bobby "Blue" Bland had a great hit with it in 1961. Both the Dead and the Sons (and a thousand other groups) had been performing it live for some time.

January 15, 1970 [venue], Seattle, WA: Grateful Dead [unconfirmed]
Another blogger pointed out that Tom Constanten mentions the Dead playing the Aqua Theater in Seattle on January 15, 1970. While this is clearly a spurious venue--the Dead had played the final show at the Aqua Theater on August 21, 1969--I wouldn't discount the date. Constanten has clearly been using a diary or some other form of reference, and some of his most interesting dates fit very clearly into the Dead's touring schedule, even though they are unremarked elsewhere (for example, September 16, 1967 in Las Vegas).

Although January 15, 1970 was a Thursday, I would not at all rule out that there was at least a show scheduled in Seattle, even if it wasn't played.

January 16, 1970 Springer's Ballroom, Gresham, OR: Grateful Dead/River
Springer's Ballroom was apparently the ballroom in an old resort. It was in suburban Gresham, about 15 miles East of downtown Portland. I have written about this venue at length elsewhere, to the extent that  that I could find out about it. The building was located on West Powell Boulevard (US 26) at SE 190th Avenue. There has been considerable development since then and no trace of the building appears to remain.

River was a Portland band.

January 17, 1970 Gill Coliseum, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR: Grateful Dead
Gill Coliseum was the basketball arena for Oregon State. Built in 1949, the venue has a current capacity of 10, 400. I do not know what its capacity was in 1970, but even so it must have been one of the larger places that the Dead headlined in those days.

January 18, 1970 Springer's Ballroom, Gresham, OR: Grateful Dead
The Dead returned to Springer's two days after their previous appearance. Bob Weir's comment from the stage about the sparse crowd shows why the band didn't add casual dates more often. Gresham was in the suburbs, and underground word-of-mouth wasn't as effective as it might have been in Manhattan or San Francisco.

January 19, 1970 Pauley Ballroom, UC Berkeley, CA: New Riders Of The Purple Sage/Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band Benefit For Center For Educational Change
Joe discovered this obscure show quite recently. There are many strange things about it, not least a Monday night show after the Dead had just returned from Portland. Nonetheless, it is the only booked New Riders show between November 1969 and March 1970, and if it was played it was the only one played between November and April 1970.

I asked Brian Voorheis of The Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band if he recalled the show, and he didn't, but of course CGSB played Pauley many times, so that's hardly definitive either way. The bigger question about a January New Riders show remains who might the bass player have been, or is supposed to have been. It does appear that after steadily playing around through November, Phil Lesh simply lost interest. If there was a one-off show, perhaps there was a one-off lineup of the New Riders as well.

January 23-24, 1970 Civic Auditorium, Honolulu, HI: Grateful Dead/The Sun And The Moon/September Morn/Pilfredge Sump/Michael J Brody
Some lists include the Jefferson Airplane on the bill, but I am reliably informed that they were not part of the show. I don't think the Dead could really have filled two nights at the 8,800 capacity Honolulu Civic, but of course Hawaii was different than every other state for many obvious reasons, so its tough to generalize. I have seen a number of Hawaii bills from the 60s where there was a major headliner and a series of local bands.

January 30-31, 1970 The Warehouse, New Orleans, LA: Grateful Dead/Fleetwood Mac/The Flock
The Warehouse was a recently opened venue that created a Southeastern stop on the "Fillmore Circuit," which had hitherto been focused more on the I-80 route through Chicago and the Midwest. The Warehouse, at 1820 Tchopitoulas St. (at Felicity), was an old railroad storage warehouse, generally lacking in ventilation (in the Summer, ice trucks would be lined up next to the building, spraying cool air into the second story windows to be fanned out into the auditorium).

Fleetwood Mac had been pals with the Dead since early 1969. Much of the weekend is described in great detail from by Mac soundman Dinky Dawson in his fine book Life On The Road (Billboard Books, 1998, p. 121-124), although fortunately the Mac missed the notorious bust after the second show.  As if getting busted didn't make the weekend momentous enough, the Dead decided to fire Tom Constanten as well, and his last official show with the band turned out to have been January 24, although I believe he "sat in" (in a sense) on some numbers in New Orleans.

The Flock were an interesting band from Chicago that featured electric violinist Jerry Goodman. Goodman, a tremendous player, used his violin as the lead instrument in the horn section, an approach borrowed (consciously or not) from Texas Swing music but applied to a hard-driving "soul-rock" sound. Goodman later played in the first Mahavishnu Orchestra and a later lineup of Dixie Dregs.

February 1, 1970 The Warehouse, New Orleans, LA: Grateful Dead/Fleetwood Mac Bust Benefit
After the bust, the Dead are out of cash, a clear sign of the hand-to-mouth life of a touring band in those days. They add an extra show at The Warehouse on Sunday night. Fleetwood Mac agrees to play as well, as they do not have a show until February 5 in Boston (The Flock had to move on, according to Dawson). The show is well attended, thanks to the local FM station. Unlike suburban Portland, word travels fast in a City.

According to Dawson, although the New Orleans cops are out in force looking to bust pot smokers, buckets are passed around for people to drop money in to help the Dead, and in thanks the band passes around bottles of Cold Duck (a cheap champagne-like concoction). They announce from the stage "its Electric Duck, so only take a few sips," and the New Orleans police, used to 200 years of vice, somehow miss the reference. Peter Green, and probably other members of Fleetwood Mac, end up on stage during "Turn On Your Lovelight" (and who does that strange rap at the end?).

Since the Grateful Dead's next show was in St. Louis on Monday night (February 2), I have always wondered how they got the sound system 700 miles North in time for the show. My theory is that the equipment truck left New Orleans Sunday morning (February 1) and the Dead played on Fleetwood Mac's sound system. The Dead and the Mac were among the first two bands to tour with their own PAs, and Dinky Dawson and Owsley were good friends and professional peers. Expedience notwithstanding, the Dead would have known they could put on a quality show using the Mac's equipment. I'm assuming that the band members themselves were going to fly to St. Louis in any case, so their plans would not have changed. 

Anyone with updates, corrections, insights or other valuable information should Comment or email me.

Cabe design reviews: Deptford, Greenwich & Lewisham

The Commission for Architecture & the Built Environment, otherwise known as Cabe, is one of the quangos that is in the sights of the budget-busters at the coalition government. According to reports in the building press it faces a 'radical shake-up' which could involve a merger with English Heritage or something similar.

Anyone not involved in planning, development or architecture probably has no idea what Cabe does, and even those who are might find themselves a little vague on the subject. In fact 'the government's advisor on architecture, urban design and public space' publishes design guides and provides advice for people involved in the planning process from many different backgrounds. Its aims are on the whole benevolent - seeking to improve open spaces in social housing areas, for example, and offering guidance and advice to help raise the quality of large-scale developments in urban areas. It was set up to replace the Royal Fine Art Commission in 1999 and is tasked with providing impartial reviews of major developments, among other things.

The results of design reviews of schemes that are submitted for planning permission are published on Cabe's website - they are fascinating to review, but do lend some credence to the belief that however well-meaning the intentions of the organisation, ultimately it's still a toothless dinosaur. The more community-spirited developers will take note of the conclusions of the review panel, while the ones who don't give a damn will take no notice. Guidelines are only guidelines when push comes to shove, and it's down to the parties involved to request the design review. No point inviting criticism if you don't intend to respond to it.

Here's the comments on a few local schemes - some of which were amended and resubmitted as a result of the design review, some of which stand now as epic fails.

The Old Seager Distillery which I wrote about some months ago, and which is now much taller than in the photographs on the post.

Despite alterations to the original scheme, Cabe was unable to support the application for the 27-storey tower project. What they thought about the revised 26-storey project is not recorded - presumably the previous reviews were so damning that the developers instead decided to trust to Lewisham's planning department, who agreed to the scheme.

More recently the panel has reviewed the revised proposals for the contentious Greenwich Market redevelopment. Not a lot has changed since the original review, and despite welcoming the general aspirations of the redevelopment, Cabe 'still has some concerns about the layout of the market, the scale of the hotel and the detailing of the glazed roof'.

Reassuringly, the Dame finds some of her initial comments about the proposed Wharves redevelopment on Oxestalls Road being echoed in Cabe's review. It seems the application has been revised somewhat since I last commented on it - although sadly not to include a cycle and pedestrian route under Evelyn Street.

Further south in the borough, the design review panel is not particularly impressed by the Loampit Vale proposals - the famous housing development intended to incorporate the swimming pool that will replace Ladywell Pool. "We welcome the changes to the scheme since we last reviewed it," Cabe said,"but we think that our concerns about the typological strategies and the relationships between the different building blocks are not fully resolved." The architects also comment specifically on the viability of including a swimming pool in a residential block.

But to see a demonstration of just how pointless these reviews can be, look no further than the design review of my favourite scheme, Creekside Village. To paraphrase: 'we generally support the idea, but we asked a lot of questions before, none of which have been properly answered. The success of the scheme will depend on the suitability of the materials that are used, the detailed design of the facades and of the landscaping. But we're not going to comment further, we trust the council's planning department and the scheme architects to do the right thing, and we have pointed out our publication that gives some more guidelines on the subject. Amen.' *sound of hands being squirted with anti-bacterial gel*

happy birthday mama

thankyou for giving me the freedom to live with my entire heart, for making me believe in true love and for single-handedly raising my brother and i. i think you are the perfect mother for me, you never clipped my wings like others would have. you followed all my pursuits with me, nothing was impossible for us. 

i'm sorry things weren't always as beautiful as they could have been. but all the ugliness helped me grow and taught me so many things i'd otherwise never learnt. i'm sorry for growing up so quickly and i'm sorry for leaving. but i know you understand better than anyone else.

sometimes when i close my eyes and think back as far as i can remember, i can remember our houseboat. feeling the sea rock us back and forth into sleep. i can remember our house in love lane, with the ever-present smell of mango, the thorns in the yard, coloured baths. i would wake up in the middle of the night so scared i would go into your room (on the way always stopping to look at the goldfish asleep in his bowl) and cuddle up to you, where everything was safe. as life went on the safe moments became fewer, but when they happened everything was right in the world. 

my childhood inspires a lot of what i create now, so thankyou for being unconventional and letting me and my imagination run wild. when i have children i hope i can believe in them as much as you did in me.

i love and miss you, i will see you in december
have a lovely birthday
love, your daughter

Deptford round-up

After a short hiatus in blogging brought on by work pressures and travel, the Dame is back in residence for now.

During my absence I've missed various Deptford-related matters, but as they have been covered elsewhere I am not going to repeat them. We are very lucky in Deptford and surrounds to have an active blogging community, past the noses of whom not a lot can get. I link to nearly all of them in the sidebar, but just in case you have been away too, here's what they've been talking about.

Leila contacted local bloggers to raise awareness of the fact that Tidemill School (yes, THAT Tidemill School!) is bidding to convert to an Academy. Perhaps we should not be surprised at this, given that the school has reportedly undergone a massive improvement and perhaps believes this is a way to maintain its elevated status away from local authority intervention. The concern is the speed with which the school wishes to pursue this option - attempting to complete the process by September - and the very minimal consultation that has been carried out.

Crosswhatfields blog has the full story and links to a petition, along with a rather craftily-Photoshopped illustration.

Caroline followed up the debate over head-teachers' pay with an alarming story about the methods used to recruit teachers in Deptford in the 1800s. This sparked a bit of digging to uncover the result of the interview.

Just over the boundary in Greenwich borough, Darryl has been having a go at the 'rotten-looking developments' that are strewed along Creek Road like putrifying roadkill. He extracts the urine quite mercilessly from 'Bullshit Mansions' (the Teatro development which describes itself as being 'at the heart of Greenwich’s cultural quarter') before Crosswhatfields weighs in with its own two pennorth.

Naturally I enjoyed reading the banter and bile - everyone knows that I regard the Creek Road carnage as the worst kind of visual offence.

Darryl has also blogged his walk of the route of the old Surrey Canal, much of which passes through Deptford and some of the proposed developments.

Meanwhile up the road in Blackheath, the ever-vigilant Bugle has been keeping up with the ongoing debate over Lewisham Council's proposed library closures, which is also covered by the Blackheath Village Residents Group.

As far as I am aware, there is no similar campaign in New Cross. I suspect the fact that New Cross lacks a central focus (you can't really count Sainsbury's, can you?) makes it much more difficult to generate and sustain community spirit, although I'm sure it does exist in pockets.

Happily the New Cross Local Assembly has just invited your comments on priorities for the area, via its survey at The survey runs till 24th August.

Apparently if you can't do it online you can find the survey at the libraries in Deptford and New Cross. Oh, the irony!

Over at A room of one zone, Marmoset has posted some great pictures and memories of the Dog & Bell in 'the days before Charlie and Eileen'. Personally I find it difficult to believe there ever WAS a time before Charlie and Eileen!

Finally, a review of 'Deptford's finest' Athlete, playing at the Old Royal Naval College. Whether you like their music or not ('accessible pop-rock'? hmm!) it's good to see a name check for the 'ford.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

8201 Old Redwood Highway, Cotati, CA The Inn Of The Beginning, Cotati, CA 1969

(a photo of Friar Tuck's Pub at 8201 Old Redwood Highway, Cotati, CA, taken on July 12, 2010. The sign for The Inn Of The Beginning is visible at the top of the wall)

It is often a tricky enterprise attempting to photograph the sites of old venues. Addresses change, buildings are torn down or remodeled, roads and sight lines change, and what might be the site of an old venue may turn out to be misleading or mistaken. Not so with the Inn Of The Beginning in Cotati, California, where Jerry Garcia and The New Riders of The Purple Sage played at least four low-key shows in late 1969. Although the venue closed many years ago, the sign for the old club hangs proudly above the entrance, no doubt in the interest of aiding Rock Prosopographers everywhere.

The Inn Of The Beginning
Cotati was a sleepy, iconoclastic community that dated back to the 19th century, and a generally interesting place, for a rural area. As development expanded beyond Santa Rosa, the largest city in the County, Cotati was in danger of being annexed by Rohnert Park, a growing suburb of Santa Rosa. As a result, the town incorporated as a city in 1963 to control its own destiny.

As part of the dramatic expansion of state-funded education in California, Sonoma State College was founded in Santa Rosa in 1960 (taking the faculty, staff and facility of San Francisco State’s Santa Rosa Center, founded in 1956). However, by 1966 the entire Sonoma State campus had relocated to a new site in Rohnert Park. Calling the campus and the county “bucolic” does it a cruel injustice; year-round balmy weather and a beautiful setting made Sonoma State a desirable campus immediately. Eccentric Cotati, just next to Rohnert Park, immediately became the ‘college town’ associated with the Sonoma State campus.

The free-thinking history of Cotati made it a nice fit with the newly expanding Sonoma State campus. The Inn of The Beginning was founded in 1968 as a coffee shop and bar that provided both a  watering hole and a venue for local groups. The opening night band on September 28, 1968 was Bronze Hog, featuring guitarist Frank Hayhurst. Hayhurst, at one point, became co-operator of the Inn, and now owns a music store in Cotati.  The Bronze Hog played The Inn Of The Beginning in all its incarnations for decades, and the band still plays around the city periodically, and that sums up Cotati in a nutshell (for more on Cotati in the 1960s, see here).

Cotati’s friendly atmosphere and convenient location of The Inn made it an attractive place for the many world-class musicians who lived in Marin to use the Inn of The Beginning as a venue to work on new material or try out a new lineup. Over the decades, the likes of Van Morrison and Jerry Garcia played there many times, often with very little publicity. Ironically, this has led to an expansion of the legend beyond its actual width; the New Riders of The Purple Sage played there in 1969, but this has led to the unsustainable story that the Grateful Dead used to play there “every Tuesday.” Janis Joplin is reputed to have joined Big Brother there one night in 1970, and it is impossible to say whether she did for certain.

In 1969, however, after many major San Francisco rock luminaries had moved to Marin County, a show at the tiny Inn Of The Beginning in Cotati was an easy drive from both San Francisco and Marin. Thus the venue was an extra booking for working bands, and a chance for higher profile bands to play for a friendly audience without a lot of pressure. Jerry Garcia and his new band The New Riders of the Purple Sage took advantage of the Inn Of The Beginning to play 4 (or possibly 5) shows there:

September 18, 1969
A tape circulates from this Thursday night performance. It is unique in that Garcia shares the vocals with John Dawson, and he does not just la-la along on the background vocals. Since we have no other tapes until 1970, its impossible to say how typical this was(all clips are from Ralph Gleason's San Francisco Chronicle columns).

October 9, 1969
The New Riders played another Thursday night.

November 6, 1969
Yet another Thursday night. During this period, acts that played San Francisco clubs (like Elvin Bishop or Dan Hicks) mostly played weekends, so I presume local groups played on other nights. It seems that these discreet shows were effectively "extra" nights for the Inn Of The Beginning, when San Francisco club headliners weren't usually playing.

November 28/29, 1969
Ralph Gleason's column implies that the New Riders and Joy Of Cooking (from Berkeley) would play on Friday and Saturday November 28 and 29. His phrasing suggests that both bands would play both nights, but I actually think the New Riders played Friday and Joy Of Cooking played Saturday.

The New Riders were booked to play a show at The Inn Of The Beginning on March 12, 1970, another Thursday. After an exhaustive discussion on this blog, we decided that it was extremely unlikely that the group actually played the show.

(a photo of The Inn Of The Beginning and the attached bar "Spancky's", at 8201 Old Redwood Highway, taken on July 12, 2010)

The Inn Of The Beginning may have had a slightly different configuration in 1969 than it does now. There is a bar "Spancky's" at one end, and a small leather repair shop at the opposite end, all at the same address of 8201 Old Redwood Highway. I suspect that the 60s era club extended throughout the whole building, but as you can see it is not a large place. Thus I find it unsupportable that the Grateful Dead proper ever played there, charming as the idea might be. I would find it plausible, however, that the "acoustic" Grateful Dead played a show there in 1970, as it would be a good place to try out new equipment or material. If such a show took place, it was probably on a weeknight around either April or July 1970, and there was probably no publicity.

The Inn Of The Beginning lasted through the mid-70s in its original incarnation. It re-opened in the early 80s under the name The Cotati Cabaret At The Inn Of The Beginning, when it merged with an establishment across the street. The Inn remained a venue at least into the 1990s, but I'm not certain when it turned into an Irish Pub. Cotati and Sonoma remains as beautiful as ever, although the wine business has made the price of property formidable indeed, in return for which it has made the County a destination for food and drink of all types.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Surrey Canal: London's sporting village?

The public consultation season seems to be in full swing. Plans to redevelop the area around Millwall football stadium are the next redevelopment proposals to be wheeled out for public consultation.

When the leaflet plopped through my letterbox today I was rather surprised since it was the first I'd heard about the plans, apart from some rather vague murmurings.

According to the website:
Surrey Canal will be a regional and local centre for sporting excellence. The plans have already been backed by a wide range of sporting organisations and will support young up and coming sportsmen and women as well as providing significant benefits for local people.
Utilising the area's excellent transport connections, and two major stations (South Bermondsey and the planned new Surrey Canal Road station on the East London Line extension) the scheme will also deliver up to 2,700 new homes, 2,000 new jobs, improved connections and open spaces, and new community facilities.
The plans will also provide an improved setting for Millwall Football stadium, as well as providing new community facilities including shops, cafes, restaurants and new public spaces.
These proposals are led by regeneration specialists Renewal and will provide a huge boost to this part of North Lewisham which is identified in Lewisham's 'Core Strategy' as an area for major regeneration.

The website is pretty piss poor as far as information goes - as is Lewisham Council's website. Luckily the fans at Millwall online are on the case, and spotted an article in the Architects Journal.

Studio Egret West (SEW) has unveiled ambitious regeneration proposal, including 2,700 new homes and a sports village, for the 12ha area around Millwall FC’s New Den home in South London
Meanwhile it is understood Will Alsop’s dream to build a series of towers on top of and around the football club itself have died and a new architect brought in to look at a more modest re-jig of the 20,000-seat ground.
SEW’s plans, drawn up for developer Renewal and dubbed Surrey Canal - London’s Sporting Village, aim to create a new regional centre of sporting excellence together housing and shops next to the ground, South Bermondsey Station and the planned Surrey Canal Road Station on the East London Line.
Featuring a number of towers - the tallest 26 storeys - the scheme will also improve access to and from the area surrounding the Millwall Football Club stadium, as well as creating new shops, caf├ęs, restaurants and public spaces.
David West, of SEW said: ‘This is a hugely exciting project which will transform an inner city site and deliver a whole host of benefits for the existing communities of North Lewisham.
‘It will also improve connections and linkages, opening up the local area through the introduction of a new park at Bridge House Meadows and high quality public spaces forming a green armature through the site.’
He added: ‘The sporting element will underpin the new community with large scale indoor venues lining Surrey Canal Road and roof top play areas animating the sky line above.’
It is believed other architects will be brought in to work on the ‘piece of city’ which is the same size as the Barbican in the city.
Renewal which has been accumulating land in the North Lewisham area for the last seven years will be holding a public exhibition from 25 to 27 July at the Lewington Centre on the Silwood Estate in Rotherhithe as part of continued pre-application community consultation.

The public consultation will take place at:
The Lewington Centre
9 Eugenia Road
London SE16 2RU

Opening Times:
Sunday 25 July 11am-4pm
Monday 26 July 10am-6pm
Tuesday 27 July 10am-4:30pm

Guardian online visits the Meantime Brewery

Find out all you need to know about brewing 'multi-dimensional' beers in this video about the Meantime Brewery in Greenwich.

Much as the dame enjoys the ales on offer at Meantime Brewery, a recent visit revealed that the staff need a bit of training on how to serve a very busy bar. After waiting 15 minutes with no noticeable advance and no sign that anyone was being served in turn, we cut our losses and went to the Yacht instead.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Clever Tactics

by Barbara Palermo

Elected officials sometimes resort to clever tactics to dodge the dreaded chicken issue.

Many cities across the country already have chicken-keeping ordinances. Where they don't, citizens are often lobbying for one - but some cities are more reluctant than others. Here in Oregon’s capital we have been fighting for the right to have three hens for the last year and a half. Nearby cities like Seattle, Portland, Eugene, and Corvallis have allowed backyard chickens for years, but not in Salem. Not yet, anyway.

Throughout the course of our struggle to legalize backyard chickens we’ve encountered an assortment of political obstacles. If you’re planning a chicken revolution of your own, be prepared to deal with one or more of the following stumbling blocks.

Clever Tactic No. 1 – Refuse to talk about it

The first step to getting elected officials to adopt a chicken-keeping ordinance is, of course, to discuss it with them. This requires putting the issue on the agenda for a city council meeting. When we emailed our representatives and politely asked if we could talk about this at an upcoming meeting, they refused. Fortunately, a little thing called Open Public Comment at the end of every council meeting allows citizens to bring up topics “other than those on the agenda.” We took full advantage of that!

Clever Tactic No. 2 – Stall whenever possible

After a couple of discussions at city hall about a proposed ordinance, our councilors decided not to decide. Instead, they referred the issue to the County Dog Control, an agency that only has authority over dogs. Two months passed while we waited for an answer we already knew would be no, the county dog control office will not enforce a chicken ordinance. Next, our councilors referred the issue to the Planning Commission. Because the City Council has the ultimate authority for making these kinds of decisions, this was another unnecessary step. Some people believe these referrals were nothing more than stalling tactics, meant to discourage us to the point of giving up and going away. Instead, we grew both in numbers and determination.

Clever Tactic No. 3 – Create a “Catch-22”

City councilors may try to set up an impossible-to-win, Catch-22 situation. In the beginning, our councilors emphasized the importance of showing enough community support for the proposed ordinance, so we worked hard on public outreach and education. As a result, we earned the endorsement of 13 of the 19 neighborhood associations, and proudly submitted a petition with more than 1,200 signatures. The council's response was disappointing, to say the least. Based on the overwhelming community support we showed, some councilors then reasoned that too many people might raise chickens, which would create a code enforcement nightmare. They didn’t seem to understand that not everyone who signed the petition wanted to raise chickens, but rather believed in the right for people to do so. Be prepared to explain this.

Clever Tactic No. 4 – Use the fine print to your advantage

We were thrilled when our city staff finally drafted and recommended a chicken-keeping ordinance for the councilors to consider! Then we read the fine print. Three hens would be allowed only on lots larger than 10,000 square feet. According to local geographic information system (GIS) data, this stipulation would have disqualified more than 80% of Salem residents. After further negotiations, we were able to convince them that this was unreasonable – nice try, though.

Clever Tactic No. 5 – Pretend to take action

This particular tactic was employed in a nearby town, ironically called Independence. City councilors responded to a citizen’s request for a chicken-keeping ordinance by agreeing to send out a survey, along with a utility bill, to gauge community interest. However, the so-called survey simply asked “Should Independence allow backyard chickens?” It provided no further information, not a word about how this is common in other cities, that it would only allow for a few hens (no roosters), or any other details. Needless to say, the issue was shelved based on the results of this city’s rather weak attempt at taking action. Even so, it went down by just 18 out of 500 replies and generated a lot of questions. Efforts are now underway to try another approach.

Another Oregon city, Silverton, used a similar tactic. Gus Fredrickson, leader of Silverton’s chicken revolution, explains what happened in his own words:

“A very important part of the Silverton Grange’s mission is the promotion not only of local agriculture, but also local sustainability. Most may think that we mean these terms to apply to outside the city limits, in what would traditionally be viewed as ‘agricultural’ land. However, town and city folk have always had a tradition of some sort of personal ‘agricultural’ endeavor; whether a small garden plot in the backyard, or a couple of hens to provide fresh eggs.

“Over the years, our society has seen an increase of available commodities, often shipped in from hundreds or even thousands of miles away. This centralized approach to supplying our day-to-day subsistance has altered how we view our food and where it comes from. Postwar America encouraged this, while at the same time discouraging many of the traditional approaches that rural and small town people had used to supplement their nutritional intake with local food. From the 1950s on, we saw many municipal code changes that, while often well-meaning, had the effect of stifling local sustainable practices.

“We, as a Grange have consciously sought to reverse this unhealthy trend. We not only see it as a good idea to promote local nutritional sustainability, but also as essential for our future survival as a community and as a country. So when we read the front page story in the February 24 edition of the Silverton Appeal-Tribune, about the Council voting on the ‘Chicken Issue,’ our interest was piqued. Several of our Grange members, including myself, attended the March 1 City Council Meeting to present facts in support of this proposal. I managed to get in and grab a seat and agenda from the table.

“The place was packed full of supporters of the Silverton Skate Park. In fact, some of our members were turned away due to the large numbers. Nowhere on the agenda was the ‘chicken’ vote mentioned. At the opening portion of the meeting, when the Mayor asked for a show of hands for various issues, and he read through the agenda items, ... ‘chickens’ were never mentioned. In the chaos, we assumed that the chicken issue, for whatever reason, would not be addressed that evening, so we left.

“Imagine our shock and surprise when opening the paper the following week to read that yes, it was voted on and was voted down. We, of course, learned too late that the ‘Chicken Issue,’ promoted with such fanfare in the paper, was in fact a small portion of Silverton Development Code Revision. Our bad for not researching the issue further. And the fact that the newspaper article likewise failed to mention the SDC, but rather referred to a ‘Chicken Ordinance,’ also contributed to the confusion. But many of us thought it odd that at least some mention was not given in either the agenda or during opening comments.”

Sometimes it takes a while for city officials to fully understand the issue and come around. Despite these setbacks, the people of Salem, Independence, and Silverton are making progress in their efforts to legalize backyard chickens. Recently, our city councilors voted unanimously to give it another look and are drafting a chicken-keeping ordinance for reconsideration at an upcoming meeting.

If you are contemplating a campaign to change a city ordinance, be forewarned of the difficulties you might encounter if your city is resistant to change. There is much to learn from our experiences that may help you avoid these types of delays, referrals and obstacles. By knowing ahead of time how your city politics work and by investing time and effort into public outreach and education in advance, you may be able to streamline the process where you live.

For more information about chicken-keeping policies throughout the state of Oregon and for help legalizing chickens where you live, go to

Friday, July 9, 2010

Convoy's wharf revised proposals

If you made it to the Convoy's Wharf public consultation you may well, like myself, have been underwhelmed by the display materials available.

Aside from half a dozen boards made up mostly of the stuff on the website, there was a 3D model that had no labels on it and could only be interpreted in conversation with one of the staff (who were also rather unhelpfully unlabelled!).

A lot of information of interest to local residents (such as the heights of the proposed buildings, the number of car parking spaces, the access to the riverfront, school facilities etc) could only be discovered by asking. In short, the material available was conspicuous by its paucity.

Many people were looking for answers and not shy in demanding them - although due to the limited number of staff available, it was not easy for everyone to get their questions answered. As is usually the case with this kind of public consultation set-up, the more vocal members of the public tended to dominate, even those who regarded it as an opportunity to vent their spleen rather than acquire information.

The plan above has been annotated with some relevant information that I managed to wring out of those present. In addition to the statistics I included on the previous post (and a lot of the information from last year's site visit), the changes I noted were as follows:

1. The 'working wharf' area has been relocated to the west end of the site. This is in order to free up the area where the double dry dock is located, which will be developed into some kind of public area. Don't get too excited - they don't propose to excavate it and reinstate it (apparently this might damage the remains) but they are suggesting creating some kind of landscaping to reflect the significance of the site, along with a small area of park to the south of the Shipwright's Palace. This will have the benefit of enabling as much of the riverfront path to be opened up as possible, and is intended to create a much more sympathetic setting for the Shipwright's Palace.

2. The number of residential properties remains the same - 3,500 proposed, with just 25% of these intended for the 'affordable' market. It's a shamefully low percentage even by the standards of London developments. And of course, affordable is a movable concept depending very much on individual circumstances. It's debatable whether your average Deptford resident currently living in rented accommodation and wanting to buy a home would be able to afford one of the Convoy's Wharf 'affordable' homes. None of which will be in the blocks with the riverside views, I would hazard a cynical guess at. How many of these affordable homes will be suitable for families is yet to be seen.

3. A site for a school has been included in the plan (although with the government's current budget for school building this might be shelved before it even gets to the planning stage!). This has been located right next to Sayes Court Park with the suggestion that a connection through to the park could be included.

4. The number of car parking spaces has been reduced slightly compared to the previous number. So instead of 2,500 parking spaces, there will be 2,300 - just less than 2,000 for residents, the rest for visitors. One of the staff pointed out that the car parking areas would be hidden in ground-level parking areas in between the blocks, with landscaped roofs. Hidden or not, they still have to get in and out of the site, and it's still a hell of a lot of cars.

5. The exhibition did have additional information about the archaeological excavations that were carried out - given the significance of the site this should be an important and thorough part of the pre-construction work. A full report will be submitted with the planning application, we were told. At the moment there are brief details on the website.

6. The proposed public square in front of the Olympia warehouse has been split into two smaller areas on advice from an independent reviewer. This is intended to offer more appropriately-sized public spaces and reduce the risk of them becoming desolate, unused areas - a good revision in my opinion. Unfortunately they are still penned in by two huge tower blocks, which I predict will create serious wind-tunnel problems for these public areas in such an exposed location.

7. Ah yes, the building heights. Nothing has changed on these - the proposed construction still consists of three massive tower blocks (highest one about 46 storeys) and a series of blocks which themselves range in height from 4 to 16 storeys. Just to put this in perspective, the monster being built at the Old Seager Distillery is miniscule 26 storeys. Aragon tower on the waterfront is 29 storeys high.

Assuming that the storeys are approximately the same height, the main tower on Convoy's Wharf will be about the height of the Nat West Tower and just a bit lower than Canary Wharf Tower. The true impact that this development is going to have on the homes of the adjoining Pepys estate can only be guessed at by studying the model and assessing the difference in height between the proposed blocks and the existing ones. On the model, the existing blocks are totally overwhelmed by the new blocks. It is not an attractive prospect for those living nearby, either in terms of overshadowing and loss of light, or in terms of privacy.

8. Just one final comment for now. Don't be fooled by all the green space on the plan - much of this is private gardens located on the top of the parking garages between the blocks and will be for residents only.

The application for outline planning permission is expected to be submitted in the next couple of weeks. I hope to bring you further analysis and information once it is available.

If anyone else picked up additional information at the consultation, or if I have missed anything, please feel free to add it in the comments.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Convoy's wharf new proposals

As announced last week, the folks from Hutchinson Whampoa are intending to 'consult' publicly about their amended proposals for the huge Convoy's Wharf development site on Friday and Saturday this weekend.

The announcement said that new information would be up on the website shortly, and sure enough I found a few crumbs to peck on when I went to take a look there earlier today.

Here's what the website says:
"Since the public consultation, a number of elements of the initial proposals have been altered to reflect comments made.

The revised proposals, which will be submitted to Lewisham Council in the near future, include:

* Approximately 3,500 new homes, including a range of different tenures – social rented, shared ownership and private
* New public squares and open space
* The opening up of Deptford’s riverside and provision for the continuation of the Thames Path across the entire site
* 19,100 m2 of employment space, which might include offices and research and development space
* 30,600 m2 of leisure space, including a new hotel
* 32,200 m2 of wharf floorspace
* 14,400 m2 of new cultural and community space
* 6,400 m2 of retail space
* 4,520 m2 of restaurants and bars"

I looked back on the previous proposals which I had written about, to compare what had changed. One thing I noticed immediately is that the developers have clearly got cute about keeping the number of parking spaces quiet. I don't expect for a moment that the number of parking spaces has changed, I just think they are omitting to mention it in the hope that we will all forget about it.

I compared the breakdown of proposed land use by area, and came up with the following:

- number of homes remains the same - there's no detail of how many will be 'affordable', social rented etc
- employment space has been slashed from 26,300m2 to 19,100m2
- 'leisure space' has risen from 23,500m2 to 30,600m2, but don't imagine this is extra playing fields or anything; it now includes a hotel
- the amount of cultural space, retail and restaurants/bars all remain more or less the same
- however there is now an additional category - 32,200 m2 of 'wharf floorspace', whatever that means!

As well as skirting around the issue of transport, the new statement on the website also puts heavy emphasis on the riverside access and public squares that the site says it will provide - and which was in the original plans in any case.

A quick glance at the new masterplan shows that the warehouses on the bottom right next to the eastern boundary of the site, which open day visitors were told were being kept to provide industrial space and the obligatory 'working wharf' have now been replaced by what looks suspiciously like...more luxury riverside apartments!

However I do admit to be being somewhat intrigued by the elongated brown and green area nestled between these apartments and the site boundary, the position of which seems to correspond to the place where the double dry dock is believed to be located, according to the Shipwright's Palace blog.

Watch this space for more info after the weekend.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Grateful Dead Tour Itinerary December 1969

(A scan of the poster for the Grateful Dead at McFarlin Auditorium at SMU, Dallas, TX December 26, 1969)

I have been constructing tour itineraries for the Grateful Dead for brief periods of their history. There is so much information circulating on websites and blogs (including my own) that go beyond published lists on Deadlists and that these posts make useful forums for discussing what is known and missing during each period. So far I have reviewed
Rather than go in strictly chronological order, I am focusing on periods where recent research has been done by myself or others. Over time I hope to have the entire 1965-70 period. My principal focus here is on identifying which dates have Grateful Dead shows, which dates might have Grateful Dead shows, and which dates are in dispute or may be of interest. Where relevant, I am focusing on live appearances by other members--mostly Jerry Garcia, as a practical matter--in order to get an accurate timeline.

What follows is a list of known Grateful Dead performance dates for December 1969. I am focused on which performances occurred when, rather than the performances themselves. For known performances, I have assumed that they are easy to assess on Deadlists, The Archive and elsewhere, and have made little comment. As a point of comparison, I am comparing my list to Deadlists, but I realize that different databases may include or exclude different dates (I am not considering recording dates, interviews or Television and radio broadcast dates in this context).

My working assumption is that the Grateful Dead, while already a legendary rock band by 1968, were living hand to mouth and scrambling to find paying gigs. Even by 1969, most paying performances were on Friday and Saturday nights, so I am particularly interested  in Friday and Saturday nights where no Grateful Dead performances were scheduled or known. One interesting note about the month of December 1969 was the complete absence of any shows by the New Riders of The Purple Sage, nor any guest appearances by Jerry Garcia. Given the surprisingly numerous NRPS shows in November, I cannot think this was simply a coincidence. We have discussed possible reasons for the paucity of NRPS shows between December 1969 and April 1970 elsewhere, so I will not recap it except to say that it appears the Riders did not have a bass player.

I have linked to existing posters where available.

December 4, 5, 7, 1969  Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA Grateful Dead/The Flock/Humble Pie
The Grateful Dead were booked from Thursday to Sunday at Fillmore West. The Saturday night show (December 6) was canceled because of Altamont. Notwithstanding the Dead were scheduled to play at Altamont, the entire potential audience for the Fillmore West show would have been there anyway.

The Flock were a very interesting group from Chicago featuring electric violinist Jerry Goodman, later in Mahavishnu Orchestra and Dixie Dregs, among other groups. Humble Pie were a British group on their first American tour, fronted by guitarists Steve Marriott (ex-Small Faces) and Peter Frampton (ex-The Herd). At this time, the Pie tried to sound more like The Band, with a bit of Soul edge; their hard rock sound would come in another year or so.

December 6, 1969 Altamont Speedway, Livermore, CA Rolling Stones/Jefferson Airplane/Flying Burrito Brothers/Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young/Santana
The infamous Altamont event has been written about so much that I will try not to add anything. Suffice to say the Dead were scheduled to come on last, after The Rolling Stones, but chose to return to the safety of the San Francisco Heliport instead. Ironically, they ended up back at Fillmore West, hanging out and recovering from the strange day.

December 10-12, 1969 Thelma Theater, West Hollywood, CA Grateful Dead
The Thelma Theater, at 8849 Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood, just past the Los Angeles City Limits, had previously been known as The Galaxy. Around late 1966, Iron Butterfly had been the house band there. The venue was in the heart of the Sunset Strip, and the legendary Whisky A Go Go was just across the street.

The Thelma Theater had opened on November 12, 1969, probably with Poco as the headliner. The implication seems to have been that the Thelma would be some sort of upscale rock club, but it was an idea some years ahead of its time. I don't know who backed or booked the venue. It doesn't seem to have lasted very long. The Dead played Wednesday through Friday, as I assume they were looking for a booking to fill out the weekend along with the San Bernardino show. Stephen Stills dropped by to jam with the Dead on Wednesday, December 10.

The address currently houses Panini Pizza. The famous Viper Room is across the street (at 8852 W. Sunset).

December 13, 1969 Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino, CA Grateful Dead/Country Joe and The Fish
The Dead played their first of a number of shows at the Swing Auditorium on December 13, 1969. The Swing, on E Street in San Bernardino (I'm not certain of the precise address) had been built in 1949 and had a capacity of up to 10,000, making it one of the largest indoor venues the Grateful Dead had headlined up to this point. Many bands played the Swing over the years, and the Dead played there again a number of times.

Many non-Californians assume that San Bernardino is part of Los Angeles, but that is only true in a very broad sense. The city of San Bernardino is actually 60 miles from Downtown Los Angeles, and even further from Santa Monica or the Coast. Given the history of Southern California traffic, that can sometimes be two hours of more of driving, at any time of the day or night. Thus San Bernardino was really new territory for the Grateful Dead, far away in many senses from Los Angeles proper.

I had never seen a poster or review of this show, but a reader sent me in the poster of the show (above-thanks Brad!). Its not surprising to see that given the size of the venue, the Dead were sharing the booking with Country Joe and The Fish and The Flying Burrito Brothers. There are also photos, incidentally, and it appears that Jerry Garcia played a Fender.

In September, 1981 a small plane crashed into the venue, and the resulting damage lead to the building being torn down.

December 14, 1969 Aquarius Theater, Los Angeles, CA Grateful Dead
Another blogger has pointed out that Tom Constanten's own self-history includes a date at the Kaleidoscope Theater in Los Angeles on December 14, 1969. I am starting to warm to this possibility, for a number of reasons. The theater called the Kaleidoscope, at 6230 Sunset Boulevard, had a long entertainment history. By late 1969, The Kaleidoscope was called the Aquarius Theater, and it mostly featured a musical production of Hair several nights a week. However, the theater was used by record companies for concert showcases on nights when Hair wasn't playing, mostly Sunday and Monday.

Following this logic, December 14 was a Sunday, making it a plausible candidate for a concert event at the Aquarius (I'm assuming any theatrical performance that day would have been in the afternoon). The Grateful Dead had a new album out (Live/Dead), and it was typical record company practice to have "showcase" events in Los Angeles and New York for new albums. Warner Brothers had such an event in New York at Ungano's, on February 12, 1970, as we have discussed at length, so it makes sense that there was a West Coast one as well. Since tickets would have been distributed by Warners and other industry players, it wouldn't be surprising that there was little or no publicity and few regular fans attended, and thus the show wasn't taped and there is little recollection of it.

I don't consider December 14, 1969 at the Aquarius Theater to be confirmed, but its well within the realm of the probable.

December 19-21, 1969 New Old Fillmore, San Francisco, CA Grateful Dead/Osceola/Rhythm Dukes/Jef Jaisun
Bill Graham had vacated the Fillmore Auditorium for the Fillmore West in July of 1968. In mid-1969, another group took over operation of the old Fillmore, led by Al Kramer and members of the band The Flamin Groovies. The New Old Fillmore attempted to compete directly with Graham. The Dead were the largest group to play there, both on the weekend of November 7-8 and this weekend. The New Old Fillmore faded away as a rock venue in Spring 1970, although we know it was not finished yet.

The opening numbers of Friday, December 19, feature what appears to be the Grateful Dead's first acoustic set. Garcia and Weir play some acoustic duet, apparently because Phil Lesh has been delayed.

Ross has written at some length about this weekend. The poster says 'Rhythm Dukes (Moby Grape)' because the band featured ex-Moby Grape members Jerry Miller and Don Stevenson (along with the bassist and drummer from the group Boogie). To my knowledge no member of the Grateful Dead would play the Fillmore after December 21, 1969 until a jam session at a Thanksgiving party on November 27, 1985, when Bob Weir and Mickey Hart joined in.

December 22, 1969 Napa Valley Sports Camp, Napa, CA Grateful Dead/Quicksilver Messenger Service/Rejoice/People/Loading Zone [not on Deadlists]
This long lost Dead show was discovered in the entertainment listings of the Berkeley Barb (December 16, 1969). Ross found a notice in the December 13, Oakland Tribune which sheds a little light on the matter:
St. Mary's College High in Berkeley is participating in a high school-sponsored rock festival to be held Dec. 22 at the Napa Valley Sports Camp. The 40-acre site is located about five miles west of Napa on Highway 12 in Brown's Valley. Groups scheduled to appear are The Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Rejoice, The People and The Loading Zone. Booths selling food and merchandise will be located throughout the site for the duration (9 a.m.- 5 p.m.) of the festival. Tickets are now available at St. Mary's.
I have written about this show extensively elsewhere, although its mostly just speculation on my part.

December 26, 1969 McFarlin Auditorium, Southern Methodist U., Dallas, TX  Grateful Dead/Zephyr
The Grateful Dead were heading East to a three-day New Year's Eve stand in Boston. However, equipment traveled by truck, and the despite their fame the band led a hand-to-mouth existence. Thus the Dead played a few shows on the way East, essentially to finance the trip. Live/Dead had just been released, so it was even more in the Dead's interests than usual to play a few high profile shows across the country.

McFarlin Auditorium is a 2386-seat theater built in 1926 on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. It is not often that the Dead played venues that had also hosted Winston Churchill. Playing a small theater in Dallas in 1969 when school was out of session seems like a financial risk, and I don't know how many people actually attended the show. However, since the Dead's equipment had to cross the country anyway, it was probably financially worth it, even if Dallas was not really Grateful Dead territory in those days. Thanks to a helpful Commenter, we know that the opening act was Zephyr, a great band from Boulder, CO. Zephyr was a great band that featured guitarist Tommy Bolin and singer Candy Givens. Besides being the pride of Boulder, they had opened for the Dead at least once before (July 3, 1969 in Colorado Springs).

The Dead opened the show with their second-ever acoustic set. Garcia and Weir played a half-dozen numbers on acoustic guitars, apparently waiting for Bill Kreutzmann to arrive. A few more members joined in for a semi-acoustic "Uncle John's Band," and then the electric show began in earnest. The two acoustic shows in December both seem to be covering delays, and the relative rarity of them suggests that Garcia and Weir weren't that happy with the duo setup. After various other attempts in the next few months, they seemed to have worked out the two-guitars-and-rhythm-section configuration that Garcia first saw with Pentangle in February 1969.

December 28, 1969 Miami-Hollywood Speedway, Pembroke Pines, FL
Santana/The Band/Canned Heat/BB King/Grateful Dead/Johnny Winter/Vanilla Fudge/The Turtles/Mother Lode/Butterfield Blues Band/Hugh Masakela/Tony Joe White/Amboy Dukes/Sweetwater/Cold Blood/others
This was a three day festival, and the Dead played the middle day, in between Dallas and Boston. I don't know all the bands who played the festival, only the ones listed on the surviving ad that circulates, and I don't know who played which day.

There is a fair amount of information about this concert on the Internet, although most of the news stories and reminiscence are about the festival in general, rather than anything specifically about the Grateful Dead. Also, there were three rock festivals at Florida race tracks in late 1968 and late 1969, and the locations are often confused with one another:
December 28-30, 1968: Miami Pop Festival, Gulfstream Park, Hallandale, FL
Gulfstream Park is a horse-racing track in Hallandale, which is just North of Miami Beach. The Dead played the middle day (Dec 29 68) of the three-day festival. Michael Lang, one of partners at Woodstock, was one of the principal organizers of this festival. Sometimes this event is referred to colloquially as the "Hollywood" Festival. Hollywood, FL is the town just North of Hallandale.

November 28-30, 1969 Palm Beach Pop Festival, Palm Beach International Raceway, Jupiter, FL
The Rolling Stones headlined this three day event, in their last performance prior to Altamont. The Grateful Dead did not perform, although its possible Ramrod and Rex Jackson were there as part of the Rolling Stones crew.

Jupiter, FL is on the Coast, near Palm Beach, about 90 miles North of Miami. Palm Beach International Raceway was a road racing course built in 1964. It was used for various rock events in the 1960s and 70s, but Florida always had a tense relationship to outdoor rock festivals. Throughout the 1980s, the course was known as Moroso Motorsports Park. The facility is still an active race track, currently undergoing upgrading, and has returned to using the name Palm Beach International Raceway.

December 27-29, 1969: Miami Pop Festival, Miami-Hollywood Speedway, Pembroke Pines, FL
Once again the Dead played the middle day (Dec 28 69) of a three-day Festival. Pembroke Pines is North of Miami and West of Hollywood. Hollywood Speedway was a small oval track for stock cars, and also a Drag Strip. The site is now a housing development  and shopping center. The approximate address is 15285 Pines Blvd, Pembroke, FL 33027, which was the address of the Hollywood Sportatorium (built 1975, torn down 1988), where the Dead played on May 22, 1977, and the race track was adjacent to the Sportatorium. Sun-Life Stadium (formerly Joe Robbie Stadium), where the Miami Dolphins and Florida Marlins play, is also located near Pembroke Pines (in the town of Miami Gardens).
December 29-31, 1969 Boston Tea Party, Boston, MA Grateful Dead
The Boston Tea Party was effectively Boston's Fillmore, and it had opened on January 20, 1967 at 53 Berkeley Street. Over the years the Tea Party had become part of the "Fillmore circuit," and most of the major 60s touring bands had played the venue. Boston's first FM rock station, WBCN, started broadcasting out of the backroom of the Tea Party as well, so it was the pre-eminent Boston rock venue.

The Boston rock market was huge, since the City had numerous colleges and Universities to provide a ready-made audience. So it was no surprise that other venues arose to compete with the Tea Party, including the Psychedelic Supermarket at 590 Commonwealth (the Dead played there twice in 1967) and The Ark at 15 Landsdowne Street, where the Dead had played a three night stand in April 1969. However, on July 12, 1969 the Tea Party building at 53 Berkeley caught fire and the building was burned out. The Boston Tea Party then took over the site of The Ark at 15 Landsdowne. Thus when the Dead played there only New Year's Eve show outside of San Francisco, it was at a venue they had already played, albeit under a different name.

15 Landsdowne Street has remained a music venue under various names, and is now the site of The House Of Blues. I do not know how different the current building is from its time as The Boston Tea Party.

January 2-3, 1970 Fillmore East, New York, NY Grateful Dead/Cold Blood/Lighthouse
The Grateful Dead finished their brief, if lengthy National tour with a weekend at the Fillmore East. They played early and late shows on both Friday and Saturday night, which was the standard arrangement there.

Cold Blood was booked by Bill Graham's Millard Agency, as were the Dead. Lighthouse were a Canadian group who played a sort of orchestral pop, similar in some ways to Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Anyone with updates, corrections, insights or other valuable information should Comment or email me.

Lewisham council proposed cuts in public services

A post on the Blackheath Bugle has highlighted plans by Lewisham Council to save money by closing five of its smaller libraries. The Bugle is concerned because one of the libraries proposed to be closed is Blackheath - but New Cross library is also on the threatened list along with Sydenham, Crofton Park and Grove Park.

The document which contains this proposal is part of a very long report detailing the £32 million potential savings it has identified for the next three years. It will be discussed at the Public Accounts Committee meeting on 13 July, and you can read the full details here.

The appendices which contain the nitty gritty are very long and somewhat tedious to read, but I recommend at least having a flick through if you are a regular user of any particular support system provided by the council - meals on wheels, social care for children, support for vulnerable adults etc. The proposed cuts are fairly wide ranging, and not surprisingly include substantial job losses - from outsourcing of work such as transport design and not recruiting for empty posts, to direct redundancies.

For those not directly impacted, one of the most obvious results of the proposed cuts looks likely to be dirtier streets - something Deptford could certainly do without!

As well as ceasing night-time collections of trade waste and waste from flats above shops in high streets and shopping centres, the council will cease use of 'night brooms' - heavy duty cleaning machines that are used at quiet times to clean along the central reservation and so on - and will stop spraying weeds on pavements and streets. Instead of the latter, street sweepers will be expected to pull the weeds up by hand. Several other cleaning machine types will also be taken off the streets and Sunday morning sweeping/street litter recycling will also be ceased.

Also under the 'environmental' umbrella, the council is proposing to close ALL the borough's automated toilets - so Deptford would be left without an out-of-hours public convenience, despite having just had two shiny new toilets installed in Giffin Square.

Additionally there will be a charge introduced for new wheelie bins - if yours gets stolen will have to pay £20 for a new one. Or just put your rubbish on the street of course, adding to the general impression of grot in the borough.

Along with a reduction in quality of our streets, the spaces which we go to relax are also being targeted. The borough's parks investment programme set to be cut by a third every year for the next three years.