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Friday, May 28, 2010

The Beach Boys meet The Grateful Dead

The Beach Boys at the Oakland Coliseum, 1974

Concerts sure have changed since I was a kid.  At a recent Paul McCartney concert I stood up when he started playing 'Please Please Me'.  I mean, wouldn't you stand up during the encore when Paul pulled an old gem out like that? 

"SIT DOWN" shouted the guy behind me.  I looked around and yup, I was the only guy standing.  OK, seat belts back on, ear plugs back in, come on grandma, let's rock out.

But back in 1974 I saw The Beach Boys at the Oakland Coliseum with around 50,000 others as they jammed with The Grateful Dead.  Look at the picture - everyone was standing!  In fact, the only ones not standing were the ones stoned out on pot.  Pot?? At a concert?  Oh yeah, and how about that nude girl dancing over there?  I was only 16 and that was pretty fantastic.  The Beach Boys then were still a real band, not the oldies tour group they are today, and when they fired up Good Vibrations it was pretty awesome.  I took a ton of photos with my trusty Minolta SR-T101, but lost them through the years.  Luckily a few survived and here they are.

Recently I met Brian Wilson and even got to attend the live taping of That Lucky Old Sun. I'm even on the DVD, front row, during the Beach Boys set.  If you haven't heard Lucky Old Sun, get the mp3 download and put it on when you have people over to bbq this weekend.  It's Brian's best work since Pet Sounds. And later I snapped this shot when he came to visit San Diego.  That's pretty cool.  He even told my wife she was pretty....hmmmmm.
With Memorial Day weekend starting, it's time to dust off the old vinyl and put on some Pet Sounds.  Mono.  And if the sun isn't shining where you are, I'll save some for you for next visit because it's shining here, especially with The Beach Boys playing in the background.

Sounds Of Summer - The Very Best Of The Beach BoysPet SoundsToday/ Summer Days (and Summer Nights)The Beach Boys: The Definitive Diary of America's Greatest Band on Stage and in the StudioThat Lucky Old SunThat Lucky Old Sun


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing these great pics! Did the 2 bands play some songs together?

I had someone yell at me to sit down at a Stones show in 1998. I couldn't believe it and kept on dancing. If people want to sit for music they can go to the symphony.


Jiff said...

Thanks for the photos. I was there and have some photos somewhere. No, I don't think any BBoys or GDeads played together. Commander Cody and New Riders were also there.

beachgal said...

I was there as well...Cody opened, followed by NRofPS, Beach Boys, then at last and the sun was falling lower on the horizon, the Dead came on. It was the wall of speakers vintage with all the scaffolding to hold it up. It was billed as A Day On the Green. -

For Jiff - the BB did play a few songs with the Dead with both on stage same time during a 71 concert at Fillmore East 4-27-71. There is a well known bootleg LP of this one. The songs they played together were:
Riot In Ceil Block #9
Help Me Rhonda
Okie From Muskogee

the above one from the Fillmore East is kicking around on YouTube and also is been put up on the Dead audio archives at If you are scared to follow the link here just google Grateful Dead Live at Fillmore East on 1971-04-27 and look for the audio archive library - there are bazillions of free concerts to listen to.

There are some LPs always floating around for sale on secondary mkt but the sound is no better than off the archive link above.

And yeah Anonymous - pretty impossible to sit down at a Dead or a Stones concert! I have been lucky in my yrs to see all 3 of the Beatles live tours in the early 60's, the Who in the days when Pete was cracking up his guitar and Moon was trashing his drum kit at the end.
Johnny B. Goode

beachgal said...

Oh and Brian was not with them by then..that's Billy Hinsche on piano (remember Dino, Desi & Billy?), sitting at drums is Mike Kowalski

beachgal said...

Might be Bobby Figueroa or Ricky Fataar on drums - let me see if I can figure out if this was Mike or Bobby or Ricky Fataar for U. - It was a grate! day into night. One of the best outdoor Dead concerts of the early 70's I went to...and oh the 'wall of sound!' I thought it never would come down. Lucky to have seen lots of concerts while it was in use. Great stream of the Dead from this one at

beachgal said...

OK - correction - that is Ricky Fataar on drums for the BB.

Unknown said...

Hey beachgal, you're mistaken - that's brother Dennis Wilson on keyboards, and I think it's Bobby Figueroa on drums.

Dennis started playing keys and singing more when a hand injury kept him off drums for a few years. Ricki Fataar was their drummer during that time, but in these pics it looks more like Bobby Figueroa drumming.

Unknown said...

Oops, I am partly wrong too! The drummer behind the picture of Carl is Bobby Figueroa - but the drummer in the shot of the whole group is indeed Ricky Fataar. (I didn't see the full-sized version at first.) And that's Billy Hinsche in Brian's place at the grand piano.

The BB's had a deep pool of talent in those days, and were quite integrated despite the "white bread" impression many had of them.

Unknown said...

Although the two bands didn't jam together that day, they did do so three years earlier, at the Fillmore. It's available on the bootleg "The Pendletones Meet The Warlocks". It was a big boost for the Beach Boys' coolness factor.

Anonymous said...

I was there as well. After a high drive from Los Angeles, with a group of my friends in a VW Van, we arrived in time to enjoy the parking lot sales fest experience before we headed inside. By the time the Dead came on I was just peaking on 16 tabs of Window Pane... the next thing I knew it was about 6 hours later and they were still playing. Unreal... the wall of sound was extremely captivating along with everything and everybody else.
Those were the days my friend!