What were the Dimensions of the Carousel?
Healy: It held about 800 people, not very many at all, though we would put as many in there as we could get. It was an old ballroom left over from the Swing era. It was owned by an Irishman.
Garcia: They had Irish music there on Thursday nights.
Healy: That’s all they had in there. Aside from that it was closed all the time, and had been closed down right after the Swing era. It was still in its original state, right out of the ’20s, right down to the chandeliers in the place. The interior was beautiful. It wasn’t at all torn up; it was in mint condition.
Matthews and I met this guy who happened to have a four track tape machine we wanted to rent, at a place called Emerald Studios. He was in the Irish League in San Francisco and knew about this place. We were looking around for places to play. He said, “Hey, I know where there is this ballroom so he took Matthews and me over there. Here was this beautiful old ballroom.
So, we went back and talked to Rock Scully and Danny Rifkin. We decided to cook up a plan to see if we could score it and do some gigs there. We got hold of the people and they were real good about it. They said, “Sure; you want the place, take it” So we built our own stage in there and put on our own rock and roll shows. – (Relix Magazine)
The Fillmore Auditorium ended its two-and-a-half-year career as a fulltime rock hall on July 5. Bill Graham, the Fillmore’s manager, moved his scene to the old Carousel Ballroom, which had become a well-known rock dance hall in its own right under the goodhearted but insufficiently professional ownership of the Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead and some cronies. The Carousel became the Fillmore West, complementing Graham’s recently opened New York operation, the Fillmore East.
This is the marquee from the last show the bands did before Bill Graham took over and renamed it the Fillmore West.
Photos: All – Herb Greene