The Dead came back on, their tribal community flowing with them until, like some huge horde of lemmings, they covered the stage. There are more people on stage when the Dead play than ever got there to embrace Mick Jagger. Bill Graham, who had been dancing while Mongo played, was back on stage grooving to the Dead. Marty Balin and Grace Slick came out from behind the curtains and sat down in back of the band in an empty row of chairs. The rent-a-cop looked at them and didn’t shine his ever-lovin’ light on them at all! Several people climbed through the ropes and over the chairs and at least two got on stage. A stage hand rousted them and a rent-a-cop frog-marched one of them out of the hall. As soon as he split, the crowd filled the back-stage area, some getting on stage or on the stage steps and dozens of others camping down on the stairs. When he came back he was ten minutes clearing it all away. –Rolling Stone.
Sex, drugs and rock and roll. Perhaps the most outrageous event in the annals of rock occurred at the Free City Party given by the Diggers and Hell’s Angels. It was neither the music nor the drugs that provided the breakthrough … it was just straightforward sex. For after six hours of acid, pot and rock, the evening ended with virtually the entire audience making love on the floor of the ballroom. A thousand-headed god with no cameras permitted.
-Peter “The Monk” Zimmels
The word “AOXOMOXOA,” is a double palindrome, meaning not only does it read the same forward and backward, but also each letter in the word is also reversible, and when flipped horizontally also reads the same either way. As the story goes, “AOXOMOXOA,” was an idea given to Rick Griffin by Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, when Griffin phoned him up and asked him for a possible title for the new Grateful Dead album cover Griffin was working on. Hunter suggested that he put a lot of the palindromes that Griffin had been playing with (words like ‘mom,’ etc.,) together to form a larger word. (written by www.michaelerelwine.com)
Known as “Trip or Freak”, this collaboration by three of the most talented poster artists of the day – Rick Griffin, Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse – is one of the most enduring images of the psychedelic poster era.
The central image is of Lon Chaney from the Phantom of the Opera (1925) and was Kelley’s contribution. The concert information lettering at the bottom was done by Griffin and the “Trip or Freak” lettering in the form of a topless woman was by Mouse.
The “Trip or Freak Fantasmagoraball” was held on Halloween in 1967 at Winterland, an old ice skating rink. Winterland would later be renovated and used for hundreds of concerts throughout the 70’s, but for this concert it was still a dilapidated, run down place with a definite Halloween-like atmosphere. (from www.classicposters.com)
Chocolate George a San Francisco Hells Angel was killed on Haight Street in August 1967. His funeral procession on August 28, 1967 was legendary and the Grateful Dead were one of the bands that played at his wake in Golden Gate Park. They played one of his favorites, “Viola Lee Blues”. -Jerilyn
Here is a post from the Diggers Archive about that event.
35-year-old Hells Angel, Chocolate George, died in a collision with a car right in the middle of the block and in front of the very people who really liked him for his Cossack general’s appearance, his Russian fur hat, and his overall fearless, friendly attitude toward everyone, except would-be tough guys or bullies whom he crushed. His funeral-parlor wake was attended by truckloads of street people, and he was buried with an impressive honor guard of two hundred of his Angel brothers from all over the state on their bikes, and with two quarts of chocolate milk in his coffin, so he wouldn’t get thirsty wherever he went. Afterwards, the people had a party in Golden Gate Park where ten thousand gathered to wail Chocolate George goodbye, and a memorial band composed of members of all the rock groups played “Didn’t He Ramble!” Emmett arrived with the Free Food pickup truck full of a half ton of shaved snow ice covering a thousand cans of beer. The beer was drunk and the ice used for a snowball fight in August. Then it was over, and he was gone, and it wasn’t ever gonna be the same again. (Digger Archive www.diggers.org)
Phil and Billy
Danny Rifkin and an formerly unidentified friend dancing in Golden Gate Park. The woman is Kathryn Ketman. She sent us this note in April 2017: “For the record, the woman dancing barefoot with Danny Rifkin at the bottom of the Chapter 3 web page, against the yellow background, was me. I didn’t know who he was, just a random good looking guy to dance with for a few minutes and drift away from with a smile. It was 1967 when Gene Anthony took the photo. It appears in his book The Summer of Love. Country Joe was the band in the Panhandle that day. My clothes were out of a free box and didn’t fit too well, as I recall. Life’s been a good if sometimes bewildering adventure since then, and still is.” This is another testament to why we are building this site – to bring people together and to add to the historical record of the Band and its Family.
Bobby right before “Trip or Freak” at the Winterland, October 31 1966.His costume, which he had yet to put on, was that of a business man (with a freaky face) down to the slicked back hair (ponytail in back!) and the tube he is holding contains Score hair product.
Poster Artists: Alton Kelly, Rick Griffin, Stanley Mouse
Photos: Top to Bottom, Gene Anthony, Tom Weir, Gene Anthony, Spidey