Saturday, February 18, 2017

Grateful Dead & Jefferson Airplane, Golden Gate Park: Then & Now, 28 Sept 1975 and 18 February 2017

I read an article recently published by SFGate. The story contained 65 archival photographs of Golden Gate Park. One photo, in particular, caught my eye. It was photograph #32, a picture of the Grateful Dead at an outdoor concert in 1975. The information about the image stated that the show took place at Lindley Meadow. I decided to go to Lindley Meadow in Golden Gate Park and identify the location of the concert stage, based on the topographical data shown in the photo. It took me a little while to conclusively determine where the concert took place on that cold, blustery Sunday forty-one years ago. Most members of both bands are still alive; however, some musicians have died, and the bands are no longer active.

This was a free concert by the Grateful Dead and the Jefferson Airplane. An estimated 40-50,000 people gathered at Lindley Meadow in Golden Gate Park on 28 September 1975. This was also the Grateful Dead’s first public performance in nearly a year.

The weather was chilly and overcast, but the weather did not dampen enthusiasm as the 
Jefferson Airplane mounted the stage to a standing hometown ovation, and for the next two hours played their old favorites. "Don't anyone go away!" Paul Kantner shouted over the applause, "The Grateful Dead are coming on!"

Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh was the first to plug in and face the audience. The crowd roared its approval. Elsewhere onstage, pianist Keith Godchaux breathed into his cupped hands to keep them warm, while his vocalist wife Donna smiled with the anticipation of singing some of the newer Dead songs. Behind them, drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann were warming up, as was Paul Kantner, rhythm guitarist. Then a leather-jacketed Jerry Garcia stepped forward and sent out a trademark guitar riff, marking the start of a great two-hour concert.



 The Grateful Dead on stage at Lindley Meadow, Golden Gate Park, 28 September 1975. The view is looking west. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.





Grace Slick and the Jefferson Airplane at Golden Gate Park, 28 September 1975. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

 A scene of Golden Gate Park. The view is looking southeast. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

Latitude and longitude coordinates (37.7692, -122.4862) are shown on this Google Earth map. They indicate the approximate location of the concert stage sited on Lindley Meadow. Click on the image to see the full-size map.

 THEN  The Grateful Dead on stage in 1975. The view is looking north. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

NOW  The approximate location of the concert stage. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.


 THEN  Paul Kantner of the Jefferson Airplane on stage in 1975. The view is looking northeast. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.


 NOW  The approximate location of the concert stage. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

 THEN  The Grateful Dead on stage in 1975. The view is looking east. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

NOW  The approximate location of the concert stage. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.



“A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.” -Dorothea Lange


The first volume of the San Francisco Bay Area Photo Blog contains galleries of photographs that were posted on the Internet between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view these photo galleries.

Panasonic GX7 camera body mounted with a Panasonic 14-42mm lens was used to take these photographs.

Question or comment? I may be reached at neil@mishalov.com