Jerry Garcia, The Warlocks, the Grateful Dead, and Menlo Park

The Grateful Dead are usually associated with San Francisco, but they actually originated in and around Menlo Park, California, the home of Gallixa.


Click on a red bubble for information on that location.

1. 286 San Luis Drive, Menlo Park, CA. Jerry Garcia lived here with his mother in the mid-1950s.
2. Menlo Oaks Elementary School. Jerry Garcia attended this school in 1953-1955.
3. Peninsula School, 920 Peninsula Way, Menlo Park CA. Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann attended this school in the 1950s. In 1961, Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter ("Jerry and Bob") had ther first paid gig here. The New Riders of the Purple Sage, which included Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Micky Hart, and Robert Hunter, had some of their first gigs here in 1969.
Jerry Garcia in 1961
Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter in 1962
4. "The Chateau", 2100 Santa Cruz Ave, Menlo Park, CA (shown below in the 1970s; later torn down). Jerry and Robert Hunter lived here 1961-1963.
5. Kepler's Books (shown below in 1968; now located a few blocks away). Jerry hung out here in 1961 to 1963, where he met his future wife, Sara Ruppenthal. He and his band frequently played here at night around that time.
6. 9 Perry Avenue, Menlo Park, CA. Ken Kesey's legendary house (long since torn down), site of many parties attended by Jerry.

7. Menlo Park Veterans Administration Hospital, Psychiatric Division. This is where Ken Kesey worked while he was a graduate student at Stanford. He participated in CIA experiments where he took LSD. This location was the inspiration for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest".
8. Menlo-Atherton High School. This is where Bob Weir went to high school (as did Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks).
9. Magoo's Pizza, 639 Santa Cruz Ave, Meno Park, CA (shown below in 1970 or 1971). Jerry's band, then called The Warlocks, had their first gig here, on May 5, 1965. This concert is regarded as the birth of the Grateful Dead.

11. Dana Morgan music store, 534 Bryant St, Palo Alto CA. Store where Jerry worked and met Bob Weir. Dana Morgan, Jr., was the first bassist for the Warlocks, but was soon dropped, prompting Jerry and Bob's move to Guitars Unlimited. Dana was replaced by Jerry's friend Phil Lesh, who had been classically trained in violin and trumpet.
12. Guitars Unlimited, 1039 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA (shown below in 1968). This is where Jerry and Bob Weir worked and gave guitar lessons in 1965.
13. 1012 High St, Palo Alto, CA. Phil Lesh's home, where on November 12, 1965, Jerry and the other band members changed the name of the band to the Grateful Dead.
13. Swain's House of Music, 451 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA (shown below in the 1950s). Bill Kreutzmann gave drum lessons here, and the store loaned instruments to the Grateful Dead.
14. North corner of Waverley St and Forest Ave, Palo Alto, CA. House where Jerry and wife Sara lived in 1965 (torn down long ago and replaced by condos).

15. 2338 Santa Catalina St, Palo Alto, CA. House where Ron "Pigpen" McKernan grew up and still lived in the 1960s.
16. Menlo School. Bob Weir briefly attended here, and the Warlocks played a dance here in the fall of 1965.
17. Palo Alto High School. Palo Alto native and Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann graduated from here in 1965. Ron "Pigpen" McKernan also attended at that time, but dropped out before graduating.
18. 1339 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA. Address given for Jerry Garcia in the Palo Alto Times following a serious car crash in which Jerry was injured (20 February 1961).

19. 436 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, CA. House where Jerry lived in 1963, together with David Nelson, Robert Hunter and Willy Legate. A Wells Fargo Bank branch is now at this address.

20. 89 Tuscaloosa Avenue, Atherton, CA. Childhood home of Bob Weir.
21. Top of the Tangent, 117 University Ave, Palo Alto. A folk music venue above a pizza parlor where Jerry Garcia played with The Wildwood Boys, Mother McRee's Uptown Jugband Champions, and others. The photo below shows Jerry and his wife Sara Ruppenthal playing at the Top of the Tangent on May 4, 1963.
Deep Elem Blues performed by Jerry Garcia and Sara Ruppenthal on 4 May 1963 at the Top of the Tangent, Palo Alto 22. Saint Michael's Alley, 436 University Ave, Palo Alto. A popular bohemian cafe where Jerry hung out and met Bob Hunter. This site is now occupied by a Peet's Coffee & Tea, and St. Michael's Alley has moved to 140 Homer Ave.
23. The Underground Restaurant, 925 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. The first place that Jerry Garcia, David Nelson, and John Dawson had gigs together, in May and June, 1969. These gigs were the birth of the New Riders of the Purple Sage (the name was adopted soon after).
24. 285 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA. My (Larry Bernstein's) house and Gallixa world headquarters (shown in photo below).

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Jerry Garcia when he was at Menlo Oaks elementary school in around 1955

The Warlocks in 1965. The photo was probably taken at The In Room in Belmont (within the Chalet Motel, 635 Old County Rd), a few miles north of Menlo Park, where the Warlocks played nightly for several weeks.

I Know You Rider performed by The Warlocks in 1965

For further information:
The Grateful Dead and Menlo Park (2010)
The Grateful Dead, Menlo Park, and Stanford (2014)
In honor of the Grateful Dead’s farewell concerts, a guide to Dead places in Menlo Park and Atherton (2015)

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