Grateful Dead

355 replies [Last post]


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Joined: Jul 24 2007
Like the Space? :-) Free downloads...


I'd like to share some recently improvised music with you.

Please go here and feel free to download:

This is a recording of four friends on a porch in the Berkshire
mountains in Massachusetts. We were happy faces on a
beautiful Indian Summer day in October. :-)

Some other music to check out and download...

Oh...and if you prefer music with lyrics and melodies and all that...

Thanks so much for listening!


marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007
I have only seen Dog Beaver once

but I cannot recommend them strongly enough. And I've said it before but I'll say it here, I'd much rather listen to Tom Pinatelli play (he was in another band, regrettably gone, with a friend of mine) than any lead guitarist in any Dead-related band I know. So anyone who has the chance to check them out, do it!

Mick Flaire's picture
Joined: Nov 8 2008
Dog Beaver

Dog Beaver was initially formed as a duo (Mick Flaire & Kenny Briggs) on February 5th, 1989 inside the Grateful Dead's empty production office at the Oakland Civic Auditorium (currently the Henry J. Kaiser Auditorium) the night before the Dead were to kick off their Chinese New Year/Mardi Gras run.

Guarding a bare stage, in an empty auditorium, in the middle of the night, the 2 Bill Graham Presents Bluecoats (security staff) were just fooling around with a pair of synthesizers and a 4-track recorder, and made a recording that they jokingly titled, "We Blew Or Own Minds Once".

The first track on the recording was facetiously entitled "March of the Giant Cockroaches".

To put it bluntly, it was just 2 guys making a lot of noises, and and putting it down on tape!

"The Tape", as it was jokingly referred to, was then circulated amongst co-workers, family and friends, garnering some interesting responses.

To follow up with the charade, Mick and Kenny decided to perpetuate the "joke" and adopted two "performing personas" by taking the discarded birth names of Conway Twitty (Harold Jenkins) and Gene Chandler (Eugene Dixon) thus becoming "the two old blues guys" to be known as Harold "Dog" Jenkins & Eugene "Beaver" Dixon!

Within a few months time the duo of Mick (Harold "Dog" Jenkins) Flaire & Kenny (Eugene "Beaver" Dixon) Briggs was augmented by 3 other friends & co-workers from the concert security staff that just happened to be musicians too.

Added to the pair was Mike Wittwer on rhythm guitar, Mike Thompson on drums, and Gary Lambert on bass.

And that became the first incarnation of Dog Beaver, the band!

Dog Beaver's first official gig was at the Bill Graham Presents Holiday Party in December of 1989, in what used to be an old prohibition-era speakeasy located beneath the Warfield Theater in San Francisco.

It was for that first public performance that the sixth member of Dog Beaver, Tom Pinatelli was added on lead guitar, solely on the recommendation of his wife Maggie, who also worked at BGP, in the accounting department.

Maggie had mentioned to Mick that her husband Tom, who although he hadn't been in a band for years, was in her Top 5 guitar players ever!

Upon hearing that glowing endorsement, Mick invited Tom to come play with Dog Beaver at the Holiday Party, sight unseen, no audition necessary!

The addition of Mr. Pinatelli to the proceedings that night turned out to be most fortuitous for The Beav', as they now had a lead guitarist that could hold his own amongst the best axemen in the area.

In keeping with the concept that led to Dog Beaver’s origin, the band has recorded nearly every single jam & performance, from it’s inception to the present.

In order to tell who had played on a given recording, each member of Dog Beaver was given a number, based on their order of entry into the band, a number that each band member would retain for life!

Flaire, who had provided the gear that first fateful night, took No. 1 for himself, co-founder Briggs was issued No. 2, Wittwer No. 3, Thompson No. 4, Lambert No. 5, and last but certainly not least, Pinatelli was given No. 6.

Since that time Mike Wittwer has left this mortal coil in 2001, Mike Thompson and Gary Lambert both retired from actively playing in the band, but none the less have retained their numbers, and were replaced by Tree Leyburn (No. 7) on bass, and John Olson (No. 8) on drums, both no longer actively playing with the group, yet also retaining their respective numbers.

The present incarnation of Dog Beaver has been together since 2004 with the addition of Guapo (No. 9) on drums, bass & guitar, Chip Usas (No. 0) on bass, & Brian Craft (No. 00) on drums & vocals.

No longer being content with just "making noise", Dog Beaver now does long, trippy, extended psychedelic cosmic blues jams, and occasionally will break into actual songs with the "real" lyrics and everything, albit somewhat altered, LOL!

The acronym they use to describe their genre is FIJ (prounounced "feedge"), which stands for Free-form Improvisational Jams.

When it comes to The Beav', as they are affectionately known, there is no right or wrong, good or bad, it just is what it is!

They are not confined by the concepts of tonality, rthym, timing, or even ensemble playing for that matter!

Their on-the-spot compositions exist by virtue of the fact that there are multiple, and not necessarily related, things going on at the same time, in the same space!

Dog Beaver, disputedly, coined the term "it is what it is", which has now become a catch phrase for all things that defy description or definition!

Starting in 1994, with the re-opening of The Fillmore in San Francisco after a 5 year re-modeling process (the building was heavily damaged during the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake) Dog Beaver has become the unofficial house band of the Fillmore by playing in The Fillmore’s Poster Room Lounge once a month for the last 15 years!

By virtue of their extended engagement there, they now hold the dubious distinction of having played The Fillmore more times than any other artists in the history of the building!

That’s more times than the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother & the Holding Company, & the Quicksilver Messenger Service combined!

In keeping with their “underground” roots, which is not a calculated move, but a none the less very real situation, Dog Beaver after 19 years together, still has no management, no record label, no CD releases, no website other than this My Space page, and only in the last few months, thanks to their live collaboration with Electrorganic (Nick Howard) now have a video clip.

Their primary source of publicity is by word-of-mouth from those who have stumbled upon one of their infrequent live performances.

So you, by virtue of having just read this bio, are now hip to “The Beav’”!


Pizza_T's picture
Joined: Jun 17 2007
My band yo

Olympia Jam Band Trip Rock Disco Grunge
We love..
You can hear us play originals at
we did attempt Terrapin a few times from the studio album full version.
But some might say its shwag, some might say its better. I just say we tried and thats that. Many have tried and lets hope more do to... Beats n Sync covers any day of the week.
Pizza T luvs U.. ttyl

Joined: Oct 18 2008
Hi! I play guitar, sing,


I play guitar, sing, write, etc. I am definitely looking for people to collaborate and play with, so... You can hear me on my website! Get back!


Tor_Hershman's picture
Joined: Oct 16 2008
AMEN . . . . . hotep IV, that is

As The Grateful Dead’s music is, moi ‘tis somewhat eclectic.
Here’s a sample of moi’s crap a la Rockin’ The Cradle’s Cool Cats.

& moi’s official bio

Tor Hershman is the world's funniest, macabre, iconoclastic writer/raconteur/poet/artist/historian/philosopher/ and the universe’s most Modest DNA construction.

Tor's recordings range from kindergarten hijinks (e.g., "The Lion Farts Tonight”) to scathing satires (e.g., “The Little Bummer Boy”) to wondrous electronic elations ( “XX CS" {a.k.a. “Twentieth Century Symphony”) to astoundingly shocking spoken word works (“AMEN (hotep IV, that is)”).

Tor's satires parodies and hisTORical research have been known to bewilder and irritate a few small groups of people such as Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Satanists, Agnostics, Atheists, the hearing impaired, the hearing unimpaired and Hindon'ts but that's just about all.

However, if you enjoy frightfully truthful lyrics that are delivered with intense comedic timing you should enjoy Tor's works to the extreme.

Stay on groovin' safari,
Tor Hershman

Scobard's picture
Joined: Oct 12 2008
NYC Dead Cover Band, Halfstep!

Hey folks,

My name is Scott, and I've been a part of Halfstep since it's incarnation in 2004! Check out We play all over Long Island, NYC, and beyond. Aside from paying close detail to arrangements, different versions etc. we also try and emulate tone and the "sound" as much as possible. We are always searching for the sound. Check out the website, sights and sounds available, and have a great day!

Joined: Jun 8 2007
Voodoo Loons on Sirius Satellite Radio

Hey now,
I posted a ways back about my band, Voodoo Loons. Have some fun news to report, especially of interest for those of you who subscribe to Sirius (for the GD channel, perhaps)...

We'll be featured either this week or next on Celtic Crush on Sirius Disorder (ch 33). We got a nice email from host Larry Kirwan (also from the fantastic band Black 47) letting us know that he loved our album Euphobia, that a few tracks have been added to the rotation, and that he was going to feature us on his show. You can also request our stuff by calling 877-33-SIRIUS

Celtic Crush airs on Saturdays from 10am-1pm ET, and on Tuesday nights from 10pm-1pm, Sirius ch. 33, SiriusDisorder.


causebass's picture
Joined: Sep 16 2008

sounds like theCAUSE is one fine band....

nothing left to do but smile smile smile

Joined: Jun 4 2007
bands in va beach area

mountainfire are there any jam - improv bands in va beach looking for a bass player


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
All About My Band