Bob Dylan – 1963 Monterey Folk Festival Program (Dylan’s 1st West Coast Appearance & early Jerry Garcia show)

A very rare program from the 1963 Monterey Folk Festival, which featured Bob Dylan’s first-ever West Coast performance, and a very early appearance by his longtime friend, Grateful Dead leader Jerry Garcia.  On May 18, 1963 the barely known Dylan performed four songs, comprised of  (according to Clinton Heylin’s Life in Stolen Moments) ‘a talkin’ blues (surely “Talking John Birch Society Blues”), “Masters of War” and “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” and a duet Joan Baez on “With God on Our Side.” Nine days after this performance Columbia Records released The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, and Dylan’s fortunes began to change, in a big way.

The 34 page program includes a Dylan photograph and short biography, and a mention in the daily schedule referring to him as “The newest young folk star Bob Dylan in his first major west coast appearance”.  Also appearing at the festival (but not mentioned in the program) were the Wildwood Boys, with Jerry Garcia (banjo), Robert Hunter (stand up bass), David Nelson (guitar) and Ken Frankel (fiddle).  Frankel recalls “We played in the band contest, but left before the winner was announced. Later we were all sitting together watching a show, when the MC announced that we were the winners of the band contest, and would now come on stage and play a song, and we were “What, us? quick, where are our instruments? Does anybody have a bass Bob can borrow?” And we somehow got on stage and played a song, which I think was Nine Pound Hammer.  Garcia, backed by David Nelson, also played in an amateur banjo competition held on one of the festival stages, and finished second place.

Other artists appearing at the festival included Peter, Paul & Mary, The Weavers, The Dillards, Roscoe Holcomb, The Rooftop Singers, and The New Lost City Ramblers.  In excellent condition, 8 1/2″ x 11″.  The only copy we’ve seen of this extremely rare program.

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