Saturday, July 14, 2012


Following the release of The Charlatans, drummer Terry Wilson was forced to leave the band in order to begin serving a prison sentence for marijuana possession. The original quintet of Hunter, Olsen, Wilhelm, Ferguson and Hicks reunited briefly during the summer of 1969 but by the end of the year, The Charlatans had broken up for good.

After the breakup, Mike Wilhelm went on to front the band Loose Gravel from 1969 until 1976, before becoming a member of The Flamin' Groovies during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Richard Olsen became a producer at Pacific High Studios and latterly formed the swing group Richard Olsen & His Big Band. George Hunter founded the Globe Propaganda design company and his artwork appeared on many LP covers including Happy Trails (Quicksilver Messenger Service), Hallelujah (Canned Heat), and It's a Beautiful Day (It's a Beautiful Day). Mike Ferguson joined Lynne Hughes, a barmaid from the Red Dog Saloon, in the band Tongue and Groove.

In 1996, a documentary was released entitled The Life and Times of the Red Dog Saloon (also known as Rockin' at the Red Dog: The Dawn of Psychedelic Rock), in which the surviving members of the Charlatans (Ferguson died in 1979 from complications from diabetes) were interviewed about their heady days at the Red Dog. The following year, the Charlatans rehearsed for a series of top secret gigs at the legendary Sweetwater club in Mill Valley, followed by a series of reunion performances at the Fillmore. The band, composed of Hunter, Hicks, Wilhelm, and Olsen, were not heard from again until 2005, when they performed at a memorial concert for Family Dog founder Chet Helms in Golden Gate Park. The foursome returned to Golden Gate Park on September 2, 2007 for what would be their final performance to date, at a free concert commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Summer of Love in San Francisco.

Despite their lackluster recording career, The Charlatans hold the distinction of being the first of the underground San Francisco bands of the 1960s and as such, their importance is felt by the dozens of successful Bay Area bands that emerged later in the decade, and by all the bands that those groups influenced.

June 21 - August 23, 1965: Red Dog Saloon, 76 North C Street, Virginia City, NV
The 'Amazing' Charlatans's first gigs. They played here as house band from Monday to Sunday (Tuesday the saloon was closed), four sets a nights. George Hunter and Michael Ferguson designed the posters (two different versions exists). Lynne Hughes, the barmaid and book keeper of the saloon, sang with them at the Red Dog and occasionally thereafter for a year or so (and again four years later for their last gigs).

In addition to the tracks on this bootleg I have included a bonus track from a SF radio broadcast.


Anonymous said...

If you are a Charlatans fan, you should check out Mike Wilhelm's site:
There are some downloads of Mike and his various bands (Charlatans, Loose Gravel, Flamin' Groovies, solo, etc), well worth checking out Mike's latest album "Keys To The Highway" is excellent and well worth buying.

Bob W.

Anonymous said...

The bootleg "Red Dog To Straight Street was released with different track listings. The first version was only the first ten tracks of the version Bill has posted. To clarify, since the listings seems confusing, here are the details:

1967, Fillmore West, San Francisco CA
01 - I Saw The Light [with flute introduction] (5:10)

June 14, 1969, San Francisco, CA
02 - Alabama Bound [Vocals cut in at 2:00] (9:27)

1967, Straight Theatre, San Francisco, CA
03 - Alabama Bound [Vocals cut in at 1:28] (7:58)
04 - Folsom Prison Blues (3:02)
05 - Lulu's Back In Town (1:08)
06 - I Always Wanted A Girl Like You (1:45)

June 1965, Red Dog Saloon, Virginia City, NV
07 - Interview (0:23)
08 - Wabash Cannonball (7:45)
09 - When I Go Sailing By (2:23)

1967, Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA
10 - Alabama Bound (9:26)

1968, Demos, San Francisco, CA
11 - East Virginia
12 - High Society
13 - I Got Mine
14 - I Always Wanted A Girl Like You
15 - Alabama Bound
16 - Walkin’
17 - How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away
18 - We’re Not On The Same Trip

Unknown Date, KSFX, S.F, CA
19 - Alabama Bound (10:23)

Interestingly, one of the versions I have has a different track 19:

October 30, 2005, Speedway Meadow, Golden Gate Park, S.F., CA
19 - Alabama Bound (7:48)

So there are at least 3 different versions of this bootleg floating around.

Bob W.

john said...

Good music. great clothes.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to please re-list? Thanks, Norman

24HOURDEJAVU said...

Norman This post should be active

deadwoodie said...

please relist it.the links are not active.thanks

deadwoodie said...

Please relist the CHARLATANS-

deadwoodie said...


Anonymous said...

I was fortunate to see the "Amazing Charlatans" at the Avalon Ballroom. They would come on stage, play under a light show and strobe and change "musical chairs" ! Afterword, Dan Hicks would play with, "The Hot Licks" ..then.. Country Joe and the Fish, all dressed up like their "Fixin' To Die" album cover!..all for $2.50..Thank you Chet Helms! Poster; Family Dog #103 "HEAVY"

LakerCrazy said...

If possible can you re-up with new links. Thanks in advance

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