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San Francisco Rock: A Night at the Family Dog (1970)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Music | TV Movie
This film is straight-ahead footage of Santana, the Grateful Dead, and the Jefferson Airplane playing at The Family Dog in 1970. Each band does two songs, followed by a jam at the end ... See full synopsis »


Robert N. Zagone

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Santana ... Themselves
Carlos Santana ... Himself - Santana
Mike Carabello Mike Carabello ... Himself - Santana (as Mike Carrabello)
David Brown David Brown ... Himself - Santana
Jose Chepito Areas Jose Chepito Areas ... Himself - Santana
Michael Shrieve Michael Shrieve ... Himself - Santana (as Mike Shrieve)
Gregg Rolie ... Himself - Santana
Grateful Dead ... Themselves
Jerry Garcia ... Himself - Grateful Dead
Bob Weir ... Himself - Grateful Dead
Phil Lesh Phil Lesh ... Himself - Grateful Dead
Ron McKernan Ron McKernan ... Himself - Grateful Dead (as Ron 'Pigpen' McKernan)
Mickey Hart ... Himself - Grateful Dead
Bill Kreutzmann ... Himself - Grateful Dead (as Billy Kreutzmann)
Jefferson Airplane ... Themselves


This film is straight-ahead footage of Santana, the Grateful Dead, and the Jefferson Airplane playing at The Family Dog in 1970. Each band does two songs, followed by a jam at the end featuring musicians from all of the bands.

No interviews, no special editing techniques (OK, a few...), no brilliant cinematography -- you see the bands play, and that's it. (That means that if you like these bands circa 1970, you'll probably like this film. If you don't like these band, there is nothing for you here!)

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis


Documentary | Music


Not Rated




Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

KQED, NET-TV See more »
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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil
Performed by Jefferson Airplane
See more »

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User Reviews

25 September 2009 | by ferbs54See all my reviews

Need a triple dose of good-old-fashioned psychedelic hippy music? This DVD, "A Night at the Family Dog," filmed at the Family Dog Ballroom, San Francisco, in 1970 for what looks to be a PBS show, should just fit the bill. Featuring slo-mo pans, strobe FX, a colorful light show and, for the most part, indifferent camera work, the program still excels by dint of the superb music that is showcased. First up: Santana, who kicks things off with a very hot and sweet "Incident at Neshabur," followed by a typically smoking "Soul Sacrifice," the highlight of which might be the sight of Carlos blissfully grooving to Michael Shrieve's drum solo. The Grateful Dead is up next, and gives the boogying audience a rendition of "Hard to Handle" very similar to the one on "Bear's Choice." (Pigpen, I'm happy to say, appears surprisingly healthy here.) A very upbeat and aggressive "China Cat Sunflower" follows, segueing into the now seemingly obligatory--but then still novel--"I Know You Rider." Jefferson Airplane then takes the stage for what may be the highlight of the entire evening: an incredible version of "The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil" featuring a killer bass break by Jack Casady and some truly explosive guitar work from Jorma Kaukonen. A highly serviceable performance of the relative rarity "Eskimo Blue Day," from the then-current "Volunteers" LP, closes out JA's set. But wait...there's more! A so-called "Super Jam" between the principals of all three bands (call the group Sangrajef, or perhaps SaDe JA); a loose, boisterous, free-form burst of raucous psychedelia guaranteed to warm the sizzled cockles of your 21st century hippy heart. All in all, a short but highly pleasing show!

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