Richard C. Daniels Theater, Atwood Hall, Clark University, Worcester, MA

The Richard C. Daniels Theater is located in Atwood Hall on the campus of Clark University, Worcester MA.   Atwood Hall was constructed by  G.  Adolph Johnson in 1938 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 for its many cultural and educational figures that have appeared there.  The Grateful Dead played this little hall exactly 1 and a half times, or perhaps more accurately a half and 1 time.  The first time the band played here they blew out the circuits and had to abandon the performance.  The date of this performance is unknown, but it is speculated to be sometime in late 1967.  Circuits fixed and ready to go, the Dead hit the stage on April 20, 1969.  This marked the first full performance for the band in Worcester MA, a town that they would play in for much of the 80s.  Although small, this performance space is no stranger to the greats of the psychedelic  scene, as Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin also played here.    The main entrance to the theater is depicted here in the first picture, a fine example of the collegiate gothic style of architecture, a style that permeates the Clark campus.  Most of the buildings that I have visited have not been open (with the exception of the Naumburg Bandshell, which is always open), but this was my lucky day!  A talent show was scheduled for later that day and so the doors were open.  I met a very nice gentleman inside whom, upon my explanation as to what my purpose was in being there, allowed me to look around and take some pictures.  He even closed the stage curtain for me, so the talent show sign was not in the way–thank you!    So, the second picture (sorry it is rather grainy) shows the theater inside.  Can you imagine seeing the Grateful Dead in such a great little space?  Well, you older folks can (and did), but for a child of the Mega-Dead era, this would have been a dream.  I want to dedicate this post to two gentleman that were there that night in 1969, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan and Augustus Owsley “Bear” Stanley III, two people who left us in the month of March and far too soon.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Al Astrella
    Jan 25, 2013 @ 03:39:46

    I was at that show. First of over 400 Grateful Dead shows!


  2. grosvenorsquare
    Jan 25, 2013 @ 04:13:06

    Cool! That is one of the top ones that I would have loved to attended, a great little venue! Worcester has a long history history with the Dead, one of my favorite places to see a show. Thanks for posting Al!


  3. Al Astrella
    Jan 26, 2013 @ 02:59:44


  4. Al Astrella
    Jan 26, 2013 @ 03:01:11

    I heard Roland Kirk pulled out a gun backstage over him not liking opening for the Dead.


  5. grosvenorsquare
    Jan 26, 2013 @ 05:00:20

    Thanks! Even better when you can see an old poster for the show!


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