The Tale of the Dog uncovers the genesis of Denver’s transformation from a cow town to a major music destination, when the Chet Helms and the San Francisco hippies decided to open a rock club on the outskirts of town in 1967.
Open from September 8, 1967, through July 19, 1968, the Family Dog brought to Denver, for the first time, the best rock and blues artists to ever live: the Grateful Dead, the Doors, Cream, Howlin’ Wolf, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, the Byrds and more. It also pioneered the modern light show, led by the cutting edge Diogenes Lantern Works.
The Family Dog Denver was special because it wasn’t just a rock club; it was also a cultural hub, a landmark psychedelic outpost of the hippie counterculture. As such, it became the flashpoint for the cultural conflicts of the late 1960s, as the self-described cow town grappled with the new and foreign hippie phenomenon. Told firsthand and for the first time by the people who were there, The Tale of the Dog unearths the astounding psychedelic poster art made for the shows, the immortal bands that played, the explosion of Denver’s counterculture, and its furious conflicts with the police. The Tale of the Dog reveals a transformative moment in Denver’s history and its place in the greater history of rock music, poster art, and the watershed cultural changes of the Sixties.