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The Life and Times of the Red Dog Saloon (1996)

Their names and music became legendary: Big Brother & the Holding Company, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and the house band - The Charlatans.



(narration written by), (narration written by) | 2 more credits »

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Credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peter Albin ...
Big Brother and the Holding Company ...
Themselves (archive footage)
John H. Browne Jr. ...
Himself - PH Phactor Jug Band (as PH Phactor Jug Band)
The Charlatans ...
Robert G. Elston ...
Johnnie Fingers ...
Himself (as Johnny Fingers)
Dave Getz ...
Himself (as David Getz)
The Great Society ...
Bill Ham ...
Himself - Lightshow Artist
Phil Hammond ...
Himself - Manager
Ellen Harmon ...
Herself - Family Dog Founder
Dan Hicks ...
Himself (as The Charlatans)
Lynne Hughes ...
Herself - Singer
George Hunter ...
Himself (as The Charlatans)


Their names and music became legendary: Big Brother & the Holding Company, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and the house band - The Charlatans.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Documentary | Music





Release Date:

7 October 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rockin' at the Red Dog: The Dawn of Psychedelic Rock  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


The Red Dog Saloon was once owned and operated by Producer, Director and Cinematographer, Virgil E. Hammond, III from 1987 to 1990 and under the new name of the Longbranch Saloon. The Red Dog was the original name in the 60's and 70's until removed due to the violence in which the name brought. A truly historic time. Today, it still stands and has reclaimed it's original name of the Red Dog Saloon. See more »


Features Acid Mantra, or Rebirth of a Nation (1968) See more »


Hall of the Mountain King
Written by Edvard Grieg - Arr. BBHC
Performed by Big Brother and the Holding Company
Copyright 1967 Cheap Thrills Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Peace, love, and ammunition
4 January 2015 | by (Tucson) – See all my reviews

Rockin' at the Red Dog recounts the mid-1960s performances and antics of a bunch of kids with long hair and thrift store chic who were hired to perform at a saloon in a Nevada mining town, including the Charlatans, Dan Hicks, Big Brother & the Holding Company (pre-Janis), and Quicksilver Messenger Service. After opening with a short clip of a 1964 Charlatans rehearsal, the film interviews dozens of musicians who played in these bands, as well as the Great Society, Jefferson Airplane, and the Grateful Dead; and others, like poster artist and co-founder of the Family Dog production company Alton Kelly; as they recount the scene in both San Francisco and at the Red Dog. As well as financing the film, scores of people contributed photographs and film and audio clips to the project, so it's a real archive of obscure material in addition to the narratives, and the director spends about half an hour covering the early San Francisco ballroom concert/dance scene. One absolutely creepy part, for me, though, is where the bar owner runs short on cash, so pays the musicians with guns . . . several times. Guns. Hippies with guns. Hippie musicians with guns. Hippies musicians on drugs with guns. Yikes. But, of course, the hippie scene was what it was, nothing more and nothing less. Not making sense was nothing new.

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