The Family Dog

1601 West Evans Avenue, Denver, CO

The Family Dog is an obscure gem in Denver history. The club was only open for about a year, but in it’s short life, it housed the acts of many rock greats. The Doors, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, and Eric Clapton were among its roster, with Otis Redding in the plans too–unfortunately Redding died shortly before his scheduled show. Fitting to the time of epic pyschadelics, the shows at the Family Dog were usually accompanied by trippy liquid lights shows. The history of the venue is mostly limited to personal accounts and concert posters, making the brief, epic life of the place a bit of an intriguing mystery.

Written by Jonina Diele


The Doors at The Family Dog

In 1967, The Doors played a series of New Years shows at The Family Dog on the 29th, 30th, and 31st. The openers for the show were The Allmen Joy and Gingerbread Blu, and included a light show, as did most concerts at The Family Dog. The concert was the only public New Year's Eve performance The Doors ever gave. A local at the time recalls attending the show, noting that it was a special one: "it was quite a night, being New Year's Eve, and for the countdown, the light show (Diogenes Lantern Works) posted a 'live' analogue clock on the wall around 11:55pm while The Doors were playing 'When the Music's Over' - and Ray & Jim somehow manage to time it so that when the clock hits midnight - Jim is at the climax and screams "We want the world and we want it ... NOW!" - Talk about 'Happy' New Year..." - Jim Parker Written by Jonina Diele



Jimi Hendrix jams at The Family Dog

After playing a show at the Regis College Field House on Valentine's day in 1968, Jimi Hendrix headed over to The Family Dog. He was said to have jammed with local musicians at the then-thriving venue. Colorado Public Radio writes about Hendrix's visit to the Dog, further explaining that it was "an offshoot of a similar club in San Francisco, so many of the same bands that played in the Bay Area would also perform in Denver," hence Jimi's jam session. Written by Jonina Diele

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