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The Dinosaurs, formed in 1982, was a Bay Area supergroup to emerge from the psychedelic music era of San Francisco. The core group consisted of Peter Albin of Big Brother and the Holding Company, John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service, Spencer Dryden of Jefferson Airplane, Robert Hunter of the Grateful Dead, Barry Melton of Country Joe and The Fish and keyboardist Merl Saunders from the Saunders-Garcia Band. Over time Papa John Creach of Hot Tuna, Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane, Nicky Hopkins, Dave Getz, Country Joe McDonald and other prominent San Francisco musicians would guest star with the group. In the 1990s David LaFlamme of It's a Beautiful Day and Jerry Miller of Moby Grape also toured with this group.
The Dinosaurs became active in 1982, with Albin, Dryden, Cipollina, Melton, and Hunter at its center. Hunter would later leave the group (in 1985) before the end of its "classic" run, though he would return to record a track for their only album, released in 1988. By 1987, Merl Saunders had more or less taken Hunter's place in the band. The original group presumably ran its course up through 1989, at which point the group broke up (John Cippolina died just two weeks after the band's final concert, during which he had to sit in a wheelchair due to health issues). Unfortunately, the rest of the band's history (up through the 1990s and beyond) is poorly documented. In fact, their entire history is poorly documented, save for concerts on the audio archive. In 1988, the band released its only studio album, Dinosaurs. In 2005 the band released a retrospective album on the Evangeline label, entitled Friends of Extinction.
- Dinosaurs · 1988
- Friends of Extinction · 2005