Please make yourself at home! Check some tags, do some reading, leave a comment.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


Enjoying a nice fallow period, been listening to lots of stuff that's not Jerry.

What have you been listening to?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Alternate Visions

“A take on “Visions of Johanna” includes alternate lyrics.”

I am no Dylanologist and presume this is well-known, but it's news to me. Seems like I am going to have to check this out.

A take on “Visions of Johanna” includes alternate lyrics.

Read More: Bob Dylan to Release 'The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12' |
A take on “Visions of Johanna” includes alternate lyrics

Read More: Bob Dylan to Release 'The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12' |

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Bear Tracks and Bear Drops in the Bear Republic

"Slewfoot" was a great selection for the Dead's Santa Rosa shows June 27-28, 1969: "Bear tracks" in the Bear Republic.

date venue city state
6/11/69  California Hall  San Francisco  CA 
6/21/69a  Fillmore East  New York  NY 
6/27/69  Veterans Auditorium  Santa Rosa  CA 
6/28/69  Veterans Auditorium  Santa Rosa  CA 
7/3/69  Reed's Ranch  Colorado Springs  CO 
7/4/69  Kinetic Playground  Chicago  IL 
7/12/69  NY State Pavilion, Flushing Meadow Park, Queens  New York  NY 
8/2/69  Family Dog at the Great Highway  San Francisco  CA 
12/31/69  Boston Tea Party  Boston  MA 

6/27, Corry:
6/27, Bear:
6/28, Bear:

Some classic 6/28 banter, including Phil, "This song is about Bear Drops". Heh heh - that'd be an LSD reference, ladies and gents.

Oh yeah, can I get a ruling on the venue? Deadlists gives Veterans Auditorium, Corry gives Sonoma County Fairgrounds.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Grateful Dead, 9/11/73, William and Mary

One of the early Deadbases, maybe the original, had a little review of the September '73 Dead shows at William & Mary ( College of Divinity, Philosophy, Languages, and other good Arts and Sciences, chartered in the Virginia Colony in 1693 by, you guessed it, William and Mary), special shows, maybe second night was a freebie? Anyway, these shows have always had an aura to them thanks to the magic of the book, the "mere" printed word.

But many was the night spent dreaming of hearing them. This being the Dead, and via multiple magics, we can enjoy a sweet sounding matrix tape, Latvala's cassette and Jimmy Warburton's audience tape, it with our late summer Saturday morning coffee, sounding fine.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Grateful Dead at Clifford's Catering, Walnut Creek, March 1-2, 1968

In 2011 I made a post under the heading of "GD in Walnut Creek; East Bay Psychedelic Scene?" in which I noted the mystery surrounding the Dead's Listed gigs in Walnut Creek on March 1-2, 1968.

Reader Brad Vicknair has graciously shared an ad for the show and some wonderful recollections, which I reproduce here with his permission. Thanks, Brad!

I saw The Grateful Dead at Clifford's Catering in Walnut Creek on Saturday, March 2nd, 1968.

I was friends with twin brothers and their older brother was one of the guitar players for The Looking Glass. They were a band from Concord/Walnut Creek that played locally in the late 60's. The drummer's father booked The Grateful Dead and The Looking Glass at Clifford's on Friday, March 1st and Saturday March 2nd. The Dead played the weekend before at Kings Beach Bowl in Lake Tahoe and the day after their Saturday night gig in Walnut Creek, they played on two flatbeds on Haight Street.

The venue was originally Portuguese Hall. A poster from 1963 promoting Bobby Freeman, Wally Cox, and The Untouchables lists the venue as Walnut Creek Hall. In 1965 and 1966 the venue was called Holy Ghost Hall. Local bands and major recording artists appeared, including Sonny & Cher, Martha and the Vandellas, Dick and Dee Dee, Dobie Gray and others. In 1967, the venue was called Scuzzy Mouse. The venue has gone through many name changes over the years, but is best remembered as Holy Ghost Hall.

The venue was called Clifford's Catering when The Grateful Dead appeared. Clifford's was a restaurant/catering business that would rent out the hall on occasion. I have a copy of an advertisement for The Grateful Dead at Clifford's [see above-ed]. I don't remember seeing a poster, but there may I have been one. I had a ticket, but it's long gone. It was black and white, about 3" x 5", with a I drawing of a hippie as the central image and LSD, a peace sign and other symbols in the I background. I have a Looking Glass business card and the art is similar in style to the ticket that I remember. The ticket and poster, if there was one, was probably band generated.

The hall at Clifford's was upstairs. There was a table at the top the top of the stairs where a couple of girls were selling tickets. We bought our tickets and entered the hall, which had a raised stage with curtains in the back and on the sides. It wasn't overly crowded, but more people may have attended on Friday night.

When The Dead came on, it was easy to move freely in front of the stage. Pigpen was having problems with his Hammond B3. The sound was going in and out, and he spent the first two or three songs under the keyboard, by the foot pedals. There was a sound man helping, but it was mostly Pigpen working on the organ.

Mickey Hart was playing wildly! He broke drumsticks and in one seamless motion, sent them flying over his back shoulder and grabbed another drumstick from his bass drum. He impulsively ran off stage mid song and returned with a large gong. Mickey seemed to be enjoying himself and was entertaining to watch!

Several people in the audience kept shouting requests for "The Golden Road". Finally, Jerry responded, "We don't know that one I anymore". They played "Cold Rain & Snow". The Looking Glass also played the song regularly. My friend said that on Friday night, The Looking Glass asked the Dead if they minded if they played "Cold Rain & Snow". Supposedly, they played it and The Dead complimented them, saying that they liked The Looking Glass version better than their own.

Pigpen took control when they played a long version of "Turn On Your Lovelight".
Later in the evening, the band was stretching out musically. Behind me in the back corner of the hall were friends and family of the band. A woman with dark shoulder length hair, wearing a black floor length dress with multiple overlay and a little girl about two years old with curly blond hair, walked up to the front of the stage. It was Mountain Girl and her daughter Sunshine Kesey. Mountain Girl put Sunshine on the stage in front of Bob Weir and he handed her the mic. As the band continued to play, Sunshine screamed into the mic at the top of her lungs like in a horror movie! Mountain Girl eventually took Sunshine off the stage and they returned to the back of the hall.

I was blown away by the whole experience of seeing The Grateful Dead!

My friend later told me that some of The Dead were looking for a place to crash on Friday night. His brother, the guitar player for The Looking Glass, lived with his parents in Walnut Creek and their response was, absolutely not! Supposedly the drummer and his father took in some of the band at their apartment in Concord.

When leaving Clifford's there was a sign at the top of the stairs announcing Country Joe & the Fish would be playing in two weeks. The Grateful Dead were paid $3,000 for the two nights and the promoter ended up losing money, so Country Joe & the Fish never appeared. Bands continued to play at the venue, which was called The Saranap Inn until 1973. In 1974, the Sufis bought the building and Sufism Reoriented (Meher Baba) established the Spiritual Training Center at the location.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Reader Appreciation

As I have said, blogging will be very intermittent for awhile.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank y'all for reading. It makes me happy. I am especially happy when folks reach out and share information, post comments, etc.

There are something like 500 posts here. I have made very liberal use of tags as a kind of index to the site. I'd like to encourage you to click around some tags and read some old stuff while new blogging is spotty.

In the meantime, thanks again. This is a great hobby and there is so much more to do ...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015

GD: August 19, 1970 at the Fillmore West

! R: field recordist: Gene Taback

! R: field recording gear: Sony TC-124 with Sony stereo mic
! R: transfer: Master/1st generation cassettes played back on Nakamichi Dragon > Digital Audio Labs Card Deluxe soundcard (96Mhz/24 bit)> HD.

My goodness, I love love love love love this acoustic set. The recording really captures a feeling.

"How Long Blues" spinning now, very nice.

Here are Jim Powell's typically awesome acoustic set notes, from Deadlists:
David Nelson plays mandolin on Friend Of The Devil, Dark Hollow, Tell It To Me, Rosalie McFall, Cold Jordan and Swing Low. Pigpen plays piano on How Long Blues, Candyman, Ripple, Truckin', and New Speedway. There's a hint of harmonica at the beginning of Ripple; it seems too discreet to be Pigpen's. Jerry plays electric guitar on Cumberland and New Speedway while Bobby continues acoustic. Marmaduke provides bass vocal accompaniment on Cold Jordan and Swing Low. It seems probable that this set as listed is missing a tune from Pigpen (compare Operator the previous night). This set was preceded starting at 8:00 by an unbilled opening set from a bluegrass vocals quartet, possibly the Rowan Bros.
see also: "GD: August 17, 1970, Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA", with some setlist Reconstruction. Did my conjectures there make it into Deadbase 50, BTW?

A Perspective on Deadhead Philanthropy

Joop Rubens, Senior Director of Development, Library UC Santa Cruz, "Without love in the dream it will never come true,", consulted August 20, 2015.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Lost Godchaux-Muldaur Era JGB

New to The ListStanford Daily listing shows JGB at Keystone Berkeley Saturday, August 12, 1978 (long known via the Soto-McNally-Arnold JG List, and there is tape), but also Sunday, August 13, 1978. The latter would be new to The List.

 ! listing: Stanford Daily, August 11, 1978, p. 7. 

Still Uncertain? 11/4/78 and a Bonus Speculation

I don't know where things stand with respect to the "So What" show, Friday 11/3/78, or the next night (11/4/78) as the last Garcia Band shows of the Godchaux era, four months before they'd last play with the Dead. 11/4/78 has a question mark in the Soto-McNally-Arnold JG List. JGBP: "I was at the 11/3/78 show, I thought this was the last one, as they played an unusual So What to open the second set. From recollection, I don't think 11/4/78 happened." Those are two strikes against it.

For what it's worth, the 11/4/78 show was listed in the Stanford Daily of 11/2, and I now have the following around that show:

! listing: Stanford Daily, November 2, 1978, p. 9;
! listing: BAM no. 43 (November 3, 1978), p. 10;
! ref: Arnold, Corry. 2011. "So What" The Jerry Garcia Band: Keystone Palo Alto, Palo Alto, CA November 3, 1978. Hooterollin’ Around, May 13, 2011, URL, consulted 12/28/2013;
! ref: JGBP comment at JGMF, January 11, 2014 at 6:15:00 PM MST, URL

So the Saturday 11/4 show was advertised well, but canceled. The Friday show has the "So What" bustout, and JGBP reckoned at the time that Friday was the last show. How do we reconcile these observations? The Stanford Daily was just that, a daily, so the November 3-4 listings could have been called in on Halloween or 11/1, right? Maybe even 11/2? And then something happens to result in the lucrative Saturday show getting canceled.

Deadhead rumor mill (and maybe The Sources) have always hinted that Keith stole some of Garcia's drugs. If the foregoing things are true (that as of 11/1 the Saturday gig was still on, by 11/3 it was off) - I speculate that this represents a window within in which things changed rather abruptly for the Godchaux Era JGB.

p.s. it's remarkable that there are still potential shows to discover as late as 1978.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Public to Private

Friday, August 14, 2015

more Garcia summer 1991 cancellations

Jerry Garcia Band (electric) was scheduled to play Frost Amphitheatre at Stanford University on July 14, 1991, but July 11th announced that
Citing "mounting health problems," Jerry Garcia has postponed his upcoming tour dates, including his show scheduled for Sunday at Frost Amphitheater.
This ended up being canceled.

I had earlier noted that that summer's Eel River show had been moved from 7/13/91 to 8/10/91, speculating that Jerry was rehabbing his latest fall from the wagon on the heels of yet another GD intervention after the Denver Dead show (6/28/91). The rare candor of the Stanford cancellation announcement feels to me like strong confirmation of rehab as the reason.

I also found a ticket stub at Wolfgang's Vault showing JGB at The Telluride Mid-Summer Music Festival, in beautiful Telluride, CO, Friday, July 19, 1991. (Also billed that day: Jackson Browne / Joe Cocker / Allman Brothers Band.)  This performance was also canceled.
So Gar is off the road a little bit, giving up some paydays trying to get himself clean again.

"No Jerry Garcia concert Sunday," Stanford Daily, July 11, 1991, p. 18.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Friday Night at the Boarding House

April 13-16, 1973 saw Garcia "Four Nights at the Boarding House", weekend with Merl Saunders and The Group and then some off-night picking with Old And In The Way. Black contemporary and white roots, back-to-back-to-back-to-back. Here I focus on opening night, Friday April 13, 1973, JGMS at the Boarding House, a hot club in downtown San Francisco.


The Soto-McNally-Arnold JG List, Garciaverse successor to the Soto List, had a listing for this show, which may have come from union contracts and/or the newspaper and other research of any of the named authors. I show a Barb "Scenedrome" listing(April 13-19, 1973, p. 18) and one in the Hayward Daily Review (April 6, 1973, p. 53) with scheduled 8 pm start. The Jerry Site inherited this rock-solid information via Deadlists.

Rob Eaton contributed setlist details for the end of the show, updated by TJS staff, and I want to dig underneath how this information came about.

--end set II--
Money Honey
Positively 4th Street
untitled 19730307
Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

Tape Archaeology

These details came from a sound recording and have been transcribed --cross-written-- from the two media. What follows is basically me walking through what I know, have known, thought I have known, about this tape.

When Betty Cantor-Jackson and Rex Jackson got together in 1972, they mixed and mingled their lives and their tape collections. The legendary Betty Boards (see Budnick 2014) could be more accurately, if less fetchingly, understood as the Cantor Collection, the tapes they merged and then made (together and apart) during Rex's foreshortened life (d. September 5, 1976) and beyond it, Betty flying where it's Icarus-hot to make some of the finest sound recordings in the long history of music.

Betty's wings weren't melted but washed away, by the early '82 floods and by a spate of equally natural human disasters, muck of a less cleanable sort. The tape went from a box in Betty's San Anselmo basement to the world of storage units, neither the timing of this advent nor the precise quantity and location of these spaces known to me, lost from memory until it wound up auctioned-off with a thousand or more of its Cantor Collection companions around May 1986 (Budnick 2014).

From there it entered its dark times, beyond all knowing, until, in late 1995, its possessor called Rob Eaton to investigate and, eventually, preserve it. Sweating over an Otari 50/50 reel to reel->Apogee 500 A/D converter-> Panasonic SV3700 DAT setup, armed with Q-tips and rubbing alcohol, Eaton spent 700 of his 1996 hours annotating, cleaning, repairing, spinning, and presumably soaking in and enjoying some of the sweetest sounds ever captured live – a Third Batch of Betty Boards, including the last 40 minutes of the Garcia-Saunders group at the Boarding House on Friday, April 13, 1973.

Now I will get even more arcane about this particular artifact.

The Kingbee List gave the following:
04/13/73 The Boarding House, San Francisco Ca - xcerpt
4.8,039min, Sbd, A0D1, Reel Master->Dat 1, 44k,
10inch Master Reel@7.5ips 1/2trk->3700 x 0->3800 x 1
 Though he's almost never mistaken, I thought Kingbee had tripped up on this one. I thought this must be reel #3 of a show recorded on 7" tape. I was wrong, KB was right as usual. Not that anyone cares, but let me run through my reasoning.

It has generally been my sense that Betty usually taped Garcia on 7" reels running at 7.5 ips or 10" reels running at 15 ips (about 48 minutes). Sometimes tape diameter and recording speed would cross to the other diagonal, but not that much. What we have here is a 10" reel running at 7.5 ips (96 minutes), just such an off-diagonal tape. And, I have finally come around to the idea that this could indeed be the last 40 minutes of a contemporary JGMS gig, on these parameters – this looks a lot like the 49 minute end-of-show tape that lived with 4/13/73, March 7, 1973. I also note that Lion's Share 7/5/73 gives 10-7.5 parameters, though that one is a 180 minute monster. So maybe this is how she was doing it at this time.

More Data

Happily, recent gatherings give me a bit more to report. The Stanford Daily has been beautifully preserved and presented at Thanks to all involved in making that happen. Among many other delights, it yielded the following

Harlow, Jay. 1973. Garcia, Saunders 'Together' At Boarding House Theater In SF. Stanford Daily, April 17, p. 7. Accessed via, 7/2/2015.

This is a review of April 13, 1973, Friday night at the Boarding House in the City. Garcia and Saunders "returned for a two-night stay", "joined by guitarist George Pichner [sic: George Tickner], ... an important enough part of the group to deserve equal billing." They were late in starting: "At 9:30 we got word that the band was still waiting for the bass player. Five minutes later he was outside looking for a parking space, and eventually came walking in through the audience, being occasionally booed and heckled." The show eventually kicked off just before ten with "That's A Touch I Like". Garcia's guitar plays like a good, dry white wine (it was already Palo Alto, after all).
A friend named Sarah helped with the vocals on some numbers, and particularly shone on 'Honey Chile. Her voice ... blends very nicely with Garcia's guitar. ...

In the middle of the set there was a long, beautiful instrumental number in which everyone had some solo space. ... Pichner [sic], who had been playing mostly rhythm guitar so far, did some good leads, à la Eric Clapton at times. His somewhat harsher tone sets off Garcia and Saunders very well.
Harlow namechecks Bill Vitt for us, and has high praise for Mule: "bassist John Kahn was certainly worth waiting for. Both in backup and solo playing, he is a real stylist. At times the flair in his left-hand fingerings reminded me of a classical guitarist." He gives us a few more setlist details ("That's All Right", "Lonely Avenue" and "I Second That Emotion"), and it sounds like a good time, "first rate musicians really working together".

Beautiful, let me sum up in the form of a draft TJS-successor entry.

Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders
April 13, 1973 (Friday) - 10 PM

--set I--
That's A Touch I Like
That's All Right
Lonely Avenue
I Second That Emotion

--set II--
Money Honey
Positively 4th Street
untitled 19730307
Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
! lineup: Merl Saunders - keyboards;
! lineup: John Kahn - el-bass;
! lineup: George Tickner - el-g;
! lineup: Bill Vitt - drums;
! lineup: Sarah Fulcher - vocals.
! ?guest?: ?? – electric violin.

! JGC:, noting " An unknown electric violinist sit in on this performance".
! db: none in circulation as of 8/11/2015.
! personnel: Harlow (1973) namechecks the whole band (though, as a few weeks earlier at the Inn of the Beginning, Sarah is just Sarah). The author identifies "George Pichner", but it's George Tickner on second guitar.
! setlist: The show was scheduled for 8, but started closer to 10 (John Kahn was late arriving). The set structure is uncertain beyond that That's A Touch opens the proceedings Dixie closes them down. I hypothesize that one of the sets was truncated due to the late start. For example, the songs from RE's reel transcription, Money Honey through Dixie Down, could be the entirety of set II. The rest of the songs derive from a review in the Stanford Daily (Harlow 1973), and I place them in set I, though that's not certain.
! listing: Hayward Daily Review, April 6, 1973, p. 53;
! review: [positive] Harlow, Jay. 1973. Garcia, Saunders 'Together' At Boarding House Theater In SF. Stanford Daily, April 17, p. 7. Accessed via, 7/2/2015;
! song: " untitled 19730307" is the beautiful unnamed thing Jerry and Sarah did together on the March 7, 1973 tape.

Monday, August 10, 2015

SF Sessions 1970 updated

I have updated my post on 1970 SF Sessions, more rumination on the various filmings, a few other points straightened out.

updated again 8/11/2015 0830 Mountain Daylight Time

On lead guitar and vocals, Mr. Jerry Garcia

Bill Graham:

Good evening. We welcome you, on behalf of the group. We should introduce ... We should thank United Artists and Mr. Ron Rakow. I should make it official. Mr. Rakow is the President of Round Records. He asked if I could be here this evening, and I said 'I'd like twelve dollars and fifty cents', which he paid me at the door, and we flipped double or nothing, and I won, and he wanted to flip again, so I'm being paid fifty dollars for being here. I want to thank him very much.

On the piano we have Mr. Keith Godchaux [electric piano] ... on the drums, on stage left, Mr. Mickey Hart [drums begin] ... on bass and vocals, Mr. Philip Lesh [bah-doomp-bah-doomp bah-doohhhom] ... on rhythm guitar and vocals, Mr. Bob Weir [Bob filligrees a little top knot] ... on the drums on stage right, Mr. Bill Kreutzmann [tss-ts-tss, tss-ts-tss] ... on the vocals Mrs. Donna Jean Godchaux ... on lead guitar and vocals, Mr. Jerry Garcia ... will you welcome, please, the Grateful Dead!

Update: Jesse Jarnow and I are on the same wavelength!

The Humanity

Video of "So Many Roads" from 7/9/95 below the fold.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

San Francisco Sessions, 1970

**updated 8/10/2015, especially under heading D**
**update2 8/11, more, especially, in section D**
**updated 8/12, re-ordered sections (now goes from more micro and Jerrycentric to more macro (and less so)), also reworked some of section D, though not really many new words.**

I have been processing information from contracts filed at the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) Local No. 6 in San Francisco.

Let me speak to (A) Garcia sessions; (B) Dead-related stuff,(C) other Garciaverse echoes, and (D) an analysis of what these contracts tell us about San Francisco Rock on film in 1970.

A. Info on some of Jerry's prolific 1970 studio work:

  1. Materials around the iconic Paul Kantner/Jefferson Starship Blows Against the Empire (RCA LSP 4448 [SF 8163], November 1970) tip the possibility of Garcia working on "Mau Mau" (July 17 and 22), not currently given at Deaddisc. This material may have ended up on the cutting room floor. They also us to date his credited contributions to "Starship" (July 15, August 10-11) (LIA corrected me on earlier error, saying this was previously uncredited.)
  2. The song "Old Man" pops up July 15 and August 10. I am assuming this is Covington's execrable "Whatever The Old Man Does (Is Always Right)", unreleased from the Jeffersons' Bark (Grunt FTR 1001, September 1971) sessions.
  3. Brewer & Shipley, Tarkio (Kama Sutra 2024, February 1971): Deaddisc shows Garcia only on "Oh Mommy". The session paperwork also lists "50 States Of Freedom", hard to know if Garcia played on that one and/or if any material was used. There is one contract for two sessions, so my hunch is that there was one session for each song, and Jerry probably only attended one of the two. Who knows. The sessions were Friday, August 21, 1970 at 5pm and 9pm. Work on the record picks up again in October, but Garcia, still/again at Heider's, makes no further appearances.
  4. Lamb, Cross Between (Warner Brothers WS 1920, 1971): Deaddisc says "Jerry Garcia plays on Flying (banjo), Flotation (pedal steel) and Reach High (pedal steel)" and notes "Garcia's contribution to this LP is not documented on the LP cover. There is simply a note on the back cover that says 'special thanks to Jerry Garcia', which has been interpreted as meaning Garcia played on the album. It has subsequently been confirmed by Walter Rapaport, the co-producer of the album, that Garcia played on Flying, Flotation and Reach High. The contribution to Flotation is only 4 notes." For what it's worth, the contract gives us time: Monday, October 5, 1970, in the afternoon.
  5. Thanks to commenter runonguinness, I see that RCA buys some "Soul Fever" on Tuesday, October 6, 1970, eventually to appear on Papa John Creach's self-named Grunt record (FTR 1003, December 1971). ROG notes "it is credited to Papa John, Garcia, Rolie, Brown and Covington and it does sound like just one guitar". Deaddisc does show a Garcia credit, listing Papa John Creach - electric violin, Dave Brown - bass, Joey Covington - drums, Jerry Garcia - guitar, Gregg Rolie - organ). So I guess the really tantalizing question is whether Carlos Santana showed up, and he and Jerry played together. It's interesting to me that there are just about no instance of that particular shared studio, and the Shared Stage only came about post-Garcia's 1986 coma. A few months later, in a near-miss (as far as we know), Carlos was billed playing with Merl Saunders at the Matrix). In the alternative, some Carlos licks hit the cutting room floor.
B. The Grateful Dead Node

  1. I found no 1970 GD contracts in the union records, which is a tragic shame. Might such materials exist in the Grateful Dead Archive?
  2. The Planet Eart Rock and Roll Orchestra (PERRO) sessions at Wally Heider's included some Dead guys, though Phil Lesh is curiously absent from any of the paperwork I have seen. Bill Kreutzmann has an appealing looking session on July 29th with Paul Kantner and David Crosby), Mickey Hart makes a less-appealing-to-me Joey Covington-led one on September 2, 1970. That session, BTW, also seems more reliably to put Spencer Dryden in the New Riders' drum chair at the Matrix this night, but for some weird reason I have listed Hart. I assume this is my error?
  3. Bob Weir makes the James and the Good Brothers sessions in December, also with Mickey.
  4. Note the new studio "Alembic, Inc.", address 320 Judah Street in SF, late in the year. These are the earliest references I have found to that particular dba configuration.
  5. There's a Grateful Dead film contract dated 10/2, with no performance date listed. The location is given as “remote locations at Family Dog, PHR". It was contracted by KQED (Bay Area Educational Television Association), under the moniker "San Francisco Rock". Under heading D below you'll find that end up concluding that this session transmogrified into the live broadcast from Winterland on October 4, 1970. I have more to say about this in section D, below.
C. A few quickies more on the margins of the Garciaverse:
  1. PERRO at Heider's. QED.
  2. Paul Kantner spent a lot of time in the studio, and the amount of studio time at Heider's paid out of RCA monies speaks to just how lucrative the Jeffersons' contracts really were. Doug Sahm (Mercury) and Joe McDonald (Vanguard) get a lot of time in, as well.
  3. An awful lot of the PERRO contracts are AWOL, based on the comparison of the union files with, e.g., the metadata attached to circulating recordings.
  4. John Kahn at Heider's: January 15 with Steve Miller; April 16 (approx) with Butterfield; August 17-18-19 with Brewer and Shipley (also Bill Vitt), as well as October 5-6-7 and 14, 1970 with Brewer & Shipley but w/o Vitt.
  5. Other Garciazens making appearances in the contracts include Ron Stallings and David Crosby, though not with Jerry in these materials.
  6. Martin Fierro kept pretty busy, mostly with Sir Douglas and QMS.
D. "San Francisco Rock", 1970 film contracts

In this section, I use the 1970 Bay Area Educational Television Association (i.e., KQED) "San Francisco Rock" film sessions to shed some light on San Francisco Rock, 1970 - what was played, when, etc.
1. The Concept

Ralph J. Gleason (b. - d.) was brilliant enough to see the leading edge of a wave of musical, cultural, social effervescence gathering around San Francisco from 1965 forward, turbo-boosting his own transition from newspaper jazz man to hip capitalist (Kramer 2013's formulation). He had a hand in the creation of untold countless precious artifacts including newspaper columns, radio broadcasts, interviews, records and tapes, and of course films. In 1970 KQED apparently paid him to do a five-year introspective, arranging to have the three biggest Haight-Ashbury bands filmed in "San Francisco Rock", the Airplane the first week of August, Quicksilver the first week of September, and the Dead the first week of October.
  1. ca. August 3, 1970 (contract date) Family Dog on the Great Highway (film S.F. Rock): Jefferson Airplane (Balin, Dryden, Casady, Kantner, Kaukonen, Slick)
  2. ca. August 31, 1970 (contract date) Sonoma State College (film – S.F. Rock, Part I): QMS (John Cipollina, Gary Duncan, David Freiberg, Greg Elmore)
  3. ca. October 2, 1970 (contract date) “remote locations at Family Dog, PHR", (film – S.F. Rock): GD (Lesh [leader], Garcia, Hart, McKernan, Weir, Kreutzmann)
"San Francisco Rock" was a Ralph Gleason joint at T+5, nearly to the day. What a great idea! But, as it happens, maybe it all didn't quite work out as planned. Whatever does? So Gleason looks typically prescient in seeing the promise of marketing something at the 5 year totem, but the end results skew a little, as artifacts must.

2. The State of the Bands in/and the Broader Time Period

a. The Bands

The Jeffersons are still huge, but the peak has been passed in terms of the Airplane's live act, which I date rather precisely to 4/15/70. May brings the low swamp of Grace's "shrimp rap", the tape that turned me against live recordings of the Airplane from later in that year - I just can't get the taste of that local low off my aural palate - and by 10/4/70, or maybe it was 10/5, Marty expresses his need for a new band not just to the assembled mourners, but over howevermany watts on KPFA.

The Quick has a lot of energy in this period, but more of the kind that the the fractious Jeffersons always wallowed in, and less of the relatively --relatively!!-- interpersonally harmonious Grateful Dead scene. (I just came across a quote of Garcia saying in 1970 how well the Dead guys got along on the road - that must have been chez LIA somewhere?) There's a reason David Freiberg could jump from the Quick to the Jeffersons, besides his bad-ass bass playing, his vocal strength, song chops, and all the rest of it - he seems not to have suffered much from the burn of working with difficult, brilliant people.

The band peaked hard November 7-11, 1968 at the Fillmore West, spun the electric circle Happy Trails, and then crashed to Dino Valente's unambiguous re-entry into the band, his subsequent departure with Duncan in tow, the east coast motorcycle trip, aresulting relatively fallow first half of 1969, toodling around a little bit with Nick the Greek and then welcoming Nicky Hopkins into the fold. There is much more hot music to be played throughout the spring, but by summer 1970 Quicksilver, as it happens, is in the process of breaking apart. Nicky leaves the live act in August, Cip sort of quits after --again? 10/4/70?-- the horns come in 10/4/70 and 10/5/70 and the radio broadcast is painful to listen to. Nothing can survive the onslaught of Dino Valente --his "Long Haired Lady", which includes the line "uni-corns pran-cing, in my mind" should have earned him a lifetime ban from the commissioner-- and by 1971 they have Whodat playing the bass and would never make meaningful music again.

That said, Gleason didn't entirely miss with Quicksilver - the performance that ended up happening, being filmed, and the film eventually released is a fine one, indeed, in many respects. I say more below.

The Dead's cards showed loss, recovery and some mighty fine music, and unlike the other two bands the arrow is pointing up after 1970 - a strong buy, and go ahead and go long. The spring and fall records Workingman's Dead and American Beauty were, respectively, strong on the charts and just-released, the first a weary tune and the latter a wreath of the titular bloom. Darkness swirled around them, who took refuge in each other, sharing lives with all of their music. The last quarter of 1970 is its weakest one, by far, anchored not least by the shambolic performance that I think we have contracted here, Winterland 10/4/70.

 b. San Francisco Rock, ca. 10/4/70

Indeed, Winterland 10/4/70, the night that Janis died, the manic, brain-blasting qualities of the various broadcasts (which really were never gotten together, technically -- all of the tapes pretty much suck), the Airplane and Quicksilver falling apart at the seams, and the less well-known to me show the next night in many ways stand as an epitaph to the whole idea of getting up close and personal with "San Francisco Rock" five years along. All three "S.F. Rock" bands performed, revealing that five years will take a toll on people and the groups they comprise, living under the spotlight and fueled by all kinds of drives will bring out some really good and some, well, less so. I think it's no coincidence that the three bands contracted for "San Francisco Rock" would be playing together.
(see also LIA | cryptdev | Corry on the broadcast angle )

c. Art and Commerce

In short, I think Gleason succeeded in capturing some clear truths about "San Francisco Rock" in 1970, and I find the footage that we have to be artistically successful on a lot of levels. I don't think they worked out all that well commercially, but then again this is public television we're talking about here. The fact that Gleason gets to release this material under his own name (see just below) is interesting ...

3. The "Ralph J. Gleason Presents" DVD releases in Light of the Contracts

When I first saw the contracts, I assumed that they gave rise to film already released under the banner of "Ralph J. Gleason Presents" DVDs:

A Night at the Family Dog (EV 30122-9, 2007, IMDB)
Go Ride the Music & West Pole (Eagle Vision EV30181-9, February 2008).

I have been able to parse things a little more closely, to fine tune against the baseline of my starting assumptions. After you read this section, I want you to believe that a) the metadata around these releases contain errors, b) I can correct some of these errors using these contracts, b) none of these contracts refers to material appearing on Night at the Family Dog or West Pole; c) the Airplane and QMS contracts refer to material found on Go Ride the Music, and thus recorded in August and September 1970, respectively; and d) the 10/4/70 gig at Winterland probably constituted the Dead's  "S.F. Rock" contribution, but none of this material has never appeared in the Gleason films.

The release metadata are a little all over the place. The contracts bring clarity. Let me move from simplest to most complicated by going in the order West Pole, A Night at the Family Dog, and Go Ride the Music.

a West Pole

West Pole is the easiest to deal with. Toby Gleason says the film was made in 1968, the back cover says it aired in 1969, and the front cover says it was previously unreleased. The overall WP&GRTM release has copyrights of 1969 and 2008.

It is wonderful to see. The Airplane and Dead material on West Pole is not from discrete sessions, but colles some pastiches some rather amazing sound and image from various times and places, different kinds of sources (live and studio), and different people into primal music videos. There's great tape of legendary venues and groups such as the Ace of Cups, some street scenes from a dingy Haight, and lots of other cool stuff.

The whole thing's a hoot to watch, but it has nothing to do with  the 1970 "San Francisco Rock" sessions.

b. A Night at the Family Dog 

Filmed on 2/4/70 and first released in 1970, Corry has a great writeup. The metadata are very solid, two small flies in the ointment.

First, I have always supposed a "4/2/70" Airplane session  (Abbott 2007) to be spurious, probably stems from a European orthography somewhere in the script. Tape attributed this way has crossed six or seven media, and every copy I ever heard was, IIRC, the same material known to be from 2/4/70. But I note below that it is not impossible...

Second, ihor's irreplaceable The Complete Grateful Dead Discography (TCGDD) entry lists a June 28, 2005 release of the Night DVD, with otherwise identical catalog information (Eagle Rock 2030122-9), but calling it San Francisco Rock: A Night At The Family Dog. That's the sort of coincidence some of us are paid not to believe in. On my 2007 imprint of that release, that formulation ("San Francisco Rock, A Night at the Family Dog") appears as the title of Toby Gleason's brief missive. But I'd give a full title of Ralph J. Gleason Rock Classic: A Night at the Family Dog, if forced to.

I am confident out a number of decimal places that none of the material contracted during 1970 under the heading "San Francisco Rock" has anything to do with the Night at the Dog. We should be keeping these two things separate, IMO, except insofar as Toby Gleason titled an essay that way.

Overall, here, I conclude with memory rule: 2/4/70 is the Night at the Family Dog, and A Night at the Family Dog derives from only 2/4/70. None of this material appears to have been contracted through the papers described below.

c. Go Ride The Music

The back cover of the release says "Go Ride the Music was recorded in 1969" gives 1969 and 2008 copyrights. But 1969 is flat out incorrect. The JA and QMS tracks derive from 1970, from material contracted by KQED under the film title "San Francisco Rock".

i. Airplane

The cover reads that "the seven Airplane clips [on Ride the Music] were shot at Pacific High Recording and feature their new drummer, Joey Covington". 
The venue is a contraindication, since the contract said Family Dog. But note the wording on the Dead contract: "remote locations at Family Dog, PHR". So PHR was certainly on the script for "San Francisco Rock", and what's more --and tremendously ironically, given the story that I plan to narrate in "Jerry and the Jeffersons", parts I and II-- the Dog was busy giving birth to The Common in early August 1969, though it sure could have used the paycheck. For whatever reason, it seems very plausible to me that they contracted the Dog and ended up at PHR.

In terms of personnel, erstwhile drummer Spencer Dryden flew out of the Jeffersons' orbit by April 1970. Depending on how literally we take the word "new", this could give oxygen to the notion that there was an Airplane ssession at Family Dog on 4/2/70, despite the strikes agsinst that idea (noted above). That said, August 1970 still consists in Joey being "new" to the Airplane, I'd say, with five years (or thereabouts) already under their belts (8/13/65 is as good a starting point as any), the guy who had been in that particular seat for only three months --though around for longer-- was still "new" to a first approximation. Either way, Covington's presence as the Airplane's drummer, rather than a guy hanging out with Jack and Jorma, speaks unequivocally in favor of 1970. 

Sealing the case for 1970 for me is Jeff Swenson's liner notes. which put Garcia in the Jeffersons' studio striking Blows Against The Empire. The contracts are all over that stuff, of course, and things could not be clearer: this is summer 1970.
All in all, I am about 95% sure that work contracted for "San Francisco Rock" begat the Airplane material featured on Go Ride the Music, which therefore dates to sometime in the first third of August 1970. 
ii. Quicksilver
This QMS material completely knocks me out, Dino doing his Full Narcissist, the band tearing the shit out of things, the material very uneven. Remember this rule of thumb: "Subway" good, "Long-Haired Lady" bad. Further, any song that includes the phrase "uni-corns pran-cing in my mind" must not be. It must not be. Nicky's fingers appear a time or two, and he is clearly audible Freiburg looks like he's rocking, but he's buried in the mix, I guess that's Greg Elmore hitting the skins. It went downhill fast from here, but in September 1970 (which I'll conclude this is) these guys were at a local peak not seen since late 1968 and Happy Trails. The scenery is incredible, what looks to me like a fall day in Sonoma County, not too many people dancing out in ticklish sunshine, on a little bit of a breeze.

The "San Francisco Rock" contract fits the bill most precisely with the location  (Sonoma State College) and the season (fall). 
Personnelwise, Nicky is not on the contract, but one senses that his contractual status might have been a little bit fluid (hence the disembodied fingers on the film?). Alsoa  strike against is that, as I recalled, he had stopped gigging with the Quick in August. This certainly doesn't rule out a September 1970 QMS gig for film, which remains extremely likely given the balance of all of the evidence, but it does raise small question..

The fact that Dino Valente and Gary Duncan are in town strikes me as strongly confirmatory of 1970, since as I recall they spent all of 1969 out east riding and running around, not returning until about New Year's Eve. I'd like to consult Shelley Duncan's book again to feel more confident about that, but that's my strong sense.
All told, the balance of the evidence favors the QMS material from Go Ride the Music having been contracted as "San Francisco Rock" and performed in early September 1970.

iii. implication

Go Ride the Music comprises an early August 1970 Jefferson Airplane set from Pacific High Recorders and an early September 1970 Quicksilver Messenger set from Sonoma State College, both contracted under the planned Bay Area Educational Televation Association's planned KQED film "San Francisco Rock".

d. The Dead: All Contract, No Release

Based on all of the above, here's what I think happened with the GD session. If the Jeffersons played a different room than contracted, the Dead could have, too. And having taken that step, why not get some really live material for the film, with the people who do it best, and knock out a simulcast on KQED? In short, I now believe that the 10/2/70 contract was fulfilled by the Dead through the 10/4/70 television and radio broadcast from Winterland. Why didn't the Gleason folks use some of this footage in Go Ride the Music? My best guess is that it would have been a rights and money thing. Earlier I had entertained a few other possibilities. Maybe there really was a separate Dead session filmed during this timeframe, per the terms of the contract, which has remained hidden. This seems unlikely, to say the least. Or maybe it was never consummated (i.e., the 10/4/70 had nothing to do with the "Rock in S.F." project. Maybe the Dead bailed out after 10/4/70, Janis dead and darkness, darkness all around. But I think all of that is less likely than my preferred alternative.

Note: as far as I can tell, no video of the Dead's 10/4/70 set has been seen. Is that correct?

4. "San Francisco Rock", 1970 and San Francisco Rock, 1970

[with more time, here I would close the loop on the idea that what we get on the film is pretty much what we get in the real world. I sketched this out preliminarily above.]

Barebones session listing follows. Note that, in a pure breach of common sense, I have added a fifth line to some of the most interesting entries, to identify the songs. If I ever try to parse these into real data I'll have to remember that.