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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

JGMS with Jack Casady and Stephen Stills? July 14, 1974 at the Great American Music Hall

Merl Jr. said that the tape to find would be Garcia/Saunders at the Great American Music Hall on a day that Crosby, Stills and Nash had played a Day on the Green. He says that Jack Casady and Stephen Stills came over after the CSN gig and jammed with Jerry and Merl and that it was amazing. 7/14/74 fits the bill - JGMS were at GAMH, and CSN were playing a Day on the Green.

Interestingly, I found an ad from the San Francisco Phoenix which lists two shows for the date, starting at 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. Very unusual. I wonder if it was planned ahead of time that Casady and Stills would come by?


  1. A different apocryphal story has Stephen Stills and Jack Casady coming over to jam at the GAMH with Garcia/Saunders after The Grateful Dead's Day On The Green on June 8, 1974. Certainly the Jerry site mentions it.

    My guess is that one of these two stories is true, but not likely for both gigs. The 2am start show is particularly peculiar, since I believe it would have to be a private party at that hour, making a surprise visitation more likely.


  2. The funny thing is, this came up twice in the same day in totally separate conversations a few weeks ago. The one who really emphasized it was Merl Saunders, Jr., who was very clear that it was after a CSN Day on the Green.

    The 2 a.m. start time is probably noteworthy, I agree.

  3. Bastille Day, 1974.

    On a whim we got there early and scored a primo table. Turned out to be the greatest evening of music in my (at that time short) life.

    First set was Jerry and Merle with their band. Second set was entirely different: Jerry Garcia, Merle Saunders, Martin Fierro, Jack Casady, Stephen Stills and Bill Kreutzmann. The band was unbelievably hot. At one point, when Garcia and Stills were trading licks, Stephen Stills threw up his hands and pointed to Garcia (who was in mid solo), as if to say “this man is the best – I can’t keep up with him” Everybody – band,audience, barmaids and hangers on- were left dumbstruck by a monstrous evening of rock and roll.

    I’ve spent the ensuing forty years looking for a recording of that night — no luck yet, but I’m still searching.

  4. Wow, thank you so much for sharing your recollections of this gig!

    Can you say anything about any of the numbers played by the superstars?

    The advertising was certainly distinctive, with the special 2 a.m. show. Did you know in advance what it would be?

    Again, thanks for confirming what sounds like an amazing night. Alas, I have never heard a whiff about a recording. I wonder where Betty was?

  5. I just remember the show being two sets -- I don't remember them turning out the house in-between sets; I've no recollection at all of the set list,sorry to say ! We certainly had no clue that the show was going to be so special -- we just thought we were going to a Garcia and Saunders show. My clearest memory is the moment when Stills just stopped and threw up his hands, because he was simply blown away by Garcia's playing - and my memory of Jerry's breat big grin.

  6. Anon, your details are absolutely amazing, thanks so much for this. We know how memories can work. When you find that data has been restored to an accessible file after a an automated restart--in the pre-Cloud era that may have been called a "flashback"--be sure to let us know.

    I'm very jealous, but very pleased that you can tell us about it.

  7. Also, was Kreutzmann drumming during the Garcia/Saunders set? I assume so, but I like dotting is and crossing ts.


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