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Friday, November 27, 2009

JGMS: Bo Jangle's, SF, February 11, 1972

edited, corrected

Lost Live Dead and related have inspired me. Sorry to steal your schtick! I don't get into depth (nor turn a phrase) the way LLD does, but it sure is fun, anyway.

So the SF Chronicle is almost certainly loaded with stuff of interest. Unfortunately, unless I am missing something it does not seem to be available electronically prior to 1985. The San Francisco Public Library has paper indexes back into the 70s, and fiche indexes from before then. These latter seem unreliable at best. The former (paper indexes) are fine, but obviously don't pick up things like ads or concert listings. So it's really a needle-in-a-haystack resource, involving the dizzying and eye-drying work of scanning microfilm, the quality of which ranges from OK to illegible.

Anyway, one of the really good articles I found, based on a lead (though I think it had a mistake in it) from David Dodd's quite amazing annotated bibliography (1), is the Ellwood one referenced below (2). There is so little known about these early Garcia gigs that every little piece of information is golden.

correction: I had this listed as the Chronicle, but of course Elwood was the music guy at the San Francisco Examiner. Same situation applies, a fortiori.

The article references a Jerry Garcia - Merl Saunders gig "last night" (i.e., 2/11/72) at "a far out club, Bo Jangles, at 709 Larkin" (San Francisco, CA 94109). It notes that Armanda [sic] Peraza was present on congas and Bill Kreutzmann on drums. There is no information about tunes played.

This article interests me for a few reasons.

First, until now there has not been a show for this date at the Jerry Site (TJS). I have remedied this.

Second, there is a show dated 2/12/72 at TJS, with location given as Bojangles Club, Sacramento. This listing seems to derive from the list of uncirculated Betty Boards, and gives Roger "Jellyroll" Troy as one of the guests. A few thoughts on this.

2a. Although TJS goes so far as to say that "The venue is known today as Beau's Bojangles", I certainly wonder whether this show was actually played in SF. It always seemed odd to see that Sacramento show in the mix this early - this band at this time was pretty exclusively a Bay Area (and largely a San Francisco) phenomenon. Given that they played at a Bo Jangles in SF on 2/11, I suppose its possible that the "Iranian combine" that ran the place also had one in Sacto ... stranger things could have happened.

2b. We are also left to wonder whether the "2/12" show is actually the 2/11 show discussed by Elwood. A listen to the tape, to check for the presence of Peraza, might shed some light, but at this point that's not one of my options. So this remains an open question.

As an upshot on this point #2, I'll just work under the assumption that JGMS played a Friday (11) and Saturday (12) engagement for Bo Jangles. I'll list the Friday show as SF and will leave the Saturday listing as Sacramento unless more evidence emerges. Perhaps I'll put a note on TJS listing to mention the uncertainty around the Sacramento location.

Third, in a case of Serendipity, Corry had asked in comments on the NRPS ca. 11/1/70 post whether the Both/And club was still open as late as late 1970. While it could well have opened and shut and taken on various permutations, I simply note that Elwood's article also mentions a gig "at the relatively sedate and traditional Both-And jazz club". So something by that name was running in early 1972, FWIW.

(1) Dodd, David G., and Robert G. Weiner. 1997. The Grateful Dead and the Deadheads: An Annotated Bibliography. Music Reference Collection no. 60. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

(2) Elwood, Philip. 1972. Distinctive Variety of Musical Styles. San Francisco Examiner, February 12, 1972, p. 8
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1 comment:

  1. This is great research.

    If you noodle around, you will find a reference to a Latin band that played Bojangles (google Bo-Jangles) under the name Christian Black. and opened for Tower of Power at Bo-Jangles. The source is interesting and full of incorrect timelines (a long story), but the essence of it seems to suggest a kind of Latin jazz/rock club.

    Garcia was part of a bunch of guys who hung out with a trumpet player named Luis Gasca (he played trumpet on the album Ace), so I wouldnt be surprised if that was the connection.

    I saw Armando Peraza play with Jerry in Oakland on January 23, 1988--unforgettable.

    Here's a Christian Black/Bojangles poster from 1973


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