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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

OAITW: September 7, 1973, First Annual Harpers Ferry West Virginia Indian Summer Bluegrass Folk Music Festival, Harpers Ferry, WV (UNCERTAIN)

Man, what a mouthful some of these bluegrass festival names are. And what's with the "Indian Summer" thing? Scanning through Muleskinner News, it comes up a lot.

An ad in Muleskinner News v4 n8 (August 1973), p. 37, announces the titular festival and lists, among the acts for Friday, September 7 (12 noon to midnight) one Jerry Garcia. Vassar Clements is listed for the next day but not the 7th, and there are no other references that shed any light. Let's assume this would have been Old and in the Way.

We know that Jerry was in Passaic, NJ for a Garcia/Saunders gig at the Capitol Theatre on September 6th, and that the Grateful Dead were at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY on September 7th. The trajectory from Passaic (A) to Harpers Ferry, WV (B) to Uniondale (C) looks like this:

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Definitely not the most intuitive itinerary in the world. I don't know off hand when the GD came on on 9/7, nor what the airport situation might have been around Harpers Ferry, WV and Uniondale, NY.

Seems unlikely to me that old Spudboy would have been able to pull this one off, so I'll file this one under uncertain/unlikely.

1 comment:

  1. I have been thinking about this, and I have decided it is well within the realm of the plausible. A couple of things to consider--

    Old And In The Way had five members, but I'll bet they had no crew, because they had no amplifiers or other equipment. Compared to a rock band, expenses were minimal.

    The airport situation would have been very good. Teterboro in New Jersey is very near scenic Passaic, there are numerous airports near Harper's Ferry, such as Winchester, VA. Jerry could return to Islip on Long Island, so he could avoid traffic on the I495 coming out of Manhattan.

    Old and In The Way plays Capitol Theater in Passaic on Sep 6;

    OAITW Flies out of Teterboro (NJ) that night or first thing in the AM Sep 7;

    OAITW plays Harper's Ferry midday Sep 7;

    Jerry flies back to Islip and gets back in time for the Dead show, while OAITW hangs at the bluegrass festival.

    Given the lack of equipment, the band could have chartered a very small plane, not even necessarily a jet.


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