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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Listening Notes: Great American String Band (GASB), Lion's Share,San Anselmo, June 12, 1974

**update 20140823 - Elwood 1974 is clear that GASB played the Lion's Share on Wednesday, June 12, 1974. Thanks to Blair Jackson!**

Here are some thoughts based on my notations from this recording (shnid 7331). I'll start with a few analytical points, then reproduce the raw notations below.

  1. It sounds like a single two-set show to me. That fact that Swing '42 was played twice in one night is just an anomaly. They probably had a pretty constrained repertoire worked-up. And the fact that Richard Greene calls them "Great American Music Band" and the pre-set II emcee (Freddie Herrera?) calls them "Great American String Band" just reflects the fluidity of the name in this moment, I think. That'll be a long, separate post at some point.
  2. Buell Neidlinger is Flame Bombadine, to answer Corry's query in comments back in July.
  3. Garcia plays acoustic guitar at least on Russian Lullaby, and possibly also the two songs following it. This version of Russian Lullaby is sublime. I'd have to think harder, but is this Jerry's only documented public performance on acoustic guitar until the 11/18/78 Rambler Room thing?

Notes follow.

Great American String Band
Lion's Share
San Anselmo, CA
June 12, 1974 (Wednesday)
sbd shnid-

MSR > cassette > DAT > CDx1 > EAC > SHN > FLAC.
Source CDs from Ryan Shriver; extraction (EAC), .shn encoding (mkwACT), and sector boundary verification (shntool), 2/13/2002.

--Set I (8 tracks, 39:15)--

s1t01. Colored Aristocracy [3:42] [0:07]
s1t02. Cedar Hill [3:35] (1) [2:21]
s1t03. I'll Be A Gambler If You Deal The Cards [2:19] (2) [1:17]
s1t04. My Plastic Banana Is Not Stupid [3:07] (3) [1:33]
s1t05. Moonlight Waltz [5:51] [0:07]
s1t06. Swing '42 [5:12] (4) [1:04]
s1t07. Methodist Preacher [4:29] (5) [0:55]
s1t08. Limehouse Blues [3:25] (6) [0:08]

--Set II (9 tracks, 51:54)--

s2t01. introduction (7) [0:09], Bud's Bounce [3:05] [0:30]
s2t02. Dawg's Bull [2:27] [0:02] % [0:58]
s2t03. Russian Lullaby [7:06] [0:20]
s2t04. Virgin's Lament [5:29] [0:36]
s2t05. Sheik of Araby [5:31] (8) [0:41]
s2t06. Billy Of The Lowgrounds [3:23] [0:55]
s2t07. Dawg's Rag [6:59] [0:26] % [0:16]
s2t08. Sweet Georgia Brown [4:52] [0:08] % (9, 10) [1:43]
s2t09. Swing '42 [6:06] [0:12]

! Band: Great American String Band
! Lineup: David Grisman - mandolin;
! Lineup: Richard Greene - fiddle;
! Lineup: David Nichtern - guitar, vocals;
! Lineup: Jerry Garcia - Jerry Garcia - banjo, ac-g (s2t03 Russian Lullaby, s2t04 Virgin's Lament), vocals;
! Lineup: Buell Neidlinger (a.k.a. "Flame Bombadine") - bass.

! R: symbols % = tape discontinuity
! R: mono recording.
! venue: has sometimes been listed as Keystone Berkeley, but Elwood 1974 is clear that it's the Share.
! reference:  Elwood, Philip. 1974. From country to jazz – a snap. San Francisco Examiner, June 14, 1974, p. 27
! s1t02 @ 3:41 (1) RG after Cedar Hill: "Thank you. Can we have a little more mandolin in the monitors. We're the Great American Music Band. A nice humble title. ... We'd like to do a song next that's written by our multitalented guitarist, David Nichtern. It's called 'IBAGIYDTC'.
! P: s1t03 Neidlinger is bowing during IBAGIYDTC. This is a great, tight version of that song.
! s1t03 @ 2:58 (2) DN: "Who's doing the sound? Raise your hand? Can you bring up the treble in the guitar, at least in the monitor?"
! s1t04 (3) RG: "Might as well introduce the band. On bass we have, special from Los Angeles, Buell Neidlinger, a fine ...Buell is one of these 'peace, love' cats, with his ... groovy, Buell. David Nichtern on the guitar - he wrote that last tune, also. Jerry Garcia on banjo ... 6-string ... we'll have to turn that mic up, it's a ... softer instrument. David Grisman on mandolin. This is something written by Bill Monroe. [DN: "And, Richard Greene on fiddle."] It's called 'Moonlight Waltz'."
! s1t06 Swing 42 is there a banjo? Jerry gets called for solo in 3-min mark and it sounds an awful lot like acoustic guitar to me?
! s1t06 @ 5:37 (4) DN: "This one's gonna feature Richard and David, and it's called 'The Methodist Preacher'."
! R: s1t07 Some tape glitches after Methodist Preacher
! s1t07 @ 5:05 (5) DG: "I wanna send this out to Lanny. This is for Lanny. My dope dealer."
! banjo def. in Limehouse Blues
! s1t08 (6) RG: "Thank you, we'll be back soon." Definitely a set break announcement.
! s2t01 (7) unknown speaker intro: "[inaudible] everybody else and I guess it's time we get this thing underway. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back the Great American String Band."
! s2t03 JG on acoustic guitar on Russian Lullaby ... beautiful.
! s2t04 is JG still on guitar for Virgin's Lament?
! s2t04 after Virgin's Lament, hear Jerry say I wanna play banjo, then on banjo for Sheik
! s2t05 (8) RG "We're gonna play an old-timey, kinda mountain ..."
! instruments: JG on banjo for BOTLG, DR
! P: s2t08 Neidlinger bowing again on SGB
! d2t08 @ 5:15 (9) RG: "That's Buell Neidlinger on bass." BN: "No it's not, no it's not. That's a rotten lie. My name is Flame Bombadine. I was named that by Iggy of the Stooges, just prior to his smearing himself with peanut butter. This is a clean set, so we won't talk about any 'rock-n-roll'." RG: "Flame Bombadine?"  BN: "I certainly appreciate your applause. It's the .. it's the, uhhh ... that plus money is what I live on."
! d2t08 @ 6:16 (10) DN: "This tune that we're doing now was written by Django Reinhardt. ... written in the year of Richard Greene's birth." DG: "And yet it's a great tune." DN then asks Jerry "Why don't you say something?" JG: "Fuck it."

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