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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

March 1974

I am working around an important (to me!) post about the birth of the Great American Music/String Band, and want to lay some foundation. So let me start by mapping the known-to-me Jerry Garcia engagements from March, 1974, and just making a few notes.
  1. Friday, March 1, 1974: JGMS @ Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA (TJS)
  2. Saturday, March 2, 1974: JGMS @ Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA (TJS)
  3. Friday, March 8, 1974: Rehearsal at Grisman's house, Stinson Beach, CA. David Grisman, Richard Greene, Jerry Garcia, Eric Thompson, Bill Wolfe, maybe others. (7-minute recording info
  4. Saturday, March 9, 1974, Keystone, Berkeley (TJS | sbd recording info)
  5. Thursday, March 14, 1974, Keystone, Berkeley (TJS).There is a setlist for this at the Jerry Site, and also a note that "E.W. Wainwright replaces Bill Kreutzmann on drums". Note that there's an as-yet unnamed instrumental in the setlist. All of this information is from Betty tapes preserved and notated by Rob Eaton, but not in general circulation.
  6. Friday, March 22, 1974, Chateau Liberté, Los Gatos, CA. (TJS | LLD post comments, including venue information)
  7. Saturday, March 23, 1974: GD at Cow Palace.
  8. Saturday, March 30, 1974: GD Mars Hotel sessions at CBS Studios, 829 Folsom Street, SF, CA.
So, why do I list this stuff here?

First, I think there was no March 1 show, at least not at GAMH, as listed (with some caveating) at the Jerry Site. Second, re March 2 at the Great American Music Hall (GAMH) in San Francisco, TJS has a listing based on a "Jerry & Merle" billing in the L.A. Free Press newspaper.  I think I can do this one better. Both of these points emerge from the scan below:

As you can see, Vassar Clements and Skunk Cabbage are playing the GAMH on March 1, while JGMS are there on March 2. Note, too, that Jerry and Merl weren't at the Keystone, either. So I doubt a March 1 show happened (though they could have been at the Lion's Share, I suppose).

Third, re: Vassar, we see him here playing 3/1 with Skunk Cabbage at the GAMH. I had noted in my post on the Skunk Cabbage set at the GSCBF that Vassar played around with them. Here are a few other dates I have managed to pick up for Skunk Cabbage, with and w/o Mr. Clements:
  1. Sunday, 11/18/73: The Cashews, Skunk Cabbage; New Orleans House, Berkeley, CA; (note Rowan Brothers billed there on 11/20, FWIW)
  2. Monday, 11/26/73: Juice, Jango, Skunk Cabbage, and others; Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA.
  3. Tuesday, December 11, 1973: Byron Berline, Country Gazzette, Vassar Clements, Skunk Cabbage; Great American Music Hall, SF, CA.
  4. Friday, March 1, 1974: see above.
  5. Sunday, March 3, 1974: Skunk Cabbage with Vassar Clements and Western Union; Keystone, Berkeley, CA.
  6. Saturday, March 9, 1974: Richard Greene, David Grisman, Vassar Clements and Skunk Cabbage; Great American Music Hall, SF, CA; two shows.
  7. Sunday, March 10, 1974: Richard Greene, David Grisman, Vassar Clements and Skunk Cabbage, Great American Music Hall, SF, CA (NB 6 p.m. to midnight)

Fourth, finally, and by way of preview, ladies and gentlemen, I believe the above March 9th listing was the birth of the Great American Music/String Band, with Jerry Garcia joining in on the 10th. I'll post soon, hopefully tonight, on why I think the GAM/SB was born on this night.

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