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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Jerry Garcia at the Matrix, 1970-1971

As I noted a little bit ago, Ross Hannan sent some wonderful info on Matrix gigs. In this post I respond to some of his listings with questions, additional or different information, etc. I was just going to email this, but one never knows when someone else might see this and be able to weigh-in.

So this is not intended to be a comprehensive list of Garcia at the Matrix. This only touches on dates about which I have something to say. Perhaps after we hash this out I'll just post a full list of Garcia @ the Matrix for the record.

So, top line of each is Ross's entry. His comments, if any, appear on 2nd line in quotes. My response follows.

Monday, April 20, 1970 Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders
I have Garcia and Wales. Source: Berkeley Barb, April 17-23, 1970, p.6.

Monday, April 27, 1970 Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders
I have Garcia and Wales.. Source: Berkeley Barb, April 24-May 1, 1970, p. 8.

Thursday, April 30, 1970 Sandy Bull
"Seemingly spurious New Riders of The Purple Sage show listed on The Jerry Site for this date - with associated recording."
I assume there's evidence for Sandy Bull. How does that stack up with the evidence for NRPS (a tape)?

Monday, May 18, 1970    Jerry Garcia, Howard Wales and Friends
Tuesday, May 19, 1970    Jerry Garcia, Howard Wales and Friends
Wednesday, May 20, 1970    Jerry Garcia, Howard Wales and Friends
What is the basis for the second two nights? Sources traditionally list Monday, 5/18.  Evidence for this includes an ad in Good Times (v.3 n.20, 5/15/70, p. 24), and information from the Garcia vault. (Coincidentally, I believe that this is the show that was released as Side Trips.) I'd love for these shows to have happened, so please do tell!

Monday, May 25, 1970    Monday Night Jam
Scenedrome listing in Berkeley Barb (May 22-28, 1970, p. 18) lists "Howard Wales, Jerry Garcia & Friends". I realize that Garcia was probably not home from England ...

Monday, June 01, 1970    Monday Night Jam
I show this as Wales/Garcia, based on calendar item in Good Times v.3 n.22 (5/29/70), p. 24. (I  know these are not mutually exclusive listings ... just want to fill in artists, as possible.)

Wednesday, July 29, 1970 Harvey Mandel
Thursday, July 30, 1970 Harvey Mandel
"The Jerry Site lists NRPS as performing - but it seems spurious to me."
I have the same question as for 4/30/70. Is it possible that NRPS also played? TJS listing is based on tapes, nothing more. AFAIK, FYI and FWIW.

Wednesday, September 02, 1970 Seatrain, Kracker Jacks
"The Jerry Site lists NRPS as performing - but it seems spurious to me."
As just above: the tape is the only evidence for a NRPS gig, AFAIK.

Monday, October 12, 1970 Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders and Friends
Obviously, if GD were in New Jersey, JG would not have been at Matrix, however it was billed. Deadlists says this about this GD date: "According to Marc Schaeffer the Dead played another, unscheduled concert at this venue [Marion Shea Auditorium - Paterson State College, Wayne, NJ] on 10/12/70. There is a review in the student newspaper (not informative, according to Schaeffer) but apparently no tapes of the show. There is no SBD of this show in the vault." I'd like to find this review. In its absence, I'd be willing to consider that this GD date is a phantom.

Tuesday, October 13, 1970 Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders and Friends
Wednesday, October 14, 1970 Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders and Friends
After 10/12 GD gig in NJ, they were in Philly on 10/16. Of course they could have come home in between, though why they would have done so isn't clear to me. I am skeptical that Garcia was at the Matrix on these nights.

Monday, October 19, 1970 Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders and Friends
Seems more possible to me than the previous. GD were in Minneapolis on 10/18 and would go to DC on 10/23. Everyone has always assumed that they didn't fly home (one of the many reasons that the "10/21/70 Matrix Jam" tape, said to include JG, has been called into question). But the more I learn from Lost Live Dead & related, the more closely I look, the more I am open to the possibility that, for whatever reason, he could well have gone from Minn to CA back out to DC.

Wednesday, October 21, 1970 Santana, Quicksilver Messenger Service [without John Cippolina]
Some day there needs to be a whole post on this. Any thoughts on whether the circulating tape has Garcia on it? Some discussion of circulating recordings at

Monday, October 26, 1970 Jerry Garcia and Friends
GD were in St. Louis on 10/24 and would head out to Stony Brook for show on 10/30. The more I know, the more I buy that Garcia could have flown home in between and played this Monday night Matrix session with Merl.

Tuesday, November 03, 1970 Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders and Friends
In years past I would have doubted this (from Stony Brook on 10/31/ to Port Chester on 11/5, via San Francisco in between?). But given other evidence (e.g., here and here), I find this date plausible.

Monday, February 08, 1971 Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders
Tuesday, February 09, 1971 Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders
I have never seen these dates. What info supports this listing?

Wednesday, March 03, 1971 Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders
Didn't GD play Fillmore West this night? It's on the COAU Carousel list. Wouldn't that preclude Garcia at Matrix, ads notwithstanding?

Mickey and the Hartbeats, October 28, 1968, Matrix, San Francisco, CA

Deadlists no longer lists (if it ever did) a Hartbeats show at the Matrix on Monday, 10/28/68. It doesn't appear on the Chicken on a Unicycle Matrix list, either. But what are we to make of this tidbit, from Deadlist's 10/29/68 Hartbeats entry?

On page 26 of issue #34 (Summer 1996) of Dupree's Diamond News, Dick Latvala stated in an interview "What I know exists in our Vault are the shows, and they are on four-track 15 i.p.s." and "There are two dates, 10/28 and 10/29, both of which have four reels."

Jerry Garcia and Howard Wales: June 7, 1970, Matrix, San Francisco, CA (PHANTOM)

The Jerry Site still doesn't have any way to keep a list of deleted shows. If one is deleted or its date is changed, the old entry evaporates. So I am trying to keep track of what disappears under this "TJS-deletion" tag.

Anyway, TJS has listed a Garcia/Wales show for Sunday, June 7, 1970, probably based on a listing in the Berkeley Barb contributed by Joey Newlander. Gordon Sharpless was also credited as an information contributor, though I don't know in what capacity. Here was the note for the show:

Billed as "Jerry Garcia, Howard Wales and Friends". Listing from newspaper advertisement. The Dead played this same date at the Fillmore West. Although it's a possibility both shows took place (this being in the afternoon), it's unlikely.

As Ross points out to me, Sunday shows almost never happen at the Matrix. Gary Jackson's list of Matrix dates has the club closed on June 7th. The GD were playing at Fillmore West, as noted above. Finally, there is good evidence, apparently including a recording in the Garcia vault, for a June 8, 1970 Garcia/Wales gig at Matrix, their usual Monday Night thing.

In brief: seems like there was no HWJG thing at the Matrix on June 7, 1970. I'd guess that the Barb had a typo or other misinformation.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

JGB: November 17, 1981, Uptown Theater, Chicago, IL

A couple of quick notes about the Jerry Garcia Band @ Uptown Theater in Chicago, IL, in late 1981.

First, it appears the show might have originally been scheduled for 10/29/81.

That would have made it the first show of the tour, but it looks like it was bumped toward the end and held on November 17th.

Second, the Jerry Site has always shown early and late shows for this date. But a listing in the Chicago Tribune from November 15 shows only one show, beginning at 7:30:

Does anyone know if there were actually two shows on this night?

While I am in this time-period, does anyone really believe that the JGB played three sets at the Denver Rainbow on 11/19/81? I don't.  But I do hope to find out. You'll be the first to know.

The mystery of the Jerry Garcia Band 11/28/77 ticket stubs

I just don't know what to make of this.

What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, are five unique ticket stubs for a Jerry Garcia show at SUNY Stony Brook (Gym) on November 28, 1977.  There is another stub linked to the Jerry Site which is distinct from these five.

So, unless we have six beautifully-concocted fakes, it certainly seems the people had tickets for a Jerry Garcia show on this date at this location. The stubs are torn and so they appear to have been honored and used.

Here's the kicker: there is simply no other evidence that this show happened on this date. It happened on December 9th. How do we know this?

First, there are multiple eyewitness accounts.

Second, there are ticket stubs:

Third, there is a delightful recording, which, after pitch-correcting, shows this to be a typically fun and hot late 1977 JGB east coast tour show.

Fourth, there is loads of evidence from the SUNY Stony Brook Statesman (happily, online!) that the show happened on 12/9, and none whatsoever that points to 11/28.

a) For ex ante evidence, there is a piece from 10/28 that describes a ticketing snafu, whereby Ticketron was able to sell tickets before the SUNY Student Box Office could (1). The article clearly states that the show is scheduled for December 9th.

b) For more ex ante evidence, ads published in the Statesman (I think ... not sure why I didn't note the publication info) that span the 11/28 and 12/9 dates show nothing happening on 11/28, and the Garcia show on 12/9:

c) For ex post evidence, there is a show review (2).

Fifth, if you look again at the scans of the 11/28/77 tickets, you'll see the middle one on the left has handwritten "Dec. 9" under the date.

So, what are we to make of the 11/28 ticket stubs?

H1: reschedule. The Jerry Site has worked under the reasonable assumption that there was a reschedule.But there is simply no evidence for this.Given the coverage in the Statesman, this would have been all over the paper. Eyewitnesses also say it just wasn't so. So I think we can reject this possibility.

H2: the "11/28" stubs are counterfeits. Pro: don't these stubs look like GDP design? Should they look like that? Cons: The scans certainly have a lot of verisimilitude. Why would someone go through all the trouble of making such realistic fakes (of objects that just aren't worth that much, anyway!), only to get the date wrong?  I suppose it could give the sense of rarity or something, but this just doesn't seem likely. Not impossible, just highly unlikely.

H3: the date mis-printed. Note that the ones that are correctly dated are Ticketron tickets, while the "11/28" ones have the different style. The Neilssen piece (1) indicates at least that there was separate ticketing from the campus and from Ticketron. Maybe the student activities group putting the show on put some stoner in charge of getting the tickets together, and he/she just goofed.

I don't really know. I kind of lean to H3, but just can't bring myself to think that such an error would have slipped through the cracks.We'd really need some folks who were there, preferably involved, to weigh in. So please send your Stony Brook alums here to clear up the mystery!

(1) Tom Neilssen, "Ticketron Gets Garcia Tickets Before Campus," Statesman (SUNY Stony Brook), October 28, 1977, p. 3.
(2) Mitchell Alkon, "Garcia Is Alive Without the Dead," Statesman (SUNY Stony Brook), December 14, 1977, p.9