(Aside: LIA, can you please provide an RSS feed link to your Grateful Dead Guide? Be great to be able to keep up more easily.)
A few scattershot reax.
As an aside, though it’s been thought that Garcia played guitar on My Best Friend, we have his word it was Skip Spence – which is curious, because Skip by then was long out of the band, and already playing in Moby Grape.
Right. This is discussed a little bit -- though the book is so poorly organized, it's hard for me to see by whom -- in Fenton 2007, p. 267. The interviewee says this:
The first single released was My Best Friend. Very possibility [sic] the weakest tune on the record. It was also written by Skip Spence. Skip by this time is obviously out of the band. If we pretend the single sold well you are now promoting somebody that is on another record label. If the public enjoyed that style how will you recreate the song when the writer is with Moby Grape.
BTW, on the same page there's a bit of discussion of Jerry's contribution to Surrealistic Pillow, to the effect that McNally told whomever is speaking that JG helped with the arrangement on Somebody to Love. So this is probably ultimately derived from the same 1967 interview with Garcia, to a portion of which I originally linked. By the way, the audio version of that interview posted at archive.org runs to about 68 minutes, but there is a version around that runs to 83 minutes and seems basically complete.
Now, in terms of the dates of Garcia's contributions to SP, I have compared LIA's post with the four sources listed in the references. These four sources together manage to provide dates for every track on the album, and the main tunes that were cut in those sessions but didn't appear on the original vinyl.
Two discrepancies that result. When Tamarkin contradicts other sources, I defer to him. Here are the discrepancies:
- Plastic Fantastic Lover. LIA dates this 11/1, as does Abbott, but this contradicts Tamarkin. Tamarkin p. 116, says that Garcia joined them on the second day of sessions, which was 11/1. But it doesn’t specify any tracks cut on that day. On p. 117, he says “The next day, the band cut ‘Plastic Fantastic Lover’”.
- Today. LIA dates this 11/2, as do Scofield and Abbot, but this contradicts Tamarkin. Departing from a discussion of 11/2 (as "the next day" following the second day of sessions), JT says that Garcia is credited “again on the next day’s session for Marty and Paul’s ‘Today’” (p. 117). That would be 11/3.
I'd say the best way to resolve this would be, first, to ask Tamarkin, and second, to re-read the relevant passages of Got a Revolution. But I think I have what he put down on paper correctly interpreted.
Anyway, here is what I have come up with. You should be able to click on the image to view it larger. Comments, reactions most welcomed!
|Surrealistic Pillow - Tracks by date|
- Abbot, Scott. 2007. JABase: Jefferson Airplane Setlists, v3. Last updated March 29, 2007. URL http://home.myfairpoint.net/srabbot/airplane/jabase.htm, accessed 1/3/2011.
- Fenton, Craig. 2007. Take Me To A Circus Tent: The Jefferson Airplane Flight Manual. West Conshohocken, PA: Infinity Publishing.
- Scofield, Matt. ND. Deaddisc entry for Surrealistic Pillow, URL http://www.deaddisc.com/ot/Surrealistic_Pillow.htm, accessed 1/3/2011.
- Tamarkin, Jeff. 2003. Got a Revolution! The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane. New York: Atria Books.