Garcia had done two national "tours" outside the Grateful Dead prior to this one.
- First, in January 1972, he went out with Howard Wales behind the Douglas Record Hooteroll? on something like a 10-date tour. I think we have barely scratched the surface with that tour.
- Second, in June 1973 Old And In The Way booked a midwest/east coast bluegrass festival tour which seems to have fallen apart after a scant 3-4 gigs. Again, we know next to nothing about this.
- Third, we have this tour. (The gigs at the Bottom Line, New York, NY, July 1-3, 1974 were one-offs, more like "scouting trips" for the tour, in my eyes. One helluva party, it seems like, and another barely documented episode.)
It began at the Bottom Line on Tuesday, November 5, 1974, and ended, I will argue, on Sunday, November 17, 1974 at the Auditorium Theatre in Rochester, NY. By my count the group played 22 shows in 12 days. I am not going to narrate the whole tour, just the end.
TJS currently has the tour running through a Monday night (November 18, 1974) show in The Dome at C.W. Post College in Greenvale, NY. Ryan's note says "All tapes I've seen with this date are really 11/08/74." Indeed. There was a show on Friday, November 8, 1974 in The Dome at C.W. Post College. There are several different tapes and lots of eyewitness accounts (though I'd love to gather more!). It seems pretty open and shut to me that the "11/18/74" dating is just a transcription error from "11/8/74". Not sure the point even needs belaboring, but I guess I'll go ahead and summarize all of the reasons this date is probably bogus:
- there is lots of evidence for 11/8, no evidence for 11/18 except mislabeled tape;
- easy to make "11/8" become "11/18".
- Why would they come back to the same venue ten days later?
- Why would they do so on a Monday night?
So this is what I think of as a "mere mislabel". The chances that it happened are tiny. How should these data be kept, and for example how should they be displayed at TJS?
In sum, I conclude that the current listing for Garcia and Saunder at C.W. Post College on November 18, 1974 is based on a mislabel of tapes from November 8th.
If "11/18/74" wasn't the last show of the tour, what was? For the night before (Sunday, November 17, 1974), TJS lists Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders at the Auditorium Theatre (*not* the Rochester War Memorial Auditorium) in Rochester, NY. It notes a 145 minute audience recording, which I do not believe I have heard. It also notes information from "Mark Wilkins", who presumably attended the show. There's a quite complete looking setlist as well. I would note, finally, that there is a listing in the (Canandaigua, NY) Daily Messenger, Thursday, November 14, 1974, section two, front page. So, lots of evidence that this show happened, and finishing on a Sunday makes a certain amount of sense.
So far I hope to have done the following:
- established that "11/18/74" is a "phantom gig";
- invite feedback on this is a type of phantom gig, and how TJS might represent such data;
- established that 11/17/74 did occur and was the final show of the 12-day, 22-show marathon (or is it a sprint?) northeast tour.
One last point I'd like to make is that John Kahn seems to have finished up with Garcia and Saunders and picked right up with Maria Muldaur's road band. Nice scheduling!
- The first Maria Muldaur gig from this tour that I have come across is, you guessed it, Monday, November 18, 1974 (Avery Fisher Hall in New York, NY). It was reviewed in Billboard (1). John Kahn is not mentioned.
- The second one I came across was the same billing (Maria Muldaur, Livingston Taylor) at the Music Hall in Boston, MA on Friday, November 22, 1974. This was in an ad in the Boston Phoenix (November 12, 1974, p. 6, in the "Don Law Presents" space).
Obviously I am not trying to narrate this Muldaur tour, though the Kahn story will eventually require all of that to be done. I am just noting the transition for John: finish with Jerry on the 17th, head back to the city for Maria on the 18th. Few more paying gigs (and maybe quite a few ... where were they until the 26th?), not too bad!
I suppose my point about this is that, in those days, Kahn was quite a busy musician. I don't think Garcia was carrying Kahn in 1974.
Stephen, Jim. Talent In Action: Maria Muldaur, Livingston Taylor, Avery Fisher Hall. Billboard, December 14, 1974, pp. 21, 31.