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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

'Nice Hat, John': JGB at Freeborn Hall, UC Davis, August 7, 1981

 LN jg1981-08-07.jgb.all.aud-CC.xxxxxx.flac2448

Having just posted about the JGB Salinas show on August 6, 1981, here I just drop the raw data on a pretty grungy old tape of what purports to be the next night, Friday, August 7, 1981 at Freeborn Hall, UC Davis, Davis, CA.

One of the great things about lots of these old audience tapes is the crowd chatter and such, which can be revealing. In this case, first, I think I hear a couple of crowd references to John Kahn. Not a big deal, but worth establishing since he was hit or miss in the summer of '81 (Phil Lesh subbing in on 6/25, 6/26 and 8/22). Second, I hear some troubling references to "Saturday night" that make me wonder whether this really isn't the next night, Saturday, August 8, 1981 at the Fox Theatre in Stockton, CA. I don't know of any other purported source for the 7th, nor of any tape at all for the 8th, which doesn't even have a setlist at the Jerry Site, so it's going to be hard to figure out. In the absence of anything else we'll have to go with the tape labeling, I guess, but it does make me wonder.

My main aim with these posts is to set up a post on a possible Salinas show in late June '81 (in addition to August 6) ... amazing how much groundwork I feel like I have to lay before I can say anything at all. I guess the next in this mini series will be a general one on this mini tour, and then I'll get to a possible earlier Salinas gig. Edit: done and done.

One last point: as I am frequently discovering, the tapers have played a vital role in establishing the histories that we currently use. There are other sources, of course, foremost among which is the manuscript tradition centered on Corry Arnold's contemporaneous notes (which themselves derived from, or at least incorporated, Dennis McNally's). But tapes have supplied us with a lot. And the gigs that were "off the beaten path" in terms of the tapers have tended to remain the most obscure. So such shows, including this one but especially the night before and the night following, are doubly obscure -- off the beaten path and not advertised, etc. in the "usual places" (e.g., the pink section of the Chronicle), *and* (not coincidentally) less likely to have been taped, and less circulated into more extensive trader networks even insofar as they were initially recorded.

Anyway, notes on a pretty run-of-the-mill 1981 JGB show follow.

Jerry Garcia Band
Freeborn Hall, University of California at Davis
Davis, CA
August 7, 1981 (Friday)

--Set I (6 tracks, 46:36)--
s1t01. Crowd and Tuning [0:21]
s1t02. The Way You Do The Things You Do [5:01] [1:10]
s1t03. They Love Each Other [6:45] [1:29]
s1t04. Simple Twist Of Fate [13:46] [1:29]
s1t05. I Second That Emotion [8:17] ->
s1t06. De//al [8:#00] [0:15]

--Set II (6 tracks, 45:38)--
s2t01. Crowd and Tuning [1:39]
s2t02. Knockin' On Heaven's Door [12:20] [1:42]
s2t03. (I'm A) Road Runner [5:11] [1:25]
s2t04. Night They Drove Old Dixie Down [8:34] ->
s2t05. Dear Prudence [11:36] ->
s2t06. Midnight Moonlight// [3:09#]

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band
! lineup: Jerry Garcia: el-g, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn: el-bass;
! lineup: Melvin Seals: keyboards (Hammond B3);
! lineup: Jimmy Warren: keyboards
! lineup: Daoud Shaw - drums;
! lineup: Liz Stires - backing vocals;
! lineup: Essra Mohawk - backing vocals.


! Recording: symbols: % = recording discontinuity; / = clipped song; // = cut song; ... = fade in/out; # = truncated timing; [ ] = recorded event time. The recorded event time immediately after the song or item name is an attempt at getting the "real" time of the event. So, a timing of [x:xx] right after a song title is an attempt to say how long the song really was, as represented on this recording.

! TJS:

! db: no sources as of 3/12/2011.

! Personnel. This lineup reflects the state of my understanding as of March 12, 2011. I think the crowd comments indicate that Kahn is playing bass (which is non-trivial during this particular time period, actually). The dual keyboard approach is audible and that has to be Melvin (probably on a Hammond B3) and Jimmy Warren on electric piano. I can't identify the drummer or backing vocalists. But posts and comments at JGMF (especially do lead me to conclude that it's Daoud Shaw and his partner Essra Mohawk, along with Liz Stires as the second "chick singer".

! R: Tape Specs: unknown gen audience cassette (Maxell XLII90 no Dolby) > Nakamichi BX-300 playback (no Dolby) > Pyle Pro cables > WaveTerminal 2496 > Samplitude 10.1 Download Version (record @ 24 bits/48kHz) > CDWave 1.9.8 (tracking) > Wavelab 5.0.1a (cross-fades, etc.) > shntool (stripped non-canonical headers) > Traders Little Helper 2.4.1 (FLAC encoding, level 8) > Foobar (tagging).

! R: Not a great tape, but not the worst I have heard and immeasurably better than no tape at all. It's well recorded in one sense, which is that they left the tape rolling between songs. One might think that the resulting issues in music (tape flip in Deal, end of Mid Moon cut) would make this a bad choice, but I'd disagree: for an otherwise missing '81 tape in mediocre quality from an odd run of shows, the between-song stuff is arguably just as historically important as 30-second bit of deal or yet another Midnight Moonlight. Fine by me, anyway: thanks, tapers!

! s1t01 crowd talk: TWYDTTYD @ 1:28 "John Kahn on the bass, [?he is good?]"; @ 5:30 "[inaudible] Saturday night"; @ 5:54 guy yells "Saturday Night" ... next guy yells "Terrapin".

! I confess that the discussion of Saturday Night has me confused, if this is really Friday, August 7. Maybe just a little inside joke or something, but it could also indicate that this tape is mislabeled and could actually be the Stockton show (8/8/81)?

! s1t04 STOF JG sounds very rough

! s1t04 crowd talk @ 14:08 audience member yells "Nice hat, John!" ??

! s1t06 Deal tape flip @ 7:50, maybe 30s second missing

! R: One of the people involved taping is definitely a woman. @ 12:56 on s2t02 you can hear her saying something like "the microphone's about the same size as this tape player"

! s2t02 crowd talk: The crowd is calling out tunes late in s2t02, including "Catfish John" and "After Midnight". Good, knowledgeable requests!

! s2t03 Jimmy Warren can best be heard tinkling around in Roadrunner.

! P: s2t04-5 JK is nice and decisive in moving into Dear Prudence from Dixie Down.

! R: s2t06 Midnight Moonlight cuts out. I didn't try to smooth the end.

! Disclaimer: This is part of a "Closet Call" project aimed at making missing Garcia dates available for study. These are "warts and all" ... straight transfers of the source cassettes with editing only of the most offensive tape transitions and such. If you don't like hiss, possible speed problems, etc., etc., then move along. And, to anticipate a FAQ: no, I don't plan on doing 16/44s of these. Thanks to wk for supplying these tapes!

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