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Friday, March 18, 2011


Something told me I wanted to listen to something from the Cats Under the Stars- era sextet of Garcia, Kahn, Buzz Buchanan, Keith and Donna Godchaux, and Maria Muldaur, and I wanted it to be a recording I hadn't made notes on. So, here's what I found: 11/26/77, late show.
This is a pretty subpar performance, IMO. And while I do not endorse the great Jerry Moore's feelings about this late '77 east coast tour, it's never a bad time to see and read what comes off his hand. I don't have reference information, but this was from Relix magazine.

I believe I got this scan from Jerry himself, although I can't remember. Anyway, Jerry's "Five Nasty Thoughts" include classics #1 ("The drummer has to go") and #3:

The Garcia Band plays too fucking slow. You can run to the bathroom to piss, buy a magazine, smoke a joint and drink a beer in the lobby, and get back to your seat, all between two notes in one of Garcia's livelier solos.

I do think Jerry is being too harsh, especially on Buzz Buchanan. Looks like the guy had warmup gigs on November 15-16, 1977 at the Keystone, Berkeley (note Tues-Wed night: classic pattern for breaking in a new bandmember; either get off the beaten path, or play a slow night, or both). The GD didn't get back from the east coast until the 7th (TWA 389, scheduled to land @ 3:56 pm), so there wasn't lots of time to rehearse, I'd bet. It's more a band thing than a drummer thing. I think the slow tempos are probably derivative of these "timing" issues, not separate from them.

For a little more on this tour, see these posts:

For this show, looks like John Scher had a pretty good night (though not a sellout): $49,432 gross on 6,912 tickets for the two shows (Billboard, December 10, 1977, p. 48). Sounds like the crowd is having a great time. But it sounds like Jerry and crew are mailing this one in, at least to this listener's ears.

Jerry Garcia Band
Capitol Theater
Passaic, NJ
November 26, 1977 (Saturday)
Late show, 11 pm, $7.50

Disc One (4 tracks, 41:52)
d1t01. John Scher introduction (1) [0:45], Let It Rock [8:34] [0:30] % [0:36]
d1t02. Love In The Afternoon [9:12] %% [0:49]
d1t03. Midnight Moonlight [9:43] [0:30] % [0:28]
d1t04. Russian Lullaby [10:30] [0:17] %

Disc Two (5 tracks, 46:04)
d2t01. % ramp up [0:19], Tore Up [7:37] [0:37] % [0:19]
d2t02. Gomorrah [6:46] [0:14] % [0:18]
d2t03. The Harder They Come [9:42] [0:31] % [0:13]
d2t04. Mission In The Rain [7:21] [0:38]
d2t05. % Lonesome And A Long Way From Home [11:03] [0:24] %

Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
John Kahn - el-bass;
Buzz Buchanan - drums;
Keith Godchaux - piano;
Donna Jean Godchaux - backing vocals;
Maria Muldaur - backing vocals.

Field Recordist: Jim Anderson;
Field Recording Location: unknown;
Field Recording equipment: ?2x? AKG D200E mics > Sony TC-152 cassette deck
Subsequent lineage: > 1 cassette gen > SBM1 > CDR > EAC > CD Wave > FLAC, transfered by Rob Berger.

Berger's Notes:
- fair aud but no cuts;
- thanks to Dave Carey for the source tapes.

! 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: (this recording); (unattributed aud)
! R: as Berger says, I'd characterize this as a fair aud. Thanks to Jim Anderson for taping and sharing.
! d1t01 @ 0:10 (1) John Scher introduction: "Good evening. A new member of our band, on drums, Mr. Buzz Buchanan. On keyboards, Mr. Keith Godchaux. ... [inaudible] ... Ms. Maria Muldaur. On bass, the inimitable, the incredible Mr. John Kahn! ... [Garcia intro inaudible due to crowd cheering]"
! R: things get off to a rough start, way overloaded at the start of LIR
! d1t01 crowd is definitely enthusiastic ...
! P: d1t02 LITA Jerry can barely sing here, holy smokes. They aren't even halfway through the tour yet, and his voice is blown - ouch. And he's not really hitting the lyrics very well, either. Sheesh. Not sure why the crowd is so appreciative.
! P: d1t03 Buzzy Buchanan is having a hard time with the pacings ... Jerry has to start Midnight Moonlight. This is a too-slow version, IMO, though it has an interesting place in the setlist. I really wonder how much they rehearsed ol' Buzzy.
! d1t04 Russ Lull has the bass solo 4:45 ... it's actually pretty good.
! Lots of "Jerry!!!" yelling from the crowd. STFU, dude.
! P: d2t03 HTC it takes them 18 seconds to get the tempo right before they can start the song.
! P: d2t05 I even find this LAALWFH flaccid ... WTF?
! P: my overall impression on this listen (3/18/2011) is that this show is pretty weak. Punch in, mail it in for 90 minutes, punch out and party some more.

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