We have been going around on the various blogs about the engagement of Vince Guaraldi and Howard Wales with the GD/Garcia, and especially about Weir's recollection that Howard Wales had a tryout as GD keyboardist.
LIA has wondered aloud whether some of the 1970 "Hartbeats" gigs, e.g., in late July, were, effectively, the Wales tryouts.
I have argued that September 1971 seems more likely. More importantly, LIA cites McNally as giving this timeframe, as well.
The other day I was wondering how Pigpen felt about all of this. He was sick and getting sicker, so maybe it just was what it was. But it must have been depressing and awkward. Then I remembered about the September 9, 1971 gig that Corry uncovered (which had also been listed in the Barb, I had found), the only solo Pigpen gig that I have ever even heard of or seen reference to. I suspect that if the gig happened Pigpen just brought out his guitar and sang some sad blues.
We already know, if tape labels are to be believed (and I think in this case they make too much sense not to be), that Keith Godchaux would be rehearsing with the GD within three weeks of this, if he wasn't already. And I admit that a Pig gig says nothing about the timing of a Wales tryout. But I thought it was an interesting piece of context, and the tickle in the back of my brain has me really believing that the Wales tryout was ca. September, 1971.