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Thursday, August 11, 2011

OAITW: July 18, 1973, Inn of the Beginning, Cotati

The McNally-Arnold JG List had listed an Old and in the Way show at the Inn of the Beginning, 8201 Old Redwood Highway, Cotati, CA, 94931, on Wednesday, July 18, 1973. This carried through to Deadbase (Corry Arnold having given a copy of the list to Stu Nixon) and through to The Jerry Site (Ryan having used Deadbase IX for the Jerry Site's foundational list). I have no idea how Dennis originally tracked this date down, because as far as I have known there's no tape, no ad, no nothing.

I don't have a copy of the IOTB calendar from July 1973, for some reason, though somehow I have the "July Notes" from the Flyer, which usually had the calendar on the front. Maybe July 1973, exceptionally, had no single calendar, but was laid our only through the narration of the Flyer. I can't remember. Anyway, here's the page where it discusses July 18th:
Inn of the Beginning Flyer, July 1973, 2nd page. Courtesy of Mark Braunstein.

At the bottom-right we see blurb for "Wed. & Thurs. July 18 and 19 SPECIAL SHOW" has a listing that will probably be of interest of anyone who cares about It's A Beautiful Day: "Many of you who follow rock and roll scuttlebutt know that the name IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY was awarded to the man who thought it up, so technically that group is no more. The music, however, belongs to the people making it. We are happy to to Sonoma County MOON featuring four out of five former members of It's a Beautiful Day."

There's also a little tidbit on Joy of Cooking, if any one cares: "On Wednesday [July 18, 1973], joining them will be David Anne and Friends. David, the original bass player from Joy of Cooking, will be introducing his new band." I think "Anne" is supposed to be "Annie", based on other materials, BTW.

Anyway, there's no mention of OAITW at the Inn this night in any of the pre-published materials (e.g., monthly calendar, Flyer, posters, advertisements).

But the ledger has MOON crossed out on these nights, and above Wednesday is written "Old + In The Way 80%". These ledgers were cross-checked at the end of every month and they strike me as extremely accurate as to who actually played (as compared with the pre-published calendars). So here we have this particle of a show floating in the air, and now we have a piece of information that confirms it perfectly. So perfectly, in fact, that I wonder if at some point McNally didn't see these notebooks? Mere speculation, but it'd be cool  if that were the case.

Oh yeah, and the show is historically very, very interesting. As I noted in my post on the 7/21/73b gig, Clarence White died on July 15, 1973. It seemed to hit all of these guys (Grisman, Garcia, Rowan, Greene) really, really hard, because by all accounts the guy was both a genius guitarist and a real Mensch. Beyond the emotional, there was also the professional reality for Rowan, Grisman and Greene that the Muleskinner Band would end. (Though one wonders, with the last known [to me] Muleskinner gigs being in March, whether that conclusion hadn't already been reached?) As I narrated it,

A few days later, we have a show listed as OAITW, a Wednesday (7/18/73) in Cotati, which I find perfectly plausible. This would be Vassar Clements's first Bay Area OAITW show. Gotta get warmed up together, run through some numbers? Do it midweek in Cotati.

This was in support of a post the main thesis of which was that Vassar Clements's membership in OAITW nearly merely qualifies as "membership", because he was basically a hired gun. I have much, much more to say about that at some point. Suffice it to say, for purposes of this post, that anything to do with Vassar's first Bay Area gig with OAITW qualifies as reasonably important. Even if it's "just" an entry in a notebook ledger. Given the overall verisimilitude of a gig this Wednesday night in Cotati, I feel pretty near 100% about this regrettably obscure evening.

1 comment:

  1. There are a number of disparate and interesting points here.

    Muleskinner: While Muleskinner had only played a few gigs in March of '73, they were working on an album. My working theory is that Rowan and Grisman (particularly the latter) had an idea that both Muleskinner and OAITW would exist sequentially, depending on the availability of Garcia and White. Once Clarence died, the commercial possibilities for Muleskinner shrunk.

    IABD: IABD was in a turmoil, as David LaFlamme had been forced out of the band, and then there was a lawsuit involving Matthew Katz. Who the 4 original members might have been is a mystery (given the complexities of the early history of the band), but this "group" would have been even more ephemeral than OAITW.

    FWIW, I care about Joy Of Cooking tidbits! The bassist would have been David Garthwaite, whose sister Terry was one of the leaders of JofC. I think the "Anne" would have been the artist formerly known as Dynamite Annie Johnston of the Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band.


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