|Listing for Reconstruction at Keystone Palo Alto, 9/29/79, from BAM no. 63 (September 1, 1979), p. 14.|
Like lots of us, I have been really busy. I'll resist temptation to say a whole lot about this, but will try hard to just put it out there.
I have said before that BAM would be a treasure trove of information for Bay Area music prosopographers whose interests run to the late 1970s and beyond. I just got a stack of many dozen copies from late '78 into the mid-1980s (thanks, friend!) and have been pawing through them a little bit. Sure enough, there's really just a treasure trove of information. Anyone writing about New Wave or lots of other things definitely needs to soak some of this in.
So, just flipping through these, making some notes, and find a listing for Reconstruction at Keystone Palo Alto, 260 South California Avenue, Palo Alto, CA, 94306 for Saturday, September 29, 1979. See the scan above. A few points about this.
First, the current last-known Reconstruction date is 9/22/79 from the Keystone Berkeley. This would extend the band's known (too short!) history another week.
Second, a week is just a week, but it would also truncate the time between the end of Reconstruction and the start of the next iteration of the Jerry Garcia Band, featuring Ozzie Ahlers on keyboards and John D'Fonseca on drums, which is conventionally dated to October 7, 1979 (Keystone, Berkeley).
Third, I'll just say none of us has ever really dug into the end of Reconstruction. WTF happened? Obviously I could do a long post on that, and will unless someone scoops me, but for now I'll just raise the question (and happily invite the scoopage).
Fourth, of course Garcia might not have been present at all. It is said that some Reconstruction shows featured ex-Moby Grape Jerry Miller, but very little is known about this. I can say I didn't find many listings going through these BAMs. update 20150509 - I have added some more dates from various sources, and I now list the following non-Garcia, or Garcia-questionable, Reconstruction shows.
- Friday, August 3, 1979, Keystone Berkeley [Gar could have been there, though I'd bet his GD bandmates would not have been thrilled at the thought]
- Saturday, August 4, 1979, Keystone Palo Alto [GD play Oakland Auditorium]
- Sunday, August 5, 1979, Keystone Palo Alto [GD play Oakland Auditorium]
- Monday, September 3, 1979, Frenchy's, 29097 Mission Blvd., Hayward, CA, 94544 [GD play Madison Square Garden]
- NB: subtitled "Merle [sic] Saunders and Friends" ... I thought this was John's band?
- NB: venue contrast with and without Garcia.
- Tuesday, September 4, 1979, Sleeping Lady Cafe, 58 Bolinas Road, Fairfax, CA, 94930 [GD play Madison Square Garden]
- NB: off-night, tiny room
- Saturday, September 29, 1979, Keystone Palo Alto [this post]
- Thursday, November 29, 1979, Rancho Nicasio [GD play Cleveland Public Hall]
Fifth, and in connection with my fetish for formal institutions, we know very little about Garcia's "true" status in Reconstruction. Was he a band member (insofar as that concept applies), or just a “special guest” (as he was sometimes billed)?