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Friday, December 30, 2011

By the Grace of the Lord: Legion of Mary at the Masonic Temple, Scranton, April 12, 1975

LN jg1975-04-12.lom.late.sbd-gems.117832.flac1644

Legion of Mary
Masonic Temple
420 North Washington Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503

April 12, 1975, 11 p.m. late show (Saturday)
sbd gems shnid-117832

--late show, 11 pm, main set + encore (7 tracks, 91:36)--
--late show, main set (6 tracks, xx:xx)--
t01. Let It Rock [12:27] [0:16] % [0:04]
t02. tuning [0:38], La-La [12:44] (1) [0:38]
t03. tuning [0:20], Boogie On Reggae Woman [16:18] [0:12] % [0:47]
t04. Mississippi // Moon [8:#20] [0:08] % [0:46]
t05. tuning [0:18], Going, Going, Gone [14:08] [0:51]
t06. Beer Barrel Polka [0:11] -> Mystery Train [12:49] (2) [0:58]
--late show encore (1 track, xx:xx)--
t07. crowd [0:03] % dead air [0:07], tuning [0:42], Tough Mama// [7:43#] % dead air [0:04]

! ACT1: Legion of Mary
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
! lineup: Merl Saunders - keyboards;
! lineup: Martin Fierro - flute (t02, t05), saxophone, percussion;
! lineup: John Kahn - el-bass;
! lineup: Ron Tutt - drums.
! 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: Ryan Shriver's Note: "This is probably the most confused Legion of Mary show in circulation. The setlist above is what I believe to be the correct setlist for the Late show." Shriver was a pioneer in many things, including trying to sort out the mess of the tapes with this date. The setlist on this tape matches the TJS setlist until the alleged encore.

! db: shnid 4484 ("MSR > 1R > P > D > ZA/2 > SHN"); shnid 31479 ("sbd > reel > dat > cdr > cdwave > flac > wav > flac"); shnid 117832 (this fileset). The notes for shnid 31479 say "Unlike the other source in circulation (shnid 4484), there is no splice in Lala and Mystery Train does not cut at the end". Neither of these earlier sources has the Tough Mama that appears on the present fileset, though as elaborated below I am not persuaded that that song is actually from this show.

! Seeder Notes: "Lineage unknown, some imperfections and dropouts remain but this seems different than the other sources.  I hope listeners sort out the extra song, which sounds to my ears to be the band coming back for an encore, but I could be wrong. Happy Holidays 2011. *gems*"
! Seeder: "Fresh transfer of Archived SBD DAT from Thrak; Mastering by Jamie Waddell; TDK DAT > Tascam DA20 > Lynx2 > Wavelab7; WeissSaracon for 16bit 44.1kHz FLAC8 SBE Free."

! R: I had originally said "very nice Betty Board", but as of 2/1/2014 I no longer thing Betty was along for this tour. I do not know the precise provenance of these April 1975 Legion sbd tapes. I suspect that the lineage given on shnid 4484 is closer to correct than the alleged sbd reel > DAT label on the (later-created and -circulated) 31479, but I am not sure. I now believe that Kingbee obtained copies of the April 1975 LOM tapes independently, though things are hazy.

! P: t01 LIR some nice fanning descents in the late 10-min mark, some bending and running around, brief flurries @ 11:25. Nice, Jer!

! t02 La-La, can hear Martin counting it off to start. Nice.

! R: t02 drop @ track 4:07

! P: t02 La-La: The cheek-shaking screaming in the 4-minute mark strikes me as consistent with the proposition I have articulated re: Martin Fierro, namely that he got more forward, more or less continuously so, over the course of his time playing with Jerry and Merl. We talk a lot, directly or indirectly, about the respective personal, musical/artistic, professional and other circumstances/goals/ambitions/hopes/dreams of Jerry, John Kahn, Merl, the OAITW guys and so forth. But we rarely talk about Martin. OAITW struggled and reasonably quickly failed to integrate [the circumstances/goals/ambitions/hopes/dreams of] Grisman, Rowan and Garcia. Corry has analyzed post-1972 JGMS as an equilibrium between Garcia, Kahn and Saunders. But Fierro has been largely overlooked. I'll try to elaborate and speculate at some point.

! t02 @ 13:50 (1) Merl vocal mic check "Testing. Testing"

! t03 BORW: Martin on guiro at start, but blowing saxophone right in the first verse.

! P: t04 Mississippi Moon: tempos are off at first, because Jerry wants this to be really, really, really, really slow. They're on the same page by the lyric, but the first half-minute involves everyone else successively (repeatedly) cutting their tempos inhalf to slow down with Jerry. It's amazing how sweet Garcia's voice still sounded at this point.

! R: t04 MM brief drop/clip @ 6:37.

! setlist: Playing Mississippi Moon and GGG back-to-back really anchors the languid pacing of this set.

! t06 (2) JG: "Thank you. We'll see y'all later on." House music comes up @ 13:28 or so. Stage announcements, crowd cries out in dismay. This is a show-closing announcement, so it's correctly placed regardless of the status of Tough Mama.

! setlist: t06 Mystery Train is intended as the last song of the set.

! setlist: t07 Tough Mama: This Bob Dylan composition was first released on the album Planet Waves. I have contended about Going, Going, Gone --also from Planet Waves-- that Garcia liked the sound of the song (as played on record by The Band) as much as the lyrics. Wild speculation, but Robbie Robertson's guitar work is just so striking, so obviously worthy of listening to (repeatedly) and playing with ... and Garcia picked these songs up off the album and put them in his side-band repertoire so quickly ... this song just has a nice feel to it.

! setlist: The Lossless Legs seeder (*gems*) opened the question of whether "Tough Mama" is indeed an encore of the late (11 pm) show held at the Masonic Freaking Temple at 420 North Washington Avenue in Scranton, Freaking, PA 18503 on Saturday night, April 12, 1975. Let's evaluate, quickly. Pro1: here it is, labeled that way. Pro2: the room and recording, to my useless ears, sound very similar. Con1: Tough Mama is not on other tapes. Con2: Ryan Shriver (TJS) went forensically through all of these April 1975 tapes years ago. He said of 4/12/75b "This is probably the most confused Legion of Mary show in circulation", and his findings did not include a Tough Mama encore for thos show. Con3: Unless they took like 10 minutes warming back up for the encore and *really* got the crowd settled down, I cannot believe the minute or so of tape leading up to Tough Mama captures a Legion of Mary encore in April 1975. Now Scranton ain't NYC, but there were probably at least a few Deadheads in the audience who had taken the time to see Legion of Mary on this present tour or, as something like Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders (JGMS), during the November 1974 tour. Passaic 112 mi., NYC 121 mi., Upper Darby 122: not next door, but not impossible. Travel aside, many local Deadheads would be familiar with the Garcia-Saunders-Kahn-Vitt Live at the Keystone album from Fantasy. Things are way too sedate to believe that it's a late night encore of a tune from Dylan's Planet Waves. The Grateful Dead were "retired", or whatever they called it. The crowd sounds pretty rabid in the time after Mystery Train (t06), when the show appears to be ending. Folks are pretty worked up, and now they're really calm and quiet-like for the encore?. Long story short, the quietude of the crowd before Tough Mama (i.e., at the start of t07) seems incompatible with this being an encore for this show, at this time of night. It just doesn't ring true. In sum, while we are just dealing with a 9 minute tape fragment, I feel reasonably confident that this is not the encore for the 11pm LOM show on 4/12/75 in Scranton, PA.

! R: t07 Tough Mama cuts out.


  1. This is a Betty Board? Betty Cantor-Jackson was in Scranton, PA? Was she on the entire tour?

  2. Well, the question that follows would be--if not Betty, then who? Who was on the LOM tour to tape it?

    Put another way, if it was Betty, where's the rest of the tour?

  3. A huge chunk of the tour circulated early on (like, by the late 80s or early 90s?) and I had them in mind that they were Betty Boards. Most were quite close to sbd master reels, sometimes with one additional reel generation (i.e., what some might denote as MSR > 1R), either gen sometimes seeming to have a PCM generation.

    I am trying to learn more about this.

  4. I don't mean to be casting aspersions or anything. I know Betty was part of the Grateful Dead's crew at one point, but it would be interesting to find out that she went on tour with Garcia/Saunders and LOM. Would that she had been on every tour, of course.

    In any case, who else would have made great tapes of the whole tour? The only other person so inclined was Owsley, and during this period he was the soundman for Jefferson Starship. The fact that tapes of most of the 75 tour exist kind of points towards Betty's presence.

  5. Corry, I hear exactly where you are coming from. The economics of paying for Betty to go on the road and record demand that we get a good understanding of whether she went or not. I want to find out!

  6. Well, it's a plausible scenario that Betty was a member of the road crew for the tour. I'm sure the understanding would have been that one of her "duties" would have been to record the band. Crew has fewer obligations while the band is playing, usually, so it's not far-fetched.

    If Betty was a member of the crew for LOM, it would imply that there were tapes of all the shows on the tour.

  7. I believe the Tough Mama is actually from the early set of 4-12-75. I'm running a transfer of the last 4 songs of the early show, all I have, starting abruptly at Tough Mama. I'll put a megaupload link to a flac level 8 16/44.1 file of Tough Mama from my early show for comparison sake here, if that's OK.

  8. Very cool find, thank you! Please do post a link here.

  9. To follow up, here is a link to Tough Mama as it appears on my old tape. This is a full length flac level 8, 16/44.1 sample, of 7 minutes and 50 seconds:


  10. Nice catch! They are the same version, for sure. How reliable the early show dating is is another question (long story), but I can confirm from my listen that the 2 versions of Tough Mama (the one you have uploaded and t07 of shnid 117832) are the same.

    Thank you!

  11. I now believe that these are not Betty Boards, and that Betty was not on this tour.


!Thank you for joining the conversation!