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Thursday, December 15, 2011

LN jg1975-06-22.lom.all.aud-menke-falanga-motb-0048.87236.flac1644

June 1975 Keystone Berkeley Calendar, contributed by anonymous to The Jerry Site.
Sometimes I have a modest tendency to read too much into too little. Ya think? So you’ll discount appropriately if I say that the above calendar is a gift from the data gods, not to mention whoever had it printed on that attractive blue paper. Working from the edges in toward the center, at least a local center, of my chosen topic of Garcia On The Side, we can begin with some of the obscure Bay Area bands, vintage summer 1975. I’ll let you determine for themselves which those are. Then we can look at some of the not-too-obscure ones … hello, Freddie King! Yes, I do feel the blues, thank you for asking.

Kingfish, with Garcia’s once and future bandmates Bob Weir and Dave Torbert, play a Thursday-Friday (19-20), while Keith and Donna Band played the previous weekend, Friday, June 13 and Saturday, June 14, 1975. We know Jerry was out of town on that Saturday (Legion of Mary, 6/14/75, Fox Theatre, Venice, CA), but we are given to wonder whether he tried his luck Friday with Keith, Donna, Billy K. and the gang.

Anyway, the most striking feature about this calendar as it relates directly to my engagement with GOTS is the duplicity of billings for Garcia’s June 1975 gigs with Merl. On Tuesday-Wednesday June 3-4, 1975, and again on Wednesday June 11, they are billed as “Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders”, or “Garcia and Saunders”. I will refer to this, as usual, as JGMS. On Saturday-Sunday, June 21-22, 1975, they are billed as Legion of Mary, LOM. June 1975 in general (beyond the Keystone) features a more or less even split between the two billings. Since we know of many, many LOM-billed gigs between the name’s ca. March 1, 1975 “official” debut and June, the old idea that there was a linear progression from JGMS to LOM, with a clean, speciating break between them, is untenable.

So, what’s going on? First is the “Tutt Rule”, which comes to us via recollections by Bob Menke and others: “If Ron Tutt was there, it was Legion of Mary.” Tutt was necessary and sufficient to the LOM designation (insofar as Jerry-Merl bands go). For example, a note in the MOTB 0045 seed of the June 3, 1975 show [16 bit: shnid 87198; 24 bit: shnid 87217] explains that “This is listed as Garcia and Saunders since it has been confirmed Ron Tutt did not play drums at this show” (see also the June 4, 1975 MOTB 0046 seeds [16 bit: shnid 87204; 24 bit: shnid 87234]). Cryptdev, who was also around and attending shows, shares this understanding of arrangements (i.e., that Tutt=LOM).

The Tutt Rule holds up well, on its face, against the evidence of the June 1975 Keystone billings. Ron Tutt was drumming with Elvis at the start of the month (helpfully extracted by Corry from the quite extraordinary site every night from May 30-June 10, inclusive. Those shows are billed as JGMS. We also know that Tutt was not drumming at El Camino Park on June 8, 1975, as established in cryptdev’s comments to Corry’s Paul Humphrey post (note cryptdev mistakenly calls it June 7). So far, so good.

There is also a second rule of thumb, slightly more elaborate, which I’ll call the alternation rule. According to received understandings, the Garcia/Saunders/Kahn/Fierro outfit used Paul Humphrey on the weeknights (because of his weekend obligations filming Lawrence Welk) and Tutt on the weekends (because he played with Elvis during the week). This one also helps to make sense of the June 1975 billings: all three JGMS listings fall on weeknights, and both LOM listings fall on weekend nights (if Sunday counts that way). Over at Hooterollin’ Around, for example, commenter Keats relays a conversation with Merl in which he recalls that “Humphrey would show up to play in his monochromatic leisure suits from the Welk show.” While Corry’s courageous research into the Lawrence Welk TV show suggests that Humphrey didn’t start that until 1976, the year after JGMS/LOM ended, he notes that it could well have been some other show filmed in Burbank or wherever. So we might imagine that the June 3-4 and 11 shows feature Paul Humphrey on drums.

But we just don’t know. Leaving aside the question of the overall contours of Humphrey’s playing with JGMS, it remains unknown whether he played at these June ’75 shows. I will be revisiting June 3-4 as soon as I can. We know that the El Camino Park drummer (June 8) was black, but cryptdev doubts it was Mr. Humphrey. What we really need is someone with great ears to check this stuff out and make stylistic notes on the drummers – while I will give it a go, it’s really beyond what my ears can detect.

Whatever the case, the show at Keystone Berkeley, 2119 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA, 94107 on Sunday, June 22, 1975 falls foul of the Tutt rule and belies any assumption we might make about Humphrey being there when Tutt was not. An unimpeachable but unnameable source identifies the drummer at this show as “Gregg Ricero”, a misspelled first name and anagrammatic rearrangement of the last name of Greg Errico. And, as is so often the case, the tape gives us a confirmatory piece of evidence when, after the first song, a crowd member yells “That drummer’s outta site!” Errico is not identified by name, but I am constantly amazed by how knowledgeable Garcia audiences were, even at this relatively early date. The attendee just sounds like he’s making special note of a drummer he hasn’t seen before. When I put these two facts together, I can only conclude that, notwithstanding the Legion of Mary billing, the drummer this night is Greg Errico. This further makes me wonder about the rest of the month, and whether we might not have an opportunity to scrutinize the alternation rule more closely, e.g., by comparing Errico’s drumming here with the drumming on June 3, 4 and 21, among others.

The show is a little sluggish to my ears, but I love it. No one song or passage really stood out for me as particularly great or particularly off. Within about two weeks, Legion of Mary would be no more.

Listening notes follow …

Legion of Mary
June 22, 1975 (Sunday)

--Set I (6 tracks, 80:10)--
d1t01. //Think [#8:14] (1) [0:19] % [0:16]
d1t02. Favela [17:07] [0:14] % [0:33]
d1t03. Last Train From Poor Valley [12:12] [0:54]
d1t04. [0:25] I Feel Like Dynamite [12:25] [0:21]
d1t05. I Second That Emotion [14:52] [0:17] %
d1t06. That's Alright, Mama [11:55] (1) [0:15]

--Set II (5 tracks, 72:20)--
d2t01. After Midnight [15:40] [0:25] % [0:27]
d2t02. Wondering Why [23:10] [0:26]
d2t03. Tough Mama [8:16] [0:17] % [1:34]
d2t04. My Problems Got Problems [12:54] [0:27]
d2t05. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) [8:38] (2) [0:03]

Jerry Garcia – el-guitar, vocals;
Merl Saunders - keyboards, vocals;
John Kahn – el-bass;
Martin Fierro - saxophone, flute;
Greg Errico - drums.

MOTB: MOTB Release: 0048 16/44.1
Release Date: 09/14/2007
Band: Legion Of Mary
Date: 06/22/1975. Sunday
Venue: Keystone
Location: Berkeley, CA
Source: Audience FOB Recording
Media: Maxell UD90
Lineage: Sony ECM-270 and ECM-250 [Positioned Onstage] > Sony TC-152 > MAC
Transfer: MAC > Nak Dragon > LynxTWO-B > WaveLab 5.0 > HD 24/96 WAV
Taper: Bob Menke and Louis Falanga
Transfer: Bob Menke
Mastering: Derek McCabe

! 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.
! db: (this fileset); (same tape and transfer, preserve at 24bit/96kHz); (deprecated copy of same master); (deprecated copy of same master, misidentified as a soundboard).
! R: this is one of the great set of audience recordings ever made, the 1974-1976 recordings made by Louis Falanga and Bob Menke of Bay Area Jerry Garcia shows. These guys came into the bar, went to the front, grabbed the table at Jerry's feet (right of center from the audience perspective) as soon as the doors opened. As the evening progressed, they would prepare cassette decks (e.g., this Sony TC-152), presumably complete with fresh batteries. Cassettes would be opened, maybe labeled, made ready (e.g., these Maxell UD90s). Two separate microphones, a Sony ECM-250 and (I presume) a newer Sony ECM-270, probably discrete while the lights are up, I figure? Lights go down, mics come out and are, apparently, placed onstage right in front of Garcia, one of them pointing into his stage monitor and the rest angled stage-center to catch the other players. You can hear the clinking of glasses, the low talk of the players onstage, the beautiful fuzz around the monitored guitar … so very much. Wonderful.
! R: The vocals are low ... persistent buzzing, especially set II?
! R: d1t01 Think enters in progress, maybe 30 seconds missing.
! P: d1t01 Martin does a Lonely Avenue quote about 5-minutes in.
! d1t01 (1) @ 8:23 crowd guy yells "That drummer's outta site." Someone on stage: "Really?"
! P d1t01-d1t02 both of these opening numbers are a little sluggish.
! P: d1t06 TAM they don't quite know how to start, consistent with this being a less acclimated drummer.
! d1t06 (1) JG: "We're gonna take a break for a little while. We'll be back a little bit later."
! P: I find the performance sluggish. Nothing really takes off in Set I.
! P: d2t01 After Midnight is plodding
! d2t01 @ 16:01 chick asks for "Sing Me A Rainbow" ... odd.
! R: d2t02 the buzzing is really bad in WW. It's a monitor buzz. Really bad in Tough Mama, down @ 0:27, back up.
! d2t05 (2) JG: "Thank you."


  1. The Jerry site has two pictures reported to be from 6-8-75 of the band on stage, another picture that can be found on the internet is taken from the exact same angle and obviously the same person that shows just enough of the drummer to see that it is Bill Kreutzmann..either the recollection of seeing a black man or the dates of these photo's is wrong, just thought I would throw this info out there

  2. Thanks for your comment.

    The Jerry Site's pictures are indeed 6/8/75, and no drummer is shown. Just Jerry, John and Martin.

    If you send link to these other pictures showing Bill K., I'd love to check them out. There are outdoor pix of Garcia/Saunders with Bill K. drumming from 9/2/74 in Golden Gate Park. Garcia's wearing a black leather jacket and it looks chilly. Loads of pix from that day.


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