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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Is Jimmy Here? JGB, Keystone Palo Alto, January 23, 1981

LN jg1981-01-23.jgb.all.aud-latvala.97205.flac1644

Well, I hear some electric piano here (see notes), but I think it's Melvin. So, as Corry indicated, this (along with 1/22/81) might be a hitherto unknown quartet configuration of Garcia, Kahn, Seals and Shaw -- no Jimmy Warren on second keys, as traditionally believed.

Otherwise, nothing to write home about, to my ears.

Jerry Garcia Band
Keystone Palo Alto
260 South California Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94306
January 23, 1981 (Friday)

--Set I (5 tracks, 53:57)--
s1t01. Sugaree [12:36] [0:07] %
s1t02. They Love Each Other [8:03] [0:07] % [0:05]
s1t03. That's What Love Will Make You Do [11:57] [0:09] % [0:05]
s1t04. /Mississippi Moon [10:56] [0:04] % [0:06]
s1t05. Deal [9:30] (1) [0:09] %

--Set II (5 tracks, 57:19)--
s2t01. The Harder They Come [12:35] [0:02] % [0:12]
s2t02. When I Paint My Masterpiece [10:10] [0:05] %
s2t03. Russian Lullaby [14:03] [0:05] %
s2t04. Dear Prudence [12:06] [0:04] ->
s2t05. Midnight Moonlight [7:47] [0:09] %

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band #12a
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn - el-bass;
! lineup: Melvin Seals - keyboards;
! lineup: Daoud Shaw - 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:

! db: (this fileset). There are no other known recordings.

! band: JGB #12a (
1995.html). This is a quartet, very rare. Only these two shows (1/22-23) in this configuration. Then Jimmy Warren comes in, and later they add backing vocalists to turn it into a septet.

! R: Field Recordist: Dick Latvala;

! R: Field Recording Equipment: Nakamichi CM-300 microphone(s) > Technics 686 cassette

! R: Field Recording Location: front tables;

! R: Post-Master Lineage: 1st generation cassette played back on Tascam 112mkII > Manley SLAM! > Anagram ADC (16/44.1) > HHB CDR 850 >  CD > EAC > WAV > tracking (CDWave) > flac encoding (FLAC Frontend, level 8). All transfers and edits by df.

! Notes: “- A huge thanks to Jeffrey Knudsen for supplying the analog tapes”

! Notes: “- Time between songs was either edited out by Latvala or recorder was off between songs"

! R: Recording is fine.

! P: not much to write home about.

! Q: s1t01 Do I hear piano @ 3:52 of Sugaree?

! P: s1t01 Sugaree Jerry's solo @ 6:59 is uninspired

! s1t03 TWLWMYD there's an electric piano solo @ 9:05-9:38 ... can I hear the organ behind it? I am not sure. I think I can.

! R: s1t04 MM clips in

! R: s1t05 Deal pop at track marker

! s1t05 (1) JG: "We're gonna take a break for a little while. We'll be right back."

! s2t01 @ 1:00ish, crowd guy gives a big ol "Yay Jerry!" Do y'thing, mang.

! s2t01 @ 7:31 Jerry starts in with the really round wah that would characterize his playing for the rest of his life. Think of his style on the GD's "Fire On The Mountain", big, fat, round and reggae. HTC did not used to sound like this (I say having just spent some time with June 1974). When did that round wah pedal really come in? Melvin is stepping up around 12:20 ish, but Jerry thinks discretion is the better part of valor and he shuts it down. I think Melvin was ready to tear it up. Before too long, I'd be this song has another several minutes on it, the delta comprised by Melvin Seals-lead interludes. Dude was born to play organ on "Harder They Come".

! personnel: I hear no electric piano in set II.


  1. I just gave this a good listening also. The only time I hear electric piano, there's little or no organ, so I think Melvin was just doubling. I suspect the first Warren show was at the Old Waldorf on Jan 27, which would sort of fit Parish's memory of a debut in San Francisco (although it wasn't at the Keystone).

  2. The address of the Keystone Palo Alto was 260 South California Avenue, not University Avenue. It was about a mile away from downtown (in the old "Mayfield" downtown, for the vast Palo Alto reading audience).

  3. Fixed address, thank you!

    I will be listening to 1/27/81 reasonably soon, I hope.

  4. Yep, Jimmy is clearly present on 1/27/81. Based on these listens, I think I am going to call it in favor of Corry's discovery that the first two shows (1/22 and 1/23) are quartet shows.

  5. For both 1-22/23-81 I was sitting at the table with Dick and his friend from Pahoa, HI. I don't remember exactly who was playing -- beside Jerry and John. What I do remember about many shows in the 1980 era was Ozzie Allers and Jimmy Warren, both playing at the same time. I remember the guy in front on stage right would be playing some smaller keyboard set up and the other guy who was more center stage and in the back my John Kahn was playing this really tiny keyboard. I don't remember who was who. I know I was glad that one of them departed and then glad when the other on departed -- and they had Melvin!

  6. Thank you for sharing, Jeffrey. That is fascinating. There are no documented shows with Ozzie Ahlers and Jimmy Warren together, which doesn't mean they didn't happen. Two little electric keyboards? Yeesh.

  7. Gigs Don’t Start Early
    By Jimmy Jacobs
    “Jerry (Garcia) didn’t want another guitar player in his band, he already had that with “The Dead.” He thought he would try the “two keyboard thing” and I think he loved the idea that Melvin Seals was from the church so it could get a little gospely with organ.
    We showed up at Club Front and John Kahn had lead sheets that he passed out to everyone. We ran through this song and that song and after a couple of hours Jerry says, “can everybody be here tomorrow at 4pm?” I realized I passed the audition, I don’t know if John and him had already decided on what they were doing. I said, “yea, I’ll come back,” because I had fun.
    Jerry liked to play the song, play the melodies and then we’d “go for it.” I wasn’t really a deadhead and didn’t know much about their organization but eventually they said, “we’re going to start playing some gigs around.”
    The first gig was Keystone Berkeley (January 1981) and they just told me the night. I go over there and I showed up at 9 or 9:30. Nobody was there, Parish wasn’t there, I go up to the club and I say, “I’m suppose to play with Garcia tonight.” The guy at the front was like, “yea right.” I paid to get in, and the rest of the guys showed up about an hour and a half later. Once they told Parish he gave the front man a really hard time. I learned my lesson, Garcia’s gigs don’t start early. Rock Skully was the road manager, but if you ask me it was Steve Parish who kept it all together.”
    *excerpt of a radio interview with JJ from March 2018 on Powertalk, an internet broadcasting network


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