hiatus

Still only blogging intermittently. But please make yourself at home! Check some tags, do some reading, leave a comment.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

LN19771203 JGB Binder Gym Hartwick College Oneonta NY

Not a huge amount to say. A show that has been MiA, around which some setlist uncertainty remains. See my overly baroque notes below.

The most noteworthy things about the show are a really nice Catfish John and a monster Don't Let Go.The latter is particularly noteworthy. Not only is it just really good (see notes), but it has a Close Encounters theme. I have posted on some of the Fall '77 JGB rarities; this one now joins the versions from 11/26/77 early show (inside TLEO) and the last show of the tour, December 11, 1977 at Penn State (inside Lonesome And A Long Way From Home). I haven't compared the three versions, but it's a pretty neat little noodle.

Jerry Garcia Band
Binder Physical Education Center, Hartwick College
One Hartwick Drive
Oneonta, NY 13820
December 3, 1977 (Saturday)
90 min tape

--set I (6 tracks, 52:23)--
s1t01. crowd [0:15]
s1t02. Catfish John [10:02] [0:16] % [0:18]
s1t03. The Way You Do The Things You Do [8:25] [0:07] %
s1t04. ... Let It Rock [9:#41] [0:09] % [0:21] % [0:12]
s1t05. Harder They Come [12:24] % [0:18]
s1t06. Night They Drove Old Dixie Down [9:37] [0:15]

--set II (3 tracks, 37:31, incomplete)--
s2t01. crowd and tuning [0:38]
s2t02. Don't Let Go [26:58] [0:12] %
s2t03. Tore Up Over You// [9:#42]

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn - el-bass;
! lineup: Buzz Buchanan - drums;
! lineup: Keith Godchaux - keyboards, vocals;
! lineup: Donna Jean Godchaux - vocals;
! lineup: Maria Muldaur - vocals.

JGMF:
! 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: http://www.thejerrysite.com/shows/show/1301
! jerrygarcia.com: https://jerrygarcia.com/show/1977-12-03-binder-gym-hartwick-college-oneonta-ny/
! db: none as of 1/29/2011.
! map: http://goo.gl/maps/lv0Ys
! venue: http://jerrygarciasbrokendownpalaces.blogspot.com/2011/09/binder-gym-harwick-college-one-hrtwick.html
! band: JGB #4
! R: source: unknown audience cassette transferred to CD by Scott Russell; EAC (extraction) > CD Wave (tracking) > Wavelab (editing) > TLH (fix & strip, flac8 encoding) > foobar2000 (tagging) by JGMF.
! Show/Recording: A Saturday night show in a small college gym in the midst of the JGB's reasonably long East coast tour of late 1977 (November 20 - December 11, 1977), this show has barely circulated in any medium (as far as I  know). There are a few missing sets from circulating tapes of the tour, but no other completely AWOL shows. The only editing undertaken here was to smooth some of the many rough tape transitions. No noise reduction or any other changes were made. The 90 minute running time of this recording is clearly indicative of a single cassette. Whether the whole show was taped, or whether the taper just had the one cassette, is unknown.
! Setlist: The Jerry Site lists four songs to start set I, which are absent from this recording: I'll Take A Melody, Mystery Train, Mission In The Rain, and Lonesome And A Long Way From Home. I am about certain LAALWFH is incorrectly placed. There are nine other documented appearances of LAALWFH on this tour, and in all nine it ended the show. I don't really have time to analyze where the other three "missing" songs were showing up on this tour, but I am confident that LAALWFH is misplaced. I am also reasonably confident that Catfish John was probably not the 5th song of set I. CJ was generally a second song of the night, though, as on 11/29/77 (SUNY New Paltz) [TJS | JGMF], NY), it could be the second song of a set II. Anyway, when I put all of this together I am deeply suspicious about the four songs identified as missing from the start of the show. I'd bet there was one song before CJ.
! Setlist: The Jerry Site also lists the setbreak as falling beween The Way You Do The Things You Do and Don't Let Go. But there's a setbreak announcement that runs continuously after TNTDODD. So I am pretty persuaded that TNTDODD is the last song of set I. Don't Let Go opened several second sets on the tour, so I am also comfortable calling it the first song of set II here.
! Setlist: Combining all of the above, here's my best guess at a true setlist for this show: --Set I-- [unidentified opener, maybe I'll Take a Melody], Catfish John >> TNTDODD, as on this tape; --Set II-- Don't Let Go, Tore Up, and then maybe Mystery Train, Mission In The Rain, and LAALWFH.
! Recording: this is not a great copy of a not-a-great-but-not-unlistenable recording. There is a fair amount of hiss, distortion, etc. I think things may be running a tad slow.
! Recording: s1t01-s1t02: warbling and panning s1t01 and start of s1t02 (Catfish John). It's a little distracting, but it's mercifully short.
! Performance: s1t02 Catfish John is tearing it up in the 8-min mark and the crowd is appropriately appreciative. If only there were a better tape to hear this more clearly! Overall this strikes me as a pretty nice Catfish John.
! Recording: s1t04 Let It Rock fades in on the 2nd or 3rd note.
! Performance: s1t04 LIR @ 7:30 Jerry does some nice fanning
! Recording: s1t06 TNTDODD quick little fade @ 0:33, pretty close to real time (i.e., nothing really missing), just a level anomaly).
! Performance: s2t02 DLG Close Encounters hints @ track 18:30
! Performance: s2t02 DLG the voice-guitar call-response near the end of DLG is fantastic! JG is really exploring lots of possibilities that I have never heard him engage before.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

GSCBF14: Old And In The Way: Sunday, April 28, 1974, ca. 23:15

Part of a series of back-of-the-napkin thoughts about the Golden State Country Bluegrass Festival (GSCBF), held in San Rafael, CA from Friday, April 26th through Sunday, April 28, 1974.


Previous installments:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Somehow I have a sense of anticlimax, having reached this point. I have gone through the entire, historically precious set of "Debbie" tapes, which pretty completely covers the Sunday, April 28, 1974 afternoon program of the festival. And here we have the first performance of OAITW in almost five months, and the group's last-ever. As Corry has pointed out to me, right around this time Grisman seems to turn from traditional bluegrass and from the song (i.e., with vocals) orientation that Peter Rowan represented in OAITW to what would become "Dawg Music", as first systematically explored in the Great American Music Band. So this is a really pivotal moment for lots of things.

Yet, the set just doesn't light me up. They are obviously running up against a hard time limit and really have to rush. Things never really take flight. So, historically important, but not the OAITW set I'd grab first for musical quality (for that I'd turn to the Boarding House shows from October 1973, which have given us all of the officially released OAITW material).

Thanks to Matt Smith for sharing these incredible tapes with me. I plan to continue the series as I pick my way through the "soundman" tapes, which sound much nicer but which pose considerably greater challenges in terms of days/dates, sequences, running time of the sets, etc.

Golden State Country Bluegrass Festival
Marin County Veterans' Auditorium Building and Grounds
San Rafael, CA

<--Nitty Gritty Dirt Band precedes-->

Old & In The Way
Sunday, April 28, 1974 ca. 23:15

Source: "soundman reels, disc 6 of 6 (4/28/74)"
Provenance: reel
Transfer: AKAI GX 636 playback > Apogee mini ME @ 24/96 > Apogee Mini DAC (monitoring/mastering) > lynx one soundcard > wavelab 5.0 > CD, by Matt Smith.
Lossless encoding: extraction (EAC) > initial tracking (CDWave) > minor edits (Wavelab 5.0) > FLAC level 8 (TLH).
Tagging: foobar2000 v0.9.6.8.

(7 tracks, 21:07)
t01. monitor talk [0:35]
t02. High Lonesome Sound [3:43] [0:13]
t03. Pig In A Pen [2:01] [0:10]
t04. Panama Red [2:56] (2, 3) [0:37]
t05. Wild Horses [4:42] [0:05]
t06. encore calls [0:50]
--Encore--
t07. Hobo Song [4:58] (4, 5) [0:14]

Lineup:
Peter Rowan - ac-g, vocals;
David Grisman - mandolin, harmony vocals;
John Kahn - ac-bass;
Jerry Garcia - banjo, vocals;
Vassar Clements - fiddle;
?unknown? - harmonica ("Hobo Song" only).

JGMF Notes:
! 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.
! Recording: Matt Smith has since done a new high-res transfer as of about 2010. I had already noted and extracted the CD copies he sent me a few years ago, and in any case since I wanted to patch from the Debbie tapes it made sense to just work with the 1644s. I'll probably cut and note the high-res copies of the soundman tapes separately, with no patches, at least in a first cut. With the patches from the Debbie tapes, this is basically a continuous 21 minutes, and is the entire OAITW set.
! Recording: The Debbie tape and the soundman tape play very nicely here in terms of coverage. The soundman source is much nicer, and especially much more present in the right channel, so the transitions are a little jarring. I just didn't have time/energy to really do it up more smoothly, not least knowing that there's a high-res version of the soundman tapes sitting on a hard drive. I haven't listed the provenance of the Debbie tapes above: it's the same as on all the Debbie tapes, albeit from "4/28/74, disc 2 of 2".
! Performance: OAITW hadn't played for almost five months, probably since November 4, 1973. There was absolutely not an OAITW set on the Saturday, April 27, 1974. The recordings that circulate labeled this way are just wrong. There was one OAITW set at the GSCBF, it was Sunday to close the festival, and this is it. This is really just a quicky reunion to cap things off. Remember that the GSCBF was dedicated to Vassar Clements, and of course being in Marin the locals (most prominently Garcia) were crowd favorites, so it was a good call to have OAITW close it out. They sound very rushed for time, which is a shame.
! t01 and first 5.5 seconds of t02 (High Lonesome Sound) patched in from Debbie source. You can hear how the different mix, and how much nicer these soundman tapes are.
! t02 HLS some tape munching @ 2:30
! t04 PR @ 1:20 some channel panning just at the start of Garcia's banjo solo
! t04 (2) @ 3:00 Grisman, off-mic: "We've got time for one more." Garcia: "One more and an encore, man!" [JGMF note: wants to play!]
! t04 (3) @ end of track: Grisman to crowd: "Thank you, we've got time for about one more."
! t06 between Wild Horses and Hobo Song, the soundman source had 30 or so missing seconds, from about 0:15 to about 0:45. I butt-patched in the Debbie material here. The transitions are audible, but I am just not skilled enough to balance, etc. The channels may even be inverted ... what do I know?
! t07 @ 0:26 Hobo Song some funkiness, almost a sub-second blip
! t07 Personnel: unknown harmonica on Hobo Song
! t07 (4) Rowan: "Thank you very much, everybody! It's been a great festival. Thank you all!"
! t07 (5) @ 5:08 Unknown speaker: "Good night, thank everybody for comin'. Have a safe trip. See you next time."

<--end of Sunday program-->
<--END OF FESTIVAL-->

Jerry Garcia's Middle Finger
http://jgmf.blogspot.com/search/label/GSCBF

Sunday, January 23, 2011

LN19760131 JG interview by Father Miles Riley, KPIX-TV Studios, San Francisco, CA

Update: looks like a 26 minute recording is available through the GDAO: http://www.gdao.org/items/show/379043

Interview of Jerry Garcia by Father Miles Riley
KPIX-TV Studios
San Francisco, CA
Interview Date not certain.
Air date: January 31, 1976 (Saturday), 1pm

(16 tracks, 13:34)
t01. Jerry's mother [1:04]
t02. Jerry's image, fame [1:52]
t03. aura, music vs. words, responsibility, leadership, JG experiential thing [3:00]
t04. interaction, film [0:16]
t05. TV [0:37]
t06. feedback, interaction with fans [0:37]
t07. mailing list, record samplers and fan mail [0:18]
t08. musical eclecticism, evolution, energy [0:46]
t09. where JG functions best [0:25]
t10. "it's working" [0:28]
t11. the best things happen when everyone agrees [0:40]
t12. improvised architecture [0:32]
t13. feeling good about it [1:06]
t14. something to work on, with observable progress [1:00]
t15. sign off [0:03]
t16. Hank Harrison voice note [0:40]

JGMF:
! Original note: "More from Hank Harrison's cassette interviews." Came with two further tracks. Track two was said to be interview to Robert Petersen, track three with Pigpen and Petersen. I note that Pigpen is on both, probably Petersen, too.
! Lineage given as "MC > CD > EAC > FLAC". I note that there's gotta be more than that. Harrison's voice notes are superimposed over tape, for one thing. And there was some kind of high-pitched tone at the start of some pieces ... would that be a reel? Or would a little dication machine have done something like that, too?
! Lineage: JGMF: I took the flac, decoded, tracked it with CDWave, wrote up these notes, and flac'd with TLH.
! Recording: this runs to about 14 minutes. I assume the show was 30 minutes, but can't know that. It's possible Jerry was just one segment, let's say, of 15 minutes, and that we aren't missing much. Or it's possible they spoke for 30 or 60 minutes. There is definitely some conversation missing here. We cut in at t01, and at a point are two there are references to things Jerry just said that don't appear on the tape. Just a wild guess that it was 30 minutes and we have about half of it.
! Material: Very, very interesting. I wonder how Father Miles Riley got Garcia to come into a TV studio to appear on his hipster priest show. Note that there is one interview, I can't remember the context, in which Garcia talks about being fascinated with these TV preacher types. But in that seetting he was talking about the hellfire and brimstone types, sweating hard and asking for money. Like that white-haired coke fiend who used to be on Bay Area TV in the 70s. Anyway, Father Miles Riley sounds much more in the gentle, closeted, trying-to-be-hip, leftwing catholic priest tradition.
! According to Harrison's notes and based on the vibe of the conversation, it does feel face to face, in studio. HH's notes only say the air date, not the recording date.
! The good Father has a reasonably light touch in trying to steer JG toward things spiritual and whatnot, but JG really isn't biting. He knows where Riley wants to take it, but he's pretty good-humoredly steering clear of it. It's a very interesting discussion. Indeed, t13 is sort of premised where the Priest tries to raise "faith", and Garcia basically says that his own guiding light is whatever feels good. If it feels good, he does it. If it doesn't, he doesn't. Hardly a faith-based, less still even remotely ascetic, philosophy.
! t01. This has to be the only tape I have ever heard of Jerry talking at all about his mother. There have been a few other interviews in which he discusses her, but hearing January 1976 JG talk about this is enlightening indeed. "I never was able to say to her, 'I thought you did OK'." I never was able to finish that idea. I don't feel as though our relationship is gone forever. She always respected what I did, and liked the fact that I was a musician and liked what I  was doing and so forth. And she never judged me. Even through things with involvement with drugs and things like that. It's a shock as things like that always are. (re death of his mother). Once your parents are gone ... y'know ... y'know [heavily connotative pause, more in the sense of "it's weird" in a way.] . They're gone. On some levels it's liberating and on other levels it's very sad."
! t02. "The kind of fame that I'm involved in, such as it is, is low enough of a profile so that I'm not constantly being reminded of it" [people aren't running up for autographs] "It's much cooler than that." So glad he could still say this as of early 1976, at least!
! t07 note that the mention of the mailing list, record samplers etc. provides data consistent with the identified time frame of the interview.
! t14. We might say something about Garcia's workaholism based on t14. He basically says fulfillment in life results from having something to work on, on which one can make observable progress, at the very center of life. Homo Faber, of a sort.
! t09. "I am not an artist in the solo ... or in the independent artist in the Garrett mold. ... I'm part of dynamic
situations and that's where I like it, and that's where I feel I function best. And The GD as a collection of people are all people who've come to that idea."
! t11. GD: "If somebody doesn't like it, we don't do it. We've learned to trust each other." "No idea really makes it if you can't include everybody."
! t16. Hank Harrison: "That was Father Miles Riley, Catholic Priest televisio host of a show called 'I Believe', recorded at KPIX Studios in San Francisco, aired at 1 o'clock in the afternoon in the entire Bay Area, 1/31/76, interview with Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

JG: December 21, 1970 (Monday), Pepperland, San Rafael, CA

At some point I need to figure out Pepperland. I see from a Rock Prosopography post on Sons of Champlin setlists that the venue was the Bermuda Palms ca. 1967, then became Euphoria Ballroom, then became Pepperland. Nothing turns up on Rock Archaeology.

COAU has a little bit. With an address of 737 Francisco Blvd. E, San Rafael, CA 94901, it is apparently recently known as Litchfield's Zebra ?Restaurant?:


View Larger Map

But my purpose here is not to dig into Pepperland, but to follow up on the gig on December 21, 1970. I had mentioned it in one of the recent Hooteroll? posts, and I reproduce an ad from the Pacific Sun that I had also posted there. (What can I say, I like this image?)


In comments, cryptdev confirmed that Howard Wales was not present, so the billing in the ad is wrong.

We have good eyewitness information on this at Deadlists, however. This from MP:

I attended part of this show. It was indeed the Jerry Hahn Brotherhood opening, with a spectacular set. Next up was a blues band (not Howard Wales) that I can't recall the name, but John Kahn was their bass player. The New Riders played next. Around 2 AM, Garcia, Lesh, Hart, and David Crosby came out. They opened with "Drop Down Mama," and also played "Alabama Bound," "Triad" and "Deep Elem Blues" before I was dragged kicking and screaming from the hall by my ride, who needed to work the next morning. The ads billed the show as "Acoustic Dead" but this segment, at least, was electric. At one point, Garcia introduced the group as "David and the Ding-A-Lings" (not Dorks!) and Crosby countered with the name "Jerry and the Jets." Weir and Pigpen were visible wandering around backstage, so it is entirely possible, even likely, that the entire Dead played even later, as curfew clearly was not an issue.

So I'll just extract and reformat. On this night, we have the following:
  1. Jerry Hahn And The Brotherhood 
  2. blues band, with John Kahn on bass: Comment: LLD, take note!
  3. New Riders of the Purple Sage (NRPS). Comment: Mickey is in the house. Wonder if he played drums, or if Spencer did?  First documented show with Spencer was in Cleveland on 11/29/70, but as I am learning it might have switched back and forth for awhile, so with Mickey here it's possible he played.
  4. David And The Dorks. Comment: Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, David Crosby. Name is utterly fluid, so this DATD listing is purely conventional. Much to say, eventually, about David and the Dorks. Not sure what more there is to be learned ... hopefully more!
  5. possibly the GD, acoustic or electric possible

A few thoughts..

If the GD did play, this would have been a rare "threefer" day for Garcia. The only other days I can think of him playing live with three different bands, off the top of my head, were the closing of the Fillmore West run (July 2, 1971) and, you guessed it, the Golden State Country Bluegrass Festival on April 28, 1974.

With Weir and Pigpen in the house, I'd wager the GD were at least slated to play. I'd even say there might be better than even odds that the GD played in some configuration.

Wonder where Mickey Hart's head was at, given how things would shake out in regards to Perfidious Lennie over the next few months? I also wonder whether his barn studio was being planned or built yet?

Would JG ever play at Pepperland again?

GSCBF13: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: Sunday, April 28, 1974, ca. 22:00

Part of a series of back-of-the-napkin thoughts about the Golden State Country Bluegrass Festival (GSCBF), held in San Rafael, CA from Friday, April 26th through Sunday, April 28, 1974.


Previous installments:

 We are almost to the end of the Debbie tapes, which are probably multigen cassette-sourced (and have the corresponding sonic limitations), but run pretty continuously from Sunday 3 pm until about 11:30 pm or midnight.

So we just had the very traditional-sounding Ralph Stanley & His Clinch Mountain Boys. The Debbie tape of that is only about 17 minutes, while I expect that the set ran at least 30. Unfortunately, and uncharacteristically for the Debbie tapes, it feels fragmentary, cut on both the front and the back end. Now that I think on it, I think the sound quality is inferior, as well. Weird.

Anyway, Colorado boys The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band come on around 10 pm, let's say -- we really can't be sure until I read and hear more accounts. (Note to self: I need to read the Marin Independent-Journal from about December 1973 through 1974. I think that will tell a lot more about what went down with this Festival.) That's how it was scheduled, so we'll just go with that as an anchor, in any case.

So these guys were famous for lots of stuff, but especially for getting old-time and modern country players together ca. 1972 for the Will The Circle Be Unbroken project. Let me refer to it as WTCBU for short. So this was a huge deal, though I have a lot more to learn. I know that lots of the '73 bluegrass festivals billed a "WTCBU Reunion" as the show-closer. This was presumably various permutations of the great many amazing folks who appeared on the record. (FYI, Bruno has a post on the NGDB.)

The GSCBF would be no different. Back in GSCBF3 I synopsized the Sunday afternoon-evening schedule. Ralph Stanley was scheduled for a half-hour set starting at 9, then a "special guest" and then the Dirt Band. The basis for that schedule was an undated document from the Southern Folklife Collection. (Have to see if I can post images of docs from their collection.) It is so much more detailed than any other listings I have ever seen that I assume it was printed pretty close to show time. Here's what it read across the bottom:

Beginning at 10:30 p.m. Sunday there will be a reunion of the "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" album including Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Vassar Clements, Merle Travis, Doc Watson, Jimmy Martin, Norman Blake. Every effort is being made to include all others performing on the Circle album.

That's not quite what we get. Vassar and Doc Watson are the only two who actually come out with the Dirt Band for "WTCBU", even though Jimmy Martin had said a few hours earlier that he'd be there for it (GSCBF5, recording note #6). I assume that the rest of these guys are partying back at the hotel or driving or flying out of town already. It seems like everyone's having a pretty good old time, and there are lots of guests: Colorado mandolinist Jerry Mills, John Hartford, Vassar Clements, Doc Watson, David Nelson, and lots of other people make appearances during this roughly 70-minute "set". (We might consider it two sets, but since the NGDB guys are constantly on stage for this, I consider it a whole.)

Oh yeah, and a guy named Jerry Garcia. No-one has ever really bothered to pin this down as far as I know, but he is playing electric guitar here. I originally thought it even sounded like something different from his standard electric guitar from this time frame, but now I am not so sure. Note that Garcia's total time on tape here is about 10 minutes. It's very interesting for Garcia folks to hear this material (as it is to hear his 15-minute banjo sit-in with the Greenbriar Boys earlier in the day) , because any time he's doing something that was out of the pattern it's fun to consider how it fit in. He doesn't knock me out here, but I really just can't tell.

So, here we go, the penultimate set of the Golden State Country Bluegrass Festival, running from maybe 10 pm to about 11:15 pm, by my reckoning.
Golden State Country Bluegrass Festival
Marin County Veterans' Auditorium Building and Grounds
San Rafael, CA

<--Ralph Stanley & His Clinch Mountain Boys precedes-->

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Sunday, April 28, 1974 ca. 22:00

Source: "Debbie reel 4/28/74" CD 1 of 2
Provenance: unknown sbd recording (?maybe MSC > C?) > reel
Transfer: AKAI GX 636 playback > Apogee mini ME @ 24/96 > Apogee Mini DAC (monitoring/mastering) > lynx one soundcard > wavelab 5.0 > CD, by Matt Smith.
Lossless encoding: extraction (EAC) > initial tracking (CDWave) > minor edits (Wavelab 5.0) > FLAC level 8 (TLH).
Tagging: foobar2000 v0.9.6.8.

(24 tracks, 67:49)
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t01. Steve Martin banjo tune and introduction [0:55]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t02. talk and tuning [0:37]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t03. Some of Shelley's Blues [2:33] (1) [0:40]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t04. The Moon Just Turned Blue (J.D. Souther) [2:50] [0:38]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t05. Tulane and Johnny (Chuck Berry) [2:59] [0:46]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t06. Cosmic Cowboy [3:28] [0:16]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t07. Jerry Garcia introduction [1:14]

--enter Jerry Garcia (el-g)--
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t08. Jambalaya (Hank Williams) [4:21] [0:18]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t09. Sally Goodin [0:45] ->
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t10. Battle Of New Orleans (J. Driftwood) [2:44]

--exit Garcia--
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t11. talk and introductions [2:31]

--enter Jerry Mills (mandolin), John Hartford (fiddle), Vassar Clements (fiddle)--
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t12. Teardrops In My Eyes (Osborne Bros.) [2:12] [1:05]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t13. Bonie Maronie [2:42] [0:58]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t14. Randy Lynn Rag (Earl Scruggs) [3:12] [0:13] %
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t15. ... Flint Hill Special [#1:55] (2) [1:00]

--??exit Hartford?? ??exit Mills??--
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t16. Mr. Bojangles (Jerry Jeff Walker) [3:43] [0:49]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t17. Honky Tonkin' (Hank Williams) [2:10] (3) [0:56]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t18. Diggy Liggy Lo (J.D. Miller) [2:20] (4) [0:21]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t19. stage talk, set up [2:18]

--enter Doc Watson (guitar, vocals), David Nelson, John Hartford--
--1st encore--
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t20. Will The Circle Be Unbroken [4:34] [0:48]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t21. Way Downtown Fooling Around [3:21] (5) [0:38] %

--2nd encore--
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t22. tuning and talk (6) [0:58]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t23. (7) Down Yonder [3:25] [0:12]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t24. announcement (8) %

Lineup (needs confirmation):
Jimmie Fadden;
Jeff Hanna;
Jim Ibbotson;
John McEuen.

JGMF Notes:
! 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.
! Mono recording.
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t03: (1) "This is the best concert we've ever seen". The artists seem to be enjoying the Lammers' hospitality!
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t11: reference to "our friend David Nelson over here"
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t12. Teardrops In My Eyes, I think I hear David Nelson singing harmony @ 1:50 ish
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t14. skip or other anomaly @ start of Randy Lynn Rag, when the washboard comes in. Some kind of anomaly
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t15. Flint Hill Special fades in
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t15. (2) audience member: "Play more Chuck Berry!" Answer: "We're gonna get back to that. We can't get too loud, folks, they told us they're gonna shut us down if we get loud again. We got some nice pickin' comin' up after this, too, so we don't want to spoil it."
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t17. (3) "There's another band comin' out called Old And In The Road [sic], too."
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t18. (4) "Thank you very much, bye bye."
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t21. (5) encore calls.
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t22. (6) "I'd like to thank all you people again for coming', if you like this type of thing. Hope you do. I think the people that did it are gonna try to do some more in the future." That wouldn't happen.
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t23. (7) Doc Watson to kick off Down Yonder: "How does it go, Vassar?"
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-2200-NGDB-t24. (8) "Old And In The Way is gonna come up and do a set, folks, so sit tight."

<--Old And In The Way follows-->

Jerry Garcia's Middle Finger
http://jgmf.blogspot.com/search/label/GSCBF

Monday, January 17, 2011

GSCBF12: Ralph Stanley & His Clinch Mountain Boys: Sunday, April 28, 1974, ca. 21:15

Part of a series of back-of-the-napkin thoughts about the Golden State Country Bluegrass Festival (GSCBF), held in San Rafael, CA from Friday, April 26th through Sunday, April 28, 1974.

Previous installments:
 
Can't believe I haven't posted in this series since November 7. Well, after John Hartford puts on a great display of musical virtuosity and fellowship, up next comes the legendary Ralph Stanley. I am trying to educate myself about bluegrass, so I won't even hazard a pithy summary. I am just not there yet.
 
Truth be told, it feels like a little bit of culture shock in this recording. Note (1) in the recording notes have this little interchange:

After crowd is calling stuff out, RS scolds "I tell you what, if you all want to hear me say anything, or want to hear any music, you'd quieten down, you'd be a lot better off, and the whole audience would. 'Preciate it."

Not a big deal, one little thing to extrapolate from. Very risky stuff. But given all the new-fangled bluegrass that had been played over the previous 48+ hours, to say nothing of the country stuff (including what may possibly have been Emmylou Harris's public debut, or close to it) and the hippies smoking things and whatnot, Ralph Stanley may have been a cultural bridge too far. I dunno.

Questions if I ever get any bluegrass readers:
  1. Did Ralph Stanley take part in the Dirt Band's Will The Circle Be Unbroken project? I have poked around online and the answer has not jumped out at me.
  2. Anyone know what Bill Monroe was doing on April 28, 1974?
  3. How about Earl Scruggs? Scruggs would have fit right into everything, I'd think. And remember that the GSCBF was dedicated to Vassar Clements, who had been in the Earl Scruggs Revue just a few years prior to this. I figure he had another engagement, but it'd be good to get confirmation, I guess.
So, this set only clocks in at 16:40 from the Debbie tapes. I don't think there's any Ralph Stanley on any of the other circulating tape sources, but I'd have to double-check. I speculate in the notes that this set might have run a half-hour or so, which is what he was scheduled for. The Debbie tapes do suggest that they were keeping to a pretty strict timetable, and anyway Stanley et al run through their numbers right briskly. So this would be the biggest missing chunk of material from Sunday after 3 pm, maybe a 15-minute gap in this recording?

Everything else in the notes.

Golden State Country Bluegrass Festival
Marin County Veterans' Auditorium Building and Grounds
San Rafael, CA

<--John Hartford precedes-->

Ralph Stanley & His Clinch Mountain Boys
Sunday, April 28, 1974 ca. 21:15

Source: "Debbie reel 4/27/74" CD 4 of 4
Provenance: unknown sbd recording (?maybe MSC > C?) > reel
Transfer: AKAI GX 636 playback > Apogee mini ME @ 24/96 > Apogee Mini DAC (monitoring/mastering) > lynx one soundcard > wavelab 5.0 > CD, by Matt Smith.
Lossless encoding: extraction (EAC) > initial tracking (CDWave) > minor edits (Wavelab 5.0) > FLAC level 8 (TLH).
Tagging: foobar2000 v0.9.6.8.

(8 tracks, 16:40)
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2115-Stanley-t01. % Cacklin' Hen [1:24] [0:05]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2115-Stanley-t02. Maple On The Hill [2:36] [0:03]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2115-Stanley-t03. talk (1), band introductions [2:27]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2115-Stanley-t04. Hemlocks And Primroses [2:55] [0:03]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2115-Stanley-t05. Stone Walls And Steel Bars [1:51] [0:21]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2115-Stanley-t06. Bill Cheetham [2:00] [0:11]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2115-Stanley-t07. Nobody's Love Is Like Mine [2:31] [0:06]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-2115-Stanley-t08. unknown_Stanley_19740428// [fragment] [0:05] %

Lineup:
Ralph Stanley - banjo, tenor vocals;
Ricky Lee - guitar, bass vocals;
Cheryl White - bass;
Curly Ray Cline - fiddle;
Roy Lee Centers - vocals.

JGMF:
! 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.
! Recording: is overloaded for the first few minutes. Mono recording.
! Personnel: Roy Lee Centers would pass away a week or so later, on May 5, 1974. The usual bass player, Jack Cooke, was unable to attend.
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-2115-Stanley-t03. (1) RS: "last appearance on the festival this weekend". After crowd is calling stuff out, RS scolds "I tell you what, if you all want to hear me say anything, or want to hear any music, you'd quieten down, you'd be a lot better off, and the whole audience would. 'Preciate it."
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-2115-Stanley-t04. levels come up a little @ ca. 0:20. Sound was more muffled before that.
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-2115-Stanley-t08. fragmentary start of song. The fact that I call it "unknown_Stanley_19740428" only reflects my own ignorance: I am sure a bluegrass fan could readily recognize it. Help?
! It is not known how long this set lasted - the tape here runs out, and no Ralph Stanley material appears on any of the other sources for the Festival that I know of. This set was scheduled at a half-hour, so barring any other information let's assume that that's right, and that this is missing about 15 minutes of music.

<--Nitty Gritty Dirt Band follows-->

Jerry Garcia's Middle Finger
http://jgmf.blogspot.com/search/label/GSCBF

 

GD: June 13, 1970, "Atlanta Braves Stadium," Atlanta, GA (CANCELED)

Haven't posted about a canceled gig in awhile. Anyway, found mention of a festival to include the GD, Ike & Tina Turner, Traffic, Stevie Wonder, the Allman Brothers and others, scheduled for June 13, 1970 per the post title. Course the GD played in Hawaii that day. Sounds like a big old event to have been still mentioned only two weeks ahead of time and then canceled. Ouches all around, I guess.

Anyway, I also wanted to try out the embedding function from Google Books, so here goes:



That's Billboard, May 30, 1970, p. 2, bottom of 2nd column then up to third. Accessed via Google Books.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hooteroll? Next Part

Corry's original post on LLD: "Hooteroll?--When Was It Recorded?", with lots of great comments.
My response: "Response to LLD's Hooteroll--When Was It Recorded?"

A number of commenters to these posts, including sraile and LIA, as well as more from Corry, have added valuable thoughts and information. Thank you all!

The purpose of this post is to give a bit more information, based on a post from Blair Jackson at Deadnetcentral, reflecting tapes in the Garcia vault. This information disconfirms my speculation that Hooteroll? was completed by the end of 1970. It seems to have been recorded ca. October 1970 - ca. June 1971.

Here's what Blair so generously reports:

10/29/70
There are a couple of 2" reels with this date, which need not have been a session but could have been mixing or copying or whatever. On these tapes: two "unnamed" songs, "Up from the Desert," "A Trip to What Next" and "South Side Strut." "Personnel is definitely Jerry and Howard, plus unnamed bass, drums and flute."

What interests me here is a 10/26/70 "Jerry Garcia & Friends" listing at the Matrix (Good Times, v.3 n. 42, 10/23/70, p. 14). In years past I would have thought that GD would have just gone east from St. Louis after 10/24/70 en route to Stony Brook on 10/30. But I no longer believe this. It seems to have been Jerry's habit to come home even in 2-3 day windows, even if it meant flying twice over lots of the same terrain. This seems to have been especially the case when there are sessions back home. So I have little doubt but that he was in the Bay Area on 10/26 and even 10/29.

Was this a gig with Wales? Dunno. If so, that would obviously fall after the date on which I have speculated things started up with Merl Saunders, i.e., September 7th. (Not that it matters, but it's amazing how hard it is for me to shed the assumption of linearity in my thinking about all this.) Anyway, all of this stuff leads me to see that there was considerable overlap between Merl and Howard -- almost 17 months, by my present reckoning. It's just that (with the exception of the Hooteroll? tour in early '72), Wales & Garcia took it from the stage to the studio. Why not? There are nubby Doris Dynamites and blow o'plenty there!
 
3/31/71
Next date that appears on tape boxes. Again, need not have been a session date, though so far as I can tell Jerry seems to have been in town. Blair: "There are some reels with no titles, and also full reels with multiple false starts and a few takes of "South Side Strut" and "Up From the Desert" that were probably referenced for the mixing of the album."

6/21/71
Blair: "By 6/21/71 the full album mastering has been completed, and the 2-track masters (or are they copies?) are in the vault with that date on them."

8/1/71?
Blair: "Then the next tape entry in the vault is four live multitrack reels from Boston, dated 8/1."
 
Whoa. Is it possible that Wales & Garcia played in Boston on Jerry's 29th birthday, August 1, 1971? Well, the GD did play Yale University (New Haven, CT) on 7/31 ... anyone ever wonder what was up with that? JG's first solo album, Garcia, was said to have been recorded in three weeks in July 1971, and then the GD go out east for a one-off. So JG almost certainly began 8/1 within easy reach of Boston ... is it possible that a Boston gig happened this late in the game, with no contemporary record or memory of it?

Anyway, this is a really interesting rabbit hole we find ourselves in, I think. I still have a million questions about all this. For now, I'll just aver that I was wrong in speculating that Hooteroll? was in the can by the end of 1970.
 
So I answer Corry's titular question as follows: so far as we can tell, between October 1970 and June 1971.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

GD Europe '74

Just wanted to give a shout out to "Cliff Hucker" for ploughing through the GD's Europe '74 tour and reporting back. I seem to recall always feeling that these shows had a weird, dark vibe to them, even before reading Rock and Dennis and Phil and Blair and all the rest, who confirm that.

Anyway, since I intend to write up some GD in Europe stuff ("hits and misses" is my working theme), I thought I'd throw a link to this.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Response to LLD's Hooteroll--When Was It Recorded?

Corry has an important and rich post over at LLD on the mystery that shrouds the recording of Howard Wales / Jerry Garcia, Hooteroll [deaddisc entry]. I started to reply in comments over there, but began to write more than I thought suitable for that little sub-medium (a minimum?), so I thought I'd just let myself go a little over here. Not sure what blogger etiquette dictates in such a situation, but anyway. This will be a little bit of a sloppy mess, so brace yourselves.

Hooteroll? is obviously very important for Garcia scholars as Garcia's first real "side trip" (insofar as "trip" implies travel [excluding the Hartbeats], and "side" implies separate from the Grateful Dead [excluding the JG-era NRPS]). (Whoever named the one live Wales/Garcia release was freaking smart ... I mean, Side Trips really is a genius title ... but I digress.) And Corry is absolutely right that there's a lot of seemingly-deliberate obscurity surrounding this album. Howard Wales is a generally obscure guy, and seems to prefer things that way, but there is a lot of weirdness even in the contemporary record about this album. Corry has laid out a number of elements that strike me as important, but I still can't quite see how they fit together.

Let me throw out a bunch more, and conclude that the album was recorded in late 1970, with its release delayed a year due to record company squabbles. This won't be well organized, but I'll do my best.

I was initially prepared to pin down at least the end date of the sessions, based on an item in Billboard from Nov. 7, 1970 (1), including this: "Recording of the Garcia-Wales LP was completed last week in San Francisco at Wally Heider Studios". That pins the location and would pin the date pretty clearly. Remember the discussion about a possible Garcia return to the Bay Area for a ca. Nov. 1, 1970 NRPS gig? And Janis's wake at the Lion's Share ca. Nov. 1-2, 1970? I have found that some or many of Garcia's odder movements (such as traveling back to the Bay Area from Stony Brook after 10/31 only to return to Port Chester for an 11/5 show -- why not hang in NYC??) had to do with recording obligations. Oh yeah, and let's not forget that there are PERRO tapes (Heider's!) dated 11/3/70. All of this fits together so perfectly, dating at least the completion of Hooteroll? to ca. November 1-4, 1970, and providing another piece of evidence that Garcia was in the Bay Area on those dates.

One more tidbit: Billboard had a little item on Douglas the day before this (2), as well, suggesting that there was a record-company promotional effort underway, also suggesting that word of the sessions' status would have been coming from the horse (Douglas)'s mouth. This is also a good read, totally confirming what Corry says about Douglas's uncompromising approach.

And yet ... and yet ... here are a few spanners for the works.

November 7, 1970: presumed wire report (2): "Former Grateful Dead members Jerry Garcia and Howard Wales have signed a contract with Douglas Records and are expected to start work on their own material in the near future." Given the number of mistakes (the error-to-word ratio is pretty striking), I would discount this, maybe as a bastardization of the contemporary Billboard material. Until I see a ...

... December 19, 1970, report from San Francisco in Billboard (3), with these consecutive items: "Howard Wales has begun working for a new album on Douglas ... The New Riders of the Purple Sage are recording at Wally Heider's ... David Crosby has booked time there through the end of January ... Jefferson Airplane is at work on a new LP ..." This is obviously PERRO incarnate, with what would become Crosby's If I Could Only Remember My Name and Kantner/Slick's Blows Against the Empire, though I had never, ever realized there might be a Wales connection to PERRO. It doesn't explicitly say that Wales was working at Heider's, but the context (looks like they got a call from Barncard or someone!) is suggestive. So is the fact, pointed out by LIA, that Wales came into the studio to lay down some stuff for the GD's American Beauty, which would have been around August 1970 at Heider's.

So the last two items suggest that recording might have started around November-December 1970, rather than finishing then. The November 7 report that things were done by early November seems like the anomaly here ... maybe there was just a miscommunication?

There's also this little tidbit in support of more of a December timeframe. I had forgotten about it, and it is odd, defying otherwise clean break between Howard and Merl as GOTS keyboardists ca. September 7, 1970:

Can't recall if I owe h/t to Ross. Probably, so, thanks, Ross!
Grateful Dead, the Brotherhood, and "Howard Wales and Friends" billed at Pepperland in San Rafael on December 21, 1970. Interesting. We also know that David Crosby was around Pepperland right in this moment because of the David and the Dorks gigs, which would tie back into Heider's in November. We don't know whether Howard and Jerry played together at all, but I do think the billing is instructive. I don't know that Garcia and Wales would ever share a billing again, but for the January 1972 Hooteroll? promotional tour.

One final reflection on late 1970 recording timeframe. Corry mentioned The Music of El Topo. According to deaddisc, this is Douglas Records #6, released in 1970. Hooteroll? is Douglas Records #5, released in December 1971. Not sure this odd sequencing says anything about recording dates (it may reflect contract dates, or expected release order, or whatever), but it might. It might imply that Hooteroll? was in the can by the time El Topo was released ... let's say ca. Christmas 1970? This strikes me as an independent piece of evidence, tenuous on its own but suggestive in the context of everything else, for recording in November-December 1970, probably not much thereafter.


Anyway, I am pretty persuaded that the album was recorded in late 1970. I am hoping to learn more about whether this took place at Heider's -- I have records for other sessions around this time, but nothing for Wales -- but that's my operating assumption for now.

So, why doesn't the album come out until December 1971, with a brief promotional tour in January 1972? I agree with Corry that this had to do with record industry stuff.

Consider this tidbit, from the Nov. 7th Billboard item (1), which I remind you was headlined "Douglas To Record 2 LP's By Grateful Dead Artists":
Joe Smith, Warner Bros. executive, said that the Douglas recordings will be beneficial to Warners in terms of artist exposure as well as enhancing the climate of artistic freedom which is so necessary among serious musicians who want to work with artists from other labels.

As Corry points out, the record was eventually manufactured and distributed by Columbia Records. And the above quote sounds like a bunch of CYA from Joe Smith, who was confronted with a story that leads with the GD working with another label and probably wanted to put a positive gloss on what was actually a turf battle. The fact that it is mentioned also supports the idea of some "industry" tension surrounding the whole thing.



Wild conjecture time. The Nov. 7th Billboard piece (1) informs us that, in addition to Wales and Garcia, there are plans for a Kreutzmann-Hart percussion album
.
The Kreitzmann[sic]-Hart LP will be recorded at a fully-equipped 16-track studio Douglas has installed in Hart's barn in Navato [sic], Calif. The studio, designed by Kreitzmann [sic], Hart and Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead under the supervision of engineer Dan Healy, will be completed within the month.

I would need to go back to look at the history of Mickey's Barn studio, but I do not recall having known that Alan Douglas had paid for it. That would not have been a cheap item in 1970-1971. The Grateful Dead cancel their Port Chester shows in December 1970 with an abject public apology, get back there in February 1971, and Hart abruptly leaves the band after the first of six nights, in connection with his father Lennie's perfidy. Rolling Thunder ends up being released ... on Warner Brothers ... in September of 1972. I note that Kreutzmann is not credited.

What a freaking mess. The bustup with Hart involves a divorce with Kreutzmann and, to a lesser extent, with the rest of the GD. Joe Smith and Warners are pissed that the GD are seeing other people, and lean on them to extract some kind of concession. Douglas has paid for a home studio for one of his artists. Dénoument: the GD/Hart and Warners/Douglas seem to engage in some odd, multifaceted exchange whereby Douglas gets the Wales/Garcia album (a score!), maybe with some weird sweetening by/for Columbia (how the hell did they get involved, anyway?). Hart gets a 16-track studio (score!) and his album. Warners/Joe Smith get Rolling Thunder (d'oh!), maybe save some face? Working all that out delays the release of Hooteroll? by about a year. That's my story.

So I conclude my saga with an answer to Corry's question: Hooteroll? was recorded in November-December 1970, probably at Heider's, and its release was delayed by disputes that ultimately have to do with the recording/music industry.

I have a few broader points, but I am out of gas. Let me just bullet them for now:

  • Wales/Garcia timeline
  • centrality of Heider's
  • Recording industry angle

REFERENCES:
  1. "Douglas To Record 2 LP's By Grateful Dead Artists," Billboard, November 7, 1970, p. 4. Accessible via Google Books.
  2. "Alan Douglas's Market: People in a State of Consciousness," Billboard, November 6, 1970, p. 40. Accessible via Google Books.
  3. Corpus-Christi Caller-Times, November 7, 1970, p. 3D.
  4. Billboard, December 19, 1970, p. 37. Accessible via Google Books.

Monday, January 03, 2011

a few more Surrealistic Pillow tidbits

LIA did a great post on Garcia on Surrealistic Pillow, partly in response to the little tidbit I posted about. I love how fully many of my fellow, GD/JG scholar-bloggers are able to develop thoughts and evidence in this medium. It is much harder than I would have thought, but of course very, very enjoyable. Thanks for the conversation, folks!

(Aside: LIA, can you please provide an RSS feed link to your Grateful Dead Guide? Be great to be able to keep up more easily.)

A few scattershot reax.

LIA:


As an aside, though it’s been thought that Garcia played guitar on My Best Friend, we have his word it was Skip Spence – which is curious, because Skip by then was long out of the band, and already playing in Moby Grape.

Right. This is discussed a little bit -- though the book is so poorly organized, it's hard for me to see by whom -- in Fenton 2007, p. 267. The interviewee says this:

The first single released was My Best Friend. Very possibility [sic] the weakest tune on the record. It was also written by Skip Spence. Skip by this time is obviously out of the band. If we pretend the single sold well you are now promoting somebody that is on another record label. If the public enjoyed that style how will you recreate the song when the writer is with Moby Grape.

BTW, on the same page there's a bit of discussion of Jerry's contribution to Surrealistic Pillow, to the effect that McNally told whomever is speaking that JG helped with the arrangement on Somebody to Love. So this is probably ultimately derived from the same 1967 interview with Garcia, to a portion of which I originally linked. By the way, the audio version of that interview posted at archive.org runs to about 68 minutes, but there is a version around that runs to 83 minutes and seems basically complete.

Now, in terms of the dates of Garcia's contributions to SP, I have compared LIA's post with the four sources listed in the references. These four sources together manage to provide dates for every track on the album, and the main tunes that were cut in those sessions but didn't appear on the original vinyl.

Two discrepancies that result. When Tamarkin contradicts other sources, I defer to him. Here are the discrepancies:


  1. Plastic Fantastic Lover. LIA dates this 11/1, as does Abbott, but this contradicts Tamarkin. Tamarkin p. 116, says that Garcia joined them on the second day of sessions, which was 11/1. But it doesn’t specify any tracks cut on that day. On p. 117, he says “The next day, the band cut ‘Plastic Fantastic Lover’”.
  2. Today. LIA dates this 11/2, as do Scofield and Abbot, but this contradicts Tamarkin. Departing from a discussion of 11/2 (as "the next day" following the second day of sessions), JT says that Garcia is credited “again on the next day’s session for Marty and Paul’s ‘Today’” (p. 117). That would be 11/3.

I'd say the best way to resolve this would be, first, to ask Tamarkin, and second, to re-read the relevant passages of Got a Revolution. But I think I have what he put down on paper correctly interpreted.

Anyway, here is what I have come up with. You should be able to click on the image to view it larger. Comments, reactions most welcomed!

Surrealistic Pillow - Tracks by date


REFERENCES:
  1. Abbot, Scott. 2007. JABase: Jefferson Airplane Setlists, v3. Last updated March 29, 2007. URL http://home.myfairpoint.net/srabbot/airplane/jabase.htm, accessed 1/3/2011.
  2. Fenton, Craig. 2007. Take Me To A Circus Tent: The Jefferson Airplane Flight Manual. West Conshohocken, PA: Infinity Publishing.
  3. Scofield, Matt. ND. Deaddisc entry for Surrealistic Pillow, URL http://www.deaddisc.com/ot/Surrealistic_Pillow.htm, accessed 1/3/2011.
  4. Tamarkin, Jeff. 2003. Got a Revolution! The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane. New York: Atria Books.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

LN19690219 High Country "2/19/69" Matrix, San Francisco, CA

LIA's argument that the GD set circulating under the date of 6/19/68 is actually the 2/19/69 GD show is totally persuasive to me. Of course that probably implies that the 2/19/69 dating of the High Country set from the Matrix, with Garcia and Nelson joining Butch Waller and Rich Wilbur, is probably mis-dated. (A Wednesday afternoon show at the Matrix strikes me as unlikely.) Unless someone knows something I don't, I'd guess I'd say, based on understanding gleaned from Corry and Yellow Shark, that the "2/19" dating is indicative of a general timeframe.

(Parenthetically, does anyone know anything about the GD show at the Lyric Theatre in Baltimore, MD, on February 9, 1969, listed at Deadlists based on Deadbase IX?)

Anyway, LIA's post led me to revisit this little bluegrass set, which I thoroughly enjoyed. This is important, of course, as the first known Garcia bluegrass (and banjo) playing since the Warlocks went electric in 1965. Makes you wonder what else we don't know! It's also always nice to hear Garcia just relaxing and picking a little bit.

UPDATE: Of course LLD has posted on this gig, which I had forgotten about.

Anyway, I post my listening notes below. The song titles are all over the place in terms of how Deadheads keep track of this stuff; I have confirmed all but the unidentified ones below. Thanks in advance for corrections/additions!

High Country (w/ Jerry Garcia & David Nelson)
The Matrix
San Francisco, CA
"February 19, 1969 (Wednesday)" [probably incorrect date]

MSR > ? > R > CD, via fstop.

(16 tacks, 56:13)
t01. /unidentified bluegrass standard 19690219-1 [1:58] [0:48]
t02. On And On [2:36] [1:30]
t03. Walls Of Time [3:18] (1) [1:12]
t04. Pike County Breakdown [2:09] [0:08] % [0:19]
t05. Teardrops In My Eyes [2:29] [0:36]
t06. Big River [1:57] [1:05]
t07. Working On A Building [3:42] [1:12]
t08. Brand New Shoes [1:42] (2) [1:04]
t09. Soldier's Joy [3:07] [0:56]
t10. Swing Low Sweet Chariot [2:08] [0:55]
t11. I'm Blue, I'm Lonesome [2:39] (3) [1:03]
t12. [0:15] Bluegrass Stomp [3:40] [0:14] %
t13. //I Wonder Where You Are Tonight [#2:22] (4) [1:03]
t14. unidentifed country bluegrass 19690219-2 [3:01] [0:22] % [0:18]
t15. Live And Let Live [2:27] (5) [0:12]
t16. Bluegrass Breakdown [3:15] [0:14]

Lineup:
Butch Waller - mandolin;
Rich Wilbur - guitar;
David Nelson - guitar;
Jerry Garcia - banjo.

JGMF:
! /=clip; //=cut; %=tape discontinuity; #=truncated timing
! Show: Frank Wakefield is sometimes identified as the mandolin player, but I think the evidence (including reference in Rothman 1998) suggests that it is Butch Waller and that the lineup listed above is correct. The show has conventionally been dated 2/19/69, but as of 1/1/11 that seems unlikely, since the GD played the "Celestial Synapse" show at the Fillmore West. Deadheads have attached many different song titles to lots of these numbers. I have pretty well confirmed the titles given above, with the obvious exception of the two unidentified tunes (t01 and t14).
! Recording: This version comes from fstop, who was one of those who copied Peter Abrams's reels in the 1970s. It is mono throughout, but a nice recording overall. We can't really know the lineage with any certainty. I didn't necessarily note all of the between-song tape discontinuities.
! t01 clips in
! t01 unidentified bluegrass standard 19690219-1 is identifiable. We need some bluegrass ears on this!
! Love how they are calling out the song keys to Garcia, and deciding on the spot when he'll take his break (e.g., t02 before Walls of Time)
! Sounds like there are about 20 people in attendance.
! t03 (1) @ 3:46: Guy asks Jerry if he wants to play "Pike County?" Jerry sort of groans and indicates he's not sure he can play it: "Oh, God, OK, I'll try it." The following song is indeed "Pike County Breakdown"
! t06 tick near start of Big River
! t08 (2) @ 1:47: guy to Jerry: "You let us know when we should call it a day." JG: "[inaudible] should keep playing." Guy: "All right!"
! t11 title confirmed from http://www.bluegrasslyrics.com/node/718
! t11 (3) @ 2:4: guy: "What do you think we ought to do? You think we ought to stay here, or you think we ought to go away?" Garcia: "I don't know. Let's play some more." Guy: "OK. Let's play Bluegrass Stomp."
! t13 I Wonder Where You Are Tonight fades in, almost nothing missing.
! t13 (4) @ 2:26: Guy: "Bluegrass Breakdown" ... JG, about 2:34: "Oh, man. I'm gonna have a hard time  with this one." DNA/genetic code talk. JG: "Go ahead. You guys do it. ... I just can't play it." Guy: "You can do it in  'D'." JG: "I can do it in 'C'." Guy: "Me too, I guess." @ 3:03, sounds like guy changes the song: "Do this one. This one's easier." Then they do a more guitar-driven song the title of which I don't know.
! t14 TJS lists this song as "Don't Say Goodbye If You Love Me", but I don't think that's what this is. It's a really nice number, whatever it is. We need some folk/country/bluegrass ears on this!
! t15 Live And Let Live title confirmed at http://www.bluegrasslyrics.com/node/667
! t15 (5) @ 2:26: JG: "Let's do one more." Guy: "Bluegrass Breakdown."

References:
Rothman, Sandy. 1998. Jerry Garcia’s Musical Roots: The Banjo Years. Relix 25, 4 (August): 26-30.