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Sunday, February 20, 2011

LN19790613 Reconstruction River Theater Guerneville CA

On Wednesday, June 13, 1979, Reconstruction appears to have played the River Theater in Guerneville, CA. As far as I know this gig is only known because of a surviving audience recording made by Alan Bershaw. It is catalogued at etree as shnid 96235.

Listening notes below.

River Theater
16135 Main Street
Guerneville, CA 95446-8301
June 13, 1979 (Wednesday)
GEMS aud shnid-96235

--presumed complete set (7 tracks, 74:15)--
t01. dead silence [0:07] (1) [0:51] I'll Take A Melody [11:16] [0:13] % [0:10]
t02. [0:05] Fast Tone [18:17] [0:14] % [0:05]
t03. The Jealous Kind [4:40]
t04. [0:04] That's What Love Will Make You Do// [13:#13]
t05. Lyinda [13:02] [0:15]
t06. What You Won't Do For Love [5:56] (2)
t07. Dear Prudence [9:23] [0:27]

! Band: Reconstruction
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals;  
! lineup: John Kahn - bass;
! lineup: Merl Saunders - keyboards, vocals;
! lineup: Ed Neumeister - trombone;
! lineup: Ron Stallings - tenor saxophone, vocals;
! lineup: Gaylord Birch - drums.

! R: 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.
! band: Reconstruction #1
! TJS:
! db: shnid-96235 (this fileset)
! venue:
! map:,+CA+95446-8301&num=100&client=firefox-a&hnear=16135+Main+St,+Guerneville,+California+95446&gl=us&t=h&z=16
! R: field recordist: Alan Bershaw
! R: field recording equipment: Nakamachi 300 w/CP3 caps > unknown cassette deck
! R: subsequent analog: 1st gen reel @ 7.5ips > 2nd gen reel @ 7.5ips
! R: transfer: 2nd geen reel > DAT > CDR
! R: "from the Jjoops Tupperware of Treasures..."
! R: seeder notes: - Edited and Mastered by Jamie Waddell on the GEMS Edit Station
- Sound = C+ - No setlist of this show circulated really except from this CDR cource, no less a copy in some of the more trusted vaults - This is the first PROOF this show happened and contains the first verson of the skanky Merle tune "The Jealous Kind"..ya gotta love it! - This is a complete remastering.  What i had, had issues. I took about three months to get to this happy medium between quality and an overprocessed feel. - Most songs cut in or out - Thanks Jjoops for the source and where is Alan Bershaw?  Anyone?"
! setlist: this sounds like the complete set to me.
! historical: We might think a one-off Wednesday night billing seems a little odd, but it seems to have happened a fair amount during Reconstruction's 9-month run (January 30, 1979 through September 22, 1979, by current reckoning). This is about "as off the beaten path" Garcia could be in 1979 and still be performing with others before an audience.
! R: GEMS did a great job with this tape. C+ sound rating is too harsh. It ain't hi-fi, but it ain't horrible. Recording may be a bit fast. Jerry's vocals sound a little high on ITAM and Dear Prudence.
! d1t01 (1) when recording enters @ 0:08, you hear a request for Casey Jones. @ 0:15, emcee requests a "nice round of applause for Casey Jones." @ 0:32, audience member notes astutely that "Casey Jones used cocaine." All right, then.
! R: t01 some tape warble
! setlist: t02 was listed as "Another Star", but it is "Fast Tone"
! P: t02 great bass and drums interlude @ track 16:19-17:23
! S: t03 This is understood as the public debut of "The Jealous Kind"
! R: t04 TWLWMYD cuts out not long before the end
! P: t05 Lyinda is the best song here, IMO
! R: t06 possible  spice @ 1:28 WYWDFL
! P: t06 (2) Some stage introductions (Neumeister, Stallings, Saunders) in the energy after "What You Won't Do For Love," and Jerry sounds like he and John want to force the pace into Dear Prudence before they can announce him!
! P: d1t07 DP JG is tearing it up reasonably well in 7-min mark

19910810 JGB French's Camp Piercy CA (Fifth Annual Electric on the Eel)

Jerry Garcia Band played the Fifth Annual Electric on the Eel event  put on by Bill Graham Presents and the Hogfarm at French's Camp near Piercy, CA on Saturday, August 10, 1991. I don't get into the 90s as much, needless to say, but since this just came up elsewhere I thought I'd just lay out a few things. I'd love to get some attendees' recollections if possible!

Just a few things: First, the reschedule of the show from July 13, 1991. Second, the show itself. Maybe close with a few thoughts.

1. This show was rescheduled from July 13, 1991. Here are some Wolfgang's Vault images. (I assume that since they allow you to copy the picture locations so easily, it's copacetic to use these. Anyone know differently?)

I am about 98% convinced that the rescheduling had to do with Garcia being in rehab. Here's McNally (LST, p. 588):

The [GD] summer tour ended in Denver [0n 6/28/91] where the band sat down with Garcia in a major intervention, and he responded positively. He spent August driving himself to a methadone clinic every morning, standing in line with everyone else to receive his allocation, seemingly committed to getting healthy.

I have never particularly noticed that there is a long gap from 6/28/91 through 8/10/91, with this canceled date in the midst of it. Besides the comas in '86 and '92, this might be the longest non-playing spell I have documented at any time during which information is reasonably reliable.

2. The show holds some interest. First is the song-selection.  This is the fourth and final version of "Twilight," which JGB had started playing in the spring. A gorgeous cover of the Robbie Robertson for old junky Jerry. Not sure why they stopped playing it. Jerry never once got the words right, but it was a wistful, soulful, painful, beautiful song. Perhaps it was insufficiently oblique, I dunno. The third and final version of "See What Love Can Do", which never moved me that much. Second version of "Lazy Bones," which is generally way too slow for my taste (though I seem to recall once or twice having been able to appreciate the craftsmanship of it). Plus the stuff that had entered the repertoire in 1990-1991, including "C'st La Vie (You Never Can Tell)," "Lay Down Sally", "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love", etc.

Second interesting thing about the show is a little taper trivia. Marcus Buick, Tom Hughes, Rick Katzeff, and probably others taped this show with two widely-spaced (can't remember how far apart) omnidirectional Schoeps CMC32s from a really nice spot. It's a great tape, shnid 30813. If you like some of the spaced omni Grateful Dead tapes from 1990 (e.g., 5/5/90 at Dominguez Hills, one of the June '90 Cal Expo shows), you'll like this, too. It really is one of the nicer audience pulls you'll ever hear. We don't do much taper talk on these various blogs, but of course they have contributed in unfathomable ways to the whole thing. Thank you, tapers!

Third thing to note, even smaller, is what I consider the overrating of this show among fans. I suspect this results from the unusual song selection, the great circulating tapes, and what I presume to be massively favorable bias among those in attendance. I wasn't there, but I have a hunch the scenery was beautiful (Piercy is certainly off the beaten path!) and the day was pretty wonderful. But the show has always struck me as totally lackluster.

3. Last thought. It wasn't until today that I realized that this was in the midst of yet-another attempt by Jerry to get clean. Bearing in mind the Fall 1991 Rolling Stone article, and Hornsby's recollections of how exasperated he was with Jerry's drug use in September of 1991, and his rapid deterioration through to the next medical meltdown in August of 1992, it's not that surprising that I find this show to lack good energy and think much, much less of the shows to come (even the exalted Fall 1991 JGB tour, which is usually exalted relative to same-era GD) than most others do.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

LN19810129 JGB Catalyst Santa Cruz

Jerry Garcia Band, Sunday, January 29, 1981, The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, CA. shnid 111412.

So I thought I'd check out an early Melvin Seals JGB show as a reward for having concluded that his public debut with JGB was 1/22/81. Randomly picked this one. Pretty nice tape that puts you FOB, but the show is not much of a treat. In fact, it's a total trainwreck. I cannot recall hearing Jerry sound this out of it this early on. It's not quite as bad as ca. August-December 1984, but it's pretty bad. Melvin is bringing it, the drummer seems on, and it sounds to me like the main culprit is Garcia.

Anyway, this is a quintet, post-Ozzie Ahlers and pre-arrival of the backup singers in June, featuring Jimmy Warren and Melvin Seals on keys and, we believe, Daoud Shaw on drums. By my reckoning this is their fourth show together. Things would get better very, very quickly ... the February '81 east coast tour is quite hot right from the get-go. So this sounds like a down night, warming up a new band, fighting technical gremlins. Can't win 'em all.

Jerry Garcia Band
The Catalyst
Santa Cruz, CA
January 29, 1981 (Thursday)

Recorded, transferred, edited and mastered by JS
2 x Electrovoice RE-10 microphones > Sony TC-D5m
Transfer: Nakamichi Dragon (Dolby B decoded) > Macintosh with Digidesign AudioMedia III sound card(A/D 44.1/16) > Pro Tools (minor "nip and tuck" edits, normalization and tracking - no EQ or digital noise reduction) > AIFF > CD > Toast > xACT (FLAC

level 8 files with sector boundaries verified)

Disc One (4 tracks, 47:12)
--Set I--
d1t01. How Sweet It Is [8:55] [0:12] % [1:15]
d1t02. Catfish John [8:55] [0:07] % [0:26]
d1t03. Like a Road [16:18] [0:03] % [0:09]
d1t04. Deal [10:23] [0:13]

Disc Two (6 tracks, 62:15)
--Set II--
d2t01.  //Harder They Come [12:39] [0:10]
d2t02. % [0:05] Mission in the Rain [12:59] % [0:22]
d2t03. That's What Love Will Make You Do [9:29] [0:02] % [0:40]
d2t04. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down [8:21] ->
d2t05. Dear//Prudence [#9:24] ->
d2t06. Midnight Moonlight [7:54] [0:09]

This originally listed as shn 17145 with incorrect attribution and lineage.

Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
John Kahn - el-bass;
?Daoud Shaw? - drums;
Melvin Seals - keyboards (organ);
Jimmy Warren - keyboards (electric piano)

! 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: Nice FOB tape. Vocals are low, bass is pretty near inaudible, but the drums are right on you and guitar is pretty good. Keyboards nice and clear. Not too much crowd.

! R: d1t01 HSII some tape funkiness at start
! P: d1t01 HSII @ 1:22 Melvin does an 8-second sustain and then comes in with a nice solo. This is clearly early Melvin, and he is tearing it up! HSII goes for almost three minutes instrumentally, as they try to find the groove and as the sound people try to get things right. Jimmy solo, but Melvin solos over him, @ 2:12. Jerry's guitar is completely absent, then there's a crowd cheer @ 2:24 and Jerry's guitar comes in. Sounds like technical difficulties. First vocals don't start until 2:57! Then there is a lot of playing around before they land back .... Jerry starts the song back over at 6:46 with first vocals again ... yikes! He hits two clams in a row and sounds really, really bad. HSII vocals almost inaudible, more technical difficulties, @ start. Jerry sounds pretty sick on the opening vocals of HSII. Ragged. HSII @ 7:32 second vocals another horrible vocal clam. OUCH.
! Performance: Jerry's vocal weaknesses on this show, and his overall sound, lead me to conclude that he was probably not making healthy choices this night, or in any case was just off his game. I was going to lambaste the four-song first set, but I think equipment problems dictated that. There's a longish delay before the setbreak announcement (after Deal), Jerry sounds a little exasperated, and there are audible electronic gremlins out of the PA while he's talking.
! P: d1t04 Jimmy Warren is really not bringing much to Deal
! R: d2t01 HTC cuts in, enters on "battle won"
! P: MITR bad vocal flubs ca. 2:45. He sounds lost, and so he forgets the words, and he gets embarrassed and sings in a more constricted way, and so forth. A struggle. He is LOST.
! R: d2t05 Dear Prudence tape flip @ 0:05.1.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

When did Melvin Seals begin with JGB?

Edited 20110216

The Jerry Garcia Band show listed as Saturday, December 20, 1980, Keystone Palo Alto, Palo Alto, CA, has always struck me odd. I argue here that (1) "12/20/80" is a "phantom" listing, a mislabel of 12/20/79. Along the way (2) I argue that "1/18/81" is also a phantom, a mislabel of 1/18/83. This leads to a new-to-me understanding of when Melvin Seals joined the band; I (3) conclude here that Melvin Seals's public debut as keyboardist with the Jerry Garcia Band was Thursday, January 22, 1981 at the Keystone Palo Alto, Palo Alto, CA. This can be seen as a companion piece to my query about the start of the Garcia-Saunders relationship.

Observation #1: all circulating tapes of "12/20/80" are actually copies of 12/20/79. No-one with ears to hear (or eyes to see, if one had been there) could confuse Melvin and his Hammond B-3 with Ozzie Ahlers and his electric piano (can't remember the precise gear right now).

Observation #2: the last reasonably well documented JGB show before "12/20/80" is August 9 (*shiver*), 1980, Keystone Palo Alto, Palo Alto, CA (TJS | shnid 29088 [partial sbd]). As we presently understand it, that is the last show of the Garcia-Kahn-Ahlers-Errico quartet version of the Jerry Garcia Band. (Errico would return on October 13, 1982, for another 8-month stint.)

Observation #3: I know of no hard evidence (newspaper ad, ticket stub, attendee recollection, distinct tape, etc. etc.) of a JGB show on 12/20/80. Gordon Sharpless, credited as contributor at TJS, has shared his conclusion that "12/20/80" is a misdate of 12/20/79 in comments.

Observation #4: there have been tape recordings labeled "Melvin Rehearsals", dated Wednesday, January 14, 1981 through Friday, January 16, 1981, at Club Front in San Rafael, CA. I have January 16th to listen to (thank you, wk!) but haven't gotten around to it yet. It's the kind of thing that is going to be all consuming for 90 minutes, and I tend not to have chunks of time like that. Tape datings are among the least reliable data sources we have --I have created a new tag called 'methodology', by the way-- but the coincidence of Wed-Fri rehearsals right before starting up the new configuration the next week is a strongly suggestive one. (I would have guessed that they'd gig on Saturday 1/17, but if they weren't ready they probably spent a few more nights rehearsing.) There may well have been further rehearsals, but there is no public information about that. Anyway, these rehearsals are consistent with a later starting date than "12/20/80" ... I don't think workaholic Jerry would have been rehearsing this new band for the 3-4 weeks required to have started up before 12/20/80 and still been rehearsing in the third week of January.

Observation #5: The next conventionally-listed JGB gig is Sunday, January 18, 1981, Catalyst, Santa Cruz, CA (TJS). This would be a plausible first gig for a band with a new lineup: Sunday night at the relatively out-of-the-way Catalyst. I see three reasons to conclude that this date is bogus, though. First, the tapes circulating with this date are all from January 18, 1983 (same venue, the Catalyst). Mislabels being what they are, this doesn't mean an '81 show on this date and venue didn't happen. Second, TJS has this note: "DeadBase's setlist for this show is a duplication of their 01/18/83 setlist and incorrect", and it credits gorshar as a contributor. This is exactly like the profile of 12/20/80, of course. Third, the manucript tradition (i.e., Corry's lists) never contained information on this show. Strike three and this date is out, as far as my current reasoning goes.

Interim Analysis. Here's what I think happened for both "12/20/80" and "1/18/81". The old manuscript tradition correctly had no listing for this show. At some point a tape of 1/18/83 gets mislabeled "1/18/81" (easily enough), just as a tape of 12/21/79 became "12/20/80" (though this one has a less obvious orthographic explanation). This tape forms the basis of a Deadbase listing (most of which, but obviously not this one, drew from Corry's lists). When the Jerry Site comes around in ca. ?1999? or ?2000?, gorshar tells Ryan about the mislabel, but Ryan (rightly, conservatively) makes the note but keeps the entry in, just in case. But I am prepared to conclude here that 1/18/81 is also a bogus listing.

Observation #6: the next known JGB show is Thursday, January 22, 1981, the first of two nights at the Keystone Palo Alto in Palo Alto, CA (TJS, shnid 97266 [Latvala's partial audience recording]). These are Melvin's presumed third and fourth shows, after "12/20/80" and "1/18/81". But I argue there that 1/22/81 is the correct dating for Melvin Seals's public debut with the Jerry Garcia Band. The two preceding dates, "12/20/80" and "1/18/81", are both phantoms, by my analysis.

Aside, re: personnel: Melvin would never leave the JGB's keyboard chair, putting in an astonishing 14+ years. Without checking the numbers, I think this makes Melvin Jerry's #2 onstage musical collaborator (in terms of frequency) outside the Grateful Dead, following Jerry's ol' buddy John Kahn. There is obviously much, much more to say about Mr. Melvin Seals, who continues, 30 years on, to engage this music as "Melvin Seals and JGB".

Aside re: venues: Corry's pathbreaking work on the Keystone complex, including his Garcia shows at Keystone overview, deserves to be borne in mind at all times. His economic analysis is especially important, really providing some good hard evidence about the Garcia-Keystone (let me use that as shorthand for Freddie Herrera and the whole complex here) symbiosis. He mentions the nice complementarities of Jerry being able to rotate through the various clubs, especially in this period when the Keystone Berkeley, Keystone Palo Alto, and the Stone (San Francisco) were all operating. I don't read him as identifying any further division of labor, but I have a hypothesis: the Keystone Palo Alto was more likely to be used midweek than either of the other two clubs. That's not to say the KPA never got weekend shows, just that, by the early 80s, if there was woodshedding to be done and a Keystone club was to be involved, it was more likely to happen in Palo Alto than in Berkeley or SF. Otherwise, it seems like slightly more out-of-the-way places such as the Catalyst and the River Theater got a disproportionate share of the "debut" action. And given the fluidity of JGB membership in the early 1980s (e.g., in terms of backup singers and drummers), there was an unusual amount of woodshedding to be done. I do think we could get at this with some very simple statistic tests, but I'll add that to the "to-do" list.

And a meta point underneath (or "over", anyway) that: maybe the fact that less central venues tended to get the "debut" performances in the early 80s is why information on precise starting and ending dates has been so inconsistent. Fewer notetakers and tapers = less carry-though to the present. An interesting sociology of knowledge involved in all this, but I digress ...

  1. I argue and conclude that the "12/20/80" JGB date is a phantom
  2. I argue and provisionally conclude that the "1/18/81" JGB date is a phantom.
  3. I argue and conclude that Melvin Seals's public debut with the Jerry Garcia Band was January 22, 1981, following at least some rehearsals the week prior.

Source Check:
McNally, LST: no mention
Jackson, Garcia, p. 321: Melvin's arrival and tenure noted, but no starting date/timeframe given.
Jackson, cutting room floor: no mention.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

LN19820531 JGB River Theater Guerneville

So, this show came up a few days ago as one at which Liz Stires and Julie Stafford were probably singing backing vocals. Part of an interesting occasional discussion on personnel issues in which the early 80s JGB backup singers and drummers have been the matter of some focus (see also here on the late '83 JGB tour).

The only copy I know of is shnid 95427, which derives from an unlineaged audience recording preserved by the GEMS folks at Lossless Legs. It's basically a nice, upfront audience tape. Not even too much crowd noise. You get the limitations of being up so close (low vocals), but the recordist did a nice job and everything is present. A few cuts here and there, but, hey, we all have a few blemishes, don't we?

The show is quite nice. I am sometimes surprised by the things I find, despite lots and lots of listening. (I guess that capacity to surprise is always there, else why are we doing it? Anyway ...) I would have expected a rather sloppy show, given that they are off the beaten path, Monday night, and all that. Just another gig. But, in fact, Jerry is in reasonably good voice and his guitar playing is absolutely superb. He isn't quite as fast here as he is in other first-semester 1982 shows, which is to the good. He is hitting nice clean notes, elaborating pretty lengthy thoughts, and so forth. Standouts for me are the Valerie, Roadrunner and especially Dear Prudence. I almost never give a fig for DP but this one has some shimmering guitar work for a couple of minutes around 7 minutes in. Overall, then, not in a big coke-fueled rush that finishes with one of those coke-blast-45-minute-just-pay-me-so-I-can-score-lets-play-Midnight-Moonlight sets that would become so common in the Bay Area in 1984-1985. Just working methodically through some really neat progressions, taking care, feeling it. Do y'thing, mang.

So everything has just a little extra something to it after a rough start to How Sweet It Is. There is a harmonica player identified as Matthew Kelly during "Mystery Train," which benefits from the harp. They take some time to really get the old engine a-chugging at the start. Part of me thinks this does not sound like Matthew Kelly, but I am really not in a position to have any confidence about that. Guest shots were very rare during this period --I have long maintained they relate inversely to Jerry's opiate intake-- and overall things have a little extra something on this night..

Anyway, various and sundry notes below.

Jerry Garcia Band
River Theater
Guerneville, CA 
May 31, 1982 (Monday)

Source: Unknown Audience recording > ? > cdr > eac > wav > Gems Edit Station > flac

Edited and Mastered by Jamie Waddell on the GEMS Edit Station

A GEMS production -+-+- -+-+-
Trac'ed Cdwave Flac'ed level 8 TLH

GEMS Notes:
- Big Thanks to Katfish John for sharing his cd's
- Numerous mic bumps were fixed, some artifacts may remain
- Beginning of Tangled Up In Blue cuts in
- End of Dear Prudence Cuts out
- Mystery Train cuts in
- Recorder was turned off between some songs

Disc One (6 tracks, 55:08)
--Set I--
s1t01. introduction, tuning [0:19], How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You [9:09] [0:06]
s1t02. % [0:15] Catfish John [10:18] [0:09] % [0:08]
s1t03. Valerie [6:36] [0:04] % [0:27]
s1t04. I Second That Emotion [12:46] [0:04] % [0:07]
s1t05. Love In The Afternoon [9:56] ->
s1t06. Run For The Roses [4:37] [0:07]

Disc Two (6 tracks, 66:44)
--Set II--
s2t01. crowd and tuning [0:23], (I'm A) Road Runner [9:50]
s2t02. /Knockin' On Heavens Door [14:#22] [0:05]
s2t03. //Mystery Train * [10:#25] [0:09] % [0:09]
s2t04. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down [7:56] ->
s2t05. Dear Prudence// [13:#27]
s2t06. //Tangled Up In Blue [#9:46] [0:06]

Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
John Kahn - el-bass;
Bill Kreutzmann - drums;
Melvin Seals - keyboards (organ);
Jimmy Warren - keyboards (electric piano);
Liz Stires - backing vocals;
Julie Stafford - backing vocals.
*w Matt Kelly on Harmonica.

! 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.
! Personnel. This show takes place during a period of some fluidity (and certainly ex post uncertainty) about personnel in the JGB. Here is what I think we have here. There are definitely two keyboardists, Melvin on organ (probably a Hammond B3) and Jimmy Warren on electric piano (probably a Fender Rhodes). There are two female backing vocalists. I am not qualified to judge who they are, but various discussion on JGMF, LLD and elsewhere leads me to conclude that this is Julie Stafford and Liz Stires.  Julie Anzaldo recalls "Liz and Julie" singing at an '82 River Theater JGB show which included Roadrunner. Since it seems that Jaclyn LaBranch and DeeDee Dickerson sang on 10/24/82 (same venue, also including Roadrunner), it would seem this is the Liz & Julie show that Julie A. recalls. Oh yeah, we also cannot be 100% sure that this is Kreutzmann drumming.  BK is the conventional listing, and since I can't discern who's drumming I follow convention here.
! s1t01 enters on emcee introduction.
! Recording. What a lovely little FOB audience tape. Imperfect, but aren't we all! Vocals are low and there is some considerable phasing in the beginning. It seems a nice representation of the JGB at a freaky little theater on the Russian River. Oh yeah, no Russian Lullaby? C'mon, man.
! s1t01 They are a little lost to start of HSII.
! s1t03 JG takes a nice cookin' solo in Valerie. He is playing pretty well.
! s1t05 LITA some audible mic issues @ 2:20 ish
! s2t01 This is a pretty peppy RR.
! s2t02 KOHD clips in.
! s2t03 Mystery Train special @ start, Jerry pulling off a little bit to let it settle in. Nice!
! s2t05 Dear Prudence splice @ 3:24, 12:49
! s2t05 Dear Prudence @ 8-min mark, a minute or two before and after, JG is playing really nice, long lines ... very thoughtful and clean. Gorgeous.
! d2t06 TUIB cuts in, anomalies @ 0:10, 0:50; muffling 1:22-1:26, anomaly @ 1:29

Monday, February 07, 2011

The River Theatre (Guerneville, CA) 1982 Liz and Julie Conundrum, Resolved

In my previous post on the JGB's early 1980s drummers and backup singers, I grappled with the puzzle of the backup singers on 10/24/82 at the River Theater, 16135 Main Street, Guerneville, CA, 95446-8301:

an eyewitness to the 10/24/82 River Theater (Guerneville, CA) show, which we know featured the return of female vocalists after the brief four-show interregnum of 10/13 and 10/21-23, thought that "Julie" was one of the singers. This was how Julie Stafford first came to my attention as someone who might have sung onstage with JGB ...

I then noted in comments the following:

The eyewitness to the River Theater (Guerneville, 10/24/82) show is Julie A., and she is exceptionally credible. She and John saw a great fraction of Bay Area Jerry shows from '79-90s or so, and taped many of them. She may come post here, but in any case she says she is 100% sure that the backup singers on 10/24/82 were two white women, Julie and Liz ... And if Jaclyn and DeeDee didn't start on 10/24/82, then we have their debut date wrong, too.
I believe I have this little conundrum solved: JGB also played the River Theater, Guerneville, CA, on May 31, 1982, and I believe that this is the Guerneville show with Liz and Julie singing. It would have been in the "Liz and Julie" period. Julie Anzaldo avers that the "Liz and Julie" show could have been 5/31. She remembers Roadrunner being played, but it was played at both Guerneville shows. There weren't any other particular rarities that might have set the two shows apart in memory, except perhaps for the guest shot by Matt Kelly on harmonica at the May 31 show (for "Mystery Train").

This may help to resolve two things in particular that had confused me. First, it restores the longstanding understanding that Jaclyn LaBranch and DeeDee Dickerson debuted on 10/24/82. Second, it reconciles with the Liz Stires chronology, which has her leaving after the 6/22/82 Mosque Show in Richmond, VA.

Update: I have posted listening notes on 5/31/82.

On the theater, I would love to learn more! Seems like my kind of place

Here are the Garcia dates I have for it:

Reconstruction, June 13, 1979 (Wednesday)
Jerry Garcia Band, May 31, 1982 (Monday)
Jerry Garcia Band, October 24, 1982 (Sunday)
Jerry Garcia and John Kahn, September 28, 1984 (Friday)
Jerry Garcia and John Kahn, August 17, 1985 (Saturday)
Jerry Garcia and John Kahn, October 11, 1985 (Friday)

! map: And here is the Google Street View from ca. now: