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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

LN jg1976-03-12.jgb.1p-2p.aud-coplen.20700.shn2flac

If there were more time, I'd like to talk about "Who Was John?", elaborate on the racial structure of the music, the unevenness of this period (March-April 1976).  But there's not time, so just a data dump.

Jerry Garcia Band
Cahn Auditorium, Northwestern University
600 Emerson Street
Evanston, IL 60201

March 12, 1976 (Friday)
55 minute Eric Coplen aud, partial early (7:30 pm) and partial late (11 pm) shows

--(6 tracks, 55:09)--

--Early Show, 7:30 pm (partial, 5 tracks, 40:17)--
t01. /How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) [07:51] [7:52] %
t02. /Catfish John [10:41] [0:07] %
t03. After Midnight [11:50] [0:08] %
t04. (1) Mission In The Rain [7:14] %
t05. Who Was John?// [2:24]#

--Late Show, 11 pm (partial, 1 track, 14:52)--
t06. The Harder They Come [14:47] [0:05] %

Lineup, Jerry Garcia Band:
Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
Keith Godchaux - piano, vocals;
John Kahn - el-bass;
Ronnie Tutt - drums;
Donna Jean Godchaux - 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/1227 (early); http://www.thejerrysite.com/shows/show/1228 (late).
! db: http://db.etree.org/shn/20700 (this source).
! R: "AUDMC > C > DAT > WAV > SHN. Recorded 2nd row, center left, with unknown deck with built in mics, 1st gen source tape from Eric Coplen. Cass > DAT by Ryan Shriver. DAT > SHN by Noah Weiner." But I think that's incorrect. I think's it's in the following note.
! R: I believe this to be correct. Taped by Eric Coplen from 2nd row, center left, built-in mics on unknown deck, with unknown media. Master cassette (or possible 1st gen?) transfer: played back on Philips FC-60 deck > Lucid AD9624 > Sony PCM-R500 DAT deck (record), by Rhan Shriver. Fostex D5 DAT deck (playback) > Turtle Beach Montego II Digital I/O > Sound Forge (wav edits and track IDs) > SHNTOOL (SBE fix) > MKW Audio Compression Tool (shn), by Noah Wiener, ca. 2003. This flac copy done by JGMF (unknown date), shns replaced; noted and tagged 7/15/2012.
! R: This is a good recording. We sometimes forget that we are fortunate. If one looks to this period March-April 1976, there are tons of holes in the taped record. Lots and lots of stuff missing, sometimes at places you *know* someone was taping, such as the Cap in Passic (4/2/76). Some absolutely ear-splittingly dreadful tapes for some shows, I mean they really leave you depressed. And then one of the crown jewels of musical field recording, Pat Lee's tape of JGB 3/6/76 at Moore's Egyptian Theater in Seattle (http://db.etree.org/shn/107734).
! R: Hard to say what parts of the early show might be present here. Every piece of music is discontinous to the next. That said, the designations seem very sound. The "Harder They Come" here is the same one on a lightly circulated tape of the late show, independent confirmation of the validity of Coplen's designations. Given, also, that none of these early show songs appear on the late show tape, it makes sense to believe that they do, indeed, come from the 3/12/76 early show.
! Metadata: venue: Jerry Garcia's Brokendown Palaces (JGBP): http://jerrygarciasbrokendownpalaces.blogspot.com/2012/03/cahn-auditorium-600-emerson-street.html. See also http://www.pickstaiger.org/venues/cahn-auditorium. The data I have seen suggest that the venue capacity at the time of the show was approximately 1,100.
! Metadata: event: Tickets were $5 in advance and $6 at the door.
! Metadata: time: There were early and late shows. I do not know the starting times, but know they were scheduled to be about 90 minutes each.
! Historical context, enthusiastic positive view: I am coming around to the view that this tour is a real highpoint. No one ever talks about it because the aural record is so patchy. These dates are really obscure, an obscure little tour in an obscure little moment. But I actually think it's a fucking masterpiece. Band was too laconic in January-February, but I think they were figuring themselves out. Garcia and Tutt have most recently been playing together in Legion of Mary and then with Nicky, and how this band plays is nothing at all like how those bands played (leaving aside the Garcia-Kahn and Tutt were all involved!). This JGB still scratches Garcia's itch to play 20th century black music, but, in a process that had started with Nicky, it's hybridized with some more white music (Catfish John?) and, not trivially, it's played by all white players. March 1976 is interesting because half the players are actually southern whites: Donna Jean Godchaux of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, native Texan Ronnie Tutt and Memphis-born John Kahn! In fact, the Jerry Garcia Band would not have its first black member until Melvin Seals arrived in early 1981, something that never crossed my mind.
! Evaluation, contrary to note just above, a couple of days later: very uneven performance. This material strikes me better than the late show material.
! R: t04 MITR some crackling at the start
! t04 (1) Taper, in recognition of Mission, says "Great!" Young lady next to him asks "Is this Mission?" Taper: "Yeah." These folks have been listening to Reflections. I love it when audience members are knowledgeable.
! R: t05 WWJ fades to cut pretty early in the song.
! R: t06 HTC battery failure becomes evident in tape speed fluctuations, getting worse as the tape nears its end.
! P: t06 the late show crowd is very fired up to hear Harder They Come. I have checked this version with a tape I have of the late show, and it's the same one.

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