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Monday, December 10, 2012

GAMB: July 7, 1974, CXL'D?

So, these showed up on ebay a few months back.

Poster advertising a "Freak Fair" from July 4-7, 1974 at Shorebird Park on the Berkeley Marina. The red-and-white line drawn poster features illustrations of a native American, a hot air balloon "Enterprise", a geodesic dome, and mintrally-inspired freaks dancing. Listed attractions include jugglers, belly dancers, theatre, fireworks, clowns, body painting, minstals [sic], mime & magic, natural energy displays, craft booths, natural foods, an alternative lifestyle forum, native American village, geodesic dome. General public $2.50 donation.

The "Great American Music Band with Richard Greene & Jerry Garcia" is advertised for Sunday, July 7, but the second line, with Greene and Garcia's name, is blotted out in red, while the band name is not.

Why do I care? As of 12/10/2012, this is the latest known mention of  any connection between Garcia and GAMB/GASB. There were certainly shows around June 12-14, 1974, and then that's it. The next known GAMB listing I have --after Garcia's "departure", insofar as he was ever a "member" of the "band" at all during its infancy-- comes on November 7, 1974, with a gig at the Keystone, Berkeley. This is the first dedicated "Dawg Music" band which would briefly include both Grisman and Richard Greene before morphing into the first David Grisman Quintet (DGQ).

So, I find both the late date and the crossing out of the Richard Greene and Jerry Garcia feature to be illuminating. What we might have here, in short, is a rather precise window --between the printing of the poster and whenever someone took the time to cross out those names-- within which Garcia's involvement in the GAMB/GASB went from "in" to "out". Empirical evidence of a pivot point, in short. Neat.

I also wonder if GAMB did, in fact, play, as Grisman and others. But the evidence is ambiguous, since the band name is not crossed out, just the featured players.

Oh yeah, and there's a relatively early Good Old Boys gig on the bill, same day as GAMB.

Anyway, pictures and such.


  1. Maybe some freak decided to highlight it in red because it says Jerry Garcia before he sold it on Ebay. Maybe Jerry did play this one.

  2. Well, I had assumed that this event was actually canceled, because I could not imagine an event being held in Shorebird Park (Aquatic Park across the freeway, yes, but not Shorebird). Nonetheless, I checked something else and discovered that there was a soundboard tape of the Rowans (Chris, Lorin and Peter) on Sugarmegs marked "Berkeley Freak Fair, July 7 '74." According to this, Jack Bonus himself (who was and is not a working musician) played sax and flute.

    So now my position is that even if the event got moved (I still can't imagine Shorebird as a location), it occurred, but Jerry didn't play. Even in 1974, if someone had a deck running plugged into the board, they would have gotten a tape of Jerry. So I'm going to take the absence of a tape to indicate that Garcia didn't play.

    It does intrigue me that there could be a Good Old Boys tape, however. NRPS was recording Brujo at the time, so Nelson was in town.

  3. I'm compulsive, so I can't resist parsing the bill a little bit. Thursday, July 4 is all Berkeley bands. Earthquake, The Rubinoos and Greg Kihn would all end up on Berzerkely Records (a long story). The Rockets lead singer was a New York cop named Eddie Mahoney, later in the decade more famous as Eddie Money.

    Friday and Saturday were mostly Marin bands. Clover featured Huey Lewis as one of the vocalists, along with John McFee on guitar (he played pedal steel on "Pride of Cucamonga") However, this was a very early show for Pablo Cruise, should you care about such things. David and Annie would have been the Berkeley duo of David Garthwaite and "Dynamite" Annie Johnston.
    Anna Rizzo was a pretty good singer who had been in Sky Blue, Grootna and Country Joe's All-Star Band, among others.

    Peter Rowan played many gigs in forthcoming years with the Good Old Boys--maybe he started on this weekend.

  4. I checked the newspaper archives day-by-day and there are plenty of mentions of the event and day-on-day listings for the following day - none of which mention JG or the GAMB. In the generic press statement the "headliners" that get a mention are David LaFamme, Earthquake and Pablo Cruise. I see Greg Douglass and Mistress were on the bill as well. Like the Country Weather album and despite the cover, it is well worth checking out the Mistress album. Ross

  5. Right you are!

    Hayward Daily Review, July 5, 1974, p. 48. This listing features Norman Greenbaum and Crossfire, Stoneground, Rowan Brothers, David LaFlamme, Delta Wires and others. If Garcia had been coming, I am sure they would have gotten his name in there. Lot of Keystone regulars on this list.

  6. Of course, maybe this was related to the odd saga of the GD's planned show in Wisconsin on 7/4/74, which at one point was rumored to have been postponed until July 6th.

  7. An ex post report in the Berkeley Barb notes that Roadhog and the Good Old Boys performed, though no date is given.

    via Independent Voices


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