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Thursday, December 27, 2012

'Secret' at Paul's Mall: see p. 27

 LN jg1974-11-13.jgms.late.aud-seaweed.121034.flac1644

LIA just posted some really nice sources ("November 12, 1974: Garcia Plays Boston" and "November 1974: Garcia & Dead Projects") relating to the November 1974 east coast tour by the Jerry Garcia-Merl Saunders (JGMS) aggregation of Garcia, Saunders, John Kahn, Martin Fierro, and Paul Humphrey. In discussing 11/6/74 I noted that this was "Garcia’s first professional tour as a named headliner outside the Grateful Dead". From the perspective of what I do here, this is a critical step in the musical and professional (i.e., financial) balance that Garcia would eventually establish in his life, organized around the twin pillars of GD and GOTS (Garcia On The Side, a horrible acronym for a fine phrase).

Anyway, as the authors emphasize at the links above, and as I discussed a little bit around the April 1975 Legion of Mary east coast tour, these shows mostly sold out through word of mouth. Many of them were totally unadvertised. Garcia's Paul's Mall engagement "was to have been a well-kept secret ... There was no advertising, no promotion, no names on the marquee" (Howard 1974). Howard notes that word "leaked out" about a week before the shows, and LIA speculates that this was probably intentional. Not sure whose intentions were involved, but, indeed, the "leak" was hardly spread, sotto voce, among a small band of co-conspirators. No, the shows were advertised --albeit minimally!-- in the counterculture weekly Boston Phoenix:

The show under examination here, the late show from Wednesday, November 13th, is good. I have a weakness for the Thursday (11/14) late show, but there's nothing wrong with this one. The real setlist rarity is "Just Kissed My Baby", the Meters song done instrumentally by JGMS on four documented occasions, all of them during the month of November 1974 [Allan | deaddisc | TJS].  I always love "Favela" [Allan | deaddisc | TJS], credited by deaddisc to Vincius DeMoraes / Antonio Carlos Jobim / Ray Gilbert, which the band played a lot between August and December 1974. "Wondering Why" [Allan | deaddisc | TJS] is another fave, perhaps the best fit for Merl's voice of all the lead vocals he did with Jerry. It perhaps best evokes the vibe of this night and this era, described for this night by attendee George Krick:

We sat right next to the band, Fierro's head was as big as a basketball, veins exploding as he spit on us and blew his sax. His flute was adorned with multiple feathers. Jerry was sweating profusely and Merle was mumbling and groaning. Very intense.

Anyway, and as always, it's great to see new-to-circulation old material still emerging into daylight, and a pleasure to listen to this well-recorded tape from November 1974.


Howard, William. 1974. Garcia Plays Mall – Fans Crack ‘Secret’. Boston Globe, November 14, 1974, p. 41. Reposted to


Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders
Paul's Mall
733 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116

November 13, 1974 (Wednesday) - Late Show
86+ min aud via seaweed, shnid 121034

(8 tracks, 86:31)
t01. The Harder They Come [15:06] [0:10]
t02. [0:34] Favela// [14:49#]
t03. Just Kissed My Baby [9:19] %
t04. Someday Baby [10:47] %
t05. Wondering Why [17:34] ->
t06. People Make The World Go Round [3:25] [0:13] %
t07. /Neighbor, Neighbor [8:25] %
t08. /The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down// [6:09#]

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders
! Lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
! Lineup: Merl Saunders - keyboards, vocals;
! Lineup: Martin Fierro - saxophone, flute;
! Lineup: John Kahn - el-bass;
! Lineup: Paul Humphrey - drums.

! Recording: symbols: % = recording discontinuity; / = clipped song; // = cut song; ... = fade in/out; # = truncated timing; [ ] = recorded event time. The recorded event time immediately after the song or item name is an attempt at getting the "real" time of the event. So, a timing of [x:xx] right after a song title is an attempt to say how long the song really was, as represented on this recording.

! TJS:

! db: shnid 121034 (this source)

! map:

! venue:

! R: Source: Unknown AUD cassette, kindly supplied by Seaweed1010.

! R: Transfer: XLIIS-100 > Nakamichi DR-2 > Edirol FA-66 > Wavelab 2448 > R8Brain > CD-Wave > TLH > FLAC 1644 tagged, Andrew F. July 2012.

! R: Seeder note: As noted on the Jerry Site, this is probably the entire late show of Nov 13th. The tape was labeled 4th-gen, but sounds very listenable nonetheless. Favela and Dixie both cut out on the final notes, not much missing in either case. Thanks again to Seaweed for this tape!
! metadata: seeder notes: About the Paul's Mall dates... Currently we have as follows: Nov 12th Early & Late Shows: nothing; Nov 13th Early Show: Jerrysite and ID-10128 match; Nov 13th Late Show: This tape; Nov 14th Early Show: Jerrysite and ID-16461 match; Nov 14th Late Show: Same songs listed, but out of order on ID-6383.

! R: this is quite a nice audience tape.

! personnel: We know this is Paul Humphrey drumming, and I can confirm that it's the same "fast and busy" drumming that I heard on 11/2/74. I don't mean that as a bad thing. Lots of tight snare drumming, especially.

! P: t02 Favela could be played at different tempos. This is toward the slower end of the tempo range, it seems to me.

! P: t02 Favela is flawed --they lose the thread a little a time or two, especially Mr. Humphrey-- but it's also got some really good moments. At 13 minutes or so in, Martin returns them to the theme and Garcia runs around a few times as if to say that he wanted to go another time around the bases. Oh well. Then they don't quite know how to end things and they go another time around the theme, which is less fertile terrain. Feels like a missed opportunity there.

! P: t03 JG some nice pulling in the 5-minute mark.

! P: t07 NN they lose track of each other in the 7-minute mark.

! R: t08 TNTDODD cuts out, maybe a minute or so, whatever big buildup finish they would do, is missing.

! historical: Garcia's "appearance at the Back Bay bistro was to have been a well-kept secret. ... There was no advertising, no promotion, no names on the marquee. ... The three-night engagement, which ends [11/14/74], was sold out instantly when word leaked out" (Howard 1974). Note that word "leaked out" through an ad in the Boston Phoenix (11/5/74, sec. 2, p. 27).

! eyewitness: George Krick: "These shows are etched in my mind forever. Paul's Mall is a small night club in Boston...dark, low ceiling...probably less than 100 people there. We sat right next to the band, Fierro's head was as big as a basketball, veins exploding as he spit on us and blew his sax. His flute was adorned with multiple feathers. Jerry was sweating profusely and Merle was mumbling and groaning. Very intense."


  1. Yeah, an ad in the paper is not quite the same as a "leak"! No wonder all those people were standing in line.
    Reporters at the time weren't searching the ads as diligently as some of us, 40 years later... (Indeed, the presence of two reporters at the same first Paul's Mall show indicates that perhaps the "leak" was to them, not necessarily to the audience!)
    The Nov '74 Bottom Line shows, too, were announced, and not totally "unadvertised."

  2. The July 1974 shows were advertised on WNEW FM at least once. I was lucky enough to hear it and believe I had to drive 3 hours to get a ticket. We left a night time party where I heard it on the radio and arrived at the Bottom Line. There were less than 20 people in line. We got the tickets and drove back to the Jersey Shore, as the show wasn't until the following day's morning, at 2am.

  3. I'm picking up on this thread a bit late, but fwiw, the 11/9/74 Passaic show was advertised, too: the old jerrysite had a scan of a newspaper ad for "Jerry Garcia/Merl Saunders and Friends featuring Bill Kreutzmann, John Kahn, Martin Fierro, special guest James Cotton Band." I wonder if the BK billing was as a place-holder for Humphrey in case he turned out to be unavailable, or if Humphrey was a last-minute addition (seems unlikely), or if it was just a mistake (also unlikely -- wouldn't their contract have specified how they would be billed and advertised?)

    1. whoops -- didn't realize the whole BK question was discussed (and asked by me!) here:

  4. i taped this show...fred fier was a scalper who had inside info....he took me. it was a special night. jw


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