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Saturday, December 28, 2013

RN Sandy Troy's Captain Trips (1994)

Reading Notes

Troy, Sandy. 1994. Captain Trips: A Biography of Jerry Garcia. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press.

JG devoted to music Troy 1994, xiii

JG was into all kinds of music: folk, bluegrass, country, acid rock, R&B, gospel, jazz. But he never dabbled, he always “plunged in” Troy 1994, xiii

Jose Ramon Garcia emigrated from La Coruna, Spain in 1919 Troy 1994, 1

Ruth Marie Clifford - married 1934  -- 121 Amazon Avenue, San Francisco, in the Excelsior District -- Ca. 1937 Jose’s music career came to an end -- 1937 Jose bought a tavern Four Hundred Club at 400 First Street, corner of Harrison near Bay Bridge (Troy 1994, 2).

8/1/42 JG born at SF Children’s Hospital (Troy 1994, 3)

surrounded by music. Father played clarinet. Mother listened to opera. Maternal grandmother loved country music. Troy 1994, 3

Ruth played piano, JG took piano lessons Troy 1994, 3

87 Harrington Street with grandparents for five years. William and Tillie Troy 1994, 5

Tillie listened to the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday nights. Carter Family, Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs Troy 1994, 6

Ruth marries Wally Matusiewicz 1952. Family moved to Menlo Park, 286 Santa Monica Avenue. Troy 1994, 6:: lived in Menlo Park for three years. Troy 1994, 10

aged 13, move back to SF, attend Denman Junior High School Troy 1994, 10-11

Balboa High School Troy 1994, 11

Turned on to MJ at age 15, with a friend Troy 1994, 11

Attending Saturday classes and summer sessions at the California School of Fine Arts in North Beach (beatniks!) Troy 1994, 11-13

heard and liked Big Bill Broonzy. Troy 1994, 13

JG’s first guitar idol was Chuck Berry Troy 1994, 15

Ca. age 15, moved to Cazadero, attended Analy HS in Sebastopol. Played a gig: piano, two saxes, a bass, and his guitar. Won a contest and got to record a song. Did Bill Doggett’s “Raunchy”. Troy 1994, 15

age 17, enlisted in military. Basic at Fort Ord, then stationed at Fort Winfield Scott in the Presidio. Lasted nine months, discharged 1960. Troy 1994, 16

while at Presidio, met a country guitar player who got him into finger-picking. Troy 1994, 17

“it was not in his nature to have several girlfriends at one time.” ST says this lasted until present. “This is a trait that he seems to have maintained to the present … he has been married three times and has had a number of affairs, but when the relationship has been right, he has stuck with it.” Troy 1994, 25

early girlfriend Charlotte Daigle. Her girlfriend Chris Mann dated Hunter. Troy 1994, 25

Charlotte Daigle: “he really did things on his own terms, the way he wanted to, without a lot of concern about what he should do or what people wanted him to do. He listened to his inner voice.” Troy 1994, 26

February 1961 Paul Speegle death. Studebaker Golden Hawk. Jerry had switched places with Paul just before the accident. P. 27: JG: “That’s where my life began. Before then I was always living at less than capacity. I was idling. That was the slingshot for the rest of my life. It was like a second chance. Then I got serious.” And he got serious about music, giving up art. Troy 1994, 26-27 #1961

“He chose music because he liked the interaction with other people that it provided.” Music had other players and an audience. Later on, Garcia would say that “the symbiotic relationship of band and audience was integral to his musical experience, what made it come alive for him” (Troy 1994, 27).

Marshall Leicester got him back into bluegrass. Introduced him to the New Lost City Ramblers. Troy 1994, 28

NLCR. Early influence on Jerry. Troy 1994, 28 Also influenced by Joan Baez (Troy 1994, 29). Summer 1961 Garcia went to see Joan Baez at Palo Alto HS. Troy 1994, 29: Watching her, Garcia noted that he could play better guitar than her. (Corry: The girlfriend in question is probably Phoebe Graubard.; this in response to ““A friend of mine, who was Garcia’s girlfriend in 1961, recalls sitting with him in the front row of Joan Baez’s concert at Palo Alto High that summer. He watched Baez intently, saying ‘I can do that! I can beat her technique.’” Kahn, Alice. 1984. Jerry Garcia and the Call of the Weird. West (SJ Mercury News) (December 30), pp. 14-17, 20-22. reprinted in Dodd and Spaulding 2000, pp. 196-203), quote from p. 202 of the reprint. Dodd, David G., and Diana Spaulding. 2000. The Grateful Dead Reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press.)

summer 1961, Garcia met David Nelson at Kepler’s. Troy 1994, 30

September 1961 JG goes to see Monterey Jazz Festival. NB 9/22-23-24/61. JG went two days with Charlotte Daigle. Troy 1994, 34

summer 1962, Jorma meets him at a place called the Folk Theatre, on First Street in San Jose (became the Offstage). Troy 1994, 38

Hart Valley Drifters Troy 1994, 41

another girlfriend, Diane Huntsberger, classmate of Daigle’s. Then Sara Ruppenthal, also Paly HS. Troy 1994, 46

Heather born 12/8/63. Troy 1994, 48

GD split into two camps: Gar and Lesh more improvisational, Weir and Pigpen on the other side, more structured and song oriented. Troy 1994, 119

“to play the music that he had decided on, Garcia formed the group Mickey Hart and the Hartbeats”. Troy 1994, 120

TC: “Mickey Hart and the Hartbeats was a period of time when Garcia and Lesh were into a more extended improvisation trip, which was exactly what Weir and Pigpen were less into.” Troy 1994, 121

“The Hartbeats was an interesting side trip for Garcia, but it wasn’t enough by itself to hold his attention.” Liked the GD dynamics. “However, the short break opened his eyes to the advantages of playing with other musicians when his schedule would allow it, and in 1969 he began doing more of that. This extracurricular performing allowed Garcia to scratch his musical itches in a way – he could play music he liked that the Dead didn’t ordinarily do, and he could try out new instruments and new techniques.” Troy 1994, 121

TC was brought in as part of the GD’s move toward more experimentation. Troy 1994, 122

LAG strike, 8/1/69. Garcia couldn’t cross the picket line because of his union sympathies, inherited from his grandmother. When asked why he didn’t cross, he told McNally: “My grandmother.” Troy 1994, 126

JG credited CSN with helping the GD’s vocal harmonies. Troy 1994, 133

JG: “I play music because I love music, … and all my life I’ve loved music.” Troy 1994, 135

“one of his joys was simply putting together an impromptu group, finding a willing watering hole, and filling the space with music. He explained ‘I’m a total junkie when it comes to playing. I just have to play. And when we’re off the road I get itchy, and a bar’s just like the perfect opportunity to get loose and play all night.” Troy 1994, 141

“he clearly preferred playing with other musicians in front of an audience. ‘Rather than sit home and practice, scales and stuff, which I do when I’m together enough to do it, I go out and play because playing music is more enjoyable to me than sitting home and playing scales.” Troy 1994, 142

Merl signed with Fantasy Records in 1965. Troy 1994, 143

PERRO as cross-pollination. Troy 1994, 145

“Another reason for Jerry to spend time away from the Grateful Dead was that he could work out his own personal musical dreams that the other members of the band might have stunted.” Togotigi. Troy 1994, 146

JG got $10k advance for the Stinson Beach house, paid by the solo album. Troy 1994, 147

6/30/72 was Fred Herrera’s swan song at Keystone Korner. Troy 1994, 153

9/22/72: “Playing with Saunders meant so much to Garcia that he even flew back from New York in the middle of a GD tour to play a benefit concert with him at BCT on September 22 [1972].” Troy 1994, 153

Rakow’s plan in So What papers approved on 4/19/73. “In April 1973 Grateful Dead Records was set up, co-owned by all the voting members of the organization, with Rakow as president and general manager. A second label, Round Records, owned fifty-fifty by Garcia and Rakow, was set up to [156] handle solo projects” (Troy 1994, 155-156)

OAITW Troy 1994, 158

JG quotes (maybe from splendor in the bluegrass or something) early 1973 re OAITW: “we got together a little over a month ago, started playing, and then decided, ‘Shit, why don’t we play a few bars and see what happens?’ We’re thinking about finding a fiddle player and then doing some of the bluegrass festivals this summer. … That’d be a lot of fun.” NB the “Bluegrass at Grisman’s” thing confirms that this is more or less exactly how it happened! Troy 1994, 158

“In 1972 and 1973, the Garcia and Saunders Band did three albums for Fantasy Records –Heavy Turbulence, Fire Up, and Live at Keystone.” Troy 1994, 159

JG is the one who pushed Merl to sing! Merl: “He also got me singing. We’d come off a tour and he’d say, ‘Man, you gotta help me out singing.’ I didn’t think I could sing, but I figured if Jerry could sing, I could sing. … That’s how I started singing.” Troy 1994, 160

re GD hiatus. JG: “It had turned into a thing that was out of our control, and nobody was really doing it because they liked it. We were doing it because we had to.” NB solo stuff would always more or less be in his control. Troy 1994, 167

airport porter: “Oh my God, what kind of band is this? You’ve got a hippie [Garcia], a black guy [Saunders], a white guy [Kahn], an Indian [Fierro] and a Super Fly [Humphrey, who dressed in sharp flashy colors].” JGMS Mention of Golden Bear shows, October 1974: “sold-out house” Troy 1994, 168

The “Imagine” story, per Merl: Fall 1971, “I was at Fantasy Records that fall with Garcia, Tom Fogerty, John Kahn and Bill Vitt to record my album. This guy at the studio had a promotional copy of the record.” This is consistent with them playing it September 1971. Troy 1994, 169

no details on end of LOM: “in the summer of 1975 the two musicians decided to go their own way.” Troy 1994, 169

Deborah Koons. JG had met her in Cincinnati during a tour (December 1973?). Troy 1994, 170

“The majority of Garcia’s third solo LP, Reflections, was also recorded at Weir’s studio in 1975.” I don’t think so – His Master’s Wheels. Troy 1994, 173

Jerry Garcia Band. Troy 1994, 175

Keith and Donna join JGB. Kahn: “Keith lived over on Paradise Drive [in Corte Madera], and we used to play over there all the time. He had a room downstairs that was set up so we could just go in and play … we’d get together just about every night and [176] play. … We had Dylan songbooks and we’d do stuff like play everything from Blonde on Blonde. Then we’d do all sorts of Beatles songs. It was great.” Troy 1994, 175: 1975,

“Playing with this group [JGB] was like sitting in a favorite old easy chair for Garcia. He claimed, ‘I haven’t been as happy with any little performing group since Old and In the Way in terms of feeling this is really harmonious.” Comfort, JGB as harmonious. Contrast with GD: challenge, dissonance. Troy 1994, 176

late 1978, Jerry’s voice ragged, “a condition exacerbated by the three packs of unfiltered Camels he smoked every day and by his chronic use of central nervous system stimulants.” Troy 1994, 190

Reconstruction “played primarily black music – funk, jazz, soul, blues and reggae. … But Garcia’s desire to have his own band as a creative outlet was strong”, so we got the Ozzie JGB. Troy 1994, 193

Seals “was suggested to Garcia by Kahn, who had met Melvin through Maria Muldaur. A Bay Area native, Seals had spent much of his life involved with the music of the black Baptist church. … his roots were firmly in gospel music, and he found inspiration in the music of the church. The gospel influence that Seals brought to the Garcia Band was very much to Garcia’s liking” Troy 1994, 199

“Soon after Garcia completed the drug diversion program”, the GD had their 20th anniversary stuff. Troy 1994, 205

GD played 71 shows, sold out all but six, and grossed $11.5 million in 1985. Troy 1994, 205

Merl says that he was on a beach in the Caribbean, and suffered some kind of heat stroke at precisely the same moment that Jerry was short circuiting (July 10, 1986). Troy 1994, 207-208

more on friends and the coma. David Nelson. Merl: “I started walking with him every day from the house out to the road and back to the house. [211] We started practicing five minutes a day.” Troy 1994, 210

Graham on Garcia wanting to play Broadway: “One month prior [Garcia was] playing five sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden … that’s 100,000 people. For the lead guitarist of that same group to play eighteen shows at a 1,400 seat theater, obviously there’s a desire to do this, not a need to do this. Since the very first day I met him, he has not changed his seemingly unquenchable thirst to just play.” Troy 1994, 223

Blues from the Rainforest began recording March 1989. Troy 1994, 231

Midland “had been fighting a drug problem for more than a year and had been rushed to the hospital when he almost overdosed the prior December [1989].” Troy 1994, 233

Garcia/Grisman earned a Grammy nomination and sold more than 100,000 copies. Troy 1994, 239

JG, ca. 1992: “Ideally I’d have the Dead play two nights a week, play bluegrass two nights a week, and play with my band two nights, and on the other day go to a movie.” That doesn’t seem like too much to ask for! Such simple tastes! Troy 1994, 239

1991, GD grossed $34.7 million. Troy 1994, 245

“for a couple of months in early 1993 Garcia was seeing Barbara Meier … but in the spring he reconnected with Deborah Koons.” Troy 1994, 250.

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