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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Ozzie and Johnny D

LN jg1979-10-07.jgb.all-2.aud-angus-hart.106528.flac1644

First night out for Ozzie Ahlers and John d'Fonseca (and hence, of JGB #11b). Sunday night is consistent with pattern of breaking in new guys on off-nights, but the Garcia fans don't worry about work on Monday morning.

Probably not surprisingly, this performance is not a world-beater. They are feeling each other out.

This was not listed in BAM no. 65 (October 5, 1979), p. 10. That makes me think it might have been a relatively late booking. We don't really know how Reconstruction ended. Recall that Reconstruction was listed at least in BAM (no. 63, September 1, 1979, p. 14) for a 9/29/79 gig, though we don't know if that was supposed to have involved Garcia. What's more, the Keystones ad at TJS just lists "Jerry Garcia", which is a little ambiguous. I am not sure it means anything, but it could. It's all kind of consistent with the possibility that JGB #11a was put together even more hastily than we have thought.

Jerry Garcia Band
2119 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704

October 7, 1979 (Sunday)
Angus-Hart all-2 flac1644 shnid-106528

--set I (6 tracks, 51:05, missing one song)--
s1t01. tuning [0:09]
s1t02. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) [7:54] [0:02] % [0:27]
s1t03. Catfish John [8:13] [0:05] % [1:11]
s1t04. Simple Twist Of Fate [8:33] [0:12] % [0:46]
s1t05. After Midnight [9:31] [0:24] % [0:17]
[MISSING: Friend of the Devil]
s1t06. Harder They Come [13:00] (1) [0:19] %

--set II (6 tracks, 48:25, missing one song)--
s2t01. tuning [1:03] % [0:04]
s2t02. Money Honey [9:49] [1:16]
s2t03. They Love Each Other/ [8:33#] % [0:14]
s2t04. Sitting In Limbo [7:53] [0:26] % [0:16]
s2t05. Russian Lullaby [12:00] [0:10] % [0:12]
s2t06. That's Alright Mama [6:14] [0:13]
[MISSING: Tore Up Over You]

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band
! Lineup: Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals;
! Lineup: Ozzie Ahlers - keyboards, synthesizers;
! Lineup: John d'Foncesca - drums;
! Lineup: John Kahn - bass.


! 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.

! TJS:

! db: (s2 partial, same master, deprecated); (same master, deprecated); (this fileset).

! map:

! venue:; Arnold, Corry. 2010. 2119 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA: The Keystone Berkeley. Lost Live Dead, December 31, 2010, URL, consulted 4/22/2012.

! band: JGB #11a (

! expost: "Newsreels," BAM no. 66 (October 19, 1979), p. 17.

! tags: 1979, JGB, John Angus, Scott Hart, Keystone, Berkeley, CA, tapers, listening notes, Ozzie Ahlers, John d'Fonseca

! R: field recordist: John Angus and Scott Hart;

! R: field recording gear: 2x Sony microphones > Technics cassette deck
! R: transfer and FLAC encoding by David Minches: Master played back on Nakamichi Dragon > Grace Lunatec V3 (24/96) > Digital Audio Labs Card Deluxe > Adobe Audition 3.0 (dither/downsample) > FLAC encoding.

! R: Pitch Correction by Joe B. Jones

! R: seeder notes: Thanks to Harry Angus for providing the master tapes.

! personnel: First show for Ozzie Ahlers and John d'Fonseca. Consistent with the pattern of breaking in new guys off-the-beaten path, and/or on off-nights, this is a Sunday show, as is the second gig a week later in Palo Alto.

! R: John Angus and Scott Hart pulled some amazing tapes during the 1978-1981 period, very often the only tapes of any given show. They are rather randomly distributed across this timeframe, a show or two a year. They're not all great, but a few of them (11/18/79, 2/1/80, 2/22/81) are masterpieces. I really mean this. Next time you go to a show, bring your microphones (2x!) and tape recorder and record it. No? No. It's a bitch. I tried it a few times (Grateful Dead 8/22/87, JGAB and JGB 11/28/87) and I nearly died of stress and confusion. A great ambient recording of this kind of event is the quintessential human accomplishment. We are such freaks! This is not one of Angus's best tapes, but I think that's down in part to the sound coming out of the speakers at 2119 University this night.

! P: sluggish, uninspiring. I know it's their first night out, and the sound doesn't sound great.

! R: s1t02 HSII the mix takes a while to come in, not sure how much of this is tape and how much is tape. Sounds muddy. Taper talk "put this right by the wall, man", implies that they are still positioning?

! P: s1t02 HSII around 5:09 they have a little hiccup to get to a little Ozzie run in the 5-min mark. I don't like the sound of these keys, but he plays well. Late 5-min mark Garcia steps up, perhaps a bit rudely, and starts soloing. I would say he cut Ozzie off. But let's be charitable and say that they are just trying to learn to play together, and one needs to send clearer signals, perhaps, at this stage of a professional collaboration. Here are the limits.

! P: s1t03 CJ, pretty good, nothing to write home about.

! P: s1t04 STOF I was just thinking that it's cruel of me to so frequently listen to the first show, or other very early shows, of any given band. They are just getting it together! Here, they don't quite hit the  1 of the first verse, which Garcia typically started in on right away. So they set themselves up, and we get a pleasant little waltz for aminute or so. Not bad. @ 1:09 crowd guy yells "Louder!", telling me it's the PA that's a problem. And I totally agree with him. I don't know if this tape is picking up PA or stage monitors, but the vocals are low, the whole volume is low relative to the crowd. Late 7-minute mark, Garcia has to be pretty terse in bringing things to a close. I think Johhny D. and the tempos are where he's mainly signalling: Ozzie seems pretty tight with Jerry.

! s1t06 (1) JG: "We're gonna take a break for a little while. We'll be back a little bit later." Or something like that.

! P: s2t02 MH meh

! R: s2t03 TLEO clips out

! P: s2t05 RL John bass feature late 6 over 7.

! P s2t06 TAM totally uninspired.

1 comment:

  1. I do have one distinct memory of this period,with respect to the obscurity in which the otherwise popular Jerry Garcia Band would labor. I recall the tantalizing ad for "Jerry Garcia" at Keystone Berkeley (Oct 7) and Keystone Palo Alto (Oct 14). Garcia and the Keystones were very careful about billing, so I knew it was no accident that he was not billed as Reconstruction (who had played the previous month). But since the JGB operated in a publicity vacuum, there was no way for me to determine who would play, not that I was able to go to either show.

    On Monday, October 1, Peter Rowan and The Free Mexican Air Force played the Keystone Palo Alto. The show was broadcast on KPFA-fm (out of Gilroy), as was every Monday night Keystone show, as part of their "Fat Fry" series. As it happened, I could just get a static-y KFAT in my Berkeley apartment, so I heard it live (and recorded it too, though it was a lousy copy).

    Rowan played a 90-plus minute set, joined for most of the show by the great David Bromberg, whose wife Nancy was also the FMA bass player at the time. At some point, I think near the end of the show, a dj introduced the band, and when he got to Ozzie Ahlers, he said "and Ozzie will be part of the new Jerry Garcia Band, who will be playing the Keystone Palo Alto in a few weeks." This mention was the first I heard of the fact that the Jerry Garcia Band would be back, and that Ozzie Ahlers would be playing keyboards.


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