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Sunday, April 06, 2014

Jerry's gotta clean up his act, man (LN jg1985-03-02.jgb.all.aud-rlouk.99524.flac1644)

Ticket stub for Jerry Garcia Band, The Stone, 492 Broadway, SF, Saturday, March 2, 1985. Contributed by Erik VanO.
First Garcia Band show since the bust on 1/18/85. It delivers a three-song, thirty minute first set. Apparently the ladies were late in arriving. But ol' Jer makes up for it by stretching out almost a full 45 minutes in the second set. I am sniffing around a bunch of tapes to see if this might be the shortest "set" on record that wasn't exogenously cut-short. Just over a half hour.

Speaker 1: "Yes sir, this is our roving reporter. Can we give an account of the show so far?"
Speaker 2: "I'm gonna tell you something. Jerry's gotta clean up his act, man. Gotta take a 45 minute break, two hour sets, I'll be happy."
Speaker 1: "Thank you from our eye spy reporter."
Speaker 2 does not sound like some uptight Angeleno who is getting ripped off in Beverly Hills. No, he sounds like a simple, sensible young hippie who has some insight into some things, such as that playing a short set and taking a two-hour break before coming back out, playing real late (less severe than not enough, but of course interacting with it) just doesn't show the appropriate level of professional engagement and respect. It's a burn, a ripoff. "Jerry's gotta clean up his act, man." He's not mad about it, he's just sayin'. Indeed.

That said, the music is not bad. My notes suggest maybe things are gonna be all right.

Also of note, methodologically: hot tapes bias this listener toward hearing hot performances. Shocking, I know. Case in point: this is a raw, flawed upfront tape, and I was doing cartwheels about what I was hearing in "Let It Rock" to open the show. Then I double-checked against the Corley tape (shnid-23146), which has a real full Nak 700 sound, mics are higher up (in the "Silly Hat", perhaps?) and I didn't notice anything special with the tune. The difference could be due to me (four hours later I can be in a different space), or the tape, or random. Either way, these "results" are not very robust, reliability is a big challenge, and caveat emptor all around. At least you're getting what you pay for!

Jerry Garcia Band
The Stone
492 Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94133

March 2, 1985 (Saturday) - 8:15 PM
R Louk MAC flac1644 shnid-99524

--set I (3 tracks, 31:08)--
s1t01. Let It Rock [8:45] [0:13] % [0:05]
s1t02. Simple //Twist of Fate [12:#11] [0:12] %
s1t03. Deal [9:23] (1) [0:18] %

--set II (6 tracks, 44:08)--
s2t01. //How Sweet it Is (To Be Loved By You) [#8:53] (1) [1:27] %
s2t02. /When I Paint My Masterpiece [#8:48] [0:07] % (2) [0:48] %
s2t03. Run For The Roses [5:05] ->
s2t04. Gomorrah [5:39] ->
s2t05. Reuben And Cherise [7:04] [0:03] ->
s2t06. Midnight Moonlight// [6:12#]

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band #21b
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn - bass;
! lineup: Melvin Seals - keyboards;
! lineup: David Kemper - drums;
! lineup: Jaclyn Branch - vocals;
! lineup: Gloria Jones - vocals.

! 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: (Corley shnf); (this fileset).
! map:
! venue:
! band: JGB #21b, THE Jerry Garcia Band (
! historical: I listen to this as the first Garcia Band show of 1985 and the first since the bust on January 18. (The Dead had played three nights at the Kaiser, February 18-20). So I am listening for how he sounds at this particular inflection point in his life. Not surprisingly, the vocals are very weak, though not the worst I have heard. The opening "Let It Rock" may be the best version of this song I have ever heard - there's one in mid-1981 that I have always held in high esteem, but this one is outrageously good. Wow. But what are we to make of a THREE SONG, half hour first set? This is, to my knowledge, one of the shortest Garcia sets on record, certainly one that wasn't cut short by a fire alarm or a bomb threat or something. What happened? Garcia freak Erik Van O, whose ticket stub is the only visual artifact I have from this show, reports that the ladies were late arriving, only came in at Deal. The evidence is consistent with this, rather than with missing material. First, there's another tape (John Corley's) containing the same set. Second, the ladies are indeed absent to start. Third, Garcia's extra juice here at the front is consistent with something being a little bit different. Fourth, at the end of set I Garcia says something that I can't quite make out, but it sounds like he's claiming he wants to let the ladies get acclimated. Fifth, there's some interesting ambient talk, which surely reflects public knowledge of the bust, but possibly also what's happening this night. I'll endorse the taper's friend's view: "I'm gonna tell you something. Jerry's gotta clean up his act, man. Gotta take 45 minute break, two hour sets, I'll be happy." Woman had also asked at the start of the set if Gar would play 45 minutes. And that's the *long* set. So, yeah, circumstances and all that. But, on the other hand, folks payed $8 for this show on a Saturday night. Scalping them on the show opener, and then mailing it in, doesn't speak to respectful treatment of the paying audience. I don't know about the alternate guitar this night, could have been one of the June shows.
! R: field recordist: R Louk;
! R: field recording gear: handheld stereo mic > portable Aiwa cassette deck
! R: transfer: Yamaha tape deck playback > Yamaha 10 band graphic equalizer > wav (Audacity - 24 bit/48 khz) > CDWav > TLH (16/44.1 conversion, SBE's fixed) > flac.
! R: Gotta love the in your face feel of this grungy little up front aud. Well done, sir or madam, with the handheld stereo mic. I wonder if this is running fast? The timings on the Corley aud seem longer, and things don't feel as scorching up front, anyway.
! P: s1t01 LIR first solo in 1 is smokin'. Another solo over 2 and hot as fucking hell, holy shit he is on fire. Oh my, feedback in the 3-minute mark that is out of this world. I don't how much is that this tape is tinny itself, but it's freaking great. Now some longer phrasings late 3 over 4, picked up his pace and fluidity. Whoa, this is out of the gates like a bat outta hell. Still shredding 4:20. Fully in control 5:20, touching some notes more carefully now, the band letting it breathe a little bit, he starts comping 5:45, invites Melvin to step up. John hits a few deep down notes late 5. Melvin featuring early 5. This band is really tight. David Kemper. Now fanning loudly late 6 minute mark, all kinds of raunch, way up high on the neck 7:11, fanning chords, picks up the melody 7:30, but with major force. He is tearing the shit out of this, my goodness. Addendum: I have just listened to this via the Corley tape, and it doesn't light me up, a few hours after writing what I wrote above. The handheld tape has a lot more juice, I guess.
! R: s1t01 there's a brief splice after LIR, but not much missing.
! P: s1t02 STOF Jerry is singing this carefully. He has better control of his voice here than I might have thought. John starts his bass feature @ 6:40. Jerry returns 8:34, Melvin playing some nice piano through the whole song, do I hear organ and pian simultaneously after 9:30? yes, again 9:58 there are two keyboards, unless he's got the organ with one hand and piano with another? Blair Jackson suggests that's probably what it is. wk attended and says there was just Melvin.
! R: s1t02 STOF brief splice around 9:00 mark
! P: s1t03 Deal Garcia's guitar playing in the 5-minute mark is incendiary.
! s1t03 @ 9 (1) JG says something inaudible something-something "show up", and the crowd approves. This is consistent with Erik VanO's memory that the ladies arrived late and that this caused some kind of set anomaly.
! R: s2t01 HSII cuts in
! P: s2t01 HSII Jerry botches first lyrics, does not sound healthy in his singing.
! s2t01 (1) near the end of the track a woman asks "How long's he gonna play? 45 minutes?" She must be psychic! :)
! R: s2t02 WIPMM cuts in
! s2t02 @ 9:30 (2) taper: "Yes sir, this is our roving reporter. Can we give an account of the show so far?" friend: "I'm gonna tell you something. Jerry's gotta clean up his act, man. Gotta take a 45 minute break, two hour sets, I'll be happy." Taper: "Thank you from our eye spy reporter." Sounds like he's reversing what they actually got - 45 minute set, two hour break.
! P: s2t06 Mid Moon a mile a minute, of course.
! P: s2t06 Mid Moon cuts out, not much missing.

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