Regular readers will know I have been exploring Garcia's putative Rock Bottom period by listenings to tapes and more or less noting what I hear. Tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.
I harbor considerable ex ante animus toward this tour - I have heard some first hand reports of its deep, dark, junky feeling, recoil at the pictures of the greasy, sweaty, strung out Garcia from this tour, and have never been lit up by what I heard when I listened to the shows. This is the classic "Garcia's side projects were all about Jerry and John making drug money" tour, which is a line which my devotion to the side stuff already indicates I don't altogether buy, and which makes me feel icky inside. But here it is.
These listening notes are mostly from some unknown number of months ago. As I was finishing them up with links and stuff, I decided to listen to "Goodnight Irene" [Allan | deaddisc], which is a favorite of mine and which I have always thought must have resonated emotionally with Jerry - "I want to jump overboard in a river and drown" could not have failed to bring his father to mind, could it?
And I guess I hear that it's not as bad as I feared it might be, and is not bad at all if this is Rock Bottom. He cannot sing very well, to be sure. But he is giving it his all. It's flawed, but he's trying. Yeah, the first set is about 38 continuous minutes, not a ton. But, I dunno, it's not horrible. I am looking forward to hearing more from this tour, all of a sudden (though I feel like detouring to some other material, cleansing my palate of Rock Bottom for awhile).
Billboard (December 1, 1984, p. 37) reports this as a sellout, just a hair under $37k gross on 2,800 tickets, and the fans sound happy enough being treated to Jerry Garcia playing "Ripple". Not a bad night's work, all in all.
Jerry Garcia and John Kahn
1 Hamilton Place
Boston, MA 02108
November 17, 1984 (Saturday)
Seaweed 1st gen cassette shnid-110537
--set I (6 tracks, 37:53)--
s1t01. crowd and tuning [0:47]
s1t02. Deep Elem Blues [8:52] [0:07]
s1t03. When I Paint My Masterpiece [7:50] [0:06]
s1t04. Little Sadie [4:02] [0:06]
s1t05. Simple Twist Of Fate [11:11] ->
s1t06. Run For The Roses [4:37] [0:15]
--set II + encore (8 tracks, 53:10)--
--set II (7 tracks, 48:38)--
s2t01. crowd and tuning [0:58]
s2t02. Friend Of The Devil [7:56] [0:10]
s2t03. I've Been All Around This World [6:50] ->
s2t04. Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie [6:50] ->
s2t05. Gomorrah [6:16] [0:05]
s2t06. Birdsong [11:39] [0:02]
s2t07. Goodnight //Irene [8:#00] (2) [0:26]
--encore (1 track, 4:32)--
s2t08. Ripple [4:13] [0:19]
! ACT1: Jerry Garcia and John Kahn
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - ac-g, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn - ac-b.
! 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: http://www.thejerrysite.com/shows/show/1722
! db: http://db.etree.org/shn/30874 (Mark flac, deprecated); http://db.etree.org/shn/31343 (speed correction of shnid-30874); http://db.etree.org/shn/110537 (this fileset); http://db.etree.org/shn/113549 (aud flac)
! map: https://goo.gl/maps/6MLna
! venue: http://jerrygarciasbrokendownpalaces.blogspot.com/2012/09/orpheum-theatre-1-hamilton-place-boston.html
! R: field recordist: unknown
! R: field recording gear: unknown mics > Sony TC-D5
! R: source tape: 1st gen cassette provided by Drew and Seaweed1010 (Maxell XLII)
! R: transfer: Nakamichi CR-5A playback > Edirol FA-66 > Wavelab > R8Brain > CD-Wave > TLH > FLAC 1644 tagged. Transfer by Andrew F.
! R: seeder notes: Decent audience recording, an upgrade to shnid-31343, and also includes the two songs that were missing from that source. The levels in 2nd Set are a bit over-driven, not too bad.
! R: I think this is a perfectly good tape.
! R: s1t02 Deep Elem the sound is muffled 0:05 > 0:32, and mic-bumps at 7:11 and 7:14.
! P: s1t05 STOF Not a terrible performance. The line about the sailors coming in and all that is given with some sensitivity. Then the end of the song has a pretty nice guitar buildup. JG even says "Thank you" as he takes it from STOF into RFTR.
! The timing of set I is basically continuous. So, in real time, that really was about a 38-minute set. And I doubt they were back "in a few minutes" after the "short break" announced by JG after RFTR.
! s2t05 JG says "Thank you" again between OBIANL and Gomorrah.
! R: s2t07 Goodnight Irene @ 6:29 tape flip, mended by Drew
! P: s2t07 GI is played totally respectably. He can't sing at this point, but we knew that. This is not bad. John is even playing late 5. Jerry bringing some energy right at the splice 6:29, too bad. Long version. Might check one of the other tapes of this night. I love this song (songs-G). Weird finish about "see you in my dreams". A for effort.
! s2t07 (2) JG: "Thanks a lot. See y'all later." There must be a tape splice in here somewhere.