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Saturday, May 31, 2014

GarciaLive volume 4: March 22, 1978

http://www.musictap.net/2014/05/29/tapsheet-release-notes-05292014-us-report/
ATO Records will release Garcia Live, Volume 4: March 22nd, 1978 Veteran’s featuring Jerry Garcia Band. The set will be released on 2CD on July 8.
This is great news! I hope the liner notes are informative, and I can't wait to hear it. The only circulating tape (shnid-19832) has pretty significant issues.

Naturally, Corry is on the job.

Monday, May 26, 2014

LN jg1989-01-27.jgb.all.sbd-moses.84866.flac1644


Can't believe I haven't annotated any 1989 Garcia Band. For my money, 1988-1989 is one of the great JGB periods, which a fresh and healthy Jerry (that's what starts to break down, for me, 1990-1991), solid band, some fresh material, rehearsed arrangements, and lots of classic American songs. Nothing too crazy, lots of good music.

Friday, January 27, 1989 finds Garcia healthy and frisky after, I believe, an extended Maui scuba vacation. This is his first public appearance since the New Year's Eve Dead show, and the first Garcia Band gig since early December (2-3), also at the Orpheum. The Dead would play four shambolic Chinese New Year shows at Oakland's Henry J. Kaiser Auditorium starting a week from this night, so 1/27 really does feel like warming up.

It's hard to listen to any show in isolation, which is what I'd really like to do here - put some fresh ears on a show that has a positive connotation in my head, just listen to it on its own terms. But I can't. I know I am a fan of the next night, and the next Orpheum weekend (March 3-4), which I also really like, and the rest of the spring, which is a peak period for me.

But I can't hear this one out of its context, and the greatness of the context leads me to sympathize with this show. Where vocals are flubbed (as they really are throughout the night), I hear Jerry shaking out the cobwebs. Where things are a little brief, I call them "tight". When entropy strikes arrangement, I give them unearned credit for how they meant it to sound. I try not to beat myself up about it - it probably is a good show. But I also think it's true that I am looking ahead to what's coming.

Setlist Notes

It's certainly an interesting show. Here's the setlist with some notes. 

JGB setlist 1/27/89 Orpheum Theatre

"Let's Spend The Night Together" is a great song on any measure, and most every Garcia version is excellent. The fact that he played this so well and often with Nicky Hopkins gives it special resonance. In the Hopkins era it served as a "jam vehicle", stretching out and thus not usually played on a night with another long number such as "Don't Let Go". This night we get both, but LSTNT, coming out of 13 years of mothballs (last played 1/28/76), clocks in at a brisk 6:47. This resurrected version stayed much tighter, usually clocking in 10 minutes, I'd estimate. I don't think it stayed long in this show opener slot, but I'd have to check. It's still a work in progress, but I have always argued that toying with the repertoire is an unalloyed good - when he's working up new material, Garcia is engaged. (The version from the next night, 1/28/89, is much hotter and is overall outstanding.)

"Waiting For A Miracle" (Allan | deaddisc | TJS): Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn penned this lovely paean to popular hope amidst war and poverty in Managua, Nicaragua in winter 1986. Jackie LaBranch heard it on the radio and brought it to the Garcia Band (Jackson 1989, 44), which sandpapered it a little, roughened it up some, and put a radio-worthy version on the double-disc live Jerry Garcia Band (Arista 18690, August 1991). This is a great example of the idea that fresh repertoire reflects fresh Jerry - here, he not only agreed to tackle a new number, but Garcia -I presume, since he's the one who has to sing 'em- made some lyrical edits that really worked, scuffling for a nickel and struggling for a dime instead of struggling for a dollar and scuffling for a dime, looking more toward the future than toward the past, standing up tall instead of proud. This is probably just driven by how singable the different sounds could be for this particular singer, but Garcia certainly made the song his own.

"I Hope It Won't Be This Way Always" (Allan | deaddisc | TJS): The canonical version is from the Angelic Gospel Singers' 1968 Nashboro release Jesus Paid It All (deaddisc). Founded in 1944 by Margaret Wells Allison and her sister, adopting its first male member in 1961, and performing and touring about sixty years, the Angelic Gospel Singers are dubbed by the Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music "the longest consistently selling female gospel group in African American history" (via wiki). A staple in observant African American households, they're probably rare in white homes and largely silent in white cultural accounts. John Kahn's place was an exception – he loved and curated a huge record collection around inter alia every black American musical idiom, including church music, and brought this one to the Band from the likely-sounding compilation All Time Gospel Hits (perhaps Nashboro LP 7034, 1966) (Jackson 1989, 44).

As is so often the case, Blair Jackson was on the job, reporting on "Waiting For A Miracle" and "I Hope It Won't Be This Way Always" in the Golden Road, along with another new-to-the-Garcia-Band-repertoire number, "Throw Out The Lifeline", again brought in by Kahn from all-male North Carolina gospel group the Sensational Nightingales.

Race, Class, Gender, and JGB #21b

If I were feeling expansive, I'd add to Blair's characteristically excellent account a little analysis of the race, gender and class contours laid bare by the advent of these songs to the JGB repertoire.

On race, I have argued (xxx) that THE Jerry Garcia Band, #21b, the one that ran almost continuously for over a decade from summer 1983, integrated two of the three musics that formed the core of Garcia's musical life: white and black American roots and rootsy contemporary music. (The third, electronica, was supplied by the contemporary Grateful Dead.) In the past, Garcia had maintained different bands for these purposes, playing lots of contemporary (and some older) black music with Merl and white roots music in his country and bluegrass side projects. After the mid-1970s, the he starts bringing in more Dylan and Garcia-Hunter material, i.e., rootsy white contemporary Americana, refines the (white) bluegrass offerings to a few Peter Rowan originals (Mississippi Moon and Midnight Moonlight), and leavens everything with a big dose of R&B. JGB #21b was a racially integrated American musical act. It's hard for me to overstate the importance of this as a statement about Garcia's musical interests and commitments. I am fascinated that Kahn brought in the black church number while Jackie LaBranch brought in the deeply white and Canadian Cockburn's tune.

I am also fascinated by the gender and "class" contours of the fresh material. Jackie LaBranch brought "Waiting For A Miracle" to the group, a black woman who was definitely part of the band rather than its leadership (the Garcia-Kahn duopoly). Maybe every band (and leadership) worth its salt alights to a good song when it comes along – that'd be the hope. But I think that there are loads of bandleaders who weren't really looking for suggestions from the backup singers. The whole jazz band leader trip, show business itself, cuts against that kind of democracy. The Garcia Band has often been lauded for its relatively egalitarian ethos, especially early on and especially when it came to divvying up receipts from a bar gig. But as it got more lucrative, this has to have given way – does anyone really think that the band got the same amount as Jerry for a 1990s gig at the Warfield? I don't think so. But it probably wasn't a straight line, and I conjecture that it was down as much, at times, to Garcia's level of engagement as to the bottom line. In late 1988, Garcia is healthy, open, thriving, engaged. "Jackie's got a song? Let's try it." As either Jackie or Gloria can be heard repeatedly on this and other contemporary Garcia Band tapes, I'd give that a "Yeah, Jerry!"

Misc.

Why did Garcia play the Orpheum for Bill Graham six times in four months in late 1988-early 1989 (December 2-3, January 27-28 and March 3-4), and then never again? I assume the Warfield was being renovated, but I just don't know. In 1990, the Garcia-Graham partnership would move a quarter mile down Market and would never leave.

The poster advertises a special guest. Was this meant to be Clarence Clemons, or was there an opener? I don't know.

Anyway, I love this period. The next night is better than 1/27, but this show has its moments.

Jerry Garcia Band

January 27, 1989 (Friday) - 8 PM
sbd-moses flac1644 shnid-84866

--set I (8 tracks, 52:04)--
s1t01. Let's Spend The Night Together [6:47] [0:41]
s1t02. Stop That Train [6:40] [0:25]
s1t03. Someday Baby [5:34] [0:50]
s1t04. Run For The Roses [5:22] [0:20]
s1t05. Mississippi Moon [7:41] (1) [0:49]
s1t06. Waiting For A Miracle [5:05] [0:03] %
s1t07. I Hope It Won't Be This Way, Always [4:35] ->
s1t08. Deal [7:07] (2) [0:07] %

--set II (7 tracks, 62:53)--
s2t01. The Harder They Come [10:14] [0:20]
s2t02. And It Stoned Me [5:52] [0:14] % [0:02]
s2t03. Knockin' On Heaven's Door [8:19] [0:37]
s2t04. Think [5:57] [0:06] %
s2t05. Don't Let Go// [14:36] %
s2t06. That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day) [9:18] [0:09]
s2t07. Midnight Moonlight [7:05] (3) [0:04] %

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

JGMF:
! 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/1918. On poster there is a special guest listed. Was that supposed to have been Clarence Clemons (sp?), or was there an opener?
! db: http://db.etree.org/shn/14015 (Dan Cole MAC shnf SBEs, deprecated); http://db.etree.org/shn/16577 (Dan Cole MAC shnf); http://db.etree.org/shn/84866 (sbd flac1644, this fileset).
! historical: the "year too late" thesis. Sounds to me like they are thinking about recordable arrangements. Also of note, a few things. First JGB of 1989, and first JGB gig in almost two months! The prior shows (December 2-3, 1988) were also at the Orpheum, as were the next two (March 3-4, 1989). That's six gigs in a three month span at the same room, which he'd never play again, and which he had only played a few times in the previous 15 years (twice, to be exact - 5/21/76 and 5/7/88). What gives? I wonder if the Warfield was being renovated?
! R: main source (through s2t04): unknown soundboard tape > ? > A (big) cardboard box, maxell XL2S90 cassette dolby B > Nakamichi CR3A,(Dolby B) eq out  > hp computer > Sound Forge (vol@5.5db) > CD wave >  Flac > you!
! R: "Guessing 2nd or 3rd gen SBD", to which I'd say, "at most". This is a nice tape.
! R: second source (s2t05-s2t07): MAC (Sony D6C w/Sony stereo mic) > 1 cassette > Nakamichi CR3A playback onto HP Computer (no dolby) > Sound Forge Vol@ 5.5DB > CD Wave > Flac7.
! R: transferred by John Moses 5-7-07.
! R: s1t01 maybe fast? Jerry's guitar is buried in the mix, organ very prominent.
! P: s1t01 LSTNT Too bad the guitar is so low in the mix, because Jerry sounds on his game. @ 3:15 this is a very well rehearsed-sounding return from the break. Jerry's soloing 5-min mark sounds great. I want to check out an audience recording. Tight stop.
! P: s1t03 Someday Baby JG flubs the first verse. But after that he is singing very nicely, sounds great on this soundboard tape! Melvin big lead late 2, very forward in the mix and sounding strong. Arrangement gets a little squirrely again later, and Jerry just closes up shop.
! P: s1t04 RFTR this sounds great. Jerry sounds amazing here.
! s1t05 (1) after MM, as after several other tracks, one can hear the ladies talking. Here, one of them says "That was real good", and I can't disagree with her.
! P: s1t06 vocal flubs on WFAM, but he's giving it his all. Seems like a bunch of songs have that profile this night. I think Gar is performing courageously, with great ease and fluidity. @ 3:12 someone misses the change, things get a little loose in the cage for a bit. Extra vocal effort 3:30, "like the ones that DIE, tryin' to set the ay ay ayngels in us free"! Gar is extemporizing vocally, in lieu of remembering the words. But they hadn't been playing this long.
! song: WFAM (s1t06): hadn't been played much. xxx
! song: IHIWBTWA first time played. Next night maybe second, and maybe that's it?
! setlist: do a setlist analysis. xxx
! s1t08 (2) JG: "We'll be back in a few minutes."
! P: s1 gets good points for energy, but it's a little sloppy. First show of the year, first show in xxx weeks! I have in my mind that Garcia had probably just been scuba diving in Hawaii before this. He sounds clean as a whistle. And to those who don't like such speculation, to heck with ya. s2 is good. This is probably an average show from an above-average period, really showing Jerry rested, relaxed, and playing well.
! P: s2t04 Think some very heavy guitar work in the 2-min range. Melvin steps up 2:49, playing nicely. More very heavy guitar 4:45 forward, "give up my woman!" over 5 mark.
! P: s2t05 DLG more vocal flubbing at the start of the song. Garcia's shaking the cobwebs out. Very exceptional work on DLG, using his voice to push his guitar, as if by extending his diaphgram he's just moving his guitar grasp just a little bit.
! R: s2t05 DLG cuts out, not much missing
! R: s2t06 TLOS level adjustment early on
! s2t07 (3) JG: "Thanks a lot, we'll see ya later."

REFERENCES:

Friday, May 23, 2014

From Sanctity to Sin - Club Casino the Night after the Nunnery

Jim Costa's ticket stub from JGB 8/12/84, Club Casino.
LN jg1984-08-12.jgb.all.aud-senn441s-FAIL.24496.flac1644

Since I did the night before, at the nunnery, I cued up a random fileset for 8/12/84, first of two nights at the Club Casino in Hampton Beach, NH.

Via JGBP

Not a ton to say - I think this is also an average show for the period, like the night before. It has its moments.

Jerry Garcia Band
Club Casino Ballroom
169 Ocean Blvd.
Hampton Beach, NH 03842

August 12, 1984 (Sunday)
Senn 441s C1 flac1644 shnid-24496

--set I (5 tracks, 48:14)--
s1t01. [0:03] I'll Take A Melody [13:26] %
s1t02. Get Out Of My Life, Woman [9:50] [0:01] % [0:07]
s1t03. Love In The Afternoon [9:28] ->
s1t04. Run For The Roses [5:00] ->
s1t05. De//al [10:#13] (1) [0:07] %

--set II + encore (6 tracks, 54:56)--
--set II (5 tracks, 45:30)--
s2t01. /The Harder They Come [14:16] [0:03] %
s2t02. Like A Road Leading Home [9:00] [0:03] %
s2t03. Tore Up Over You [8:37] [0:02] %
s2t04. /Gomorrah [#5:45] ->
s2t05. Midnight Moonlight [7:39] (2) [0:06] %
--encore (1 track, 9:26)--
s2t06. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) [9:22:] [0:04] %

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

JGMF:
! 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/1759
! JGC: http://jerrygarcia.com/show/1984-08-12-club-casino-ballroom-hampton-beach-nh/
! db: http://db.etree.org/shn/4410 (Ziemba Nak 300s shnf); http://db.etree.org/shn/8607 (Silberman Senn 441s shnf); http://db.etree.org/shn/24496 (Senn 441 c1 flac1644, this fileset); http://db.etree.org/shn/92262 (McCabe flac2496); http://db.etree.org/shn/92244 (Derek McCabe flac1644).
! venue: http://jerrygarciasbrokendownpalaces.blogspot.com/2011/09/club-casino-ballroom-169-ocean-blvd.html
! map: https://goo.gl/maps/sXGr7
! band: JGB #21b, THE Jerry Garcia Band (http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2012/01/jerry-garcia-band-personnel-1975-1995.html).
! historical: after the convent gig on Saturday, the Garcia Band moved to a two-night engagement in the ballroom of the Club Casino, on the water in Hampton Beach, NH, built 1899.
! see also: "A Motley Crew Down at the Nunnery (LN jg1984-08-11.jgb.all.aud-weez.111743.flac1644)," URL http://jgmf.blogspot.com/2014/05/a-motley-crew-down-at-nunnery-ln-jg1984.html, on the previous night's show.
! R: field recordist: unknown;
! R: field recording gear: 2x? Sennheiser 441 microphones > unknown;
! R: field recording location: up front;
! R: source and transfer: 1st gen cassette > Denon DRM550 playback > Tascam DA-20MKII;
DAT to CD-R Transfer: Tascam DA-20MKII> Tascam CD-RW700; post-CD: EAC > WaveLab 4.0 > CD Wave Editor> FLAC/
! R: processing: "I used WaveLab 4.0 to edit out a few nasty 'between-song' splices/dead air by inserting crossfades where needed.  I then retracked in those spots using CD Wave Editor."
! R: seeder notes: "Let me start first by saying that 'Yes!', this is from a first gen cassette, not the master.  I received this (as well as 8/13, 8/15 & 8/16) show about 15 years ago from a fellow taper/trader from VT who had "borrowed" the masters from the taper (name?).  He ran first gen copies for himself (and me) on XLIIS and, due to the superb sound, I felt it was worthy of a DAT transfer sometime in the mid 90's.  I then transferred it over to CD about 3 years ago and have yet to see it in circulation, so I figured it was a good candidate for a BT seed. Just recently, I remember someone asking for some more '84 JGB ... so here you go. FYI, before seeding, I tried to track down the source of the original master cassette, but to no avail.  Do not be fooled by the knowledge of an extra cassette gen. This show is an absolute smoker, in performance as well as sound quality.  This will make a nice addition to any Memorial Day barbeque jamboree.  Enjoy!"
! R: another way upfront tape, with very upfront guitar and low vocals. Vocals are distractingly low, but if one had to choose a flaw, this might be it. Very nice tape, drums really in the pocket, guitar right on you, organ nice.
! R: presumed sonically-irrelevant sector boundary errors (SBEs) on a few tracks.
! P: s1t01 ITAM starts the show auspiciously. At one point Jerry hit some real unusual combination, somewhere in the middle of the song. I was doing other things, but heard it. Here in 11 minute range Jerry gets the crowd into it with some higher energy.
! P: s1t02 GOOMLW as sometimes happens, the fact that they don't have their arrangement quite together means that they take an extra 30-45 seconds to get warmed up, which can be nice. Extra little vocal thing @ 1:48. Nice stretchy bend 2:15. Man, Kemper is such a great drummer.
! P: s1t03 LITA the voice is shot.
! R: s1t05 Deal splice @ 0:51
! s1t05 (1) JG: "Thank you, we're gonna take a short break. We'll be back in a few minutes."
! R: s2t01 HTC clips in
! P: s2t01 HTC is going a mile a minute. Jerry is a little unsure on the vocals. His voice is quite rough. Nice tone late 5-minute mark, the guitar work is good, Jerry steps back and comps for Melvin, who leads 6:10ff. Voice not good, but good effort @ 12:45.
! P: s2t02 LARLH Melvin on piano
! P: s2t03 TUOY very nice
! s2t05 (2) JG: "Thanks a lot. See y'all later."

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Cabaret Economics

I have been dinging Garcia during his hard times for playing really short sets. Check the tag for 1985 for a sample.

I knew I had heard him talking about what a burn short sets were. And I have found at least one instance, at http://www.gdao.org/items/show/378627 (Jerry Garcia interview, broadcast on WHMR, November 27, 1978). I don't know the date of the actual interview, but anyway.

Here, from about 6:30-7:30, is Garcia talking about the phenomenon of the short show:

The way showbiz works, you know, the Judy Garland tradition, is 45 minutes, bam, get off. Do an encore, that's it. And I think that ... that's a burn, as far as I'm concerned. I know everytime ... I've been a fan, I am a fan of music, and if I go to hear somebody play, I really want to hear 'em do it. And it's artificial - I really don't think it's called for. Economics, more than anything else ... they stem from cabaret economics, bar economics. Traditionally, bars do a turnover business. Like cafe shows do a turnover business, so that if they can squeeze in 4 shows a night, great; 5 shows, wonderful. Like in Vegas ... turn over the house each time, and make a lot of money in a small room. It's that idea that has created the form of the short show.

There are still numerous interviews at GDAO that I want to transcribe.

Here's another quote from this interview that I really like, on live vs. studio: "Making a record is like building a ship in a bottle. Playing music live is like being in a rowboat in the ocean" (@ 8:34).

Sci Fi

Anyone know if Garcia ever copped to reading, or more tantalizingly still, might ever have met, Philip K. Dick?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

LN jg1984-01-08.jgb.all.aud-CC.xxxxxx.flac2448

First show of 1984, Sunday night at 492 Broadway. This setlist differs from what we have traditionally from TJS. My notes don't reveal much. I think someone is asking about the personnel at note 1, but I can't quite make it out. I am trying to clean out my "to work on" soundfiles, so there might be a few more Closet Call posts and other randomalia.

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

January 8, 1984 (Sunday)
92 min Closet Call aud (flac2448)

--Set I (6 tracks, 55:58)--
s1t01. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) [7:43] (1) [0:27] % [0:26]
s1t02. I'll Take A Melody [13:46] [0:03] % (2) [0:02]
s1t03. Someday Baby [7:43] %
s1t04. Love In The Afternoon [10:09] %
s1t05. Run For The Roses [5:02] [0:08]
s1t06. Rhapsody In Red [10:19] [0:10] %

--Set II (5 tracks, 36:24)--
s2t01. /Cats Under The Stars [9:08] % [0:11]
s2t02. Mission In The Rain [10:51] [0:04] %
s2t03. /Gomorrah [5:46] [0:08]
s2t04. Tore Up // Over You [9:#29] [0:02] % [0:02]
s2t05. Midnight Moonlight// [0:43#]

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band #21b
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn - el-b;
! lineup: Melvin Seals - keyboards (Hammond B3 organ);
! lineup: David Kemper - drums;
! lineup: Gloria Jones - vocals;
! lineup: Jaclyn LaBranch - vocals.

JGMF:
! 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/1718
! JGC: http://jerrygarcia.com/show/1984-01-08-the-stone-san-francisco-ca/
! db: none as of 7/25/2012.
! map: http://goo.gl/maps/L0BBt
! venue: http://jerrygarciasbrokendownpalaces.blogspot.com/2012/07/stone-mothers-412-broadway-san.html
! band: ! band: JGB #21b (THE Jerry Garcia Band): http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2012/01/jerry-garcia-band-personnel-1975-1995.html
! historical: first Garcia show of 1984.
! R: audience > 1st gen cassette (Maxell XLII90, no Dolby) Nakamichi BX-300 playback (Dolby off) > Pyle Pro cables > WaveTerminal 2496 > Samplitude 10.1 Download Version (record @ 24 bits/48kHz, normalization (98%, set II only) > CD Wave 1.98 (tracking) > Trader's Little Helper v2.4.1 (FLAC encoding) > foobar2000 (tagging).
! R: Quite a clean tape. Apparently as chick near tapers tells us about a minute in, "it sound[ed] so good!" in the room, too. This has a upfront feel to it. Vocals are a little low.
! s1t01 (1) audience member: "Who's in the band, Jerry? [unsure: "//new faces in five years"]
! P: Jerry's voice sounds relatively decent for this stage of the game. Things would deteriorate over the course of 1984. I imagine that the week-plus without playing (since GD 12/31/83) probably helped conserve the voice.
! s1t02 (2) guy with French accent talking just before Someday Baby
! setlist: TJS lists Tangled Up In Blue after LITA, and does not show RFTR or RIR. I don't know where the TUIB listing comes from. There is a splice after LITA, but it's extremely brief, almost as if the taper hit pause and unpaused immediately, as RFTR made itself heard. I can hear the same female crowd member (Chatty Cathy, I'll call her) on both sides of the splice. She is talking through the whole early part of the show.
! R: s2t01 Cats clips in
! P: s2t02 MITR some vocal clams as he makes the statement at the start.
! R: s2t03 Gomorrah clips in, just a couple of notes missing
! R: s2t04 TUOY cut @ 4:14, not much missing
! Disclaimer: This is part of a "Closet Call" project aimed at making missing Garcia dates available for study. These are "warts and all" ... straight transfers of the source cassettes with editing only of the most offensive tape transitions and such. If you don't like hiss, possible speed problems, etc., etc., then move along. And, to anticipate a FAQ: no, I don't plan on doing 16/44s of these. Thanks to wk for supplying these tapes!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Motley Crew Down at the Nunnery (LN jg1984-08-11.jgb.all.aud-weez.111743.flac1644)

Ticket stub for JGB 8/11/84 show at Caldwell College, contributed by Ed.

What a weird show. Reviewer Bill Breen (1984) sets the stage.
The August 11 Robert Hunter/ Jerry Garcia Band gig at Caldwell College, New Jersey had to be one of their stranger forays. ... Their venue was a Catholic girls' school, complete with neo-Gothic towers and Celtic crucifixes. ... The stage was built at the bottom of a grassy hillock ringed by two hundred foot balsams, which formed a natural ampitheater. The crucific topped towers peering through the trees lent a medieval look.
He notes the incongruity of Garcia and his fans in these pious surroundings. A TJS informant writes that there were "nuns patrolling the parking lot", while TJS contributor Mike Vand also notes heavy security without specifying whether it was the good sisters.

I'd say this is an average show for the period. It has the grungy, filthy, feedbacky August 1984 Garcia guitar playing that I really like, right in your ears on this FOB tape.

I *love* that Garcia had brough Allen Toussaint's "Get Out Of My Life, Woman" (Allan | deaddisc | TJS) into his repertoire. Now, not everyone loves Jerry Garcia, and fewer still love the Jerry Garcia Band. Since it's less exploratory than the Grateful Dead, it loses everyone who needs the collective improvisation at work in that band. That's fine. But let's recognize the American musical vein Garcia is tapping here, with legit Bay Area R&B, soul, church musicians. JGB introduced it on 7/28/84 at the Keystone Palo Alto, prepped it one more time locally, and then took it on the road, playing it every night but one on the August 7-18, 1984 tour. The song's introduction doesn't fit within a "Rock Bottom" narrative. I maintain pretty consistently that fresh material is a pretty unalloyed good, at least as a proxy. Variance in the repertoire means he's at least thinking about things, engaged. And when he picks a number as cool as this, with his Bay Area players flavoring the really tight mix, It Is Good, and true to his self conception as a local kid running around multihued San Francisco, a Mission Street R&B guy. Nice.

One further note on GOOMLW: The song's ebb and flow in the repertoire is generally interesting. Some tunes come in and never leave. Some tunes come in and leave right away. Some tunes he played mainly with one group of players, and others he kept picking up through the many iterations of the JGB or many different periods. This one was ebbed and flowed a bunch, with lots of six month or even year long gaps between performances. That's not that common in the JGB repertoire.

"Like A Road Leading Home" (Allan | Scofield | TJS) is a song I have discussed in connection with its earliest appearance, on 1/24/73, where I conjecture that it's a song Jerry really liked, qua song. And who can blame him? It's a good one. And I'll make a post sometime connecting this performance with another one from early 1989, so I won't say much more here, except that this version is too short and not quite together.

Now, what about this 35 minute second set? Very suspect.

In the Rock Bottom series I have pondered some endogenously short sets, including 5/31/85 and 6/3/85, and some that were at least partly exogenously foreshortened (3/2/85, late band members). (I won't consider here shows that were fully exogenously truncated, as by the power outage at the Boston Orpheum on 11/13/81.) Though Jerry sounds better here than on 3/2/85, I think he didn't have to play so short on this night. Breen (1984) notes that with a crowd "10,000 strong, it was a pretty motley crew down at the nunnery". I am surprised the crowd was that big, but anyway. During the sixth ever JGB version of Allen Toussaint's "Get Out Of My Life, Woman" (Allan | deaddisc | TJS), "a local aborigine, madly gyrating, crashed through the drumset." He was booed, security gave him the heave-ho, they were booed. Breen recalls that, "drumless, Garcia soloed right on through, never dropping a note. Afterward, the band huddled briefly, considering their next move." Things never quite go drumless, to my ears, but one can definitely hear the action @ 4:45 of s2t02. As he so often does, Garcia responds to this sort of thing with some burning, molten guitar playing - check it out.

Attendee Mike Vand remembers our gyrating freak:
Halfway through the second set some crazed individual got on the stage, leaping on it from behind the band, and knocked over part of the drum kit. The band finished the song and left the stage. That explains the short set and no encore. Don't know what happened to the guy. He jumped into the area between the stage and a security fence which I think was full of cops.
Vand seems to suggest that the stage crasher truncated the show, but clearly Jerry comes out and plays a couple more songs. He might have left the stage for awhile - this tape isn't clear because it splices. The David Dyche tape (shnid-120062) has a little more after GOOMLW, and it does sound like someone hear him is urging the band to stick around or something. I can't quite tell.

Long story long, this was a disruptive event. I don't necessarily blame Garcia for not putting out more -- I wonder what the temp was on this day, and it's never fun having someone invade your space when you're trying to work-- but the fact is, after it happened he played a tender but short "Like A Road" and then galloped Peter Rowan's "Midnight Moonlight" back to the barn. Not sure the other 9,999 assembled nuns, goons and trippers deserved the short change, but there you have it.

So, I like the narrative tensions around this show. Incongruous context, and Garcia showing the era's spark and limitations. Oh yeah, one other thing: check out the east coast tapers representing: seven separate master tapes of this circulate in the lossless realm! Speaking of motley crews ... :)


Jerry Garcia Band
Caldwell College
120 Bloomfield Avenue
Caldwell, NJ 07006

August 11, 1984 (Saturday) - 7 PM
Da Weez flac1644 shnid-111743

--set I (6 tracks, 61:21)--
s1t01. [0:06] Cats Under The Stars [9:28] [0:54] %
s1t02. /They Love Each Other [8:06] [0:12]
s1t03. Simple Twist Of Fate ->
s1t04. Run For The Roses
s1t05. Dear // Prudence
s1t06. Rhapsody In Red [12:42] (1) [0:16]

--set II (4 tracks, 35:34)--
s2t01. [0:07]  Mission In The Rain [11:22] [0:06] %
s2t02. Get Out Of My Life, Woman [8:33] [0:07] % [0:03]
s2t03. Like A Road Leading Home [7:02] ->
s2t04. Midnight Moonlight [7:49] [0:12] % dead air [0:07]

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

JGMF:
! 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://thejerrysite.com/shows/show/1758
! JGC: http://jerrygarcia.com/show/1984-08-11-caldwell-college-caldwell-nj/
! db: http://db.etree.org/shn/4411 (Steve Ziemba shnf); http://db.etree.org/shn/9504 (Jeff Silberman shnf); http://db.etree.org/shn/21718 (Bill Reutelhuber shnf); http://db.etree.org/shn/78159 (Jim Vita flac1644); http://db.etree.org/shn/91396 (Joe D'Amico flac1644);  http://db.etree.org/shn/120062 (David Dyche flac); http://db.etree.org/shn/111743 (Da Weez flac, this fileset).
! venue: http://jerrygarciasbrokendownpalaces.blogspot.com/2011/09/caldwell-college-120-bloomfield-ave.html
! map: https://goo.gl/maps/gndSd
! review: Breen, Bill. 1984. Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter: Caldwell College, New Jersey. Relix 11, 5 (October): 28-29.
! band: JGB #21b, THE Jerry Garcia Band (http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2012/01/jerry-garcia-band-personnel-1975-1995.html).
! historical: Reviewer Bill Breen (1984) paints a nice picture: "The August 11 Robert Hunter/ Jerry Garcia Band gig at Caldwell College, New Jersey had to be one of their stranger forays. ... Their venue was a Catholic girls' school, complete with neo-Gothic towers and Celtic crucifixes. ... The stage was built at the bottom of a grassy hillock ringed by two hundred foot balsams, which formed a natural ampitheater. The crucific topped towers peering through the trees lent a medieval look." He notes the incongruity. A TJS informant writes that there were "nuns patrolling the parking lot", while TJS contributor Mike Vand also notes heavy security without specifying that it was the good sisters. The other thing to note is the 35 minute second set. In the Rock Bottom series I have pondered short sets (3/2/85, 5/31/85, 6/1/85, 6/3/85). I have also occasionally bumped into exogenously truncated sets, as when a nearby fire cut short a show at the Boston Orpheum Theatre xxx on 11/15/81. I think this is a little bit of both. "At 10,000 strong, it was a pretty motley crew down at the nunnery" (Breen 1984), and during the sixth ever JGB version of Allen Toussaint's "a local aborigine, madly gyrating, crashed through the drumset." He was booed, security gave him the heave-ho, they were booed. Breen recalls that, "drumless, Garcia soloed right on through, never dropping a note. Afterward, the band huddled briefly, considering their next move." Attendee Mike Vand remembers our gyrating freak: "Halfway through the second set some crazed individual got on the stage, leaping on it from behind the band, and knocked over part of the drum kit. The band finished the song and left the stage. That explains the short set and no encore. Don't know what happened to the guy. He jumped into the area between the stage and a security fence which I think was full of cops." Vand seems to suggest that the stage crasher truncated the show, but cclearly Jerry comes out and plays a couple more songs. He might have left the stage for awhile - this tape isn't clear because it splices. The David Dyche tape (shnid-120062) has a little more after GOOMLW, and it does sound like someone hear him is urging the band to stick around or something. I can't quite tell. Long story long, this was a disruptive event. But Jerry could have chosen to come out and play more than two songs even after the incident. I don't blame him for not putting out more -- I wonder what the temp was on this day, and it's never fun having someone invade your space when you're trying to work-- but the fact is, after it happened he played a tender Like A Road (I have a post to make about freaky stage crashers and that particular song) and then galloped Peter Rowan's "Midnight Moonlight" back to the barn.
! R: field recordist: The Weasel ("Da Weez");
! R: field recording gear: 2x Sennheiser 421 microphones > Sony TC-D5M;
! R: field recording media: unknown cassette stock;
! R: field recording location: close to the stage;
! R: transfer: Sony TC-D5M (original record deck) > Pre Sonus Inspire GT > Sound Forge > .wav files > Trader's Little Helper > flac files, by D5scott. Seeded to Dime.
! R: seeder note: "R.I.P. Sandy. aka 'Bigfoot'"
! R: s1t01 guitar is right in your face, and vocals are way back. So we are hearing the stage. (Looks at notes, and sees recording location of "close to stage". Indeed!)
! R: s1t02 TLEO clips in. God, this recording captures Garcia's guitar so beautifully! He is playing really well, e.g., in the 5-6 range.
! P: s1t02 Melvin sounds great to start TLEO, really forward on the recording. Garcia's voice ragged, what did you expect? His inflection is good, his singing is very intentional, very present. @ 2:50, Melvin hits a real loud thing, the crowd reacts and Melvin has stepped in front of *Garcia* for a lead turn. Yeah, man! That announcement of his intention is very cool. Now, however, Jerry is comping behind him 3:20s and Melvin doesn't have anything to say. Does a little thing 3:45ff, but not loud enough! Now a little louder over 4, but I expect that Jerry's done enough comping. Indeed, he bends out 4:11, his first turn is interesting, sounds ilke an early GD tune, not a great solo, but a little weird. The band is on the '1' though, so he can get back to TLEO, set his feet and go again, as he is late 4 over 5.
! P: s1t03 man, now Jerry's vocals sound very clear, and again he is singing with care. He muffs the first part of the second of verse. He is singing so beautifully here. In the 2 min mark he takes a nice solo, gets fsome real echo and feedback on it 2:29, high up 2:39. John going to take a lead turn 6:40ff, since Garcia is so forward in the mix you hear him comping more than John's fluttery lead. By 8:30 Jerry is signaling his intentions, and 8:40 ish he steps forward. John's thing wasn't terrible, but it did nothing for me.  STOF giving it his all vocally. Next run through early 3 is very grungy. This tape captures the guitar, the feeling of his electric guitar playing on this night. The band is *on*. Screaming 4:15, after the "I sing the blues, where has it led?" line. Band is super tight.
! s1t06 (1) JG: "Thank you. We're gonna take a break for a few minutes. We'll be back a little later."
! P: s2t01 MITR hard to say if this is a P or an R artifact. Let me explain. At 6:40 it is Mevin's turn to play some lead. He signals it, Garcia steps back, comps, creating the space for Melvin. Melvin is playing the sorts of notes that would be indicative of "leading", but he's not very audible. So, is it that he's not really putting his belly into it because he's a little tentative? Or is it just that we are right in front of Jerry, listening to his stage monitors, and Melvin's not high in this particular mix? It'd be cool to check against some of the other tapes (most of which were seeded in shn and need a shn2flac treatment), because the implications are totally different. The first is that Melvin's not stepping up. The second is that he might be, and though we can't hear it very loudly, we are listening from a Jerry-centric vantage. Back to a P note: Around 7:50 JG playing beautifully, laying down some complete chords for Melvin to run around. Jerry teardrop run 8:20ff gets a yell from the audience, nearly one from me. They almost lose each other over 9, but Kemper lays out a nice tight net and they come back together. Jerry is singing with real heart this night.
! P: s2t02 Jerry started in the wrong key (I had been blaming John), but Jerry switches and then it's all good. He takes two instrumental turns to reall set the groove he wants with this song. Around 4:45 there's some PA funkiness, Jerry turned himself up, but there was some popping and electronic zing. I wonder if this is where the guy came on stage? Crowd is hootin' and hollerin', but the drums never stop. Garcia's pouring out molten electricity, shredding all through the 5 minute mark, turning up again 5:48, now it's really loud. Definitely some PA funkiness here as well, though. It's all good. The crowd feels it, and this is top shelf JGB listening. Hear the note 6:24. Drop it right back to the song 6:40ish. The arrangement is a little squirrely 7:35ish, they'll tigthen that up - this is only 6th time played.
! song: "Get out Of My Life, Woman" (s2t02): (Allan | deaddisc | TJS): Listen, not everyone loves Jerry Garcia, and fewer love the Jerry Garcia Band. Since it's less exploratory than the Grateful Dead, it loses everyone who needs the collective improvisation at work in that band. That's fine. But let's recognize the American musical vein Garcia is tapping here, with legit Bay Area R&B, soul, black church musicians. JGB introduced it on 7/28/84 at the Keystone Palo Alto, prepped it one more time locally, and then took it on the road, playing all but one night on the August 7-18, 1984 tour. The introduction of this song provides a useful counterpoint to the "Rock Bottom" narrative. I maintain pretty consistently that fresh material is a pretty unalloyed good, at least as a proxy. Variance in the repertoire means he's at least thinking about things. And when he picks a number as cool as this, with his Bay Area players flavoring the really tight mix, It Is Good, and true to his self conception as a local kid running around multihued San Francisco, a Mission Street R&B guy. Nice. The song's ebb and flow in the repertoire is generally interesting. Some tunes come in and never leave. Some tunes come in and leave right away. Some tunes he played mainly with one group of players, and others he kept picking up through the many iterations of the JGB or many different periods. This one was ebbed and flowed a bunch, with lots of six month or even year long gaps between performances. That's not that common in the JGB repertoire.
! P: s2t03 LARLH giving it his all, "the pain is too much / for you to bear / turn around / turn around / turn around / and I'll be there / like a road leading home". Nice. Long vocal extensions 1:27, nice guitar counterpoint 1:29. I am a little worried that they're moving too fast with it, but we'll see where it goes! Man, this first big guitar work late 3 is quite nice. Jerry is playing this very nicely, yet I don't find this version entirely satisfiying. The arrangement is not totally together, and Jerry doesn't stretch it out enough. He wants to get out of Dodge, mountin' good ol' Midnight Moonlight for the home stretch.
! P: s2t04 MM over 4 Jerry's truncating his chords, which he didn't always do on this number. Melvin leads a turn 4 min mark while Jerry chords.
! s2t04 (2) JG: "Thanks a lot, we'll see you later."