On Tuesday, May 31, 1983, the Jerry Garcia Band lit up an SRO West 52nd Street institution, the venerable Roseland Ballroom, with one of the finest shows of the 1980s. On any given night, Jerry Garcia could deliver the fucking goods, and this is the fucking goods. Everything crackles. I have titled the post with a line from the show opening "Rhapsody In Red", the big rocker from 1978's Cats Under The Stars that worked beautifully with Jerry's grungy, metallic, 1983 JGB sound. This one is a rip-snorter.
I notice Greg Errico's deep, thudding percussion this night and Melvin being a little tentative. I feel Garcia very much in an R&B space, shaking his sweaty mane and tearing the shit out of several solos. Very high energy show. See notes.
The John Scher Presents program for this night is nothing to write home about, aesthetically. But I'll post scans of the last two pages, with a few comments.
|John Scher Presents program for JGB at Roseland Ballroom, 5/31/83-6/1/83, p. 3.|
Standard little band bio, of course. But check out these details, some of which hadn't quite stuck in my brain.
MELVIN SEALS | Organ | Has quite an extensive background in Broadway productions having worked on four shows, including " Evolution Of The Blues". Other music talents he's worked with include Oscar Brown, Buddy Miles and Elvin Bishop, as well as Maria Muldaur and Chuck Berry. Melvin is a producer for a company out of Nashville and has produced such Gospel greats as the Hawkins Family. The Martin Luther King television special is one prestigious project he has participated in. Melvin has been with the Garcia band for three years now, and also directs the current female singers in the band.I have to check this info against what I know. But I found the last line, about Melvin directing the female singers, to be very interesting. I had always assumed that Kahn dealt with arrangements, but this implies a more elaborate (and possibly alternative) set of arranging responsibilities.
JACKIE LA BRANCH | Backup Vocals | A recent addition to the band, she has been mainly singing gospel with the San Francisco Inspirational Choir, and has worked with Maria Muldaur on gospel tunes.
DEE DEE DICKERSON | Backup Vocals | Another recent addition, she has been working with some of the industry heavies for years. Her long list includes Herbie Hancock, Taj Mahal, Pharaoh Sanders, and Quicksilver Messenger Service.
Both these girls have been a welcome addition to the band and the audience's enjoyment is evident. The ladies are great!I sure would like to know more about the ladies, and be in touch with them if at all possible. If you know them, please have them be in touch! I'd like to learn more.
Finally, a little piece of capitalism from the back cover:
|John Scher Presents program for JGB at Roseland Ballroom, 5/31/83-6/1/83, p. 4 (back cover).|
I am sure there had been lots of GD and JGB cross-promotions over the years, but for whatever reason this struck me. I love how, for lack of something else to draw attention to, the ad for the GD's Go To Heaven promotes it on the basis of including "Don't Ease Me In," perhaps the only time in history capitalism managed such a crass feat. The Run For The Roses selections don't look that appealing either, come to think of it. Oh well. Play on, Jerry.
Jerry Garcia Band
239 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019
May 31, 1983 (Tuesday)
Vita flac1644 shnid-76578
--set I (7 tracks, 50:32)--
s1t01. tuning [0:37]
s1t02. Rhapsody In Red [10:17] [0:04] %
s1t03. They Love Each Other
s1t04. That's What Love Will Make You Do ]10:03] % [0:04]
s1t05. Valerie [6:48] [0:04] ->
s1t06. How Sweet // It Is (To Be Loved By You)
s1t07. Run For The Roses [5:00] (1) [0:06]
--set II + encore (8 tracks, 68:33)--
-- set II (7 tracks, 60:44)--
s2t01. tuning [0:15]
s2t02. The Harder They Come [15:16] [0:03] % [0:12]
s2t03. Mission In The Rain [9:28] [0:03] % [0:06]
s2t04. Mississippi Moon
s2t05. Tangled Up In Blue [12:15] [0:03] %
s2t06. /Gomorrah [5:49] ->
s2t07. Deal [8:25] (2) [0:03] % [0:02]
--encore (1 track, 7:49)--
s2t08. Midnight Moonlight [7:43] [0:06] %
! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band #15b
! Lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
! Lineup: John Kahn - el-bass;
! Lineup: Melvin Seals - keyboards (Hammond B-3 organ);
! Lineup: Greg Errico - drums;
! Lineup: Jacklyn LaBranch - vocals;
! Lineup: DeeDee Dickerson - 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.
! JGC: https://jerrygarcia.com/show/1983-05-31-roseland-ballroom-new-york-ny/
! db: http://db.etree.org/shn/4416 (unknown MAC shnf); http://db.etree.org/shn/6624 (senn 441 shnf); http://db.etree.org/shn/15617 (Cohen shnf); http://db.etree.org/shn/76578 (Vita flac1644, this fileset).
! venue: http://jerrygarciasbrokendownpalaces.blogspot.com/2012/06/roseland-ballroom-239-west-52nd-street.html
! band: JGB #15b (http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2012/01/jerry-garcia-band-personnel-1975-1995.html)
! map: https://goo.gl/maps/oGXPs
! R: field recordist: Jim Vita
! R: field recording gear: 2x Sennheiser 421 > Sony D-5 (Maxell UDXLII)
! R: transfer and FLAC encoding by David Minches:
Master played back on Nakamichi Dragon > ART DI/O > Digital Audio Labs Card Deluxe soundcard > Cool Edit 2000 > flac encoding > FLAC.
! R: shnid-4416 note: 04/07/2007, jjoops-garcia: "The cassette flip at the start of Run for the Roses suggests that this could be from Vita's master, though of course it's possible that others besides Vita got caught flipping there. "
! historical: Diamorphine, 2014-04-23 00:35:35: "Saw both shows and still remember being blown away by the Don't Let Go [on 6/1]. The place was hot and packed with people and the music just rumbled inside of you. It's seeing shows like this, with the band just feet away from you, the whole place dancing, made the thought of JGB at MSG or the like totally impossible." http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=571647
! P: s1t02 RIR hot hot hot late 5 acid molten playing, tearing the shit out of it over 6-minute mark. No warmup needed this night - he is fully frothed here. 6:35ish some interesting tone. Very fluid in 6:40 range, hot, tight, fast, sharp, lots of good adjectives for this, over 7. Pulling a little 7:11 ff, more pulling train whistle 7:17. Letting it breathe post 7:30. Man, so nice. On any given night, Jerry Garcia could deliver the fucking goods, and this is the fucking goods. 8:20 churning some chunkier stuff, 8:33, 8:38 pure metal strumming, chunky percussive but shorter pulls interspersed with those earlier longer phrases, 9:08, he's Chuck Berry, signalling back to the song. Seizes the '1' at 9:23 and sings. Wow. That is a masterpiece of a performance right out of the gate.
! P: s1t03 TLEO is not a song I love, but this version is really good.
! P: s1t04 TWLWMYD from 4:45 there is some exemplary playing, then he does some very well controlled pulls around 5:05 and 5:10 - check this out. More energy 5:30, another turn round the bases. 6:05 he steps back and comps, Melvin is a little slow to take the cue. He's playing 6:15ff, but not loud at all. Now 6:30 he does a big B3 swoop. Still super low in the mix, but that could be the tape. See also a similar reaction I have from, when, 8/11/84? Melvin coming in with about a 'C' grade feature. Now louder over 7. There you go, big fella, lean into it, groove to it, loosen up! (Then again, maybe he was tearing it up, but wasn't mixed loud!) 7:30ff Garcia steps up for some guitar playing, playing of the guitar. Hitting real hard over 8, tight and clean and fluid, an extra up 8:15, great tone, and yet another run 8:27ff! Really hot. Everything has something extra this night. Wow. Errico does a big run down 9:21 ish, hits again 9:34, he's awesome. Gar gives it his best R&B head shake.
! P: s1t05 Valerie the shit Garcia is doing 4:30 is absolutely evil. He lands cleanly on "I ain't afraid of the cold cruel world outside" ... he sounds great. He's really got his R&B-guy-singing-about-his-baby working well this night.
! R: s1t06 HSII some kind of tape nastiness @ 4:10.
! P: s1t06 HSII even this rocks this night! He puts a filter on in the 4-minute range, a little more flavorful tone, and he's really hitting some great notes through the minute mark. Melvin steps up post 5 with his nice HSII solo that he did. Garcia only comes to lead 6:30, and he is awn fiyah. 6:58 more high register work, 7:16 nice pull. He is one with Motown, huge chords 7:30, really loud, loud major chording guitar playing to the "open my eyes at night" @ 7:44. This is a huge performance to this point. Huge. Man, Jerry loved NYC.
! P: s1t07 RFTR I love that he played this extra song. He could very well have called it after that incendiary HSII. But he is not settling on this night. So, tip o' the cap. His voice is starting to sound a little ragged, but his guitar playing is great and the band is very tight.
! R: s1t07 RFTR 0:02 - 0:07 patched (crossfade) from Mark Cohen's master; Nak 700s > Sony D-5.
! s1t07 (1) JG: "We're gonna take for a few minutes. We'll be back in a little while."
! P: s2t02 HTC classic JGB version of this song. Notes shoving each other aside 5:30, another set of scaling runs 6:05ff. Fingers are going a mile a minute. His voice sounds tired, I am worried about some of these tunes coming up.
! P: s2t03 MITR has pep. Good but brief fan @ 7:15
! P: s2t05 TUIB very hot. Garcia puts some big effects on late 7 over 8 and this is rockin'. More big effects 8:39, more a minute later. Very expressive, articulate, powerful guitar work. Still really extending his phrases a minute later, not phrases, sentences, or even mere paragraphs, but whole narratives, hits a great little note 11:07. Wow, this is absolutely rockin'. Errico is BANGING.
! R: s2t06 Gomorrah clips in
! P: s2t07 Deal is also hot. Listen to little run 5:28. Whole band is on, but Jerry is smokin' hot.
! s2t07 (2) JG: "Thank you. See ya later."
! P: s2t08 MM even Midnight Moonlight has it all this night. What a show.