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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

OAITW - October 5, 1973, Civic Auditorium, Santa Cruz, CA

Ahhh, beautiful, beautiful libraries.

Below is the stuff I found around the Old And In The Way gig played Friday, October 5, 1973 at the Civic Auditorium, 307 Church Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 [map | JGC | JGBP]. cryptdev was in attendance!

Let me first note, because I can't resist the pretty colors, that this is the third-to-last regularly-scheduled OAITW gig. They played Saturday, October 6 at Keystone and were supposed to play Sunday in the football stadium at California State College Sonoma, in Cotati. Great art for that gig, "Bluegrass on an Autumn Afternoon", a White Cloud Production to benefit A World Peace [illegible].
Advertisement for OAITW at Cal State Sonoma, October 7, 1973 (rained out and rescheduled to 11/4/73), courtesy IM.
I see something toward the bottom that I can't quite make out, something will happen on October 15th in case of rainout, but in any case this was rained out and eventually played (and available for our listening pleasure thanks to a soundboard patch tape by the legendary Ed Perlstein) on November 4th. 

So they do Friday in Santa Cruz, Saturday in Berkeley, and then play the legendary Boarding House show of Monday, October 8, 1973, which is now available complete from Acoustic Oasis (along with the 10/1 show) and which has supplied the lion's share of all of the officially released OAITW stuff, as the last regularly scheduled OAITW show. There's nothing else. Think about that. They quit, it ended, more or less right after getting all the tracks they'd need, for more or less a lifetime. The Sonoma State makeup happened on 11/4 and then, five months later, a cursory reunion set to close the Golden State Country Bluegrass Festival. That's it.

Long story short, I say, long story short, the Santa Cruz Civic show was the third to last regularly scheduled one. Here's the handbill.

I found two previews, an ad, and a review.

First, from the UCSC paper, a preview that understands the fine musicianship underpinning OAITW, and I don't (nor does she) mean Garcia. "If you dig good acoustic country boogie, don't miss this one." (Note the El Topo ad for some AHATT color.) 

A second preview, in Sundaz, focuses on the gig's beneficiary. Jelly Roll Community Media (formerly Productions) has set itself up as a non-profit, putting on some righteous sounding programming at the intersection of empowering indigenous and other communities, on the one hand, and the media and communication arts, on the other. Sounds like they were trying to give people some skills that they could use to make a living, form deliberative, civic and other community spaces, and so forth. The outfit was $4,000 in the red and the Civic Center shindig would hopefully wipe that clean. (Since the review implies the gig was not only a sellout, but oversold, one hopes that was indeed the case.)

So, like the Sonoma State gig scheduled for the same weekend, this was a benefit. Right on, gents.

Then an ad in Sundaz:

Finally, a fine black and white picture of Garcia picking the banjo accompanies the review:

Reviewer Michael Goldberg reports 1,600 satisfied customers, and some number of folks with tickets disallowed entry by order of the fire marshal. We get a little glimpse of the scene backstage, with Garcia, Wavy Gravy, Ramblin' Jack, the OAITW folks, and various locals being weird, Paul Krassner "wandering through dark hallways with slender women," and Mr. Romney opining on the deployment of jello moats, instead of Hell's Angels, as event security perimeters.

Frye is identified as an ex-member of Santa Cruz mountains legends Oganookie, Ramblin' Jack played his usual set, and Grisman can play the shit out of the mandolin. Cryptdev discusses the show some. Reviewer Goldberg, for his part, "is getting a little bored with Jerry Garcia and his country/rock groups," playing well-arranged and technically proficient music that is "just not exciting". There's no accounting for taste, of course, but what makes me wonder is when Garcia's white working class side stuff was ever either well arranged or technically proficient! :)

Corry has this to say about the Civic Center:
The Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium ... is an excellent Art Deco style building that was completed in 1940. As Santa Cruz rose in importance, more and more performers started using the friendly little 2,000 capacity hall for warm up shows, or shows on off nights ... Garcia played the venue several times in later years. The Civic is just 2.1 miles to the UCSC Campus Entrance, as close as Garcia got to campus.

"Garcia Headlines Friday Concert," City on a Hill Press, October 4, 1973, p. 5. 

"Jelly Roll Rolls Again," Sundaz, October 5, 1973, p. 12. 

Arnold, Corry. 2009. The Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia in Santa Cruz County 1965-1987. Lost Live Dead, November 4, URL, consulted 8/14/2014.

Goldberg, Michael. 1973. Garcia, Elliot, Frye. Sundaz, October 11, 1973, p. 1.

Parrish, Michael. 2012. Jerry Garcia and his banjo in Santa Cruz 1973-75. Cryptical Developments, June 9, 2012, URL, consulted 7/30/2012.


  1. FWIW, Vassar was billed October 2-6, 1973 at the Exit/In, working for Tut Taylor, who was recording a live album. But Vassar was definitely in Santa Cruz on the 5th and in Berkeley on the 6th - remarkably, there are reviews of both shows (Goldberg 1973; Lyons 1973b), though no tapes. I also note that October 2-4 John Hartford was also there with Tut Taylor in Nashville. Small worlds fold in on themselves.

  2. Vassar was also advertised at Homer's Warehouse on Oct 6.
    Andrew Bernstein's "California Slim" on p 139 (accessable from google books) has a flyer with at the bottom

    Coming Sat Oct 6
    Jerry Garcia * Vassar Clements
    Old & In The Way

    I didn't know the Keystone show was confirmed. Is that review online anywhere?

  3. Hm, I have the book, not sure how I didn't notice that.

    I don't know if the review is online, it was in the Barb, and I don't know if ca. 10/73 has been available via Independent Voices. I have a copy, which I will scan and try to post. The reviewer was not a Jerry fan, and it scathes about OAITW (except Vassar).


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