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Friday, November 21, 2014

JGMS in San Diego 11/18/73 probably rained out

The List has long given Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders at the Aztec Bowl, San Diego State College (I think it was still this C and not a U at the time), November 18, 1973. Because Garcia and Saunders had barely played out of the Bay Area by that time (Ash Grove in LA 5/29-30/73, the Hells Angels show on 9/5/73, John Scher's Passaic Capitol Theatre on 9/6/73), it would have been pretty noteworthy, had it happened.

Like the canceled show at the University of Iowa on 10/20/73, it would have made some logistical sense, dovetailing nicely with Grateful Dead gigging. Also like it (and another early out-of-town show, 2/16/74 in Passaic), however, it appears not to have happened.

Most importantly, despite this being a putative show in a football stadium, I have never seen any eyewitness accounts. Doggie no barkie.

It appears to have rained in San Diego on 11/18/73, less in town than the biblical 4.5" received in the Palomar Mountains, but having just seen S.D. responding to "rain" the last few days, even a half-inch or so may have been enough to scuttle the whole thing. I believe there may have been Aztecs soccer and/or football events planned for the turf, and maybe they didn't want a bunch of rock fans mucking it up.

That makes sense, but the weird thing is that, besides the door listing reproduced above, after a little poking around I have found no mention of the show in either the San Diego Union or, more problematically, in the SDSU Daily Aztec (digitized, albeit with a rather clunky interface, via the University library's digital collections). I do not understand why the show would have been listed in the door published on November 8th, but never mentioned or advertised in the campus paper.

Thoughts about this? Either way, I am about 99% confident that the show never happened, probably one to strike from The List (now, our individually-maintained lists) of Garcia shows.

1 comment:

  1. As a Northern Californian, I naturally ascribe to the theory that rain in San Diego would cause cancellation of any outdoor event, and indeed that Navy rescue teams were probably placed downtown to prevent citizens from drowning in mud puddles. But isn't that just an assumption? Doesn't everybody in Southern California believe that even if it rained today, tomorrow will be sunny? Why would promoters have canceled a Garcia show?

    How many eyewitness accounts do we have of Garcia/Saunders shows prior to 1975? Very few of the Bay Area shows even have reliable accounts, much less reviews. Garcia/Saunders existed in a strange vacuum. I still think you are correct that the show was rained out, but I just don't find the lack of an eyewitness account to be a convincing negative case.

    Most "eyewitness accounts" of Garcia/Saunders shows are just tapes. We have very few verifiable accounts. There are actually a number of strange shows, like October 13 1974 at Santa Barbara Bowl, about which we know basically nothing beyond a tape fragment. There is actually a backstage pass for that (maybe a ticket, not sure), but even then that gives us little information. What about Old And In The Way at Oakland Auditorium on August 22, 1973?--I'd love to get an explanation of that. I was under the impression that Garcia/Saunders played The Shrine or Santa Monica Civic about 74 or so, too, but with TheJerrySite (RIP) gone, I don't want to do the homework to find out.


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