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Friday, December 19, 2014

Garcia on The Tubes

Q 2145 Have you seen the Tubes? Oh yeah. You like The Tubes? Oh yeah. We were … my band, we were rehearsing over at SIR and the Tubes were in there rehearsing. Their rehearsal scene is like more stringent than a Broadway play. They rehearse like a bar at a time, their moves, they have like a 7 o’clock dancer call, 8:30 is the band call, … they’re very serious on the level of what amounts to stagecraft, and I can dig that – it’s just like a musical or a play. The fact that they can do it with some wit, and enjoy it, that’s tremendous. There’s an awful lot of discipline involved in what they do. I would never be able to handle that.

Garcia, Jerry, 1942-1995, “Ben Fong-Torres interviews Jerry Garcia. Interview recorded circa 1975 for the documentary radio program "What was that?" broadcast on KSAN-FM in San Francisco [radio broadcast],” Grateful Dead Archive Online, accessed November 10, 2013,
What would have been the studio he refers to as SIR? I am sure I should know it, but I am blanking on it.


  1. Could it be ?

  2. Interesting. does mention the GD. I am not up on the studios, I hope LIA or someone else might have an idea. This SIR looks like they don't have a room, they deliver gear and such to a location, but maybe they did at one point, or maybe I misunderstand. Or, maybe, it's S___ I___ Recorders, which is what I had been thinking, i.e., something else entirely.

  3. The Dead rehearsed Mars Hotel at Studio Instrument Rentals in San Francisco in 1974. Here's Garcia from Jackson's "Goin' Down The Road" interview book p 229 (originally from "The Golden Road" No 25)

    "...we rehearsed a lot before we went into the studio, That was done at Columbia's old place, when Ron Hallee (Paul Simon's engineer) used to have a West Coast place. We'd rehearse across the street at S.I.R. (Studio Instrument Rentals) before we'd go into the studio every day. We rehearsed all the tunes for about a month before we recorded them, so we had them pretty fully arranged."

    1. So cool, thanks! The interview took place around Fall 1975, so a year and a half after that.

  4. I suspect Jerry also used SIR for early JGB rehearsals/try outs. It doesn't sound right that he would refer to the Dead as "my band," he spent decades denying that he was the Dead's leader. Similarly with Jerry & Merl/LOM, I can't see him claiming ownership.

    I've not listened to the interview so am in danger of taking a quote out of context but "my band, we were rehearsing" sounds like it was fairly recent which would fit in with late summer/early fall JGB genesis.

    Also it's amusing to think of the Dead starting the day rehearsing at SIR then moving across the street to Columbia to record given their habit of filling studios with their gear.

  5. Replies
    1. Correction: Currently at 520 Townsend but not the original address. No one working there knows the original address!

  6. The JGB did not really have a rehearsal hall in 1975. Apparently, the Dead owned Front Street by that time, but it was just a warehouse, not a working space. Jerry would have rehearsed a few times with Nicky Hopkins, or maybe just once--we have a tape of it. Maybe he tried out some drummers there with Merl, too.

    The Tubes put out their memorable debut album in June 1975. They did some local shows and then went on the road in the Fall, so the timing makes sense. The Tubes were ramping up from being a club band to a national touring attraction, and they had record company support, so they could work out of SIR.

    I should add, I saw the Tubes a few times in 1975, and there was absolutely nothing like it at the time. They were so good we named the family cat after the lead singer (Fee the cat outlived the band, as it happened.


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