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Saturday, April 26, 2014

January 18, 1985: Strung Out and Busted

January 18, 1985 has got to be Rock Bottom for Jerry Garcia: strung out and busted.

But let me step back. Six days earlier, Garcia gave an interview to Jas Obrecht and Jon Sievert (Obrecht 1985, 2010). Obrecht reports that the interview took place at the home of Nora Sage, said to be a fan in whose basement Garcia was crashing. Jackson (1999, 337-338) says instead that this is the Hepburn Heights house (12 Hepburn Heights, San Rafael, CA, 94901), that Rock Scully had moved/been kicked out in 1983, and that Nora is keeping house and tending to Garcia between her law classes. After the events to be narrated, Ms. Sage helps Garcia kick by rationing his drugs in progressively smaller doses, gets him painting for the first time in twenty-five years, has him making model cars and guns, toys for Jerry denying the Devil of his. Brother Tiff appreciates it: "If it wasn't for Nora Sage, Jerry probably would have been dead a lot earlier" (Jackson 1999, 338).

It cannot have been easy. Obrecht (2010) sets the stage, January 12, 1985:
Garcia, unwashed and disheveled, shuffled slowly into the living room, his black T-shirt sprinkled with white powder. His fingertips were blackened in a manner consistent with “chasing the dragon,” as smoking heroin was commonly referred to in the Bay Area. Ten minutes into our interview, Garcia nonchalantly chopped a large rock of cocaine into about twenty lines and consumed all of it during the next hour.
Hyperbole? Check out our googly hero in the fish-eye lens. Look at all the blow and dandruff on that t-shirt, the tarred fingers! For want of Smell-O-Vision we can't truly appreciate the "prodigious body odor which preceded him by the room’s length" (

Jerry Garcia, 1/12/85 - Frets, July 1985, photograph by Jon Sievert.

Less than a week later, in response to an intervention staged at band and family's request by new Dead manager (and old friend) John McIntire, Garcia drops Nora off at class and sets off for rehab. But he detours a little bit, a consequential little twist, planned or unplanned. Since I know neither wither he was coming nor whence he was going, I don't know if it's an actual detour. Corry suggests below that it could rather have formed a destination. Regardless, he "stopped in Golden Gate Park, where he sat in his car meditating on his life, and, not coincidentally, finishing off his drug supply. Unfortunately, his BMW, a gift from a disreputable source, was not registered" (McNally 2002, 552).

On Friday, January 18, 1985, around 12:30 in the afternoon, SFPD Officer Mark Gamble steers his Honda police motorcycle toward a black BMW with expired September 1984 tags parked on the north side of Middle Drive in Golden Gate Park (north of Metson Lake). Approaching the driver's side window, he finds the vehicle's sole occupant "looking down at his hands in which he held a piece of tin foil paper which had a brown, sticky appearing substance on it. He looked up at me and quickly shoved the tin foil out of view to the right side of the driver's seat. He started reaching all over the base of his seat acting very nervous."

Officer Gamble:
I told him to open his window more and he started the engine and opened the power window. I asked him for his driver's license and the vehicle registration. He said he did not have his driver's license and he gave the registration to me. He verbally identified himself as "Jerry Garcia, born 8/1/42". ... I looked into the car and saw an open briefcase open on the front passenter seat. Inside the briefcase I saw several other pieces of tin foil with brown residue and burn marks. Also, I saw the baggie of paper bindles, the glass cooker and [?pro?] and the cigarette lighters. I also smelled a slight smell of something burned coming from inside the car.
Officer Gamble arrested "Jerry Garcia, born 8/1/42" on charges of possession of narcotics for sale, based on multiple, separately labeled bindles of drugs and a sizeable wad of cash. The man, 42, 6'0 and 250 (ish), long greying hair, a plaid red shirt and a black t-shirt -- I presume the same as odiferous, feculent, powdery and pungent getup from six days earlier, and it's entirely possible that he had not bathed or changed clothes in the interim, consistent with eye- and nose-witness reports from the period -- "knocked-out-loaded" (James Booker), flat-out busted (something Booker also understood).

His stash duly inscribes itself into his official (hence "permanent") record, as in modernity it must. The numberings are mine, so I can refer to them (another thoroughly modern move, in terms of the quantification and the agency I feel in imposing it).
  1. 1 brown briefcase containing misc papers
  2. 1 SFPD issue property envelope [ed: containing at least next three items]
  3. $990 (16x $50, 9x $20, 1x $10)
  4. 3 paper bindles containing brown powder (found in rose tin)
  5. 1 baggie of 6 cotton swabs
  6. 1 plastic container liquid
  7. 1 glass container liquid
  8. 8 pieces of foil with burnt residue
  9. 11 paper bindles with brown residue in a bag found in briefcase
  10. 1 paper bindle of white powder found in briefcase
  11. 1 Zip-Loc baggie containing 1 yellow legal paper bindle containing white powder, labeled "1/2 gram"
  12. 1 paper bindle with brown rock like substance
  13. 1 cooking glass with prong holders
  14. 7 cigarette lighters
  15. 1 razor
  16. 1 4" metal tool
  17. 1 zipper brown pouch 6" x 4"
  18. 1 seven of hearts playing card
  19. 1 rose metal box 4" x 2"

Let's consider this.
Least commonly, we find the opiate "Persian", item #4, the brown powder found in the rose tin. I don't exactly understand the preparation and use of this. Was it mixed with one of the liquids (#6, #7) to create a paste or rock, this on or perhaps then placed on tin foil (item #7). This is placed on a cooking glass (#12) held via tongs (#12) in one hand, heated with lighter (#14) and inhaled from above? Perhaps he could place the fin foil with the drugs over the tongs and the tin foil heated directly, while the glass cooker is for freebasing the cocaine (see below). I just don't know (thank goodness). The cotton swabs (#5) and I guess the other fluid are for cleaning the paraphernalia, I figure, as possibly is metal tool #16.

I need to educate myself about this substance and its use, specifically by Garcia. I suspect the Greenfield oral history Dark Star might have some information?

Cocaine was commonly encountered among Bay Area affluenti (drivers of late-model black BMWs, for example) of the mid-1980s, as it probably is today. But Garcia was a man of copious tastes and appetites (and lots of money), and he impresses with his all-around hoovering versatility. If I understand things correctly, the bindle from the brief case (#10) and the ½ gram in the yellow paper bindle (#11) are powder cocaine, easily consumable on the bottom of the rose tin (#19) using the razor blade (#15) or the playing card (#18) for refinement and alignment and either the tool (#14) or probably the bills (#3) to snort it. I believe the brown rock-like substance (#12) is crystal cocaine, which could be chopped and snorted by the same means, as Obrecht recounts Garcia doing six days earlier.

Was he freebasing cocaine by washing it in ether (#6 and/or #7; volatile stuff!), and smoking it in a pipe (#13?) as a pure whack to the brain and blood? That'd complete the trifecta (powder, rock and base) I guess. Croz (Crosby and Gottlieb 1988, 294-295) gives a taste for the paraphernalia involved in that:
You collect junk for it. You have a million little pieces of glass. You have little tubes and bottles and stoppers and screens and pipes and pieces of rubber. You have all kinds of little metal tools to scrape the pipes. You have a zillion little containers to keep liquids and powders. We carried around bags full of stuff. I carried little pH papers to check the acidity and alkalinity. I carried bottles of water, little containers of ammonia. I carried bags of baking soda. … [295] I'd have a pipe and a spare pipe and then parts to fix the pipe and all kinds of strange shit. The torch became a part of the things I carried with me, the way people carry car keys or a wallet.
I don't think Garcia was freebasing cocaine, but I am not sure about that. But Crozy's narrative gives a sense of the thing, and the Croz-Garcia comparison is one I'll try to say at least a little bit about at some point.

I notice they list no cigarettes- I wonder if they let him keep his unfiltered Camels with him in stir? Because as a characterization of Garcia's material environment and possessions –as a proper inventory-- it can hardly be complete without smokes. Either they were so trivial the clerk never wrote it, or the perp was allowed this little comfort (in which case, look out lungs!), or Jerry was actually out. If he was not holding smokes when he was arrested, then he really was finishing up and about to leave again -- man's gotta breathe. This is need #1 in Garcia's life at this point, always ready-to-hand -- take my drugs, but please leave me my Camels!

Whatever his nicotine circumstances, he was almost out of Persian. There were eleven used brown-paper bindles (#9) and eight pieces of used tin foil (#8)! Dude had been chuffing like a madman in his driver's seat. My expectation is that he was going to do up a bunch of blow, too, though perhaps not all of it. Gotta get your concentration on for driving. It's possible that he was going to stop off somewhere to a friend, lover, coworker, associate, middleperson, codependent, dealer, or someone else's and drop off at least some of the coke (could he really have done that half-gram sitting there in his car?), maybe some money if he's going away for a few days so they can have some stuff ready for when he gets out – a Scout being always prepared.

The total drugs left comprise the three bindles of brown powder (#4), the white powder briefcase bindle (#10), the ½ gram of blow (#11), and the rock (#12). The cop was being a hardass in busting him on intent-to-sell based on the multiple packaging, but that's really just Jerry's stuff.

The Sources do a great job with the fallout of The Bust, including the relative slap on the wrist for the criminal matter and Garcia's long, slow recovery out of opiate addiction over a sixteen month period (Jackson 1999, 337). McNally says that what drove him to clean up his act was not the Bust, but that.
Early in the summer the consequences of almost total physical passivity caught up with him, and he began to experience massive edema, a swelling in his ankles and lower legs that was so bad his trousers needed to be cut. The appearance of his legs was so shocking that Garcia finally had undeniable proof of the damage. Bit by bit, as the year 1985 passed, he began to clean up and exercise at least a little (McNally 2002, 552). 
I have delved at least a little into some Garcia shows from the following period: March 2, 1985, May 31, 1985, June 1, 1985, and June 3, 1985. I don't want to say much more right now. Instead, I want to use Corry's beautiful knowledge and words to put a little bow on the Bust. Discussing why Garcia might have been in Golden Gate Park, he notes that
It's a giant tourist attraction in a city where there are far too many cars. GGP has been made intentionally unfriendly to through-traffic--the roads have never been widened, the intersections are full of stop signs and roundabouts. Even on a weekday in January (Jan 18, 1985 was a Friday), there are tourists trying to back into parking spaces, roads blocked because there is an international Frisbee championship, and so on. So if you have any experience driving in San Francisco, you go out of your way to avoid any trip through Golden Gate Park, with the exception of 19th Avenue (Highway 1), which is a through street and isn't a convenient entrance to the park by design. Two fast one-way Avenues bracket the park (Lincoln to the ocean, Fulton towards downtown) to provide further inducement not to enter the park unless you are planning to stop there.

Middle Drive north of Metson Lake is a dead-end street
, rather difficult to get to. However, if Jerry was looking for a quiet place ... From a symbolic point of view, Middle Drive north of Metson Lake was probably within sight of the Polo Fields. So if Garcia was taking stock of his life, he was doing it right next to where the Human Be-In was held nearly 17 years earlier (within 4 days). Although Park geography has not changed since the 1950s, it is symbolic as well that when Garcia wanted to find a lonely place to get high in the car, he knew how to find a dead-end street close to the Polo Fields.

Very cinematic.

"I don't ... like ... confrontation!" says Toy Story Rex, the tremulous Tyrannosaur, and neither did Garcia. Who does? Yet he had been directly confronted by everyone closest to him, and exceptionally, had overcome his own certain embarrassment and allowed himself to accede to their request that he clean up his act ("mannnn"). I have always figured getting busted was passive-aggressive "fuck you" to his loved ones, a little bouquet of unpleasantness. He wouldn't be the first or last addict (or non-addict!) to lash out unproductively, with potentially dangerous and certainly problematic consequences. But, re-reading Corry's context, I am no longer so sure. 42, a mess, strung-out or loaded to the gills. Maybe time to re-evaluate; remember how it was, imagine how it might be.

In the well-lived life, the last step, the final step, is not Rock Bottom. It's sort of axiomatic that the end, if indeed it really is a step down, comes non-monotonically in the well-lived life: dying with your boots on ("age of 90, shot in the back by a jealous husband", as my Dad would say) is part of the equation. I'll assert that Garcia's was a life well-lived - too short by any standard, with some down deep and dirty low points, but way out in the far-right tail of the distribution in terms of average quality, with maxima probably hitting few-in-trillionths level rarity. So I don't think that August 8, 1995, Garcia's last day on Earth, was Rock Bottom. Far from it. By that time, at only 53 and only ten years after the events narrated here, he had, I hate to be crude about it, shot his wad. He had burned through more experience in 53 than most do in 80, the cliché would have it, and I think that's probably right.

On the afternoon of January 18, 1985, by contrast, dude was probably thinking he still had a lot to live for, some unfinished business. While he and his Dead associates had already begun ascending a long arc of success, within two and a half years they'd have a hit record and would become one of the heaviest and most reliable earners in rock and roll (see my snapshot of 1991). Garcia's unfinished business was, quite literally, to make himself an American success story, to reach the top of the mountain. Maybe he spied it, just a glimpse of it, jonesing for a smoke in a urine-soaked San Francisco lockup, up over the horizon of recovery, through patching up some personal stuff, working his ass off - a few more years, maybe some good times, a few laughs, more music, and a little greatness along the way.

(Acknowledgement: Thanks to Walter Keenan for the report and Corry Arnold for context and analysis.)

blog business

Going to try to do some stuff this weekend, then a few slow weeks in all likelihood, and probably then a bit more blogging in summer. Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 21, 2014

GD at University of Utah, April 12, 1969

The University of Utah's daily campus paper, the Chronicle, had very few little fragments on the GD show held in the Union Ballroom on campus on Saturday, April 12, 1969. Taboot, I couldn't get access to a decent scanning arrangement, as you'll see. So, no page details, etc. Scans below, here's what I find.

SDS Ball, The Grateful Dead and Spirit of Creation, Lights by Five Fingers. Two shows, 8 and 10 p.m., $2 for students and $3 for non-students.

I know you can't read the text from the next two bits, but they have some interesting tidbits. This little blurb "Grateful Dead at SDS Ball" says that the group had been scheduled to come earlier in the year but had to reschedule. I did not know that. No time to search around when this might have been or what might have happened.

This last illegible bit says that the writer interviewed the GD before the show, and they said that they'd have two records coming out, a studio one and a live one, within the next month or two. I don't know the timelines of Aoxomoxoa and Live/Dead, but this sounds a little bit ambitious. Anyway, FWIW.

I might be able to get a few more scans from the Salt Lake City Tribune, but we'll see.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I work for the union

Garcia was a member of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), local no. 6 in San Francisco.

He initially applied on August 24, 1965 and was approved for membership one week later. He gave his address as 71 Miguel Street, San Francisco, claiming to have resided there for four years. He claims his occupation as music teacher. Question #29 asks "Have you played any professional engagements during the time you were not a member of the Federation, and if so, where and with whom?" Answer: no (of course).

Like a lot of creative types, Garcia was paperwork-challenged, as indicated by his very messy card.
  • Applied 8/24/85;
  • Admitted 8/31/65;
  • Dropped 4/12/66;
  • Readmitted to membership 7/16/66;
  • dropped 3/31/68;
  • Readmitted to membership 7/13/68;
  • dropped 3/31/69;
  • readmitted 4/3/70;
  • dropped 6/30/72;
  • readmitted 9/21/72;
  • suspended w/ $100 fine 3/25/74
  • dropped 9/30/74;
  • readmitted 5/12/75;
  • dropped 12/31/80
  • readmitted 3/26/81, con't to 9/21/82

I don't know if he got someone to keep his paperwork together after that time (I think so) or if there were more ebbs and flows that I just wasn't able to pin down.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Jersey Shore, Jerry and Scher (VN jg1977-07-09.jgb.early)

In July 1977, the Jerry Garcia Band went out east for a few big paydays playing for John Scher in Hempstead, NY and two shows on the Jersey Shore, at the Convention Hall in Asbury Park. I have reported on the first night (7/8) and on the 7/9 late show from an audience tape.  Lots of interesting stuff here – the Garcia-Scher partnership (a Don Law-promoted show up Cape Cod was scheduled for the 10th, but canceled for reasons unknown to me), money, hooliganism (between shows on the second night) and some interesting performances ("Tough Mama", from Dylan's Planet Waves, shows up the first night in the middle of a seven-year absence, and the late show second night ends with the only known JGB performance of "Not Fade Away").

Here's how it might have looked financially for the night of the 9th:

As noted, a big payday all around, about $200,000 in 2013 dollars.

Now, into the world drops video of many John Scher promoted Garcia Band shows, including material from both 7/9/77 shows. I have now viewed the early show video, and it's nothing short of amazing. Stunning. Unbelievable. I can't believe I get to watch this. My deepest gratitude goes out to all those who have made it possible for this stuff to be seen. Wow.

See my viewing notes below. A few tiny points. First, neither Donna Jean Godchaux nor Maria Muldaur is present. Second, John Scher says at the end that folks can use their ticket stubs to go see the Grateful Dead Movie. This makes me think that there is some cross-promotion happening between the Garcia Band gigs and The Movie. No big deal, but interesting. (update: of course, John Scher's business partnership with the Dead included a chunk of change around The Movie, specifically the distribution. So these Garcia Band shows and The GD Movie are bound together in some pretty essential ways, it seems to me.) We know that fucker was a monkey on Garcia's back – maybe the band and John Scher and all the rest of them are celebrating together their shared midsummer fortune with a payday, some partying, some music. I wonder where John Belushi was this night?

Jerry Garcia Band
1300 Ocean Avenue
Asbury Park, NJ 07712

July 9, 1977 (Saturday) – Early Show 7 PM
partial (41:34) B&W video

--end early show + encore--
[0:04] Sitting Here In Limbo :05-12:29 -15:49
Mystery Train 15:50-27:19 (1) -30:09
tuning 30:10-31:59
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) 32:00-40:36 –(2) 41:34 %

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band
! lineup: Jerry Garcia – el-g, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn – el-b;
! lineup: Keith Godchaux – piano;
! lineup: Ron Tutt – drums.

! 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:
! db: (Mattson early and late shows shnf); (Mattson early and late shows flac1644).
! band: JGB #xxx. Notice that neither Donna Jean Godchaux nor Maria Muldaur is present.
! historical: when this show ended, around 10:30 p.m., police started arresting visibly intoxicated people along the Boardwalk, a couple dozen in all (“Arrests Follow 2 Rock Concerts”).
! R: Both the audio and video quality of this recording are quite stunning. The video is a black and white multicam from the Monarch Entertainment screen feeds. They had this pretty locked in. The lighting is good. This is not a heavily generated copy. Tracking is clean. Pro quality. Some static late 36 minute mark.
! P: SHIL botches the first lyrics, and his voice is already betraying him. And this is the early show? Gonna be a slog vocally for awhile, I predict. Garcia looks skinny in the arms, heavy lidded, bouncing 2:25 to get himself warmed up. Tutt hitting the shit out of it. Keith short sleeves and mid-tint shades. 4:08 Jerry is really warming up already, a beautiful run @ 4:20, I was totally wrong. He is still futzing with his gear, but his guitar voice is fluid and expressive. John is beautifully mixed and he sounds good. Tutt visibly deeply in the groove 5:36. @ 5:50 ish Jerry is playing to Keith, looking over to him as he plays percussively and a little rough, asking him to soften it up. Keith is staring lost down at the ground to 3 o’clock, but he hears Jerry and starts with some more melodious stuff, warming up to a feature in the second half of 6-minute mark that is very nice. Around 7:30 Jerry is comping melodiously behind, almost like his “Day By Day” feel. Keith still getting warmed up, but this is pretty good. @ 8:45 Garcia is beautifully filmed, looking very much like Ed Perlstein’s blue snap of Garcia from ?2/22/76? on the cover of Don’t Let Go, frizzy haloed hair. Keith is noodling something, maybe Epistrophy, something jazzy, e.g., 14:15. Fascinating. Kahn is doing some ditty now late 14 over 15. Not just scales, I don’t think, but maybe. Can hear the stage talk 15:45 ish.
! MT @ 18:22 see Harry Popick dancing in the background. Garcia isn’t real secure on the vocals, so he steps back like he means to stay back for awhile late in the 18 minute mark. Not in a hurry, clearly warming himself up. Tutt is a metronome, lots of high-hat, e.g., 19:30ish. 23-24 Jerry picks up his pace a little, gets John’s attention. Things had been a little sluggish, they are a little peppier now. Nice shot of the white Travis Bean 24:30ish. He’s smiling a little now, strumming, John is roostering, getting real close to Jerry, signals a little thing to him around 25 turn. Jerry now down reel close on the neck, comes back confidently 25:51 because he strums his way to the mic. Kahn swings around behind him? Jerry sings the station master part with such gusto that he knocks his glasses down the end of his nose, big dig 25:35. Big dig.
! @ 27:35 (1) It looks like they are going to stay on for another song, no-one’s leaving, then Jerry leans over, whispers something, in John’s ear, and steps to the mic, pulling off his guitar: “Thanks a lot, we’ll see ya later.” That is odd that he waited 15 seconds to call it. It’s possible that Scher told them to shut it down, Big Steve relayed it to Jerry, and so they are shutting it down. But maybe it was Jerry saying “Hey John, let’s go get high, we’ll do a last one as an encore.” Or, perhaps he knows that later they plan to drop the half-hour singleton “Not Fade Away”, he knows they’ll need the time, and so he’s just planning responsibly. These and many other inferences are observationally equivalent. Maybe it’s everything at once. Sometimes it is. Tutt returns @ 30:10. This was one of those perfunctory encore calls, band and audience both knew they were coming back. 30:55 Kahn is playing a classical tune I should know, Fur Mathilde or something like that.
! P: HSII Jerry is very bouncy, obviously found some energy during the three minutes he was off stage. Note there are harmony vocals. If my analysis of the 4/2/76 early show video is correct, that would be Tutt on high harmonies, since Keith sings baritone parts. Jerry enthusiastic, rocking and looking back at Tutt, affirming his harmonies, some strong chords 37 minute mark. Nice closeup of some nice guitar soloing around 38:40. Back to “open my eyes at night”. Late Keith joins in on vocals, so all three are singing.
! @ 41:20 (2) John Scher: “Thank you very much, and good night. Those of you that want to be reminded, with you ticket stubs you can go see the Dead Movie for a half a buck less. Again: thanks, and good night. We’ll see you next time.” Wow. That little piece explains this mini-tour to me: It was about the GD Movie!

LN jg1970-07-12.nrps-gd.aud-cooper.122707.flac1644

More old listening notes.

The "Not Fade Away" and "Good Lovin'" from the electric Dead set feature absolutely top shelf rock and roll playing. Look at how I go off on this stuff wow wow wow wow wow and all that. If this tape sounded better, this'd be in the canon with 5/2/70.

Note that Pigpen never makes himself heard - Weir sings "Good Lovin'".

Don't ask me about the metadata - I will not be the one to figure out what was played on what dates (and what we mean by "dates" for these midnight shows) during the four-night July 1970 run of Fillmore East Dead shows.

The AGD set looks great on paper, but it doesn't set me on fire. The NRPS set is a wreck, and probably incomplete on this fileset. Get drawn in by the rarities, but stay for the quintet scalping.

An Evening With The Grateful Dead
Fillmore East
105 2nd Avenue
New York NY 10003

July 12, 1970 (Sunday)
Jim Cooper aud shnid-122707

--set I: Acoustic Grateful Dead (8 tracks, 29:56, presumed incomplete)--
s1-AGD-t01. //El Paso [#2:23] [0:04] % [0:02]
s1-AGD-t02. Friend Of The Devil [3:53] [0:02] %
s1-AGD-t03. /New Speedway Boogie [10:17] [0:02] %
s1-AGD-t04. /So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad) [2:36]
-enter David Nelson-
s1-AGD-t05. (1) [0:03] Rosa Lee McFall [2:51] % [0:04]
s1-AGD-t06. A Voice From On High [2:37] % [0:04]
s1-AGD-t07. Jordan [2:08] % [0:04]
s1-AGD-t08. Swing Low Sweet Chariot [2:48] %

--set II: New Riders of the Purple Sage (6 tracks, 29:42, presumed incomplete)--
s2-NRPS-t09. Six Days On The Road [3:44] %
s2-NRPS-t10. Whatcha Gonna Do [4:23] %
s2-NRPS-t11. Truck Drivin' Man [3:52] % [0:03
s2-NRPS-t12. Dirty Business [6:30] %
s2-NRPS-t13. Lodi [5:03] %
s2-NRPS-t14. Last Lonely Eagle// [6:07#]

--set III: Electric Grateful Dead (16 tracks [11 songs], 82:35, presumed approximately complete)--
s3-GD-t15. Morning Dew [0:43] %
s3-GD-t16. Morning Dew [con't] [1:48] %
s3-GD-t17. Morning Dew [con't] [0:54]
s3-GD-t18. Morning Dew [con't] [1:00] %
s3-GD-t19. Morning Dew [6:08] % [0:02]
s3-GD-t20. /Sitting On Top Of The World [#3:15]
s3-GD-t21. /Me And My Uncle [3:18] [0:02] %
s3-GD-t22. Not Fade Away [15:02] % [0:04]
s3-GD-t23. Casey Jones [5:00 % [0:05]
s3-GD-t24. Mama Tried [2:40] [0:03] %
s3-GD-t25. [0:03] % Good Lovin' [9:55] %
s3-GD-t26. Good Lovin' [con't [9:00] % [0:03]
s3-GD-t27. High Time (2) [7:32] [0:02] % [0:02]
s3-GD-t28. ... Cumberland Blues/ [#4:40#]
s3-GD-t29. China Cat Sunflower [6:45] [-1:13] % [->]
s3-GD-t30. [+1:13] I Know You Rider [3:06] [0:02] % [0:04] % dead air [0:06]

! ACT1: Acoustic Grateful Dead
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - ac-g, vocals;
! lineup: Bob Weir - ac-g, vocals;
! lineup: Phil Lesh - el-b, ?vocals?;
! lineup: ?Bill Kreutzmann? - drums;
! guest: David Nelson - mandolin, vocals.

! ACT2: New Riders Of The Purple Sage
! lineup: John Dawson - ?ac?-g, vocals;
! lineup: David Nelson - el-g, vocals;
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - pedal steel guitar;
! lineup: Dave Torbert - el-b;
! lineup: Mickey Hart - drums.

! ACT3: Grateful Dead
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
! lineup: Bob Weir - ael-g, vocals;
! lineup: Phil Lesh - el-b, vocals;
! lineup: Bill Kreutzmann - drums and percussion;
! lineup: Mickey Hart - drums and percussion;
! absent: Ron "Pigpen" McKernan.

! R: symbols
! db: (this fileset).
! archive:
! map:
! venue:
! R: field recordist: Jim Cooper
! R: field recording equipment: 2x Hitachi mics > Hitachi TRQ-222 Cassette recorder.
! R: field recording location: Row H, about the 30th row, center.
! R: "This is an incomplete recording and there is an electronic noise intermittently on the left channel. Talking and crowd noise is present as well."
! R: taper note: "This was a great concert and one of the best nights (mornings) of my life."
! R: this is definitely not a high-fidelity recording, and the L-channel static is quite present. Massive overload. But what are you gonna do? It's an amazing historical document. Thank you Jim Cooper and Rob Berger and all the tapers and sharers!
! metadata: I don't have time to get into the metadata now. I need to listen to all of the other tapes and read what's already known about the actual assignation of the various music to the various "July xx 1970 Fillmore East" recordings. Try to sort out calendar dates and times, so confused because of the ca. midnight starting time of these shows.
! P: This contains a pretty amazing EGD performance. For my money, The "Good Lovin'" is among the best they did. The AGD and NRPS sets are, respectively, just OK and pretty bad, at least based on this tape.
! P: t01 one of the great pleasures of the GD acoustic sets is hearing Jerry sing harmonies. Like on this El Paso.
! t04 is Jerry playing electric?
! song: "So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)" (t04): Everly Brothers' 1960 release, maybe a singleton in the recorded GD canon. Indeed, as of now (12/6/2013) I understand this to be a singleton. I have listened to it twice, don't get much out of it.
! s1-AGD-t05 (1) "IRIT & LAURIE LOVE": "I love you, Jimmy."
! s1-AGD-t05 RLM has mandolin accompaniment, presumably Nelson.
! s1-AGD-t06 AVFOH mandolin (Nelson?), Nelson definitely on harmony vocals
! P: t01-t08: the acoustic material underwhelms me. It looks great on paper. Maybe it's the tape quality. But I just can't get into it.
! P: t12 This "Dirty Business" has a weird feel. Torbert is walking it a little too much early on, and it never attains that deep, burning, grungy groove that the best versions do. This is *way* uptempo for this song. Interesting. Not totally successful. Weird. Interesting.
! P: t13 Lodi is kind of a mess, Dawson off, Nelson not keeping right tempo (check around 1-1:29). He has to keep trying to tell people to get off because no-one quite knows what to do. Train wreck.
! P t09-t13 The NRPS material is below average, I'd say. I hear lots of tempo weirdness. Of course, the tape isn't doing anyone any favors.
! P: t14 LLE again it just doesn't sound together. While Dirty Business is much too brisk, this is just a little bit too brisk.
! R: NRPS-t14 LLE cuts out, probably less than a minute missing.
! R: t15-t19 MD splices @ track markers and t17 @ 0:33.
! R: t20 SOTOTW clips in
! P: t21 MAMU This is done "electric GD" style, as opposed to "NRPS" style, which the Acoustic GD would on occasion do (e.g., 4/18/70 Family Dog). It's a shame, because I really like the high harmonies in the NRPS arrangement, but whatever. My sense is that GD just wasn't willing to let go of the song and let NRPS have it, and they seemed to prefer to play it electric to acoustic. (I also miss the NRPS harmonies on "Mama Tried", FWIW.)
! P: t22 NFA this is a MASSIVE rendition of an American classic. Jerry has the wah cranked up already in the setup to his first solo in the second minute. It's less pronounced in the solo itself, but for a second he hit wah to rival 8/27/72's "Greatest Story Ever Told". Yeah, I said it. @ 3:45 they start really cooking, Bob turns himself up a little, Jerry digging a little groove. Taper's girl getting a little chatty. 4:18 Bob starts a great little descending thing, they are a little bit in the AWBYG/GDTRFB outro theme for awhile, they could easily drop it right down into that, but they are not in a rush. Garcia quotes "First There Is A Mountain" @ 5:36 for a few seconds, and he's a little bit in that tempo, back to a chunky NFA line @  6-minute mark, egging the crowd to keep that beat so he can wander back out. Crowd starts some very nice rhythm, and Jerry goes to about 60 degrees from his previous course, just the place he was looking for. Nice though over 7-min mark, stepping in a little more wah. Jerrys' in an "Other One" space late in the 8-minute mark, but Bob has something of his own going, and he doesn't take the bait, so Jerry comes back out and returns to the AWBYG/GDTRFB space. Here at 10:14 they could very easily turn it any of a number of directions, building some suspense 10:35, Phil and Jerry both pregnantly fluttering strings, Jerry hits a nice theme late in the 10-minute mark ... Bob strums some stuff, a little darker, and 11:23 Bob is almost playing Eyes Of The World! We'll hear these same chords in 1974. A few times it sounded to me like they could have pivoted to IKYR. In short, like a lot of 1970 NFAs, this one opens up very nicely and is highly thematic. @ 12:57 Bob forces them right back to NFA ... it was a little hasty ... they all get there, but I just don't think everyone was quite ready. So they set their feet under them, go once 'round the bases, at get to the verse @ 13:32ish. Jerry is having to do more harmony vocals, with Pig laying out somewhere. A few times I thought I heard Pig, but I don't think so.
! P: t25-t26 GL: Weir sings! Drum interlude 2:35-9:58. @ 4:35 a crowd member yells "Hey [or Yay] Pigpen!", or I thought he did. But Pig never makes himself heard. This drum session is hot as hell, and the crowd shows its appreciation early in the 9-min mark. The reprise is drummed up and drops in perfectly. Yeah! Nice rhythm led by Phil, 6- of t26 ... then a big bass solo 6:15 wow! This is a great jam. The second cut track of GL lays bare the band's raw power ... Wow. In the 2-min range of this track, Phil sounds like fucking Beethoven, and everyone is jamming alone and together, totally locked in but each carving his own groove, birds darting and ducking through and around the others, a supertight, colorful weave. Outstanding. Jerry hits a peak at 3:20 and the crowd yips a little bit, unbelieving. At 6 minutes into this track ... wow wow wow 6:15 Phil is doing his best Jack Casady. Ballin ... WOW. Jerry starts to get some waahhh, and he could be Jorma back there a little bit. Listen to what Phil runs over at 6:58 WOW WOW WOW 7:13 drops into Good Lovin' with the rest of the crew. Weir takes the vocals @ 7:29. @@
t27. (2) @ ca. 3ish High Time during tune, woman asks near taper “Want the cat? Text file note: "DELI BOVI DEBUT".
! R: t28 CB enters in progress and barely clips out, not much missing.
! P: t30 CCS transition from CCS to IKYR is Nice. Gets immediate liftoff at 3:28ish, Bob doing a really nice lead turn, he has some a long way from the spacy androgynous teenager of the Warlocks! Jerry's playing it real chonky behind him, and the whole band locks around Bob as he shreds. His transformation as a guitar player is mostly credit to Bob himself, of course, but I am sure the band around him had something to do with it! So Jerry starts expressing interest in taking a turn of his own in the 5:20 mark, by 5:43 we have IKYR theme. But the band is laying back, almost waiting for something, and Phil around 6:15 says "Hey, how about it?" The crowd cheers and starts clapping up IKYR, and I think Phil was basically taking a tip o' the hat, or soliciting one, but also offering one up to everyone in the room. "Hey, how about it, you having fun, or what?!?" They ought to be, because they have been grooving to a great American rock and roll band channeling a million cosmic megawatts. It's a nice moment all around. I can see why the taper, Jim Cooper, said "This was a great concert and one of the best nights (mornings) of my life."
! R: t29-t30 obviously I'd track the transition differently, but it's all good. There are some tape splices in this region, into the first minute ot the IKYR track (t30). Again @ 2:20.

LN jg1984-11-17.jgjk.all.aud-drew-seaweed.110537.flac1644

Regular readers will know I have been exploring Garcia's putative Rock Bottom period by listenings to tapes and more or less noting what I hear. Tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.

I harbor considerable ex ante animus toward this tour - I have heard some first hand reports of its deep, dark, junky feeling, recoil at the pictures of the greasy, sweaty, strung out Garcia from this tour, and have never been lit up by what I heard when I listened to the shows. This is the classic "Garcia's side projects were all about Jerry and John making drug money" tour, which is a line which my devotion to the side stuff already indicates I don't altogether buy, and which makes me feel icky inside. But here it is.

These listening notes are mostly from some unknown number of months ago. As I was finishing them up with links and stuff, I decided to listen to "Goodnight Irene" [Allan | deaddisc], which is a favorite of mine and which I have always thought must have resonated emotionally with Jerry - "I want to jump overboard in a river and drown" could not have failed to bring his father to mind, could it?

And I guess I hear that it's not as bad as I feared it might be, and is not bad at all if this is Rock Bottom. He cannot sing very well, to be sure. But he is giving it his all. It's flawed, but he's trying. Yeah, the first set is about 38 continuous minutes, not a ton. But, I dunno, it's not horrible. I am looking forward to hearing more from this tour, all of a sudden (though I feel like detouring to some other material, cleansing my palate of Rock Bottom for awhile).

Billboard (December 1, 1984, p. 37) reports this as a sellout, just a hair under $37k gross on 2,800 tickets, and the fans sound happy enough being treated to Jerry Garcia playing "Ripple". Not a bad night's work, all in all.

Jerry Garcia and John Kahn
Orpheum Theatre
1 Hamilton Place
Boston, MA 02108

November 17, 1984 (Saturday)
Seaweed 1st gen cassette shnid-110537

--set I (6 tracks, 37:53)--
s1t01. crowd and tuning [0:47]
s1t02. Deep Elem Blues [8:52] [0:07]
s1t03. When I Paint My Masterpiece [7:50] [0:06]
s1t04. Little Sadie [4:02] [0:06]
s1t05. Simple Twist Of Fate [11:11] ->
s1t06. Run For The Roses [4:37] [0:15]

--set II + encore (8 tracks, 53:10)--
--set II (7 tracks, 48:38)--
s2t01. crowd and tuning [0:58]
s2t02. Friend Of The Devil [7:56] [0:10]
s2t03. I've Been All Around This World [6:50] ->
s2t04. Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie [6:50] ->
s2t05. Gomorrah [6:16] [0:05]
s2t06. Birdsong [11:39] [0:02]
s2t07. Goodnight //Irene [8:#00] (2) [0:26]
--encore (1 track, 4:32)--
s2t08. Ripple [4:13] [0:19]

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia and John Kahn
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - ac-g, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn - ac-b.

! 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:
! db: (Mark flac, deprecated); (speed correction of shnid-30874); (this fileset); (aud flac)
! map:
! venue:
! R: field recordist: unknown
! R: field recording gear: unknown mics > Sony TC-D5
! R: source tape: 1st gen cassette provided by Drew and Seaweed1010 (Maxell XLII)
! R: transfer: Nakamichi CR-5A playback > Edirol FA-66 > Wavelab > R8Brain > CD-Wave > TLH > FLAC 1644 tagged. Transfer by Andrew F.
! R: seeder notes: Decent audience recording, an upgrade to shnid-31343, and also includes the two songs that were missing from that source. The levels in 2nd Set are a bit over-driven, not too bad.
! R: I think this is a perfectly good tape.
! R: s1t02 Deep Elem the sound is muffled 0:05 > 0:32, and mic-bumps at 7:11 and 7:14.
! P: s1t05 STOF Not a terrible performance. The line about the sailors coming in and all that is given with some sensitivity. Then the end of the song has a pretty nice guitar buildup. JG even says "Thank you" as he takes it from STOF into RFTR.
! The timing of set I is basically continuous. So, in real time, that really was about a 38-minute set. And I doubt they were back "in a few minutes" after the "short break" announced by JG after RFTR.
! s2t05 JG says "Thank you" again between OBIANL and Gomorrah.
! R: s2t07 Goodnight Irene @ 6:29 tape flip, mended by Drew
! P: s2t07 GI is played totally respectably. He can't sing at this point, but we knew that. This is not bad. John is even playing late 5. Jerry bringing some energy right at the splice 6:29, too bad. Long version. Might check one of the other tapes of this night. I love this song (songs-G). Weird finish about "see you in my dreams". A for effort.
! s2t07 (2) JG: "Thanks a lot. See y'all later." There must be a tape splice in here somewhere.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

LN jg1985-06-01.jgb.all.aud-corley.20921.shn2flac

There are some points I'd like to flesh out, about The Mission, Jerry's San Francisco DNA, and the rest of it. But there's just not time to do everything.

Another show with the Modulus Graphite guitar. I hear no difference.

Sets are still short in historical perspective. For the book I'll be able to make some graphs and stuff for that. As I have suggested, the night before, in L.A., was pretty much a disaster, but this night feels pretty good. I am sure I am hearing too much, but to me Garcia sounds glad to be home and playing. The voice is shredded, but the performance is quite good all around. Check out "Mission In The Rain" for that SF feel. Great stuff. As I note, in some interview (anyone remember which one? LIA?), Garcia projected a vision of himself as a "Mission Street R&B guy". This is a richly evocative characterization, truly the little corner of Americana carved out by the Garcia Band.

Note my spelling of "Reuben And Cérise". This is Hunter's title in Box of Rain (Hunter 1993, 181-183), followed by Dodd (2005, 360-362) and Allan. On Cats Garcia spelled our lady's name "Cherise" (as continues to do). Deaddisc is inconsistent, labeling it "Rubin And Cherise" on the album page, but "Reuben And Cerise" (no accent aigu) on the song page; I believe the alternative spelling of our charming mandolinist is strictly incorrect, and hers only pedantically so. FWIW, anyway, all that.

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

June 1, 1985 (Saturday)
Corley shnid-20921 shn2flac

--set I (5 tracks, 41:20)--
s1t01. //Cats Under The Stars [#7:29] [0:04] % [0:04]
s1t02. Knockin' On Heaven's Door [10:54] [0:09]
s1t03. Tore Up Over You [9:24] [0:06] % [0:03]
s1t04. [0:05] Run For The Roses [5:07] ->
s1t05. /Deal [7:43] [0:10] %

--set II (5 tracks, 46:36)--
s2t01. [1:00] Mission In The Rain [11:08] [0:35]
s2t02. Love In The Afternoon [7:49] [0:25]
s2t03. Gomorrah [5:48] [0:07]
s2t04.Reuben And Cérise [7:10] [0:05] % [0:21]
s2t05. Tangled Up In Blue [11:38] [0:28]

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band #21b
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn - bass;
! lineup: Melvin Seals - keyboards;
! lineup: David Kemper - drums;
! lineup: Jaclyn Branch - vocals;
! lineup: Gloria Jones - 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.
! TJS:
! JGC:
! db: (this fileset).
! map:
! venue:
! band: JGB #21b, THE Jerry Garcia Band (
! R: field recordist: John Corley
! R: field recording equipment: 2x Nakamichi 700 > Sony TC-D5M
! R: transfer: MAC > DATx > CDx (Jim Powell); CD > EAC0.9b4 (offset corrected, secure mode, QPS QUE 2410) > minor level adjustments at the beginning of each set (SF6) > tracking (cdwav) > sector boundaries confirmed (shntool) > SHN (shorten 3.4) via C.Ladner, misSHN in the rain, 12/03. shn2flac JGMF.
! historical: More explorations in the darkest period of Garcia's life. That's highly contestable, of course. One might think the last 18 months were worse, and they probably are, objectively. But I think he had lost hope by that time, and he didn't feel it as acutely. This period a decade earlier, by contrast, juxtaposes how down in the deep he was with where he still had a chance to be, at 43 years old, and how much he had left to do. One other thing about this show: *very* exceptionally, Garcia is not playing his Doug Irwin guitar (which one? I had written Rosebud, but maybe Tiger? I don't know the guitars) he's playing one made by Modulus Graphite (see Golden Road, Summer 1985, p. 9).
! R: s1t01 CUTS cuts in
! P: s1t01 @ 4:40 love Jerry's guitar tone and work here. Sounds great.
! P: s1t02 KOHD Garcia bending some huge notes late 6. This is great. Long vocal extension of "door" over 9 minute mark. Garcia is feeling this song.
! P: s1t03 TUOY JG is taking a great solo, it's not very loud on the tape, but it's a great solo, and the crowd is showing him some love, in the 2- minute mark. Nice guitar work continuing over 3. Very good guitar playing.
! R: s1t05 Deal clipped, certainly a tape flip there. So that was side A.
! P: s1t05 Deal solo from 3:29 blisters, mid-83 level grunge, but with some of his longer sustain from later. Still nice soloing, nice extension 4:19, with mid-length phrases, still raging 4:30-4:40, a little extra turn, long scale, over 5 cutting them in halves or quarters, more wail 5:09. They get nice some space over 6. I would have liked to see a few more minutes of wailing here. They are pretty clean back to "don't you let that Deal go down", Jerry good energy to end even if his voice sounds shot.
! P: s2t01 MITR Jerry is giving it his all by tackling this song. He knows he sounds rough, but it's "Mission In The Rain" - he's "ready to give anything for anything" he takes. Gallops into the song's upbeat part, the ladies backing him up strongly 2:30. This tape really captures the feeling of this hometown show. Beautifully. "Ten years ago, I walked these streets, my dreams were riding tall. Tonight, I would be thankful, Lord, for any dream at all ... come again ... walkin' along in the The Mission, in the rain, come again ..." Do you know San Francisco? Jerry does. If you know someplace truly amazing, but you're not from there, and that drives you crazy - you wish you were from there, maybe only secretly you wish it, but you aren't, and the ones who are are, and they know it, and they know that you know it, and there's no denying it. It doesn't have to be actively, obnoxiously spotlighted. I am a little jealous of Jerry for having San Francisco in his bones, the salt, the portal grit, the depth of it. It seems that Mission In The Rain (#song-M), words by Robert Hunter and music by Jerry, is directly biographical, Hunter writing about Garcia's attachment to the city, their shared attachment, but Garcia's native DNA lock on it. I bet his body chemistry was off when he wasn't soaked in fog. xxx The Mission xxx. The way he sustains his N at 3:20 ish, on come agaiN, he is accenting very nicely. Now it's the same spirit with his guitar 3:40ff, not in a rush. In some interview xxx, when asked about his musical image of himself, it was as a "Mission Street R & B guy". What an amazing local pointil that is. Jose, Jerry's father, was a jazzman in the 1930s, before being blackballed by the union and then drowning before young Jerry's eyes in xxx 1945. The song loses the thread a few times, loses a little steam, but there is something delightfully intimate about this performance, Jerry and his local fans in his local haunt in his city.
! P: s2t03 Gomorrah vocals sound fatigued.
! P: s2t04 RC Garcia's voice is shredded, but this has tons of energy. Melvin has some nice horny synth working.
! P: s2t05 TUIB no words leaving stage. Crowd seems enthused, happy.