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Monday, March 23, 2015

Burnt to a Crisp on Long Island - LN jg1978-03-12.jgb.all.aud-unknown.82587.flac1644

Sunday, March 12, 1978, the Mystery Cats met up with all kinds of old friends for a party on Long Island.

Corry's got the goods on Hunter, Nelson, Marmaduke and Garcia all finding themselves together this night - it's great stuff. See also my other posts from around this time:

I hate that our information gets fragmented across two posts, but I just tried to post these listening notes in comment at Corry's and blogger said I had too many characters (heh heh). So I'll post them here and elaborate just a touch.

First, color:
Band flew out of Provy to La Guardia on American #431, scheduled to land at 2:30 PM, 45 minute limo ride, check in at the Holiday Inn in Hauppage. Gig schedule: Soundcheck at 2-3 PM (yeah, right), doors at 6, Hunter at 8, NRPS at 9:30, JGB at 11:30. Noted closing time: "No strict curfew" (compare with the 3/14 Boston closing time: "****MIDNIGHT CURFEW STRICT").
As I noted at Corry's, this really highlights his point, that this was a big ol' party - no strict curfew, and it was on all night long. I wonder where John Belushi was on early morning of 3/13/78?

Second, on this listen, Garcia sounds burnt to a crisp, also consistent with the party vibe and the zoom-zoom-zoom of the tour (Cleveland-Rochester-Pawtucket-Long Island in four nights!). But it definitely impacts the quality of the music, to my ears. He can't sing. His guitar playing is often incendiary, but mostly just huge long scrubs and crashing endings to songs, flashy gimmicks, tricks. Here's what he told Michael Lydon in the summer of 1969 about using flashy technical tricks. 
I think that the moments that translate the idea originally are pure, and that once you learn them consciously, they then become a device; and once it’s a device, it’s frozen ... I know the trick that you do to get everybody up and dancing, the trick that you do to get a standing ovation. ... [B]ut you can’t rely on ‘em because they’re lies once you know ‘em.
I don't want to be too hard on the guy - maybe I am just grouchy. But when I hear him inter alia coked to the gills, mostly pretty sloppy, and then ending every song with a sonic boom, it just feels a little dissatisfying. And that surprised me, because I have been very fond of this show from the Shure tape (shnid-4473).

8,110 paid attendance, $61,115 gross, probably one helluva great party, but, below average musically, IMO, YMMV, on this listen, etc.

Jerry Garcia Band
Suffolk Forum
Veterans' Memorial Highway
Commack, NY 11725

March 12, 1978 (Sunday)
MAC shnid-82587

--set I (6 tracks, 57:02)--
s1t01. The Harder They Come [10:57] (1) [0:19]
s1t02. Mission in the Rain [8:48] [0:17] %
s1t03. [0:18] Simple Twist of Fate [9:51] [2:13]
s1t04. Tore Up Over You [8:22] [1:01]
s1t05. Gomorrah [6:03] [0:24]
s1t06. Mystery Train [8:13] (2) [0:18] %

--set II + encore (9 tracks, 75:36)--
--set II (7 tracks, 65:25)--
s2t01. crowd [0:31]
s2t02. Love In The Afternoon [10:38] [0:15] % [0:44]
s2t03. I Second That Emotion [11:02] (3) [0:10 % [0:07]
s2t04. Russian Lullaby [16:30] [0:14] % [0:21]
s2t05. They Love Each Other [7:17] [0:29]
s2t06. (4) [0:16] I'll Be With Thee [4:57] [0:19]
s2t07. Midnight Moonlight [11:16] [0:18] %
--encore (2 tracks, 10:11)--
s2t08. crowd [1:47]
s2t09. Rhapsody In Red [8:15] (5) [0:09]

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band #4
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn - el-b;
! lineup: Keith Godchaux - keyboards;
! lineup: Buzz Buchanan - drums;
! lineup: Donna Jean Godchaux - vocals;
! lineup: Maria Muldaur - 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:
! db: (Shure aud, shnf); (this fileset).
! band:
! map:
! data: Billboard, March 25, 1978, p. 114. 8110 paid attendance, $61,115 gross.
! ref: Arnold, Corry. 2012. March 12, 1978: Suffolk Forum, Commack, NY: Jerry Garcia Band/NRPS/Robert Hunter and Comfort. Lost Live Dead, January 26, 2012, URL, accessed 11/23/2013.
! P: overall: Garcia sounds shot - he is partying way too hard with NRPS and Hunter and maybe freaking Belushi and who knows who else.  Redacted source has Hunter at 8, NRPS at 9:30, Garcia at 11:30, with pointed note "no strict curfew". Holy smokes, party all night (see commenters at Corry's place, and one from JGC: "I was late to work before the show ended"). Garcia's voice is *gone*. Fourth consecutive night onstage, Cleveland-Rochester-Pawtucket-Long Island. There is nothing about this show which, on this listen (3/22-23/2015), really moves me. He ends every song with some tremendous pyrotechnics, but it feels gimmicky to me, something he said he'd never do. On this listen of this tape, the show feels far below average for the tour.
! R: overall: This is a totally pleasant listen once it settles in.
! R: source: Unknown MAC > CD, discs provided by Jim Wise;
! R: transfer: CDR > EAC > WavMerge > Soundforge > CD-Wave > TLH > FLAC, February 2007 by Andrew F.
! R: seeder notes: ShnID-4473 supplies d1t01 and d1t02. Before Simple Twist, the taper can be heard saying he was busted and had to move to re-start taping. Compared to ShnID-4473, this source sounds further back, but does have nice clarity.
! R: seeder notes: ShnID-4473 also supplies a tape-flip patch; from 16:43 of Russian Lullaby (crowd noise at end) thru 0:14 of TLEO. There's some minor tape-speed problems in the following
spots: in Midnight Moonlight, 2:56 > 2:59, 4:40 > 4:42, 4:58 > 5:00; and Rhapsody in Red at 7:27.
! R: seeder notes: The files were combined with WavMerge and re-tracked with CD-Wave. Soundforge was used to make fades, patch the  tape-flip, correct the pitch, and adjust the levels. Also, the levels of the ShnID-4473 tracks were raised to match.
! P: s1t01 HTC John Kahn is just great here. But then later in the song there is a painful minute or two of just utter mush, the band totally out of sync.
! s1t01 (1) JG: "Thank you."
! P: s1t02 MITR his voice is rough but it's got a lot of feeling. Buzzy seems a little off, but Kahn remains powerful. Jerry's vocals still have the range for which the song was originally designed, so it continues to work. For many years he never quite figured how to start it off, and it frequently started off key and off kilter, with frequent vocal clams. I noted this as early as 6/4/83 recently, but it probably started earlier than that. On the other ha. d, Jerry's March 1978 vocal articulation is superb, enunciating very cleanly. Kahn hits a clam at some point, PA problems 4:25. Passionate fanning 8 minute mark to bring the tune home. Nice.
! P: s1t03 STOF big huge finish, Tiger and big fanning, slamming in 9 minute range. They seem to be starting slow and finishing strong.
! s1t06 (2) "We're gonna take a break for a little while, back in a few minutes. Thank you."
! s2t03 (3) @ 11:12 weird little snippet, "I just broke a string", sounded like Weir to me but it's very brief and I can't tell.
! s2t06 (4) A very hoarse JG: "We're gonna -- Donna and Maria are gonna sing a song now [inaudible]."
! R: s2t07 Mid Moon some bad tempo problems right over 3, again 4:44 and all around that. Batteries are dying. Good fanning early 8.
! P: s2t09 RIR nothing particularly noteworthy to me, which is really saying something - this is one of my favorite songs.
! s1t09 (5) "All right, thanks a lot."


  1. This adds some fascinating color to the Suffolk Forum gig. I, for one, firmly believe that Garcia would have made the 2pm soundtrack. Not for Jerry was hanging out at the Holiday Inn in Hauppage. I think he wanted to be backstage, where he could be in control of the circumstances. A quick soundcheck and then retreating to the dressing room to practice. Since JGB shows were never radio station/record company junkets, Garcia could keep out the pushy djs and the like, if there even were any.

    But this fits my narrative that there was a lot of time to kill backstage. With the other two WIldwood Boys in the house, do you think they brought their guitars back to Jerry's dressing room? I do. What do you think they played? An intriguing thought

  2. I have recently discussed this show with two (former) Long Island high schoolers who went to the show. They agreed (separately, they don't know each other) that this was the party of all time. One of them posted on my blog (as NYCTaper), and the other is someone I work with.


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