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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Just Play

Going through some scratched up old CDs, I found a copy of the Crosby, Stills and Nash release Carry On (Atlantic 7567804872, 2006). Entering some dates to trace Croz's whereabouts in the various periods in which he frequented the Garciaverse (most intensely, fall 1969-fall 1971 and again March-September 1975), I am reminded that Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's "Ohio" was released as a single on June 4, 1970 [see also wiki].

Passing thought that Garcia could never have dropped a true protest song. On June 4, 1970, he played an amazing night of acoustic tunes (including two gospel numbers), country music on pedal steel guitar, and loud electric rock and blues.

Enjoy this incredible audience recording by Gerry Olsen (shnid-123798) that will put you into the comfy-as-home Fillmore West on a Thursday night. Yeah, "Darkness, Darkness", but sometimes it's better just to play.



  1. I have a theory, which can probably never be proven, that June 4 1970 at Fillmore West was the first time John Kahn saw the Grateful Dead. The opening act was a band called Southern Comfort, who had a recently released album on Columbia, produced by Nick Gravenites and John Kahn. According to the band's drummer, the late Bob Jones, Gravenites let Kahn do all the producing. Kahn and Jones were very good friends, and had hung out and been in bands together in the late 60s. Southern Comfort had been around since 1969, and also functioned as Nick Gravenites house rhythm section, along with guys like John Kahn and Bill Vitt. It was Kahn and Jones who played on the Brewer and Shipley hit "One Toke Over The Line," produced by Gravenites.

    So I have to think that if Columbia got Southern Comfort on the FW bill to promote their album, their producer would be there. On top of that, Kahn had been playing with Garcia and Howard Wales at the Matrix since early April. It's possible that Kahn had seen the Dead before, and it's possible that Kahn had seen the Dead at FW in April, if only to catch Miles Davis. Even if he had, however, the June shows would have been the first time Kahn had seen the Dead when he was a Jerry Garcia co-conspirator.

    Kahn, Garcia and Bob Jones are all no longer with us, and no one else likely recalls who was backstage.So we will probably never know. I'm not aware of Kahn ever being asked when he first saw the Grateful Dead, or how often he actually saw them.

  2. Interesting. Trivia: the order of appearance was Acoustic GD, NRPS ("an offshoot of the Grateful Dead", per the stage announcer, whose voice I do not recognize), Southern Comfort, then the GD.


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