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Sunday, May 17, 2015

On Broadway: Act One – October 28th, 1987

On Broadway: Act One – October 28th, 1987

We’re excited to announce the debut of On Broadway, a new archival series celebrating Jerry’s magical 13 night run at the historic Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York City’s Broadway theater district. The first installment, On Broadway: Act One – October 28th, 1987, will arrive June 23rd on Round Records as a 3CD set or digital download and is currently available for pre-order in the Official Garcia Store.

On Broadway: Act One – October 28th, 1987 presents three complete sets of music, including previously unreleased matinee and evening acoustic sets from the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band, as well as the evening electric set from the Jerry Garcia Band. The release was produced from newly remastered two-track soundboard recordings originally captured to digital audio tape and includes previously unpublished live photos, and a liner note essay by author, historian and Grateful Dead publicist, Dennis McNally.

“The (two) Garcia Bands’ – Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band, and the electric JGB – 1987 run on Broadway from October 15th through Halloween was destined to be memorable for many reasons,” as Dennis McNally states in the liner note essay. There’s record setting ticket sale figures, a destiny tied to Jerry’s namesake (Broadway composer Jerome Kern) and of course the sheer visual oddity that is Deadheads descending upon The Great White Way, but what shines brightest is Garcia’s jovial and relaxed mood which sets the stage for the inspiring performances contained within the release.

A few thoughts.

First, glad to see releases happening. Thank you in advance. I look forward to reading McNally, as always.

Second, looks like this will be 10/28/87a JGAB and 10/28/87b complete (i.e., JGAB & JGB).

The early show JGAB set circulates among collectors from line recordings, as tricksy Deadheads spliced into speaker lines out to the hallways, arranged for Deadheads to dance around. Some gratitude - but then again, tapes is tapes.

In terms of the late show, Bill Koucky's orchestra pit Nakamichi 300s tape (shnid-79902) is missing the first three songs of the acoustic set, "I've Been All Around This World", "Ballad Of Casey Jones" and Jimmie Rodgers's "Blue Yodel No. 9", which was a standard in the JGAB rotation and holds the distinction of being the last song Garcia is known to have recorded (7/16/95, for Various Artists, The Songs Of Jimmie Rodgers - A Tribute, Egyptian/Columbia 485189 2, 1997). It's also missing set-ender "Ripple". As far as I know, these songs will be new to circulation, a welcome addition. (edit: looks like the "Ripple" is MIA.)

Third, I have listened to Koucky's tape of the early show electric set (shnid-80044), and the performance didn't knock me out, so I guess I am glad that TPTB didn't pick it for release.

Fourth, the idea of an integral "Jerry on Broadway" collection has been floating around for a long time. Looks like they are not going to release the whole thing, while at the same time there is more to come. They have already released a bunch, per Deaddisc:

info Pure Jerry: Lunt-Fontanne, NYC, 10/31/87, Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band/Jerry Garcia Band, 2004
info Pure Jerry: Lunt-Fontanne, The Best Of The Rest, Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band/Jerry Garcia Band, 2004
info Ragged But Right, Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band, 2010 [certain tracks from Broadway]

Fifth, I am a little dubious about the whole prospect. Jerry was healthy, having fun, playing well, the acoustic band was a hoot and the electric band was fully lined up (JGB #21b had been together for 4 years at this point), but the setlists are very repetitive and the music is more competent than interesting. IMO, YMMV, etc. etc. But I am happy to buy this one and eventually more good ones if they meet expectations.


  1. Like you, I'm a bit dubious about this, especially as a first in a series of releases of these shows. As you say, quite a lot of material has already been released from this run, and the setlists are pretty repetitive. There's not much variation in the performances of the acoustic numbers in particular. That said, I too will buy it.

  2. That's the spirit!

    FTR, I am so grateful for your site. I use it all the time. Thanks a million!

  3. I enjoy reading your site so I'd thought I throw in a few opinions. This release is MUCH better sounding than the previous Pure Jerry releases. I always found the Pure Jerry releases to be no better than an audience tape and a travesty to charge money for. However, I was unaware that there was a union presence in the theater that forbid the recording of shows. McNally even tells the story of how one cassette was destroyed by said union presence. But the DAT recorder went undetected and unmolested. I guess the Pure Jerry series wasn't from the DAT recorder but this release certainly is. Hopefully other releases will have the same sound source.

    1. Thanks, DJ! My copy is sitting on a desk about 4000 miles from me, where I won't be able to hear it for a month or so. But your report makes me eager to do so!


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