|Berkeley Tribe, August 8-14, 1969, p. 3.|
Annie's photo at the center of p. 3 of the August 8, 1969 Berkeley Tribe shows Jerry Garcia dressed as Bluto, standing and talking at a meeting of The Common, in the Family Dog On The Great Highway on the afternoon of Saturday, August 2, 1969. (This copy is a scan from my old photocopy, with all of my marginalia and stuff. Within a few years, this page will become accessible via the Independent Voices collection.)
I have a lot to say about this moment in time. I have a lot to say about The Common, including correcting Michael Kramer's mistaken identification of it as "The Commons" in Republic of Rock. On the other hand, Kramer scooped me in using the Bluto photo - I had been holding back on it for the book, but he beat me to it. It's a great image, and he has good taste!
The idea of being scooped is a weird one that I don't want to get into. Needless to say, there are some really good bits that I am holding back for the book, some really great stuff. On the other hand, I am swimming in data, more stuff is coming out every day, and odds of really losing anything are pretty small.
Correspondingly, I wanted to drop this little nugget on you.
|Good Times, September 4, 1969, p. 19.|
First, note Rubber Duck, which is the psychedlic mime-and-minstrelsy thing around Joe McCord (see here), sometimes involving TC and Garcia.
Second, more importantly, "a jam with members of 3 groups we're not allowed to name". I don't know why, exactly, they couldn't name the bands, nor at whose request. But I wonder where Mr. Garcia was, this Friday night?
Third, the reason we ask this is that it sheds light on the tapes made by Owsley Stanley ("Bear"), dated September 6, 1969, featuring the Jefferson Airplane at the Family Dog with Garcia, Mickey Hart, and others sitting in, and Sunday, September 7th, featuring Jorma and Joey Covington, Garcia possibly playing some drums (see Dick Latvala's cassette copy jcard below), and the lot of them playing a weird little set of drunken surf music at the Edge of the Western World.
Naturally, Corry is on the case. I can't really try to parse the specific dates of the specific materials, but I do think that the Good Times listing sheds new light on this event, especially in terms of my "Jerry and the Jeffersons" frame.
The guy who wrote the book which is to Airplane stuff as my listening notes are to Garcia stuff says that the jam on 9/6/69 is the "longest time of an Airplane improvisation, jam or song ever!" (Fenton 2007, 158). The Jeffersons played their asses off this night. Though the sonic journal bears some imperfections (sorry, couldn't resist), it has been featured as some sort of quasi-official release.
|The Family Dog Presents the Jefferson Airplane at the Family Dog Ballroom, Featuring Special Guest Jerry Garcia (Charly SNAP 293 CD, 2007)|
My big takeaway, though, is what this tells us about The Common, a very fragile little bloom that burst out momentarily and then faced the fate that things that live must.
Arnold, Corry. 2010. September 6-7, 1969 Family Dog At The Great Highway, San Francisco Jefferson Airplane/Grateful Dead. Lost Live Dead, January 30, 2010, URL http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2010/01/september-6-7-1969-family-dog-at-great.html, last accessed 1/19/2012.
Fenton, Craig. 2007. Take Me To A Circus Tent: The Jefferson Airplane Flight Manual. West Conshohocken, PA: Infinity Publishing.
Johnson, Art. 1969a. Out on the Edge. Berkeley Tribe, August 8-14, 1969, pp. 3-4.