Please make yourself at home! Check some tags, do some reading, leave a comment.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

"Once in a while, ..."

.. you know the rest. Was just processing a 1975 article from Hit Parader, of all things. Yet a few things catch my eye:
  • Gives working title for The Movie, soon-to-be released film There is Nothing Like A Grateful Dead Show
    • Maybe this was out there, but I don't remember seeing this in print like this.
  • More recently, they built a recording studio on a piece of land in Marin County called Dead Patch. 
    • Again, I don't recall that particular appellation being made public at the time.
  • "Garcia is now playing banjo [sic] with Merle [sic] Saunders in a band called Legion of Mary, and it wouldn't be surprising if he turned up with the New Riders of the Purple Sage … Bob Weir is working with a new band on a new album called 'Kingfish'. Phil Lesh is experimenting with bio-feedback (doing research with his bass and computers), and Kreutzmann is drumming with Commander Cody (for fun)".[i] 
    • Obviously a little wire crossing on Jerry. When did it become public that Kingfish was doing an album? The BK thing is interesting because he didn't mention it in Deal and this is narrated as a very bad time for him.
  • names names: Mickey Hart "left after it was discovered his father had put the band into over $100,000 worth of debts".[i]
    • Again, I don't recall all that much that was said so publicly and directly making this connection. Since I just read BK's book, in which he's rather blunt about his feelings toward Mickey at this time, this again jumped out at me.
I guess the pattern I observe is that the author had some very inside information here. Surely he called the office and Rock or someone was being voluble. Am I mis-reading this, or do these kinds of details just seem anachronistically well-informed for Hit Parader. (This very article includes the line "Their records are excellent companions for LSD trips" (p. 39).

Anyway ..

Cohen, Scott. 1975. How to Live the Grateful Dead. Hit Parader (September), 38-40.

[i] Cohen 1975, 40.

[i] Cohen 1975, 40.


  1. I think a lot of stuff was known & reported in various papers at the time that we've forgotten about. This doesn't really sound like particularly "inside" info to me - especially with the misinformation about Garcia. The Lenny Hart situation, for instance, had been reported in Rolling Stone years earlier (though with a smaller amount mentioned) -
    Perhaps the writer did call the Dead office, or just distilled his info from other articles on the Dead; examining the whole article would help establish his method.

  2. Oh, I am sure all the pulpy old sources were used. That long ZigZag series was amazing, I still don't think I have adequate copies for that whole beast.

    But I am saying that there's also some inside info, at least I think so. The thing about Billy playing around with Commander Cody is totally unknown to me. It's no biggie.

    Neither is The Movie working title, though I only know that from pawing through Steve Brown's papers, a bunch of Rakow stuff. What I am saying is that I think only people on the inside knew that title at the time the article was being put together - at least I think that to be the case.

    No big thing, but I infer that someone at 5th and Lincoln, on the phone or in person, just caught this person up with band doings sometime in, let's say, the second half of 1975 - during *the pivot* of Garcia's life, I might argue - and a few nuggets of information end up in Hit Parader. You'll love the contrast with the relatively unhip --though not blind-- political commentary.

  3. A study in contrasts, don't you know.

    Maybe I have Hit Parader all wrong. I was never a rock mag guy, per se.

  4. Could Deadpatch and Pt. Reyes be the same rehearsal space? Her'e what I've gathered:

    West Marin, California

    Jerry was contemplating building a rehearsal hall in
    1973-74 Grateful Dead
    "As for a practice hall for the Dead themselves, they might build one someday on a piece of land they own known as "Deadpatch."[3]

    "It was decided to not borrow money to build on Deadpatch. Front Street is leased for one year.[1]

    "The idea of building on this was abandoned in January 1974."[2]

    "By the winter of 1970, the band had moved out of their Novato practice facility and had set up a space out near Pt. Reyes in rural West Marin."[4]

    Deadpatch, West Marin, Marin County, CA
    1.)^Grateful Dead Meeting Notes, 1974-03-14, MS 332, Ser. 3, Box 2:9, GDR: Show Files: Summer east Coast Tours, #1-2-Ticket requests, comp requests, gig contact lists, correspondence, Grateful Dead Archives, Special Collections, McHenry Library, UC Santa Cruz, CA.
    2.)^McNally, Dennis, Long Strange Trip, pg. 469-470.
    3.)^Perry, Charles, A New Life for the Dead, 1973-11-22,
    4.)^Jackson, Blair, Grateful Dead gear, pg, 101, runonguinness, 2013-01-03, Grateful Dead Rehearsal Spaces, 1965-1995, 2013-01-03,

    Rehearsal Hall
    Unknown Address
    Pt. Reyes, California
    38° 4' N / 122° 48' W

    Jerry rehearsed here in
    Early 1970-Early 1973[1] Grateful Dead
    "Jerry is the first to admit that he is a somewhat less than prolific songwriter, but it was last January that he underwent a creative “spasm” that left him with seven new songs. The band was about to begin rehearsals the next week in their deserted and dilapidated Point Reyes rehearsal hall and Jerry, who undoubtedly felt the crush for new material, came up with the goods."[2]

    The "deserted and dilapidated" Point Reyes rehearsal hall may have been used only intermittently.

    “…the band auditioned a keyboardist named Howard Wales, who laid down some parts for us in 1970 that we ended up using on American Beauty. As was the case with Merl Saunders, Wales came to us through Jerry, who played with him in side projects and whom Jerry would continue to work with for many years [ed: actually, only until four months after this tryout, more or less]. I don't know how or where Jerry found him, but Wales had done some session work with James Brown and the Four Tops before we brought him in for American Beauty. His Grateful Dead audition, however, didn't quite work out. He was a madman on the organ but he was just too wild for us. It was too much "Howard" and not enough "Grateful Dead." I still remember the audition, though, because he was such an insanely brilliant player.”[3]
    It’s unclear if this is where Howard Wales was auditioned but seems to fit the timeline.

    Spring 1973 the band was rehearsing out by Point Reyes, where Jerry first brought in Row Jimmy”.[4]

    Rehearsal Hall, Pt. Reyes, CA
    1.)^runonguiness, comments, 2013-02-02,
    2.)^Crowe, Cameron, 1973-October, Circus,
    3.)^Kreutzmann, Bill, with Benjy Eisen. 2015. Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams, and Drugs with the Grateful Dead, pg. 162.
    4.)^Kreutzmann, Bill, with Benjy Eisen. 2015. Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams, and Drugs with the Grateful Dead, pg. 191.

  5. Hit Parader really wasn't that bad a magazine. As I faintly recall, it was the kind of cheap rag that gave a lot of freelancers a chance. So there were sometimes some good pieces by knowledgeable writers, but they rapidly moved on. I think LIA's general assessment is correct, this sort of stuff was generally known if you were diligently reading about the Dead, but that was a lot harder to do without the Internet thingy.

  6. Looking at the full article, I still suspect all of it was taken from previously printed info, or whatever news was floating around SF - especially considering how many garbled details there are. But it is possible the author did ask someone in the Dead scene for some details - there aren't any quotes, and as you noticed only a few tiny bits of "inside" info - but sometimes there are hints of irony that clash with the general bland "Dead 101" writing, and I wonder if some of the mistakes are outright misinformation! (Garcia playing banjo and ready to rejoin the New Riders?)
    That said, none of this would have been new to people scouring the music rags on the newsstands except for a few tiny details.

  7. I am coming around to your view.

    Part of what's happening with all of our blogs is that we are rediscovering what was already known. Hopefully we are codifying and drawing it more together, so any particular wheel won't need to be reinvented a third time.

    If anyone has a set of notes on "Dead Patch", I'd love to see them. I am sure I have stuff here and there.

  8. Here's my Dead Patch notes from a few years back, sadly I came to no conclusion at the time but at least I found McNally's references so they will save anyone else ferreting them out. Here goes.

    I’ve been thinking about the Point Reyes rehearsal space mentioned in Jackson’s “GD Gear” p101 possibly being the same site as Deadpatch and finally found the appropriate bit of McNally (A Long Strange Trip p 407-408).

    “That summer (1971) an idea circulated around the office for a project called Deadpatch, a home for the Grateful Dead. In a charming blend of Cantabrigian “(a fancy way of saying Trist had connections to Cambridge University)” social science and stoned hippie rave, Alan Trist drew up some notes, beginning from the "100 percent level of concept/bossness/fantasy, in terms of facilities, materials, and equipment, and then work backwards to the immediately pragmatic." He postulated needs that began with a rehearsal hall, led to a recording studio, then an office, then perhaps living space, and ended with a rocket launchpad. His report noted that "we all like to work and hangout together, there may (or not) be conflict between making music, doing business and hanging out. Personally I see them as inseparable... difficulties can be avoided by the right... design." John Cipollina's father had found them a bit of land on Lucas Valley Road in West Marin, and they managed to put a hold on it for a while, but since they had no financial resources, the idea was, in Alan's English slang, "a definite nonstarter." If a real desire had been there, such a handicap might have been overcome. But Garcia - and to a man the band agreed with him - did not want to deal with much beyond the tuning of his guitar.”

    So according to McNally, Deadpatch was Trist’s idea, who had been recruited after American Beauty was released in November 1970 (McNally p 383). According to Jackson, the move to Point Reyes was in February 1970. So the move to Point Reyes was not Trist’s idea, but developing an existing ‘deserted and dilapidated’ Point Reyes site they already occupied could have been his idea. The Deadpatch project was finally abandoned at a band meeting early in 1974 when it required “an additional $100,000” (McNally p 469-470). So, despite it being “a definite nonstarter” in 1971, it was still alive when Hunter and Donna were communing with Pigpen at Point Reyes in 1973 (“damn!, I didn’t note the reference for this”). So far, so good.

    Could Lucas Valley Road be described as Point Reyes?

    The Western end of Lucas Valley Road where it joins Nicasio Valley Road is less than a mile from the Eastern edge of Point Reyes National Seashore park. I’m only looking at a map but I wouldn’t call that Point Reyes, I’d call it Nicasio. I could understand someone refering to the great big park as opposed to the tiny village though. What would a local back in the early 70s have called it?

    It was a pretty good theory but it looks to not quite fit. Deadpatch could have been at the other end of Lucas Valley Road anyway, miles from Point Reyes, which would totally invalidate my theory.

    Cipollina’s father seems to have been the Dead’s real estate man. According to Mountain Girl in Greenfield’s “Dark Star” p 113 he also found their Larkspur cottage for them.

    If Deadpatch required “an additional $100,000” in 1974, how much had they already spent on it and doing what?

  9. cont'd

    For what it’s worth, Hank Harrison’s “The Dead” p 167 has the following

    “Shortly after the Altamont debacle, MG… had the flash that the Dead family needed a place. The plan was farmed out to a number of planners and architects in the community. The plot of land under consideration, about 40 acres off Lucas Valley Road , near Mickey’s ranch, which may have been one problem, was a bargain at $140,000 in 1971 bucks…
    The plan sort of fell through because Owsley wanted to build a PA… The land dream shifted next to Canada and finally to Mendocino, where Garcia and others bought some land for everybody to live on forever and ever. George Hunter drew up the plans for the studio… didn’t have the full support of the entire family… Phil and I had contacted Jim Gilam, an architect from the Architectural Association in London, an expatriate American who came to settle in Fairfax years later, and Gilam suggested we dig on Paolo Soleri and do a dowsing ceremony on the land to find water, but the idea of Deadpatch was a fading dream.”

    That’s what I thought in 2013 but now we know that Kreutzmann lived in Lucas Valley Road opposite what is now Skywalker Ranch (“Deal” p 102). Now I think this was the site (or at least in the general area) of what would have been developed into Dead Patch if it had ever come to fruition.

    Just to throw another reference in regarding my original theory, Kreutzmann in his “GD Movie” interview says “four years ago me and a partner of mine had a cattle ranch in Point Reyes so we’re on the coast…” Lucas Valley Road is not on the coast so this is another location, possibly that of the “Point Reyes rehearsal space” but not Deadpatch.

  10. Point Reyes in BK's book: Spring 1973 band was rehearsing out by Point Reyes, where Jerry first brought in "Row Jimmy" (Kreutzmann 2015, 191).

    1. Charlie Miller posted on a forum back in 2011-01-18 that he has a rehearsal from early 73 of
      Jack Straw
      Here Comes Sunshine*2
      They Love Each Other
      WRS Prelude
      You Ain't Woman Enough
      King Bee (Weir voclas)
      Eyes Of The World *2

      No mention of Row Jimmy or Point Reyes but it must be the same rehearsals. Presumably it's an uncirculated Betty Batch 3

    2. Would Betty have taped rehearsals? I'm doubtful... The Dead periodically taped their rehearsals of new songs before a tour (actually, I'd guess they taped them more regularly than we know about) - I presume this was from Jan/Feb '73. Sure hope Charlie releases it sometime...

      From the evidence so far, it sounds like "Deadpatch" was a different place than the Point Reyes rehearsal spot. But both spots are still quite vague! It's ironic, considering they were both actual physical locations, that researchers still don't know where they were...

    3. I have a whole bunch of property paper that I haven't puzzled together. Like, a lot. Maybe later today I can provide some kind of interim analysis.

  11. Jerry's house
    5200 Lucas Valley Road
    Nicasio, California

    When we purchased the land and house at 5200 Lucas Valley Rd in 2004 both had been neglected and uninhabited for many years. We undertook an enormous renovation project that transformed the twenty acre gated property into an ideal private estate in one of the most beautiful landscapes of Northern California. This included an expansion of the house, complete renovations of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, redesign of all the rooms, and the installation of organic olive trees and extensive lavender gardens around the pool, tennis court and seasonal creek. 
    The former residence of Keith Knudson (Doobie Brothers drummer), the former property of Jerry Garcia who provided it as a hangout for jamming sessions by the Grateful Dead and the Jefferson Airplane (exactly where we built a ceremonial stone circle  for its incredible natural acoustics), as well as a home for horses, sheep, chickens, and Lamas. The protected topography of our private valley made it easy to create a retreat perfect for entertaining both on a small and large scale.
    Between the main house and the carriage house apartment (a former recording studio for the Doobie Bros.) a family reunion can wake up to swimming, tennis, bocce ball, hiking, and biking in California's mediterranean coastal climate.
    Among the 250 homes in the area, 5200 Lucas Valley Road offers a singular combination of a spacious south facing home, private and protected in its own valley, on many acres of flat landscaped property with all the amenities of an estate.
    The land was originally a part of the Bull Ranch where George Lucas created Skywalker Ranch.  Our home is referred to either as the Doobie Brothers house, but even more frequently as the Lama Ranch.  The previous owner raised lama's and had a flock of them. It must had made a great impression on those who drove by the pasture, because whenever folks ask where I live, I just say The Lama Ranch and the immediately know where I live.  We have owned a number of animals ourselves horses, sheep, chickens and dogs, but it will always be the Lama Ranch.[1]

    Jerry lived here in
    Late 1960's
    "A few years ago one of the old timers from Weeks Well and Drilling came to our home to familiarize me with the history of our wells. He told me he had put in the first well for Jerry Garcia back in the late 60's when there was nothing more than a shack on the property and a wooden platform for performing.  It was the first I had ever heard of Jerry or the Dead having occupied our land. He told me that at center line in the tennis court I would find an excellent well. There I found a very faint outline etched within the surface of the court – something I had never noticed before. We chipped away and sure enough there was the well.  He gave me the original invoice.
    Next, he walked me over to where the platform was where the band would play – the Grateful Dead jamming with the Jefferson Airplane and other groups.  The acoustics were amazing.  The hills made a natural amphitheatre.  My husband designed a forty foot decomposed granite circle outlined in stone to commemorate the spot." [1]

    6/18/75 Grateful Dead Productions (I can't recall where I found this date)

    Jerry's house, 5200 Lucas Valley Road, Nicasio, CA

    1. Wow, I guess you found "Deadpatch."
      It's really intriguing that the Airplane are said to have played there as well...

  12. There have to be property records for that, and I didn't find any under Jerry's name. Doesn't mean they aren't there. Someone needs to go to Marin County Clerk and Recorder, find the APN, check out the parcel maps, all of that.

  13. Per Bob Matthews, they were using the Point Reyes rehearsal space in February 1970, while preparing for Workingman's Dead:
    "They went back to the rehearsal studio in Point Reyes and practiced with the [album sequence] in mind."
    (from This Is All A Dream We Dreamed, p.152)
    They must have just gotten the space and switched from the Novato warehouse - I wonder if this had anything to do with Lenny Hart, or if the move was coincidental.

    And from the May 1972 Book of the Dead:
    "They are building their own recording studio on a piece of land called Dead Patch in Marin County."
    So Deadpatch was somewhat public news as early as '72.


!Thank you for joining the conversation!