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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Reading Notes: Kreutzmann, Bill, with Benjy Eisen. 2015. Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams, and Drugs with the Grateful Dead. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press.

Kreutzmann, Bill, with Benjy Eisen. 2015. Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams, and Drugs with the Grateful Dead. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press.

This wasn't as bad as I had feared it might be.

You can see that I switched half-way through to endnotes. I have been thinking that works best, all things considered, but I have so much written with parenthetical notation that it's a bit daunting to switch. I may just do both for awhile. J

These are my "reading notes", just the stuff I cull and sort into my own thematic and chronological buckets, as appropriate.

#burden GD members bore "a great and heavy responsibility" … fan expectations were "a weight that we were glad to bear" (Kreutzmann 2015, 6). Scuba diving was going to replace drugs, but Jerry couldn't escape: "I can't get away from it, Bill" (Kreutzmann 2015, 7).

Being in the Grateful Dead "wasn't exactly calming" by the 1980s-1990s (Kreutzmann 2015, 9).

Bill grew up 1512 Byron in Palo Alto (Kreutzmann 2015, 12).

#musics: parents loved black music, listened to East Bay KDIA, the "Lucky 13" (Kreutzmann 2015, 13).

Garcia's charisma. BK sat in front of Garcia, playing jug music at the Tangent, and said to himself "I'm going to follow this guy forever" (Kreutzmann 2015, 26).

Stacy Kreutzmann born July 3, 1964 (Kreutzmann 2015, 28).
NB Heather Garcia born December 8, 1963

At the In Room in Belmont the Warlocks backed up Cornell Gunther and the Coasters, who had had hits with "Little Egypt", "Love Potion No. 9", "Yakety Yak" and "Poision Ivy" (Kreutzmann 2015, 34).

February 1966, move to LA (Kreutzmann 2015, 45).

Sara Ruppenthal Garcia and Heather initially came down to LA in early '66, "but the relationship fell apart before we even moved into the house. So his wife and daughter … split back north" (Kreutzmann 2015, 48) #women #family

Left LA after three months (Kreutzmann 2015, 53). Brenda, Florence and Melissa found Rancho Olompali for rent, took up there May 1, 1966 for six weeks (Kreutzmann 2015, 53).

1966 "an abandoned Girl Scout camp in Lagunitas, a small town on the west side of the county. As you approached the town, you'd take a right at a road just before the main intersection, where the bar is, and it was right up there" (Kreutzmann 2015, 57). In 1995, "Jerry died at a facility that's a stone's throw" from Camp Lagunitas (Kreutzmann 2015, 61).

1966 studio information (Kreutzmann 2015, 58-59).

Ron Rakow and Sue Swanson lived at 715 Ashbury, with Kelley and Mouse. That same address "became somewhat of a nest for Hells Angels" (Kreutzmann 2015, 62-63).

Justin Kreutzmann born June 10, 1969 (Kreutzmann 2015, 65).

Warnecke Ranch Russian River 1967 (Kreutzmann 2015, 70-71).

Café Au Go Go on Bleecker Street had been made notorious by Lenny Bruce, for whom Garcia had taken a job typing transcripts for his legal defense against obscenity charges (Kreutzmann 2015, 72).

Became friends with CSN guys at Monterey (Kreutzmann 2015, 74).

1967 rehearsal space next to the Fillmore, on the Geary side, where a post office now stands, became Theatre 1839, Graham may have been renting it out when GD used it (Kreutzmann 2015, 82).

Carousel Ballroom discussion. "A hustler named Ron Rakow, who conned his way into our little circle and who could continue to lead us astray through many ventures, somehow convinced all three bands to form a theoretical partnership called Triad, under his stewardship. This was Rakow's first real leadership role with us" (Kreutzmann 2015, 91).

"There was something that Jerry saw in Rakow that he really liked, like maybe his outlaw spirit, but I don't know why we hired him to handle anything that had to do with our money. … He was always scheming, always trying to sell us a used car" (Kreutzmann 2015, 93-94). Cortina story, briefly.

"GD Records was for albums by the band, and Round Records for solo releases and side projects. Just like the Carousel, Rakow had somehow convinced us all to jump on a sinking ship and try to set sail. Turs out, it was a ship of fools" (Kreutzmann 2015, 94).

1968 practice space new Potrero Theater (Kreutzmann 2015, 95).

The Firing in summer 1968: (Kreutzmann 2015, 98-99). "Jerry was the most non-confrontational person in the band" (Kreutzmann 2015, 99). Mentions chatter about David Nelson possibly taking over for Weir (Kreutzmann 2015, 99).

Bk was in jail from a Lucas Valley pot grow just a few weeks after the New Orleans bust (Kreutzmann 2015, 104).

Altamont: "the era of peace and love had come to a close. And our refusal to play, even later that night, miles away from the Speedway, was our moment of silence" (Kreutzmann 2015, 122).

Lenny Hart: "Mickey suggested that we hire his father, Lenny Hart, to help us get on track. Jerry and I were skeptical from the start, and I don't think I was ever fully convinced that it was a good idea. I kept my hands in my pockets and shuffled my feet as Mickey tried to sell us on it. Mickey's pitch was that Lenny was a businessman and now he was also an evangelist-a self-ordained fundamentalist minister. He was a man of God ... at least, in theory. Plus, he was connected to us by blood. Meaning, if nothing else, we could trust him. It's amazing some of the lessons you learn in life. Lenny had this whole Southern Gospel rap that he'd throw on us. He didn't try to convert us, but he did try to convince us that he was doing the Lord's work by managing us and that he brought a sort of divine providence to our organization. Consequently, none of us-particularly Jerry or me-liked the guy very much. We couldn't confide in him. He wasn't one of us. I think his intention all along was to rip us off, and that's exactly what he ended up doing. There had been a number of signs that we ignored because we were naïve and because we weren't paying close enough attention and because we didn't believe that one of our fathers would have the heart to steal from us. There was this one show that we played in San Jose that was kind of reminiscent of the show in Paris, years later, where I fired Jon Mcintire because the promoter told him we didn't turn a profit. This time, it was our manager with that sad refrain. The venue was completely packed and, afterward, Lenny told us that we didn't make any money. That was hot air. We made money. He just kept it, that's all. At one point, Pigpen had an organ repossessed-they came and took it right from the stage-because the payment wasn't made on it. There were other omens like that, as well. Too many of them. And Ram Rod knew -- he was the whistle-blower. When we couldn't ignore our suspicions anymore, we decided to simply let Lenny go. But first we asked to see the books. And that was the end of Lenny Hart. He fled to Mexico" (Kreutzmann 2015, 124).

Lenny fallout: "Naturally, the band discussed what we should do about that, but there wasn't a whole lot that we could do. After Altamont, we weren't exactly going to hire bikers to go take justice in their own hands or anything. The idea was brought up, but we would never actually follow through with that. That just wasn't our style. The other option meant having to go to the authorities and get the police involved and that wasn't our style, either. We were a band of hippies, so we decided on taking the hippie high road to justice: let karma get him. And it worked. Eventually, Lenny Hart got caught by a detective-somewhere in San Diego, I think-and he ended up doing some time behind bars. Also, we recovered a fraction of the money he stole from us. But this was all still a few years down the line. In the meantime, Mickey took all of this the hardest. We were careful not to put any of the blame on him and we made it clear that he was still our brother-but this was his father that we're talking about. The rest of us had just been ripped off by our manager, but Mickey had just been ripped off by his own dad. How do you think that made him feel? By 1970, we were a successful band-we could headline theaters, ballrooms, and college gymnasiums all across the country. We were on a major label and had just played Woodstock. And yet, Lenny left us hobbled. Broke. Funny things happen from hard situations: you learn to survive" (Kreutzmann 2015, 125).

Rolling Thunder (Kreutzmann 2015, 129-135).

Workingman's and American Beauty inaugurate the "Bakersfield era" of the band (Kreutzmann 2015, 137).

#PERRO Heider's BK uses the term "cross-pollination" (Kreutzmann 2015, 147).

BK fires Mickey Hart: "As a band, we were still feeling some of the repercussions of being ripped off by our manager. But as that manager's son, Mickey was doomed to suffer the worst of it. He wore it heavy on his shoulders and the weight was beginning to really drag him down. … Thus, it was no easy task when I had to tell him that he needed to take a break and step down from his role as a member of the Grateful Dead. That responsibility fell on me, although I did it at a band meeting with everyone there, at our new office on Fifth and Lincoln in San Rafael. We had to ask him to leave; I had to be the one to do it. This was in February 1971, after we played one of our legendary runs at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, New York" (Kreutzmann 2015, 151).

Mickey Hart firing: "Mickey himself was in bad shape during that [February 1971 Port Chester] run and ended up sitting out for most of it. He had been getting into dark drugs from what I recall, and I think all the pressure on him because of what happened with his father probably led him down that path. This was before either Jerry or I had really gotten into heroin. I had tried it by this point, but it was hardly a regular part of my diet. And it had just killed Janis Joplin. Thank God it didn't kill Mickey Hart. But it did get him bumped from the band he loved the most, for a little while. It wasn't simply one thing, though: Mickey wasn't able to play at the level he was capable of and it was beginning to affect our performances. He was getting really spacey and just getting so far out there that he wasn't able to deliver the music. It became impossible for me to play with him. It wasn't out of anger or meanness, but we had to address it and deal with it. So our brother Mickey left the band and retreated back to his ranch in Novato and it really strained our relationship for a while, sad to say" (Kreutzmann 2015, 152). #drugs

#drugs "the rest of us had been turned on to another drug that didn't help the music, either, and that was cocaine. And it would stay with some of us for the rest of the band's career, in waves and varying levels of intensity. But by the early 1970s, cocaine had become the common wash for everything. Somebody always had it. Some people had way too much of it. … It was like the magic fairy dust for everything, except that it wasn't magic – it was cocaine" (Kreutzmann 2015, 153). He notes that he first tried it toward end of Haight Ashbury time at 710, indicative, the 1960s "forming a fireball that crashed into the front gate of the 1970s. The good drugs turned into bad drugs" (Kreutzmann 2015, 153).

BK first took coke with Curly-Headed Jim (Kreutzmann 2015, 153).

They got Fifth and Lincoln up and running when, early 70s? A few years later, Club Front began, so named because it was a real "boy's club" (Kreutzmann 2015, 156).

# drugs "Cocaine was our special guest throughout those [Garcia] recording sessions" (Kreutzmann 2015, 158).

#drugs: "I'm pretty sure Jerry wasn't into heroin during the making of Garcia; as far I know, he hadn't even discovered it yet. But when he did, during subsequent Grateful Dead albums, it could become difficult just to get him to show up, unfortunately. That got to be really old, really fast, for all of us. We wanted to play music with him so badly that we'd put up with it, which-in hindsight-was crazy. Nobody else in the band would've been able to get away with it; at least, not to the extent that he did. But Jerry Garcia was the exception" (Kreutzmann 2015, 158).

#drugs "It also opens up a moral question that we can talk about now, but we can never truly answer, since he's not with us. There was a certain feeling, toward the end, that Jerry was using the Grateful Dead to finance his drug habit. That's a sad thought. I don't think he ever intended it to be that way or for it to get to that point or to hurt anyone. He was as pure of a musician as they come. But heroin addiction will change a person in ways that are tragic and discouraging" (Kreutzmann 2015, 158).

#drugs: "If the rest of us had just been able to get outside of ourselves for a second, maybe we would've been able to say, "Hey, enough's enough. We can't support this anymore." But not one of us could do that. We had our own addictions, too. For one thing, none of us wanted to stop touring as the Grateful Dead. By that point, we were addicted to the money as much as the music. I think we knew that he would just find other people to play [159] with, and the problem wouldn't have been solved except that, then, there would be no more Grateful Dead. Which is what ended up happening, anyway" (Kreutzmann 2015, 158-159).

"The best we could do--and we did try this, valiantly--was to try to get him into a rehab program. Those things just never worked because Jerry was as stubborn as he was brilliant and he could talk circles around the doctors. They couldn't get through to him. He didn't appreciate anyone who would try to change his ways-just as he would never impose his own views on anybody else, ever. He believed that everyone should be free to do whatever they wanted, no matter what. There was nothing that could be taken away from him, nothing that meant enough to him, nothing that could be used for leverage ... to keep him away from heroin. That path wasn't the way it was going to work. And, in the end, that proved true-nothing worked" (Kreutzmann 2015, 159).

! JGMF note: known "interventions" are January 1985 and after the Denver Dead show, June 28, 1991. Amazingly, the only two rehab stints I can identify are first, are 1991 and 1995. In summer 1991, Jerry followed a methadone regime via a San Francisco clinic, resulting in the rescheduling of the whole, iconic Eel River Festival from July 13 to August 10 and the cancellation of postcard-ready Bill Graham joints at Frost Amphitheatre (Stanford University, July 14th) and the stunning Telluride Town Park (July 19th, co-headlining with Jackson Browne, Joe Cocker, and a very hot iteration of the Allman Brothers Band). At that stage in the game, Garcia would never miss these kinds of paydays except under truly exigent circumstances. I can't quite fathom the Bill Graham admixture of being pissed off about losing business, on the one hand, and concern for his longtime business associate and friend, on the other. The welcome at the Eel and up at Squaw Valley in August seems warm enough, gigs ending two months to the day before Graham plunged to his death in a horrible, foul weather helicopter crash. My own surmise (note that this is pure speculation) is that he never did fully clean up during this time, and never would again. Yet the only other rehab stint I can pin down is the one he never left. as in ca. July-August 1995 he bounced out of Betty Ford, more of a shuffle, really, and met The Maker in a top of the line Serenity Knolls rehab bed.

#togotigi: "But during the Garcia sessions, everything was still on the up-and-up. I think that record really made a lot of people in the scene or industry take Jerry more seriously as an artist, by himself. It was proof of his genius. It drew attention to his music, without all the extraneous stuff that came along with the Grateful Dead" (Kreutzmann 2015, 159). #togotigi #solovsGD

Here we get a great parallel between Garcia and Weir, has record dropped January 1972 and Bob's by April: "A month after that album was released-so, in February 1972-Bobby walked down the solo path, as well. The Grateful Dead had some downtime at that point, leading Bobby to book a block of recording sessions at Wally Heider's. Ironically, Jerry and Phil were also there during those weeks, in the studio next door, working on sessions for David Crosby" (Kreutzmann 2015, 159). #Bob Weir

! JGMF: when did Weir sign the Ace contract? (I am sure Corry knows.)

! JGMF: This is Graham Nash and David Crosby, recorded at Heider's (LA and SF) on dates unknown to me, and released April 1972 (Atlantic SD 7220). This fits the Ace time period to a T, though I have no firm dates for Ace sessions (also comes up March 5, 12, or 19th in the Stoned Sunday Rap). #David Crosby #Graham Nash


"I played on some sessions for Crosby, too, at some point. Up in Studio C. That work can be heard on Crosby's solo debut … (Kreutzmann 2015, 159).

! JGMF: First, editing error on the title of Crosby's album: It's If I Could Only Remember My Name.... (Atlantic SD 7203, February 1971). Second, I can place BK at the following sessions:
·         July 29, 1970 Wally Heider’s, SF Paul Kantner [leader], David Crosby, William Kreutzmann RCA 133131
·         July 30, 1970 Wally Heider’s, SF 8-11 PM Paul Kantner [leader], David Crosby, William Kreutzmann, Joey Covington RCA 133139
Once I get through 1971 and 1972 San Francisco sessions and post them as I have done for 1967-1968, 1969, and 1970, a few more Crosby-Kreutzmann crossings may turn up.

#Ace sessions and the togotigi of Bob Weir: "From what I recall, Bobby had most of the songs together already by the time I got there, and he had clear ideas as to what he wanted to do. It was an enjoyable project to work on. He ended up using the rest of the Grateful Dead as his backing band. It was a chance for him to be boss. We just came in and played [160] his songs. In some ways, Bobby's solo album … did the same thing for him that Garcia did for Jerry. It made me take Bobby more seriously as a songwriter, and it somehow upped his standing in the band" (Kreutzmann 2015, 159-160). #Bob Weir

Rolling Thunder: "Since Mickey was newly estranged from the Grateful Dead, but still in our extended family, he also recorded a solo album in 1972. He called it Rolling Thunder in honor of our Shoshone friend and shaman. Perhaps of note, perhaps not: I didn't have anything to do with that one. Jerry did. Bobby did. Phil did. But I didn't. Maybe it was Mickey's turn to be the only drummer" (Kreutzmann 2015, 160). #Mickey Hart

Skullfuck "dropped in the fall of 1971 [see my "Keith. And, Modernity"]. We were in a new state of transition at that time, as we had slimmed down to a five-piece again. But with Pigpen's ailing health (and, perhaps, abilities) preventing him from really taking charge on organ, we had sonic holes that, we felt, longed for keyboard parts" (Kreutzmann 2015, 161).

! JGMF: "more on the keyboardist change, ca. 1971," URL

"So Jerry brought in a guy named Merl Saunders, whom he worked with on some solo projects, to do a handful of overdubs for the album. But that still didn't solve the problem of the missing Grateful Dead keyboardist. Merl worked out great for the overdubs and, to be honest, I don't know why we didn't invite him to join the band. I have no idea. Maybe I don't remember; maybe I never knew. We didn't usually talk about those kinds of things" (Kreutzmann 2015, 161). #Merl Saunders

#Pigpen: "When Pigpen took center stage during his selected rave-ups, he was a great blues frontman. But the rest of the time, he was more of a background player. Then, in September 1971, he was hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer and some other stuff. None of it good. I didn't know it was that serious, and even though I didn't ask them, I don't think the other guys did, either. We thought it was just a thing that would heal. Three months later, in December 1971, he was able to return to playing shows with us. But there was no denying that he was in a weakened condition and he was never able to fully recover to his old self after that" (Kreutzmann 2015, 161).. #pigpen

! JGMF: "The other day I was wondering how Pigpen felt about all of this. He was sick and getting sicker, so maybe it just was what it was. But it must have been depressing and awkward. Then I remembered about the September 9, 1971 gig that Corry uncovered (which had also been listed in the Barb, I had found), the only solo Pigpen gig that I have ever even heard of or seen reference to. I suspect that if the gig happened Pigpen just brought out his guitar and sang some sad blues." See my "more on the keyboardist change, ca. 1971," URL

"So, we knew we wanted a full-time keyboardist and I knew that Tom Constanten wasn't it. But we didn't have anybody else on our radar, just yet." (Kreutzmann 2015, 161).

"Some of the guys in the band-namely, Jerry and Phil-became friendly with a whiz kid who was, at the time, enrolled at MIT, named Ned Lagin. Before anyone had met Ned, he had written the band a letter [162] after catching one of our Boston shows in 1969. Jerry and Phil liked what he had to say. I wasn't all that interested in it and didn't really pay attention until Ned came into Wally Heider's to record a piano part for us, for the song "Candyman," which appears on American Beauty (Kreutzmann 2015, 161-162). #Ned Lagin

#Ned: "Lagin's true specialty was his far-our ideas about the integration of electronics and music creation and of using computers-in real time-as an instrument. He was onto something, of course, because that's where music has gone today. He predicted the electronica movement and EDM and I think his vision had a science-fiction element that captured Phil's and Jerry's imagination. But, like T.C., Ned just wasn't the right fit for the Grateful Dead. He played with us a bunch of times between 1970 and 1974 and he did a collaboration with Phil (and, sometimes, Jerry), called Seastones, that they would sometimes play live, in between Dead sets. They may have even toured it together. But Ned was never an actual member of the band. He was his own thing (Kreutzmann 2015, 162). #Ned Lagin

#Howard Wales: "Meanwhile, 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." (Kreutzmann 2015, 162).

! JGMF: I have speculated that billed Dead shows at the Harding Theater, September 3-4, might have been the Wales tryout, but BK's use of the term "audition" keeps resonating with me as if it were in a private space, not a live gig.

#Keith's musical brilliance: "Then, around the same time that Pigpen entered the hospital, Jerry gave me a call telling me to get my ass down to the rehearsal space. He said there was a guy down there with him that I simply had to hear. Nobody else from the band was around, bur almost immediately after I arrived, I knew that Jerry was right-this guy could really play piano. He was one [163] of the best, if not the best, keyboardist that I've had the honor of playing with. The Grateful Dead have played with some really good ones over the years, like Bruce Hornsby and Brent Mydland, but this guy was just outrageous. He was really competent too, in that he could pick up whatever Jerry and I started playing that day, and just run with it. He didn't need to know the material first. He could learn songs before he was even done hearing them for the first time. And he could play just about anything" (Kreutzmann 2015, 162-163).

#Keith and #Donna Jean: "His name was Keith Godchaux and he instantly became a member of the Grateful Dead. Legend has it that the whole reason Jerry even gave him a chance was because Keith's wife, Donna Jean Godchaux, approached Jerry at one of his solo gigs at a small club in San Francisco called the Keystone. She went right up to him and declared that her husband was going to be the Dead's new keyboardist. Fate would have it that we needed a new keyboardist, so Donna had Jerry's attention. At her persistent insistence, he decided to give Keith a shot" (Kreutzmann 2015, 163).

#Donna Jean Godchaux: "Donna came from Alabama and had worked in the music industry probably before Keith. She had been a professional singer at the influential FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals and sang backup on the original studio recordings of Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds" and Percy Sledge's "When a Man Loves a Woman." She also did work for Cher, Boz Scaggs, and others. On New Year's Eve 1971 at the Winterland-just three months after her husband joined the band-Donna came onstage to sing on Bobby's "One More Saturday Night." It was her first time onstage with the Grateful Dead. After that, she was a member, too" (Kreutzmann 2015, 164). Later BK suggests she wasn't integral, not off-key but rather off-timbre (Kreutzmann 2015, 164).

#Donna Jean: "Offstage, of course, we all enjoyed having her around. She brought a [165] feminine energy to the band and sometimes even a feminine kind of love. That is to say, we all loved her and some of us got to express that love with her. It was the 1970s, and a special time in American history" (Kreutzmann 2015, 164-165). Ewwww … is BK oversharing here? Cue the Thoughts on the Dead guy. Which Dead members are confirmed or suspected of having slept with the lovely Miss Donna Jean? #sex

6/21/71 Herouville stories (Kreutzmann 2015, 167-168).

E72 (Kreutzmann 2015, 168-182).

#drugs: "When Cutler was running the game for us, it wasn't unusual for him to be in control of the band's master stash, doling it out to us as needed" (Kreutzmann 2015, 176).

#biz "Business was booming but the bigger it got, the less I paid attention to it. I paid attention to the beat, to the rhythm, to the music. Meanwhile, our managers had managers. As always, we had people around us who tried to hatch crackpot schemes, and because we were the Grateful Dead, we listened to all of them and even agreed to give some of them a shot. One such endeavor that gets brought up a lot in books and stuff was launching our own record label, Grateful Dead Records, and its subsidiary, Round Records. That was a Ron Rakow production, I'm afraid, and he did the same thing with it that he did with the Carousel Ballroom-he took an airship the size of the Hindenburg and brought it to a similar, fiery fate. It ended in smoke and ashes" (Kreutzmann 2015, 185).

#Hal Kant "Talking of bad business decisions, our lawyer, Hal Kant, convinced us at some point to sign a contract that activated a Last Man Standing policy. I don't know if anybody's ever talked about this before, but the idea behind the Last Man Standing was that the last living member of the Grateful Dead would get everything. Under that policy, when a musician [186] died, his rightful royalties wouldn't go to his estate; instead it would be put back in the pot until, eventually, there was only one man left standing. And that person would get it all. Now, how do I say this? Let's start with: "What the fuck kind of idea is that?" We've since changed it and made it fair for the families, but over the years there's been some black humor about that policy. (The Grateful Dead's licensing arm, Ice Nine Publishing, still has an active version of the Last Man Standing clause.)" (Kreutzmann 2015, 185-186)

v-Record Plant, Sausalito "The Record Plant was decked out in a classic seventies style, with an array of different-sized pieces of wood covering the walls, just for effect. The studio itself was pretty nice and it was also convenient, being right down in Sausalito, near the boat harbor. None of us had that long a commute. Also-and this is pretty cool-the studio was right across the street from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bay Model, which is an actual, miniature, hydraulic model of the entire San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento--San Joaquin River Delta. It accurately simulates the tides and was created to study environmental impacts. It turns out, that's the perfect thing to be looking at when you're getting high, while taking a smoke break with your friends. We'd walk around its cavernous insides, which mimic the foothills around the Bay-again, the perfect playground for stoned musicians looking to get lost in another world. I have more memories about that than of the time spent inside the studio itself" (Kreutzmann 2015, 190).

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

Mars Hotel color (Kreutzmann 2015, 191-192). I did not know that Kerouac wrote about this place in Big Sur.

#business "Despite our record label follies, our business arm was becoming so profitable that an entire cottage industry began sprouting up around us. Nowadays, that cottage industry has expanded to include everything from radio shows to annual festivals. All of it unaffiliated. But in the early '70s, it started with our own friends and families. Sam Cutler branched off into his own booking agency (Out of Town Tours) and since we were always touring, it made sense that we'd spawn our own travel agency (Fly by Night Travel)-both of these businesses expanded to include a number of other client band" (Kreutzmann 2015, 193).

"Susila opened up a shop called Kumquat Mae. They sold official merchandise including our records, the band shirts that Susila designed, and various other crafts. When she moved the store from San Anselmo to Mill Valley, the name changed to Rainbow Arbor. It was a heady shop and I was happy to see Susila thrive like chat. I didn't spend too much time in the store itself, but there was a bar down the street called Sweetwater-the original one-where Weir and I used to hang our all the time, when we weren't on the road" (Kreutzmann 2015, 193).#sweetwater! remember bluegrass at Grisman's JG comment

#hiatus :"Bur we were usually on the road. And in some ways it began to feel like we peaked. The whole thing had gotten so big that the sheer size was beginning to take away from the overall experience, rather than add to [194] it" (Kreutzmann 2015, 193-194).

"I remember reading an interview with Jerry once where he said that he wanted to find an escape from the Grateful Dead because, for him, playing music in small clubs with small audiences was where it was at. There was no pressure, everything felt more personal and authentic, and the music was usually better. More alive and breathing than just regurgitated and rehearsed. You could explore the element of risk and danger so much easier in small rooms than in large stadiums, where nuances don't always come across and whims are hard to justify. The stadium shows felt a little too safe by comparison. And safe equals boring" (Kreutzmann 2015, 194). #solovsgd

#hiatus: "I'm not entirely sure where or when the idea of us taking a break—not a vacation but an actual hiatus-came up, or who first verbalized it and brought it to the table. It may have been one of the dyed-in-the-wool crew guys throwing in the towel or something like that that made us first think of it, then consider it ... then agree to it. I do know that, once the idea was put out there, Jerry became the biggest proponent of the hiatus. Maybe he's the one who first hatched it. That would make a lot of sense to me. I think we all were probably going on automatic pilot at that time, and perhaps Jerry was able to get out of himself for a minute and see that. In my mind, everything was just fine; the band was really successful, we were playing at a certain level-people still listen to a lot of our music from that era. I didn't think the Wall of Sound sounded great, but our interplay at some of those shows was phenomenal (Kreutzmann 2015, 194).

#burden: "The Grateful Dead didn't hit our actual pinnacle until sometime in the late 1980s. Size-wise, early 1990s. But in the mid-1970s, we hit a certain plateau. Success took a heftier toll on Jerry than it did on me, personally, because I could always retreat or go hang out with the crew or something. But everyone wanted a piece of Jerry, all the time, until he had nothing left for himself. He used to take time to talk to that random fan who had taken too much acid and who needed to discuss the universe with him, or thank him, or just have some kind of personal exchange. If they were too high, Jerry would talk them down. If they were too low, Jerry would help them up. When they demanded his full attention, he'd try to give it to them. That was really admirable. Heroic. But when your audience swells to a certain size, you can't do that sort of thing anymore. There's just not enough time and there was always someone else in line, raising their hand, demanding attention. By the end of1974, Jerry was done being that kind of hero. He was ready for a change of scene. He needed a break from it. I honored his decision and the rest of us did, too. I could tell that Jerry's spirit had turned restless. He was no longer satisfied with the music, and if the music isn't working, then the rest of it isn't working, either. Overall, Jerry didn't seem as happy as he once was. Looking back, neither was I. We needed to get our hunger back, so it was time to go on a fast. The risks were certain: If we kept going, we ran the possibility of coming to a standstill. Of course, by stopping, we risked the same thing. There was always the chance that we'd never start back up again" (Kreutzmann 2015, 195). #hiatus

BK "was not cool with" Mickey horning his way back into the band on 10/20/74 (Kreutzmann 2015, 196). Same in 1975: "I wasn't thrilled about his presence" (Kreutzmann 2015, 201

BK :"I played in a band with Keith and Donna for a little bit, but then they both defected into one of Jerry's bands. Jerry recruited me, too, for some shows … just a few at first, and then not at all" (Kreutzmann 2015, 197). Some interesting tone there. He sat in the JGMS seat January – September 1974. Sounds like Jerry wanted a little break from BK, among others.

#drugs BK living in Stinson ca. 1974-1975. "It was there in Stinson Beach where I got locked into a serious opium habit. The dealer who I played backgammon with would load me up. Before I knew it, I was smoking a ball of opium a day. Jerry was fully booked with his other bands and was also hard at work on what would become The Grateful Dead Movie. Bobby did some extracurricular touring of his own and he now had his own home studio that he could record in whenever he wanted. I'm not sure what the other guys were up to. But, me, I was playing backgammon and getting blissed out on opium (Kreutzmann 2015, 205).

# drugs: "I can't remember when heroin entered the picture for me, personally. Or for any of the other guys, for that matter. I just remember that I started doing some around the time of the hiatus. It's a damn shame that I ever got into that horrible stuff and I'm lucky in that I never got in too deep with it. I never shot up. I snorted it, but I preferred opium, which some people will say is the same thing, but it's not. "Not quite," anyway. They're both opiates and they're both crap. I don't recommend either" (Kreutzmann 2015, 205).

#drugs: "I never did heroin with Jerry. It's well documented how deep he got '- l with it and how it would continue to plague him and affect the band for the rest of our career. But I never did any with him or saw him do it. We never scored together and I've always felt this instinctual feeling that he was kind of looking out for me, on that level. He didn't want me to do what he was doing, because he knew what it was doing to him and he knew how bad it was. That was the feeling that I got, anyway. It was always a strong feeling. But I also know that heroin is a solitary drug. It's a dark drug. It's not a social thing. It's not like acid or ecstasy or any of those true consciousness expansion drugs. It's not even like coke, which carries its own share of demons. Heroin is much darker, I'm afraid" (Kreutzmann 2015, 205).

! JGMF: #drugs Cocaine is the quintessential club good – somewhere between a pure private good (costs and benefits internal to an individual; supplied via price mechanism) and a pure public good (embodying nonexcludable supply and nonrival consumption, the price mechanism shorts out and hence market failure). Club goods are generally provided by the few, at a premium, for a slightly-larger few – there are externalities involved. The club is fun because money is moving around there, generating fun, which spills over all the way to the rope line. There are negative externalities, too, at the club, as anyone who has ever been frustrated, challenged, puked on, disoriented in one can attest. That's why there are VIP rooms, so you don't get puked on by strangers. Coke is private in that same exclusive sense, social to a point, and grindingly antisocial once the supply starts getting used up.

record company, Rakow: "It wasn't long before our little record label experiment came to a fiery conclusion. Rakow was fired. He cut himself a big fat check with Grateful Dead Records' remaining funds, thereby crippling the label, and then he split".[1]

#movie "In the meantime, Jerry was still working long hours on The Grateful Dead Movie. It was his passion project but it became a sticking point within our ranks, as it was financed from the band's pockets".[2]

DK: "Meanwhile, Jerry and Mountain Girl had broken up and Deborah Koons entered the picture. She chased him down. Well, down and around. The whole situation between those two was volatile from the get-go. This one time, in New York City, Jerry called me up in a panic. We were in a fancy hotel on Fifty-Seventh Street. We had a gig the night before. It was now the following afternoon. Jerry got me on the phone and said, "Bill, you have to come to my room. Deborah's here and won't leave me alone. You've got to help me get rid of her, man." So I hauled ass down there. I threw on a pair of beat-up blue jeans and a ragged old white long-sleeve shirt, and left the room, still barefoot. I was lucky enough to remember to stuff my room key in my pocket.

I entered Jerry's room and, sure enough, Deborah was there, holding her ground. Jerry told her to leave and she refused. So I grabbed her, firmly but without hurting her in any way, and I forced her into the elevator. I told her, "Don't move! I'm not going to hurt you, but you have to get out of here." I looked at her and realized that she actually looked pretty [214] good-she was all dolled up to attract Jerry's attention.[3]

Deborah: "Deborah was capable of that kind of conniving, because when I talked to Jerry about it afterward, I asked him why he invited her over in the first place. "I didn't," he said. "She snuck in underneath the room service cart." She paid off the waiter to sneak her in the room and, once he left, she popped out. "Surprise! Nice to see you, Jerry!" Well, he didn't think so. I heard stories of her getting violent when they lived together, but I didn't see any of that. I don't know what their deal was or when they got together or when they broke up or when they got back together; that's their story, not mine. But I do recall one time at Bobby's studio when Jerry, Mountain Girl, and Deborah were all in the same room together and it ended with Mountain Girl throwing Deborah into the foot-thick studio door. It broke the hinges off. I don't know how Deborah survived that. But what is it that they say? Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned? Deborah must've been used to running into thick doors, because when she came out on the road with Jerry, he'd get hotel suites with two separate bedrooms. He made sure his always had an additional lock on it. That pretty much says everything, right there.[4]

Egypt pp. 217-230. Billy had a broken wrist from a "horses, cocaine and" incident.

Garcia was originally lukewarm on playing SNL.[5]

Holland Tunnel Blues Bar party after the 11/11/78 SNL gig.[6]

Keith: "Keith felt a lot of pressure as the band's keyboardist, and I'm not quite sure he was every able to fully get a handle on road life".[7]

Keith: "Keith's health, both mental and physical, was deteriorating. He was in a heavy place, had heavy things on his mind, and did heavy things to deal with it all. His drug use was though the roof. It was like that for all of us, I suppose, and that's one thing that's always been the unspoken crux of the GD family: we all did drugs –some more than others—but we all did them … But when someone in our ranks went overboard, we all would start pointing fingers. Especially when it started affecting the music. Our music was the only thing that was sacred and we all wanted to protect it … when somebody else in the band was doing something to have one bad night after another, repeatedly, then it became a problem … Jerry would be the one member who could get the hall pass on this"[8]

Keith: he was getting lazy, mimicking Jerry's lines, and this pissed JG off.[9]

BK counts neither TC nor Ned as full blown members of the GD.[10]

1980s: "The band wasn’t feeling the communal vibe within our ranks. We had begun to build resentments and alliances and we were no longer the band of brothers always striving for a group mind".[11]

Apocalypse Now sessions – smell of Napalm in the morning is the sound of the Beam.[12]

#drugs "Our fame afforded us the stuff that money alone could not: it let us live by a different set of rules. When Jerry seemed to be drifting even outside of those lines, we had an intervention for him.[13] January 1985 because he was "Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead" he got a slap on the wrist – the flip side of being "JG of the GD".

#money For Jerry, making money "wasn't even an objective at all, beyond making enough to get by".[14]

#drugs " I do recall one time when we were playing at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. Jerry had recently been released from treatment [JGMF: 8/16-18/91?], so he was clean and sober. I'm not sure he felt entirely comfortable with himself when he was clean and sober, especially when performing for large, sold-out crowds. Maybe that's why those phases never lasted too long. During soundcheck, he leaned over my tom-toms and said, "Bill, I'm terrified! I can't play anything. What am I going to do?" He was really afraid-you could see it on his face.

video shoot for Hell in a Bucket video at New George's in San Rafael.[15]

Matt Kelly episode p. 283

"Our next album [Built to Last] was a mistake"[16], because they did it totally detached from each other. Why would they have done this when ITD was so successful?

12/89 Brent overdose on opiates of some sort, arrested, significant jail time possible.[17]

Brent's death: "Jerry became noticeably more withdrawn right after this".[18]

"As for the GD, we couldn't stop. Even if we wanted to, we had an empire to protect, a business to run, and a hell of a lot of overhead to finance. Employees had to be paid, headquarters had to be maintained, offices needed a raison d'etre, we needed work, and our fans needed their band – the beast had to be fed".[19]

GD tried out Pete Sears, took a pass. Auditioned T. Lavitz.[20]

ca. 11/3/91 JG looked "torn and frazzled". Intervention after Denver '91.[21]

Early 1992, "we had talked about taking another hiatus. Jerry wanted us to consider it, and I spoke up in favor of a six-month break. The idea was shot down because our operation was a big one, with a lot of overhead, mouths to feed, mortgages to pay, and so on".[22]

"Garcia saw … money and fame as a burden. I think he was confused [?] by the fame and felt that the money came attached to an ever-growing list of obligations".[23]

Garcia skipping out on rock 'n' roll HOF induction pp. 319-320.

When did the GD peak? Can't say, but the peaks "were all in the rearview mirror by 1993. There were some nights when Jerry would be so doped up that he would start to nod off, on stage" [he later says this was Soldier Field 1995].[24]

1990s "Not that Jerry's ailing health and debilitating habits were any laughing matter. Everyone loved Jerry and none more than me. We didn't know what to do".[25]

GD 1990s: " We started off as a band of brothers-by music and by experience if not by blood. But toward the end of it, a lot of the time we didn't want to see each other, much less have to interact on any real level. It was a separation without divorce. A hiatus without a lapse in shows, simply because shows were business and business was good. And, besides, everyone needed jobs. We had our jobs and so many other jobs relied on us just showing up to work. The "group mind" was no longer something we even thought about. I didn't want to be in any of their heads any more than they wanted to be in mine. Everybody was caught up in their own little world, in their own proprietary scene. Our manager, Cameron Sears, would call each of us individually to tell us where to be and when. I wasn't exactly calling Phil and saying, "Hey, man, did you see we're playing Miami next week? In the mood for stone crabs? I'll get us a table at Joe's." There was none of that. There was no unity. No camaraderie. I know for sure Jerry wasn't happy about the state of our union. None of us were really happy about it, per se".[26]

1994 GD studio time: "We spent most of our time there just waiting around for Jerry to arrive. Even when he did show up, he was still absent. We didn't know how to handle it, so we just played through".[27]

DK: "As for Jerry, well, he left Manasha and played the field for a bit before reuniting with the notorious Deborah Koons. They slept in different houses. As I already mentioned, when Deborah went on tour with Jerry, they would stay in lavish two-bedroom hotel suites-and Jerry always made sure that his bedroom had a lock on it. I don't know of any other [323] marriage like that. It was uncomfortable to watch".[28]

DK "When Jerry and Deborah got married, the wedding was as awkward and staid as their relationship. I didn't go to the church to see them exchange vows but I went to the reception afterward. It was held on the harbor in Tiburon, at the San Francisco Yacht Club. Very fancy. Very formal. Not very "Jerry-like." There was something tense about the proceedings. A band played, people looked like they were having fun, but it didn't feel like anybody was actually having fun. It was as if it was all for show, as if being there was a commitment rather than a celebration. Of course, some of our most loyal fans could've said that about some of our concerts at that time. Still, I do remember watching Jerry sit there with Deborah and he seemed like he was having a good enough time with her and so that was that. Whatever makes you happy …"[29]

1995 the worst year of BK's life. Summer 1995 "Jerry's performances were weak. Even with a teleprompter at his feet, he humbled his way through forgotten lyrics and would even heed help identifying what song we were playing – right in the middle of it".[30]

Summer 1995 BK called "railers" the cadaverous junkies and speed freaks up front at the shows. "They looked … strung out. Vacant. Cadaverous. But then I looked at our antihero nodding off onstage, unaware of what song he was playing even as his fingers picked out all the right notes. Things were bad".[31]

After 7/9/95, Garcia "was in need of some serious help. His roadie, Steve Parish, made it sound like Jerry knew that, was willing to face it, and even had a plan".[32] …[J]ust days after the tour ended, I heard that he checked himself into the Betty Ford Center in Southern California".[33] When he went to the Betty Ford Center, I remember thinking that, for once, Jerry was really going to have a chance. I was cautiously optimistic, as they say"[34]

"But Jerry only lasted two weeks there before pulling the rip cord. That wouldn't do and I knew it. Remember, I had checked myself into rehab in 1990 and I knew firsthand that two weeks was nothing. It's not enough time to detoxify, let alone change patterns and habits. For some reason, twenty-eight days is the magic number in those places, and even that's just the introductory package; the basic plan. The ground floor. The human body can't really undergo the necessary physiological changes in half that time. So when Jerry came back after a mere two weeks, I thought to myself, "Hmm. That's not going to hold.""[35]

! JGMF: I don't recall having seen "two weeks" as the amount of time he was down south. I really wish I had some dates for his last days. I made some extensive #rehab notes above.

Garcia knew that two weeks was not enough close to enough to dry him out. "Maybe he just had a problem with the Betty Ford Center in particular," Bill writes, "or maybe he simply wanted to be closer to home, because when he got back, he checked himself into a place called Serenity Knolls in Lagunitas-just down the road from the old Girl Scout camp where we briefly lived during the Summer of'66. Those were magical days. [329] I was hoping that, just by being on the same road-almost within sight of the old camp-Jerry would find some inspiration, some motivation, some of the spark that we used to start the fire that became the Grateful Dead and whose flame burned so brightly for three decades. I wasn't thinking of the band. I was thinking of my friend's health. We all were."

! JGMF contrast GGP 1/18/85, return to the Polo Grounds, finding a spark of life in the big city. Here, he returns to Lagunitas, to take his final rest.

8/9/95: "There is no easy way for me to say this, so I'll keep it simple: On August 9, 1995, Jerry Garcia died of an apparent heart attack. It happened sometime around four or five in the morning, so he had been sleeping when the angels took him. He was just one week into his fifty-third year. I miss him. Every single day".[36]

8/9/95 Weir singing "Throwing Stones" at the night's emotional, show-must-go-on Ratdog gig in xxx: "Papa's gone, we are on our own". "Papa's gone – Papa's gone – we are on our own".

[1] Kreutzmann 2015, 208.
[2] Kreutzmann 2015, 209.
[3] Kreutzmann 2015, 213-214.
[4] Kreutzmann 2015, 214.
[5] Kreutzmann 2015, 238.
[6] Kreutzmann 2015, 242.
[7] Kreutzmann 2015, 251.
[8] Kreutzmann 2015, 251.
[9] Kreutzmann 2015, 251-252.
[10] Kreutzmann 2015, 253.
[11] Kreutzmann 2015, 268.
[12] Kreutzmann 2015, 256.
[13] Kreutzmann 2015, 269.
[14] Kreutzmann 2015, 271.
[15] Kreutzmann 2015, 282.
[16] Kreutzmann 2015, 291.
[17] Kreutzmann 2015, 297.
[18] Kreutzmann 2015, 298.
[19] Kreutzmann 2015, 299.
[20] Kreutzmann 2015, 303.
[21] Kreutzmann 2015, 308.
[22] Kreutzmann 2015, 309.
[23] Kreutzmann 2015, 318.
[24] Kreutzmann 2015, 320.
[25] Kreutzmann 2015, 321.
[26] Kreutzmann 2015, 321.
[27] Kreutzmann 2015, 322.
[28] Kreutzmann 2015, 322-323.
[29] Kreutzmann 2015, 323.
[30] Kreutzmann 2015, 324.
[31] Kreutzmann 2015, 325.
[32] Kreutzmann 2015, 328.
[33] Kreutzmann 2015, 328.
[34] Kreutzmann 2015, 328.
[35] Kreutzmann 2015, 328.
[36] Kreutzmann 2015, 329.


  1. Nice post - I enjoy following along with your thought process as you're reading. And, I also enjoyed the book - a bit of the tell-all celeb narrative, but as you say, "This wasn't as bad as I had feared it might be." It's apparent Bill and Benjy went all-out to present an honest, not too polished but entertaining personal history, warts and all. Seems like the real Bill comes out, and while he's no angel, he seems like a decent enough, pretty humble guy.

    And - "horses, cocaine and..." - Best index entry ever!

  2. Glad you liked it! Reading David Browne's now, Jackson and Gans is on deck, and McNally's book of Jerry interviews is en route, I think.


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