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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Signpost to a New Space and Stoned Sunday Rap - Dates

I have just finished transcribing the parts of particular interest to me from Signpost to a New Space and the Stoned Sunday Rap (Garcia, Reich and Wenner 2003 [1972]), and I have now posted reading notes.

Me being me, I have always wondered about the dates of these sessions.

Here is the timeline for what went into the Rolling Stone Interview (RS 100, 1/20/1972), summarizing my own reconstruction.
  • Summer 1970: Charles Reich visits Jann Wenner, urges him to interview Garcia
  • Spring 1971: Jann called Jerry
  • July 1971: Reich is ready to go. The "next Saturday", Reich and Wenner go up to Sans Souci, where Garcia and MG had only been living a few months (papers May 1971). We learn that Garcia had to be in Berkeley for a gig that evening.
  • July 1971: Garcia is making his record, in the present tense
  • I have concluded that the above, constituting the first five hours of the RSI, took place Saturday, July 24, 1971, ca. all afternoon and into the evening (dinner time), consistent with it being a Saturday and Jerry has to leave for a gig with the NRPS.
    • When I went through Signpost three years ago I wrote "July 1971 gig @ New Monk – empty set as of 8/3/2012". In the meantime, I have spun more microfilm at the San Francisco Public Library, revealing the previously unknown gig that unlocked it all for me.
    • Note: an Anonymous DeadEssays commenter did some great sleuthing on this and reported September 5, 2012, getting us some of these time points, noted in comments by LIA. I am not sure how much that informed my own thinking, or if we truly have multiple independent progress on the question. Either way, the key dating seems very likely.
  • ca. August 1971: Reich did two more hours "A few weeks later" [from 7/24/71], which we can only pin to ca. first half of August 1971;
  • undated: the GD are mixing Skullfuck at some point;
  • ca. October 15-16, 1971: Reich came back "a few months later". This could be either October 15 or October 16, 1971, based on Jerry seeing Mickey Hart at the Croz-Nash concert "last night";
  • ca. October 1971, Wenner did four more hours.
Here is the timeline for the SSR:
  • March 1972: Reich dates his introduction to spring 1972, tagging the SSR to a "Sunday morning, a foggy, quiet day in March" (Reich 2003, xx).
  • Garcia has to do some mixing work on Ace that night.
  • ca. March 20 - May 27, 1972: Garcia in NYC and Europe.
  • That leaves March 5, March 12, or March 19 as the dates of the SSR.
  • Note Wenner's misrembrance: writing in May 1972, he says SSR took place "almost half a year after publication", which was 1/20/72. It looks more like two months to me, unless I am missing something.
I'll post some pretty voluminous reading notes, not sure how to format since I have way more tags than Blogger will allow. The RSI sessions are far more informative than the Rap, which indeed has all the hallmarks of really high people being high together, in highness. There's some great color - Mountain Girl is incredible, I would love to meet her some day, and Annabelle makes some cute appearances - but not much content of interest to me.

! ref: Garcia, Jerry, Charles Reich, and Jann Wenner. 2003 [1972]. Garcia: A Signpost to New Space. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.
! ref: Reich, Charles. 2003 [1972]. Introduction. In Garcia, Reich and Wenner 2003 [1972], xi-xxi.
! ref: Wenner, Jann. 2003 [1972]. Foreword. In Garcia, Reich and Wenner 2003 [1972], vii-x.


  1. A commenter a few years ago also identified the dates for the interviews:

    However, at that time we didn't know about the NRPS shows at the New Monk in July '71, which have helped to clarify the first interview date.

  2. Nice, I will update my links to show the priority on that.

    The anthropologists have a term for multiple independent discovery, can't recall it ... though it's just as likely that I came across the comment soaked it in unknowingly, and feel like it just came to me through Signposts.

    Have you ever read the Stoned Sunday Rap? (I am sure you have, and that you have it available to recall.) It is aptly named, quite a mess. Mountain Girl absolutely mothers Professor Reich, so beautifully. The thing that really leaps off the page of that transcript is maternal she is, in the cozy nest of Sans Souci. I am going to try to gather those flashes together, she is a freaking powerhouse figure, the star at the center of that particular scene, as they would have said, in the astrophysical and metaphysical sense. She brings Charles a P, B &J, interacts with Annabelle (I am going to note that stuff separately), keeps Charles utterly shattered while gently leading him through it at the same time. Astonishing.

  3. I tend to read books in the Dead canon for the Stoned Sunday Rap was never something I looked at a whole lot, compared to the main interview. It's useful in getting an entertaining picture of Garcia's beliefs, not so much for factual content. You learn as much about Charles Reich!


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