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Monday, January 18, 2016

Bill Cooper Interviews Jerry Garcia, May 1982

Here's a nice companion piece that really resonates with "Bob Coburn Interviews Jerry Garcia, November 8, 1982".

My notes/transcriptions are little sketchy, but here's what jumps out to me.

On Run for the Roses, with some anti-marketing:

I’ve been working on it for quite a long time. I’ve had to squeeze it in amongst and between lots of other projects. It’s been the project with the least [sic] priority of the things I’ve been working on, so I strung out the actual work on it over three years, which creates certain problems.” Does some work, comes back six months later, and thinks critically “I would just as soon do all of this over.” This project is one of those things that’s so far from what I originally started …
...
Select tunes, discarded them, I haven’t been working on it steadily. I’ve been working on it in an extremely fragmentary fashion. But it’s interesting for that, too. It hasn’t worked to the disadvantage of the music. On some levels it’s nice to be able to have the luxury to deal with something over a long period of time because your sense of perspective sometimes improves … So the record is pretty nice. … Because the tracks all come from different times and places … well, actually, they’re all from the same place, pretty much, but … that adds a certain textural variety to it which is, I think, OK. It has quite a range, from things that have an acoustic flavor, to … I have one thing that’s got a big massive horn piece, a big section of highly arranged sort of things. It has a lot of range as far as emotional content as well. To me that’s a nice quality for an album to have.
 On John Kahn: "All of the things that you hear of that are called the Jerry Garcia Band are, in reality, the John Kahn and Jerry Garcia Band” … simpatico, “with just enough difference to make it interesting”. That first line echoes something that Corry has said repeatedly - well done!

More on anti-marketing: "I’ll be coming east, and I’ll be promoting the album more or less incidentally, but not … I don’t really do the straight show biz formula, where you put out a record and then do a promotional tour"

Because of the priority of the GD over JG: "my solo career is not my primary thing. The GD is really the thing that I’m primarily involved in. My solo career is kind of like, it has to get what it can get. So, when time and space allow the opportunity, then I go out with whatever’s comfortable."

On the acoustic shows of the period:

I’ll also be doin’ some things that are solo concerts, just me and my friend John Kahn. 0550 I did a couple of them recently on the east coast, one at the Capitol Theatre and one at … [can’t remember the Beacon] the format was that the one at the Capital played all by myself, just me and my acoustic guitar. That’s a little too stark for me. I like the thing of having one other musician, at least. The bass gives me a little bit more room. But I had such a good time, and it’s something I’ve done very little. I’ve never really been a solo performer before. 0640 It’s something that’s exciting for me, and it’s challenging, and it’s also a chance to play around with acoustic guitar, which I’ve been doing at home a lot, but it hasn’t been my primary ... 0655 It’s really quite different from electric guitar, and so this is a chance to push off in that direction

Interesting contrast with how he'd feel about the GD nine years later: The Dead “hasn’t really affected my life in any negative way, to tell you the truth. It’s been really … It doesn’t impinge. I don’t feel in any way fettered or anything." 0955


Why? “Playing is my life. That’s what I want to do. If anything, I would play more. … It’s what I love to do. Personally, I can’t get enough of it.”

Listening notes, with other interesting tidbits, below the fold.


Garcia, Jerry, 1942-1995, “Bill Cooper with Jerry Garcia. Interview broadcast on WRNW in Westchester, N.Y., in May 1982 [radio broadcast],” Grateful Dead Archive Online, accessed August 2, 2015, http://www.gdao.org/items/show/378691.

In San Rafael

RFTR question

I’ve been working on it for quite a long time. I’ve had to squeeze it in amongst and between lots of other projects. It’s been the project with the least [sic] priority of the things I’ve been working on, so I strung out the actual work on it over three years, which creates certain problems.” Does some work, comes back six months later, and thinks critically “I would just as soon do all of this over.” This project is one of those things that’s so far from what I originally started …

Q 2:00

Select tunes, discarded them, I haven’t been working on it steadily. I’ve been working on it in an extremely fragmentary fashion. But it’s interesting for that, too. It hasn’t worked to the disadvantage of the music. On some levels it’s nice to be able to have the luxury to deal with something over a long period of time because your sense of perspective sometimes improves … So the record is pretty nice. … Because the tracks all come from different times and places … well, actually, they’re all from the same place, pretty much, but … that adds a certain textural variety to it which is, I think, OK. It has quite a range, from things that have an acoustic flavor, to … I have one thing that’s got a big massive horn piece, a big section of highly arranged sort of things. It has a lot of range as far as emotional content as well. To me that’s a nice quality for an album to have.

Who plays on it? 3:30

A lot of different people, but primarily John Kahn, my friend and associate for many years is the one guy who’s been involved in all of it, and he’s my co-producer.

Q: Have you ever used him before?

Everything else I’ve done. Played with John from Howard, through Merl Saunders.

4:12 “All of the things that you hear of that are called the Jerry Garcia Band are, in reality, the John Kahn and Jerry Garcia Band” … simpatico, “with just enough difference to make it interesting” He’s the one other substantial element, he also wrote one of the tunes, with Hunter.

The other musician that’s on all of the cuts is Ronnie Tutt, the drummer. Apart from that, it’s a lot of different people.

NY audience, coming east to promote the album? 4:58

I’ll be coming east, and I’ll be promoting the album more or less incidentally, but not … I don’t really do the straight show biz formula, where you put out a record and then do a promotional tour, since my solo career is not my primary thing. The GD is really the thing that I’m primarily involved in. My solo career is kind of like, it has to get what it can get. So, when time and space allow the opportunity, then I go out with whatever’s comfortable. 0530

So I’m gonna be goin’ east and doin’ a couple of things. One of them will be some work with the Jerry Garcia Band as it’s presently constructed, and I’ll also be doin’ some things that are solo concerts, just me and my friend John Kahn. 0550 I did a couple of them recently on the east coast, one at the Capitol Theatre and one at … [can’t remember the Beacon] the format was that the one at the Capital played all by myself, just me and my acoustic guitar. That’s a little too stark for me. I like the thing of having one other musician, at least. The bass gives me a little bit more room. But I had such a good time, and it’s something I’ve done very little. I’ve never really been a solo performer before. 0640 It’s something that’s exciting for me, and it’s challenging, and it’s also a chance to play around with acoustic guitar, which I’ve been doing at home a lot, but it hasn’t been my primary …”

0655 #acoustic “It’s really quite different from electric guitar, and so this is a chance to push off in that direction”

Question about Deadheads, what does it do to your head thinking Jerry is God? 0740

People don’t treat me as God. Whatever kind of respect or regard that the fans have for me is something that I appreciate an awful lot. We’re lucky to have an audience that’s as nice and as open as they are. They make very few demands on us, like insisting that we play the hits or whatever. They’re adventurous. … “

It’s a vehicle with which we can take chances. And we treat the GD as though it were something special, and it is, it’s unique …

GD “hasn’t really affected my life in any negative way, to tell you the truth. It’s been really … It doesn’t impinge. I don’t feel in any way fettered or anything. 0955

Strenuous tour schedule

1025 “Playing is my life. That’s what I want to do. If anything, I would play more. … It’s what I love to do. Personally, I can’t get enough of it.”

Nice pace of touring. There were times when we used to just about kill ourselves. We discovered certain things about it. Regard for the music. One of the things is to not stay out so long that we start to get stale. 1111 And also to not stay in so long that we get cold. So there’s a certain rhythm to our touring.

[describes the tour and the pacing and the rhythm]

That makes it so that we can stay hot, so that we can keep our edge. If we don’t play for a couple of months, it takes … what happens is that you get out of shape. A GD show is strenuous, and it takes some working into it. … the first three or four shows are matters of adjustment. At the end of those shows, we’re exhausted.

[physical intensity of playing GD music]

13:40 interviewer saw the October London shows “JG good shows!” what did they do on days off, Amsterdam, etc.

Walked around, looked around, like any tourist.

15 differences in American audiences regionally, east coast vs. west coast

1525 our most NY-like reaction on the European tour was in Barcelona, interestingly.

1628 Q band would like to make it big commercially?

Oh yeah, sure. … we think that way 1700

1950 Joan Baez joining? No. Joan is a friend. We were recently involved with one of her projects, a record that has yet to be released. … We’ve been involved … nothing permanent

Q how do GD go into long jams and then pull back into another song or the original song

2100 we use the second half of our show to stretch out. …

2240 conceive of a subject to “space” … San Francisco Earthquake … gives us a narrative line … purely conceptual … [good discussion of this!]

Moscone Center benefit …

2500 we were never … when everybody was getting politicized, we felt it was not what we wanted to do. We wanted to offer a context that was non-political.

Pro-human activity. We have tended to be for things rather than against things.



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