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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Jerry and Merl in the studio, 1975

Found this item in the LA Free Press (June 27 - July 3, 1975, p. 14): "Danny [sic] Selwell [sic] has been buzzing 'round the studio scene, putting time in with Art Garfunkle [sic], Steve Marriott ... Jerry Garcia and Merle [sic] Saunders".

Having found nothing on Danny "Selwell", I wrote
So interesting. Jerry and Merl working in the studio, right around the time (like, within a week or two) that GD Records and Round Records call it a day and join up with United Artists, right around the time (like, within a week or two) that Legion of Mary calls it a day. Curioser and curioser.
But Corry points out in comments that this probably refers to the Keith and Donna Godchaux record, to which Denny Seiwell indeed contributed.


  1. I don't put too much stock in this. Denny Siewell overdubbed some drums on the Keith and Donna album. If you read the credits carefully, its clear that there was some overdubbing by Siewell, Merl, John Kahn and others.

    The album, recorded in the Godchaux's living room, has a muddy, terrible sound. It's no surprise that there had to be some dubs. I think the ref was to Siewell playing with Merl (and Kahn) some months earlier in 1975, and Garcia's name got added because it is inevitably linked to Merl.

    Remember, studio gossip was no different than Hollywood gossip, and no more current. If someone had a beer with Robert Redford's business partner, they were "discussing a new project with Robert Redford," even if they were actually just discussing the quickest route from Pasadena to Venice Beach.

  2. You are almost certainly right - I might have picked that up if the LA Free Press had gotten his name right.

    On the other hand, there absolutely were plans for a Legion release on Round.

  3. Don't forget that Denny Seiwell drummed on Paul McCartney's album RAM, after which he was recruited to become the first drummer for Wings. He and Henry McCullough left the band in 1973, just prior to a trip to Nigeria, which led to McCartney himself playing the drums on BAND ON THE RUN. He's still around and occasionally makes appearances, usually centered around his McCartney connection.

  4. In the GarciaLive Vol. 9 liner notes, Merl Saunders Jr. mentions that Denny Seiwell played a few shows with Garcia and Saunders before Bill Kreutzmann joined them.

    1. Thanks for that. I wonder if that means late '73 some time?

    2. I now know of at least one date on which Siewell played live with Jerry and Merl, and it was *after* Kreutzmann, in the Legion era.

    3. This is great--now a Paul McCartney connection

  5. I have been misspelling the name: it is Denny Seiwell.

    A propos, Cash Box reported on June 26 that Seiwell had recorded "a super session with Jerry Garcia and Merle [sic] Saunders for a live recording of a Great American Music Hall gig". This is of course the same month that Round and GD Records promise all kinds of product to United Artists, and I know that Round had notions of a Legion of Mary album. The way Cash Box reports Seiwell's sit-in, it sounds very much focused on getting some saleable product together.

    ! ref: Alexander, Phil. 1975. For the record. Cash Box, June 28, 1975, p. 24.


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