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Sunday, January 03, 2016

"Beneficent, Raptured": JGB 4/4/76 Page Auditorium

**update: see Corry, of course.

This show has long been AWOL among collectors, but a nice 1st gen copy of an undetermined master audience tape has just come into the light (shnid-134922). Thanks to Alan Richman and dminches for getting it out there!

I decided to post a little miscellanea, maybe a few notes.

Listing for JGB at Page Auditorium, Duke University, April 4, 1976 (NC Anvil, April 3, 1976, p. 10)

8:30 PM (early) show ticket, via

Listing for JGB 4/4/76, unknown (campus?) paper, p. 3.

The last is the cover of Carolina, April 8, 1976, which includes a great review by Richard McManus of the late show. These shows have a nice energy that McManus captures nicely. Here are a few of the quotes I like from McManus (my copy is barely legible)

It was minutes before one o'clock on Monday morning when a filtered mist of white and blue light emptied onto the stage, where green monitors and yellow dots of light indicated that the show was tuned up, gassed, and ready to take off. A stubby man, his face shrouded with black, curly hair, straps on his specifically-made Doug Irwin-Alembic guitar, loiters in the electric silence for a moment, then steps into the light as he strums a beautiful introductory chord. The stage lights have found the rest of the band as the anxious crowd [illegible] a roar of anticipation and approval, and suddenly it's Jerry Garcia and Friends, lilting into a sexy 'Sugaree'.
  • He describes Garcia's gaze as "beneficent, raptured". He continues "Garcia has a habit of gathering his enthralled audience within a web of gestures, emotions, spiralling guitar work and plaintive vocals that is nearly impossible to resist". NB gestures? In later years, he'd barely move.
  • McManus loves "Duke's tasty little Page Auditorium, a room whose intimacy is inadvertently masked by the pretense of the surrounding architecture". On the tape, the room does sound good.
  • Donna Jean's "harmonies with Garcia, particularly on Dylan's 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door', were sweet, sensual pieces that elevated, reassured, and satisfied", while the band overall generated a "Smooth, smile-inspiring warmth".

You get the idea. We have visuals from a few days earlier (4/2/76a and 4/2/76b - thank you, John Scher!), and though we can mostly only visualize 4/4, it all looks good from where I sit.

The references to "Jerry Garcia and Friends" are strange, given my own frame of reference, which is that the Jerry Garcia Band had been institutionalizing itself quite quickly since it formed a half-year prior to this show, and central to this, present in every contract that I have seen, is consistently "Billing the JGB". The Page Aud gig contract references Jerry Garcia Band on the front, it was a John Scher operation (partnering with the campus events outfit, DUU Attractions). I didn't get to see later pages of the contract, but I have to assume that the boilerplate for "Billing the JGB" was in there - they didn't vary much in any given period.Who knows? Crazy College Kids.

"Jerry Garcia and Friends" got $5k guaranteed, but did not earn the 60% top-up on revenue over $17k. Sunday night, or something.
Table xxx. Final Box Office Report - JGB at Page Auditorium, Duke University, April 4, 1976
Not that anyone but me cares, but let me come clean on Clio here. Note that I use 11:59. We know from McManus that the late show took place early morning of Monday April 5th. so I am not being strictly accurate, here, but I want people to be able to recognize what I am talking about, so convention must trump strict accuracy in this case. Too bad, not sure what the solution can be.

Last point: McManus captures something that I think was very fleeting - a period when sweetness and light really suffused the Garcia Band. It was all that, natch, this being planet Earth. But he really picked up on this, and I don't think he was just being googly-eyed. I think that it was true, sometime very early morning of Monday, April 5th. And that makes me happy. I am reminded of Ed Perlstein's amazing picture on the cover of the Don't Let Go CD release, soft blue light, the reflection off the white Travis Bean guitar, Jerry thin and reasonably groomed and dropping into a vocal or a lick - lovely.

Selected info and listening notes below.

My bottom line is that I *love* the early show and really like the late show - both are above average for the period, IMO, YMMV.

! seealso:

Jerry Garcia Band
Page Auditorium, Duke University
402 Chapel Drive
Durham, NC 27710
April 4, 1976 (DOW) - 8 PM and midnight shows

! JGC: (early), (late).


! map:

! R: early show totally listenable, spacious aud with everything present and accounted for. I guess I'd say same for the late show. McManus notes what a "tasty little room Page Auditorium is", so I assume that it sounded good everywhere. These feel roomy, like balcony tapes, but what do I know?

! P: the early show boasts tremendous energy. The late show does less for me, but it has its moments, and the reviewer loved it.

! P: d1t003 RL John takes a feature 6:155ff

! P: d1t004 ISTE good energy. This whole show has boasted good energy so far, much peppier than the dirges they were building in the Bay Area in January and February, and on the road in March.

! P: d1t005 WWJ late 2 over 3 Garcia plucks and sustains some serious string. Keith is in a very interesting key 6-7, playing so beautifully e.g., 7:23. JG crazy sustain 7:44, amazing, the arcs and cascades of the review. Oh my God, 10:20 Garcia is simply killing, killing 10:30ff, potent fanning and some long Wicked Messenger chords 10:48.

! P: d1t006 AM again great energy. Late 2, over 3, Garcia marries speed, intensity, and inventiveness. Still right to 4, outstanding playing in a supporting role, backing Keith's feature here.

! P: d1t007 TLEO listen to John Kahn running around at the start of TLEO! He sounds fantastic.

! P: d1t009 TUOY some guy totally calls it from the audience just as it really drops in, @ 0:07. Garcia's guitar tone 2ff is so great. Comes back to "tell me what did I do?" with  gusto, 8:45.

! P: d2t001 Sugaree Garcia sounds positively inspired here.

! P: d2t004 KOHD this pace just kills me.

! P: d2t007 FOTD is delightfully paced. The crowd gives it a good yell of appreciation.

! P: d2t008 DLG at 6:30, he scrapes some shit that elicits a yell from the crowd. Oh yeah, that was a very stratchy sound. 14 Garcia hits some ridiculous glassy guitar. This had a few nice moments, but overall it didn't really move me. The two noted moments are worth hearing, though. The segue into Sisters and Brothers is incredible.

! P: d2t009 MSAB Garcia is so into it! Before 2:40, he says "listen" just before the exhortation. Wow.


  1. It is worth mentioning, for those who haven't seen the Lost Live Dead post, that a video of this show, professionally filmed by Duke's Cable 13 station, exists in the Duke U library; but since it is in an obsolete & unplayable format, it's still waiting to be reformatted to make a viewing copy, something which will cost hundreds and might not succeed. A donor to fund the transfer may be needed, unless the library is able to digitize it someday; but the prospects look dim at this point. The bitter details are in the comments of the LLD post:

  2. How great that this has made it out into the world! Really looking forward to checking it out. FYI for anyone who doesn't torrent, the show is available here:


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