Monday, July 31, 2023

"the world’s most recorded musician in the world’s most famous arena"

The Red Light folks tagged GarciaLive 16 (MSG 11/15/91) with the subject line, and I have to say that it's badass. That crew does a good job, IMO. I am not kissing up. It's a hard job and they have released some amazing stuff. And that's just a good line. Tip o' the cap.

It contains some pretty good distillations about which you will read again in Fate Music.

The performance by the ... JGB at Madison Square Garden on November 15, 1991, represents the acme of Garcia’s solo career, the culmination of a nearly quarter-century name-claiming journey by which he established his identity as an individual American musician, Jerry-Garcia-full-stop, beyond and distinct from his wider fame as Jerry-Garcia-of-the-Grateful-Dead.


Jerry Garcia never planned a solo career; it just sort of happened as he sought more and different avenues for expression than the Dead allowed. Inchoate jams at the Carousel Ballroom became tempo études (“Mickey and the Hartbeats”) at the Matrix, which became regular but musically formless Monday night jams with Howard Wales, which morphed into ongoing and more musically grounded gigs with Merl Saunders. Even after four years, the amorphous aggregation resisted naming itself, going by “The Group” in the Bay Area, or just listing members’ names, before coalescing into “Legion of Mary” for its last eight months. The meantime saw numerous aggregations under other (and others’) names, playing diverse musics, cutting some records, running some drive-by tours, and banking an increasingly sizeable pile of accomplishments, including the country New Riders of the Purple Sage, the space-jazz Hooteroll? proj- ect with Wales, and the incandescent bluegrass all-stars Old and In The Way. Otherwise off-nights found Garcia making a singular solo record, engaging protean Dawg Music (David Grisman’s Great American Music/ String Band), renewing bluegrass ties with the Good Old Boys, vibrating electrons with Ned Lagin, and making time for a vast array of sessions, sit-ins, dalliances, and one- and few-offs.

But the Jerry Garcia Band (1975–1995) bore his name, and it played the music its eponym liked, the way he wanted to play it. Over the years the JGB, always featuring Garcia’s friend bassist John Kahn but with an evolving array of other musicians, grooved to soul, R&B, Motown, contemporary gospel, reggae, and other Black idioms that fit the band’s changing personnel, especially after the arrival of church organist Melvin Seals in 1981 and his handpicked backing vocalists starting the next year. A second tranche of cover tunes drew from the contemporary White Anglosphere, both the British Isles and North American settler colonies, heavy on the Americana. Garcia-Hunter originals, some shared with the Dead and others exclusive to the JGB, rounded out the repertoire. The six players integrate seamlessly. This is the canonical Jerry Garcia Band, a lineup that lasted 1984–1993, the core three plus steady David Kemper on drums and harmony vocals by Jackie LaBranch and Gloria Jones, Oakland church singers with day jobs who took to calling themselves the Jerryettes.

Read the whole thing as they say. I dig this show, and I dig imagining how this son of an immigrant musician might have felt seeing that family name in lights at the Garden.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Great Moments in Taping History: Jim Durkin and Jim Wise @ Red Rocks, July 28, 1982


Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO. threating midsummer Rocky Mountain rain clouds and all the rest; beautiful people everywhere


Jim Wise (jimwise), a.k.a. aoxoa, a.k.a. tapersfriend, legendary East Coast taper, good friend of Dick Latvala's, all around good human

dude in the middle (DITM)

Jim Durkin (JD), who would go on to become sound engineer for Jose Feliciano and many other greats
nearby woman (NW)

the Grateful Dead (GD)


JD to DITM: I know. He can move over, too.

JD to jimwise: What are you doin' to my levels, man? [jimwise mumble] Don't put 'em up. Put it - dammit, Wise, I'm gonna fuckin' butcher -- [jim inaudible, crosstalk] Whaddya mean?!? You just put my fuckin' levels up! I'm gonna scream in the mics all night long if you fuckin' touch my levels, man. That fucking sucks!!"

DITM to jimwise: Calm down, Jim!

jimwise: OK. It's real good, now.


chk-PHWAWWWW----  chk-PHWAWWWW ==== 

phwen-u-wamp phwen uwam phenu wamp when whow


["Shakedown Street" continues]

[more crosstalk @ ca. 5:15]

I >>FF to LL -> Supplication

Bob forgets lyrics.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Three vast corpora, to start

As I am writing and looking at the things I may have to leave undone, it strikes me that we have some amazing sources of oral history, which can and should be systematically converted to text for close study by humans and pattern extraction by machines. I have in mind the following sources:

Jake Feinberg, The Jake Feinberg Show, various episodes.

David Gans and Gary Lambert, Tales From the Golden Road, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Grateful Dead Channel, various episodes.

Steve Parrish, The Big Steve Show, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Grateful Dead Channel, various episodes.

For both the Feinberg and Big Steve shows, I have played around with grabbing audio, converting to text using, and editing in the interface (which is quite good). These transcripts have much to teach us. 

Feinberg has interviewed literally several dozen Garcia collaborators, many on more than one occasion totally a few hours. He has a great jazz head and draws great stuff out of his guests.

Big Steve's is mostly his recollections, with interviews not uncommon. He has a very good memory, and some of these stories are pure gold. I have found many factual errors in them, but can you blame the guy for not getting 54 years of memories from roadying for the Dead and Garcia Just Exactly Perfect? There are absolute golden nuggets throughout the show.

But you have to pan for them.

In both cases, the transcriptions emerge from the machine *very rough*. A 45 minute Feinberg interview can take me 90 minutes or two hours to clean, maybe even more. And he's doing these for broadcast, so care is taken to speak somewhat clearly. Big Steve is talking around giant Grizzly Peak doobies and, for some reason, juggling a mouthful of rocks. Polishing these transcriptions is more like 3:1 time ratio. The machine isn't the first not to know what to make of Big Steve, and we humans just process too fucking slowly.

So, it hurts me to know how much I am probably missing from these and countless other sources. I am glad the Good Ol Grateful Deadcastis making transcriptions - awesome stuff.

But these three shows alone have been running for *years*, and have generated probably millions of words altogether. These currently exist as sound data, and we need to get them transcribed.

Bottom line: the voice-to-text process is where the time/energy bottleneck still is. Once we have text, the machines can do their things, and we can do ours, and there are many opportunities to apply digital humanities kinds of methods to our corpora. I think it will yield great results. But someone other than me is going to have to get that ball rolling!

Musician Children of Musician Fathers

I am identifying lots of musician children of musician fathers in the Garciaverse.

So, consider this a request: if you know someone with Spudfactor 1, who is male-identifying, and whose father was a musician, please post to comments. I will start the list here, alpha by last name but presented first-last.

  • Martin Fierro
  • Jerry Garcia [José or Joe Garcia]
  • Zakir Hussain [Alla Rakha]
  • Tony Saunders [Merl Saunders]
  • Bill Vitt

I have also bracketed father's name in cases where they are otherwise in or orbiting the Garciaverse.

Have at it!

Sunday, July 09, 2023

Setting Right What Was Rent Asunder

Or something like that.

Forgive me, for I have sinned. I have added entropy to the world. I am here to make amends.

When the Falanga-Menke Stash of Garcia-Saunders tapes from 1974 first came to me, one of them was labeled 8/14/74. I had what I thought was another recording of the show connected to Lou Tambakos. Somewhere along the line, in the first decade of the 21st century, I decided that the correct date was 8/15/74. Because I was an early source of recording metadata, that dating has really stuck. I even wrote about it once because of a mystery trumpeter.

But I think I was wrong. I now believe that Wednesday, August 14, 1974 is the correct date of this mid-August 1974 JGMS show at the Great American Music Hall.

Three streams of evidence.

8/14/74 JGMS at GAMH has no contrary listings and these confirmatory ones: Bill Alex, "Around Town," San Francisco Examiner, August 9, 1974, p. 23; San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle Datebook, August 11, 1974, p. 4; Todd Tolces, "Out to Lunch," Berkeley Gazette, August 14, 1974, p. 11; San Francisco Examiner, August 14, 1974, p. 27.

8/15/74 JGMS at GAMH has no confirmatory listings and the following contrary listings: Hayward Daily Review, August 9, 1974, p. 40; Daily Independent Journal, August 9, 1974, p. 20; Bill Alex, "Around Town," San Francisco Examiner, August 9, 1974, p. 23; San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle Datebook, August 11, 1974, p. 4; Todd Tolces, "Out to Lunch," Berkeley Gazette, August 14, 1974, p. 11. All of these bill John Hartford at GAMH on this date.

Tapes: not only was the Falanga-Menke tape labeled 8/14/74, but so was a beat-up old dubbed cassette the Jerry had in his tape collection.

So, QED. Change your lists. Change your fileset info!

Tuesday, July 04, 2023

About Last Night

Hell may freeze over, but here I am. A new man. (Call it my epitaph for JGMF.) But I am going to post about the Post-Jerry-Garcia-Grateful-Dead-Cinematic-Universe (PJGGDCU). Just read Selvin 2018 for a sense of things. I think Thoughts On The Dead coined an acronym for this which is of course canon. I am just goofin'.

I have been mostly lukewarm, and so not paid much attention, to all of the members' doings since 1995. Phil in April 2000 from the 3rd row was utterly antiseptic, all brain and no soul. Ratdog in whatever year I went to the Tower Theater, we left at setbreak. Man needs his sleep. I never saw any of the others, I don't think, until Dead & Co., which I have seen a number of times because they come to me at Folsom Field. I have enjoyed those days in Colorado and grooving around, but the music was mostly incidental.

All that said, last night at Folsom Field was the first time I have felt the magic since I was in the same space as Jerry, that being:

GD August 14, 1991 at Cal Expo in Sacramento; and
GD December 28, 1991 in the Coliseum Arena in Oakland

Both were good, though I am not a fan of Vince's sound. The main thing was that I had to shift my energy to new things.

32 years later, I felt just a little bit, a flash, of that same ol' magic. I did the whole weekend volunteering with campus Guest Relations to wristband folks with floor seats for the first set, then free to roam in the second.

It was absolutely wonderful. If you have talked to me for 1 minute, you know I love Colorado with all my heard. I love Boulder. You know I love the University of Colorado Boulder. You know I love My People: Scholars, Students, Staff, Heads and Other! And you know I LOVE music.

It was all that! I think I may now be up to the mountains for some backpacking.

From JGMF to Fate Music

What you see happening is that I can't really blog much anymore. I think.

The communication medium known as blogging mostly invites me to express paragraph- subheading- and heading-level ideas. All of that now needs to go into the Fate Music manuscript. At least, that's what I expect.

It's certainly not over. Hell, it may thrive. But thanks to all of you reading this for all your support. Please follow me on Twitter at AND on Mastodon at I can spin off sentence there to clear my mind and then focus on the task at hand.

"I was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all" -- unk

Sunday, July 02, 2023

Fate Music in a Nutshell: JGB at MSG: November 15, 1991

I just changed the name at the top of the blog from Jerry Garcia's Middle Finger to reflect the progress I am making on Fate Music: Jerry Garcia's Name-Claiming Journey Beyond the Grateful Dead. That subtitle subject to change, that lead title not.

The best summary narrative is in my review of Jerry Garcia Band. Garcia Live volume 16: Madison Square Garden, November 15th, 1991 (Round Records JGFRR1037, 2021) in Grateful Dead Studies volume 5 (2021/2022): 228-234 [pdf].

If Carousel and Matrix jams present the uhr moment for Jerry Garcia Beyond the Dead, this musician's son's first time headlining Madison Square Garden under his own name supply the acme.

Anyway, read the whole thing if you are so inclined. And, of course, stay tuned!

Thank you all for reading Jerry Garcia's Middle Finger, commenting, correcting, all the rest. The function of this bit of cyberspace will remain mostly unchanged, maybe a bit more pimping. But this will still capture whatever random slop I can generate in the meager time I have.

If you are a lurker - come on out and play! "We're trying to have a reasonably good time here", and all that. I know the partly depends on me generating posts. I wouldn't hold my breat, but, either way, gimme a shout here, email, or if you find yourself in Colorful Colorado.

Wednesday, June 07, 2023

On Accuracy

The recent June 5th brought out more than a tiny number of people to recognize the Oregon State Penintiery show on the anniversary of its performance -- June 5, 1982 -- rather than on the date given by the old bootleg tape. Because the bootleg was one of the mostly widely held Garcia recordings in the CD era, the spurious date of May 5, 1982 --imagine bootleggers getting something wrong!-- has been persistent and hard to uproot. Bad information crowds out the good even years after the latter has been established with 100-ε% certainty. Certainly the last decade of politics has demonstrated the dark underbelly of the availability heuristic, as the simple (but relentless) repetition of untruth persuades people to believe it. (Note to self: Kahneman 2011, 62, 66, 67).

And it is now 100% established that May 5, 1982 is incorrect, and June 5, 1982 is correct. latter is now the case here. I first established the correct date of June 5th based on the tour itinerary hidden in the GD Archives at UCSC. I learned more in a piece about Steve Stilling, the OSP prisoner who put the Garcia-Kahn event and a number of other notable gigs on. Dick Latvala's Scrapbooks supplied a picture of the event from a local newspaper! Most of this is pinned at Jerrybase, natch. But there is really no doubt about this, beyond the epsilon (ε) I always reserve on metaphysical grounds

So I want to express my appreciation not only for those who are open to updating their beliefs about this sort of thing, but for those who endeavor to use accurate information, even in relatively casual conversation, when it comes to Jerry Garcia's musical life and activities and the rest of the stuff we are passionate about.

Accuracy matters, even in this "hobby" space, this "amateur" space which, Steve Silberman reminded us years back in one of the Taping Compendiums, simply means "lover" or "lover of". I am fully bought-in to Umberto Eco's view that we make lists in a vain attempt to tame infinity in a vain attempt to live forever -- together. Any efforts along these lines should never be described with the pejorative "obsession", IMO. I greatly prefer the label "passion". And why not? We are dying, after all! We've got work to do!

I get that not everyone cares, and I am not going to try to police their usages ... too much. Maybe a nudge, providing the correct information. Maybe an implicit plea for them to use the correct information as much as possible, not because they care, but because I (and lots of us) care. In that specific form of community known as culture, pinning down our past helps us live together in the present and feel just a little calmer about the future, since at least this piece of infinity has been tamed.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

JGB Spring '93 SoCal

Preface: JGB in SoCal

Little springtime SoCal jaunts became a regular thing for JGB starting in 1983. (OK, that was very late winter, but March is generally pretty springy down there.) Some were one- or two-offs, others were a little more elaborate. Here's a sketch.

1983: 3/11a and 3/11b in Santa Barbara; 3/12a and 3/12b, 3/13 in Beverly Hills
1984: 5/17 Beverly Hills, 5/18 Irvine, 5/19 Santa Barbara, 5/20 Reseda
1985: Garcia-Kahn 5/31a and 5/31b in Beverly Hills
1986: 5/23 in San Diego, 5/24 in LA
1987: 3/13 and 3/14 in LA
1988: no SoCal
1989: 5/19 Irvine, 5/20 San Diego, 5/22 LA
1990: LA in November
1991: no SoCal
1992: summer dates
1993: 4/16 and 4/17 at UCLA, 4/18 in San Diego
1994: 5/13 San Bernardino, 5/14 Ventura, 5/15 Irvine, 5/17 and 5/18 San Diego + 5/19 Phoenix

So much to say, but so little time. Let me just foreshadow some of what might get some write up in Fate Music.

'83: Hell's Angel George Christie, Jr., a rather remarkable dude, promoting in Santa Barbara (again in '84). I have some super-sweet material here about how much better it was for Jerry working for an outlaw than it was for some of the "straight" promoters in the area.

'84: not sure yet, but definitely mention the killer music and DeeDee Dickerson's swan song.

'85: "Bullshit! Bullshit!" and all that

'86: Wolfgang trying to product-differentiate the "Band Electric" 10 months before the birth of the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band. And one of the great sardonic review headlines of all time: "Band Electric Plays at Pace Languid".

'93: maybe some stuff based on this post

'94: "Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!!"

Among the themes that will pop up are NorCal vs. SoCal, maybe some nods toward playing on John Kahn's home turf, and definitely the evolution of the SoCal jaunt as a commercial proposition: 1) from local promoters (with John Scher's help) to conceding Bill Graham the west coast monopoly he so badly wanted. (He wanted it all, but John Scher was simply too great to work with to give him up.) And 2) obvs., the switch from clubs and theaters to amphitheaters and basketball arenas. Of course, too, some great music.

JGB SoCal Spring 1993

So much for the long windup. I really just wanted to plop down some notes around a listen a month or two ago to the April 16-17, 1993 gigs in Pauley Pavilion and the 18th in the San Diego Sports Arena. I have listening-noted the Warfield 4/23/93 show on these pages, and found it somewhat low energy, though I abso-fucking-lutely love its version of "Señor" (released on Garcia Plays Dylan) and "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game" (released on Shining Star). It seems like I haven't listened to the 4/24 or 4/25 Warfield shows, which I guess I will need to do at some point.

These three SoCal shows from the week before strike me as overall better than 4/23, generally strong, rarely really bad and occasionally fantastic. If forced to rank these three, I'd say 4/18 > 4/17 > 4/16. I note that The Powers That Were released 1 tune each from the 18th and 17th, but none from the 16th. That seems about right to me, and I have to say that they made fantastic choices. Despite its execrable cover art and (not unrelated) the fact that it was released under the reign of She Who Shall Not Be Named (whom I nevertheless name below), the Shining Star release contains some outstanding music, and the selections from this run of shows are top-shelf.

From the 17th, they selected "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love", which the Stones had covered soon after Solomon Burke's original 1964 version on Atlantic, and which was most successfully covered by Wilson Pickett. This Garcia Band version is absolutely killer, a truly fine late era performance ranging across some stanky pedal effects to some very spare sections, sung together and tenderly by Jerry and the ladies, but also across some growly exclamatory "I need it! I need it!" from ol 'Jer. More detailed notes, probably not all that illuminating, below.

From the 18th, they selected Dylan's "Positively 4th Street". (Happy belated 82nd birthday to Mr. Dylan, BTW!) What can I say about Garcia and 4th Street? Of all the Dylans he did, I think this one was the most special. It was almost never not amazing. It is one of those tunes that I still haven't found quite the right word for, which appeared across the decades, but typically in short spurts, which I think have a particular quality of Jerry loving them but finding them either challenging to do or too special to wear out. This is speculation, of course, but it's what my gut says. And none of these tunes --also including "Tough Mama", "Like A Road", a few others-- better captures that profile for me than "4th Street".

The great David Gans and Blair Jackson asked Garcia about the tune in a 1981 interview.
Q: Do you have any trouble singing a song as bitter as "Positively 4th Street"?

Garcia: Not at all. It's easy for me to cop that asshole space. I was that guy, too. For me, it occupies the same space as 'Ballad of a Thin Man'. It tells that person who's lame that they're lame, and why they're lame, which is a very satisfying thing to do. 'Positively 4th Street' has this way of doing it where it's beautiful, too. And 'It's All Over Now, Baby Blue' is basically a put-down, too. It's one of those things like, 'You're losing bad - dig yourself.' It was the beautiful sound of 'Positively 4th Street' that got to me, more than the bitterness of the lyric. The combination of the beauty and the bitterness, to me, is wonderful. ... That's something that only Dylan has been able to pull off in terms of modern songwriting, I think (Jackson and Gans 19810911, 29).
Jerry played it somewhat regularly with the Garcia-Saunders aggregation in 1973 (as represented, e.g., on the original Saunders-Garcia-Kahn-Vitt Live at Keystone, and re-released by Fantasy endlessly since then). He picked it back up for a month in 1975 in the first JGB with Nicky, then dropped it again until Ozzie Ahlers came on board in 1979 (check out the 12/21/79 version, one of the greatest single-song performances of Garcia's playing career). He dropped it again in the middle of the February 1980 tour for more than ten years, bringing it out staccato in the 90s. Here are the all of the post-1980 versions. Because I think the song held special meaning for Jerry, I offer up some conjecture as to what I think might have motivated the revival.

3/1/91, which I have called "Certainly One of the Best and Most Interesting Shows of the 90s" (which may be damning it with faint praise): I note that 4th Street is "just about perfect - I think he gets all of the lyrics, and he does it with the right degree of bitterness." What might have led Garcia to dust this gem off after 11 years, obviously rehearse it with the band, play it for this "just for this one moment", and drop it for two years again? Well, first we know that he was using again, and not just chipping but to the point that the GD would stage another intervention four months later, whereupon Jerry went onto a methadone program. (It didn't stick.) Second, we know from his September '91 interviews that he was wildly burned out on the Dead, and he explicitly said that it was during the spring that he was asking the band about chilling out for six months, only to be told that the show had to go on. *cough* Phillesh *cough* So, in this case, I blame the Grateful Dead. Does any of this have anything to do with why he played 4th Street? Neither you nor I has any idea. But, while it may  not have been carefully planned out, I think something definitely caused its appearance. What do you think?

4/18/93 (this version) and 4/23/93 (on Shining Star): Here, I primarily blame woman troubles (Jerry's, not necessarily the women's). Humiliatingly, San Francisco institution Herb Caen led a January 1993 column asking "would the beloved Jerry Garcia dump his longtime ladyfriend, Manasha (the mother of his 3-yr-old daughter), and take off for Hawaii with a new inamorata?" (Caen 19930112). I can't recall where this occured, but when People wrote about his personal life in 1976 Garcia lost his shit, and I can't imagine the isolated and private 1993 version of himself would have been happy about having his love-life laundry aired in public. The new inamorata in January was the sweet and lovely Brigid Meier, but he had already left her in March after a) running back into Deborah Koons (also involved the 1976 complications) in Mill Valley and b) Brigid finding out he was using and asking him to get clean (McNally 2002, 603). Her recollections of that encounter supply some of the darkest images we have of the man in the grip of his addiction. Maybe he had her in mind when singing about "what a drag it is to see you" and all that. After a little fling with one Shannon Jeske (ibid), it seems like by April he would have been back with Deborah. Indeed, having heard some of the inside skinny about how She worked, the fact that She and Jerry were back together right around this time may have motivated the selection of material from these very shows.

There were other things going on in this window, of course. The last time he had played the Warfield, in late February, there was a "mini riot" outside the venue, involving 20 cops, rock-and-bottle throwing, and a dozen arrests ("12 arrests at Garcia concert," Argus-Courier [Petaluma, CA], March 2, 1993, p. "Deadheads blame riot on S.F. Police," San Francisco Examiner, March 1, 1993, p. A-13). So, to whom, or about whom or what, would he be venting his spleen in April 1993, by again dusting off, rehearsing, performing, and again dropping 4th Street? I have no idea. But I will say that, as on 3/1/91, on 4/18/93 he dusted the tune off and played it nearly perfectly, as close to perfectly as he ever did any song. I think he nailed every single lyric. And, heart? What heart! My only note about the song is this: "this is stunningly good".

There is lots of other really nice stuff in these shows, as my notes below narrate. The "Don't Let Go"s are too brief for my taste. But even tunes I don't generally love --I am looking at you, "Dixie Down"-- have a little extra something, again more on the 18th than the 17th and more on either of those than the first night. The Garcia Band at this point was running like a pretty well-oiled machine, putting plenty of bread in the breadbox --around $225,000 for these three nights!-- punching in solid 60-minute sets, and delivering good stuff to the faithful. They hold up well after 30 years, and I can recommend them to you --especially the 18th-- if you are searching for something to spin.

Oh yeah, what about the 1995 versions of 4th Street? On 1/13/95, he botches the words ("Jerry can't sing 4th Street if he can't remember the lyrics", I snipped). But I also note that he manages to remember more of them than I would, and as far as I know I am not on death's door. On 3/4/95 he says "I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes" no fewer than four times - so he does the "I could be you" and "what a drag it is to see you" responses twice. Not lyrically correct, I don't think (?), but could be (over-) interpreted as really feeling true to the man in that moment. By 4/15/95 he is running on fumes, though the version certainly makes up in feeling what it lacks in power. If my whole reasoning about the song's appearance reflecting a particularly embittered mindset is right, it certainly makes sense that it was around for these three months. He had crashed his car in January, canceled shows in February, and, not least, he was dying. So 4th Street certainly fit the Zeitgeist.

Listening Notes for April 16-18, 1993 below the fold.

Monday, May 22, 2023


I am looking, not quite desperately but maybe with some urgency, for some vintage Old And In The Way paper. Could be an Old And In The Way poster, could be an Old And In The Way handbill.

I am writing Fate Music, with a credible plan to finish the manuscript this calendar year. The above pictures my workspace two homes ago. I had aimed to have every major Garcia aggregation beyond the GD on a frame on the wall in my workspace to inspire me as I write. I have more now than what is shown, and a good many even of the lesser Garcia Band configurations, but the biggest hole is Old & In The Way.

Years back, Wolfgang's Vault had a beatup 5/25/73 poster, black and red, for like $700. I wish now I had pulled the trigger on it. There is not much OAITW paper of any kind - that handbill and poster, the 10/7/73 qua 11/4/74 bus handbill, not sure what else.

Your humble blogger hubly asks you to search your closets, shake the trees, ask your friends, etc. My OCD can't take it, and my Muse demands it.


Thursday, April 13, 2023

Byron Berline playing with Old And In The Way, ca. summer 1973

My previous post (three months ago!) touched on an expost recollection of Doug Sahm sitting in with Garcia-Saunders at the Keystone around December 1972. I love these little fragments, love trying to pin them down.

Here's a similar one: in the August 16. 1973 Village Voice, it is reported by Jerry Leichtling that Byron Berline had "recently performed with Old And In The Way, Jerry Garcia's new assemblage". I won't go into Byron Berline's importance here, but the wiki can get you started. I will just say - hot, amazing, legendary bluegrass fiddler.

The mention happens in connection with a gig by Country Gazette at the Metro, members of which were Berline, former Kentucky Colonels Roland White on guitar and Roger Bush on bass, and Alan Munde on banjo. I don't have time to try to hunt down when Country Gazette would have played those gigs, but let's say ca. first half of August 1973. Let's also imagine that the info about Berline playing with OAITW comes from the man himself. I take "recently" to suggest that the gig with Berline was either in June when OAITW was briefly out east, or July back in the Bay Area (with Vassar). We'd have to triangulate around Berline's movements as a next step at getting closer to a specific date, but I don't have time to do that. If anyone else wants to, please report back!

In the meantime, just another American musical legend with a Spudfactor of 1, though I can't pin the metadata around this "shared stage" event with any precision.

My very old image of the relevant VV reportage below. Is that Win95? The wheels do turn slowly ...

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Garcia-Saunders with Guest Doug Sahm, ca. December 1972

Clearing out old paper files of stuff, found this piece by John Swenson about Doug Sahm:

Swenson, John. 197305. The Psychedelic Cowboy Makes His Move. Crawdaddy (May): 65-70.

After narrating the good time on 11/23/72 in Austin, Sahm continues
Then we went back up to Frisco an' did it up at Keystone with Tom Fogerty where Jerry does that jam thing. We kinda learned a few tunes an' said we'll go see whut this audience loos lahk, makin' that trip 'n it was jes that monster same reaction. [He started to sing: "Well, it's not love ..."] Y'know, there's the Berkeley freaks, they dig it y'know an' it was weird because ah ain't played Frisco in years man, 'sbeen ages (Swenson 1973, 68).

By my reckoning, Tom Fogerty never played with The Group in 1973, though that's not 100% established. So the likely dates for this event are the following:
  • 12/6/72 or 12/7/72 - note that we have some eyewitness recollections from one of these shows of Sarah Fulcher being around. Like Sahm, she was a Texan with plenty of San Antonio time. Not sure that makes Sahm more or less likely (or doesn't change my estimate) for these nights, but there you go.
  • 12/20/72 or 12/21/72 - the only other JGMS Keystone Berkeley gigs in the window.
So, not sure the dates, but wanted to pin these here the best I could.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Between the Bottom Lines (Lennon and Garcia at the Bottom Line, November 5, 1974) (Guest post by Scott Raile)

[note: for a very long time it has been known that John Lennon saw Jerry at the Bottom Line, and various accounts of a meeting, possible sit-in, as well as the date of this encounter have been given over the years. Historian Scott Raile nailed it down as November 5, 1974 in comments to a post of mine about the early show that night. Over the years, I had heard tell of a recording made from Lennon's table, capturing him commentating the gig, but had never been able to put ears around it. In late 2021, monte_dym posted this recording –from the previously uncirculated late show-- to his soundcloud account, and a few months back David Minches brought this to my attention. Wow! (And thank you, David!) Monte supplied David with CD audio of the files, and as of today they are circulating as shnid-163367 in the usual places. I have invited Scott to put some context around all of this, hence this first-ever JGMF guest post. Thanks to all involved! –ed.]

Between the Bottom Lines

Guest post by Scott Raile

In October of 2015, noted Beatles historian Chip Madinger published his book LENNONOLOGY: Strange Days Indeed, a work that is still recognized as the ultimate biography of post-Beatles John Lennon (and Yoko Ono), an immensely detailed day-by-day chronology of Lennon's life from 1966-1980. I was fortunate enough to have my name on the cover as Chip's co-author, the culmination of 15 years of arduous research and writing, debate and discussion. So, to a handful of people around the world, I am known, thanks to LENNONOLOGY, as a Beatles historian.

 But we are all multitudes, aren't we? None of us is one-dimensional, and everyone has multiple areas of interest and/or expertise, even if most people only see one or two of those aspects. What most Beatle fans who know my name don't realize is that, while I was busy writing my chunks of LENNONOLOGY, more often than not the Grateful Dead was playing in the background. They're my second-favorite band, and my obsession with "learning all I can" about my interests definitely extends to them.

I love it when my interests collide. Circles within circles within circles: Paul McCartney writes a James Bond theme song, or George Harrison pops up in the middle of THE LIFE OF BRIAN. So, even though I wanted to get every detail of Lennon's life nailed down correctly in the book, there was one date I was truly determined to nail down: The night John Lennon went to a Jerry Garcia show.

We didn't have much of a roadmap. Every previous Lennon biography was silent on the matter, even as most of the Garcia biographies mentioned it. As I dug deeper into it, the "facts" presented didn't sit right with me. The Garcia biographies placed the encounter in April of 1975 during Jerry's run at the Bottom Line in New York. But that made no sense. John and Yoko had been separated from September of 1973 until February of 1975 (Lennon's infamous "lost weekend"). But after their reunion (and Yoko's almost-immediate pregnancy), John kept a very low profile, and all but disappeared in 1975, as much as a Beatle can disappear. Hanging out in the clubs in April 1975 was possible, of course, but unlikely. And that's when I started to focus on November of 1974, another timeframe that Jerry played at the Bottom Line and one that made much more sense for Lennon's biography.

November 1974 was a "between the lines" moment for John Lennon. He had spent July and August of that year recording the album WALLS AND BRIDGES, and a goodly chunk of September and October on an extensive promotional jag for the album, the most extensive promotion he ever did for one. By November, the buzz around the record was wearing off, and John occupied his time hanging out with his new friend Elton John, and trying to rekindle his deep friendship with George Harrison, who was touring America that month.

John's personal life was "between the lines" as well; his separation from Yoko was coming to an end, as the couple were just beginning their negotiations to reconcile. That also meant that John's relationship with May Pang (his interim companion) was coming to an end. In May's 1983 memoir, she wrote vaguely of a photo of John with a well-known groupie that was published in a music trade magazine, a magazine that John bought all the local copies of in a futile attempt to keep May from seeing the photo.

And that's where the circles converge. While digging through endless copies of Cashbox magazine for LENNONOLOGY, Chip turned up the infamous photo (reproduced here). But more importantly for our purposes, the caption spelled it out loud and clear: here's John Lennon attending a Jerry Garcia show last Tuesday. HUZZAH. The hard work paid off and all had been revealed. At least we assumed "all had been revealed"; after all, Jerry played two shows that night. Which one did John attend? We assumed it was the late show, based on recollections from the band.

One of the greatest things about being a historian is how, even after decades, things still just keep popping up. A film clip, a photo, a recording that we don't think exists (or may not have even happened) suddenly shows up, in brilliant Technicolor, and all of a sudden we have to re-assume our assumptions and re-think our thoughts. The world of the Beatles and the Grateful Dead are especially rich in this respect. You would think that, after 50 or 60 years, everything that could be discovered has been discovered. And then all of a sudden a photo shows up that you've never seen before, and the wonder is renewed.

And that is just what has happened here. For decades, the early show from November 5, 1974 has circulated, but we were pretty sure John attended the late show. But the late show had never shown up. And if it did, then so what? Would any Lennon fan care? Is it worth collecting just because he's in the audience? Do Lennon fans snap up that live Bob Marley album just because John and Ringo are in the audience? Do you collect every 1974 episode of "The Odd Couple" just because John was in the studio audience of one of them when it was taped? What are the limits of collecting? Where do you draw the line? I wanted to hear the late show just because I love Jerry. But who in the Beatles world would care?

Fortunately, all of that speculation has come to a sudden and spectacular end. I was thrilled out of my mind when JGMF sent me this show, because I wanted to hear some more 1974 Jerry. But imagine my sheer elation when, towards the end of the show, we can hear, clearly and unequivocally, John Lennon himself commenting on the show. At first, we hear him wittily calling the show like a sportscaster ("ten down and three to go!"), lapsing slightly into a Howard Cosell-like description of the event (which makes sense since John and Howard were hanging out in the fall of 1974). We hear him tell the taper that he loves bootlegs (which he did), and then critique the performance as a fellow musician, noting how a song had dragged in the middle but then got saved at the end. Considering how tumultuous his personal life was at that point (and how negatively some of Jerry's band members recalled the meeting), I fully expected John to be drunk and obnoxious at that show, but I am thrilled to hear just the opposite: he's lucid, funny and just another guy hanging out at a Jerry show.

Unless another unknown tape pops up, we'll never know directly how John or Jerry reacted to their encounter that night; the current record shows both of them as being silent on this topic. But from a historian's point of view, the story has come full-circle; from vague stories placed in April 1975 to "we have a tape and Lennon is even on it," we have closed the gap from hearsay to concrete evidence. In the grand scheme of things, it's not enormous; we've added another 90 minutes to our understanding of Jerry, and another 60 seconds to our understanding of John. But history is little more than an enormous jigsaw puzzle that wants putting together, and now we have one more tiny piece to put into place.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

JGB at the Auditorium Music Hall, Memphis, TN, November 18, 1975 (CXL)

Here's an ad from the Memphis Commercial Appeal billing Jerry Garcia Band (JGB) at the Auditorium Music Hall in Memphis, TN, November 18, 1975.

Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN), November 2, 1975, p. 5

The show must have been canceled, because I have never seen other record of this *and* the Garcia Band played the Keystone Berkeley this night.

I have a question about the venue, for which no address is given.

For his only Memphis gig outside the Dead on March 28, 1976, Garcia played what we list as South Hall, Ellis Auditorium, Memphis, TN. (see also JGBP). Is this the same room? I think so, as we give capacity for that space at 2,200 and the ad says 2,000 tickets available.

Would just love to hear any thoughts. In the meantime, I think I am going to list this with the same venue.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Good Old Boys at Keystone: June 14, 1974

I  just want to pin down some details of the Good Old Boys sets from June 13 and June 14, 1974, opening for Great American String Band. These come from tape that I have been able to audition but that is not supposed to circulate. Sometimes, a "hush-hush" approach is necessary to protect the innocent. That's not the case here - just gratuitous hoarding. I don't make the rules.

Good Old Boys
2119 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704
June 14, 1974 (Friday)

--early set main--
Blue Grass Breakdown (1)
Sittin' On Top Of The World (2)
Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music)
Deep Elem Blues
(3) I'll Never Make You Blue (4)
Jesus Loves His Mandolin Player #2 (5)
Pistol Packin' Mama (6)
Wild Side Of Life (7)
Uncle Pen
Raw Hide (8)
--early set encore--
Colored Aristocracy (9)
Back Up And Push

--late set--
Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad (10, 11)
Nine Pound Hammer (12)
Little Girl And The Dreadful Snake
Used To Be
Ragtime Annie
Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms (13)
Jesus Love His Mandolin Player #34 (14, 15)
Crooked Judge

! Band: Good Old Boys
! Lineup: Frank Wakefield - mandolin, vocals;
! Lineup: David Nelson - -ac-g, vocals;
! Lineup: Robert Earl Davis - banjo;
! Lineup: Pat Campbell - bass;
! Lineup: Fred Weisz - fiddle;
! Guest: Richard Greene - fiddle (early show encore);
! Guest: David Grisman - mandolin (early show encore).


! map:


! reference: Pistol Packin' Mama (Round RX-109 / RX-LA597-G, March 1976).

! metadata: None of the advertisements indicate separately charged early and late shows, but I think that's what happened on this Friday night at Keystone.

! (1) David Nelson: "Thank you. We're the Good Old Boys. We're the Good New Boys, actually now, we've got a new banjo player ... uhhh what is his name anyway? Bob Davis. We've been stealing musicians from other bands", etc. FW: "Here's one now that David wrote about fifteen years ago. It's called 'If I Miss You On The Matress, I'll See You On The Springs'. [crowd laughs] I had to say something funny."

! (2) Frank Wakefield: "I'd like to close ... really we're almost up here. We've got some very special guests here. And I'm not gonna introduce them right on the stage [inaudible]. Fred Weisz worked with him in 1960. Dave Nelson. Nelson:  "Pat Campbell. ... This guy over here ... from New York, hails from Manhattan New York. Frank Wakefield." NB they forget to introduce the banjo player, though I guess they just had (see note 1).

! song: "Deep Elem Blues": The GOB version is like the old Jerry & Sara versions and like the JGAB ones, which are based on the Red Allen/Frank Wakefield arrangement.

! (3) FW: "Here's one now that David wrote a long time ago."

! (4) DN, paraphrased/truncated: Right now Frank's gonna do one of his mandolin tunes Jesus loves up to bout 36. What we want to do is record them all at once. #2. FW, paraphrased: "Hey maybe I'll change. How many folks was in here last night? Can I see your hands. Don't want to repeat myself. Song we did last night. ... some slow parts and some real fast parts." More chatter. NB that they did, indeed play Jesus #2 on 6/13/74. More cross-validation, not that these dates needed it.

! (5) Nelson: [inaudible] "you can lock me up in jail, but you can't keep my face from breakin' out."

! (6): FW: "One that David wrote about fifteen years ago in San Quentin."

! (7) Fred Herrera: "David, we're running late." Then something like "let's do a nice ending" or "let's do a last number"

! (8) Nelson: "Thank you, thank you very much" and crowd cheers indicate this is the end of the set.

! guest: early show encore with Richard Greene (fiddle), David Grisman (mandolin).

! personnel: With Dawg playing, and if Nelson's still onstage, this might be the only known instance of them playing together (check Fillmore East GD 1970).

! (9) Someone says "We got one here called 'Back Up And Push'. Hope you all like it. I don't recognize the speaker's voice. Not Richard Greene, Grisman, Wakefield or Nelson. Richard Greene: "Hope you all like, uh, country music. 'Cause if you do, we get to disappoint you by playing other stuff. But not for awhile." Note that this whole "encore" piece is one continuous piece of tape. So the guy who announces "Back Up And Push" is onstage playing, I assume one of the GOB guys not named Nelson or Wakefield.

! song: "Back Up And Push" sounds a little like the melody to "This Land Is Your Land" and, I hate to say it, in places, like "Copacabana". Regardless, it's credited to Bill Monroe. is an amazing version by Bill Monroe, The Father of Bluegrass (tm).

! (10) unknown speaker: "Thank you thank you, the Good Old Boys." Sounds like the end of an evening.

! (11) Nelson: "We're gonna have some strange guests, but I can't tell ya who they is. Right now we got over on the fiddle on the right hand side, Fiddlin' Fred Weisz. On the banjo, stolen directly from Western Union, (Frank: "The hills of Manhattan, New York") Bobby Davis. All right. He's never played with us before. He played with us about five minutes in the back room there, so we have to work out our arrangements onstage. I think he's doin' pretty good. Then uhhh I'm not gonna introduce. On the bass, another musician stolen from Western Union, Pat Campbell. He's doin' real good too. He's doesn't know any of our songs either. (Frank: "He probly wrote 'em.") But he probably wrote 'em, yeah. And on this little red instrument --whaddya call that please?-- (Frank: "Ukelele.") Ukelele, yeah. That thing's falling apart. I keep worrying about it. He puts his finger underneath the binding on the frets and it snaps off every set, little pieces ... bridge is on backwards ... From the hills of Manhattan, New York, Frank Wakefield." Frank Wakefield: "This feller on the git-tar here, he's from the hills of Tennesse. I believe you're from [inaudible] Actually, the fact of the matter is, he's from a big rock group, like Jerry is ... y'know, when he plays, he plays super banjo too, he plays super acoustic, David Nelson, from Easy Riders of the Purple Sage. Give him a hand, he'd appreciate it. ... I'm mad at y'all now, I'm mad at y'all 'cause he got a better hand than I did. I feel bad now." [woman in audience says "Nobody loves you, nobody [inaudible"] Frank, responding: "So, since she said that, here's one called 'If I Miss You On The Mattress, I'll See You On The Springs'. [laughter] Here's one that David wrote when he was with the Purple Sage, and still is."

! (12) FW: "Here's another one that David wrote a long time ago. If you folks know anything about folk music. David wrote [inaudible] he wrote one here a long time ago. What sparked that?" Nelson: "When I saw my first snake."

! (13) long banter. David Nelson: "Thank you. Thank you. A little ragged, but that's all right. Half of us don't even know the words to these songs here. But this one doesn't have any words, so that's OK too. Frank's gonna do a solo mandolin tune. He writes these mandolin tunes. I am not supposed to talk while he's tuning. He doesn't remember words ... he doesn't know what necessary means, for instance. And he says to people ..." etc. etc. while FW is tuning. "But he remembers all these tunes, these long classical tunes that he wrote." FW tuning and rap. "Last set I did two harmonies. Gonna do [something else] this set." The structure here makes me thing these were separately billed early and late shows.

! (14) Frank: "We're gonna do a thing now where a guy by the name of Robert Hunter wrote a song and David, me and David arranged that and we'll do some very special stuff on the mandolin and the git-tar. And it'll prolly be on this new record, I guess, too, right?" (Nelson: "Yeah.") And it's called the 'Crooked Judge'."

! (15) This is some great context. Fred Herrera must have an intercom from his little room, and you hear it click on and a guy says, in a hushed, golf-announcer voice, "Dave. Dave. (Nelson: "Yeah?") Hey. We're startin' to run kinda late. Two tunes or so. Then someone, it sounds like Marmaduke, says "Hey, uh, Freddie says [inaudible] late." Then "[inaudible, maybe "The man returns"], there's a hoot and cheer from the audience. Frank: "So we'll get David to do that judge song first. ... If you all saw the concert we did last Saturday, we did this'un pretty much the same way." NB that implies a gig on 6/8/74.

Good Old Boys at Keystone: June 13, 1974

I  just want to pin down some details of the Good Old Boys sets from June 13-14, 1974, opening for Great American String Band. These come from tape that I have been able to audition but that is not supposed to circulate. Sometimes, a "hush-hush" approach is necessary to protect the innocent. That's not the case here - just gratuitous hoarding. I don't make the rules.

Good Old Boys
2119 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704
June 13, 1974 (Thursday)
opening for Great American String Band

--set I--
ambience (1)
Deep Elem Blues
(2)  Earl's Breakdown
(3) I'll Never Make You Blue
(4) Jesus Loves This Mandolin Player #2
On Top Of Old Smokey
Pistol Packin' Mama (5)
Raw Hide

--set II--
ambience (6)
(7) Jesus Loves His Mandolin Player #1
Little Girl And The Dreadful Snake (8)
Bill Cheatham (9)
T For Texas (Blue Yodel No. 1) (10)
(11) Teardrops In My Eyes (12)
New Camptown Races
(13) Uncle Pen
(14) Sally Goodin (15)
A Voice From On High (16)
Back Up And Push [1:59] [0:03]

! ACT1: Good Old Boys
! Lineup: Frank Wakefield - mandolin, ?vocals?;
! Lineup: David Nelson - guitar, vocals;
! Lineup: Fred Weisz - fiddle;
! Lineup: Sandy Rothman - banjo;
! Lineup: Pat Campbell - ac-bass.


! setlist: I am confused about the structure of the festivities at Keystone this Thursday, June 13, 1974. Need to write it out at greater length than this info file will allow.

! expost: Philip Elwood, "From country to jazz – a snap," San Francisco Examiner, June 14, 1974, p. 27. He spells fiddle player's name Wiesz, but it must be former Greenbriar Boy Fred Weisz, who had bipolar disorder and might have been a street person around Everett, WA.

! song: traditionals: s1t02 "Deep Elem Blues"; s1t06 "On Top Of Old Smokey" (Trad., arr Wakefield); s2t10 "Sally Goodin"; count: 3.

! song: country: s1t04 "I'll Never Make You Blue" (Ray Cline, Charlie Cline); s1t07 "Pistol Packin' Mama" (Al Dexter); s2t06 "T For Texas (Blue Yodel No. 1)" (Jimmie Rodgers); count: 3.

! song: bluegrass: s1t03 "Earl's Breakdown" (Earl Scruggs); s1t08 "Raw Hide"; s2t02 "unknown-GOB19740613-01"; s2t04 "Little Girl And The Dreadful Snake" (Bill Monroe); s2t05 "Bill Cheatham"; s2t07 "Teardrops In My Eyes" (Red Allen, Tommy Sutton); s2t09 "Uncle Pen" (Bill Monroe); s2t11 "A Voice From On High" (Bill Monroe, Bessie Lee Mauldin); s2t12 "Back Up and Push"; count: 9.

! song: Wakefield originals: s1t05 "Jesus Loves This Mandolin Player #2"; s2t03 "Jesus Loves His Mandolin Player #1"; s2t08 "New Camptown Races"; count: 3.

! (1) Frank: "Actually, Fred Weisz and Jerry Garcia wrote this one."
! (2) Someone says "Bluegrass Stomp", and Nelson says "Yeah, how 'bout 'Bluegrass Stomp'?" Not sure what Wakefield says, but David says "Let's pick one." I think Sandy suggests "Earl's Breakdown", Nelson affirms, and Wakefield introduces it. "Here's one where Sandy does some ... if y'all ever seen a [inaudible] player uh accordion player twist some keys, he's gonna do this for ya." ?Sandy?: "Frank does a little fancy key-twistin' on this one, too." DN, laughing, "Watch his hands!"

! (3) Frank: "Here's another song that Sandy wrote, about his sweetheart. She broke his heart, and he's gonna break her darn jaw now, right?"

! (4) Nelson: "Thank you. Right now, Frank's gonna do a solo mandolin tune. I don't know if of you have him heard do it before. He writes these mandolin tunes that are like classical music. They sound like classical music, but not really, I mean, it's hillbilly classical. And he's got about 34 or 6 tunes written out, and they all used to be called "Symphony #94", since that was the only classical piece he'd ever heard, by Beethoven. ... 'Jesus Loves His Mandolin Player #2'." FW gives an explanation. Talks about NYC Ballet Orchestra.

! (5) Frank: "Thank ya. Now we're gonna play one called the 'Berkeley Waltz', then we're gonna take a little intersection [sic] and we're gonna come back and play some more for ya." Nelson, to FW: "Do you know that that word means? What's that word mean?" Frank: "Oh yeah, I forgot what that word means."

! (6) Frank: "I'm sorry, about six months. Can you hear it way back in the back alright? You need more volume? Is that loud enough now? [crowd guy: "'s'all right!"] Bless you, thank you."

! setlist: s2t02 is solo mandolin. It may be one of the Jesus songs, but I just don't know. Even Neil Rosenberg was stumped!

! (7) Frank: "That's an 8-string harmony, now we're gonna play some grass for you." David Grisman, I need to borrow your mandolin real fast. I just broke a string. David? Where you is?" Ballet Opera NYC. Gimme that mandolin!

! (8) FW: "Thanks a lot. Now we're gonna turn Fred loose, who's a super good fiddle player."

! (9) Frank: "Thanks a lot. Now we gonna do somethin' where this super good bass player, Pat, he's really good on the bass", etc.

!  (10) FW: "I'd like to thank David Grisman for loaning me this mandolin. Thank you."

! (11) FW: "Now here's one that David has on record. Him and the Purple Sage Dust."

! (12) FW: "Here's one that David here wrote a long time ago. One called 'New Camptown'. What inspired you to write it, David?" Nelson, off-mic: "Who you talkin' to?"

!  (13) FW: "Here's one that Fred Weisz wrote a long time ago, that he does on the fiddle, called 'Uncle Fred'."

! (14) unknown speaker (not FW or DN): "Here's a little Sally Goodin, we'll get Fred to play a little piece of pie."

! (15) Freddie Herrera: "David ... David ... David ... David, We're starting to run late." FW: "We feel so unnecessary." Nelson: "Hey, what's unnecessary mean?" Freddie: "David, can you hear me?" And they answer with "I Hear A Voice A Callin'!" Perfect!

! (16) Freddie: "Dave. Dave. Can you hear me? Dave? Dave. I'm down here. We are starting to run late, we have time for maybe one more tune at the most." DN, to band: "Oh, we have one more tune."

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Linked Jazz --> Linked Jerry (a.k.a., the Side Trips Social Network)

Something like this will form the centerpiece image (I will pay for color) of Fate Music. I presented a brutally rudimentary glimpse of such a thing like ten years ago at the GD Studies caucus meeting in ABQ, calling it "The Side Trips Social Network".

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Darlin' Cory

What an amazing song. Obviously a (continuously, spontaneously, organically evolving) folk song, and working under many different titles, but here are the lyrics at Wikipedia:

Wake up, wake up darlin cory
Tell me what makes you sleep so sound
The revenue officers are comin
Gonna tear your still house down


Dig a hole, dig a hole in the meadow
Dig a hole in the cold, cold ground
Dig a hole, dig a hole in the meadow
Gonna lay darlin cory down

Oh the first time I saw darlin cory
She was standin in the door
She had her shoes and her stockings in her hand
And her little bare feet on the floor

Oh the next time I saw darlin cory
She was standin by the banks of the sea
she had a 44 strapped around her body
And a banjo on her knee

Oh the last time I saw darlin cory
She had a wine glass in her hand
She was drinkin that sweet liquor
With a low down gamblin man.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

August 1971 Crosby super session / double album project to end the Vietnam War?

update: Never Trust A Prankster :)


Bruce Rostenstein was an ouststanding rock columnist for the American University Eagle in the early 1970s. That paper has been digitized, and like so many other college papers, offers up all kinds of goodness for the intrepid researcher.

His October 29, 1971 column brings forth something I have never heard about. Noting the success of George Harrison's Bangladesh benefit concert, he reports, on the basis of some seemingly pretty clear documentation (including side-and-cut information), about a star-packed double album project spearheaded by David Crosby to end the war in Vietnam.

The concept itself is mind-boggling; one LP will feature Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young with all new material, and the other record will have the boys playing with some of the biggest names in rock. As for the business end, Crosby has arranged for Atlantic Records to distribute the [sic] on the special Empathy label.

Word of the project leaked, and Croz had to give more info to the rock press. It included the following stuff put togther in "mammoth sessions" over five late August days at Electric Lady Studios:

A-1: the original Byrds: unidentified tune
A-2: Captain Beefheart (sax and guitar), Stephen Stills (organ), Jeff Beck (guitar): a seven minute cut called "Feet"
A-3: Michael Bloomfield, Stills (organ), Jack Casay (bass), Joey Covington (drums): "I Just Don't Know", an autobiographical Bloomfield tune, his first original in two years
A-4: members of the NRPS and Poco, "with an extended pedal steel guitar solo by David Grisman of the New Riders": "Sagebrush"
A-5: a 23-second spoken intro by Richard Meltzer
A-6: Jerry Garcia (guitar, vocals), Jack Casady (bass), Graham Nash (organ), Ringo Star (drums): a nine minute version of "Goodnight Irene"
B-1: Dr. John, Eric Clapton, various percussionists: "Bayou Madness" (impromptu/original)
B-2: Leon Russell (piano), the Tulsa Tops, Merry Clayton and Claudia Lenear (vocals), Billy Preston (organ): "Funky Oklahoma Mama" (a new Russell original)
B-3: Russell, Neil Young (guitar), ?others?: "Rock 'n' Roll Forever" ("Supposedly this eight and a half minute cut is a fusion of 'Maybelline', 'Long Tall Sally', 'Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On', 'Sweet Sixteen' and 'Summertime Blues'")
B-4: Buffalo Springfield: "On the Way Home"
B-5: Paul McCartney (bass), Linda McCartney (piano), Crosby and Stills (acoustic guitars), Clapton and Nils Lofgren (electric guitars), Phil Lesh (bass): a ten-minute instrumental called "What Is Reality"?

Along with the record, word has it that the Maysles brothers donated their services and filmed the entire session for a television special which may be aired as early as mid-January. The release date of the record is indefinite. Some say as early as December 15th, others say not before January.

OK, so my question to you, dear friends, is is this a real thing that I missed? Or??

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Dating the September 1971 Lion's Share Gigs

Consider this a throwback post, in that it does what the blog started out doing, and that's just trying to correct and fill out metadata around Garciavents. Here, I argue that the material we know from circulating tapes as 9/24/71 is actually from the next night, 9/25/71, also at the Lion's Share in San Anselmo. The post also serves to pin down a third set of music from the four played this weekend, from newly digitized (and, as of today, circulated) tape of what, I argue, should be seen as the 9/24/71 late show.

Tom Fogerty left Creedence Clearwater Revival on February 1, 1971 (Boucher 1972), seeking to escape the domineering shadow of his little brother John and carve out his own musical identity. Around May 26, 1971, he first sat in with Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders and their unnamed group, at the Keystone Korner in San Francisco. He gigged on and off with them for a year-and-a-half, while also doing all kinds of studio work at The House That Creedence Built (Fantasy in Berkeley). He continued collaborating on Merl's Fire Up into late spring '73 before exiting the Garciaverse. Some of his correspondence with Merl lives in the GD Archives, and from what we can glean he was a sweet and generous guy who was very fond of his labelmate. He continued to play and record through ongoing back problems, fell on some hard personal times, and apparently contracted HIV/AIDS from an unscreened blood transfusion connected with a back surgery in the early 80s. This led to his untimely demise from a tuberculosis infection at the age of 49 on September 6, 1990.

I have yet to come to a clear understanding of my own of the mix of music and commerce (especially, the role of Fantasy Records) in the "Tom Fogerty Era" of the Garcia-Saunders group, partly because, outside studio recordings, so few tapes of them playing live are available to hear. The first pop up almost four months after his arrival, in September 1971, with two widely-circulated sets from the Lion's Share which I will focus on here. After that, the next tape comes June 30, 1972 at the Korner, and then December 28, 1972, again in San Anselmo. That's it - though tape exists of September 20, 1971 at the Inn of the Beginning in Cotati, and December 5, 1972 at the Boarding House in the city, it does not circulate. And, while he figured in some billings early in 1973, it seems highly unlikely that he ever gigged with these guys after 1972. 

We currently list 48 Tom Fogerty events at Jerrybase, we have a few setlists from newspaper reviews and attendee recollections, and now pieces of five shows. Tragically, all of our JB listings are for public events. Fantasy has remained completely opaque in terms of session dates, which I estimate might number in the few dozens from 1970 or 1971 through 1974 or 1975.

As a result of all of this, the little tape that we have is precious. I have spent considerable time with it trying to glean some insight into the Fogerty Era. It's risky to extrapolate much from the little we can hear, of course. But it seems clear that he and Jerry shared a love for 50s R&B numbers such as Hank Ballard and the Midnighters' "Annie Had A Baby" (1954), The Four Deuces' "W-P-L-J" (1956), and Jimmy Reed's straighter blues "Baby What You Want Me To Do?" (1959), the latter of which the Dead played a few times but none of which is known to have appeared in any other GOTS configuration. They also played Jesse Winchester's super-sweet "Biloxi" from his 1970 debut, and a bunch of tunes that otherwise seem part of the Garcia-Saunders repertoire of the period, insofar as we can know it.

The Lion's Share gigs on September 24-25, 1971 were well advertised and, in a refreshing change of pace, Fogerty's name preceded Garcia's. Yayyy, Jerry! (We celebrate this because the guy just wanted to play, he didn't need or necessarily want top-billing). Maybe it was just done alphabetically. Anyway, only the Berkeley Tribe specifies early (9 PM) and late (11:30 PM) shows. The ads all identify Jerry Corbitt, Billy Cox, and Charlie Daniels (yes, the one you've heard of) opening, though for some reason Jerrybase currently shows Loading Zone and Congress of Wonders the first night instead of them. Gideon and Power were also on the bill the second night, per the Lion's Share calendar.

My partner David Minches and I have just had the pleasure of working with 1971-1972 Lion's Share soundman Lou Judson to arrange a fresh transfer of these old tapes. The three from this September 1971 weekend present, first, a Sony PR-150 labeled "Friday 24 Sept 71 last 1/2 hr)".

The labeling is confirmed by the end of the recording, where the emcee says "Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders, Tom Fogerty and Bill Kreutzmann. They'll be back tomorrow night, for another two shows, along with Jerry Corbitt and Charlie Daniels. Come back and bring your friends. Thank you for comin', and good night." So this is clearly 9/24/71b. As you will hear when the seed hits the ether, this is distinct music that has never circulated among collectors.

It seems that there probably was a first reel from this night, but, alas, it remains MIA.

But wait, you say - don't circulating filesets already purport to include 9/24/71b? Indeed, they do. But these tapes clearly establish that they are mis-dated, and derive from the second night. Lou's other two reels from the weekend are Sony SLH-180 stock, and clearly labeled "September 25 Saturday '71 first set" and "September 25, 1971 second set".

The material on these tapes corresponds to the material that has long circulated as 9/24/71. But it is actually 9/25/71.

Last thing to do is pin down what we can from the partial setlist for 9/24/71b, and post listening notes from all three sets of material. That stuff follows.


Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders
Lion's Share
60 Red Hill Avenue
San Anselmo, CA 94960
September 24, 1971 (Friday) - Late Show / reel #2
Judson MSR > HD 2022

--end of late show (6 tracks, 5 tunes, 30:28)--
19710924-l-t01. [0:46] Annie Had A Baby [3:21] ->
19710924-l-t02. W-P-L-J [3:48] [1:07]
19710924-l-t03. Baby, What Do You Want Me To Do? [5:16] [1:08]
19710924-l-t04. I Was Made To Love Her [7:51] [1:05]
19710924-l-t05. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down [5:31]
19710924-l-t06. outro (2) [0:36]

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - electric guitar, vocals;
! lineup: Tom Fogerty - electric guitar, vocals;
! lineup: Merl Saunders - keyboards;
! lineup: Bill Kreutzmann - drums.


! Recording: symbols: % = recording discontinuity; / = clipped song; // = cut song; ... = fade in/out; # = truncated timing; [m:ss] = recorded event time. The recorded event time immediately after the song or item name is an attempt at getting the "real" time of the event. So, a timing of [m:ss] right after a song title is an attempt to say how long the song really was, as represented on this recording.

! Jerrybase:

! db: none in circulation from this date. The following are mistakenly dated 9/24/71, but are actually 9/25/71: (early and late, via Shriver shnf); (Reel Master 10inch Master Reel@7.5ips 1/2trk > DAT, via Eaton-Scotton-Miller-SirMick); (raw version of shnid-137584)

! map:


! personnel: NB no bass.

! R: field recordist: Lou Judson

! R: field recording gear: PA line out > Viking 88

! R: field recording media: Sony PR-150 1/4" x 7" @7.5ips stereo (tape "GS6")

! R: lineage: MSR Sony 854-4 playback > Sound Devices 744T (24 bit / 96kHz wav) > editing and mastering by David Minches, July 2022.

! t02 (1) @ 4:27 JG: "No dancing in the Lion's Share. At least - nobody's dancing in the Lion's Share. [inaudible] dancing right around here [inaudible] I don't know [inaudible]

! R: t05 some kind of noise in TNTDODD, not sure if it's tape or equipment

! t06 (2) JG: "Thanks a lot folks. See y'all later." Emcee: "Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders, Tom Fogerty and Bill Kreutzmann. They'll be back tomorrow night, for another two shows, along with Jerry Corbitt and Charlie Daniels. Come back and bring your friends. Thank you for comin', and good night."


Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders
Lion's Share
60 Red Hill Avenue
San Anselmo, CA 94960
September 25, 1971 (Saturday)
Judson MSR > HD 2022

--early show (7 tracks, 6 tunes, 51:56)--
e-t01. Introduction (1) [1:09]
e-t02. Save Mother Earth [11:38] ->
e-t03. Imagine [5:19] (2) [2:28]
e-t04. One Kind Favor [8:45] [1:25]
e-t05. I Was Made To Love Her [9:53] [0:32]
e-t06. Baby, What Do You Want Me To Do? [3:47] [0:04] %
e-t07. Biloxi [6:51] [0:06]

--late show (7 tracks, 51:55)--
l-t01. [0:15] Hi-Heel Sneakers [8:36] [1:10]
l-t02. Man-Child [10:21] ->
l-t03. Summertime [10:07] [1:14]
l-t04. That's A Touch I Like [5:47] (3) [1:52]
l-t05. Annie Had A Baby [2:55] ->
l-t06. W-P-L-J [3:17] [0:13] %
l-t07. [0:19] The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down [5:40] (4) [0:09]

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - electric guitar, vocals;
! lineup: Tom Fogerty - electric guitar, vocals;
! lineup: Merl Saunders - keyboards;
! lineup: John Kahn - electric bass;
! lineup: Bill Kreutzmann - drums.


! Recording: symbols: % = recording discontinuity; / = clipped song; // = cut song; ... = fade in/out; # = truncated timing; [m:ss] = recorded event time. The recorded event time immediately after the song or item name is an attempt at getting the "real" time of the event. So, a timing of [m:ss] right after a song title is an attempt to say how long the song really was, as represented on this recording.

! Jerrybase:

! db, mistakenly dated 9/24/71: ("MSR>1C>D etc.", via Ryan Shriver and Danny Metz); ("MSR>DAT etc.", via Paul Scotton and SIRMick); (raw transfer of Scotton DAT). Prior to 8/9/2022, no sources have circulated dated 9/25/71, which is the correct date for this material.

! map:


! R: field recordist: Lou Judson

! R: field recording gear: PA line out > Viking 88

! R: field recording media: 2x Sony SLH-180 1/4" x 7" @7.5ips 1/4 trk stereo (tapes "GS7" and "GS8")

! R: lineage: MSR Sony 854-4 playback > Sound Devices 744T (24 bit / 96kHz wav) > editing and mastering by David Minches, July 2022.

! e-t01 (1) JG: "Hey - whoever it is that controls the lights, could ya turn 'em down, these ones here? Ahh, yes. Keep it going ... thanks, great. You can turn 'em down even farther ... that's good. [To band] Can you guys see well enough?" Tom: "Oh yeah, for sure." Emcee: Let's have a warm welcome for Jerry Garcia, Tom Fogerty, Merl Saunders, and ... friends." JG: "That's, uh, John Kahn and Bill Kreutzmann, are the 'friends'." Emcee: "Thank you." JG: "Don't mention it."

! P: e-t02 SME very slowly paced. @ 7:30 JG pedals in a little wah or whatever that is. Things getting melty in 9.

! e-t03 (2) Tom: "Can we get some beer and apple juice, please?" JG: "And a little bit of light - just the tiniest little bit" [some chuckles].

! R: e-t07 Biloxi patched in from shnid-137584. How it could be complete there and not here is a mystery ...

! P: l-t01 HHS Tom's buzzsaw tone fatigues my ears

! P: l-t02 Man-Child John starts rumbling fantastically in 6

! l-t04 (3) Tom: "Can we please have some beers and, uhh, two apple juices?"

! R: l-t07 TNTDODD in mono

! l-t07 (4) JG: "Thanks a lot. Good night."