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Sunday, May 30, 2010

GD at Mammoth Gardens, Denver CO, April 24-25, 1970

It seems that these shows have been shrouded in mystery and legend for a very long time. Maybe it's because April 1970 was such a hot month, because the tape circulating from this weekend reveals a characteristically hot show, because the next gig (4/26/70 at Poynette Wisconsin) is similarly enshrouded, because "Mammoth Gardens" just sounds so damn primal, and/or because Colorado is a special place. Maybe all of the above. At first there seemed to be some question as to whether two shows took place at all, or only one on Friday, April 24th. This has been pretty well resolved (there was a show on Saturday 25th), and I will bring additional evidence to bear on this question. Next, there has apparently been lots of confusion over the correct date of the circulating material. I believe I can resolve this question, as well. My primary aim in this post is to argue that the circulating tape belongs to Saturday, April 25th. I have a few other points to make as well, but that's the main one.

The value-added here is based on a second show review that I unearthed in the Chinook (1), which appears to have been a Denver/Boulder "underground" newspaper. A previously-known review from the Colorado Springs Sun (2) (supplied by Uli Teute and Hanno Bunjes and reproduced in the Deadlists forum), plus all of the other information wonderfully compiled at Deadlists, plus eyewitness information from Ken Condon, plus this new review can all be combined to generate a fuller picture than has heretofore been available of what seems to have been a pretty freaking remarkable pair of shows.


Let me preface this with a word on methodology. Ross Hannan sent me something to this effect, so I should tip my hat to him and apologize if I haven't rendered this accurately or as he would. But, in short, contemporary accounts (I would give special priority to published, ex post reviews) are the evidentiary gold standard when it comes to documenting events such as rock concerts. After this come other presumably "vetted" contemporary information by those with a business stake in the issue, such as posters, tickets and other ephemera, contracts, etc. I'd put ex ante calendar listings next. The informational quality of things such as tape labels and long-distant memories shows tremendous variance, in my experience. Some sources are good as gold, others ... not so much. Anyway, contemporary show reviews are my favorite sources, the ones in which I have greatest confidence. That's why I was so happy to find a second one for the GD at Mammoth Gardens.

The State of Our Knowledge:

Here is what Deadlists currently shows for 4/24/70. It mentions some confusion over the dating, but says that eyewitnesses place this set on the 24th and not the 25th.

One [33:11 +]] [0:10] ; I Know You Rider [7:57] ; [1:22 Intro] ; Monkey And The Engineer [1:44] ; [0:56] ; Friend Of The Devil [3:42] ; [0:13] ; Me And My Uncle [3:26] ; [0:25] ; Candyman [5:40] ; [0:29] ; Uncle John's Band [6:34] ; [0:25]
Two [1:07:09 +] [0:41] ; Easy Wind [8:55] ; [0:44] ; Cumberland Blues [4:44] ; [0:08] % Dire Wolf [3:56] ; [0:11 "broken string"] % Dark Star [24:39] > Saint Stephen [5:54] > The Eleven [13:55] > Drums [1:23] > Jam [2:02] % It's A Man's Man's Man's World [#5:22]

All we know about 4/25 is that the show happened. This is based on the scans below and on eyewitness accounts.

Why we should consider the circulating tape to be from 4/25/70 and not 4/24:

  1. The DeLong article purports to review the Saturday show (4/25), and the setlist given for the electric set matches the tape.
  2. We can infer that the Milt T. review covers the Friday show; he mentions seeing QMS in Boulder "two days later", which happened on Sunday, 4/26. (QMS historians, take note!) He only mentions three songs by name, and none of them is on the circulating tape: Wake Up Little Suzie (acoustic) and Not Fade Away -> Lovelight (2nd electric set, to end the show).When we couple this with DeLong's statement that the GD didn't play anything after the long St. Stephen medley, we have accounts for two distinct endings to two different shows which, indeed, claim to be from two distinct nights.
  3. DeLong mentions "Good Lovin'" being played before "It's a Man's World," and Deadlists notes that though Good Lovin' is not present on the tape, it sounds like it's coming in the jam that cuts out before Man's World. Furthermore, attendee Ken Condon knew only this song, and he is 100% certain he attended the Saturday show. They could well have played it both nights, of course, but in conjunction with everything else I'll consider this another point in support of the view that the tape is from 4/25.
Open Issues
  1. Did these shows follow the electric-acoustic-electric format? Milt T. is very clear that the 4/24 show did indeed follow this format. Attendee Ken Condon states that this is how the show he saw, which was the 25th, was structured. DeLong's review says that "the first part of [the GD's] set" was acoustic. Hopefully new eyewitness accounts can be gathered that might shed more light on this.
  2. Were the NRPS present? There is no mention of them in either review, both of which are pretty clear that the acoustic set was guitars, bass, drums; no mention of pedal steel at all, or of different personnel. Deadlists cites audience member Spencer Wren as remembering a NRPS set, but I sure would like some other evidence before coming to any judgment about that. Update: attendee/commenter ehukai clearly recalls there was no steel guitar, which he would certainly have remembered.
  3. The encore(s): Milt T. mentions that the encore involved John Hammond backed by Pigpen on harp and guitar. Deadlists cites Wren to precisely this effect as well. DeLong says that, having blown everyone's minds, the GD sagely decided not to come back for an encore: "after that devastating medley, anything else would have been painfully anticlimactic." So I propose that this encore happened on 4/24/70, and that there was no encore on 4/25. Aside: I can't think of any other known Pigpen live performances without the GD this late in the game.

  1. There were two GD shows at Mammoth Gardens in Denver, CO on Friday April 24 and Saturday April 25, 1970. This much has already been well established.
  2. The circulating tape is from 4/25 and not, as it currently circulates, from 4/24.
  3. We can add Good Lovin' to the setlist of 4/25 (along with what circulates on the tape), and it should precede It's a Man's World, which is from the same show.
  4. For 4/24/70 we can list a drum duet in electric 1, Wake Up Little Suzie in acoustic (set II), and Not Fade Away -> Lovelight to close electric 2 (Set III overall). We can also note that Pigpen's backing of Hammond took place on this date and not on 4/25/70.

  1. Milt T., “San Francisco Sounds,” Chinook, April 30, 1970, pp. 4-5. Text available via URL
  2. Mike DeLong, "Magic Exists ... Grateful Dead Stuns Crowd," Colorado Springs Sun, April 30, 1970, unknown page. Retrieved from Deadlists May 30, 2010. Text available via URL
! ref: Arnold, Corry. 2009. Mammoth Gardens, Denver, CO Performance List April-October 1970. Rock Archaeology 101, November 8, URL, consulted 11/26/2014.

Friday, May 28, 2010

GD at Eagles Auditorium, Seattle, WA, January 1968

 I am going to argue that the Quick and the Dead played Eagles Auditorium in Seattle, WA on Friday, January 26 and Saturday, January 27, 1968, and *not* on Monday 1/22 and Tuesday 1/23. This may well be widely accepted, but since the tapes still circulate with the latter dates, and Deadlists remains a bit noncommittal, I thought I'd lay it out.

Argument 1: The GD played Eagles Auditorium on Friday 1/26 and Saturday 1/27, 1968.

There is both ex ante and ex post evidence for this.

For ex ante evidence, to the left is an item in the Seattle Times dated 1/23/68.

Here is a calendar listing for 1/27/68, published on the day of the second (Saturday) show:
There were also articles written ex post in the Helix, as the following two. Note that I am not entirely sure about the volume/issue/date. I noted these as v2 n 13 (2/1/68), but according to the University of Washington's Special Collections Helix scans, this is v2 n10. The microfilm from which I was working made it exceptionally difficult to figure out this sort of thing, insofar as it was legibly identified at all.

What do we learn from this? The Quick and the Dead played late January 1968 Friday-Saturday shows at Eagles Auditorium. The GD, on 'jc''s account, opened the second show with Lovelight.

There is a poster in Art of Rock, plate 3.104, p. 287; see also p. 249.

By the way, the liner notes from the Golden Road boxset give the Seattle Eagles Auditorium dates as 1/26-27/68.

In sum: I believe the evidence establishes that the GD played Eagles Auditorium on January 26-27, 1968.

Argument 2: The Quick and the Dead did not play Eagles Auditorium in Seattle on January 22-23, 1968 (Monday-Tuesday).

As far as I can tell, the only evidence in support of this dating is the labeling of GD vault tapes. Now, I am aware that notwithstanding the chemicals that could have been involved, GD vault tape labels are incredibly reliable. So when I say "only" I don't mean to deprecate this empirical source; I merely mean to say that this is the unique evidence that is known to me. Material from "1/23/68 Seattle" has been issued on the official release Road Trips v2 n2, and of course material with both dates has circulated for some time in collecting circles.

Evidence against the 1/22 and 1/23/68 dating is entirely mostly of the "dog that didn't bark" sort. There are no known posters. There were no show announcements in the Seattle Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the University of Washington Daily, nor, most importantly, in that masterpiece of Seattle psychedelic underground journalism, the Helix.

Update: I have found a dog barking, albeit quietly, about 1/23/68. The Seattle Times, January 14, 1968, p. 85 (or is it B5?), has a little item entitled "Hanauer, David in 10-Rounder Here" about a World Wide Boxing Club event. Seems Jack Hanauer, a middleweight from Pasco, was going to meet Indian Joe David of Oakland. There were a few other fights on the card. Most importantly, the fight was scheduled for January 23rd in Eagles Auditorium. Indeed, the January 23rd opening date for the fight club was announced as early as 12/31/67 in the same paper.

Based on spending a little bit of time with these sources, I am 100% persuaded that any GD show at Eagles and/or otherwise in Seattle would have been advertised and/or otherwise covered in some of these sources, ex ante and/or ex post. The GD's first visit to Seattle, AFAIK, was in July 1967. That show was extensively advertised, including with a poster. The "Be-In" that afternoon at Golden Gardens Park, before the Eagles' show, was reported in the P-I. Similarly, the Eagles Shows on September 8-9, 1967, featured a nice ad in the Helix. The January 26-27 shows were advertised widely and much-discussed.

Finally, reading the above in particular, there is just zero intimation that the GD shows on Friday-Saturday are taking place after a set of Monday-Tuesday shows that same week. Does this make sense? There's no mention anywhere that they had just played the same venue a few days before. By contrast, there's lots of "sense" in the coverage that the Quick and the Dead came upon a Seattle that was barely ready for them. The rube Seattlites are made to seem like they have a lot to learn. Hard to imagine that'd be necessary if the GD had warmed them up just a few days before.

In sum, notwithstanding the apparent existence of taped in the GD vaults labeled with these dates, I argue that no GD shows took place at Eagles Auditorium in Seattle on January 22-23, 1968.

I have no idea what would explain the mislabeling of the tapes. Maybe 1/22-23 were originally scheduled, and maybe since the GD were recording for the album tapes were pre-labeled before they were rescheduled. Just one less thing to do on tour, and all that. I have no idea. But unless some other evidence turns up, I am compelled to conclude that 1/22-23/68 Quick and Dead shows are phantoms.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

NRPS, January 1971

I have some uncertainty about whether NRPS played with the GD during the handful of January 1971 shows. The New Riders' official tour history from 1971 has listed these shows:

1/21/71, Freeborn Hall, UC Davis, Davis, CA
1/22/71, Lane Community College, Eugene, OR
"1/25/71", Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, WA (should be 1/24/71)

The problem, for me, is that I haven't been able to find any evidence that the NRPS were actually at these shows. update: 1/21/71 is now confirmedI have seen a nearly illegible scan of a University of Oregon Daily Emerald piece dated 1/21/71 that, as far as I can make it out, makes no mention of the New Riders. A report on a gate-crashing incident from the same publication, date unknown but certainly right afterward, is simililarly silent. The Seattle Times mention to the left notes that Ian and Sylvia are on the bill --interesting in its own right for us NRPS-ologists, given that Buddy was probably still with them!-- but no NRPS.

Rob Bleetstein, the NRPS archivist, told me where the listings came from, and while I don't recall the specifics I think it was just assumed that the NRPS were at these shows. I have my doubts, for two main reasons.

First, the dog don't bark in any documentary evidence that I can find. I'll keep looking.

Second, NRPS were at Wally Heider's on 1/18-20/71, based on documents I have seen. I'll bet they had to stay home and work on the album while Jerry and the boys took off for a few days.

JGB: October 27, 1982, Rissmiller's Club, Reseda, CA

Tapes have circulated dated October 27, 1982 from Rissmiller's Club in Reseda, CA. I seem to recall that at ont point such a date was listed at the Jerry Site and that I myself got the idea that it was bogus and deleted it. I can't remember why. Anyway, the image of the Rissmiller's marquee, above (I'd like to give photo credit, but I don't know where it came from), seems to suggest that there were indeed shows on the 27th and the 28th. Would love to get confirmation from someone who attended and/or knows the story ...

Update: I have posted listening notes from a "Closet Call" audience tape of the 10/27/82 show.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Jerry with Merl and/or Martin, ca. 1974, The Sand Dunes

We know that Jerry Garcia was playing around outside the GD to a varying, but always non-zero, extent throughout the career of his most famous band. We have a sense that this was happening more, and more loosely, in the early days (at least pre-1976) and less, and in a more routinized/institutionalized way after that. How much this was happening in the "early days" is probably impossible to fathom, because by definition the less institutionalized stuff leaves less of a footprint (tapes, advertisements, etc.) than the more so. Measurement is harder, and the data are biased against the real loose stuff. We are left with some stories, a vague sense, but little else.

I don't want to go into more detail about all that here, but I want to report on a few tantalizing tidbits I found in the Oakland Tribune in 1974. A first reads as follows (1):

The Merl Saunders Band, which featured Jerry Garcia on guitar and Martin Fierro on sax on alternating weeks at the Sand Dunes in San Francisco, has changed its name to Aunt Monk featuring Saunders and Fierro with equal billing. Mondays at the Sand Dunes.

A second article discussing the Sand Dunes (2) at slightly greater length also notes that "Merl Saunders and Martin Fierro play Monday nights when not with Jerry Garcia, and Garcia has shown up on some Mondays, too."


It certainly sounds plausible. We know that 1974 was a busy year for Jerry playing around (TJS has 119 entries for the year). We know that Merl had regular non-Jerry gigs as the house performer around this time (as, apparently, at the Generosity in 1975), at which Jerry would sometimes drop in (as, apparently, at the Generosity on Feb. 14, 1975 and May 9, 1975). As the information below will show, Jerry had almost every Monday night in 1974 free as far as is known to me: 27 free and not known to be outside Bay Area, 12 booked and/or out of town. So what's to stop him?

Regarding the venue, based on another mention from earlier in the year (3), it seems that the Sand Dunes was at 46th and Taraval. Here is a regular Google map of the location:

View Larger Map

Here is a street view:

View Larger Map

Hard for me to tell on this basis where the bar might have been. I am intrigued by the idea that it might be 3639 Taraval, apparently a watering hole now called The Riptide ("On the edge of the Western world"). It's not the corner of 46th and Taraval, but it's less than a block away and may have been the obviously intended location at the time, who knows.

[update: in comments, Yellow Shark has confirmed the address as 3599 Taraval St, San Francisco, CA 94116]

Anyway, below is a list of the Mondays in 1974 up until the October 6th article. I have provided info where there seems to be a conflict. That leaves lots of open dates, about which we are of course very unlikely ever to know anything. BTW, the dates with (*) probably warrant some explanation (i.e., a further post), and I do think I'll get to the 7/22 one at some point, but not now.

19740422 - JG probably in LA*
19740513 - GD between Reno and Missoula
19740520 - GD between Portland and Seattle
19740617 - GD between Des Moines and Louisville
19740624 - GD between Miami and Providence
19740701 - JG probably in NYC
19740722 - JGMS at Keystone, Berkeley*
19740729 - GD in Landover
19740805 - GD in Philly
19740902 - JGMS gig in Marx Meadow, Golden Gate Park
19740909 - GD in London
19740916 - GD presumably still in Europe


- (1) "Rap-Up's Wrap Up," Oakland Tribune, August 25, 1974, p. 2-RAP.
- (2) Art George, "The State of the Small Club," Oakland Tribune, October 6, 1974, p. 4-RAP.
- (3) "Rap Up's Wrap Up," Oakland Tribune, July 21, 1974, p. 2-RAP.