Saturday, October 23, 2010

JGB: November-December 1977 East Coast Tour Rarities

1977 The Jerry Garcia Band (JGB) was formed in 1975 to be a professional recording and touring band, and in productive years the Band would do a late-year East Coast tour. I'd guess the germ of this tradition formed in 1973, when Garcia and Saunders played the Hell's Angels Forever gig on the S.S. Bay Belle in NYC Harbor (September 5th) and then a billed gig at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ on September 6th. The next year (1974) they did a full two-week tour and then (1975), JGB proper (Garcia, Kahn, Tutt, Hopkins) did a slightly shorter one of ca. twelve days.

The 1977 East Coast JGB tour is interesting for a bunch of reasons which I won't get into here. Let me just point out that it has a few very-rarely-played things that are worth hearing.

On 11/21/77 at the Hofstra Playhouse in West Hempstead, NY, the JGB did early and late shows. I don' t have show times - should be easy enough to elicit some ticket stubs or find some ads. The early show features a clear "Here Comes the Sun" melody about seven minutes into, of all songs, "Stir It Up". This would happen three more times: 11/29/77 (SUNY New Paltz) [TJS | JGMF], 12/4/77 (Rutgers) and 12/10/77a (Warner Theater, Washington, DC).

On 11/26/77 at the Cap Theatre in Passaic, they did early show (need time) and 11 pm late show. The second song of the early show is "They Love Each Other", which has a fascinating "Close Encounters" theme  tucked into it about four minutes in. Funny combination. Anyway, the JGB had seen the movie in New York City within a few days of this show, and out comes the famous five-note sequence in an unlikely place. It would show up again on 12/11/77 (Recreation Hall, Pennsyvlania State University, State College, PA) during the last number, "Lonesome and a Long Way From Home " (LAALWFH), and it was also hinted at during "Don't Let Go" on 12/3/77 [TJS | JGMF]

11/26/77b, I note "LAALWFH is very nice, with some "Fire on the Mountain" themes in the 7-min. mark." There are a few "FOTM" themes in Garciadom: 10/10/68 with the Hartbeats, during what I call the "New Potato Caboose-ish Jam" that starts the proceedings; 8/21/71, during the Mickey Hart Barn Jam; and the amazing 4/3/76 late show, also during LAALWFH.

There may be other things to uncover ... it wouldn't surprise me if there isn't another "Close Encounters" theme or two lurking around. Hell, maybe Corry already wrote this up in Golden Road! And, as I said above, there's much, much more to say about this whole tour, but I'll have to save that for another post.


  1. Nick notes that John and Jerry bat the Close Encounters theme around after Midnight Moonlight on 12/9/77 (shnid-77713).


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