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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Reading Notes: Kahlbacher, Gene. 1974. Aquarian Interview: New Riders of the Purple Sage. Aquarian, January 29 – February 12, 1974, pp. 14, 27, 31.

NB: I didn’t have the year of this publication, somehow. But from the context of Torbert leaving and Battin just arriving, I believe it is 1974.

Kahlbacher 1974, 14: How much of an inspiration has JG been to NRPS, and was he its Founding Father? Spencer Dryden: “Rather than father, I look to Jerry for inspiration. But he doesn’t want to hear any more about it.” JG doesn’t want to be seen as a mystic.

Kahlbacher 1974, 14: Dawson on origins of NRPS: “I was wandering around for a long time at several colleges and not really knowing what the goal was. … I’d learned to play the guitar a long time back, but I never practiced a whole bunch. … I was wandering around and this whole bunch of changes came down on me. For one thing, I ceased trying to get a group together right then, as I had been for a long time. I finally came down to the point of saying ‘This obviously isn’t what’s happening right now, and instead of wasting my time trying to do that – putting my energies into something that isn’t panning – I should put my energies into something that is working. So I got a gig in a little coffee house, playing and singing songs … eventually it came down where Jerry Garcia was learning pedal steel guitar at the same time that I was trying to learn how to be a singer and pick a few songs. We got together on a kind of thing where I’d come to his living room and I’d plunk out simple tuns for him to try to put steel licks behind.”

Kahlbacher 1974, 14: Nelson: “I played in a bunch of bands, mostly bluegrass bands. There were lots of clubs we played … Later I played with Torbert in an electric band called the New Delhi River Band, and then I was with Pete Albin and Dave Getz.”

Kahlbacher 1974, 14: Dryden’s entry into NRPS: “The tune ‘Dirty Business,’ actually, made me join the Riders. I was leaving the Airplane, and McIntyre [sic] and Owsley came down to the big house [the Airplane House] … and said ‘You really should see the New Riders. I think you might be able to help them out’. But I was thinking of producing, not playing. I was tired. I’d been through that before. But I went down to see them [NRPS] at the Family Dog on the beach, on the Great Highway … At the time the drummer for the Riders was Mickey Hart, and they also have Phil Lesh and Jerry Garcia. So the thing was, I wasn’t doing anything, and Mickey was looking for his own trip which culminated in his producing a solo album, Rolling Thunder.”

Kahlbacher 1974, 14: how have NRPS evolved since they were just opening for GD? Dryden: “It’s evolved … graduated. Jerry was working two gigs at once and doing extra recordings, and it became hard. Two sound checks [raising his eyebrows]. He was working the equivalent of 12-14 hours a day. It’s rough, man. He’s got other things he wants to do, other people he wants to play with, other music he wants to make. So we went out [in 1971] and got Buddy.”

Kahlbacher 1974, 14: how did Buddy Cage become a member of the group? Dryden: “Buddy, immediately prior to us, was with Ann Murray, from Canada. And before that he was with Ian and Sylvia [Tyson] and the Great Speckled Bird. When the guys made that train trip across Canada … we met up with Buddy and it was a real flash. And for Jerry especially, because he considers himself a novice at the pedal steel. I don’t consider him so, I consider him an innovator. Because he plays differently from almost anybody I’ve heard. But he admits that he didn’t have the chops that Buddy has. I mean, Buddy’s got years and years and it’s his main instrument. It’s Jerry’s second or third: he’s played banjo and mandolin and shit like that, besides electric guitar … Buddy knows how to play that sucker, real clean and real fast. And Jerry’s amazed, yet Buddy’s amazed at Jerry’s chordal formations and legato [smooth] style. Actually, you want to know what really happened? Well, we were making this tour, see. And we called Buddy down ‘cause Jerry said he was gonna quit … this was three [and one-half] years ago. So we got Buddy down, made some rehearsals, and then we were going on tour. But Jerry was still with us. We flew from San Francisco to Atlanta, and Jerry missed the plane. Buddy made the plane. And we got in at something like four in the morning. Jerry couldn’t get there ‘till seven that night and we went on at seven. So the trip was all of a sudden ‘Hey Cage, Garcia’s not here. You wanna go on stage?’ ‘Sure, man’, he says, ‘set up my pedal steel’. He went on and played with us. Jerry came in –they came down and picked him up at 7:30 or so, and he got there at quarter to eight –and he heard the end of the set. Buddy walked off the stage, and Jerry went up to Buddy, shook his hand, and said ‘Man, you just got yourself a gig!’”

Kahlbacher 1974, 27: how Marmaduke got his name: Dawson: “A guy named Rick who was hanging out in this house where we were all hanging out, in the summer of 1965, smoked this large joint of Acapulco Gold one morning just before I came over to visit them. As I walked in, he decided that my name shouldn’t be John Dawson after all, and that ‘Marmaduke’ was much better.”

Kahlbacher 1974, 27: Marmaduke on ‘Last Lonely Eagle’: “It was one of the major comings out of my personal life … one day I ate a couple of chemicals and went wandering around in a place called Pinnacles National Monument with David Torbert and two guys that’re now in his band – Chris Herold and Matthew Kelly, who’s played harmonica on some of our albums. We were wandering around down there and this whole bunch of changes came down on me.”

Kahlbacher 1974, 27: why did Torbert leave the band? Dryden: “He wanted to make other music. And he only joined this band to make an album. He was on his way from Hawaii to Europe about three or four years ago. He got a call from Marmaduke, who said ‘Why not come and help us make this [the first] album, play a bit.’ He said okay and stayed with us.”

Kahlbacher 1974, 31: “when Buddy Cage came down from Toronto to join the band … Jerry was totally happy.”

Kahlbacher 1974, 31: do you attribute your success to the band’s association with the GD? Nelson: “It helped.”

GD19710903-4: Harding Theater, SF, CA

Here's another one that puzzles me. This scan from the Berkeley Tribe v.6 n.4 (issue #110) (September 3-9, 1971), p. 13 advertises a benefit for Marin County Head Start featuring Grateful Dead, Howard Wales and Shades of Joy on Friday-Saturday, September 3-4, 1971 at the Harding Theater in San Francisco.

Why post? A few reasons.

First, this is not a Grateful Dead date that's known to me, so it's interesting in that regard. I don't have anything else going on for Jerry on this weekend, so it fits in the schedule. I have an unknown NRPS gig listed for September 5 (Sunday), no venue or other info ... no idea where that comes from. I show Garcia and Saunders at the Harding Theater on September 10 and the NRPS there on September 23. This is an odd little cluster of shows at this venue which begs an explanation, I think, but in any case another couple of gigs fit this little pattern.

Second, last year I had posted on a listing in the (San Rafael) Pacific Sun for a Grateful Dead gig at Marin Vets on 11/28/71 to benefit, you guessed it, Head Start. Nothing more ever turned up and, as Corry said in comments, it seems unlikely that the event happened. But it's weird to find another Head Start connection from just a few months before.

Third, the presence of Howard Wales on the bill is especially interesting. LIA has been writing some incredibly rich posts on the Hartbeats, the surface of which I have barely scratched. In his post on the July 1970 "Hartbeats" gigs, he a) mentions the story that Wales once had an audition with the Grateful Dead; b) notes McNally's timeframe for this of September 1971; but c) speculates that, instead, the Wales audition took place around July 1970 instead. Now here we have a Grateful Dead/Wales co-billing, in September 1971, in the same month during which we know the Grateful Dead were rehearsing their new keyboard player, who turned out to be Keith Godchaux.

The listing that forms the object of this post makes me return to the September 1971 time frame for Howard's GD "audition". Let me go a step further ... the story of Keith becoming a member of the GD is well known. Here's how Donna relates it, from Blair Jackson's fantastic cutting room floor, once she and Keith had flashed on him playing with the GD:

"We went home, looked in the paper and saw that Garcia's band was playing at the Keystone, so we went down, of course. At the break, Garcia walked by going backstage, so I grabbed him and said, 'Jerry, my husband and I have something very important to talk to you about.' And he said, 'Sure.' I didn't realize that everyone does that to him. So Garcia told us to come backstage, but we were both too scared, so we didn't. A few minutes later, Garcia came up and sat next to Keith, and I said, 'Honey, I think Garcia wants to talk to you. He's sitting right next to you.' He looked over at Jerry and looked back at me and dropped his head on the table and said, 'You're going to have to talk to my wife. I can't talk to you right now.' He was just too shy. He was very strong but he couldn't handle that sort of thing. So I said to Jerry, 'Well, Keith's your piano player, so I want your home telephone number so I can call you up and come to the next Grateful Dead practice.' And he believed me! He gave me his number."

(Actually, Keith was not completely unknown in the Grateful Dead world. Betty Cantor had used him on a studio session for a record by James & the Good Brothers and thought very highly of him.)
 (That last bit isn't especially germane, but I wanted to note the James & The Good Brothers connection, having just posted on it, and note further that, per Matt Scofield's deaddisc, Keith is not credited on that album. FYI, FWIW, etc.)

Why do I quote that at such length? Well, I observe that Garcia and Saunders played the Keystone Korner on September 16, 1971 (listing in Hayward Daily Review, September 16, 1971, p. 25). I note that circulating recordings of Keith's GD rehearsals are dated from September 27. So, wild speculation time, friends and neighbors: I suggest that September 3-4 at the Harding were the tryouts with Wales, that it didn't go especially well, that Keith and Donna buttonholed Jerry on September 16, and that Keith started in not more than 11 days later with the Grateful Dead. How's that for an extrapolation?!?
I also wonder, compounding speculation with speculation, if all of this might not tie into all of the record company backing and forthing and the relatively long gestation period of Hooteroll? (remember -- All Hooteroll?, All The Time!), which wasn't released until December. Again, I know I am going way beyond the evidence, but isn't it also interesting that Shades of Joy is on this bill, another Douglas Records client?

Sorry to throw so much out there with this. Anyway, here's an attempt at a summary of what this post does:
  • identifies previously unknown GD gig
  • may well pin down the date of Howard Wales's "audition" with the GD
  • may well pin down the "when Keith & Donna met Jerry" date at Keystone Korner
  • may well identify some connections between all of this and the record company scramble around this whole group of people around this time.
OK, 'nuff for now, I guess. The Berkeley Tribe is a masterpiece!

James and the Good Brothers (Courtesy of the Grateful Dead)

Found this interesting. The New Orleans House ad from the Berkeley Tribe v.3 n.15 (issue 67) (October 16-23, 1970), p. 21 lists "James & The Good Brothers (Courtesy of the Grateful Dead)" for Friday-Saturday, October 13-14, 1970.

Corry has said this about the connection between the bands:

James and The Good Brothers were a Canadian trio (James Ackroyd and twins Bruce and Brian Good). They made contact with the Dead on the infamous “Festival Express” train trip, and were invited to San Francisco. They recorded an album for Columbia (NRPS’s label), produced by Betty Cantor-Jackson, with Bill Kreutzmann on drums, and possibly an uncredited Jerry Garcia.

He has mentioned them again in the context of a post on the Festival Express, while the post quoted above is primarily about a Garcia guest shot with them in February 1971 at the Fillmore West.

This ad interests me for a few reasons. First, I don't recall seeing much stuff like this in pawing through old ads and the like. How common was this, and what did the "courtesy of" really mean? Was this just advertising, or would the GD somehow have contributed financially?

Second, Matt Scofield's deaddisc entry for the JATGB album contains contradictory information, with the story quoted from Corry above alongside the claim that "After moving to California to play some gigs they were 'spotted' by Jack Casady and Bill Kreutzmann - attention that eventually led to a recording deal. This LP was the result." So the one version has them hooking up with the GD on the train and then coming to CA, while the other says they were already in CA when Jack and Billy "spotted" them. Not a big deal, but I do wonder which one is closer to the truth.

Third, maybe most importantly to me, I wonder how the various record deals floating around relate to this, if at all. In our various Hooteroll? discussions (I guess this one was the last post that I did), there was lots of talk of how the pieces of the puzzle --Garcia, Hooteroll?, NRPS, Rolling Thunder, the GD's contracts, etc. etc.-- all fit together (and not). I wonder when JATGB signed with Columbia (and precisely when NRPS) did, and how it is that the GD were "promoting" them, as it were.

Anyway, really just a "hmmmm...", from my perspective.

Near-Miss with the Rubber Duck Mime Band: June 2-3, 1970, Mandrake's, Berkeley, CA

WAS TITLED "NRPS: June 2-3, 1970, Mandrake's, Berkeley, CA"

But Paul Dresher has confirmed that, while Garcia was in the ad, he did not play this night.

So, the Mandrake's ad from the Berkeley Tribe v2 n21 (issue 47) (May 29 - June 5, 1970), p. 16, lists the following for Tuesday & Wednesday, June 2-3, 1970: "The Rubber Duck Mime Band and Jerry Garcia." It looks to me like there was some last-minute rough resetting of the listing. I am going to assume that this is the New Riders of the Purple Sage, probably warming up for the big Fillmore West gigs that would run June 4-7, 1970. That would be the first hometown appearance of the "An Evening with the Grateful Dead" format, and I am guessing they wanted everything to be Just Exactly Perfect (i.e., rehearsed/warmed up). Since COAU doesn't list this, I thought it should be added to our various lists.

It seems that Garcia was used in the advertising, but didn't play this gig with the Rubber Duck (nor was it a NRPS gig). Paul Dresher, commenting chez LIA:
Glen [Frendel] played the Mandrakes show that some think Jerry Garcia also played. I was there, and Garcia did NOT play that evening. I would have remembered that well, as at that point, Jerry was my greatest guitar hero and the Dead my favorite band. While Garcia’s name might have been in the marketing for the show, he didn't play that show, Glen did.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

GD/NRPS: April 19, 1971, Gymnasium, Hofstra University, West Hempstead, NY (CANCELED)

Corry and I have been documenting some of the GD's early 1971 logistical difficulties.
I might advance the argument that the March-April 1971 tour was the last peak of these kinds of problems. The tour was a big success, as far as I can tell, and thereafter the GD's popularity was cemented in lots of different towns. The release of Skullfuck from shows from the tour probably helped reinforce this popularity. After spring 1971, scheduling seems to have become easier. That's not to say that there still weren't snafus, even lots of them. But it is to say that just as the GD became a more musically-competent touring unit during this period, but also a more professional one in lots of ways.

Anyway, reader Dave Tamarkin has graciously sent a photo of this extremely rare poster for a canceled GD/NRPS show scheduled for April 19, 1971 in the Gymnasium, Hofstra University, West Hempstead, NY. Thank you, Dave.

Dave also sends along this story, which I relay in case there are any connections waiting to be made.

In April of 1971, the Grateful Dead were on an extensive tour playing theaters and colleges in the northeast. A scheduled show at Hofstra University was cancelled. To make this up to the students, another show was scheduled for the evening of May 2, 1971 featuring the Alllman Brothers and my friend's band, Boswell. My friends attended the afternoon concert at CCNY, also with the Youngbloods, and then opened for the Allman Brothers that night. The evening show had a ticket charge of $0.50! Boswell was made up of some good friends of mine from Long Island. They later morphed into the New Mississippi Sheiks and then just the Sheiks. Great local band. I used to work for them and taped them many times. John Cipollina played with them in the summer of 77 and we opened for some great acts including Vassar Clements and Dan Hicks among others.

Hard Road

Anyone know anything more about this publication, Hard Road? This is volume 1, no. 1 (July 20, 1970), and it seems to have been planned as a weekly. Not sure there was ever a no. 2 ... anyone know? Seemed to be out of Mill Valley.

Anyway, just because.

The interview contained in the mag was conducted Monday, June 22, 1970 in the early evening at Garcia's place in Larkspur. It's interesting. It also contains a reference to the 6/21/70 GD/NRPS show at Pauley Ballroom, UC Berkeley. Garcia seems a little grouchy, a little short with the sometimes stilted questions.

Anyway, if there is more of Hard Road, I'd love to know about it!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Robert Hunter and Betty Cantor-Jackson photo by dgans

"Title: Bob and Betty.
dgans's description: Robert Hunter and a bewigged Betty Cantor-Jackson in the parking lot of Club Front in San Rafael CA, November 1977. I think it was Sonny Heard's bike."

There's a little more of the story of the wig if you click through.

What a fantastic photograph. It's got the time-place-people that it should have, then just so much more than that, so evocative. Hard to get feeling on film, but this one's got it. Thanks for sharing, David.

Obliquely related request (can't say "bleg", just not gonna do't): does anyone remember the trove of scans of Betty's business papers that was on one of the photo sharing sites? There was a smattering of stuff like tour itineraries and all that from '76-'77, etc. If so and if you can put a link in comments, I'd be grateful. Looking for them was how I stumbled into the Bob & Betty picture.

edit: is where they are. Thank you, commenter bRad!

edit2: that link no longer works, but I got most of what I wanted for the JGMF files.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Something told me I wanted to listen to something from the Cats Under the Stars- era sextet of Garcia, Kahn, Buzz Buchanan, Keith and Donna Godchaux, and Maria Muldaur, and I wanted it to be a recording I hadn't made notes on. So, here's what I found: 11/26/77, late show.
This is a pretty subpar performance, IMO. And while I do not endorse the great Jerry Moore's feelings about this late '77 east coast tour, it's never a bad time to see and read what comes off his hand.

"Five Nasty Thoughts on the Jerry Garcia Band," by Jerry Moore, Relix 5, 1 (March-April 1978), p. 33.

I believe I got this scan from Jerry himself, although I can't remember. Anyway, Jerry's "Five Nasty Thoughts" include classics #1 ("The drummer has to go") and #3:
The Garcia Band plays too fucking slow. You can run to the bathroom to piss, buy a magazine, smoke a joint and drink a beer in the lobby, and get back to your seat, all between two notes in one of Garcia's livelier solos.
I do think Jerry is being too harsh, especially on Buzz Buchanan. Looks like the guy had warmup gigs on November 15-16, 1977 at the Keystone, Berkeley (note Tues-Wed night: classic pattern for breaking in a new bandmember; either get off the beaten path, or play a slow night, or both). The GD didn't get back from the east coast until the 7th (TWA 389, scheduled to land @ 3:56 pm), so there wasn't lots of time to rehearse, I'd bet. It's more a band thing than a drummer thing. I think the slow tempos are probably derivative of these "timing" issues, not separate from them.

For a little more on this tour, see these posts:

For this show, looks like John Scher had a pretty good night (though not a sellout): $49,432 gross on 6,912 tickets for the two shows (Billboard, December 10, 1977, p. 48). Sounds like the crowd is having a great time. But it sounds like Jerry and crew are mailing this one in, at least to this listener's ears.

Jerry Garcia Band
Capitol Theater
Passaic, NJ
November 26, 1977 (Saturday)
Late show, 11 pm, $7.50

Disc One (4 tracks, 41:52)
d1t01. John Scher introduction (1) [0:45], Let It Rock [8:34] [0:30] % [0:36]
d1t02. Love In The Afternoon [9:12] %% [0:49]
d1t03. Midnight Moonlight [9:43] [0:30] % [0:28]
d1t04. Russian Lullaby [10:30] [0:17] %

Disc Two (5 tracks, 46:04)
d2t01. % ramp up [0:19], Tore Up [7:37] [0:37] % [0:19]
d2t02. Gomorrah [6:46] [0:14] % [0:18]
d2t03. The Harder They Come [9:42] [0:31] % [0:13]
d2t04. Mission In The Rain [7:21] [0:38]
d2t05. % Lonesome And A Long Way From Home [11:03] [0:24] %

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn - el-bass;
! lineup: Buzz Buchanan - drums;
! lineup: Keith Godchaux - piano;
! lineup: Donna Jean Godchaux - vocals;
! lineup: Maria Muldaur - vocals.

Field Recordist: Jim Anderson;
Field Recording Location: unknown;
Field Recording equipment: ?2x? AKG D200E mics > Sony TC-152 cassette deck
Subsequent lineage: > 1 cassette gen > SBM1 > CDR > EAC > CD Wave > FLAC, transfered by Rob Berger.

Berger's Notes:
- fair aud but no cuts;
- thanks to Dave Carey for the source tapes.


! Recording: symbols: % = recording discontinuity; / = clipped song; // = cut song; ... = fade in/out; # = truncated timing; [ ] = 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 [x:xx] right after a song title is an attempt to say how long the song really was, as represented on this recording.

! TJS:

! db: (this recording); (unattributed aud)

! R: as Berger says, I'd characterize this as a fair aud. Thanks to Jim Anderson for taping and sharing.

! d1t01 @ 0:10 (1) John Scher introduction: "Good evening. A new member of our band, on drums, Mr. Buzz Buchanan. On keyboards, Mr. Keith Godchaux. ... [inaudible] ... Ms. Maria Muldaur. On bass, the inimitable, the incredible Mr. John Kahn! ... [Garcia intro inaudible due to crowd cheering]"

! R: things get off to a rough start, way overloaded at the start of LIR

! d1t01 crowd is definitely enthusiastic ...

! P: d1t02 LITA Jerry can barely sing here, holy smokes. They aren't even halfway through the tour yet, and his voice is blown - ouch. And he's not really hitting the lyrics very well, either. Sheesh. Not sure why the crowd is so appreciative.

! P: d1t03 Buzzy Buchanan is having a hard time with the pacings ... Jerry has to start Midnight Moonlight. This is a too-slow version, IMO, though it has an interesting place in the setlist. I really wonder how much they rehearsed ol' Buzzy.

! d1t04 Russ Lull has the bass solo 4:45 ... it's actually pretty good.

! Lots of "Jerry!!!" yelling from the crowd. STFU, dude.

! P: d2t03 HTC it takes them 18 seconds to get the tempo right before they can start the song.

! P: d2t05 I even find this LAALWFH flaccid ... WTF?

! P: my overall impression on this listen (3/18/2011) is that this show is pretty weak. Punch in, mail it in for 90 minutes, punch out and party some more.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

GD19680902 - Sky River Rock Festival and Lighter Than Air Fair, Betty Nelson's Organic Raspberry Farm, Sultan, WA

Reader Dave T kindly sent along this beautiful scan of an account of the-amazing sounding Sky River Rock Festival, Betty Nelson's Organic Raspberry Farm, Sultan, WA, August 31-September 2, 1968 (1).

We are very fortunate to have a delightful Charlie Miller board tape of the Grateful Dead's set, which is pretty freaking ferocious, more the fire breathing dragon of May-August than the slightly more controlled unit of the following February. I sure would like to hear the New Lost City Ramblers' set too, though! (Greedy, I know.) Apparently it was a Really Good Time, a financial bust for the organizers (including a philosophy professor from UW, John Chambless, an interesting-sounding guy), and plans were announced to do it again the next year.

Anyway, for GD-oriented people this will be the point of greatest interest: "The pinnacle of the festival was reached in a soulful blues session led by Big Mama Thornton, accompanied by James Cotton on mouth harp, Ron (Pigpen) McKernan (of the Grateful Dead) on organ, one of the Dead's two drummers, and a guitarist." First, I don't know of any other Pigpen sit-ins off-hand ... are there others? Second, one certainly wonders whether the guitarist was Garcia. More like him than Weir, I'd wager, and though it doesn't say a GD guitarist the GD set preceded Big Mama Thornton's to close the festival. So I'd say it's likely Garcia was around (given that Pigpen and a drummer were).

There is certainly a ton more to say about this Festival. I am sure McNally has a lot to say, probably Jackson as well. Accounts are that "the Grateful Dead arrived unscheduled and unexpected" (2). I recall that there was lots of material in the Seattle Helix about the festival ... like page after page after page of reports, band profiles, pictures, art, etc. If I were to have time and inclination to investigate this festival further, that's where I'd start. Since I don't have the time, maybe some intrepid researcher wants to spin through the Helix on the Underground Newspaper microfilm collection. The Helix is a real masterpiece, though the b&w films somehow seem to project salt into the reader's eyes.

Anyway, as is my wont, I mostly wanted to post this great scan about a neat-sounding day. Thanks, Dave!

(1) Lowell Richards, "Blues Outclasses Rock At Sky River Festival," Downbeat, October 31, 1968, p. 11.
(2) "Sky River Rock Festival and Lighter Than Air Fair opens a three-day run near Sultan, Washington, on August 30, 1968." Essay 5425. URL, accessed 3/17/2011.

JGB "1st Northern California Tour": August 6-8, 1981

One of the oddest little jaunts you'll find the in Garcia On The Side histories is one billed as the "1st Northern California Tour", comprising the following three off-the-beaten-path gigs:

I have just posted listening notes for the only recordings known to me of the August 6-7 shows (follow the links above), though the latter might well be from the 8th. If there are other recordings out there, even really nasty old cassettes, I'd love to be able to give them a listen.

Here I just want to reflect a little bit on this mini tour. Let me start with the ad that ran in BAM magazine. I first reproduce the full page in bad quality (including the TOC for the 7/31/81 issue of BAM, which is still an unindexed goldmine of late 70s-1980s Bay Area music information), and then a clearer but less complete scan focusing on the Garcia ad.

The tour is interesting for a few reasons. First, it occurs during a particularly fluid time in terms of membership of the Jerry Garcia Band. So I'll cover personnel issues first. Second, it's just a weird little tour. So I'll say maybe a thing or two about the tour overall, maybe a sort of business/economic aspect. Third, I'll just open up a slightly broader context to the rest of 1981.

First, personnel was extremely fluid around this time.

a. Keyboards. At the start of the year, Melvin Seals had come in on the Hammond B-3 organ, and Jimmy Warren was also brought on as keyboardist on his electric piano (I think it was a Fender Rhodes, but I am not sure). So, here we have Melvin and Jimmy Warren on keys, which is confirmed by the two tapes.

b. Drums. Historically, TJS did not show a drummer between 6/1 and 12/17, when Kreutzmann is said to come in. We know from our various discussions here and elsewhere, ultimately reflected in and derived from Corry Arnold's contemporaneous lists, that Bill Kreutzmann came in on drums for the Concord Pavilion show on September 7, 1981. I think he was also drumming in the Bay Area on December 17-18-19, while Ron Tutt had apparently taken the October-November 1981 national tour, as well as the other September '81 Bay Area shows. Anyway, Corry reckons that Daoud Shaw was around until Concord, i.e., through 8/23. That makes a lot of sense. Shaw and Essra Mohawk were an item, and both disappear from September 7 forward. So, here we presumably have Daoud Shaw drumming (though there are no guarantees of this).

c. Backing vocals. This is understood to be the short-lived Liz Stires-Essra Mohawk tandem on backing vocals. They debuted June 25, 1981 at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, their first, the first Garcia Band show with backing vocalists since the Donna Jean Godchaux-Maria Muldaur arrangement vanished in late 1978. Essra appears to be gone by 9/7/81, replaced by Julie Stafford, so apparently our "School House Rock" heroine only sang a dozen or so times with the JGB.) (For more on backing vocalists, see here for early 80s, here for mid-1982 and here for late 1983.)

(One further note here, on Concord 9/7/81, JGBP says "Actually GD Archives source mentions Liz's sister. It's handwritten. [MS 332 Ser. 3, Box 1:2, GDR: Show Files: GD Concert Dates-Tour Schedule, Grateful Dead Archives, Special Collections, McHenry Library, UC Santa Cruz, CA].)

d. Bass. This is usually a non-issue: it was John Kahn. But recall that on 6/25/81 (Santa Cruz), 6/26/81 (Fox Warfield Theatre, San Francisco) and 8/22/81 (Fairfax Pavilion!) Phil Lesh played bass with the JGB, and Kahn was not present. I don't know anything about why this was the case, nor why John would miss a few more shows in March 1982, when David Torbert filled in. No point in me speculating about it, I just don't know. Anyway, based on a review of the two tapes of this mini-tour that I have heard, The Mule is in the house.

e. Summarizing, here's my best guess as to the personnel of the Jerry Garcia Band for the August 6-8, 1981 "1st Northern California Tour":

  • Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
  • John Kahn - el-bass;
  • Melvin Seals - keyboards (Hammond B3 organ);
  • Jimmy Warren - keyboards (Fender Rhodes electric piano);
  • Daoud Shaw - drums;
  • Essra Mohawk - backing vocals;
  • Liz Stires - backing vocals.
Second point for this post, what an odd little tour.

a) It was organized as a set, it was advertised in BAM, there were posters made, etc. There's a promoter behind this. Yet I don't see that kind of information in the materials. Doesn't seem like Graham, both because his name isn't on the materials and because it's just too obscure. He seemed to let littler, further downmarket, and/or farther flung places be by this time. Since most of them seemed to pose little meaningful competition (and many seemed to come and go, change names, and generally struggle), he didn't really need to compete on that margin. UPDATE: This is a Keystone Family joint.

b) The itinerary is pretty unlikely. San Rafael to Salinas to Davis to Stockton to San Rafael? Now Salinas has the whiff of Steinbeck (less now than in '81) and is close to Monterey. Davis is a really nice college town. Even Stockton, not generally considered a desirable place to be, brings some California Delta charm, where the Gold Rush meets the Central Valley, all of which one can appreciate in an anthropological sort of way. But not in August. We're talking easy triple digits in all three of these places, but especially Stockton. August 8th in Stockton ... oof. I start sweating just thinking of it.  I'll reserve judgment on the halls; a Fox Theatre can, of course, be a magnificent thing. So I am not knocking any of this, just suggesting that it's a bit odd.

c) Putting these together, it's the juxtaposition of utterly implausible levels of organization with utterly implausible itinerary that really strikes me. There are few other tours that look quite like this that I can think of. There were lots of obscure gigs in lots of obscure places beyond the core Bay Area over the years, of course. But most didn't have the faintest whiff of business professionalism about them, with the exception of the Freddie Herrera clubs (in which Ol' Jer played a ton, 'a'course). The only other tours were typically larger scale (N > 3 shows), usually further away (e.g., midwest <--> east coast). The SoCal tours bear the closest resemblance, such as the couple-day jaunts by Legion of Mary in March (7-9) 1975, Reconstruction in July 1979 and JGB in May (17-20) 1984. But SoCal is a plane ride, and anyway with all of John's people and places down there it's probably very comfortable. These places 100 miles from SF are actually less convenient in lots of ways.

Third, just a note about the rest of the year, especially re recordings. The Garcia shows that follow this one are pretty well represented. August 20-21-22-23 are ca. 70% in circulation (missing most of two of eight sets, less a little) and represent the last Phil Lesh guest slot (8/22) and the apparent end of Daoud Shaw and Essra Mohawk's time with the JGB. There are a number of dates from after that not in circulation that I know of (scanning TJS 1981, 9/20/81, 10/25/81, 10/27/81, etc.), but there's enough sprinkled through that we can interpolate across most of them.

Before this minitour is a different deal. Going back three months (to May), I see these dates unrepresented (back of the napkin only!): 5/20/81, 5/23/81, 5/24/81, 5/27/81, most of 5/28/81, 5/30/81s1 [now see shnid-116252], 5/31/81, 6/1/81, and 7/23/81 and 7/24/81 [now see shnid-132091]. Only 5.5 of the 18 JGB shows in this period currently circulate in the digital realm, to my knowledge. And the May shows might be interesting. Melvin and Jimmy and Daoud had been around since January so they were broken in, yet the evidence of what would come -- the recruitment of the backing vocalists from 6/25/81-- suggests that Garcia (and/or Kahn) was/were not satisfied with what the band was doing. As Kahn would tell Blair Jackson, "it wasn't one of our better bands" (Jackson 1999, p. 321), though it's not clear if he meant before the vocalists came, after they arrived, or both. We get the strong sense from this same material that Garcia's heroin use is escalated at this time. In any case, having almost an entire month of gigs missing here is a drag. If anyone knows of any of these tapes, please contact me, as I'd like to study them!

Anyway, mostly I just liked the artwork and wanted to shout out for BAM, and the rest of this is just an excuse to post those scans. ;-)

Jackson, Blair. 1999. Garcia: An American Life. New York: Penguin Books.

! see also: JGMF, "JG19810624: Wednesday, June 24, 1981, Sherwood Hall, Salinas, CA (UNCERTAIN),"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

'Nice Hat, John': JGB at Freeborn Hall, UC Davis, August 7, 1981

 LN jg1981-08-07.jgb.all.aud-CC.xxxxxx.flac2448

Having just posted about the JGB Salinas show on August 6, 1981, here I just drop the raw data on a pretty grungy old tape of what purports to be the next night, Friday, August 7, 1981 at Freeborn Hall, UC Davis, Davis, CA.

One of the great things about lots of these old audience tapes is the crowd chatter and such, which can be revealing. In this case, first, I think I hear a couple of crowd references to John Kahn. Not a big deal, but worth establishing since he was hit or miss in the summer of '81 (Phil Lesh subbing in on 6/25, 6/26 and 8/22). Second, I hear some troubling references to "Saturday night" that make me wonder whether this really isn't the next night, Saturday, August 8, 1981 at the Fox Theatre in Stockton, CA. I don't know of any other purported source for the 7th, nor of any tape at all for the 8th, which doesn't even have a setlist at the Jerry Site, so it's going to be hard to figure out. In the absence of anything else we'll have to go with the tape labeling, I guess, but it does make me wonder.

My main aim with these posts is to set up a post on a possible Salinas show in late June '81 (in addition to August 6) ... amazing how much groundwork I feel like I have to lay before I can say anything at all. I guess the next in this mini series will be a general one on this mini tour, and then I'll get to a possible earlier Salinas gig. Edit: done and done.

One last point: as I am frequently discovering, the tapers have played a vital role in establishing the histories that we currently use. There are other sources, of course, foremost among which is the manuscript tradition centered on Corry Arnold's contemporaneous notes (which themselves derived from, or at least incorporated, Dennis McNally's). But tapes have supplied us with a lot. And the gigs that were "off the beaten path" in terms of the tapers have tended to remain the most obscure. So such shows, including this one but especially the night before and the night following, are doubly obscure -- off the beaten path and not advertised, etc. in the "usual places" (e.g., the pink section of the Chronicle), *and* (not coincidentally) less likely to have been taped, and less circulated into more extensive trader networks even insofar as they were initially recorded.

Anyway, notes on a pretty run-of-the-mill 1981 JGB show follow.

Jerry Garcia Band
Freeborn Hall, University of California at Davis
Davis, CA
August 7, 1981 (Friday)

--Set I (6 tracks, 46:36)--
s1t01. Crowd and Tuning [0:21]
s1t02. The Way You Do The Things You Do [5:01] [1:10]
s1t03. They Love Each Other [6:45] [1:29]
s1t04. Simple Twist Of Fate [13:46] [1:29]
s1t05. I Second That Emotion [8:17] ->
s1t06. De//al [8:#00] [0:15]

--Set II (6 tracks, 45:38)--
s2t01. Crowd and Tuning [1:39]
s2t02. Knockin' On Heaven's Door [12:20] [1:42]
s2t03. (I'm A) Road Runner [5:11] [1:25]
s2t04. Night They Drove Old Dixie Down [8:34] ->
s2t05. Dear Prudence [11:36] ->
s2t06. Midnight Moonlight// [3:09#]

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band
! lineup: Jerry Garcia: el-g, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn: el-bass;
! lineup: Melvin Seals: keyboards (Hammond B3);
! lineup: Jimmy Warren: keyboards
! lineup: Daoud Shaw - drums;
! lineup: Liz Stires - backing vocals;
! lineup: Essra Mohawk - backing vocals.


! Recording: symbols: % = recording discontinuity; / = clipped song; // = cut song; ... = fade in/out; # = truncated timing; [ ] = 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 [x:xx] right after a song title is an attempt to say how long the song really was, as represented on this recording.

! TJS:

! db: no sources as of 3/12/2011.

! Personnel. This lineup reflects the state of my understanding as of March 12, 2011. I think the crowd comments indicate that Kahn is playing bass (which is non-trivial during this particular time period, actually). The dual keyboard approach is audible and that has to be Melvin (probably on a Hammond B3) and Jimmy Warren on electric piano. I can't identify the drummer or backing vocalists. But posts and comments at JGMF (especially do lead me to conclude that it's Daoud Shaw and his partner Essra Mohawk, along with Liz Stires as the second "chick singer".

! R: Tape Specs: unknown gen audience cassette (Maxell XLII90 no Dolby) > Nakamichi BX-300 playback (no Dolby) > Pyle Pro cables > WaveTerminal 2496 > Samplitude 10.1 Download Version (record @ 24 bits/48kHz) > CDWave 1.9.8 (tracking) > Wavelab 5.0.1a (cross-fades, etc.) > shntool (stripped non-canonical headers) > Traders Little Helper 2.4.1 (FLAC encoding, level 8) > Foobar (tagging).

! R: Not a great tape, but not the worst I have heard and immeasurably better than no tape at all. It's well recorded in one sense, which is that they left the tape rolling between songs. One might think that the resulting issues in music (tape flip in Deal, end of Mid Moon cut) would make this a bad choice, but I'd disagree: for an otherwise missing '81 tape in mediocre quality from an odd run of shows, the between-song stuff is arguably just as historically important as 30-second bit of deal or yet another Midnight Moonlight. Fine by me, anyway: thanks, tapers!

! s1t01 crowd talk: TWYDTTYD @ 1:28 "John Kahn on the bass, [?he is good?]"; @ 5:30 "[inaudible] Saturday night"; @ 5:54 guy yells "Saturday Night" ... next guy yells "Terrapin".

! I confess that the discussion of Saturday Night has me confused, if this is really Friday, August 7. Maybe just a little inside joke or something, but it could also indicate that this tape is mislabeled and could actually be the Stockton show (8/8/81)?

! s1t04 STOF JG sounds very rough

! s1t04 crowd talk @ 14:08 audience member yells "Nice hat, John!" ??

! s1t06 Deal tape flip @ 7:50, maybe 30s second missing

! R: One of the people involved taping is definitely a woman. @ 12:56 on s2t02 you can hear her saying something like "the microphone's about the same size as this tape player"

! s2t02 crowd talk: The crowd is calling out tunes late in s2t02, including "Catfish John" and "After Midnight". Good, knowledgeable requests!

! s2t03 Jimmy Warren can best be heard tinkling around in Roadrunner.

! P: s2t04-5 JK is nice and decisive in moving into Dear Prudence from Dixie Down.

! R: s2t06 Midnight Moonlight cuts out. I didn't try to smooth the end.

! Disclaimer: This is part of a "Closet Call" project aimed at making missing Garcia dates available for study. These are "warts and all" ... straight transfers of the source cassettes with editing only of the most offensive tape transitions and such. If you don't like hiss, possible speed problems, etc., etc., then move along. And, to anticipate a FAQ: no, I don't plan on doing 16/44s of these. Thanks to wk for supplying these tapes!

"We Hardly Know Each Other": JGB at Sherwood Hall, Salinas, CA, August 6, 1981

LN jg1981-08-06.jgb.all.aud-unk-russjcan.110492.flac1644

In response to a really intriguing email about possible late June 1981 JGB show in Salinas, about which I have posted separately, and with the generous help of folks over at Lossless Legs, I was able to get my ears around the only circulating tape of JGB on Thursday, August 6, 1981 at Sherwood Hall, 940 North Main Street, Salinas, CA. This is an odd little tour about which I have posted separately.

Anyway, here are a few bottom lines from this listen.

1) This seems to be correctly dated. If indeed there had been a Salinas JGB show in late June '81, it was the first of two. The key evidence here is not only the seeder's personal attendance (augmented by the only tape I know for this date), but a "Happy Birthday Jerry" from the crowd, much more sensible for August 6th then for late June (given Jerry's August 1st birthday).

2) This seems to be John Kahn playing bass. If indeed there had been a Salinas JGB show in late June '81 with Phil Lesh playing (which is my correspondent's recollection), then Kahn's presence here reinforces the case for two separate shows.

3) After Midnight [JB | Allan] is the most interesting song here. Highly imperfect, but worth a listen.

Anyway, notes below.

Jerry Garcia Band
Sherwood Hall
Salinas, CA
August 6, 1981 (Thursday)

--Set I (5 tracks, 44:41)--
s1t01. How Sweet It Is [7:37] [0:13] % [0:31] {08:21}
s1t02. Catfish John [10:04] [0:03] % {10:07}
s1t03. After Midnight [8:22] [0:05] % {08:27}
s1t04. Sittin' in Limbo/ [9:01] % {09:01}
s1t05. //Tangled Up In // Blue [#8:#36] [0:05] % {08:41}

--Set II (5 tracks, 42:03)--
s2t01. crowd (1) [0:52] {00:52}
s2t02. I'll Take a Melody [11:30] [0:02] % [[0:17] {11:49}
s2t03. The Harder They Come [10:43] [0:02] % [0:06] {10:51}
s2t04. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down [8:21] -> {08:21}
s2t05. Dear Prudence [10:03] -> Midnight Moonlight// [0:01] [0:02] % {10:06}

Source specs:

! Unknown gen audience recording > NakCR-3A > AudigySE > Audacity > CDWave > TLH, transfer by Russ Cansler.

Source notes:
Unknown low gen source. Pauses between songs. Tape flip at 7:39 in d1t05. FOB indicated by weak vocals and upfront guitar from amp instead of house sound.  Jerry speaks off mike at the beginning of set 2 when tapers ask him to introduce the band. We weren't allowed in the balcony seats because we were deadheads and might try to smoke or something so everyone was on the floor. Drummer was late resulting in at least an hour between opening act and Jerry. Jerry site lists source as cutting Dear Prudence but this source has Dear Prudence intact and first second of Midnight Moonlight.

Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
John Kahn - el-bass;
Daoud Shaw - drums;
Melvin Seals - keyboards (Hammond B3 organ);
Jimmy Warren - keyboards (electric piano);
Liz Stires - backing vocals;
Essra Mohawk - backing vocals.


! Recording: symbols: % = recording discontinuity; / = clipped song; // = cut song; ... = fade in/out; # = truncated timing; [ ] = recorded event time; {} = track 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 [x:xx] right after a song title is an attempt to say how long the song really was, as represented on this recording.

! Jerrybase:

! R: TJS used to lists a 90 minute aud tape that "cuts in Dear Prudence and is missing the rest of the show." The seeder for this fileset infers that this is a different recording, but of course it's possible that Ryan's reference tape cut at the very end of DP and dropped the 1-second tease of Midnight Moonlight, so I am not sure that issue is settled. For now, I am working on the assumption that the recording I note here is the only one to have made it out of Sherwood Hall that night, but I have often been pleasantly wrong about such things.

! db: (this recording).

! R: running fast. The bass is overloaded and boomy. Seeder is right, this definitely has that FOB feel - the guitar is off the monitors and is quite forward. (Not such a bad thing, after all.)

! Personnel: Sounds like Kahn on bass, not a foregone conclusion during the summer of '81 (see 6/25, 6/26 and 8/22, all of which had Phil Lesh playing bass). The two keyboardists and two backing vocalists are all here. The names here are based on ongoing analysis at JGMF, LLD, and elsewhere and reflect the state of my understanding as of March 15, 2011.

! s1t01 crowd starts up a Happy Birthday for Jerry, good provenance for the date.

! R: Nice tape, nice recording underneath it all. The master is probably a nice listen.

! P: s1t03 After Midnight is extremely coke-fueled. Jerry's switches a tone @ 1:59 for his solo, things start coming in @ about 2:12, and then he is tearing off a raunchy freaking run, foul, foul stuff. He goes around the bases again in the 3-min  mark, switches into the rhythm, turning it over to Jimmy Warren, @ 3:26. Warren's solo is anemic, Melvin steps in for one @ 4:36, is shredding reasonably well for 45 seconds or so, then Jerry jumps over the top for a couple of measures to set up the vocals.

! R: s1t05 TUIB cuts in with massively overblown levels - watch your speakers.

! P: Set I definitely has more of a coke vibe than a heroin vibe.

! R: s1t05 TUIB harsh splice @ 7:39, SQ much brighter afterwards.  Different source?

! R: s2t01 enters harshly, watch your ears.

! s2t01 @ 0:11 taper talk (1): "Will somebody please introduce the band?" Off-mic, Garcia replies "We hardly know each other," gets a good chuckle. It would become --really, already was-- exceptionally rare for Garcia to engage fans in this way.

! R: set II sounds brighter and hissier, more like the source for the end of TUIB than for the rest of set I.

! P: s2t05 JK sounds good @ start of DP

! R: s2t05 Midnight Moonlight is just the first note before the cassette seems to run out.

! What was the name of the opening band?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The end of the November 1974 Jerry Garcia - Merl Saunders (JGMS) east coast tour

There is so much to say about the November 1974 east coast tour undertaken by the Jerry Garcia / Merl Saunders group (the quintet of Garcia [el-g, vocals], Saunders [keyboards, vocals], John Kahn [el-bass], Martin Fierro [horns], and future Lawrence Welk drummer Paul Humphrey).

Garcia had done two national "tours" outside the Grateful Dead prior to this one.
  • First, in January 1972, he went out with Howard Wales behind the Douglas Record Hooteroll? on something like a 10-date tour. I think we have barely scratched the surface with that tour.
  • Second, in June 1973 Old And In The Way booked a midwest/east coast bluegrass festival tour which seems to have fallen apart after a scant 3-4 gigs. Again, we know next to nothing about this.
  • Third, we have this tour. (The gigs at the Bottom Line, New York, NY, July 1-3, 1974 were one-offs, more like "scouting trips" for the tour, in my eyes. One helluva party, it seems like, and another barely documented episode.)

It began at the Bottom Line on Tuesday, November 5, 1974, and ended, I will argue, on Sunday, November 17, 1974 at the Auditorium Theatre in Rochester, NY. By my count the group played 22 shows in 12 days. I am not going to narrate the whole tour, just the end.

TJS currently has the tour running through a Monday night (November 18, 1974) show in The Dome at C.W. Post College in Greenvale, NY. Ryan's note says "All tapes I've seen with this date are really 11/08/74." Indeed. There was a show on Friday, November 8, 1974 in The Dome at C.W. Post College. There are several different tapes and lots of eyewitness accounts (though I'd love to gather more!). It seems pretty open and shut to me that the "11/18/74" dating is just a transcription error from "11/8/74". Not sure the point even needs belaboring, but I guess I'll go ahead and summarize all of the reasons this date is probably bogus:
  • there is lots of evidence for 11/8, no evidence for 11/18 except mislabeled tape;
  • easy to make "11/8" become "11/18".
  • Why would they come back to the same venue ten days later?
  • Why would they do so on a Monday night?

So this is what I think of as a "mere mislabel". The chances that it happened are tiny. How should these data be kept, and for example how should they be displayed at TJS?

In sum, I conclude that the current listing for Garcia and Saunder at C.W. Post College on November 18, 1974 is based on a mislabel of tapes from November 8th.

If "11/18/74" wasn't the last show of the tour, what was? For the night before (Sunday, November 17, 1974), TJS lists Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders at the Auditorium Theatre (*not* the Rochester War Memorial Auditorium) in Rochester, NY. It notes a 145 minute audience recording, which I do not believe I have heard. It also notes information from "Mark Wilkins", who presumably attended the show. There's a quite complete looking setlist as well. I would note, finally, that there is a listing in the (Canandaigua, NY) Daily Messenger, Thursday, November 14, 1974, section two, front page. So, lots of evidence that this show happened, and finishing on a Sunday makes a certain amount of sense.

So far I hope to have done the following:
  • established that "11/18/74" is a "phantom gig";
  • invite feedback on this is a type of phantom gig, and how TJS might represent such data;
  • established that 11/17/74 did occur and was the final show of the 12-day, 22-show marathon (or is it a sprint?) northeast tour.

One last point I'd like to make is that John Kahn seems to have finished up with Garcia and Saunders and picked right up with Maria Muldaur's road band. Nice scheduling!

  • The first Maria Muldaur gig from this tour that I have come across is, you guessed it, Monday, November 18, 1974 (Avery Fisher Hall in New York, NY). It was reviewed in Billboard (1). John Kahn is not mentioned.

  • The second one I came across was the same billing (Maria Muldaur, Livingston Taylor) at the Music Hall in Boston, MA on Friday, November 22, 1974. This was in an ad in the Boston Phoenix (November 12, 1974, p. 6, in the "Don Law Presents" space). 

Obviously I am not trying to narrate this Muldaur tour, though the Kahn story will eventually require all of that to be done. I am just noting the transition for John: finish with Jerry on the 17th, head back to the city for Maria on the 18th. Few more paying gigs (and maybe quite a few ... where were they until the 26th?), not too bad!

I suppose my point about this is that, in those days, Kahn was quite a busy musician. I don't think Garcia was carrying Kahn in 1974.

Stephen, Jim. Talent In Action: Maria Muldaur, Livingston Taylor, Avery Fisher Hall. Billboard, December 14, 1974, pp. 21, 31.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Second Guitarist, No Martin: JGMS, Keystone Berkeley, July 12, 1974

19740712: Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders: Friday, July 12, 1974, Keystone, Berkeley, CA.

There is a second guitarist on this show. I am concluding it's David Nelson, but I am really uncertain. Can anyone else with this recording take a listen? Can anyone shed any more light?

Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders
Berkeley, CA
July 12, 1974 (Friday)

Disc One (6 tracks, 73:35)
--Set I--
1. //Hi-Heel Sneakers [#8:52] [0:49]
2. //Expressway [16:09#] [1:30]
3. He Ain't Give You None [12:08] [0:25]
4. Wondering Why [11:14] [0:16]
5. I Second That// Emotion [12:04#] [1:08]
--Set II--
6. It Ain't No Use [8:37] [0:19]

Disc Two (5 tracks, 46:09)
--Set II (con't)--
1. tuning [0:59]
2. (I'm A) Road Runner [9:19] [0:19]
3. [0:14] That's Alright, Mama [9:54] [0:13]
4. [0:12] It's Too Late [9:4x] [0:10]
5. [0:15] Harder They Come [14:26] [0:20]

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

JGMF Notes:

! Recording: symbols: % = recording discontinuity; / = clipped song; // = cut song; ... = fade in/out; # = truncated timing; [ ] = 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 [x:xx] right after a song title is an attempt to say how long the song really was, as represented on this recording.

! TJS: They mention a 90-minute sbd tape ("complete except missing the last two songs of Set 2") about which I am very skeptical. I got a copy of this from what I think is related to the copy TJS is noting, and I determined it to be a mislabel/hodgepodge of stuff. I am prepared to be disproven on this, and hope indeed that there is a legit alternative recording of this!

! db: (this recording). "MAC (Louis Falanga's onstage Sony ECM-250 > Sony TC-110) > DATx1 > CD > EAC > CD > EAC > SHN. Extraction, re-tracking, and compression using EAC, CD Wave & WavMerge, and mkwACT by" These are non-seekable shns, and the fileset in this format should be retired. shnid 8072.

! Recording: Unbelievable what Louis Falanga was able to do with these onstage recordings. Kudos and thank you, sir. I am not sure about the gear (didn't a TC-110 have a built in mic, for example)? I believe that Bob Menke did these transfers in the early 2000s. He made CD copies for Jim Powell, who made them for Jack Warner, who made them for Joe Jupille, who created shnid 8027 out of them. There are a few blemishes here and there but overall this is just great to listen to. Special thanks to Mr. Menke for all he has done over the years.

! Personnel: Martin Fierro is not present on this recording. All we really know is Garcia & Saunders. Kahn is a pretty safe assumption. Kreutzmann on drums is nothing more than a conventional understanding, as far as I know. Do we really have any idea who was drumming this night? I don't doubt it's him, but just not sure how we "know" it is.

! Personnel: There is a second guitar player throughout the show. This is an electric player, a little country, who likes to play high up the neck. I have horrible ears for this stuff, but if forced to guess I'd say it's David Nelson.

! Personnel: The guest performer on It's Too Late is playing mandolin for awhile, I think. This has previously been noted as David Grisman, but I wonder if it isn't David Nelson? To check out this person's soloing, check the following spots: d1t03 HAGYN @ 4:50; d1t05 ISTE @ 6:58; d2t05 HTC @ 5:30.

! R: d1t01 Hi-Heel Sneakers cuts in

! R: d1t02 Expressway cuts in; pop/click @ 0:49

! R: d1t05 Second That Emotion cut/splice @ 10:35

! R: there are small pops at several of the track markers.

Jerry Garcia and John Scher

Probably premature for me to post about this, since there's probably tons to say and I haven't really combed through, less still thought much about it. But just came across a little 1982 Billboard piece (1) documenting a big move by John Scher into NYC. According to the reporter, "The move ends a de facto situation where Scher stayed west of the Hudson River while Ron Delsener dominated the New York City market."

The first show for Scher's big move? Jerry Garcia (and John Kahn) acoustic at the Beacon Theatre, New York, NY, April 21, 1982. They'd play early and late shows and would be joined by opener Dr. John on "Goodnight Irene" to close the evening. Being the lucky fans that we are, we have multiple sources in circulation for these shows: 14718 (my fave, a decent late show sbd), 29187, 29188, 88761.

Corry has written about the extremely intimate relationship between Garcia and Bay Area club promoter Freddie Herrera (see here), who ran the Keystone clubs (see here). Garcia's relationship with Scher needs the same kind of treatment. I think the ca. 1973-1983 fates of Garcia's side stuff and John Scher's enterprises were deeply intertwined. I have no space for it here time for it now, but just wanted to put down a marker.

(1) Roman Kozak, "John Scher Moves East of Hudson," Billboard, April 24, 1982, p. 44; accessed via Google Books.

Ambassador Garcia

LN jg1976-03-27.jgb.s1s2p.aud-mcdonald.110281.flac1644

The March-April 1976 Jerry Garcia Band tour is an interesting one. This was the quintet of Garcia, Kahn, Tutt, Godchaux and Godchaux. Let me just make a quick mention of the year overall, then make a few notes about the tour, before discussing this tape of the Jerry Garcia Band, Ambassador Theatre, St. Louis, MO, Saturday, March 27, 1976 [shnid-110281].

I find 1976 to be an extremely uneven year for this outfit. Most of the shows are absolutely stultifyingly slow and smacked out. Check out the Don't Let Go release, from JGB at the Orpheum Theatre, San Francisco, May 21, 1976 to see what I mean. It's the year in microcosm: you've got your somnambulant Knockin' On Heaven's Door [Allan | Scofield] to go with a pretty hot Lonesome And A Long Way From Home [Allan | Scofield] and a raging Mighty High [Allan | Scofield] (from a few months later, September 11, 1976, Keystone, Berkeley, CA [LN]). (I don't blame David Lemieux, BTW, who seems to me to have impeccable taste. I think did a great job within the parameters of the assignment.) (BTW2: the cover and liner photos by Ed Perlstein are unbelievably beautiful, even if they are from the La Paloma Theater in Pismo Beach from February.)

Anyway, back to the point: an interesting tour. Some really smacked out shows --Steve Silberman, I think, described the show at Finney Chapel, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH on Sunday, 3/14/76 [shnid-29134 {a pretty dreadful aud}] as the musical expression of heroin-- and some ragers (the late show from Saturday, April 3, 1976 at Lisner Auditorium, George Washington University, Washington, DC [shnid-17328, Scott Jones's great audience master] comes to mind). Some truly dreadful tapes and a couple of amazing ones. (Aside: the obvious point, that tapes are incredibly important sources of knowledge, has been repeating itself to me over and over the last few weeks. A lot of the shows that are "obscure" are precisely so because there is no tape. And this is more likely the case in off the beaten path venues and cities.) Overall, I consider that the tour got better as it went along: April 1976 P March 1976 P February 1976 P January 1976 [except the Booker stuff], where 'P' is read "is preferred to".

This particular show is definitely toward the hotter end of the spectrum - Garcia sounds more electric, doing less in the way of gospel dirges. And we don't know how much of a boil things really got to during LAALWFH, which was of course a big monster show-closer in this period. The show is mostly interesting for its obscurity: off the beaten path (off the top of my head, JG played STL maybe 3-4 times?) but well-appreciated by an early review in Relix. Fun to lay down some thoughts and notes on the obscure stuff.

In what follows, I reproduce the whole info file I have, including Dan McDonald's notes. It gets a little confusing and lengthy. As you'll see from my notes (if you manage to get through them), I disagree with his analysis of the setlist. So, anyway,  here goes.

Jerry Garcia Band
Ambassador Theatre
St. Louis, MO
March 27, 1976 (Saturday)
s1s2p aud shnid-110281

--set I (5 tracks, 58:23)--
101-d1t01 - [0:28] /Sugaree [10:07] [1:00]
102-d1t02 - Catfish John [11:10] [2:25]
103-d1t03 - Mystery Train [8:41] [0:42]
104-d1t04 - Knockin' on //Heaven's Door [15:#26] [0:39]
105-d1t05 - They Love Each Other [7:22] [0:13]

Disc Two (6 tracks, 57:57)
--Set I, con't--
201-d2t01 - ambience [0:59] %
202-d2t02 - /Sitting Here in Limbo [13:23] [0:17]
203-d2t03 - How Sweet It Is [6:34] [0:10]

--set II (3 tracks, missing three tunes,
204-d2t04 - Harder they Come [17:18] [0:28]
205-d2t05 - %/Russian Lullaby [9:27] [0:12]
206-d2t06 - %/Tore Up Over You [9:06] [0:01]
[MISSING: Strange Man]
[MISSING: Friend Of The Devil]
[MISSING: Lonesome And A Long Way From Home]

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band:
! lineup: ! lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn - el-bass;
! lineup: Ron Tutt - drums, harmony vocals;
! lineup: Keith Godchaux - keyboards, harmony vocals;
! lineup: Donna Jean Godchaux - backing vocals.


Probable lineage: 
Master audience cassette (stereo) -> 2 Maxell UDXL C90s -> Tascam 112 -> M-Audio 24/96 ->
24 bit, 48kHz ; 24-bit, 48kHz -> 16-bit, 44.1kHz using Diamond Cut DC8 (no dither).
Taper unknown. Transfer, editing, flac encoding and notes by Dan McDonald.
Metadata added by B. Proctor 10/13/10

I got this tape from a guy in St. Louis (probably the taper, but I can't say for certain) in 1977 or early 1978.  It doesn't appear to circulate in digital form.  The Jerry Site lists a tape of the first set from this night, but that appears to be a different tape. This one has a cut for a tape flip in Knockin' on Heaven's Door and has all but the last 2 songs as the set list appears on the Jerry Site. The guy I got the tape from never mentioned anything missing, as far as I can recall.   

I am fairly certain of the lineage for two reasons:
a) the recording is pretty clean and high frequencies are still present
b) there are only 2 bumps at 60Hz, suggesting the master and my copy
c) side b of my first cassette has a very short stop/start between How Sweet and Harder They Come
d) On my tape, "Harder They Come" was started at the end of the second tape, but tape ran out so it was copied again, starting from the beginning, at the start of the second tape that was given to me. Ordinarily, I would expect someone to have realized that Harder They Come wouldn't make it on the tape completely as soon as the first copy was made, and so not waste the time of copying the fragment and recopying it (this is analog, real-time copying - why waste 10-15 minutes copying something you're going to have to redo?).


I did the following:
1. fade-in to audience for Sugaree.
2. cut (tape stop) in audience at 0:23 (just before Sugaree); cut and faded in
3. slight gain change at :28 of Sugaree because of tape start (taper missed about 1 second of Sugaree)
4. crossfade Knockin' at approx. 8:48 in because of an unfortunate spot for a tape flip 
5. fade out at end of How Sweet It Is because of tape stop
6. Cut about 2 seconds out of audience between How Sweet It Is and Harder they Come because of tape recorder getting up to speed.
7. Fade in of crowd section (d2, track 1), which I left as a short separate track.
8. Added gain for left and right channels for "Harder They Come" (left and Right) and "Russian Lullaby" left only). (Started at +4dB and ended with +0 dB increase).
9. combined How Sweet It Is and Harder They Come, added a 5-second crossfade during crowd noise, and recut (less than .03 seconds off in timing).
10. fade out at end of Tore Up Over You because of tape stop during applause

The Jerry Site lists this as the setlist:

Set 1
1. Sugaree
2. Catfish John
3. Mystery Train
4. Knockin' on Heaven's Door (cut for tape flip)
5. They Love Each Other
6. Sitting Here in Limbo
7. How Sweet it Is

Set 2
8. Harder they Come
9. Russian Lullabye
10. Tore up over you
[edit 3/2011: Strange Man]
11. Friend of the Devil
12. Lonesome and a Long Way from Home

I would guess that TLEO is the end of the first set and that Tore Up Over You is actually the last song played that night.  I say this because there is a hard stop on the tape afterThey Love Each Other, and the crowd is louder before Sitting Here in Limbo, as if it they are getting ready for the second set, and the band sounds like it is getting ready for a second set, rather than between songs. If the show ended with Tore Up Over You, the total music time is about 2 hours, which is consistent with other shows around the same time (March, 1976). The show scheduled for the following night was cancelled due to a band illness. The revised setlist also fits with what I have on the tape, which would indicate the taper probably used 90 minute cassettes. He/She/They got the first 44 minutes, did a tape flip.  got the last 15 minutes of the 1st set, stopped the recorder, Got the first 20 minutes of the second set,switched to a new tape between How Sweet it is and Harder they Come, which allowed for the uninterrupted last 38 minutes of the show.  It could be that the second tape had a second side with FOTD and Lonesome, and that was just not recorded or not copied for me.  My second tape has Commander Cody on it for the last side, so for whatever reason, the person who traded it to me didn't have the last two songs listed.



! Jerrybase:

! db:

! Recording: symbols: % = recording discontinuity; / = clipped song; // = cut song; ... = fade in/out; # = truncated timing; [ ] = 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 [x:xx] right after a song title is an attempt to say how long the song really was, as represented on this recording.

! d1t01 Sugaree clips in; large PA jump @ 1:22, JG says "sorry 'bout that" @ 1:36

! could be the quality of the tape/recording, but Jerry is getting a little more metallic raunch than I am used to from this era. E.g., solo ca. 8-min of Sugaree. Still true in CJ.

! I'd say that this show is more like April 1976 than March 1976. That's something that should get a JGMF post. Tutt is keeping a slightly faster pace with a sharper groove. Garcia's guitar sounds more like metal than wood, if you get my meaning.

! d1t02 CJ nice buildup by Jerry in ca. 7-min mark leading to the "Born a slave/in the town of Vicksburg" verse. The crowd is appropriately responsive.

! d1t03 Mystery Train @ 6:45, 7:25 Jerry is bending some nice raunchy notes.

! d1t04 KOHD tape flip @ 9:00, unknown amount missing.

! d1t04 KOHD is deep somnambulence, but then around 15-min Garcia starts fanning like a mofo.

! d2t02 SIL clips in

! d2t03 JG very clearly announces the setbreak after HSII.

! d2t04 HTC @ 14:52 JG's voice is terribly scratchy. Sounds more like '78 or '79 than '76 ... ouch.

! d2t05 Russian Lullaby clips in

! d2t06 Tore Up clips in

! TJS: "Review: Roger Allrich, "Jerry Garcia Band: Ambassador Theater, St. Louis, March 27, 1976," Relix 3, 4 (July-August 1976): 8. Allrich helpfully gives the complete setlist. He does not mention "A Strange Man" by name, but he mentions a Donna vocal before Friend of the Devil, and Strange Man fits the bill. Allrich notes that the show started around 9:15 pm, though the start was scheduled for 8:00 pm. The show was a sellout."

! Review: [positive] Cullinane 1976.

! Setlist: Dan McDonald, who generously seeded this copy speculates that TLEO is the last song of set I and that Tore Up is the last song of the show. I respectfully disagree with this. First, as noted above, Garcia clearly announces a set break after HSII. This would be a weird breaking point if the show ended at Tore Up -- that'd be a mighty truncated second set. But the Allrich review lays out the setlist with great clarity, and confirms the rest of the songs. I can't explain why everyone was cheering before Sitting in Limbo, which McDonald notes; to quote Phil about Pigpen (in the Fallout From the Phil Zone liner notes, talking about the crowd screaming during 8/6/71 Hard to Handle): "maybe he was dancing a jig." The only setlist question that remains from Allrich's review is the Donna vocal after Tore Up. If you look at the setlists from around this time, it's gotta be Strange Man [Allan | Scofield]. It was the only Donna vocal they were doing, and it usually came around this time in the show.

Friday, March 11, 2011

HWJG19710801 question

A little while back we had a whole series of things related to Howard Wales / Jerry Garcia Hooteroll?

  1. Hooteroll?--When Was It Recorded?  -- LLD, Jan. 6, 2011
  2. Response to LLD's Hooteroll--When Was It Recorded? -- JGMF, Jan. 7, 2011
  3. Hooteroll? Next Part -- JGMF, 1/13/2011

In that last one, I mentioned Blair Jackson's information that the JG vault holds "four live multitrack reels from Boston, dated 8/1," which I infer to be August 1, 1971. I had this to say:

Whoa. Is it possible that Wales & Garcia played in Boston on Jerry's 29th birthday, August 1, 1971? Well, the GD did play Yale University (New Haven, CT) on 7/31 ... anyone ever wonder what was up with that? JG's first solo album, Garcia, was said to have been recorded in three weeks in July 1971, and then the GD go out east for a one-off. So JG almost certainly began 8/1 within easy reach of Boston ... is it possible that a Boston gig happened this late in the game, with no contemporary record or memory of it?

Well, I still don't know the answer. But I can report that I scoured several Boston microfilm sources (Boston Globe, Boston Phoenix, maybe Boston After Dark, etc.) from the 8/1/71 timeframe turned up nothing. My thinking has been maybe that there was some studio aspect to this, not sure why. I smell a record company or that type of person around this, though I doubt that hunch is worth much. If it were a record company thing, maybe there wouldn't have been any advertising. If anyone from the standard underground press (Phoenix, B.A.D.) had gone, I'd have to think it would have showed up as a  mention, at least. But nothing.

Anyway, as of now, consider me mystified as to what "live multitrack reels from Boston, dated 8/1" might hold ...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ladies Taping at the Boston Music Hall, March 14, 1978

 LN19780314: jg1978-03-14.jgb.all.aud-rolfe-minches.111596.flac1644

Great first set, OK second set. That's based on this listen to this tape.

Jerry Garcia Band
Boston Music Hall
Boston, MA
March 14, 1978 (Tuesday)
Dauby Rolfe MAC

--set I (8 tracks, 83:53)--
s1t01. Crowd and Tuning {3:53}
s1t02. How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You [10:44] [1:31] {12:25}
s1t03. They Love Each Other [7:23] [2:31] {9:54}
s1t04. Knockin' On Heaven's Door [14:14] % [0:31] {14:45}
s1t05. That's What Love Will Make You Do [10:46] [3:10] {13:56}
s1t06. Mission In The Rain [11:01] [0:09] % [0:21] {11:31}
s1t07. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down [10:19] {10:19}
s1t08. /Mystery Train [7:#01] [0:06] {7:07}

--set II (6 tracks, 47:22)--
s2t01. crowd and tuning {0:35}
s2t02. Love In The Afternoon [9:13] [0:08] % [1:25] {10:46}
s2t03. Gomorrah [6:42] [1:49] {8:31}
s2t04. The Harder They Come [11:00] [0:14] {11:14}
s2t05. I'll Be With Thee [5:22] [0:03] % {5:25}
s2t06. Midnight Moonlight [10:27] [0:23] {10:50}

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-guitar, vocals.
! lineup: John Kahn - el-bass;
! lineup: Buzz Buchanan - drums;
! lineup: Keith Godchaux - keyboards, harmony vocals;
! lineup: Donna Jean Godchaux - backing vocals;
! lineup: Maria Muldaur - backing vocals.


! Recording: symbols: % = recording discontinuity; / = clipped song; // = cut song; # = truncated timing; { } = time as tracked on this recording; [ ] = recorded even 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 [x:xx] right after a song title is an attempt to say how long the song really was, as represented on this recording.

! Jerrybase:

! db: shnid-14969 (Tom Dalti MAC); shnid-92367 (Claudette Gardel MAC); shnid-111596 (Dauby Rolfe MAC, this fileset).

! R: Field Recordist: Dauby Rolfe and female friend;

! R: Field Recording Equipment: 2x Sony ECM 99 microphones > Teac PC-10 cassette deck (possibly Sony TC-152);

! R: Field Recording Location: Right Center Row "G", seat 20;

! R: Analog-Digital-Lossless (12/20/2004): Nakamichi Dragaon playback > ART DIO A/D converter > Egosys Waveterminal 2496 soundcard > Cool Edit 2000 (wav) > mkwACT (shn encoding), by David Minches;

! R: Subsequent (2011): shn > flac8 encoding (Trader's Little Helper v2.4.1, build 160) > tagging (foobar2000 v0.9.6.8). Size: 729 MB.

! Recording: This is another strong recording, to go with great pulls by Tom Dalti (shnid-14969) and Claudette Gardel (shnid-92367). (Question for you taper sociologists: is there another show this early, GD or Garcia or anything else for that matter, taped independently by two female tapers? Thank you so much, ladies. Go!) Anyway, Dauby is in the sweet spot, and while we can hear the limits of the cassette medium (some hiss, for example), everything is here.

! Recording: Steve Rolfe: "According to my wife Dauby, two security guys showed up to confront the evil tapers. She smiled and waved to the security guys, who, in turn, smiled and waved back, then went away. Evidently, they were shocked to find two ladies taping. She had a little trouble with rightleft levels, but did a good job considering it was her first solo effort. It is very listenable" (DNC Garcia folder #52714, 12/26/2004).

! Whoever was doing the sound this tour, and again when the JGB went to the Pacific Northwest in November of 1978, had Kahn's bass sound as beautiful in the room as it would ever be. Yes, Kahn is playing very, very well in this period. But the PA sound on it is just fantastic.

! Show: Based on set I, I was proclaiming this a masterpiece. Set II strikes me as considerably weaker. Notice that the first runs to 84 minutes and the second to 47. That set II timing is exceptionally short for a night when there was only one show (i.e., not early and late shows).

! For CD burning, disc break between TNTDODD and Mystery Train.

! s1t03 TLEO taper's neighbor, as if a celebrity, into microphone: "Well, I'd just to like to say that being here ..." [trails off as song starts]. Funny little moment.

! s1t04 KOHD @ 10:55, Kahn actually bangs the frets of his bass, in the midst of a gloriously lilting version of the song. Awesome. If you want to hear John Kahn when he could play the fucking bass, check this (and 3/12/78, and 3/18/78) out.

! s1t06 MITR @ 4:30 Kahn does a really interesting string bend. Neat.

! s1t08 Mystery Train clips in