Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Recently added to TJS, Saunders images

I am sure everyone who reads here knows one can follow changes at The Jerry Site (there's also an RSS feed). TJS admin slip_not has been adding some nice data from poster and handbill images shared at the Merl Saunders Facebook page.

Since these photos are shared intentionally downloadable from Facebook, and acting on the We Are All The Vault principle of crowdsource redundant storage, I'll repost here. Thanks to Merl Saunders, Jr. for sharing the pics and to slip_not for gathering 'em up and adding them to The List. I may have renamed them according to my own organizational schema. This post will just summarize some of this great stuff and elaborate as I can.

1.     JGMS: January 23-24-25 (Tuesday-Thursday), Boarding House, 960 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA, 94109

What a find!
Handbill for the Boarding House, January 16-28, 1973. Scan courtesy of Merl Saunders Facebook page.
“Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders & Tom Fogerty” are billed at the Boarding House on a “special engagement: 3 nights: tue-wed-thu”, following the Herbie Hancock Septet (maybe working on some of the extremely heavy Sextant material?) and preceding Harry Chapin, every night’s menu featuring some kind of meat. Mmmm, yeah.

There are a few other bits and pieces in the evidentiary record around these gigs.

First, at least 1/23 and 1/24 were listed in the Berkeley Barb’s “Scenedrome” calendar (January 19-25, 1973, p. 28). Also, and I think somewhat unusually, there was a line ad in the San Francisco Chronicle/Examiner Datebook (January 21, 1973, p. 25). I don’t think it was that common for such ads to appear, but maybe I am wrong about that. I suspect that this “special engagement” was expected to generate some big nights (at least for midweek) for the Boarding House. I’ll ask again: does anyone know anyone who was involved with running the Boarding House during this time period? Or even know who it was?

Ad for Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders at the Boarding House, 960 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA, 94109, Tues-Thurs January 23-25, 1973. Source: San Francisco Chronicle/Examiner Datebook, January 21, 1973, p. 25.
 There are also Betty Cantor-Jackson tapes known to exist and/or in circulation from this January 23-25 run at the Boarding House. All three dates were transferred by Rob Eaton from the “third batch” of Betty tapes which came to light in late 1995. Update: I think 1/23/73 actually came to RE from the Garcia Vault, via Dick L. The other two shows were definitely Betty tapes. At least one track from 1/23/73 has been officially released (“It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry,” track 1 of Jerry Garcia—Garcia Plays Dylan [Rhino R2 73263, 2005]). Material from the 24th (shnid 4492, “early show” | shnid 9783, “late show” | shnid 100216, early and late) and 25th (shnid 7670, “early” and “late” shows) circulated very early among collectors. They appear to have traveled several paths to the lossless era. Some of them are from DAT copies given by Eaton to Ryan Shriver, many of which were converted to CD and thence to .shn by D. Metz (e.g., shnid 4492). Others alleged to have PCM gens or cassette gens or whatever. A little hard to piece together all of it. The tapes are special because they are among the few that capture the mysterious Sarah Fulcher, singing her heart out.

The Jerry Site notes that Tom Fogerty was not present for the shows on the 24th and 25th, and he is not credited on the one released track from 1/23/73. I need to revisit the tapes, but I am pretty sure they’ll show that there’s no rhythm guitarist. SteveSw has written nice reviews of the 1/24/73 and 1/25/73 tapes at Workingman's Tracker. 

Anyway, this wonderful new-to-me handbill leads me to make a few points about the associated and related Listings.

First, unless it was understood that there were two shows nightly at the Boarding House, I don’t see any evidence in advertisements and such for early and late show designations. My assumption is that this makes it less likely that there were actually two (separately-ticketed) shows, but I am prepared to be set straight. Betty’s tapes said early and late, but maybe those temporal terms modified “set” rather than “show”? I don’t know. Anyway, I have been contemplating whether the early-late show listings should be merged on my lists … thoughts?

Second, there have long been tapes in circulation as “Boarding House, 1/26/73”, but all copies I have seen turn out to be the same as 1/24/73, which of course has more credible provenance. Anyway, again, I am preparing to consider 1/26/73 a spurious listing, but I’d like some feedback. (I am also thinking that 1/16/73 is spurious.)

2.     JGMS: May 4-5, 1973 (Friday-Saturday), Homer’s Warehouse, 79 Homer Lane, Palo Alto, CA
Handbill for Homer's Warehouse, early May 1973. Photo courtesy of Merl Saunders Facebook page.
We knew about these shows from inter alia amazing tapes, but this handbill is a great artifact. Nice little sketch of Jerry and Merl, representing a “moment” that only one who had watched them having one could capture.

Just a few small notes. First, probably doesn’t matter, but I am always interested when I see Merl’s name first-billed. A nice project would be to go back and measure the frequency with which one or the other was listed first. I’d bet it was at least 80-20 Jerry, for the obvious reasons. Second, the address given on the handbill, 79 Homer Avenue, is incorrect: according to Corry, it’s 79 Homer Lane. Note to Corry: Google Earth returns a search on “79 Homer Lane, Palo Alto, CA” with “79 Homer Lane, Menlo Park, CA, 94025”). Is that the same place on earth as where Homer’s Warehouse stood?

Note that these shows have been discussed a fair amount at Workingman's Tracker (that was 5/4; see also 5/5/73, and that it appears George Tickner is the second guitarist present.

3.     JGMS: October 20, 1973, Fieldhouse, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (UPDATE: DID NOT HAPPEN)
Poster for Merl Saunders, Bill Kreutzmann, Jerry Garcia gig at University of Iowa Fieldhouse, Iowa City, IA, October 20, 1973. Photo courtesy of Merl Saunders Facebook page.
What the fuck?


OK. Here’s a poster that bills “Merl Saunders, Jerry Garcia, Bill Kreutzmann”, plus Mike Bloomfield and Band and Stoneground, at the University of Iowa Fieldhouse on October 20, 1973. The Grateful Dead had played Oklahoma City on 10/19 and would be in Omaha on 10/21, so Iowa City is only 250 miles out of the way. But, wow.

I notice the sketches of Jerry and especially Merl are nearly identical to the Homer’s Warehouse handbill sketches. Anyone know who drew these? Otherwise, is there any chance this is a forgery?

If not, we have here a real revelation. This would be only the third JGMS show outside of the state of California, after the September 5-6, 1973 gigs out east. And it’s pretty darn random, I have to say, though of course stranger things could certainly have happened. An off-night in a just-starting GD tour, you head out to Iowa City, Iowa for a gig in the college fieldhouse? Looks a little like the structure of the 11/18/73 San Diego show, I guess … could there possibly be others like this? Again: thoughts?

Update 20111119: thanks to intrepid research by Corry, we now know the story behind the poster: Liza Minelli left U of I out to dry three weeks before homecoming, Roberta Flack and Van Morrison couldn't be arranged to sub, and it sounds like the effort to get JGMS was extremely last minute. Most interesting is the argument in the relevant article from the student paper (Hawkins, Chuck, and George Shirk. 1973. Problems plague major concert bids. Daily Iowan, October 30, 1973, p. 3) that it was the Grateful Dead who nixed this particular Garcia side trip.

4.     JGMS: October 13, 1974, Santa Barbara County Bowl, Santa Barbara, CA
From L: Merl Saunders (keyboards), Paul Humphrey (drums), Jerry Garcia (electric guitar), John Kahn (electric bass), Martin Fierro (saxophone), Santa Barbara County Bowl, Sunday, October 13, 1974. Photo courtesy of Merl Saunders Facebook page.

Ain't life grand? We were just discussing Paul Humphrey at Hooterollin' Around, and up pops the only known-to-me live image of the Garcia-Saunders-Humphrey-Kahn-Fierro quintet. (update: here's another, showing Paul Humphrey!!) This is a known show Sunday, October 13, 1974 at the beautiful Santa Barbara County Bowl in Santa Barbara, CA. I can't tell if it's overcast, but I am imagining a sunny fall day. And if you ever spent a sunny fall day in Santa Barbara in roughly that that spot in roughly the frame of mind that might have been generated by this particular concert, you know what I mean to say: A glimpse of life's deepest beauties for five bucks.

This gig has been known back to the time of the McNally-Arnold JG List, the oldest continuous piece of The JG List in the manuscript tradition (Yeah, lots of grandiosity there, I know. But I have to say it and I'll get to it.) That list's entry was dated 10/13/74 and had the personnel correctly listed, but the venue was given as Santa Barbara County Fairgrounds. I see that this misstatement continued through to Deadbase IX (not surprising, since it was based on Corry's copy of the McNally-Arnold JG List). This continued into The Jerry Site's entry, which was corrected in 2008 by the great Ryan Shriver.

I am presuming this long entry derived from the following backstage pass, which is generously hosted at
Backstage pass for “Jerry Garcia/Merl Saunders and friends” with the Sons of Champlin and Etta James, Sunday, October 13, 1974, Santa Barbara Count Bowl, Santa Barbara, CA. Image courtesy of
There has never been a tape of the show, billed as “Their First Southern California Solo Appearance, Direct From San Francisco and the Grateful Dead”. I don’t actually think that’s true. They (JGMS) had played the Ash Grove in LA on May 29-30, 1973. (A planned show at San Diego State University on November 18, 1973 was rained out.) But, I queeble. They weren’t getting out on the road much in those days, and it orta’h’ve been a fun old time. And, what a great picture!


Thanks to the proprietors of the Merl Saunders Facebook page, and to slip_not of The Jerry Site, for bringing these wonderful historical materials forward. Here’s hoping there’s lots more where that came from!

(1) Scott, John W., Mike Dolgushkin, and Stu Nixon. 1995. Deadbase IX: The Complete Guide to Grateful Dead Songlists.


  1. Once again I need to follow with a string of comments. First of all, with respect to Homer's Warehouse at 79 Homer Lane, the Menlo Park address is nowhere near it. In order to get to the location, you need to google map to Urban Lane and Wells Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301. The parking garage on StreetView is approximately the site of Homer's Warehouse. Homer Lane no longer exists.

  2. The Boarding House was run by a guy named David Allen, a real character. In the late 60s the room had been Coast Recorders, and a lot of bands recorded there, although mostly demos and the like. In 1970 Doug Weston took it over and made it the "Troubadour North," with Allen as the manager. In 1972 Allen took it over and renamed it The Boarding House.

    The place was tiny (capacity 330) and comfortable, and it was beloved of rock critics, particularly Joel Selvin. That being said, a lot of great bands played there. I saw The Tubes therebefore their first album--we were so blown away we named our cat after the lead singer, and he outlasted the band. I saw Carlene Carter there a couple of times as well, both great shows, but the place was too small to really make money.

    If I recall correctly, the Boarding House always had an early and late show. If the show wasn't sold out, they would let you stay for the second show, but you had to buy additional drinks, or something like that. From that perspective, it would be accurate to say that there were "early" and "late" shows at the Boarding House, but whether there were separate admissions may have depended on the moment

  3. I too was fascinated by the Iowa poster. I did note that it was inbetween Oklahoma City and Omaha, so at least theoretically Jerry and Bill could have flown and met Merl and John in Iowa on the free night.

    There were numerous professional connections between the Jerry Garcia and Mike Bloomfield camps, even though Garcia and Bloomfield weren't close, so a joint booking is very plausible. Bloomfield's history is very hard to track, since he regularly changed his plans and blew off gigs with aplomb, but the best researched site on Bloomfield has him in Ben Lomond (CA, in the Santa Cruz mountains) on Oct 20, 1973.

    This still doesn't rule out Bloomfield blowing off the gig, but Garcia still doing it. Although it may seem surprising that a midwestern college would book Jerry Garcia and Mike Bloomfield for a one-nighter, stranger things have happened. I wonder if there was a big football game that day, or something else that would have made it a campus event? If some hippies got their hands on the "homecoming dance" budget or something, they might well be able to afford to fly in some bands from elsewhere. I'm not planning to research the history of U of Iowa sports, circa 1973, however. I wonder who CUE might be? A student organization, or a local promoter?

    My own view, based on little more than feeling, is that this was booked as a serious show, but it probably never occurred. Garcia had a free night, and even if they copied the art from Homer's Warehouse, where did they get it? From a telephone pole in Palo Alto (like I did, long ago)? Someone sent the art to them.

    I would suspect that some ambitious students planned the show and made the poster, but weren't able to come up with the guarantees or cash (for plane tickets or whatever) to make the whole thing happen, and neither Garcia nor Bloomfield ever got on the plane.

  4. With respect to Tom Fogerty's non-appearance at the Boarding House in January 1973, do we have any idea of his last confirmed appearance with Garcia? I know he may have booked sometimes in 1973, and there is a May show or something where he is listed but it appears to be someone else, but I'm wondering if there is a confirmed sighting (or hearing) after December 1972.

  5. There were no "big" football games that year in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes didn't win a single game in 1973, going 0-11. On October 20, they lost (at home, for what that's worth) to Minnesota, 23-31.

  6. thanks, anon. If Iowa went 0-11 and Jerry canceled, it would have been a truly bad year.

    Any idea whether CUE was a campus organization or a local promoter?

  7. I think it's a pretty safe bet that Fogerty phased out sometime between 12/28/72 and 1/24/73. He is obviously present on the 12/28/72 Lion's Share tape and clearly was intended to be on the bill at the 1/73 BH shows when they were booked. Fogerty was always a bit of a difficult fit with Jerry and Merl. Garcia is such a rhythmic player that a second guitarist (excepting someone as unique as Weir) seemed redundant, and the other two-guitar attempts were always short lived. Fogerty was a competent rhythm guitarist and singer, but never seemed to light much of a fire under Garcia or Saunders. Either the desire to add Fulcher caused Fogerty to be forced out or his departure opened the door for Kahn to recruit another vocalist, apparently Bill Vitt's friend Fulcher.

    To my ears, the departure of Fogerty loosened and opened up Jerry and Merl's sound considerably. When Fierro started showing up a bit later, he continued to move them in the direction of playing more outside although - like Donna Godchaux - people seem to either love or hate his contributions.

  8. Crypt, how did you find out that Bill Vitt was the connection for Sarah Fulcher? It makes perfect sense, by the way, but information about her is hard to come by.

  9. The JGMS concert of 10/20/73 at U of Iowa didn't happen. The Daily Iowan archives are online at I have just poked around various dates and found nothing at all. I don't think it was a last minute cancellation.

    Once I didn't find anything right around show time, I checked various issues, found nothing:

    8/27/73 first of fall '73 semester

    BTW, 10/20/73 was indeed the homecoming game.

  10. In search of some answers about the mysterious 10-20-73 poster, I did some research in the University Of Iowa newspaper archives, conveniently digitized ( I was looking for a notice of cancellation, or something. I struck out, but I did learn a few useful things.

    #1) October 20, 1973 was Homecoming Weekend at the University of Iowa. If there was going to be a big event planned, Homecoming might be the week to do it.

    #2)In the October 19 edition (p2), there is an article entitled "Dying Tradition: Homecoming Lacks Student Participation And Support." The article details how '73 era students are not interested in traditional events, and how funding for such events has been cut due to lack of interest and outstanding debt.

    My current theory is that some ambitious promoters thought that a Garcia/Bloomfield concert would be viable on Homecoming Weekend. However, either lack of student interest generally, or more likely, the lack of any subsidy from the University meant that they couldn't meet their guarantees, so the event never occurred. The existing poster was a mockup for an event that was actually planned, but never sold any tickets.

    Taj Mahal played on campus the next weekend (Oct 26), but in an apparently smaller venue than the Field House (gym).

  11. Found it. A three part series in the Daily Iowan (Oct 29-30-31, at describes the history of UofI's Commission On University Entertainment. They were founded in 1969 with funding to put on shows in the Field House (gym). They put on various events over the years, including the Grateful Dead (in 1970, apparently, fans pushed aside the folding chairs and danced, to the consternation of officials).

    CUE had trouble either booking dates or turning a profit when they did. In the October 30 article, CUE is taken to task for promoting no concerts in the field house in the Fall. The Oct 20 '73 date was originally supposed to be for Liza Minelli, an appropriate act for the mostly adult Homecoming event. However, Liza won an Oscar and decided to appear elsewhere.

    CUE scrambled to try and get Van Morrison, and then

    "CUE hurriedly contacted a Chicago promoter who told CUE there was a possibility of arranging a concert with Jerry Garcia and Merle Saunders. But because the Grateful Dead, of which Garcia is a member, did not want Garcia to participate, that concert didn't materialize either"

    Daily Iowan, October 30, 1973, p.3

    So that's the story. It was a Homecoming date, with Jerry substituting for Liza Minelli, who seemingly felt she was too big for flyover land after she won an Oscar (for Cabaret), but the Dead (!) blocked Jerry's participation. Very interesting indeed.

  12. My mistake, the CUE Iowa Fieldhouse show with excessive dancing was 3/20/71, not 1970.

  13. There is some stuff about the '71 show from that period, including a brief confirmation that NRPS opened, which has long been "known" but for which I have never seen evidence.

    Durham, Leona. 1971. The Dead Concert. Daily Iowan, March 23, 1971, p. 2.

  14. I have updated the post to show that the 10/20/73 thing never happened. Interesting story, though!

  15. The 10/20/73 cancellation is just as interesting as the show might've been... Is it the only example that's been reported where the Dead blocked Garcia from playing one of his side-trip shows?
    I have to wonder if that was Bill Kreutzmann's choice, considering he was billed for the show as well and might not have wanted to go...

    It's also funny that at least one Chicago promoter in 1973 figured that Garcia was readily available for college events, even while on a Dead tour!

    The Dead, by the way, had also played the Fieldhouse in Feb 1973. (That show may have featured "excessive dancing" as well...)

  16. One thing to keep in mind is that the report that the Dead "blocked" Garcia's participation comes from an article that describes a student hearing where students are explaining why they failed to book a concert. According to them, they are telling University administrators that they couldn't fulfill their obligations because a Chicago promoter told them that Jerry Garcia couldn't play a concert because the Dead wouldn't let him.

    There may indeed be a shred of truth in that story--we don't know exactly what the Dead's travel plans were, for example--but it may just be a story. As any college professor will tell you, dogs eat considerably less homework than they are usually accused of. I think the Iowa show between two Dead shows was an interesting idea, but harder than it sounded, so I'm not 100% buying the explanation.

  17. That's true - I don't know how far removed from "the source" that story is - would it be a CUE excuse, a story from the promoter, or directly from the horse's mouth? Perhaps the Daily Iowan reporter garbled the story in any case.

    On the other hand, we don't have other explanations available.
    And not only was the show scheduled precisely between two Midwest Dead shows, we also have a picture on the poster that's so remarkably similar to the Homer's handbill picture (as JGMF pointed out) that it seems to indicate CUE had some direct contact with the "Garcia camp". Maybe there's another explanation (or alternate ur-source for the two pictures) though.
    Since the poster was made, the cancellation was presumably rather last-minute. Maybe for mundane reasons - Merl couldn't make it, or Bill didn't want to go, or the payment wasn't worth the trip or something.
    Garcia himself was probably up for it though - whatever the source, the story that the Dead didn't want him to go is certainly an intriguing one. Unverifiable, and perhaps out of character for the Dead, but alluring.

  18. On another note...
    There are many JGMF posts on canceled Dead shows from 1970/71.
    There doesn't seem to be any list that I see, though, of canceled Garcia-sideband shows. Were there enough Garcia cancellations to even make a list?

    The nearest relevant case I see is the canceled Garcia/Saunders show on 2/16/74, which must have another interesting story behind it since John Scher was on closer terms with Garcia than an Iowa student committee! (For instance, he'd managed to snatch Garcia for the Capitol in NJ on 9/6/73.)

    Scheduling was much more stable by 1973/74 than it had been a couple years earlier; at least these unplayed "phantom shows" seem more rare. The Dead had an interesting case after the Garcia/Saunders NYC shows in July 1974 - the Dead were scheduled for a Wisconsin show on July 4, but the promoter canceled at the last minute (due to local pressures), and the Dead sued the promoters for the money owed! (Possibly the sound crew had already started setting up the Wall of Sound in advance of the show, as that's cited as another grievance in the article.)

    Anyway, what's notable is that while the Dead were a performing band in 1973/74, the Garcia/Saunders outfit barely pokes its head outside California - there are only two brief trips east in Sep 73 & July 74 (both scheduled around nearby Dead tours), and two other planned shows were both canceled.
    Then all of a sudden in Nov 74, after the Dead's "farewell shows," we see an explosion of Garcia/Saunders activity out east.

    To me, this seems to tie in with Saunders' memory of the Dead being "jealous" of him and Richard Loren's account that they felt "threatened" by Garcia's sidebands.
    On the other hand, maybe Garcia was just hesitant to take his sidetrip across the country into the limelight and make a "thing" of it until he really needed the extra income...

  19. These are all really good points, thanks, LIA.

    I could pretty easily make a list of canceled Garcia gigs. Let me try to get to that.

    In terms of the touring of the side bands, I think sequencing matters. Early on, the GD was such a busy touring band, there just weren't many windows to mount other tours, and in any case I think Garcia was figuring out what his side bands could/should be (as Corry so eloquently argues in his great recent post on the David and the Dorks thing). He was feeling his way.

    Then, while the GD were on hiatus, he clearly could tour, he probably needed the money, and I infer that he took enjoyment from it. We often talk about the grind of touring, but of course Garcia was seems to have been addicted to touring as much as he was addicted to playing and to other stuff. And why not? It's not like, after ca. 1972 or whatever, he had a stable, gratifying home life to miss when he was on the road.

    Third, then, he enjoyed it enough that when the GD returned from hiatus, he structured his whole life so that he could have both -- i.e., the GD and a working, touring side band.

    Here's what we see after the GD return to action in '76, by my reckoning. Pre-coma, he was pretty much touring whenever the GD schedule and other factors permitted.

    September '76, a few shows out east.

    November '77 tour, probably originally scheduled to promote Cats Under the Stars. Became, instead, a way to rehearse material that would end up on that album. Inter alia, natch.

    Spring '78 tour promoting CUTS.

    nothing in '79.

    early 1980 tour, reportedly to finance the purchase of rights to Sirens of Titan.

    2/81 east coast tour: why not?

    11/81 east coast tour: why not?

    June '82: probably technically promoting Run for the Roses.

    October-November '82 southwest, east coast: why not?

    mid-83: just play.

    November-December '83: just play.

    A few shows August '84, a mini-tour

    11/84 Garcia/Kahn tour. Because Persian ain't cheap.

    Jan-Feb 86 mini Garcia/Kahn thing.

    87 Lunt Fontanne

    9/89 east coast JGB

    9/91 east coast JGB

    9/93 east coast JGB

    By the way, I have one independent piece of evidence that the GD quashed the 10/20/73 gig, but I am not sure I can reference it. Suffice to say that, in the shadowy evidentiary world of these kinds of things, I consider it pretty clear that the GD effectively put the kibosh on the gig (recognizing, of course, that things are rarely so clearcut).

  20. "I have one independent piece of evidence that the GD quashed the 10/20/73 gig, but I am not sure I can reference it..."

    The plot thickens! Glad to hear it wasn't just CUE blowing smoke-rings.

    It would be interesting to see a list of canceled Garcia gigs - might shed a new light on things, much like a list of canceled Dead shows from the early years illuminates how fluid their scheduling had to be then.
    Of course, up to 1972 or so Garcia's "schedule" would be pretty hit-and-run as well. But by that year, the Dead had sorted themselves out into more regularly scheduled tours with long gaps between them - there were plenty of windows in 1973 or early '74 where Garcia could have squeezed in another tour if he'd wanted.
    But, other than the Jan 72 trip with Wales, and the June 73 OAITW tour, he didn't.
    And it seems to me like there are several indications in one direction - that he didn't tour more with Saunders because the GD weren't comfortable with it. The two show cancellations fit into that narrative.
    As of Nov '74 though, the situation changed - the Dead would no longer have touring income, and they had plans for their record company & the film involving a lot of work on releases that might not make much money. And with no Dead shows in the way, Garcia got the green light. I don't know how much of Garcia's show income went into Round Records or the long film editing, but that's something to consider.
    So I think there is a consistent pattern to the almost nonexistent Garcia/Saunders eastern shows up to Oct 74, followed by an immediate burst of eastern touring afterwards.

    But there are other possible reasons too for the slow start to Garcia/Saunders touring, so it's a matter for debate. For the first couple years he may just have wanted to stay in the low-key local club scene & avoid the star trip; or he was "feeling his way" and didn't yet consider the touring possibilities for his sideband.
    But I think the recording & release of the Live at Keystone album in 1973, and the very fact that Garcia/Saunders could be considered a draw in Iowa or NJ in late 1973, indicates that Garcia's ambitions need not have been so limited at that point.

    P.S. - I thought Garcia did have a "stable, gratifying home life" with Mountain Girl up to 1975 or so, when he met Deborah & threw it away. I'm not sure his home life was ever a consideration in his touring, though - from 1963 onwards, home was apparently just a place to practice between shows, and the wives took second place to the music... The guy who left his wife & newborn baby alone at home so he could play bluegrass out east in '64 did not change much in later years!

  21. All good points as usual, LIA. And I have also wondered how much of Garcia's touring income was "reinvested" into Round, the movie, etc. It's not like they had money in the bank, and having to pay salaries and production costs for the movie through sales of "Mars Hotel" or "Blues for Allah" does not seem like a surefire proposition.

    re his home life, I only know the standard story that things were off with Mountain Girl *by* 1975. I have it on pretty good authority that Jerry had hooked up with Deborah by summer 1974, but honestly his home life is kind of a black hole. Between the relatively idyllic time in Stinson portrayed in the Stoned Sunday Rap (ca. 1971, 1972) and 1975, I really don't know what was going on.

  22. I've been considering, that whether Garcia didn't play more out-of-state shows with Saunders in '73 because the rest of the GD opposed it or whether he just wasn't ready for that, it's not an either/or situation - could be a little of both. Possibly he didn't need much dissuading if he was already feeling ambivalent about it at the time... Having already been part of the GD's steady growth from small theaters to big stadiums, he might not have been eager to repeat that process with another band; or perhaps he felt that the Saunders group had 'found its level' in the clubs.
    But if so, he changed his mind in '74!

    From today's perspective, it seems odd that the GD would oppose Garcia solo tours back then - considering how well it worked out in subsequent years. (At least until they started assuming he was getting more hooked on heroin during his JGB tours in the '80s & frowned on Kahn's presence; I don't think such a situation was on anyone's mind in the early '70s though.)
    It's not like they feared him leaving the GD. Perhaps the concern was that he'd spread himself too thin & his work with the Dead would suffer; or that if he set up more solo tours, GD opportunities would be blocked.
    And though it wouldn't have been discussed publicly, I wonder if money wasn't also an issue. As the main songwriter, Garcia was already making more than the others in the Dead; a solo album & steady club gigs brought even more income; and solo touring on top of that would put him in quite a different tax bracket than, say, Kreutzmann or Lesh... In such a democratic band, something like this might've been an issue for a while.

    Anyway, there are many areas for further research here! Re: whether any of Garcia's touring income was reinvested in Dead activities, that's quite a question in itself - would money from Live at the Keystone, for instance, have gone towards the Wall of Sound?

    I seem to remember Mountain Girl painting a pretty rosy picture of the early '70s in Blair's bio - but I think much of Garcia's home life is a black hole for good reason: he didn't "do" much at home then, or invest himself very much in family life. Kind of interesting on a personal level, especially in contrast to the '80s, but it doesn't have much to do with his music career. (Except perhaps on a mundane financial level, like doing a solo album so he could buy a new house, etc.)

  23. Some more ramblings...

    As a sidenote - peeked in the Jackson book again, and indeed it was '74 when Garcia went off the rails with Mountain Girl.
    An interesting quote from her:
    "He was sleeping and eating and changing his clothes at home, hanging out for a few hours during the day. That was his routine; it was comfortable and easy. I didn't expect him to take out the garbage. And he was great with the kids; he would hang out with them; he used to sing to them. I remember he worked out Russian Lullaby in front of them... [By fall '74, after Garcia started seeing Koons] I knew something was wrong because he started being brief with me. He'd come home and say some of the weirdest shit - anti-family things like, 'Having a family is probably going to ruin my artistic career.'"
    A classic Garcia line!

    She talks quite a bit about that period in the Dark Star bio, and it's clear he'd been growing more distant from her for some time. She drifted from the Dead scene, concentrated on being a good housewife & taking care of the kids, but as she said, "Jerry came and went when he wanted to...I didn't see very much of him...he definitely didn't seem to think that home life was enough for him... I went into this state of, 'I'm not going to think about this. I'm going to cook breakfast & cook dinner when he gets home and I'm going to be as nice as I possibly can be, do the laundry, make sure he's got clean t-shirts, and roll 10 joints so he can go to work...'"
    With all the club shows he was playing (and other activities), Jerry would get home late; and his habit at shows was also to go there LONG before the actual show - as Loren said, "Jerry would be backstage at the Keystone hours before the gig. He'd get there at 3 or 4:00 in the afternoon for a 9:00 show. He'd sit backstage and play and get high and people would come in and he'd talk."
    Peter Rowan also recalled, "We'd show up at the Boarding House at 4:30 or 5 in the afternoon and Garcia would already be there...puffing and playing."
    So his energies definitely weren't in his home life!

  24. For the record, some quotes about the Garcia vs Dead situation -
    Richard Loren: "Jerry's thing was to go and play on Friday and Saturday nights. It didn't get in the way of the Grateful Dead. Jerry started to like that a lot; he wanted to play a few more gigs. Even though no one would come out and say it, the Merl & Jerry band became a little bit of a threat. I'd have to go to Cutler and McIntire and say, 'This is what Jerry wants to do. Is it all right? Is this getting in the way of your tour?' 'Oh no. Yes it is. No it isn't.' I'd have to work with them; on the surface, it was cool. But I think there was a little uneasiness amongst a lot of the band members to accept it. They wanted Jerry all to themselves."
    Loren says more in the Jackson bio: "I think the Dead viewed all of Jerry's outside bands as a big threat... We'd work around [Dead dates]; we'd never ask the Grateful Dead to change a date. Unfortunately, the band didn't have the wealth it has today, and everybody was making not quite enough to be really comfortable, so I think there were some people who felt that the Dead should play more, and that Jerry's solo stuff was getting in the way of them making more. But I didn't see it that way at all; I think that what Jerry did on the side helped him be a better member of the Grateful Dead, because it stretched him in interesting ways, and above all it made him happy. But...I was viewed by some as 'the guy who's keeping Jerry away from us.'"

    And others, a bit more vague -
    Merl Saunders: "He said, 'I just want to play with you, man.' I'd say, 'We ought to book a tour and I want to book it around the Dead.' He'd say, 'Don't worry about that. Just book the tour.' So everybody started looking at me: I was the bad guy. They still consider me the bad guy. Because Jerry disappeared with me for 3 or 4 years."
    Howard Wales: "I never got along with the rest of those guys. There was a lot of jealousy... The only person I was friends with was Jerry. In fact, they were very jealous over the fact that we did Hooteroll together."
    Peter Rowan: "We'd go play at this concert hall and then he'd do two more nights with the Dead and 3 nights with Old & In The Way. From the Dead standpoint, I got the feeling that this was not exactly approved of."
    Testimony from four different guys that the Dead were not happy at the time with Garcia’s “playing around,” I think has to be taken seriously!

    Rowan makes a fascinating comment about the difference between Garcia’s loose, fun sidebands and the Dead experience:
    “With the Dead, it was like being in the engine room of a rocket ship. It was like, ‘Duck or you’ll get stepped on.’ It was very intense. One night, I remember Garcia turning around during the Dead’s set – I was standing beside his amp and he looked at me. He looked right through me. I was scared – it was the volume and the electricity and the energy and who knows what else in terms of chemicals and stuff. He was fierce... When he was ashore, you could have a great time with the guy, but then it was, ‘Hey, the ship’s leaving, pal.’ No matter how much you felt a part of his life, when the ship went, he went. The ship was the Dead. And if you weren’t on that ship... With the Dead, that sense of destiny from the inside must have been fierce.”

  25. As always, LIA, your willingness to track down the good stuff is much appreciated. Those are some pretty powerful quotes.

  26. I was at this show, it was a nice and sunny fall day in a very lovely venue. The late Don Pearson of Ultrasound fame told me that this was the first show he ever worked with Jerry and in the Dead stratosphere, he had previously been with the Airplane. I didn't even remember the Sons of Champlin playing until I saw the backstage pass, I guess they did. I think that Etta James may have just gotten out of rehab and her set was a little bit rough. Jerry, Merl and Martine were stellar.


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