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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Keith. And, Modernity.

Introduction: A Document

In my post "Keith Speaks", I threw out some raw materials on Fall 1971, Keith, FM broadcasts, as illuminated by a great little piece in the Chicago music mag The Now Sound. But I didn't really add any value. Well a new piece has just come across my brain, and I wanted to revisit that set of crossings, and say some other stuff.

This is the new piece:

Circular 3, 31 (October 4, 1971): The Dead Deliver.

Warner Brothers declared October 1971 Grateful Dead Month. As I'll elaborate below, using the imaged issue of Circular, the "weekly news device" of Warner/Reprise Records, this was no trivial undertaking, no mere encomium, no bone thrown to an artist way out in the long-right tail of professional acts' profitability distribution, 6 sigma or wherever it was, but also on that was always a little squirrely, and was maybe especially restless since money was coming in, chafing against its various corporate obligations and trying to figure itself out. This is the Real Deal Holyfiel'. The document represents a massive promotional investment, massive corporate effort from Burbank to the boonies, a chunk of money, something that gets mobilized, through these channels anyway, the planned ones, only twelve times a year. Warner Brothers went all in.

The company went in because, retensed, "The Dead Delivered". Grateful Dead, a.k.a. "Skull and Roses" a.k.a. "Skullfuck" came out September 1971 (Warner Brothers 2WS-1935) culled from shows recorded earlier in the year, super-hot live Grateful Dead with material from across the Dead's many American musical styles, from big jams to Garcia-Hunter and Weir-Barlow originals, churchy and folky stuff, rockabillies and straight out rockers, country numbers, a little jazz and blues flavor, the whole kit and caboodle. Americana Stew. Some great stuff to get high to, and some great stuff to groove to over anywhere young people listen to the radio, i.e., everywhere but in school in fall 1971.

FM radio formed a centerpiece of the promotional campaign. LIA: "Warner Brothers paid for the broadcast of one show per city in the fall ’71 tour to promote the Dead’s new live album." It seems to have worked," he goes on, "as the album went gold." I think there's more to it than that – a later part of this post will try to deconstruct the many splendored that is the Warner Bros.' marketing campaign, but I don't deny that FM was maybe the most important part.

For now, I want to think about Keith Richard Godchaux (July 19, 1948 – July 23, 1980).

No Pressure, Keith

What amazes me is how much pressure the FM broadcasts and the whole promotional blitz must have put on 23 year old Keith Godchaux. Can you imagine being a catastrophically shy lounge player, meeting Garcia on September 16th at the Keystone Korner, commencing rehearsals with the Dead no later than eleven days later, and hitting the road for an album promotional tour with live radio broadcasts in every city?!? It's no wonder Keith avers on 1022/71 that he's "had a hard time keeping a sense of continuity" (van Matre 1972, 14). No shit. Did anyone get the number of that bus?

Who knows how others' pressure feels? I can barely figure out my own. We all routinely do things that would prove impossible to others, for reasons of expertise, inclination and circumstance, and the attempting of which would be difficult for others. Insofar as it touches our stress triggers, stress ensues. Playing live on the radio would destroy me. Yet Keith Godchaux played heroically on the Fall 1971 Grateful Dead tour. He came out of the gate like a bat out of hell, played his ass off. He is mixed really high (too high, to the point of distortion, on many tapes), so he's totally audible, and I suspect that was true on the rooms, on the radio, etc. The jams from this tour are legendary: with 10/19 (Keith's first show!, 10/21, 10/29 and 10/31 alone making October 1971 among the best the Dead ever played.

It's a credit to the whole band, of course. They had tons of new material together, which Robert Hunter intended as the last piece of a trilogy, Rambling Rose to follow 1970 masterpieces Workingman's Dead and American Beauty. (Silberman 2001; h/t LIA), but which ended up mostly on Europe '72 (mostly, I gather, to get loose of Warner Brothers!). The songs are great and the arrangements are together (one can only think that they practiced a lot between the existing known sessions at the Santa Venetia Armory in San Rafael in late September and the start of the tour three weeks later). Musical professionalism is the order of the day, no sloppy/sick Pigpen at this moment, no sluggish dual drumming; Bill's attacking metronome, Phil's rich melodiousness, Weir's light speed progression – not just the songwriting, but the leadership, and of course the guitar playing, which by 1974 would become an indispensable strong thread in the bandweave—It's a great unit and they are getting shit done.

Anyway, all of this by way of saying "Welcome to the band, Keith. No pressure." I have always argued that there's only so much plasticity to the human soul, and that if you take it too far you might find yourself discovering all kinds of unpleasantness, reservoirs of stress and anxiety and exhaustion and fatalism which, tapped, can't be untapped; they can never go back to being unundiscovered, which is where they're best left. I don't have enough insight into Keith to see whether the baptism by fire left any scars. But it sure could have. Got pain? Seek comfort, immediately, and more fire is probably not a good call. Maybe being a musical idiot savant, as Garcia not kindly characterized him a few months before his untimely (and, I believe, fiery) death at 32 (Rowland 1980; see also "Bloody Hell"), maybe that helped; lacking emotional depth, maybe he just put his head down and played the fuck out of the piano –this he surely did!— maybe he didn't let it bother him. But I don't think so. No sense of continuity, indeed.

Welcome to Modernity

Roger Waters had it as "Welcome To The Machine", resonant with LIAs "brotherhood versus the machine" analysis of the Grateful Dead. It's all the same thing – modernity. In properly locating Helios, and somewhat counterintuitively, Galileo helped found an anthropocentric world, the one in which neither God nor Nature outstrips Man – and quite the contrary. The world is our artifactual oyster, and Reason can see us through. We own this place. Among many other things, space and time are standardized and routinized. As Boorstin writes in The Discovers, our calendars display a frothy, distinctly human blending of Moon and Sun. Pure hubris! Comparability and predictability result, and when you hear all that in the present context, you should hear "commodification", the ideal type of which is the perfectly invariant widget, available at just the right price.

Let's use the Circular to examine how this plays out, in practice. I should have mentioned this when I looked at the Pollstar 1991 year-end spectacular, analyzing it as "The Year of The Dead", but sometimes single documents contain whole worlds. These particular ones embody the record industry, put it on display, show its living patterns and practices. But they do so within the industry's natural habitat, not a zoo or even a National Park – straight out wilderness, where the viewing is best. So let's unpack what we see of this ubiquitous creature.

The titular article, "The Dead Deliver," offers an "official history", which is high modernity's codification of myth. I won't go over the details, but invite you all experts to comments on the details. There's a new record, natch, and let us hip you to its positive attributes. But also notice Weir's ascent to the front rank, "Handsome Bob," a strong lead singer. At least some girls and probably more than a few boys probably bought a record to ogle him, dreaming of holdin' Bobby's body close to theirs. Did I mention the commodification of sex? And, a record.

The second page finds mention of Garcia, planned for release within next month or two (eventually released in January 1972, Warner Brothers BS 2582) and IBM sales sheets (can I please see those?). But it's the box in the northeast corner that really interests me: how to make a Month. "To set all 50 of the United States ablaze with enthusiasm for the Dead's seven WB albums, the merch/ad/promo people in Burbank have been working overtime for the last month, in consort with the Dead's management, to come up with a campaign known loosely as 'Fill Your Days With the Dead'". We got yer t-shirts with in-store display apparatus; blow-ups of the band and slicks of the album covers; patches, currently "being stitched by gnomes at an undisclosed location" (I wonder where? Probably still domestic?); all kinds of routinized talking points, such that "Dear Customer be aware that there is now a Dead album for every day of the week"; and, of course, radio, with airplay, a single, and planned ad buys. (Note they don't mention the FM broadcasts – these must have been planned later.)

Space makes an appearance (the 50 states), but it's time that's really being packaged here. "What a Month is", indeed! Gods' names mask the reality that it's Man's World – we make our own time around here, son. The Month, capital 'M', with enough records for every day of the week.

The third and final page of the Dead feature contains no fewer than four chronological errors – that's really odd for an official history. Two regard release dates of Live/Dead and Workingman's Dead, and two involve personnel (Hart and TC's departures). Very strange. Notice Pigpen plans a solo album – it was right around this time that he was advertised with a solo gig.

The intervening three pages have your usual stuff, reports on artists, descriptions of new releases, singles, etc. It's all interesting. But I'll just get to the back cover:

What strikes me here is the sheer genius of listing these by space, rather than by time or by artist. Circular would go out to record stores all over the country, and local is where it's at. Want to sell a few more Fanny records? Tell the locals that she(?)'ll be playing the nearby college or theater. You don't need to know Fanny's whole itinerary, or what's happening elsewhere on any given Friday. What you need to know is "who's coming to Nebraska this week"? And The Market, Warner Brothers (including the winsome accountant M. Gitlin) and the intrepid Circular staff are happy to move put those data right in front of your nose, where you can find them. We got this. It'll cost you, but we've got this.


Anyway, no big deal. A lot of big words to just parse out some stuff in a document. But it's a neat document, and a deeply characteristic one. So, who has a line on more copies of the Circular? I didn't find any at GDAO, but I'd be shocked if the Santa Cruz archive didn't have some, somewhere. Anyone else? These would be fun to go through en masse.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

BOAT TWYDTTYD: JGB, Palladium, November 10, 1981 (late show)

LN jg1981-11-10.jgb.late.aud-stankiewicz.127293.flac2496

JGB played The Palladium twice in 1981, 2/11/81 and this night. Richie Stankiewicz taped both nights. Both really good shows and really good tapes.

This one has the best of all time (BOAT, in some circles) Garcia Band version of "The Way You Do The Things You Do", IMO. It's quite good.

I also returned to this after noting the wonderful, well-developed, 22+ minute "Don't Let Go" from 3/27/82, and wanting to check out another DLG from around the era. This one from four months earlier is a spunky 9+ minutes! Big contrast, if also nice and well-played.

These Richie Stankiewicz tapes continue to impress. I have annotated the aforementioned 2/11/81, as well as his 11/15/81 from this tour, Ron Tutt Returns. Also annotated from this tour:

10/31/81: JGB, Halloween 1981
11/3/81: Nothing to Write Home About on a Charlie Miller Birthday Show
11/4/81: Positively Garcia and the East Coast Deadhead
11/10/81b (this post)
11/13/81: Frank Streeter's tape from 11/13/81 (Boston).
11/15/81: Taking care of business.
11/17/81: Two long sets, not early and late shows + Mason Taylor listening notes
11/19/81: Farewell to Ronnie at the Rainbow

It's very good, strong stuff.

Jerry Garcia Band
The Palladium
126 E 14th St
New York, NY 10003

November 10, 1981 (Tuesday) - Late Show
87 min Stanki flac2496 shnid-127293

--set I (4 tracks, 33:54-0:41)--
s1t01. [0:22] The Way You Do the Things You Do [6:11] [0:03] % [0:12]
s1t02. They Love Each Other [6:44] [0:03] % [0:34]
s1t03. Knockin' On Heaven's Door [11:50] [0:19] % [0:02]
s1t04. Mystery Train [6:48] (1) [0:05] % pre-set II [0:41]

--set II (5 tracks, 52:48+0:41)--
s2t01. [+0:41] [0:05] I'll take A Melody [10:53] %% [0:53]
s2t02. Don't Let Go [9:31] [0:08] % [0:13]
s2t03. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down [8:34] ->
s2t04. Dear Prudence [10:44] ->
s2t05. Tangled Up In Blue [11:39] [0:08] %

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band #14b
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn - el-b;
! lineup: Jimmy Warren - electric keyboards;
! lineup: Melvin Seals - organ;
! lineup: Ron Tutt - drums;
! lineup: Julie Stafford - vocals;
! lineup: Liz Stires - 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.

! Jerrybase:

! db: (Beyer M160s, possibly same source tape, shnf); (Ohr Weinberg, early show, shnf); (Mark Cohen, early show, shnf); (Nak 300s late show, flac1644); (this fileset).

! map:

! venue:

! band: JGB #14b (

! R: field recordist: Richie Stankiewicz

! R: field recording gear: 2x Beyer M-160 > Sony TCD-5m

! R: field recording location: 1st row balcony

! R: transfer: Sony TCKA3ES playback > USBPre 2 by Richie Stankiewicz.

! R: very nice balcony tape.

! R: JGMF rename tracks

! P: TWYDTTYD JG is tearing shit up in the 5-min range. Very hot.

! P: s1t02 TLEO Tutt is just banging right from the start.

! s1t04 (1) JG: "We're gonna take a little break, and we'll be back in a few minutes."

! P: s2t01 ITAM JG playing very well. Nice scaling in the late 8:40s, then more good playing over the 9-min mark. More fanning 9:22ff, scaling down 9:34, pulling. Utterly characteristic Jerry Garcia guitar playing.

! P: s2t02 DLG so I am listening to this right after I heard 3/27/82, same place in the setlist. This one is a totally different beast. Much punchier, but Garcia's playing here, as there, is simply wonderful. That one was patient and deep. This one is burning much hotter, lots of fast scales, e.g., 6-7 mark. It's stunning how abruptly he ends this one, less than ten minutes! Very strange to see such a wide variation in the timing of a song within four months, under ten minutes vs. over twenty-two!

Great 'Don't Let Go' on the Second Starry Night - Portland, OR, December 7, 1984

LN jg1984-12-07.jgb.all.aud-young.127069.flac2496

Nice tape, and a good night if you can filter out Garcia's singing. Jerry's peppy and there's lots of good playing here.

I have argued that this period (August-December 1984) is rock bottom, but if it is, I gotta give the guy credit for slogging through it pretty respectably.

Two arguments for rock bottom, from this tape.

First, the vocals. Awful. Painful.

Second, the quantity: as good as the playing is, there might be less of it than a fully committed professional might feel obliged to provide you. You're getting barely ninety minutes of actual music for your ca. twelve and a half 1984 dollars. (That's less than thirty bucks today, which doesn't look outrageous given live entertainment ticket price inflation. But it was not cheap back then. He probably comes on real late and takes a real long set break, as well.)

But, I don't know. I am not prepared to say that this is "below the bar" of professionalism. I am posing the question. How bad do vocals need to be before you think to yourself, "y'know what? That's just freakin' brutal". What indifferent light-speed Mid Moon, galloping back to trough and getting out of Dodge, insults the ticket-buying public? All of this happened on a regular basis in 1984 and 1985, and 1983 and 1986 are suspect as well (though the latter for different reasons).

The question challenges me because the shows feature some incredible, incendiary, world-class guitar playing, outstanding arrangements with fine musicianship (aside from the bass), and the occasional  18-minute "Don't Let Go" that is totally worth checking out for the sheer American craftsmanship of it. I'd hit that for $30 tonight, given the choice - wouldn't you? (Last DLG until 2/5/88, BTW.)

Jerry Garcia Band
Starry Night
8 NW Sixth Avenue
Portland, OR 97209

December 7, 1984 (DOW) - 8:30 PM
Bruce Young MAC flac2496 shnid-127069

--set I (6 tracks, 44:10)--
s1t01. crowd and tuning [1:07]
s1t02. Cats Under the Stars [9:02] [1:01]
s1t03. When I Paint My Masterpiece [8:45] % [0:18]
s1t04. Get Out Of My Life, Woman [8:32] [0:06]
s1t05. Run For The Roses [4:57] ->
s1t06. Deal [10:10] [0:13] %

--set II (5 tracks, 48:44)--
s2t01. crowd and tuning [1:20]
s2t02. Mission In The Rain [10:52] [0:14]
s2t03. The Harder They Come [11:02] [0:08] %% [0:12]
s2t04. Don't Let Go [18:00] ->
s2t05. Midnight Moonlight [6:37] (2) [0:18]

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band #21b
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn - bass;
! lineup: Melvin Seals - keyboards;
! lineup: Jacklyn LaBranch - backing vocals;
! lineup: Gloria Jones - backing vocals;
! lineup: David Kemper - drums.


! 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.

! Jerrybase:

! db: (Mark Severson flac1644); (this fileset).

! map:

! venue:

! band: JGB #21b, THE Jerry Garcia Band (

! historical: This show is interesting as part of a study into Garcia's nadir. The vocals meet expectations - they are horrific. Garcia is estranged from his singing voice at this point. But he plays some terrific guitar and is generally quite energetic. But here's the other downside of this period: the sets are probably an hour total time (including smoke breaks and such) each, and I am sure they started late - perhaps hours - and took a very long set break - I presume an hour or more. So, for your $12.50 or whatever (I don't know the prices), you have a long night without as much musical bang for your buck. There were other periods in which they were even shorter, I think -- 1985 comes to mind -- but not by much. And by the end of the night, they are sprinting into the barn for some freshening up.

! seealso: JGMF reports on 12/5 and 12/6 as well.

! R: field recordist: Bruce Young;

! R: field recording gear: 2x Sony or Nakamichi mics > unknown DBX unit > Sony D5;

! R: field recording location: first row of the balcony, center, directly above the soundboard;

! R: transfer and FLAC encoding by David Minches: Master played back on Nakamichi Dragon > Korg MR-1000(DSF [1-bit 5.6448 MHz Stereo]) Korg AudioGate > WAV [24/96] > Adobe Audition 3.0 > FLAC encoding.

! R: Taper recollections: "I used the old SONY microphones I borrowed from Richie.  I  used a Sony D5 ... Recorded at the old Starry Night club, first row of the balcony, center, directly above the soundboard. I created and made all of the backstage passes because my friend, Forrest Faubion,  was the promoter.  I had wall power for the D5 and the DBX, which you also have. I was the first person into the show and had my pick of recording locations. Being right over the soundboard and in the balcony, there is far, far less crowd noise, because there was no one in front of me.  The mics were taped, but cushioned with sonex foam, to the balcony. There is a chance I used  the Jaime modified NAK microphones ... I'm not positive when he made them for me. The best recording I ever made.  The backstage passes have my company name....Up All Night (Nite to save space) in very small font. Michael Hedges opened, but it was was very hard to record a solo guitar act so far away.  Too much noise to signal ... too much echo."

! P: s2t02 CUTS. Brutally bad voice, as you'd expect. For whatever reason, Jerry just frequently had a hard time with how to end this song. Too many refrains.

! P: s1t03 WIPMM Jerry sings reasonably peppy. "It sure has been a long, hard climb", indeed. Whoa, crazy fanning around late 6 over 7 mark, very nice!

! P: s1t04 GOOMLW He misses the first vocal, so he takes a nice turn on guitar, and playing nicely, e.g., 0:38 just some nice sharp runs, digging in, still grooving into 0:50, starts vox around 1 minute in. More fluid stuff 1:05-1:06. Nice. His guitar playing is just fine, thank you very much. Pretty good playing over 4. Melvin takes a feature 4:25ff.

! s1t05 RFTR was good when it was fast like this. Bad vocal clam @ 3:45.

! s1t06 (1) JG: "We're gonna take a break for a little while. We'll be back later."

! P: MITR 5 min mark Melvin is playing electric piano, rather nicely.

! P: s2t03 HTC here, as throughout the show, I am really impressed with David Kemper. This HTC is going a mile a minute - yikes!

! P: s2t04 DLG was always special by this time - a DLG night was typically a highlight. This one strikes me as good, but nothing jumped out at me.

! P: s2t05 Mid Moon is sprinting.

! s2t05 (2) JG: "see ya later", or something like that. He's sprinting backstage.

LN jg1987-03-14.jgb.all.aud-archival_audio.124259.flac2448

Garcia doesn't quite have his stamina back. Nothing particularly noteworthy happening here. Good tape.

Ian Stoy's ticket stub for JGB 3/14/87 at the Wiltern Theatre in LA

Jerry Garcia Band
Wiltern Theatre
3790 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90010

March 14, 1987 (Saturday)
Ian Stoy MAC flac2448 shnid-124259

--set I (8 tracks, 60:40)--
s1t01. crowd and tuning [1:09]
s1t02. Cats Under The Stars [8:00] [1:33]
s1t03. Mission In The Rain [9:15] [0:29]
s1t04. They Love Each Other [6:42] [0:27]
s1t05. Simple Twist Of Fate [12:17] [0:29]
s1t06. Think [6:05] [0:01] % [0:22]
s1t07. Like A Road Leading Home [7:32] ->
s1t08. Deal [6:10] (1) [0:09] %

--set II (7 tracks, 51:53)--
s2t01. Get Out Of My Life, Woman [8:00] [0:20]
s2t02. Run For The Roses [5:28] [0:42]
s2t03. Love In The Afternoon [8:25] [0:17]
s2t04. Gomorrah [6:40] [1:01]
s2t05. Crazy Love [4:38] [0:16]
s2t06. That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day) [9:18] %
s2t07. /Midnight Moonlight [6:35] (1) [0:13] %

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band #21b
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn - bass;
! lineup: Melvin Seals - keyboards;
! lineup: Jacklyn LaBranch - backing vocals;
! lineup: Gloria Jones - backing vocals;
! lineup: David Kemper - drums.


! Recording: symbols: % = recording discontinuity; / = clipped song; // = cut song; ... = fade in/out; # = truncated timing; [x:xx] = 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.

! Jerrybase:

! db: (Sony 939 flac1644); (this fileset)

! map:

! venue:

! band: THE Jerry Garcia Band, JGB #21b (

! R: field recordist: Ian Stoy a.k.a. Archival Audio

! R: field recording location: Orch Row D Seat 114 Aisle 4 (FOB)

! R: field recording gear: 2x Toa K1 (handheld about 4' apart chest high) > Sony WM-TCD-6C > ! ! R: field recording media: 2x Maxell XLII-S 90 (Dolby C on)

! R: transfer: Tascam 302 Dolby C on >  ArchivalSilver/Gold RCA/1/4" TS > 1/4" > Tascam DR-680 24bit/48khz (dual mono) > Transcend SDHC Class10 card > iMac 3.06 Ghz i3 12 GR 133MHz DDR3 > AudioFile Engineering Wave Editor 1.57. Normalize to -.9 db (each side) Remove DC offset regions [labels] exported .wav  > xACT v2.21to FLAC (level 8 ) Metadata (aka tags), generate ffp and len (shntool) output.

! R: seeder notes: "Second ever "stealth" show, hand held mics, cable connection crackles and a drop out or two in the left channel during Cats. I did my best to lessen the pops but left the slight dropout. At the beginning of set 2 security was trying to seat someone in our aisle flashlight out and pointed at us, and therefore the start of GOOMLW was a bit muffled and a second or two was missing. Also the tape flip at the end of set 2 caused a second or two of might nigh moonlight to be missing. Light phasing can be heard throughout the show due to hand held spaced cardiod mics. A light buzz in the PA can be heard , more prevalent in quiter passages.  Can be rougher at times but overall not that bad!"

! R: this is a nice tape, e.g., start set II. Great spot.

! historical: seeder notes: "As with a number of LA shows my friend James (Jim) Ford waited in line to get the tix when they went on sale. He and Ron Cook help me get my gear in and hold one of the mics. This show was before In The Dark came out, and was lacking many of the In The Dark heads that attended the December '87 run we recorded, post Broadway run.  These 2 shows Friday  3/13 and sat 3/14 were the first shows I ever "stealthed" and was surprised there was "No Recording" enforced.  I did record 10/31/86 JGB and Kingfish. That was open with stands but I had an impedance mis-match and my recordings came out horrid. Back to 3/14 Light phasing can be heard  throughout the show due to hand held mics. The right channel (if I recall correct) was held by me mostly, except starting stopping or adjusting levels on my D-6. I held my mic chest high and mostly still aimed at the right stack. Whereas the left channel was more casually held and potential lower. The night before due to my first steal thing, I managed to record the second set over the first set, and due to cable issues, I believe that only one channel was recorded super botched job. We had a bank of 4 seats each night we were in Row D  I was in  Seat 114. First time at the Wiltern and it was very sweet! Enjoy! AchivalAudio, 2013-03-26."

! R: quite a pleasant tape!

! R: s1t05 STOF drop @ 2:16, 10:40

! P: s1t08 Deal Jerry is not sounding very good here, running out of steam. He doesn't really hit the vocals properly, either with the verses or with the chorus ... but let's see if he can make it up with his guitar playing from 3:30ff? Indeed, good. As ever, Garcia's guitar playing is excellent, while the vocals are the canary in the coalmine in re basic health. I don't think he's using here (but WTF do I know?), but he just hasn't built back his stamina not just from The Coma, but from years, at least eight but probably a decade or more, of hard drugs and hard living. The Tom Davis book gives you the nadir, or the August 1984 recordings.

! s1t08 (1) JG: "We'll be back in a few minutes. Thank you."

! R: s2t01 GOOMLW fades in, but not really anything missing. Taper says ""Second ever 'stealth' show, hand held mics, cable connection [problems]. At the beginning of set II security was trying to seat someone in our aisle, flashlight out and pointed at us, and therefore the start of GOOMLW is a bit muffled and a second or two is missing."

! s2t01 GOOMLW JG is putting some extra measures in vocally, "I don't love you no mo' oo oh". It's nice. Guitar solo 2:20 is pretty good. Late 3, Melvin takes a feature.

! P: s2t02 RFTR I find this tempo just a little bit sluggish.

! P: s2t03 LITA Jerry's voice is shot. And the band is not all on the same page toward the end of the song, 7ff. Not great.

! song: "Crazy Love" (s2t05): 15 times from Oct 19, 1986 to Oct. 31 1987:

! R: s2t07 Mid Moon clips in.

! s2t07 (1) JG: "Thanks a lot, see ya later."

At Wolfgang's Warfield: JGB, March 2, 1991 orchestra tape

LN jg1991-03-02.jgb.all.aud-mk4-orchestra.123611.flac1648

Obviously I don't get much into the 1990s, though I'll need to do more to do the whole GOTS story justice. (seealso: JGB 3/1/91 listening notes)

This is a totally professional gig, musically excellent. Old Jerry has his charms. He's a sophisticated storyteller and themeweaver on the guitar. I have performance notes below, and you'll see I find an awful lot to like here. But I find myself not liking all this polish as much as I like some of his more problem-era grungy edges. De gustibus non est disputandum.

The vocals are very low on this tape, but in general I am not a fan of the high nasal he had to use late in the game, for example with Struggling Man. They have the arrangements pretty locked in so that the ladies help him robustly in lots of places, but obviously he's the leader singer. His vocals are not bad here, like they were, say, 1984-1985. They're not painful. They're just not very strong. A little thin and reedy.

The Warfield. So much to say, can't believe I haven't done it yet. Graham finally elbowed Freddie Herrera and his clubs aside in mid-1987, capturing Garcia for the rest of his side life's life (and the rest of his lives' lives, too, natch), luring him with the seductions of money, physical comfort, convenience, predictability, privacy, and top-level professionalism. The bastard. (This is not an implied criticism of Freddie, not in the least. He ran world-class clubs. It's a clubs vs. theaters problem as much as anything.)

Early 1991 is an intense period of Warfield shows, as the first 8 months of 1990 had been: thirteen gigs in the first five months of 1991! See the table below.

Table xxx. Garcia at Graham's Warfield, 1991.

For the year, sixteen shows at the Warfield, plus three summer shows (8/10/91 on the Eel River and 8/24-25/91 at Squaw Valley) for Bill Graham. My sense (I have not checked!) is that in other years there'd be fewer Warfield shows but more BG shows in SoCal. That's probably the case for 1987, 1992, 1994, at least. Anyway, I don't have a sense of why there were so many shows in this early 1991 window. I wonder if Jerry wanted cash to finance the JGB record, from the tapes pulled at the Warfield in 1990? Arista could surely have done it. Maybe he just felt like playing it that way, and the only reason there's not more in the fall is the east coast tour. Maybe there's no particular reason.

At this stage in his life, at 49, Jerry increasingly wanted some of the things I listed above (viz. "money, physical comfort, convenience, predictability, privacy, and top-level professionalism"). His business arrangements with Graham (as with Scher when it came to touring the east - see McNally 2002, 494) were massive win-win propositions, as those with Fred Herrera had been. Creative destruction can be achingly beautiful.

This tape remains unattributed, with the classic "DAT Brat" setup - that's what some older tapers called the Young Digital Turks pulling psychoacoustic masterpieces from the Warfield ether, night after night, during this period - Schoeps MK4s, Oade custom power supply, Panasonic SV-255. Most Warfield tapes come from the drink rail, which was, per psychoacoustic science, The Spot from which to record Garcia at the Warfield. This one, instead, is from the orchestra pit. It ain't perfect, but it's really good and interesting. I think at least a few great tapes walked out onto Market at the end of this night.

Which reminds me, this may be the formal debut of incomplete timings in listening notes. 

Jerry Garcia Band
The Warfield
982 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

March 2, 1991 (Saturday)
Schoeps MK4 flac1648 shnid-123611

--set I (7 tracks, 64:46)--
s1t01. [0:33] How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) [6:41] [0:35]
s1t02. I Shall Be Released [11:42] [0:44]
s1t03. You Never Can Tell [7:18] [0:31]
s1t04. Mississippi Moon [8:17] [1:58]
s1t05. Tore Up over You [7:27] [0:19]
s1t06. [0:04] My Sisters And Brothers [4:24] [1:00]
s1t07. Let's Spend The Night Together [13:05] [0:06] %

--set II (8 tracks, 77:38)--
s2t08. [0:09] The Way You Do The Things You Do [12:42] [0:54]
s2t09. Señor [7:00] [0:35]
s2t10. Struggling Man [7:26]
s2t11. Money Honey
s2t12. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love [10:04] [1:14]
s2t13. Evangeline
s2t14. That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day) [10:39] ->
s2t15. Tangled Up In Blue [13:25] (1) [0:13] %

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band #21b
!lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-guitar, vocals;
!lineup: Gloria Jones - vocals;
!lineup: Jacklyn LaBranch - vocals;
!lineup: Melvin Seals - organ;
!lineup: John Kahn - el-bass;
!lineup: David Kemper - drums.


! 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.

! Jerrybase:

! db: (this fileset); (unattributed aud, shnf); (DaWeez flac1644).

! map:

! venue:; see also I can't believe I haven't written up the Warfield yet. These latter years so often disappoint me, I know I need to do them but I can rarely motivate for it. [update 12/31/2020: I have wandered to the later years in the intervening 6+ years and find a great deal to like!] This one was good and will have inspired me to listen and write more around the late period, I think. I don't quite know when the name of the venue has been Fox-Warfield, etc., but during this period all official references (tickets, handbills, etc.) are to The Warfield.

! band: THE Jerry Garcia Band, JGB #21b (

! LLBase: I don't believe this fileset has been seeded at LL as of this date (3/29/2014).

! R: field recordist: unknown;

! R: field recording location: orchestra pit;

! R: field recroding gear: Schoeps MK4/CMC3 > Oade PS > Panasonic SV-255 @ 48khz;
! R: transfer: SONY PCM-R500 > TASCAM SS-R05 > AUDACITY > FLAC @ 48khz, transferred on January 26, 2013 by

! bt: Seeder greens_n_beans, 2013-06-24, 11:10:52: "This was recorded from the pit at the Warfield, so quite up front, hence the low vocals....and Jerry's hot amps right in your face."

! P: s2t09 "Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power)" Garcia just doesn't have a handle on the lyrics, and that holds him back a little bit. He hits the "gimme a minute, lemme get it together" line, but then mumbles the next lines. Steps back for a very beautiful guitar solo early 5-minute mark. There are moments at which this is sublime, but the overall effect lacks something to my ears.

! P: s2t10 "Struggling Man". I have historically harbored the view that the return of this tune in the late-era Garcia Band was artistically unsuccessful. But this is really, really nice. Garcia's guitar work over the 3 minute mark and forward is simply outstanding, brilliant. Learned. Erudite. Not only that, but he is controlling sound in a room that he knows very well, which he has played a lot. He's comfortable. His gear is locked in. He has been with these same players for eight years! So he takes another turn over 4 minute mark, the band on the '1' 4:35 and Jerry is playing so beautifully. He clearly trusts these players. Tight tight tight playing. @@ And What a fucking recording! Holy camoley. Jerry steps back to comp, inviting Melvin up, and Melvin takes a synthy turn until about 5:41, they're together on the main melody. John is totally inaudible, for which he, not tapers, is to blame. @ 6618 "sun lights the day" verse. This is really a reach for Jerry vocally. I am not a huge fan of how thin his voice sounds, how nasally, in this period (and, a fortiori, later). It's not horrible or scratchy or clammy, just strained. They hit the finish on the freaking money. Jerry must have given them a head signal. Tight.

! P: s2t11 Money Honey Kemper is such a man on the drums. He's just right on the snares and traps here. The ladies hold Jerry up vocally, really nicely, on these R&B numbers, but also generally. The arrangements are mature, the pacing is relaxed, everything is controlled. It hardly sounds like Garcia is sweating here --though, eww, I'm sure, ick in an objective sense, a "big ugly man doll", quoth Amy to Barbie in Toy Story 2. Even when he's soloing pretty grungily in the 3-minute range, it's a contained and channeled energy.

! P: s2t15 after TLOS they gotta shake off the honey and get warmed back up for TUIB. It's chugging out of the gate a little ponderously. It's like the neighbor's Suburban. Kemper is trying to push the pace a little bit 1:20ff. It's true that Jerry's vocals are very low on this, but his guitar sounds nice. No bass at all. What we are hearing is the stage. And Jerry had his own guitar turned up, his vocals turned down onstage. John is totally inaudible, contributing nothing to the stage mix. Melvin is exactly on-chart, the ladies are on-chart, Kemper sounds fresh, and Jerry's the X-factor. This first serious solo late 2-minute mark is workmanlike, but uninspired. This tape is really mic'ing Kemper beautifully, and he plays beautifully, crisp high-hatting 3:45ff. Next solo over 5 is nothing special. Remembering all these lyrics (this is "basement on Montague Street" verse) is limiting Jerry's guitar playing, keeping it pretty rudimentary over the verses. Remembering any Dylan song is impressive, so I shouldn't be too critical. I wonder if he was using lyric sheets, charts, etc. on an occasion like this? Jerry's solo he has stepped back, pedaled and dialed in some stuff, and he picks up tempo 7:30ff, Kemper right behind him and then right where he needs to be, right underneath him. Jerry Garcia plays his well-wahed guitar, some grunge outside of the soft middle, a fresh hot plain cake donut (which I am sure Garcia occasionally enjoyed - who wouldn't?). 9:30 he clearly has a kind of theme, but it just ain't moving me. Then he weaves around and through his theme over 10, now higher and scaling down, lower and scaling up, a half-measure, a quarter-measure, layering on a little more 10:40, interesting theme, now some very interesting phrasings, crossing 11 he references TUIB and now it feels like he's laying out his patch back to it for good, neat little thing 11:30, higher up 11:35, letting it peak higher now, now a little higher 11:45 11:55, right after 12:000 fanning, determinedly, then a fast run to 12:12, the fanning was kind of deliberate, but then he ran that little run to remind ya he could be fast, too. Then he hits the reprise 12:30 or so and we are heading into the barn. Nice job, all (though I think John has already wandered away). Good show.

! s2t15 (1) JG: "see ya later"

LN jg1981-02-11.jgb.s1.aud-stankiewicz.127292.flac2496

Nice tape, nice show. Bob Minkin took some nice photos this night, a bunch of tapers nailed it, the band sounds strong. This must have been a great, weird old room.

Jerry Garcia Band
The Palladium
126 E 14th St
New York, NY 10003
February 11, 1981 (Wednesday) - 8 PM
Stanki s1s2p flac2496 shnid-127292

--set I (7 tracks, 60:44)--
s1t01. tuning [1:06]
s1t02. [0:08] How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) [6:58] [0:13] % [0:13]
s1t03. [0:14] Catfish John [10:12] [0:08] % [0:13]
s1t04. That's What Love Will Make You Do [9:39] [0:15] % [0:03]
s1t05. Mississippi Moon [12:07] [0:02] %% [0:22]
s1t06. [0:08] Tore Up Over You [9:21] ->
s1t07. Tangled Up In Blue [9:07] (1) [0:14] %

--set II (1 track, 15:25, first song only)
s2t01. [0:42] I'll Take A Melody [14:39] [0:03] %

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band #12b
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-guitar, vocals;
! lineup: Melvin Seals - organ;
! lineup: Jimmy Warren - electric piano;
! lineup: John Kahn - el-bass;
! lineup: Daoud Shaw - drums.


! 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.

! Jerrybase:

! db: (Stanki s1s2p flac2496, this fileset); (Jim Vita flac1644); (David Dyche flac1644); (Beyer M160, probably this source tape, shnf; probably deprecated); (Jim Wise flac1644).

! map:

! venue: It had never really crossed my radar that The Palladium was the same as the Academy of Music, but here we are. Fascinating. Wiki gives capacity 3,000.

! band: JGB #12b (

! R: field recordist: Richie Stankiewicz

! R: field recording location: 1st row balcony center

! R: field recording gear: 2x Beyer M-160 -> Sony TCD-5M

! R: Transfer: Sony TCKA-3es -> USBPre2, transferred by Richie Stankiewicz.

! R: Nice recording. Very full and nice.

! P: s1t04 TWLWMYD Jerry's guitar in the first half of 5-minute mark is very good. Jimmy Warren solos next and he is not terrible.

! P: s1t05 MissMoon they miss the 1 to start, but it's a nice version.

! P: s1t06 TUOY has some terrific guitar playing

! P: s1t07 TUIB the segue is really smooth, and TUIB starts with good energy.

! s1t07 (1) JG: "Thanks. We're gonna take a break for a little while [inaudible]."

! P s2t01 ITAM Jerry great feeling! He is singing with enthusiasm, "what I'm gonna do" with a growl around 4:40 ish. Articulating his consonants ... "feel brand new abouT iT."

Friday, March 28, 2014

'Drink 'em up, it's the last one'

 LN jg1977-07-23.jgb.all.sbd-miller.30662.flac1644

Meh. This doesn't light me up. Equipment gremlins running amok, things never achieve escape velocity to my ears.

Jerry Garcia Band
Keystone Palo Alto
260 South California Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301

July 23, 1977 (Saturday) - 9:30 PM
MSC Miller flac1644 shnid-30662

--set I (6 tracks, 64:25)--
s1t01. tuning [1:02]
s1t02. Sugaree [15:01] [3:29]
s1t03. Stop That Train/ [15:13#]
s1t04. /Mystery Train
s1t05. Simple Twist Of Fate [10:53] [0:18] % [0:07]
s1t06. The Way You Do The Things You Do [8:52] (1) [0:10] %
--set II (7 tracks, 67:08)--
s2t01. tuning (2) [1:16]
s2t02. They Love Each Other [7:20] [0:11]
s2t03. Sitting In Limbo [11:04] (3) [2:46]
s2t04. Tore Up Over You [10:08] [1:34]
s2t05. My Sisters And Brothers [7:00] (4) [2:48]
s2t06. Stir It Up [10:53] (5) [0:58]
s2t07. Tangled Up In Blue [10:44] (6) [0:25]

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band #3
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn - el-b;
! lineup: Keith Godchaux - keyboards (piano, electric piano, organ), vocals;
! lineup: Ron Tutt - drums, vocals;
! lineup: Donna Jean Godchaux - 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: (this fileset); (utterly redundant Bertha remaster of this fileset).

! map:

! band: JGB #3 (

! venue: JGBP The venue is in some doubt. The tapes seem to say Keystone (Berkeley). But there is hard contemporary historical evidence [redacted] that says both 7/23 and 7/24 were at KPA. The equipment gremlins and the emcee talk, including outroduction of the band, screams KPA more than KB. There's not much question to me what the actual venue is, whatever tape labels might say.

! historical: the contract rate between Freddie and Jerry had moved from $500 to $750, but if you  believe that's how much the band was getting, we should check some math. Sounds like a packed house this Saturday night. I have capacity 420 around this time (Staska and Mangrum 1977). I don't know what the door price would be in mid-1977, need to check. By some of the end-of-show exhortations to "drink up!", sounds like liquor revenue would have been robust this night, as well.

! R: Recording Info: SBD -> Cassette Master -> Dat

! R: transfer Info: Dat (Sony R500) -> SEK'D Prodif Plus -> Samplitude Professional v7.02 -> FLAC (2 Discs Audio / 2 Disc FLAC). Transferred and Edited By Charlie Miller,, August 26, 2005.

! personnel: Donna Jean is present, Maria Muldaur is not.

! P: meh.

! R: s1t01-s1t02 some static, level flux, etc.

! P: s1t02 Sugaree. Real slow and swampy. Keith on electric piano. Donna harmony vocals. Jerry's doing nice work, e.g., 7 min, but I am not jumping up and down. Keith's work 9 is lame. Major fanning in 12-min mark, then bending toward the jubilee. A few bad feedback spots early 13.
! s1t03 STT Keith on organ, ?Tutt? singing harmony vocals, so, JG, Donna Jean and Tutt three-part vocals, I believe.

! R: s1t03 STT clips out

! R: s1t04 MT clips in

! R: s1t06 TWYDTTYD some overloading, on bass and on piano.

! s1t06 (1) JG: "We're gonna take a break and try to fix some of this stuff [inaudible]." So, obviously, the overloading and such is a problem of live, not tape.

! s2t01 (2) sounds like Kahn is playing "She's Not There". Keith hits it @ 0:30. JK still noodling it -0:43, Keith joins up again over 1. Somewhere I have note that TTB said he thought it was the Wailers' "Lively Up Yourself", would need to check more carefully. Jerry's having none of it, either way; TLEO it is.

! P: s2t02 TLEO still some equipment issues on the bass, especially. Gremlins afoot in the gear this night.

! s2t03 (3) someone asks if they want to play that new rock and roll song. I wonder if he means Rhapsody In Red? Check session info.

! R: s2t04 bad static, now bringing bass down? Some bad shit this night.

! P: s2t05 Sis and Bros has four-part harmonies, KG doing baritone here.

! s2t05 (4) unknown speaker: "It's getting close to 2 o'clock. So will you finish your drinks, folks? Please?" Crowd guy yells "Or what?" Start of SIU announcer says "C'mon, just drink 'em up."

! s2t06 (5) guy in charge, maybe Freddie?: "C'mon, let's drink 'em up! Drink 'em up, it's the last one. Drink 'em up, you guys!"

! P: s2t07 TUIB sounds really fresh and nice. Bad bass distortion. Gremlins.

! s2t07 emcee: "Yeah. We want to thank the Jerry Garcia Band, [inaudible] tonight [inaudible]."

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Angels in the Balcony? JGB, March 27, 1982 Keystone

LN jg1982-03-27.jgb.all-1.aud-knudsen-GEMS.111727.flac1644

Gave this an anniversary listen today, and it pleasantly surprised me. There's an awful lot of depth of feeling in this whole show. Sugaree is very good right off the bat, and in the first set only "After Midnight" does less than it might have; I blame the arrangements, which just feel too cokey-80s for my taste. "Don't Let Go" is quite a rich and stellar version. It stands up very well to most any one I can think of from the period, and may be among the very top. Jerry's got lots of great ideas, but he's not at all in a rush. There are many imaginative and inventively packaged runs.

The first set is quite short for the period, I think (would need to double check) and the second set quite long. At least one person (see the historical notes below) remembers there being an exceptional number of Hells Angels present this night. There's no other evidence of that. But there is a feel to this show that cannot be pinned digitally, but that's nonetheless real. Much recommended.

Nice to have an audience tape to go with the crisp, long-circulating MSC>DAT copy, which lives in my brain as a "Kreutzmann tape". Same provenance as other '82 sbd tapes. I don't know any details and I am not sure about this stuff, but that's where I file it. This taper, Jeff Knudsen, was quite the wild man, taping a bunch of shows from this period blazing on acid on shore leave. He sometimes loses track of things, but the tapes are always fun and much appreciated. On this night, he records from the balcony. Not surprisingly, this gives the tape a much more spacious feel than what one mostly gets on Keystone tapes, from up front.

One last thing: it's funny I don't have a single image for this date. That'll be true for the 80s more generally. 80s shows were just in the old McNally-Arnold list, which for the period is evidence enough. Who wants to go back leafing through BAM every week to scan Keystone ads? I don't.

Jerry Garcia Band
2119 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704

March 27, 1982 (Saturday)
Jeff Knudsen all-1 GEMS flac1644 shnid-111727

--set I (4 tracks, 31:07-0:09, missing ca. 15 minutes)--
s1t01. [0:06] Sugaree [12:59] [0:06] %
[MISSING: s1t02. They Love Each Other]
s1t03. //Love In The Afternoon [#8:06] % [0:02]
s1t04. After Midnight [9:16] (1) [0:20] % pre-set II [-0:09]

--set II (6 tracks, 82:15+0:09)--
s2t01. [+0:09] (I'm A) Road Runner [8:29] [0:02]
s2t02. Don't Let Go [22:25] [0:03] % [0:04]
s2t03. Russian Lullaby [12:47] [0:02] % [0:06]
s2t04. The Harder They Come [15:29] ->
s2t05. Dear// Prudence [12:#50] ->
s2t06. Tangled Up In Blue [9:24] (2) [0:04]

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band #14c
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - al-g, vocals;
! lineup: Julie Stafford - vocals;
! lineup: Liz Stires - vocals;
! lineup: Melvin Seals - organ;
! lineup: Jimmy Warren - electric piano;
! lineup: John Kahn - el-bass;
! lineup: Bill Kreutzmann - drums.


! 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: (MSC, shnf); (this fileset).

! map:

! band: JGB #14c (

! venue: JGBP | LLD

! setlist: TJS has historically listed IARR as the end of set I. But here we can hear the setbreak announcement, after about 10 seconds of indecision and to the taper's consternation, after After Midnight. The now-presumed four-song first set is indeed a slap in the face The soundboard tape has the whole first set, which runs to about 44 minutes I think. Brutal. But redemption is always around the corner! On this night, he makes up for it with a long and quite strong second set. Need to check the timings of contemporary shows.

! R: field recordist: Jeff Knudsen

! R: field recording gear: Superscope Mics > AIWA HS-1 recorder

! R: field recording location: front of balcony

! R: field recoding media: 2x Maxell XL-II cassette

! R: transfer: 24bit/96kHz by Matt Smith

! R: mastering: Weiss-Saracon for 16 bit 44.1 kHz  TLH for FLAC8 SBE Free, by Jamie Waddell a **GEMS** Production  January 2011

! R: seeder notes: "-Huge thanks to Jeffrey for sharing his recordings and Matt Smith for the transfer work -Recorder Shuts off between some songs -Missing TLEO -LITA Cuts IN -Microphone static on a few songs"

! historical: Jeff Knudsen: "This show popped up out-of-the-blue. I got a phone call-- remember, there was no internet, no texting, no PMs, just the 'Pink Section' (if you remembered to look at it). My friend says, 'Didja hear? Fat Jerry gonna play Berkeley on Saturday.' 'GTF outta here-- only one night?' 'Yep' 'OMG!' (used to be called 'Oh My Gawd') So off we went. I just blew all my $$$ on Chico, Arcata and Garberville and now he has his hands in my pocket-- yet again!!

! R: historical: Jeff Knudsen: "Why is this show popping up now? Well, I got this email awhile back: 'You don't know me from Adam. I went to a lot of Keystone shows in 81 and 82. I actually met you several times through a guy named Howard who was present at that time as well.  And I know Matt [Smith] who has been emailing you lately. I was wondering if you have or will ever post 3/27/82 from Berkeley? IMO it has one rockin Sugaree to open. I also remember this show because of the more than usual number of Hells Angels. They had taken over the upstairs portion of that venue and while they didn't say so, it seemed like no one else was allowed up there that night. maybe it was just something I ate but i recall it being quite tasty. Anyway thank you for all those shows you got up and hope you're well."

! historical: Jeff Knudsen: "Well--- here is it!  However I don't remember "Angels in the balcony", but of course I was dosed to the max and very busy in the front row of the balcony trying the push all those little tiny buttons! It is a miracle this recording came out so well. Guardian Angels fo' sho'."

! R: This is a really nice tape, at root, and interesting. It's interesting because there aren't that many balcony tapes from the Keystone that I can think of. I think Jim Wise may have been up there on 9/18/81. Anyway, it's a whole different feel.

! R: s1t01 static blast about 24 seconds in. Vox very distant, electric piano prominent. Bad buzz at 4:45, watch your speakers! Don't think that's PA, because there's no crowd reaction.

! P: s1t01 Sugaree Jerry takes an extra run around before start the lyrics, which come in around 0:50. Those were a nice fluid phrase he was putting together in that little warmup round. Jerry's playing is very articulate this night, even, first half o 6 min mark. Does some chunka-chunka-ing and starts swinging it more over the 7-min mark, it's the two things combined: the chunka-chunka for half a measure, then the melody part he played before that. So he's cutting each of the previous things he did in half, and pairing them. Good idea, Jer! Still soloing to late 7-minute mark, and he takes the next lyric right before 8. So I don't think anyone else has really featured yet, 'cept ol' Jer.

! R: s1t03 LITA cuts in, static for awhile

! P: s1t03 LITA drummer is doing some really interesting pounding in 1-2 mark. That BK? Sounds good.

! s1t04 AM is going too fast in this time frame, and the backing vocals are cheezy. This arrangement has a strong early 80s feel, and I don't mean that in a good way. If he were a little more appearance-conscious (and thinner), Garcia might be wearing a white suit, maybe sleeves pulled up to his elbows and a skinny black tie. Think early 80s Steve Winwood or, more relevant, Clapton look. Song finishes

! s1t04 (1) JG: "We're gonna take short break, we'll be back in a coupla minutes" --guy, maybe taper, yells "Aw, shit, man!" Crowd not happy. Then taper talk: "Hey, sorry to fuck up folks. Got microphone problems, y'have ..." %

! R: s2t01 IARR mic static 3:30ff for a while; static 4:30ff; 7:18ff bad static;

! P: s12t01-s2t02 this is very nearly a guzinta

! R: s2t02 DLG more static.

! P: s2t02 DLG there is something special about this setlist. I need to check when "Don't Let Go" was played this early in a second set. In the 7-minute mark, Jerry is in a really nice low register and this has a real nice swampy feel. Melvin fills beautifully behind Jerry. Long phrases, punctuated with plucking, now back higher, some sustain, then some speed. Garcia is writing beautiful lines here, great tone. This is powerful good in this 7-8 min range, still finding lots to say to 9, then strums some stuff early 9 to change the tone and color, not as low, but a minor feel, with all that tonal burn, he steps back and lets Jimmy play a little bit; Jimmy's not very loud, and he does some good stuff, but he's also pretty limited, I'd say. Melvin gets a little louder, Jerry steps in front of him 10:20 and starts scaling, some really nice playing and Bill sits right back where Jerry can lean on him. 11:02 sharp note. 11:17 Jerry's got his head down, now some fuzz on it 11:20 after Melvin had thrown a nice dart. Now getting higher up the neck late 11, Jerry finds a nice little line over 12, hits it three times and doesn't overuse it, nice. A different phrase 12:28. He is overflowing with good ideas this night and the band is tight. Can't hear John at all, but Billy has got the rhythm locked in. This is an outstanding DLG. Even when he comes back to the theme in the 20 range, he's still stretching out and saying interesting things. Not in a rush to get back to it. But, OK. Jerry sounds wrecked, but in not a terrible way.

! P: s2t03 RL this pacing is deep and swampy and outstanding! Jerry is deep in the groove already, which was the same space in which he ended DLG. He's really in no rush during this long second set. Excellent. Sounds like taper is hassling with people a little in the 3-min mark, he wants them to shut the fuck up or something. Meanwhile, Jerry is playing, no, channeling Irving Berlin. Crowd is really cheering John on, then 9:25ish Jerry steps back onstage and everyone starts cheering him on. One guys says "Turn it on, Jerry, break windows!" Jerry steps up right at 10, but he's not trying to break anything. He's playing carefully and thoughtfully. That's the kind of space he's in this night. Nice pluck 10:30.

! R: s2t03 RL static 2:58-3:18.

! R: s2t05 DP splice in the first minute, not much?

! S2T06 (2) taper: "That's how it was. Let me tell you, that's how it was."

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Finders Keepers: JGMS with Jim Nelson on Drums, Keystone, October 5, 1974

LN jg1974-10-05.jgms.all.aud-falanga.8665.shn2flac

I have no idea who Jim Nelson, the drummer, might be. There are some tempo issues all night long.

I really like this period for JGMS. "La-La" and "Freedom Jazz Dance" are standouts to me. "Finders Keepers" is also pretty good.

When these tapes came into the light, back before 9/11, they were such a revelation. We had never heard much Jerry stuff between the Rheem show (2/9/74) and the show in the Park on 9/2/74 (confusing, yes!).

Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders
2119 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704
October 5, 1974 (Saturday)
Falanga-Menke shnid-8665 shn2flac

--set I (6 tracks, 71:51)--
s1t01. The Harder They Come [15:53] (1) [1:23]
s1t02. Finders Keepers [10:51] [1:42]
s1t03. He Ain't Give You None [11:29] [0:10] % (2) [2:48]
s1t04. La-La [14:42] ->
s1t05. space [1:57] ->
s1t06. Mystery Train [10:45] (3) [0:09]

--set II (6 tracks, 60:02)--
s2t01. tuning [0:42]
s2t02. Freedom Jazz Dance [12:47] [1:19]
s2t03. Neighbor Neighbor [8:28] [1:19]
s2t04. Sitting In Limbo [11:30] [0:06] % [0:43]
s2t05. Someday Baby [8:28] [0:46]
s2t06. I Second That Emotion [13:25] (4) [0:06]

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
! lineup: Merl Saunders - keyboards;
! lineup: Martin Fierro - flute, sax, percussion;
! lineup: John Kahn - el-b;
! lineup: Jim Nelson - drums.


! 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 fileset)

! venue:;

! personnel: Jim Nelson on drums. Real snazzy. There are certainly some tempo issues, e.g., in Mystery Train, suggestive of a drummer who's trying to find his way with The Group.

! seealso: JGMF, "Jim Nelson on the Drums and Several Great Rarities: JGMS at Keystone, October 4, 1974."

! R: field recordist: Louis Falanga and Bob Menke

! R: field recording gear: Sony ECM-270 + Sony ECM-250 > Sony TC-152

! R: field recording location: onstage mics, one directly in front of Jerry's amp, the other pointed stage center to catch the rest of the band;

! R: lineage: Menke transfer, cassette > DAT? > CD to Jim Powell; Jim Powell CD to jack Warner; EAC > shn, by jjoops; shn2flac, rename to sets, etc. 3/16/2014 by JGMF.

! R: mic placement said to be onstage, with the Falanga setup (one mic into Jerry's amp, the other pointed center stage), but his guitar is not very prominent here, which deviates from one of the key characteristics of the onstage Falanga tapes. Also, after FK it sounded like a bigger hall than Keystone. Is this GAMH?

! s1t01 (1) a couple of knowledgeable audience members request "Expressway", which is a great call. "Keepers" will have to do.

! P: s1t02 FK I really like how the drummer is hitting and how they are letting the song open up right from the get-go, like after the first time through the main melody, some nice breathing in the break, then Jerry comes back sounding really nice. It doesn't sound to me like the mic is in his monitor, or else he's turned way down. They are really putting the drummer to it, making him hold the whole break. Now Merl takes a turn, drummer is killing. John sounds pretty good. Jerry staying way back. Merl is on electric piano with synth. They open up another space @ 5:30, Martin steps up. He's a pro - he had signaled himself stepping forward with the ten note declension that's the key progression of the song. Now he steps up. The band listens to each other, and they are playing well this night. Martin has found a nice little riff first half of 10 min mark, which he uses well to finish off the song. Wow, right on the '1' to finish! Nice.

! P: s1t03 HAGYN starts off powerfully, but it feels a little draggy in the 6-minute mark. There's not enough power coming from stage. Merl's organ solo isn't very loud, Kahn isn't particularly audible. It all sounds a little hollow. Could be mix and mic'ing as much as what they are playing, for sure. 7:10ish JG steps up and he's playing some very nice melodic stuff. Drummer needs to be more in the bass drum or something. This is not totally happening. Drummer needs to fill it more, IMO.

! s1t03 (2) JG: "Hey Martin. Let's do that [he's strumming the La-La chords]". Chick talking sounds really hot and really sweet. She can be heard talking about Great American String Band, I think. She recognizes La-La coming up, and she hums the melody, and she yells with pleasure when the song starts. She called it, she loves it, and it's good.

! s1t05 I label "space", GD style. It's open collective improvisation, but it's rather dissonant, very much in a "free" feel. Martin has got his effects up to '11', and they bring it down to total silence. Nice!

! P: s1t06 MT drummer is a little off. Jerry has to do a little improvising, Jerry starts vox, trying to get the drummer in line, and he gets there about 1:08. Still a little off. They never really get it together, even to end. Oh well.

! s1t06 (3) JG "Thank you. We're gonna take a break for a little while. We'll be back a little bit later."

! s2t06 (4) JG: "Thanks a lot. We'll see y'all later."