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Sunday, July 26, 2015

JGMS Marx Meadows video

Wow. That is a four-minute black and white video, with sound, of JGMS playing "Sitting In Limbo" at Marx Meadows, Golden Gate Park, September 2, 1974. There's an equipment malfunction and the snippet ends on Big Steve coming out to fix some things.

Beyond the fact that this video exists, what amazes me most is that there are two horn players (h/t casable). Martin Fierro is the guy toward the right of the screen, and next to him is a guy with a beret or something and what I think is a baritone sax. Right @ 0:39 and for a few seconds gives the clearest view of both of them. The second sax player also plays a few lines later on, clearly him because Martin is shown and is not playing (see especially 2:53, and then the bari sax is audible until the sound cuts out @ 3:45).

Here's a screenie of the two of them from 0:51:

Who is this guy? Looks like Snookie Flowers to me.

Thanks as always to Gordon the Drummer for keeping up with what hits the youtube airwaves.

BTW, love this about Garcia's apolitics: "Asked by the Barb if he sympathized the White Panther politics of the People's Ballroom, Garcia replied, 'I don't support them or not support them, but I'd just as soon play as not".
! ref: "Garcia Returns to Marx Meadows," Berkeley Barb, September 6-12, 1974, p. 2 (via Independent Voices).


  1. Fascinating and very cool. I really like this tape and this version of Limbo in particular, but my ears totally missed the second horn player: he's mixed so low on the recording that I probably always assumed it was Martin messing around with that electronic effect he used sometimes (a Varitone I think), but not so. I don't know who the guy is, but yes, that's a baritone sax -- it sounds like one, too.

    What's funny is that on the sbd recording (31903), the tape fades right before Garcia's amp dies (@3:42 in the video) and quickly fades back in with just Billy playing, then the baritone player finishing his brief solo (not shown here). I'm surprised they just stopped mid-song, especially since Jerry wasn't even soloing!

    Also, it's gratifying to see confirmation that Kreutzmann is playing drums. He's clearly shown at 2:24-2:30 and again at approx 3:30-3:40. I'd bet anything that it's actually Kreutzmann on the "9/1/74" Pure Jerry release, not Paul Humphrey.

    1. I don't think Billy K's presence at Marx Meadows says anything about Paul Humphrey playing the Keystone Berkeley the night before. For one thing, September 2 was a Monday (Labor Day). Paul Humphrey lived in LA, and he would have had a flight booked back to LA, since he probably had his regular Monday recording of the Lawrence Welk show.

      For another, The GGP park gig was probably unpaid. Maybe the band got a little money, from some park fund, but nothing like the Keystone Berkeley. Humphrey probably lost money he could have made from sessions by playing well-paying gigs at Keystone--I don't see him sticking around the Bay Area for an unpaid (or almost unpaid) event.

    2. That's a totally fair point. I also think, however, that the drummer on the Pure Jerry release doesn't sound anything like Paul Humphrey does on those Oct-Nov 74 tapes, and does sound an awful lot like Billy does here. Knowing for sure that Humphrey wasn't drumming on 9/2 makes a side-by-side comparison of the two nights a little more informative.

    3. I hadn't really caught that they list Humphrey as drumming on the "9/1/74" release. I had always thought it was BK. Nick, as we have discussed here and there, I had always reckoned that they were trying on drummers for the November tour through the month of October, that it was BK before then.

      I trust your ears more than the info on the Pure Jerry release. That one, in particular, has all kinds of vague and questionable info.

  2. Two guesses:

    1. Cornelius "Snooky" Flowers, who's most known for performing with Janis Joplin, was also on Weir's "Ace" and Hunter's "Rum Runners" albums, and also apparently recorded some tracks at Mickey's barn as part of the "Marin County Collective" scene that (sometimes?) included Garcia.

    2. Ron Taormina, who played baritone sax alongside Martin Fierro on at least three albums: Mother Earth's Living With the Animals (1968), Shades of Joy's self-titled album (1969), and Quicksilver's What About Me (1970). He also played and recorded with the Loading Zone.

    1. Completely fascinating. I vote for Snooky Flowers. I saw him play a few times in the Bay Area (not with Jerry), and based on the glimpses, it very well could be him. Not a definitive yes, but very much in favor--that could be him. He was mainly a photogrpaher by then, but still played music and hung out with all those 60s guys.

      Ron Taormina of Loading Zone is an intriguing guess, but I'd be inclined against it. For one thing, he was in the second Loading Zone, not the first, and it was the second one that was socially connected to the Dead. Of course, he had a connection to Martin, at least playing on the same sessions, so it's possible. I have never seen a picture of him, so I don't know if he matches the black guy we see in the video.

  3. Here's a review of Ron Tutt's 9/2/74 midnight show. He was at the Las Vegas Hilton with Elvis, the last night of tour.


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