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Sunday, April 26, 2020

Two Sax Attack? JGMS at the GAMH, February 5, 1974

LN jg1974-02-05.jgms.all.sbd-ladner.32088.flac1644

I won't elaborate much. I have always held early '74 Garcia-Saunders in rather low esteem, despite my early familiarity with, place-based affinity toward --I attended Campolindo High School, just down the road-- and resulting inordinate love for the 2/9/74 Rheem Theater show. I was prompted to check-in with 2/5/74 by valued commenter runonguinness's observation that there appears to be a second sax present in set II, and esteemed fellow blogger nick's engagement with the issue, raising the possibility that it's Martin doing his best Rahsaan Roland Kirk and playing two horns at once. I was rather gobsmacked at either notion, having produced an earlier lossless fileset many years back from the same Ed Perlstein board patch (shnid-11254), and apparently not having noticed the second saxophone appearing throughout set II. What else have I been missing? God only knows.

Anyway, as you will see from my listening notes below, my method was to try to track moments where the saxes appear to diverge, and I find a number of them. I have posted my basic conclusions as comment at deadthinking, and if you have thoughts or comments on the key question please consider posting them over there, so we don't fragment "the literature" too much. I just have to post my own notes when I have them, because that's how I roll.

I enjoyed the show, a Tuesday at the amazing GAMH, very much. It's LONG, and quite good. I hated the overwrought vocals on Road Runner here in early '74, but there's a lot of good stuff here, including some nice melty stuff at the end of My Funny Valentine.

Listening notes below the jump.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

"Garcia Sounds Pretty Wrecked" - JGB at the Stone, July 31, 1984

A rare Tuesday night outing finds the newly-formed JGB #21b sounding pretty typical for the period. Apparently the second set started after midnight, which meant it happened on Garcia's 42nd birthday, which the crowd apparently commemorated with a song of its own.

Not much to note. I noted generically that Garcia sounds pretty wrecked, noted lots of lyrical flubs, and noted some hotness in Rhapsody In Red, which should always have delivered at least that.

LN jg1984-07-31.jgb.all.sbd-misSHN.14429.shn2flac

Jerry Garcia Band
The Stone
412 Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94133
July 31, 1984 (Tuesday)
MSC shnid-14429 shn2flac

--set I (5 tracks, 47:26)--
s1t01. //I'll Take A Melody [#14:21] % [0:10]
s1t02. Get Out Of My Life Woman [7:46] % [0:03]
s1t03. Like A Road Leading Home [9:02] [0:11]
s1t04. Run For The Roses [5:12] [0:06
s1t05. Deal [10:#26] (1) [0:10]

--set II (5 tracks, 53:04)--
s2t01. [0:03] /Rhapsody In Red [12:57] [0:04] % [0:03]
s2t02. Russian Lullaby [14:12] ->
s2t03. Knockin' On Heaven's Door [11:45] [0:13]
s2t04. Gomorrah [6:02] ->
s2t05. Midnight Moonlight [7:40] (2) [0:05]

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


! Recording: symbols: % = recording discontinuity; / = clipped song; // = cut song; ... = fade in/out; # = truncated timing; [ ] = recorded event time. The recorded event time immediately after the song or item name is an attempt at getting the "real" time of the event. So, a timing of [x:xx] right after a song title is an attempt to say how long the song really was, as represented on this recording.

! seealso: JGMF, "42" (re 8/1/84)

! historical: Jerry celebrated his birthday with a Tuesday (7/31) and Wednesday (8/1) run for Freddie Herrera and Bobby Corona at the Stone. wk recalls that "the second set to 7/31/84 didn't start until 12:30 a.m., so everyone sang Happy Birthday to Jerry when the curtain went up. Then again at the beginning of Set I on 8/1/84. Technically he played two shows on his 42nd birthday."

! R: Source:  SBD > CM > PCM > Cass > DAT > ZA2  > CDR > WAV > SHNv3 (as given to me).

! R: Comments: Master tape paused between tracks. Thanks to J.R. Wolk for the seeds. Another installment of the MissSHN in the Rain splinter faction of the music never stopped project ...

! P: Garcia sounds pretty wrecked.

! R: s1t01 ITAM cuts in

! P: s1t01 ITAM flubs very first vocals, then again halfway through first verse.

! P: s1t03 LARLH lyrics not well recalled

! R: s1t05 Deal dropout (tape flip?) at 09:44.

! s1t05 (1) JG: "Thanks a lot. We're gonna take a break for a little while. We'll be back a little bit later."

! R: s2t01 RIR clips in

! P: s2t01 RIR excellent. Late 8 things get especially grungy, and stay that way for awhile.

! P: s2t02 RL when the vocals return, Jerry sounds fatigued.

! P: s2t04 Gomorrah lots of lyrical flubs

! s2t05 (2) JG: "Thanks a lot. See y'all later."

The Auds Have It - JGB at Irvine Meadows, May 18, 1984

LN jg1984-05-18.jgb.all.aud-french.84138.flac1644
There is a famous story of President Abraham Lincoln, taking a vote in a cabinet meeting on whether to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. All his cabinet secretaries vote nay, whereupon Lincoln raises his right hand and declares: "The ayes have it!" (source)
Just had an interesting experience highlighting the variable reactions that different tapes can generate.

In trying to be methodical in dating the birth of the longest-running GOTS aggregation, JGB #21b, to July 28, 1984 with the arrival of Gloria Jones, I wanted to compare some sbd tape from that night with sbd tape from the mini SoCal jaunt of May 17-20, 1984. I did so using some choruses from "Cats Under The Stars" from Irvine on May 18, for which there is an oddly-lineaged "FM-sbd" tape which the great Chris Ladner put into circulation back in the days of the FTP server, when he and I did business as "misSHN in the rain" an offshoot of The Music Never Stopped Project. I think I came up with the misSHN appellation, and quite proud of it I was, too - a relatively successful triple entendre --we were on a mission, shn was the prevailing file format, and "Mission In The Rain" was primarily a song from Garcia's side projects, which was our focus-- is not that easy to come by.

Anyway, I decided to listen to the rest of the show, because I love me some '84 JGB, including the next night (5/19) and a hot hometown show a week prior (5/12), which my third grade teacher, Don Dearth, had taped. I was also  partly inspired by a new-to-digital Doug Lamarre pull of 8/13/84, which I'd like to spin soon.

It left me surprisingly cold. Not believing my ears, I decided to return to the FANTASTIC audience pull made by Mike French (shnid-84138), his first solo taping effort before he and crew gained experience as the "Tapers From Hell". As I had remembered, the tape positively screams, coming at you 6' up (Mike's chin level), from 9th row center in the orchestra pit, and Garcia is a grungy monster. Anything I note about a performance leads with a P, and I said this:
It's amazing what an aud can do. The first P note, for example, involves the effect Garcia kicks in around 5:30 (track time) of CUTS. I hadn't even noticed it earlier in this day listening to the board. Now, I go back to the board tape to find the same piece, and it's really pretty flat on the board tape, none of the zing that this aud delivers. Night and day.
The P note in question now includes "Great guitar playing. Then about 5:25 he puts some huge hairy fuzz on it, crowd lit up ... Pretty filthy." Similarly, my listening self found nothing noteworthy in the FM-sbd version of "Catfish John", but said this about the aud version: "this is one of those really long CJs that makes you marvel at how much Garcia had to say around this song. Big wah on, real round and soft, then a little more glassine ...", etc. Totally different observations emerge from the tape. Same goes for RIR. The board tape version left me unmoved, while listening to the aud I noted "raging guitar playing over 8, crowd is duly appreciative. Filthy grungy fanning, crazy power."

Und so weiter. No "team of rivals" here. The auds have it. Second set was pretty short, three tunes, which I imagine must reflect a hard curfew behind the orange curtain. Listening notes below the fold.

Legion of Mary at the Arie Crown Theatre, Chicago, April 18, 1975

LN jg1975-04-18.lom.all.composite-proctor-droncit.124466.flac1644

Thought I'd spin this one on its 45 anniversary yesterday. The only moment of the show that made me sit up some was the meltiness at the end of La-La, which could have gone anywhere and ended up going nowhere. After mostly getting through the show yesterday, I thought to myself "It's no wonder Garcia pulled the plug on this band within three months". But it's amazing how little of interest can happen in any given 15 minute song. Chicago Trib reviewer Lynn van Matre, who saw the Dead and Garcia many, many times, was thinking along similar lines: "Laid back and enjoyable, ... though went on far too long."

Let me blaspheme even further: all of the Ronnie Tutt aggregations, the Legion of Mary from December '74 to July '75, then the Jerry Garcia Bands through summer '77, suffer from languid pacing. I am not blaming Tutt so much as Jerry. I get wanting to get into a deep groove, but at some point I need a little more zing.

Maybe I am just grouchy, what with Covid and all. Thanks, Obama.

The band got $5k for this gig plus $1,250 for sound and lights, which was a little low for the tour. Show did not sell out, and the band didn't even get any of its percentage topper (60% of gross over $20k). They moved 2,700 of 2,916 top-price ($6.50) tickets, and only 277 of the 1,403 cheaper seats ($5.50)., for 2,977 sold on capacity of 4,319. Jerry would return to Chicago in November with first Jerry Garcia Band, featuring Nicky Hopkins on piano, playing the Auditorium Theatre (capacity about 4,000), nearly selling out and earning $6,000 guarantee plus $1,500 for sound and lights.

Legion of Mary
Arie Crown Theatre
2301 Lake Shore Drive
Chicago IL 60616
April 18, 1975 (Friday) - 8:30 PM
aud + sbd proctor-droncit composite shnid-124466

--set I (7 tracks, 79:48)--
101. Let It Rock [11:50] [2:09]
102. La-La [13:46] [1:52]
103. Feel Like Dynamite [9:32] [1:35]
104. Last Train // To Poor Valley [8:#20] [1:08]
105. Tough Mama [8:13] [0:40]
106. Sitting In Limbo [14:48] [1:50]
107. (I'm A) Road Runner// [4:06#]

--set II (7 tracks, 93:05)--
201. Tore Up [12:54] [0:42] %
202. You Can Leave Your Hat On [13:07] [0:08] %
203. Mississippi Moon [8:50] [0:09] % [1:14]
204. I'll Take A Melody [10:28]
205. //Harder They Come [18:02] %
206. Boogie On Reggae Women [13:24] [0:29] %
207. Talkin' About You [13:26] (1) [0:12]

! ACT1: Legion of Mary
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
! lineup: Merl Saunders - keyboards;
! lineup: Martin Fierro - flute (102, 203, maybe others), saxophone, percussion;
! lineup: John Kahn - el-bass;
! lineup: Ron Tutt - 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.

! db: (start set II, sbd, shnf, deprecated); (start set II, flacf); (set II sbd composite); (this fileset).

! listing: Chicago Tribune, April 18, 1975, section 3, p. 4. This says tickets are $6.50 and $7.50, but that's not right.

! expost: Van Matre 1975. "Laid back and enjoyable, ... though like the Dead's shows it went on far too long." Lynn Van Matre reviewed the Dead and Garcia dozens of times, and was always pretty even-handed.

! historical: Tickets $5.50 and $6.50. Band $5,000 guarantee plus 60% on gross over $20,000, plus $1,250 for lights and sound. Since gross was just over $19 grand, no percentage topper. Looks like they were relatively underpaid for this gig. Show did not sell out, moving 2,700 of 2,916 top-price tickets, and only 277 of the 1,403 cheaper seats. So, 2,977 sold on capacity of 4,319. (A different reckoning has 2,449 sold at remote locations and 671 at the box office, for a total of 3,120, producing an improbably round $20,000.00 in receipts, on capacity 4,389.)

! seealso: JGMF, "The April 1975 Legion of Mary Tour" for a bit more on the tour and listening notes for 4/10/75 early. I like that show and 4/5/75 more than this one, and 4/12/75 about as much, it seems from my notes.

! R: source 1: MAC (Unknown taper & equipment) > C > c > C > CDR > EAC > flac (mono) supplies 1st set & "The Harder They Come" & alternate "Boogie On Reggae Woman" of 2nd set

! R: source 2: shnid-4482, MSR > 1R > 1PCM > 3DAT > CD > EAC > SHN supplies first four songs of the 2nd set.

! R: source 3: shnid-124315, sbd > ?? > cass > flac supplies last two songs of 2nd set.

! R: seeder notes: I received a CD of this show several years back. The quality was poor and I put it on the self and forgot about it. It was only recently I ran across the CD and realized much of the show did not circulate. Somewhere in the lineage, someone substituted a degraded copy of the circulating soundboard source (4482) for the first four songs of the second set and probably tossed the audience copy of those songs. The audience source picked back up with "The Harder They Come" and the CD finished with "Boogie On Reggae Woman". The Jerry site lists the tracks to end the show (206 & 207) as "Boogie on Reggae Woman" & "Talkin' About You" and does not list "Harder They Come" as being played on the 18th. Who knows, about all we can tell is that this Harder They Come does not match the song from surrounding shows. I decided to leave it in for your enjoyment. Recently taperchuck3 & Kevin Tobin released a soundboard copy of the two final songs of the second set (124315). I have added these to my copy to make a complete show. Not wanting to toss the audience copy of "Boogie On Reggae Woman", I have labeled it as alt206 and left in the show folder. I handed everything over to Droncit to see if his wizardry could make something out of almost nothing. What you will hear is significantly better than what's on my CD. Bill Proctor aka germain 4/25/2013.

! R: Droncit Notes: I used a paragraphic equalizer to lower some of the boominess in the bass. I added a little clarity to the bass with a virtual valve simulator, but most of the change from the original was to get rid of some of the bassiness and loss of high frequencies through equalization.  That left a very noisey tape. The tape was mono, and the left channel appeared to be slightly better than the right, so this is just the left sidespread over both channels. It sounds clearer this way. There may be multiple sources involved (besides the soundboard). I decided to not use noise reduction because there was so much noise and so little signal that it would have cut into the music too much.  Instead, I used a spectral filter to bring down the noisiest areas by a few dB. The last thing I did was to gain-normalize each track (including the soundboard tracks, after interpolating the pop in one track) to -1.5 dB, and then to autolevel so that they all sound somewhat similar.

! R: tagging notes: Show information is embedded within the headerof each flac file. It will display on any player capable of directly playing flac files. If converted to wav during processing, all tags will be stripped, however audio data will remain unaffected. If you must transcode to a lossy format, do so directly Flac > Lossy. Use ffp to validate audio integrity. Md5 values will change if tagging is altered. B. Proctor 4-25-2013.

! R: JGMF: not a great aud tape to start, but your ears adjust. It was recorded from quite close to the stage, as one can pick up the countoff to La-La (for example) directly from stage.

! P: 102 La-La ends with some meltiness, which could have become something

! R: 104 LTFPV splice @ 6:04

! R: 107 IARR cuts out

! P: 204 ITAM John is playing a Motown-style bassline. The tune had debuted on 4/4/75.

! R: 205 HTC cuts in

! 207 (1) JG: "Thank you. We'll see you all later on."

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Gloria Advenit! JGB at Keystone Palo Alto, Saturday, July 10, 1984

update 1: Jeez ... I now think Gloria must have arrived 7/10/84-7/11/84, a Tuesday-Wednesday in Palo Alto. Working backward: she is mentioned in reviews of August 1984 east coast shows. It is an iron law that the band played local warmups before leaving on tour, which would be these birthday shows. And it is just about an iron law that new members broke in on off-nights, off-the-beaten path, or both. Tues-Weds in Palo Alto fits the pattern better than a Saturday (7/28) in Berkeley the weekend of Jerry's birthday.

Having spent some time with it, I am prepared to declare that I hold that the titular show, JGB at Keystone Palo Alto on Saturday, July 28, 1984 Tuesday, July 10, 1984 represents Gloria Jones's public debut with the outfit. It thus also marks the birth of JGB #21b, THE Jerry Garcia Band, which would play together through November 1993, making it Garcia's longest-running aggregation outside the Brent Mydland-era Grateful Dead.

I have been circling around this conclusion for almost a decade now. Let me reconstruct. Older reckonings had Gloria starting on 7/21/83, or 9/30/83. In late 2010, I found an ad for 11/27/83 naming DeeDee Dickerson and not Gloria alongside Jackie LaBranch, which got me to thinking those earlier understandings were wrong. Five years later, I went through band itineraries for the November-December 1983 tour, which included DeeDee's flight arrangements and so on. So far, this has DDD present through '83, consistent with Corry's current reckoning (as JGB #21a, b. 7/20/83, d. 12/13/83).

I did a bunch of stuff in 2014. First, I conjectured that 1/8/84 was Gloria's first gig, which probably led to Corry's current dating for JGB #21b. I am now pretty sure that was wrong because, second, I found a show review from Santa Barbara (5/19/84) which namechecks the band, including DDD. This is no guarantee, of course, since JGB member names were not always  correctly rendered by local journos, but it was suggestive. And, third, I found pictures from 8/11/84 which show Gloria onstage. So, the bookends have now moved forward quite a bit - DDD was in the house 5/19/84, and almost certainly the last night of the little mini SoCal jaunt it was a part of, 5/20/84 at Wolf & Rissmiller's in Reseda. The next show was 7/28/84, part of a four-night birthday run for Garcia, warming up for the East Coast tour.

So I did some listening around those bookends, the May shows now presumed to be with DeeDee, and the July-August shows now presumed to be with Gloria. Despite obviously strong priors (and probably other bias in favor of finding a difference), I hear differences in the backing vocals. I couldn't characterize them beyond saying they are different. Basic methodology was to find clean tapes (sbd preferred) that have clear backing vocals. I ended up focusing on the first chorus of "Cats Under The Stars" on 5/18/84 (an FM-SBD tape, shnid-32156) and on 7/28/84 (sbd, shnid-14428). Again, the backing vocalists sound different. There aren't a lot of board tapes in these frames, so then I compared the opening stanza of "Catfish John" on the same 5/18/84 and the next known version, 8/10/84. Again, I detect a difference.

update 2: the original version of this post had Gloria arriving July 28th. But I now think it must have been July 10th.

On this basis and on the basis of earlier sniffing around 10/82 and 7/83, I am prepared to "call" the following:
  • DeeDee Dickerson's tenure with the Garcia Band ran from 10/24/82 1/13/83 (with JGB #15b) through 5/20/84 (with JGB #21a)
  • Jacklyn LaBranch's tenure with the Garcia Band ran from 1/13/83 to the end (4/23/95).
  • Gloria Jones's tenure with the Garcia Band ran from 7/10/84 (with JGB #21b) to the end.
My only concern is that I thought there was a new member on 1/8/84 based on audience chatter. That, combined with the fact that journos didn't always have the most up-to-date information about who was in the Garcia Band, gives me some pause. I hope the listening analysis I did holds up!

Now, how about 7/28/84, listening notes for which I post below?

The setlist novelty here is Allen Toussaint's "Get Out Of My Life, Woman", which came in strong and stuck around pretty much to the end of the Garcia Band. The JGB never varied its setlists that much (certainly not relative to the GD), and I don't really have the data I'd need to map song debuts, but this is just about the only new-to-the-repertoire tune I can think of between, say, 1981 and 1985. Are there any others, like, is there a single other cover tune that JGB added to the repertoire between, say, "Eleanor Rigby" in 1980 (sort of) and "It Stoned Me" in 1986? Anyway, great tune, done well, and at points "hot-hot-hot", per my notes.

The show, overall, offers plenty of sloppy pep. I hated when he couldn't figure out how to end "Cats Under The Stars", and this version suffers from that. There's plenty of mumblyverse, slop, and hot energy in tunes like "Tore Up Over You". Not bad, all told.

Listening notes below the fold.