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Sunday, May 24, 2020

They Really Are a Scree-um: Legion of Mary at Keystone, Thursday, May 22, 1975

LN jg1975-05-22.lom.all.aud-menke-falanga-motb-0044.87156.flac2496

I just revisited 5/21/75, and it left me a little bit ... whelmed.

By contrast, at some point between downloading the files in 2011 and today, I listened to and noted the next night, and I *loved* it.

The Bob Menke - Louis Falanga aud belongs in the freaking Smithsonian. his is one of the finest audience recordings in the Garcia canon, and there are a lot. Gorgeous. The vocals are very low, so it is "flawed" from the perspective of releasability. But the instrumentation is finely captured, Jerry's guitar far forward and everything else nicely balanced. Reportedly, on this night they actually placed the mics on stage near Jerry's feet, with one pointed into Jerry's stage monitor and the other pointed to the rest of the band, Bob and Louis seated at the front table right there. If you want to hear Jerry Garcia's guitar playing ca. May 22, 1975, check this out.

Song highlights for me were "Little Sunflower" and, especially, "He Ain't Give You None". Garcia once described having this fantasy of being a Mission Street blues guy. It's not clear how much such a creature ever really existed, but we know exactly what he looks like (and he looks different to each of us). We also know what he sounds like: listening to Garcia play HAGYN, I am put in mind of just a smoky little R&B bar. This is Keystone --certainly smoky, and funky in its own way-- but Jerry is just so drenched in this vibe, I'm almost surprised he's not seated and doing the B.B. King thing. "Boogie On Reggae Woman" is hot: the way Merl just jumps onto this, and everyone falls into line, is just wonderful. Merl is ready to boogie, ladies and gentlemen.

It looks like TPTB have released four tracks from this night from Betty's tapes, though none of the tunes that especially lit me up. The Garcia Vault seems to hold reels 1-3 and 5-7, and I now see that the Betty Board material in circulation is not really "snippets", as labeled, but is reel #4. So it seems likely that the whole show exists as Betty tape, if only the 6+1 pieces could be brought together.

Legion of Mary
Keystone
2119 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704
May 22, 1975 (Thursday)
Menke-Falanga MAC MOTB 0044 flac 2496 shnid-87156

--set I (6 tracks, 69:32)--
s1t01. [0:04] Tore Up Over You [11:42] [0:29]
s1t02. Little Sunflower [16:23] [0:19] %
s1t03. tuning and crowd ]0:50] % [0:19]
s1t04. I Feel Like Dynamite [12:12] [0:16] % [0:05]
s1t05. [0:14] % [0:26] Every Word You Say [10:49][0:24]
s1t06. % [0:44] Mystery Train [14:02] (1) [0:13]

--set II (5 tracks, 72:55)--
s2t01. /He Ain't Give You None [12:27] [0:16] % [0:22]
s2t02. [0:11] Boogie On Reggae Woman [14:33] [0:17] % [0:02]
s2t03. % When I Die [11:50] [0:09] % [0:05]
s2t04. [0:48] Going, Going, Gone [18:52] [0:30] % [0:09]
s2t05. (I'm A) Road Runner [12:05] (2) [0:18]

! ACT1: Legion Of Mary:
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals;
! lineup: Merl Saunders - keyboards, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn - bass;
! lineup: Martin Fierro - saxophone, flute;
! lineup: Ron Tutt - drums.

JGMF:

! 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: http://www.thejerrysite.com/shows/show/1170

! JGC: https://jerrygarcia.com/show/1975-05-22

! db: http://db.etree.org/shn/89046 ("Betty Cantor snippets"); http://db.etree.org/shn/87091 (this recording, flac1644); http://db.etree.org/shn/87156 (this fileset, flac2496).

! map: https://goo.gl/maps/LDc43

! JGBP: http://jerrygarciasbrokendownpalaces.blogspot.com/2012/02/keystone-2119-university-avenue.html

! venue: URL http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2010/12/2119-university-avenue-berkeley-ca.html

! venue: URL http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2011/01/jerry-garcia-and-keystone-shows.html

! official: Legion of Mary, vol. 1  (Rhino, R2 74692, 2005) (d1t04-When I Die [mislabeled "Since I Lost My Baby"]; d1t05-Tore Up Over You) - URL http://www.deaddisc.com/disc/Jerry_Garcia_Collection_1_Legion_Of_Mary.htm


! official: Legion of Mary, Absolute Mary (t02-Every Word You Say) - URL http://www.deaddisc.com/disc/Absolute_Mary.htm


! official: Jerry Garcia - Garcia Plays Dylan Again (t03-Going, Going, Gone) - URL http://www. deaddisc.com/disc/Garcia_Plays_Dylan.htm


! listing: "Country Joe McDonald Back In Area," Independent-Journal [San Rafael, CA], May 16, 1975, p. 21

! mention: San Francisco Examiner, May 16, 1975, p. 39.

! R: MOTB Release: 0044 24bit/96Khz

! R: Release Date: 09/09/2007

! R: field recordists: Bob Menke and Louis Falanga

! R: field recording gear: Sony ECM-270 and ECM-250 [Positioned Onstage] > Sony TC-152 > MAC

! R: field recording media: Maxell UD90

! R: Transfer: MAC > Nak Dragon > LynxTWO Model B > WaveLab 5.0 > HD 24/96 WAV

! R: Transfer: Bob Menke

! R: Mastering: Jamie Waddell

! R: This is one of the finest audience recordings in the Garcia canon, and there are a lot. Gorgeous. The vocals are very low, so it is "flawed" from the perspective of releasability. But the instrumentation is finely captured, Jerry's guitar far forward and everything else nicely balanced. Reportedly, on this night they actually placed the mics on stage near Jerry's feet, with one pointed into Jerry's stage monitor and the other pointed to the rest of the band, Bob and Louis seated at the front table right there. If you want to hear Jerry Garcia's guitar playing ca. May 22, 1975, check this out :).

! P: s1t02 Little Sunflower is simply wonderful.

! P: s1t03 Addams Family tuning by Jerry @ start.

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

! R: s2t01 HAGYN clips in

! R: s2t01 HAGYN, listen to fingers on steel strings around 6 seconds in.

! P: s2t01 Garcia once described having this fantasy of being a Mission Street blues guy. It's not clear how much such a creature ever really existed, but we know exactly what he looks like (and he looks different to each of us). Anyway, listening to Garcia play HAGYN, I am put in mind of just a smoky little R&B bar. This is Keystone --certainly smoky, and funky in its own way-- but Jerry is just so drenched in this vibe, I'm almost surprised he's not seated and doing the B.B. King thing.

! P: s2t02 BORW: Man, the way Merl just jumps onto this, and everyone falls into line, is just wonderful. Merl is ready to boogie, ladies and gentlemen.

! song: "When I Die" (s2t03): This is an instrumental rendition of the song, originally performed by the band Motherlode. It is the title track from an album that Motherlode released in 1969 on the Kama Sutra label. Written by band members William "Smitty" Smith and Steve Kennedy, it was a hit single and spent some time in the Top 20.

! P: s2t03 WID is a novelty, but it doesn't really go anywhere special.

! P: s2t04 @ 0:32 JG strums GGG, the song could be tracked to start here. This song is where this recording (and its cousins similarly taped) is so precious. You can hear Garcia's guitar so clearly, and the vibe is just so resonant. The performance doesn't knock me out on this listen, but maybe I am just not in the patient, contemplative mood required to really get it. It's very, very good.

! s2t05 (2) JG: "So long."

! R: Special Note: These are recordings done by Bob Menke and Louis Falanga at the Berkeley Keystone, made in May and June of 1975, that MOTB will be turning out, the subsequent Grateful Dead and related recordings are dedicated to Bob Menke's mom, Connie, who is suffering from pancreatic cancer. As you listen to what are certainly the most unique - if possibly not some of the best - audience recordings of Jerry Garcia in his prime, please send out healing vibes and prayers to Connie any way you see fit. We are all pulling for her, so please keep her in your hearts and prayers. The MOTB Team.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Take the Road Before Us and Sing a Chorus or Two: Legion of Mary at Keystone, May 21, 1975

jg1975-05-21.lom.all.mtx-tobin-motb-0050.87219.flac1644

I recently gave 6/16/82 a listen to evaluate whether it merited its lofty reputation, or whether it might be exhibiting a case of the Cornells. I decided it was as good as its reputation.

Staying with that démarche, a week ago I spun 5/21/75, Legion of Mary at the Keystone, which has long circulated from low-gen soundboard reels the provenance of which I do not know. (These are not "Betty Boards".) I have been moving through the world for the last week with the feeling that this one, too, deserved the esteem in which it is held. But now, looking back at my notes, I can't really see the basis for that feeling. I spun a lovely matrix done by Matt Vernon of the soundboard tape (MSR > 1R) and the killer Menke-Falanga aud under the auspices of the Mouth of the Beast (MOTB) project. The tapes are awesome, the music comes through, the room is very present even on $10 ca. 2005 computer speakers, and one can hear the band relaxed, tuning, chatting, etc.
Figure xxx. Extract from contract, dated 5/19/75, for Legion of Mary engagement at Keystone Berkeley, May 21-22, 1975.
I only really noted one musical highlight in Garcia's work on "You Can Leave Your Hat On"  (a.k.a., à la Elvis among others, "Suspicious Minds"). He finds some chukka-chukkas that put me a little in mind of the Dead's "Caution", and It Is Good. I found two sort of problematic parts. First, "Finders Keepers" just didn't survive the transition to 1975 intact. It dragged in all of the Legion versions that come to mind, and it just sounds like the band lost interest in it, whereas a year earlier it crackled. Second, "Harder They Come" is done here more slowly than any other version I can recall, and not to good effect (IMO, YMMV). It lacks urgency.

So, where does that leave me? Sounds great. Certainly provides a great listen. But it didn't destroy me. So, I'd say the esteem in which it is held surpasses the esteem it deserves. Still lovely 1975 Jerry, just not the crème de la crème.

Oh yeah, the post title arises because, for reasons that aren't clear to me --maybe it was snowing in May in Berkeley, wink-wink?-- Jerry noodles "Sleigh Ride" at the start of set II.

Legion of Mary
Keystone
2119 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704
May 21, 1975 (Wednesday)
MTX MOTB-0050 shnid-87219

--set I (6 tracks, 74:14)--
s1t01. That's A Touch I Like [10:12] (1) [2:22]
s1t02. I Feel Like Dynamite [12:29] (2)
s1t03. Last Train From Poor Valley [10:57] [0:14] % dead air [0:06] % [0:27]
s1t04. Finders Keepers [12:30] [0:48]
s1t05. Tough Mama [8:05] [1:41]
s1t06. That's What Love Will Make You Do [12:00] (3)

--set II (6 tracks, 81:11)--
s2t01. (4) [0:23] I'll Take A Melody [9:09] [0:54]
s2t02. You Can Leave Your Hat On [15:52] [1:17]
s2t03. Mississippi Moon [8:38] [0:53]
d3t01. Harder They Come [20:32] [1:04]
d3t02. Creepin' [13:36] [0:28]
d3t03. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) [8:12] (5) [0:12]

! ACT1: Legion of Mary
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
! lineup: Merl Saunders - keyboards, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn - el-b;
! lineup: Martin Fierro - saxophone, flute (s2t03);
! lineup: Ron Tutt - drums.

JGMF:

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

! JGC: https://jerrygarcia.com/show/1975-05-21

! db: https://etreedb.org/shn/4478 (sbd shnf); https://etreedb.org/shn/4479 (sbd shnf); https://etreedb.org/shn/87086 (Menke-Falanga MOTB0043 flac1644); https://etreedb.org/shn/87133 (Menke-Falanga MOTB0043 flac2496); https://etreedb.org/shn/87149 (sbd pitch-patch); https://etreedb.org/shn/87219 (this fileset); https://etreedb.org/shn/87526 (MOTB0050 DTS5.1); https://etreedb.org/shn/87573 (DVD-A); https://etreedb.org/shn/138651 (sbd); https://etreedb.org/shn/141905 (sbd).

! map: https://goo.gl/maps/LDc43

! JGBP: http://jerrygarciasbrokendownpalaces.blogspot.com/2012/02/keystone-2119-university-avenue.html

! venue: URL http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2010/12/2119-university-avenue-berkeley-ca.html

! venue: URL http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2011/01/jerry-garcia-and-keystone-shows.html

! official: More of the Best [3 track bonus CD that was distributed with pre-ordered copies of  The Very Best Of Jerry Garcia] (Rhino, 2006) (t01-TWLWMYD)

! ref: URL http://www. deaddisc.com/disc/More_Of_The_Best.htm

! listing: "Country Joe McDonald Back In Area," Indepdent-Journal [San Rafael, CA], May 16,

1975, p. 21

! mention: San Francisco Examiner, May 16, 1975, p. 39

! R: MOTB Release: 0050 16bit/44.1Khz; Release Date: 09/12/2007

! R: Matrix of 2 sources; 1--Lineage: SBD > 15ips reel > 15ips reel > DAT; Transfer 1: DAT > Sony R500 > Genesis Digital Lens > Fostex CR200 > CD; transfer 2: CD > EAC > WAV > SHN. 2--Audience FOB Recording; Media: Maxell UD90; Lineage: Sony ECM-270 and ECM-250 Blended [Positioned Onstage] > Sony TC-152 > MAC; Transfer: MAC > Nak Dragon > LynxTWO Model B > WaveLab 5.0 > HD 24/96 WAV; Taper: Bob Menke and Louis Falanga; Transfer: Bob Menke, Mastering: Jamie Waddell. Matrix Mastering: Kevin Tobin

! R: match and patch notes: I matched the speed of this recording to the MAC - it was slightly faster overall (about 1/2 a second per minute) and more consistent than the sbd recording. Audio Patches: 1) Between The Touch I Like I Like and I Feel Like Dynamite, 48.033 seconds were missing from the Audience recording and were filled in from the Soundboard recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better. 2) Aprox 4 minutes into I Feel Like Dynamite, 19.564 were missing from the Soundboard recording and were filled in from the Audience recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better. 3) Between I Feel Like Dynamite and Last Train From Poor Valley, 27.500 seconds were missing from the Audience recording and were filled in from the Soundboard recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better. 4) Between I Feel Like Dynamite and Last Train From Poor Valley, another 35.900 seconds were missing from the Audience recording and were filled in from the Soundboard recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better. Note: This includes the first few notes of Last Train From Poor Valley. 5) Aprox 7 minutes into Last Train From Poor Vallery, 21.273 were missing from the Soundboard recording and were filled in from the Audience recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better. 6) Between Last Train From Poor Valley and Finders Keepers, 33.900 seconds were missing from the Audience recording and were filled in from the Soundboard recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better. 7) Between Finders Keepers and Tough Mama, 12.007 were missing from the Soundboard recording and were filled in from the Audience recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better. 8) Aprox 7 minutes into That's What Love Will Make You Do, 36.803 were missing from the Soundboard recording and were filled in from the Audience recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better. 9) At the end of That's What Love Will Make You Do, 11.116 were missing from the Soundboard recording and were filled in from the Audience recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better. 10) Before I'll Take A Melody, 17.000 seconds were missing from the Audience recording and were filled in from the Soundboard recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better. 11) Between I'll Take A Melody and You Can Leave Your Hat On, 21.423 were missing from the Soundboard recording and were filled in from the Audience recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better. 12) Aprox 4 minutes into You Can Leave Your Hat On, 22.372 were missing from the Soundboard recording and were filled in from the Audience recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better. 13) Between You Can Leave Your Hat On and Mississippi Moon, 18.883 seconds were missing from the Audience recording and were filled in from the Soundboard recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better. 14) Aprox 4 minutes into Mississippi Moon, 24.773 were missing from the Soundboard recording and were filled in from the Audience recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better. 15) Between Mississippi Moon and Harder They Come, 16.966 seconds were missing from the Soundboard recording and were filled in from the Audience recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better. 16) Between Mississippi Moon and Harder They Come, another 1.593 seconds were missing from the Soundboard recording and were filled in from the Audience recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better. 17) Aprox 8 minutes into Harder They Come, 02.139 were missing from the Soundboard recording and were filled in from the Audience recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better. 18) Aprox 11 minutes into Harder They Come, 20.807 were missing from the Soundboard recording and were filled in from the Audience recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better. 19) Between Harder They Come and Creepin', 18.339 seconds were missing from the Soundboard recording and were filled in from the Audience recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better. 20) Aprox 4 minutes into Creepin', 22.035 were missing from the Soundboard recording and were filled in from the Audience recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better. 21) Between Creepin' and How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You), 15.893 seconds were missing from the Soundboard recording and were filled in from the Audience recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better. 22) Aprox 3 minutes into How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You), 5 minutes and 36.666 were missing from the Soundboard recording and were filled in from the Audience recording. Missing audio was normalized to fit better.

! s1t01 (1) Several members of the band repeat Merl's request to have his vocal mic turned on.

! P: s1t02 IFLD "you might not agree with me .. betcha" repeatedly (4x) 11:20-11:40, then he messes up the feelin' hittin' him, back on track 11:48.

! s1t02 (2) Martin: "Hey, could you send some water up here?"

! P: s1t04 FK lost some zip as it aged - the 1974 versions bring tons more pop than the Legion ones do. This might be just about the last version?

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

! s2t01 (4) Garcia is noodling "Sleigh Ride" and someone, maybe John, says "Merry Christmas."

! P: s2t02 YCLYHO Garcia proliferates the notes in 9, and it is good. Around 12:40 and forward, he puts out some "Caution" style chukka-chukka, and it, too, is good.

! P: s2t04 HTC starts off normally paced, then drops into a very slow iteration, the slowest I can recall.

! s2t06 (5) JG: "Thanks a lot. We'll see y'all later on."

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Music Mountain Is All That

Sometimes the conventional wisdom has it right, and the high esteem in which folks hold the Jerry Garcia Band show from June 16, 1982 at Music Mountain in South Fallsburg, NY illustrates the point. I heard it a few times way back when, and really liked it. Then I revisited it a few days ago for the first time in at least ten years, and I really liked it. It brings great energy. Everything pops. Valerie is young and grungy, inducing her man to shoot his dog just for barking! The "Don't Let Go" is incredible, Garcia just overflowing with ideas. There is a board tape of the first set, but if a complete master sbd tape existed this should be a no-brainer for release. I may not love it as much as I love 5/31/83, but one reasonably could.
Bobby and the Midnites shared the bill, and played second. Lucky for JGB, because apparently it rained cats and dogs during the Midnites set. People had a good time. A number of great-sounding tapes made it out of the venue, but I don't think the Cornell Effect drives the love for this show. Instead, it's just really good.

Which is pretty remarkable, because according to Andy Leonard, who had worked for the Dead, Our Hero wasn't looking so good:
I had never seen a human being that color before in my life. He was the wrong color. I thought he was going to die onstage. It scared the crap out of me (Browne 2015, 296).
These kinds of contrasts happen all the time in the Garciaverse. I have just come to accept that there is no one-to-one relationship between Garcia's health and how he performed on any given night.

On this listen, I spun the John Steinthal tape, put out by the Mouth of the Beast (MOTB) crew via the legendary Barry Glassberg's first gen reel. Nice tape, excellent show.

Oh yeah, one more thing: what an odd tour, really two tours in one. Things began on this night, after three hometown warmup gigs on June 10-11-12. JGB would do 8 shows in 9 nights, though they'd lose Liz Stires before the tour was over. Then, the Garcia-Kahn acoustic duet would take over the back end, for 11 gigs in 8 nights. Jerry must have made a pile of money on this two part electric-acoustic tour!

The three electric shows for which I have data (from Billboard), the first three of the tour, show gross of over a quarter million dollars.
The acoustic shows made less: we have data for five, grossing another $123k (with only two performers drawing pay). So we're talking over $400,000 and maybe a half mil for the jaunt, which would have had Jerry away from his hidey-hole on Hepburn Heights for less than three week. At those rates, Chief Smokin' Moccasin (Scully 1996/2001, 359) could afford plenty of new slippers.

Jerry Garcia Band
Music Mountain
South Fallsburg, NY 12789
June 16, 1982 (Wednesday) - 7 PM
Steinthal MAC > 1R MOTB-0057 flac1644 shnid-88972

--set I (6 tracks, 55:02)--
s1t01. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) [8:56] [0:02] % [0:05]
s1t02. Catfish John [12:57] % [0:04] %
s1t03. That's What Love Will Make You Do [11:09] % [0:04] %
s1t04. Valerie [6:57] ->
s1t05. Let It Rock [7:35] ->
s1t06. Deal [7:06] (1) [0:08]

--set II (5 tracks, 54:33)--
s2t01. (I'm A) Road Runner [8:41] % [0:04] %
s2t02. [0:32] Love In The Afternoon [12:44] % [0:03] 
s2t03. Don't Let Go [19:27] [0:02] %
s2t04. /The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down [#7:48] ->
s2t05. Run For The Roses [5:04] [0:08]

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band #14c
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn - bass;
! lineup: Melvin Seals - keyboards;
! lineup: Jimmy Warren - keyboards;
! lineup: Bill Kreutzmann - drums;
! lineup: Essra Mohawk - backing vocals;
! lineup: Liz Stires - backing vocals.

JGMF:

! Recording: symbols: % = recording discontinuity; / = clipped song; // = cut song; ... = fade in/out; # = truncated timing; [mm:ss] = 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: https://etreedb.org/shn/4422 (Senn 441 shnf); https://etreedb.org/shn/6659 (Silberman Senn 441 shnf); https://etreedb.org/shn/12513 (Eaton-Wise Senn 421/PZM blend shnf); https://etreedb.org/shn/19278 (Holvey AT815a shnf); https://etreedb.org/shn/33417 (Eaton-Wise Senn 421/PZM blend flac); https://etreedb.org/shn/88972 (this source, flac16); https://etreedb.org/shn/89042 (s1 sbd); https://etreedb.org/shn/89194 (s1 mtx); https://etreedb.org/shn/89198 (s1 DTS 5.1); https://etreedb.org/shn/89657 (this fileset); https://etreedb.org/shn/120086 (Dyche Nak 300).




! ref: Billboard, July 3, 1982, p. 39. The show did not sell out! The venue held 10k, but this drew 7,863 paying customers for gross of $79,458.


! seealso: JGMF, "A JGB drum solo by Bill Kreutzmann - Cape Cod Coliseum, June 18, 1982," URL http://jgmf.blogspot.com/2017/07/a-jgb-drum-solo-by-bill-kreutzmann-cape.html.

! seealso: JGMF, "Long Ago and Far Away: JGB at Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland, ME, June 20, 1982," URL https://jgmf.blogspot.com/2019/08/long-ago-and-far-away-jgb-at-cumberland.html.

! historical: Bobby and the Midnites also billed, Garcia Band went first. Apparently it rained mightily during Bob's set. Andy Leonard, former GD employee, says Garcia looked horrible: "I had never seen a human being that color before in my life. He was the wrong color. I thought he was going to die onstage. It scared the crap out of me" (Browne 2015, 296). Despite that, this is widely viewed as one of the great Garcia Band shows. and spinning it now (May 2020) after not having heard it in probably ten years, it holds up extremely well. It just packs tons of clear energy, not too grungy/down-and-dirty yet, still some youthful sweetness to Garcia's voice (though that'd be gone before long, and is already on its way out here in Dixie Down), the band very tight. After three hometown warmup gigs on June 10-11-12, here they start an east coast jaunt, 8 shows in 9 nights before the Garcia-Kahn acoustic duet would take over the back end, for 11 gigs in 8 nights. Man, Jerry must have made a pile of money on this two part electric-acoustic tour! The three electric shows for which I have data (from Billboard), the first three of the tour, show gross of over a quarter million dollars. The acoustic shows made less: we have data for five, grossing another $123k (with only two performers drawing pay).

! R: field recordist: John Steinthal

! R: field recording gear: 2x Nakamichi CM-300 > Sony TC-D5M > MAC (Maxell XLIIS-90)

! R: lineage: Sony TC-D5M (??) playback > TEAC AN-300 (Dolby encode) > Technics RS-1506US (Maxell UD 35-90 @ 3.75ips) > Technics RS-1506 > TEAC AN-300 (Dolby decode) > Grace Design Lunatec V3 (pre-only0 > Korg MR-1000 > DSF (1-bit 5.6448 MHz Stereo) > Korg MR-1000 > Korg AudioGate > WAV (24/96).

! R: MOTB Release Date: 2007-12-07

! R: people notes: R1 supplied By: Barry Glassberg; Transfer By: A. Egert; Mastering By: J. Waddell

! R: Mastering Notes -- Edited, mastered and downsampled to 16/44.1 on the GEMS Edit Station. -- Tape was paused between several songs. -- s2t0{3,4} - Tape pause between "Don't Let Go" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" cross-faded. 

! R: seeder notes: -- No music is lost due to the numerous tape pauses; however, the lead in is very short on a number of them. -- s1t01 - Output levels are very unstable during the opening of "How Sweet It Is"; taper is able to quickly adjust to optimum levels. -- s2t0{3,4} - Cross-fading of the tape pause - between "Don't Let Go" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" - may give the impression of a direct transition between the songs. The cross-fade was applied for aesthetics, as the tape pause was very abrupt, and there was actually a musical break.

! R: overall: Steinthal was a great taper, and this is a nice tape. Everything is forward out of the gate except the bass.

! P: s1t01 HSII he flubs the second verse, starting again with "needed the shelter"

! P: s1t03 TWLWMYD 5:30 ish Garcia is just hitting some great notes, very high up the fretboard as 6 approaches, crystalline playing, crowd appreciative. Jimmy takes a lead early 6.

! P: s1t04 Valerie lyrical flub again around 1:40, and this time the protagonist shoots his dog for merely *barking* at our anti-heroine. Very nice guitar work 3:44 ish, before and some after, featuring unexpected jumps between notes, skipping some, not splitting stuff evenly but taking a more diverse approach.

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

! P: s2t02 LITA what I really hear is how he is varying the phrase lengths and note intervals. Man, this is highly articulate playing.

! P: s2t03 DLG is truly top shelf Jerry. Billy steps forward 10:20ff, and it becomes a true solo from about 10:35-11:20 or so. Then John steps back in and we have a drum-bass duet. Jerry returns 12:41 with a beautiful, confident, melodious piece.

! R: s2t04 TNTDODD clips in

Friday, May 15, 2020

In the meantime ...

... have videos of Deadhead TV ever made it into the 21st century? I don't think I ever caught an episode, but I have always kind of wondered if anything interesting came up.

listening notes backlog

I have a bunch of info files from stuff I have listened to, but generally without much to say. Will probably post a bunch of stuff. Or not.

Jerry Garcia Hand Print Face Mask?

Anyone heard of any craftsy, enterprising Deadheads making Covid-era face masks with Garcia's hand print? If so, please let me know, as I am in the market for one.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Twin Wonder Powers, Activate? JGMS, October 11-12, 1973 at Keystone Berkeley


Tape Archaeology

What used to be known by some of us as the Third Batch of Betty Cantor-Jackson tapes proved the most grudging of all the batches in terms of finding broad circulation. This especially vexed Garcia freaks, because it contained a number of drool-inspiring Garcia-Saunders sets. You might imagine where the mind would go, seeing entries like these in 1996, a world in which very few had heard any Garcia-Saunders shows that had happened between July 1973 and January 1974:
JGMS 10/11/73 notes from Rob Eaton's mid-1990s work on the Third Batch of Betty Boards
JGMS 10/12/73 notes from Rob Eaton's mid-1990s work on the Third Batch of Betty Boards
Purchased in a storage auction in May 1986 along with the rest of the Betties, but lost to broader reckoning for around a decade before they became available to Rob Eaton for preservation in 1995-1996, some of these tapes still do not circulate. Fall '73 Garcia-Saunders tapes came into the world relatively late: the Winterland Legal Aid Benefit from 10/2/73 (etreedb | JGMF) in 2007 via Alligator, 11/3/73 (etreedb | JGMF) on NYE 2012-2013, and these October 11-12 shows only in 2016, almost twenty years after they were first digitized. Remarkably enough, all of these tapes are now home where they belong, having been gathered together by the ABCD crew and returned to their owners at no profit (in the case of the GD tapes) and at no cost (in the case of the Jerry stuff) - that is, effectively, pro bono. Will Wonders never cease?

Stevie Wonder in the Garciaverse

Speaking of which, let me use the occasion of twin Stevie Wonder tunes on October 11, 1973 to pin down Garcia's engagements with that legend's compositions, all of which occurred in the company of Merl Saunders. Alphabetically, I identify the following, all of which except "Reggae Woman" were done as instrumentals in the Garciaverse.

"Another Star" (Allan | deaddisc | wikipedia)
A hotty from 1976's double-sized Songs in the Key of Life, Garcia played it, hotly, with Reconstruction throughout that band's eight-month run in 1979.

"Boogie On Reggae Woman" (Allan | deaddisc | wikipedia)
From Fulfillingness’ First Finale (1974), Merl sang this one very effectively starting on 11/2/74, on current reckoning (with Paul Humphrey drumming), appearing regularly until the demise of the Legion of Mary in summer 1975.

"Creepin'" (Allan | deaddisc | wikipedia)
Also from FFF, this one never lit me up during its 1975 Garciaverse appearances.

"I Was Made To Love Her" (Allan | deaddisc | wikipedia)
This 1967 title track, by contrast, almost always lit me up. It seems to have been one of the first songs in the Garcia-Saunders repertoire, showing up in setlists as early as Fall 1971, but also, regrettably, left relatively early, not making it past 1973. Indeed, the version I discuss below seems to represent its last known appearance in a Garcia setlist.

"Love Having You Around"
Garcia played this one, the first track from Stevie's 1972 Music of my Mind, with Aunt Monk at a San Francisco bar called the Generosity on May 9, 1975. There is rumor of at least one other Garciaverse performance, but details remain hazy.

You Are The Sunshine Of My Life (Allan | wikipedia)
The second single released from Talking Book (Tamla T 319 L, October 27, 1972), this one reached the top of the charts and won Stevie a Grammy.

Of course, please let me know if I am missing anything!

As a final note, the 10/11 show here features two of these numbers, and it looks to me like, besides this night, Merl and Jer and others played two Stevie tunes three other times, on 2/14/75, 3/1/75 and 4/10/75a. Every one of those occasions paired "Creepin'" and "Boogie On Reggae Woman" (and Creepin' only appeared once w/o BORW, 5/21/75).

This night, by contrast, we get the final JGMS version of "I Was Made To Love Her", played more slowly than any other Garciaverse version, and the singleton "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life", given a pretty spare and off-feeling 15-minute treatment.

What does this mean? Hell if I know. I am just pattern-matching.

On To The Music

The October 11-12, 1973 Garcia-Saunders performances at the Keystone strike me as, respectively, lackluster and about average. The first night proves especially disappointing, because look at that setlist, but boy is it low energy.
JGMS 10/11/73 reel #2, scan provided courtesy of ABCD. The handwriting is Rex Jackson's, and the information is very typical for how he labeled the tapes, with personnel characteristically listed (Merle [sic], "Kawn" [a joke]), date, DOW, venue on the left, and, on the right, we have reel #, speed and recording info, including "Revox", indicating that this was made on Rex's deck rather than Betty's Nagra. Oh yeah, one final note: those are mold stains along the bottom of the box. The Third Batch of Betties spent a long time in some pretty horrifying conditions, and Eaton worked heroically to preserve them.
"I Was Made To Love Her" - one of the great, poppin' vehicles for this band, is played too slowly and never really gets going. It would be permanently shelved after this performance.

"When I Paint My Masterpiece" - not a favorite of mine, but it was rare and Dylan is always interesting. Not much of note happens here, quite subdued, and ol' Jer puts it on the shelf until 1/20/80.

"One Kind Favor" - one of my very favorites, the version from the Cap in Passaic a month earlier, in the band's first out-of-state show, absolutely slays me. This one, again, never reaches any kind of boil.

"You Are The Sunshine Of My Life" - John is totally on this, but Garcia doesn't really know how it goes, maybe not in the right key? This sounds kind of like piano lounge stuff.

Even the "Harder They Come" from the 11th holds lots of flubbing and falling apart.

An off night, I guess. Probably the dullest '73 Garcia-Saunders show in circulation, despite the sexy setlist. What are you gonna do?

The next night comes out with more juice and sounds stronger overall to my ears on this listen, but After Midnight quickly returns things to the languid pace of the previous evening. "Train To Cry", very much not a favorite of mine, has perhaps never been played more slowly by anyone, ever. "My Funny Valentine" sounds great to my ears, and Jerry really lets it melt for awhile - probably the highlight to my ears. But, overall, and of course IMO (YMMV), 10/12/73 pales in comparison to every other show in circulation from the year, except the night before. Two weeks later, on 11/3/73, the band sets my hair on fire. Here? Well, not so much. And, somehow, the first 40 minutes of reel #1 turn up blank. Hm. Every night can't be amazing, I guess.

All of that said, and perhaps especially because it doesn't knock me out, I am inexpressibly grateful to all involved in getting these recordings into our ears: Betty and Rex, RE, Alligator and the rest, and to ABCD for doing the right thing by these precious artifacts.

Listening notes below the fold.