greeting

Please make yourself at home! Check some tags, do some reading, leave a comment.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Firing On All Cylinders: JGB at the SF Civic, December 22, 1990

LN jg1990-12-22.jgb.all.aud-stucco-gems.149794.flac1648

When you say something sucked, or point to some darkness, you are scandal-mongering. When you rave, your are homer-fanboying. In all cases it's subjective. But, fuck it - it's my blog, and these are my impressions, and if you want to compare notes put 'em in comments or somewhere's else I can find 'em!

The JGB show at the cavernous SF Civic on December 22, 1990 is a late masterpiece.

There, I said it.

I cannot believe the many levels on which this show works. Garcia sounds very much like he wants to be playing this very music with this very band for these very fans on this very night in this very room. The 90-minute second set is not just an artifact of DAT taping, because not one but two songs happen after the big jam of "Don't Let Go". This is one of the longest sets of the post-coma Garcia Band, maybe the longest. Someday I will be able to show a time series testing this claim.

That's not to say that it's a gigglefest. Indeed, notes of nostalgia, sadness, world-weariness, a little darkness and edge definitely strike. But so do moments of light, easy joy.

My post on 11/15/90 referenced the "rehearsed, post-Brent Garcia Band", and I think both the claim and the allusion were spot on. The allusion to Brent speaks to the emotional range on display, on my subjective hearing. Brent's death hit him hard, and the Grateful Dead, to my subjective hearing, was never really the same. (Bob Weir agrees, by his own telling in the Long Strange Trip documentary, Act VI, around 22:45.) I guess Vince was a nice enough guy, but, in my certainly controversial and not-intentionally mean view, the band's sound verged on the ersatz with him in it. It is conventionally claimed that Garcia enjoyed his own band more than the GD for these last five years or so (i.e., post-Brent), and, as I have said, he certainly sounds very much like this is where he wants to be on this particular night. So if the sadness and world-weariness reflect the emotional toll of the losses he had experienced (which would further accumulate with Bill Graham's passing 10+ months later), the joy and lightness reflect the comfort of playing easy tunes with an easy band in an easy setting. That's my story, anyway.

And, the band speaks to the "rehearsed" part of my earlier analysis. I have no evidence of this, but this band absolutely sounds like it has been rehearsing. This will not appear in my notes, I don't think, but the Jerryettes are doing more and more forward work here than earlier in the year. I wish I had some digital musicologist on hand to check arrangements and quantify these things, but all I can go on is my impression. I don't think it's just the tape. The arrangements seem to invite the ladies to be more involved and more audible. Melvin Seals, for his part, is playing electric piano, organ and synth here. As with vocals, I don't have any firm baseline data around Melvin's instrumentation. I wish someone would dig into this stuff so I don't have to - when was he playing synth? Anyway, there's just tons of range on display here, lots of colors and textures and tones.

Here are a few song-centered bullet points to illustrate some of the wide spectrum of highlights.

Mission In The Rain: Hunter called this one of the only explicitly autobiographical songs he wrote for Garcia, and being at the SF Civic, right downtown across from the library, late in the year (solstice or a day off of it), Jerry definitely sounds nostalgic. His guitar work is contemplative, gentle, very soft and round and comforting. He picks out his words carefully. Beautiful.

Señor, Throw Out The Lifeline -> Let's Spend The Night Together: Garcia displays huge emotional range across these three tunes. The nautical themes of the first two connect them to Mission in the autobiographical sense, young Jerry having spent a chunk of his childhood at his mom's waterfront bar, "where the sailors all come in", soaking in the gin-and-cigarette scented salt air and their wild and wooly tales of the sea. They also unify in dark imagery, with Dylan's wicked wind necessitating Edward Uffin's lifesaving action (h/t Allen):

Throw out the life line to danger fraught men,
Sinking in anguish where you’ve never been;
Winds of temptation and billows of woe
Will soon hurl them out where the dark waters flow

They part ways tonally, though, and again this gives expression to the post-Brent Jerry Band, the dark Armageddon of death that we all confront leavened by the lived realities of at least local and temporary salvation, not least through music. The song lilts along pleasantly enough, bringing a little bit of redemption. And my goodness, the music that follows! Garcia absolutely cuts loose on this version of LSTNT, with some absolutely huge, raging guitar. I used to think this was the BOAT version, but on this listen it didn't strike me that way. It seems like it was just great in this period, as my notes from a month earlier, 11/21/90, remind me. The relentlessness of his attack here certainly speaks to ongoing vitality - check it out.

So much for set I. As I noted above, set II clocks in at almost 90 minutes, which is pretty dang amazing, but the quality matches the quantity quite nicely.

The Way You The Things You Do: the Temptations' 1964 original of this sweet little piece clocked in around three straightforward minutes. As I first observed in listening to 11/15/90, the band seems to have extended the arrangement in this period, giving it a big open part that, if this were the GD or Jerry had other aims for his side band, could very well have segued into something else. Indeed, I nominated that version for BOAT consideration, but now, having heard this one from a month later, think 12/22's is even better. That one went out about 7-8 minutes in, this one I really noted it decoupling a minute or so later. But these versions would be worth comparing, others from this period will bear paying attention to, and I would *love* for someone to compare what they are doing here with how it played out earler in the year. I note that the 6/12/90 version clocks in as long as this one, but I generally find that show and the next night to be very sluggish, and I specifically noted this tune as "low energy". It's not fast here, not at all, but it's rich and deep and interesting.

Tore Up Over You: Few songs invoke the imagery of young Jerry, inspired by older brother Tiff, listening to (Black) R&B-cum-rock 'n' roll on the Oakland and SF AM stations in the 1950s than this Hank Ballard number. It wormed its way into his DNA and operated just as systematically on his playing. And here he plays some seriously shredding electric guitar that can reach back in time to melt the conformist shackles of Eisenhower's (White) America. You can hear the joyful transgression, the wide freedom he has to play what he wants, and loud! Ballard's version came out in '56, and I have little doubt but that it caught young Jerry's ear early on, and that he at least noodled it when he got his first electric guitar two years later. I don't know any of that, but you can't prove it didn't happen, so there.

Don't Let Go: always a highlight. This version interests me. When he brought it back in '88 it was a punchy 8-9 minute treat. I think it would run over 20 minutes again within the next few years. It's in Goldilocks-land here, 15 expressive minutes. Melvin's synth really colors it beautifully early on, at 4:45 Garcia doubles the vocals and guitar very precisely and totally uniquely, showing great intention, and it starts getting a little weird already 6 minutes in, Ballard giving way to Coltrane, with a dose of Kesey/Owsley for good measure. Kemper is such an amazing drummer, and things keep bouncing until about 9, Garcia pedals in some effect, and we are fully unmoored for awhile, but not super long. At 10:26, it returns to structure, but not the DLG melody, per se, alluding to it while still out melodically. (I am not sure I am using the right words here.) He spends some time in that space and drops into DLG at 13, closing these particular proceedings. Nice.

On almost every other night, at this point we'd get one more song. Here, we get two, and while I can often make mountains out of molehills, I want to really emphasize that I think this is highly informative. Autopilot would have taken him to Midnight Moonlight. An alternate flight path would have been straight to Tangled Up In Blue. Instead, we get a little "Struggling Man", again giving perfect expression to the emotional tenor of the evening - it's hard, but we keep going. Saying good night after Tangled Up, he sounds absolutely wiped out, and justifiably so. Man gave is all this night. Thank you, Jerry!

Man, what a show! Two snaps up, with a swirl. Listening notes below the fold.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Positively Killer: JGB at Keystone Palo Alto, December 21, 1979

I was recently surprised when I listened to JGB 12/17/79 and found the show totally lackluster. Jerry sounds listless, indifferent, tired, and he and Johnny D, the 21 year old Marin kid drumming live with Jerry for only the seventh time, seemed badly out of sync. So, I listened to the next show, 12/20, and found it to represent a considerable improvement. Deciding to carry on, I spun 12/21/79 here on its 41st anniversary. This was a relatively rare soundboard tape in early circulation back in the day, was widely traded (insofar as Garcia Band tapes were), and has long been a fan favorite for the arc'ing, soaring "Sugaree" and, especially, for the long version of a relative rarity, Dylan's "Positively 4th Street".

I am here to say that 40 years of crowds have been wise to revere this show. It kills. Let me just mark a few points, but urge you to check it out yourself, perhaps especially from shnid-138677, which sparkles.

First, I guess Johnny D and Jerry just needed a little work together --they hadn't played since 11/18, and I doubt they had practiced between time. Yes, I'm talkin' 'bout practice. So we see monotonic improvement in how these two are sync'd, and that makes everything else work. By 12/21, I do not notice any problems at all - not a one. And I hear Johnny D doing some killer stuff, e.g., in Sugaree, that validates why Garcia wanted him in the band. He's really, really good.

Second, Ozzie Ahlers plays masterfully here, going toe to toe with Garcia with tremendous confidence. This would be less and less the case over the years of Garcia's side bands - Melvin Seals was wonderful, a perfect complementary player who could take sparkling features when it was his turn, but was certainly very submissive vis a vis Garcia. Here, Ozzie occasionally steps forward over Jerry, Jerry keeps playing loudly, and, rather than backing down, Ozzie ups his attack and amplitude. They really feed off each other wonderfully this night. Nick pointed out to me that there is no synth here, just electric piano, so maybe that gives his playing a little more oomph or something, I dunno. Or, like Johnny D, having played a few gigs has him feeling warmed up. Or, it's just a great night. Whatever the case, a great night for Ozzie Ahlers, the best I can recall having heard.

Third, Garcia plays very mathematically throughout, and alternates between loud, grungy rock and roll lead guitar on the one hand and some much more gentle, patient plucking on the other. I can't explain why it feels mathematical except that it's both arithmetic (like an expanding cycle) and geometric (lots of loop and circles). He also comps as well this night for Ozzie as he ever did. See especially "After Midnight", which rocks hard.

Fourth this "Positively 4th Street" more than earns its reputation as the BOAT version. Checking in at 17 minutes, it starts with some beautiful instrumental work, as Jerry patiently sets everything up. I wasn't following along with the lyrics or anything, but I think he gets all of the verses almost entirely right, and sometimes he just barely remembers a line in time but offers it up off the beat and a little faster, providing some really nice syncopated texture. I think he even has the verse order mostly right. His guitar tone works throughout, and he comps aggressively for Ozzie, including some fanning that would normally just be him but here serves the whole unit. By the end I just wrote "I am actually pretty speechless at this point. WOW." Check it out.

Fifth, I seriously doubt that HTC was really an encore. In this period, a 35 minute second set would only have happened if they were running up on closing time. But then they would not have been able to play an encore. So I suspect it's just a four-song, 50-minute second set.

Sixth, I also seriously doubt that this comes from master reels. Maybe I shouldn't - the tape sounds absolutely fabulous, and it sounds even better, on a quick comparison, via shnid-138677, than the "Bertha" version I got with. It sounds light years better than the cassette master of the next night, which doesn't circulate but which I have heard. But all of that said, I am just not aware of anyone running reels at this point. The last Garcia Band reels I know about date from summer 1978. Betty ran reels for Reconstruction at least into July 1979, but the Garcia Band tapes from after that were limited to cassette. I dunno. It seems pretty certain there is a cassette gen here, based on cuts in After Midnight and Harder They Come. Older circulating versions have also tended to be a little bit hissy. But, I dunno. Happy to be proven wrong!

So let me just close this fun little exploration that I do think 12/17/79 was quite weak, but the band gets better each night of the three I have engaged over the last few days. The 12/21/79 show is absolutely outstanding, holding its own next to anything JGB did plus or minus a few years. I have seen folks say that they use it to introduce novices to the Garcia Band, and I can see why - the tape sounds great and the performance is outstanding. True, I can hear the limitations creeping in to Jerry's voice, which is still sweetly high but which is starting to bump into tighter range and volume constraints. It ain't perfect, but it is excellent.

Listening notes below the fold.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Checking Myself: JGB at Keystone Palo Alto, December 20, 1979

I just listened to JGB 12/17/79 and found it to be ... off. Out of sync. Low energy.

Since I don't trust how my own frame of mind can color my listening experience, I decided to turn directly to a contemporary show, in this case 12/20/79. The big degree to which these are apples and oranges have to do with recording sources, 17th being a good aud and 20th being a hissy and maybe fast sbd.

It's a night and day difference. The most recently circulated version of 12/20/79 comes out like a bat outta hell, and I mean HARD - That's Alright, Mama screams, How Sweet cooks, Catfish John and After Midnight both bring the juice. Hypothesis 1 is that tape quality is driving this. 12/20 has more high end for sure and, even more problematically, may run fast. It'd be great if someone with good pitch could check it out, though the seeder, AF, has great ears and I suspect things are OK. Hypothesis 2 is that, indeed, 12/17 was just not as good - Jerry more recently off the road, a case of the Mondays, I dunno.

I am considering spinning 12/21 as well to complete this little study, another board which I remember being flat as a pancake, so it might give a third distinct vantage.
When I saw this clipping, I remembered that I remembered this strip comic strip Momma from this period. (I was ten.) We were a Chronicle and Contra Costa Times family, my parents being morning paper readers and us being in the east bay. It was a good combo, back in the times when two such papers would cover a good gamut from global to local news.

LN jg1979-12-20.jgb.all.sbd-AF.91965.flac1644

JERRY GARCIA BAND 
Keystone Palo Alto
260 S. California Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94306
December 20, 1979 (Thursday)
sbd shnid-91965

--complete show (8 tracks, 79:56)--
t01. That's Alright Mama [6:51] [0:19]
t02. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) [9:56] [0:08] %
t03. Catfish John [9:04] [0:08] %
t04. After Midnight [12:24] [0:04] %
t05. Love In The Afternoon [9:25] [0:10] %
t06. Let It Rock [9:46] [0:10]
t07. Simple Twist Of Fate [12:15] [0:03] %
t08. Tore Up Over You [9:06] [0:08] %

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band #11a
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals;
! lineup: Ozzie Ahlers - keyboards, synthesizers;
! lineup: John d'Fonseca - drums;
! lineup: John Kahn - bass.

JGMF:

! R: 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.


! db: https://etreedb.org/shn/22889 (same ultimate source tape, deprecated); https://etreedb.org/shn/91965 (this fileset).





! ad: San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle Datebook, December 9, 1979, p. 24

! listing: San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle Datebook, December 16, 1979, p. 18

! ad: San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle Datebook, December 16, 1979, p. 30

! mention: San Francisco Examiner, December 20, 1979, p. 27

! setlist: It is claimed that this was a complete, single set show, which would be very anomalous.

! historical: Bill Belcher opened.

! R: Source: SBD > ? > Cassette. 

! R: Transfer: Maxell XL-II > Nakamichi DR-8 (Dolby off) > Audiophile 2496 > Soundforge > CD-Wave > TLH > FLAC, by Andrew F. (May 2008) 

! R: Notes: This source is an improvement in sound quality over the currently circulating source (shnID-22889), with brighter sound and more consistent levels, although there is still some hiss. Both this and 22889 have the same eight songs, but in a different order. This version presents the songs as they appeared on the cassette that was transferred (four per side). The fades heard between the songs (tracks 2 thru 8) were there on the cassette. It is not clear if the cassette has the songs in the correct order as they were performed, or if this is the entire show, or possibly a compilation ... With my THANKS to Ted Gidley for providing the tape to transfer!

! P: t01 TAM is blazing a mile a minute. My goodness. Johnny D doesn't know when it's ending, but Jerry just forces the issue.

! P: t02 HSII Ozzie is soloing 4 and Garcia is comping grungily, really good. Then 4:40 or so Jerry steps up and starts wailing, Ozzie recedes, Jerry breaking off big ol shards of glass. Very good.

! P: t03 CJ late 6 over 7 just some great fanny guitar work.

! P: t04 AM as with 12/17/79 I don't think Johnny D is supplying the beat that it needs. Jerry goes around a few times rather than jumping right into the lyrics. Good high energy later in the tune.

! P: t07 STOF I don't think John had a feature here.

Sunday, Monday, What's the Difference? JGB #11a at Keystone, December 17, 1979 (Monday)

LN jg1979-12-17.jgb.s1s2p.aud-walscoller.106057.flac1644

I wanted to spin some JGB #11a (Ozzie-Johnny D quartet) from late in 1979, a little window I have neglected in favor of their first few gigs on the one hand (10/7, 10/14), and the Winter 1980 tour (overall economics, 2/162/20, 2/24) on the other hand. (update: see also 12/20/79)

Joanie Walker, Paul Scotton and Charlie Miller collaborated in putting out an aud tape of 12/17, which had never really circulated much, as distinct from shows on the 20th and the 21st. Following my nose for the obscure, I checked it out.

The tape: nice.

The show: blech.

Really blech. The most obvious thing is that Jerry and Johnny D'Fonseca are just not sync'd up, a big problem given that Johnny D is the drummer. And I blame Garcia. This is not only because Johnny D is so dang young (just 21 at the time of this show) or because it's only his seventh night out with the band. And it's not just because, corresponding to these, we might put responsibility on the older fella with his name on the band to help him out, the way he did with the JGB's previous young drummer, Buzz Buchanan. It's mostly because Garcia mostly just sounds out of it. His voice is still sweet in its sweet spot, but it lacks oomph and shows limited range. There are some good pyrotechnics in Sugaree, but 22+ minutes for Sugaree is a little indulgent even for Our Hero. And the second set material, which I think is incomplete on the tape, just doesn't really go anywhere or do anything.

Maybe I am totally wrong. Maybe you will listen to it and wonder what's wrong with me. I dunno. Let's discuss.

The only other thing I have to say about this show relates to the scheduling. The left side of the panel above shows the Keystone pink section ad dated December 9th, the right the one dated December 16th. You will see that JG was originally scheduled in Berkeley for Sunday 12/16, with Monday the 17th billing the "Best New Bay Talent" for no cover and a one drink minimum. Jerry on Sunday had still been listed in the Examiner as late as the 14th. But by the time the day-of-show ad comes out, the New Riders are in the Sunday slot and Jerry has moved to Monday. What's more, we now have a newly-added Jerry show on Saturday 12/22. Maybe that one was to makeup for the canceled gig on 12/8.

No biggie, stuff happens. The Pareto Criterion asks us to evaluate a possible change in the world such that it leaves at least one party to a transaction better off, and no party worse off. This one fits the bill. The New Riders get a gig, Freddie gets the New Riders on a Sunday (selling tickets and presumably more beer than the Best New Bay Talent) and Jerry on a Monday, great for him. As for Garcia, I SPECULATE that he was totally indifferent to the change. Sunday? Monday? Whatever.

One question I have is to what extent some notion of Jerry doing the Riders a favor might have entered into the equation. Call this Qustion 1. Of course he lent his lucrative name and considerable talents to these boys out of the gate, getting them some huge paydays before sending them off on their own. I don't know who besides Dawson was in the NRPS by late 1979, but the band had certainly fallen on hard times, and would never sniff its early 70s success again. Maybe part of the context was the chance for Jerry to help produce a payday, however modest, for an old friend. I dunno.

A second, question, call it Question 2, this is somehow related to the fact that the GD canceled the last two shows of its tour in Milwaukee on 12/13 and St. Paul on 12/14. At Jerrybase we note cancellations because "one band member ill and band wants to finish new album". Maybe Jerry needed Sunday night to work on what would become Go To Heaven. Or maybe he was the sick band member and needed another day to recover, which might also account for how out of it he sounds here.

Q1 and Q2 are not mutually exclusive, of course. Maybe all of the above, and Pareto smiles.

Anyway, my notes below.

Jerry Garcia Band
Keystone
2119 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94740
December 17, 1979 (Monday)
s1s2p walscoller aud shnid-106057

--set I (4 tracks, 62:37)--
s1t01. [0:14] Sugaree// [22:15#] %
s1t02. //Catfish John [12:38] [0:09]
s1t03. That's Alright Mama [10:25] [0:41]
s1t04. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) [16:16] %

--set II (3 tracks, 47:54, probably incomplete)--
s2t01. /After Midnight [#14:16] [0:07] %
s2t02. Simple Twist Of Fate [19:39] %
s2t03. /Harder They Come [#13:45] [0:07] %

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band #11a
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals;
! lineup: Ozzie Ahlers - keyboards, synthesizers;
! lineup: John d'Fonseca - drums;
! lineup: John Kahn - bass.

JGMF:

! R: 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: https://jerrybase.com/events/19791217-01

! db: https://etreedb.org/shn/106057 (this fileset)

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

! band: http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2012/01/jerry-garcia-band-personnel-1975-1995.html

! listing: San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle Datebook, December 16, 1979, p. 18

! ad: San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle Datebook, December 16, 1979, p. 30

! seealso: JGMF, "Checking Myself: JGB at Keystone Palo Alto, December 20, 1979"

! historical: show was originally scheduled for Sunday night, 12/16, but moved to Monday for reasons unknown to me.

! R: Recording Info: Unknown Mics -> ? -> Cassette (Maxell UDXLII)

! R: Transfer Info: Cassette (Nakamichi DR-1) -> Sound Devices 744T (24bit/96k) -> Adobe Audition v3.0 -> Samplitude Professional v11.03 -> FLAC/16 (2 Discs Audio / 1 Disc FLAC). All Transfers and Mastering By Charlie Miller charliemiller87@earthlink.net February 14, 2010

! R: seeder notes: -- Thanks to Joani Walker and Paul Scotton for the tapes -- Thanks to Joe B. Jones for his help with the pitch correction

! R: this recording is clean. The keyboards are way forward and the bass is buried, the guitar also a little low.

! R: s1t01 Sugaree cuts out

! P: s1t01 Sugaree tempo variability, Johnny D trying to figure out where Jerry wants to be. But if you know this tune from this era, you know it's good. Many hold 12/21/79 to be the one of the best. Certainly the guitar work Jerry is doing in the 14-minute range and forward is outstanding. Standing big layers of notes 15:23. Still big peaky stuff 19.

! R: s1t02 CJ cuts in

! P: s1t03 TAM wonky start, but Jerry just bulldozes it forward and Johnny D jumps on almost immediately once Jerry really sets things. He's good. Things still wonky, but he's doing as well as anyone might.

! P: s1t04 HSII sounds a little off key for a bit, JG can't remember the lyrics in the first verse or so.

! R: s2t01 AM clips in

! P: s2t01 AM JG and JD are not syncd at all to start the tune. It's really pretty bad until about 2, when it seems to synchronize. Talk near taper @0:56: "Jerry's just like a jazz musician". More conversation that is nearly audible, someone could probably get ears on it and report out. Still late 5 it doesn't sound to me like the drums are doing what they need to be doing. JG also sounds pretty out of it on this whole version. Nothing of note here.

! P: s2t02 STOF good high peaky guitar work 10. John should take his feature late 10, but Ozzie takes it. Tempos a little unsure. John is fluttering behind, Ozzie pretty perfunctory, now John steps out a little more 11:38, still not very loud. JG steps out 13:34, crowd gives John a nice round of applause.

! R: s2t03 HTC cuts in. I cannot put my finger on what feels off this night, other than everything. Jerry's voice is still high, but it lacks oomph and range. He really needs backing vocalists to fill it out that aspect of the band's sound. All night the tempos have struck me as off.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Saxophone Somewhere Far Off Played: JGB at the Warfield, December 2, 1989

If you are following along, you might notice that I listened to a bunch of early December shows from various years, but am late in posting them. It's rare for me to get enough contiguous time to listen and note and post these days.

My notes on this show, from a soundboard tape (shnid-117562) and the balcony tape of the great and wonderful Marcus Buick (Campolindo HS '87) (shnid-81060), are pretty spare, and I don't particularly have tons to say here, so just a few comments.

First, Clarence Clemons is here this night, but was not present the night before. I raved about that show, in part because its Clarencelessness suits me. But he is good this night, and I just love how the crowd shows him and a knowing, careful Jerry some love on the "saxophone somewhere far off played" line of Dylan's "Simple Twist Of Fate".

Second, maybe not quite as strong as the night before, but this is a characteristically strong gig for the late '89 Jerry Band. Garcia sounds articulate, energetic, focused right out of the gate. He sings intentionally. He plays well.

Third, "Don't Let Go" is good, maybe even very good. It certainly makes I had been there with Bu, ogling (while guarding) those Brüel & Kjær 4011s.

I won't bother with a jump - listening notes follow.

~~~~~

LN jg1989-12-02.jgb.all.aud-buick.81060.flac1644

Jerry Garcia Band
Warfield Theater
982 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
December 2, 1989 Saturday - 8 PM
Buick MAD shnid-81060

--set I (7 tracks, 57:25)--
s1t01. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) [6:31] [1:05]
s1t02. They Love Each Other [7:38] [1:24]
s1t03. Simple Twist Of Fate [12:35] [1:08]
s1t04. Run For The Roses [5:35] [0:50]
s1t05. Like A Road Leading Home [8:35] [0:27]
s1t06. My Sisters And Brothers [4:22] ->
s1t07. Deal [7:01] [0:11]

--set II (7 tracks, 73:52)--
s2t01. [0:06] Harder They Come [11:34] [1:25]
s2t02. I Shall Be Released [11:45] [1:00]
s2t03. Someday Baby [7:07] [1:23]
s2t04. Waiting For A Miracle [5:49] [0:54]
s2t05. And It Stoned Me [7:42] [0:31]
s2t06. Don't Let Go [17:10] ->
s2t07. Midnight Moonlight [7:08] [0:15]

! ACT1: JGB #21b
! 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;
! guest: Clarence Clemons - saxophone.

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.







! R: field recordist: Marcus Buick

! R: field recording gear: 2x Brüel & Kjær 4011 microphones (handheld) > Aerco PS @ 29.3dB > Panasonic SV-250

! R: field recording location: balcony seats 107-109 Row D,E

! R: lineage: master DAT > Sony PCM 601 > Sony SL-360 beta/0 > Sony SL-HF450 playback > Sony PCM-601 > Digital Domain VSP-P > Digital Audio Labs Card Deluxe soundcard > Cool Edit 2000 > flac encoding. Transfer by David "The Machine" Minches.

! R: s1t01 HSII fades in.

! P: s1t01 HSII great energy, especially at the end, Garcia giving extra oomph to the vocals.

! R: s1t02 TLEO digisnit @ 5:54.

! P: s1t03 STOF crowd gives a good knowing hand at the "saxophone somewhere far off played" line. Garcia is singing this with beautiful care. And I am enjoying Clarence's contributions this night, unusually. 8:45 or so some kind of hassle, maybe somebody objects to the taping, or is getting in the taping space ... But a really nice STOF.

~~~~~

LN jg1989-12-02.jgb.all.sbd-arf.117562.flac1644

Jerry Garcia Band
The Warfield
982 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
December 2, 1989 (Saturday)

--set I (7 tracks, 55:36)--
s1t01. //How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) [#6:13] [1:04]
s1t02. They Love Each Other [7:30] [1:22]
s1t03. Simple Twist Of Fate [12:15] [1:07]
s1t04. Run For The Roses [5:28] [0:50]
s1t05. Like A Road Leading Home [8:22] [0:05] %
s1t06. My Sisters And Brothers [4:21] ->
s1t07. Deal [6:55] (1) [0:06]

--set II (7 tracks, 69:59)--
s2t01. Harder They Come [11:21] [1:22]
s2t02. I Shall Be Released [11:31] [0:08] %
s2t03. Someday Baby [7:01] %
s2t04. Waiting For A Miracle [5:51] [0:52]
s2t05. And It Stoned Me [7:40] % [0:08]
s2t06. Don't Let Go [16:58] ->
s2t07. Midnight Moonlight [7:04] (2) [0:04]

! ACT1: JGB #21b
! 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;
! guest: Clarence Clemons - saxophone.

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.


! R: source: Soundboard > ? > 2C (three tape sides, unknown generation)

! R: lineage: trade cassettes (Dolby B) > Harmon Kardon TD 302 (Dolby B on, heads aligned to each tape side) > Zoom H2 @16/44.1 > SDHC card > PC > tracked & edited with wavepad > flac level 8 & checksums with traderslittlehelper. Transfer by arfarf, December 9, 2011.

! R: seeder notes: Additional tape edits on the source recording are ...at the start of s2t03, and at 07:40 of s2t05

! R: s1t01 HSII cuts in

! P: s1t01 HSII JG sounds amazingly articulate, focused, energized right out of the gate.

! s1t03 STOF bass feature 6:25ff-8:25ish.

! s1t07 (1) JG: "Thanks a lot. We'll be back in a few minutes."

! P: s2t06 DLG nice. Garcia steps up the pace around 11:30, and it's nice.

! s2t07 (2) JG: "Thanks a lot, everybody. See y'all later."

Segueing Out of Stony Brook: JGB in Pritchard Gym, SUNY Stony Brook, December 4, 1983

Lawn Guy Land, and especially SUNY Stony Brook, stands in the pantheon as one of the ground zero sites of the birth and development of the East Coast Deadhead and, by derivation, of the East Coast Garcia Freak. The Dead played Pritchard Gym on campus very early on, and, as so often happened, the Garcia Band followed, playing it in '77, '80, and, finally, on December 4, 1983.
Garcia's Bands in Pritchard Gym, SUNY Stony Brook. Source: Jerrybase.

The fall '83 JGB tour, undertaken largely by bus, bears all the hallmarks of this year in Our Hero's life, a little grungy, previewing the troubles that would become even more marked over the next few years --shorter sets, vocal limitations-- but playing LOUD, raging guitar and generally making up in enthusiasm what it lacked in precision.

His Stony Brook swan song illustrates all of this. Here's the lede from a show review in the campus paper, The Statesman:
In today's world of molded plastic superstars Jerry Garcia is a breath of fresh air. Rick Springfield fans wouldn't appreciate Garcia; he is old, fat and looks like he's just a step away from burning out. A person not familiar with Garcia would be more likely to ask when his last hot meal was, and not for an autograph (Reiss 1983).
The reviewer, who probably didn't stand close to Jerry (where the air was presumably rather unfresh), extols his authenticity, offering very good perspective on this Garcia era: not a picture of health, but making good music.
SUNY Stony Brook Statesman, v27 n37 (December 7, 1983), Alternatives section, p. 1A.

He makes mistakes, but he recovers and even makes up for them with a little extra added something. He hits some vocal clams, but he blasts so loudly on guitar that maybe the fans --buying up all of the 2,200+ tickets, moving over $22k Jerry and Co.'s way, and *very* knowledgeable-- might not hear the next hiccups through their ringing ears. The band works with and around him, but mostly just gets shoved aside by Garcia's overflowing ideas, limitless playing vocabulary, and sheer decibels. The show is very good, and the closing medley, rare (for JGB) true segues of "Don't Let Go" -> "Deal" -> "Tangled Up In Blue", is absolutely outstanding. Every DLG is at least good, most are very good, and a great many are great. It was very well-played in this period, and the crowd, which recognizes it out of the gate, gets treated to a great one this night, which merits a "holy camoley" from me, earns the "monster" designation, and very neatly drops into Deal after a 20 minute journey which feels efficient, packing huge punch every step of the way. The medley is worth the 45 minutes of your ear time, and provides a fitting end to Garcia's illustrious Stony Brook career.

It ain't broken, but it's badly bent.

So good that he earned a rare-for-the-tour night in a hotel bed, at what I am sure is the lovely Holiday Inn in Hauppage.

Listening notes after the jump.

These Listening Notes May Be A Touch Unreliable: JGB at Orpheum, December 2, 1988

LN jg1988-12-02.jgb.all.aud-webber-small.xxxxxx.flac1644


In my neck of the scientific woods, reliability refers to the reproducibility of empirical measurement. My  measurement is reliable to the extent that another scholar can follow my procedure (which must be made transparent, of course) and arrive at the same value. For measurement that involves subjective judgment (how prevalent is corruption in country X, or whatever), we have multiple people make independent valuations and correlate their judgments. This, we call intercoder reliability.

Why do I mention this here? Well, I hate to break it to you, reader, but the quality judgments I offer in my listening notes maaaayyyy not satisfy conventional reliability standards. Heck, intercoder reliability between myself at two different points in time would probably fail to satisfy reviewer #2 at any given journal. I have mentioned this many times before - my own subjective feeling surely colors my evaluation of what I am listening to. And it just came up again. I recently posted how disappointed I was with JGB 12/3/88 at the SF Orpheum, wondering whether it was the weakest show of that year in which not many were played but many, such as 2/5, 7/10 and 10/31 were very good. I then decided to check out 12/2, and in listening notes completed 12/1/2020 I was thinking it might be just as bad. But now, two weeks later, I picked up where I left off, and I found it to be better. In particular, I have some stuff going on in life that makes "Like A Road Leading Home" feel really helpful, even essential, and sure enough I dug it. I liked the rest of set II, too. Nothing tremendous, but solid. So now I just can't tell if Garcia finished the show relatively well, or if it's just my head space. I dunno.

"The Way You Do The Things You Do" comes back after almost three years away (2/21/86), Jerrybase tells me, which is one of the little reasons I love Jerrybase so much.

Jerry sounds very fatigued throughout most of the show, and just about every song flubs some lyrics. Nothing stretches out. I remember not being blown away by the Caesar's Palace shows last time I listened to them (maybe 11/4?), I used to love the Wilterns but now am wondering how they hold up, and 12/2 and 12/3 find Jerry sounding worn out and sluggish. I don't quite know what to make of all of that, because, as noted, I have always loved the first half (or so) of the year. Maybe it really is a tale of two semesters. Or maybe I listened to the early part of the year in a mood to find good stuff, and here am checking out the last shows of the year a bit grumpier. Dunno.

Sean Webber-Small was a legendary relatively early digital taper, and I believe this pull is his. Crowd around him was rather chatty. There's some taper talk at notes 1 and 2, the second of which has someone near or even with the taper talking about how Stewart charged him 50 bucks for the tickets. When I hear "Stewart", I now think of the SNL skit "The Californians", and want to ask "w-w-what are you d-doing here, Stew-wart?" Face was $18.50, so maybe he was counting his ill-gotten lucre.

The Orpheum was Wolfgang's (and thus Jerry's) base of operations while the Warfield was being renovated, I believe. Ol Jer (outside the GD) played it once in '76, three times here in '88, and four times in '89.

Listening notes below the fold.

Jerry Garcia Band
Orpheum Theatre
1192 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
December 2, 1988 (Friday)
Webber-Small MAP noshnid

--set I (6 tracks, 50:11)--
s1t01. //How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) [#3:49] [0:54]
s1t02. Waiting For A Miracle [6:44] [2:24]
s1t03. I Shall Be Released [8:48] [0:31]
s1t04. That's What Love Will Make You Do [7:45] (2) [1:02]
s1t05. Stop That Train [7:30] [1:52]
s1t06. Tangled Up in Blue [8:38] (3) [0:12]

--set II (7 tracks, 52:47)--
s2t01. ambience [0:17]
s2t02. Harder They Come [10:16] [0:39]
s2t03. Mission In The Rain [9:08] [0:21]
s2t04. Like A Road Leading Home [8:30] [0:27]
s2t05. Think [6:07] [0:21]
s2t06. Evangeline [3:35] [0:08]
s2t07. Don't Let Go [12:06] (4) [0:49]

! 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.

JGMF:

! 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: https://jerrybase.com/events/19881202-01

! db: https://etreedb.org/shn/19969 (this source tape, shnf);  https://etreedb.org/shn/20833 (Reutelhuber MAC).

! band: http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2012/01/jerry-garcia-band-personnel-1975-1995.html

! map: https://goo.gl/maps/mr3oJuLND6u

! JGBP: http://jerrygarciasbrokendownpalaces.blogspot.com/2012/08/orpheum-theatre-1192-market-street.html

! historical: Bob Weir opened.

! seealso: "Weakest Show of '88? JGB, December 3, 1988, Orpheum SF," URL http://jgmf.blogspot.com/2020/11/weakest-show-of-88-jgb-december-3-1988.html

! R: field recordist: Sean Webber-Small

! R: field recording gear: 2x Schoeps CMC44 > Sony PCM F1 > Sony SL2500

! R: lineage: Sony SL2500 playback > Sony SL360 Beta/1 > Sony SL-HF450 playback > Sony PCM-601 > Digital Domain VSP-P > Digital Audio Labs Card Deluxe soundcard > Cool Edit 2000 > Shntool > FLAC. Transfer and FLAC encoding by David Minches.

! R: Relatively low levels, but quite a nice tape. Some up-close clapping at start. May have been taped "under the overhang"

! R: s1t01 HSII cuts in, muffled to start. There is up-close clapping. It would seem that someone asks the lady to stop clapping around 2:30, but she declines the request. She does seem to stop after this tune, mostly.

! P: s1t02 WFAM JG sounds tired. Lots of lyrical misses. JG guitar run 3:30ff totally flaccid. No bite at all.

! song: That's What Love Will Make You Do (s1t04): returning from almost three years away (2/21/86).

! P: s1t04 TWLWMYD languidly paced.

! s1t04 (1) Taper talk: "If you could, just make sure my jacket's underneath the seat."

! s1t05 (2) Taper talk: "People are really fucking noisy." Stewart charged someone nearby $50 for the seats.

! s1t06 (3) JG: "We'll be back in a little while."

! P: s2t02 HTC lyrical flubs all over the first verse. Rough voice - he sounds exhausted this night.

! P: s2t03 MITR pretty up tempo, though we get a first mumblyverse right out of the date. Garcia sounds absolutely exhausted. His voice is quite rough.

! R: s2t03 MITR muffled for about 10-15 seconds near end.

! P: s2t04 LARLH note that I am coming back on 12/15 after leaving off here on 12/1. And in the meantime, I have had some life stuff that makes me particularly open to being soothed by LARLH. And, soothed I am. It ain't perfect, but it works for me right now.

! P: s2t05 Think this song killed in 1988, so I have high hopes. Still sounds just a little sluggish, and he trips over a few words. Nice raunchy tone 1:20ff, but not super loud. After Melvin's turn, Jerry decides to play loud 4:20ff, and he does so. Very good grunge for a short turn, and that inspires him to put some oomph into "give up my woman".

! P: s2t06 DLG pretty straightforward start, goes into the jam part 4:22, 4:57 interesting pull, more over 5, sustain. A nice little jump up at 7:59. After a decent little exploration, Jerry signals the return around 10:15, jumps right into the last verse 10:35 or so. Hits a cool low singing note late 11.

! s2t07 (4) JG: [inaudible?] "See y'all later."

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Blissfully Clarenceless on Market Street: JGB at the Warfield, December 1, 1989

LN jg1989-12-01.jgb.all.aud-bk4011.141459.flac1648

God, '89 was such a great year for the Jerry Band. I really need to find some more of the out-of-town shows to spin, though everytime I do I tend not to note much, because it's all just really consistently good.

This show, 12/1/89, is absolutely outstanding. I am glad that, contrary to what I thought I had seen, Clarence Clemons is not present. I am not a big fan of the Big Man. 

Instead, it's "just" JGB #21b, in the zone. So many tunes give rise to nuance, complex, creative, interesting variations on the usual, this really is worth your ear time. "Cats Under The Stars" offers varied tones, progressions and attacks out of the chute. It also doesn't go round and round too much at the end. Ol' Jer bends some pitch in "Stop That Train", which I don't recall really hearing (or at least noting) before. "That's What Love Will Make You Do" combines notes and sustains in uncommon ways. One of my all-time faves, "Reuben And Cherise", appears for the first time in two and a half years (5/30/87), and I am happy to hear it even if Jerry does lose track of who's who and what's what a little bit. Look, even Reuben gets a little twisted up here - Pirouette in white, Pirouette in red, what's the difference? Layering and stacking in "Forever Young". And "Let's Spend The Night Together" busts some hard core grunge, before most of us had heard of Nirvana, to announce the first big guitar turn, and then ol' Jer mixes up the timing of let's and spend later on to just bring some originality to the proceedings. He sounds clear and focused and into it.

All of that was just set I. Every tune expect RAC is a great version, and RAC was fresh off a three year hiatus, so it can be forgiven.

Set II, I will just say that "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" may be the quintessential Melvin-era Jerry Band tune. It's Dylan, it's churchy, the organ works perfectly, it has a reggae bounce and it lilts along lighter than air between heavy lyrics. The Grateful Dead's versions never held a candle to it, not one time, and don't @ me, bro.

The tape embodies what was happening at the Warfield in this period. According to my info, Tom Hughes held the mics Brüel & Kjær [B&K] 4011s  @ 110°), while Rick Katzeff and Marcus Buick worked the deck and ran interference around The Spot, a.k.a. the drink rail (2nd tier, 2nd row). Bu's taping journal has him on the mics and supplies classic color:

Deck's on, I'm bracing the mics under my nose. I scrupulously monitor my entire peripheral vision. All of a sudden, a bust is going down behind us, Tom is tapping me furiously, and Rick blocks himself on my right shoulder. Five minutes later Bill Graham brushed against our mic veil. The show continues. We met Oren [Oren David Green, Warfield security, nemesis to tapers] at the end of the night. I hope he had fun listening to the dummy blank! Score: us=2, O=2.
Indeed, we can hear a little encounter near the start of set II, someone asking "Hey, what you doin' there?" Glad this tape made it out into the San Francisco night!

Anyway, highly highly highly recommend this show, this tape.

Jerry Garcia Band
The Warfield
982 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
December 1, 1989 (Friday)
Hughes-Buick-Katzeff B&K4011 flac1648 shnid-141459

--set I (7 tracks, 66:50)--
s1t01. [0:05] Cats Under The Stars [9:21] [1:27]
s1t02. Stop That Train [7:52] [1:41]
s1t03. That's What Love Will Make You Do [9:34] [2:05]
s1t04. Reuben And Cérise [6:54] [0:34]
s1t05. Forever Young [10:41] [0:33]
s1t06. My Sisters And Brothers [4:39] ->
s1t07. Let's Spend The Night Together [11:18] (2) [0:08]

--set II (7 tracks, 67:59)--
s2t01. ... Harder They Come [#8:59] [1:20]
s2t02. Mission In The Rain [9:44] [0:45]
s2t03. Waiting For A Miracle [5:58] [0:29]
s2t04. Knockin' On Heaven's Door [9:23] [1:33]
s2t05. Think [7:43] [1:12]
s2t06. That Lucky Old Sun [10:07] [0:04]
s2t07. Tangled Up In Blue [10:42] (3) [0:02]

! ACT1: JGB #21b
! 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.

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.

! Jerrybase: https://jerrybase.com/events/19891201-01

! db: https://etreedb.org/shn/6348 (I believe the same master, but have not verified, shnf); https://etreedb.org/shn/94353 (Miller AKG C1000 MAC); https://etreedb.org/shn/141459 (this fileset).

! band: http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2012/01/jerry-garcia-band-personnel-1975-1995.html

! map: https://goo.gl/maps/ZW52vfHTbjs

! JGBP: http://jerrygarciasbrokendownpalaces.blogspot.com/2013/02/warfield-982-market-street-san.html

! venue: http://hooterollin.blogspot.com/2011/11/september-25-1980-fox-warfield-theater.html

! personnel: JGC and old info files put Clarence Clemons on sax for this show, but I did not hear him. I do have a very active lame-sax-canceling filter, so have never actually heard a note CC played. That might explain things.

! R: field recordists: Tom Hughes (mics), Marcus Buick and Rick Katzeff (deck and protection)

! R: field recording gear: 2x Brüel & Kjær (B&K) 4011 @ 110° > Aerco > Panasonic SV-250

! R: field recording location: The Spot (2nd tier, 2nd row)

! R: lineage: master DAT > DAT clone > PC > WAV > FLAC (16/48).

! R: seeder notes: "Thanks to Bill Shaw for the DAT"

! P: s1t01 CUTS I love the tones and varied attacks Garcia offers late 4 over 5, nice progression to peak 5:35ff. And he ends it without going on too long, too many times, generally a good indicator for his level of focus.

! P: s1t02 STT pitch-bending, interesting. Great expression in the east/west verse. Right on, Jer.

! P: s1t03 TWLWMYD I am just loving the combinations he puts together this night. @5:35 Garcia gives the frets a good scrubbing.

! setlist: This represents the first Reuben and Cérise since 11/10/86.

! P: s1t04 RAC love this song so much, but he lost the thread of the narrative somewhere in there. Not my favorite version.

! P: s1t05 FY some nice layering and stacking in the 7-min range.

! P: s1t07 LSTNT I love how he announces the first big guitar turn at 2:20 or so by working up a little grunge. On an earlier listen I had written "There is some very grungy tone working here, but the execution feels a little loose in the cage to me as of 4. Overall, not bad." On this listen (4/4/2020), I didn't notice any problematic looseness. Late 5, interesting vocal syncopation, pausing a beat after "let's", putting some more emphasis on "spend". Nice action all through 7-min range, creative, expressive, engaged. On this listen, a very strong LSTNT.

! s1t07 (2) JG: "See y'all in a little while [inaudible]."

! R: s2t01 HTC enters in progress. Then, levels go down at 4, and one can hear someone asking "Hey, what you doin' there?"  Sounds like Warfield security has arrived at the drink rail.

! P: s2t03 KOHD if you don't love this, you need to re-assess your priorities. GLORIOUS. So much better than the GD versions.

! R: there is some wonkiness in the tagging and/or the order of the tunes in set II. It really goes HTC, MITR, WFAM, KOHD, Think, TLOS, TUIB.

! P: s2t07 TUIB don't love the sluggish tempo out of the gate.

! s2t07 (3) JG: "Thanks a lot. See y'all later."

Warmup for Four: JGB at the Stone, July 19, 1980

LN jg1980-07-19.jgb.all.aud-moore-berger.122980.flac1644

These notes were orphaned - I listened to this sometime back, never posted them.

Last of three warmups for the short-lived JGB #11b quartet. We used to think that this band happened because the 11a drummer, John d'Fonseca, died in Spring 1980. But we now know that's not true, so it's not clear why he left the band. Anyway, Greg Errico was a consummate pro, and Jerry called on him a lot when he needed a guy to keep the beat. Consistent with the Iron Law, this new configuration debuted on an off-night (Wednesday, 7/16). They then played a weekend for the Berkeley regulars, and took a very brief, very lucrative little jaunt out east, grossing $150k for four consecutive nights' work. Maybe Jerry needed a new pair of mocassins.

What really stands out to me about this show is the hard limit he keeps hitting on his voice. Whatever is happening with him in this period, he hasn't adjusted his arrangements to conform to his vocal limitations. Not only does he clam up a few times, but he sometimes switches key mid-verse to manage things. The whole show feels lackluster, perfunctory. A six-minute Deal? I wonder when was the last time it clocked in so short?

Anyway, for the record and all that.

Jerry Garcia Band
The Stone
412 Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94133
July 19, 1980 (Saturday)
2nd gen cassette Moore-Berger shnid-122980 renamed to sets

--set I (4 tracks, 35:02, probably incomplete)--
s1t01. Deal [6:21] [0:05]
s1t02. Sitting In Limbo [10:46] [0:03] % [0:09]
s1t03. Money Honey [7:10] [0:05] % [0:07]
s1t04. Tangled Up In Blue [10:08] (1) [0:10]

--set II (5 tracks, 60:36)--
s2t01. Harder They Come [13:50] [0:06] %
s2t02. Mission In The Rain [11:55] [0:04] % [0:08]
s2t03. Simple Twist Of Fate [12:58] [0:05] %
s2t04. Dear Prudence [11:30] [0:07] % [0:09]
s2t05. Midnight Moonlight [9:34] [0:08] %

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band #11b
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals;
! lineup: Ozzie Ahlers - keyboards;
! lineup: Greg Errico - drums;
! lineup: John Kahn - bass.

JGMF:

! 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: https://jerrybase.com/events/19800719-01

! db: https://etreedb.org/shn/122980 (this fileset)

! band: http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2012/01/jerry-garcia-band-personnel-1975-1995.html

! map: https://goo.gl/maps/Vr6EBXU6KvA2

! JGBP: http://jerrygarciasbrokendownpalaces.blogspot.com/2012/07/stone-mothers-412-broadway-san.html

! historical: Chris Rowan opened. This is a rare quartet show, the last of three local warmups before taking a very brief, very lucrative little jaunt out east for John Scher.

! ad: San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle Datebook 19800713p10;

! listing: BAM no. 83 (7/18/80), p. 37

! R: source: MAC > cassette 1 > cassette 2 (Jerry Moore's Maxell MX-110, Dolby B);

! R: transfer: nak dragon/b > tascam hd-p2 24/96 > pc > adobe audition 2.0 > cd wave > flac; transferred & seeded by Rob Berger Nov. 2012.

! P: s1t01 Deal First "spend some time" reveals vocal limitations. Also "all that went down" - he goes off key to adjust for his limited voice. He does some good hard stuff after the vocals, but he doesn't sustain it very far. Very short and uninspired.

! R: s1t02 SIL taper and neighbor chatter.

! P: s1t02 SIL this tape really captures his voice well, and he can't really sing SIL very well. He has lost the sweetness he once had for this song.

! P: s1t03 MH breaking in new guys can be really interesting. As they try to sync up, Garcia starts the song with some really fuzzy grungy guitar. Awesome! He can't hit his night notes very well vocally this night.

! s1t04 (1) "We're gonna take a break for a little while."

Gettin' Churchy: JGB at the Stone, Sunday, November 30, 1986

LN jg1986-11-30.jgb.all.aud-corley.21301.shn2flac


Spun on its 34th anniversary yesterday, this show supplied me with a delightful hour and a half of easy-feeling post-coma Jerry Band. "Stop That Train" opens the show for the second and final time ever (also 1/29/77), and returns to the lineup after nine years away (11/26/77a). "My Sisters And Brothers" also returns after a long hiatus (7/30/77, when it showed up as the encore). Twitter commentator @Fireonshakedwn1 pointed out that these songs formed staples of the post-coma Jerry Church vibe, and I agree. Fitting for them to come back on a Sunday night.

As ever, it's hard not to read back from what I know of this historical period into what I am hearing, but Jerry certainly sounds sprightly out of the gate. A crowd member shouts a "welcome back, Jerry!" and the big fella thanks him. Even something as mundane as "you got the do re | I got the mi" gets a little juice. The seeder of this fileset (the only one in circ), Chris Ladner, refers to the "Van Moondance themed comaback", referencing the advent of both "And It Stoned Me" and "Crazy Love" in the JGB repertoire, and coining a term about late '86. Again, these tunes are just pleasant. The filth and grunge of the pre-coma are washed off -- "Oh, the water | let it run all over me" -- and Jer's just playin some old favorites in the city he loved for the fans who showed him so much love and support while he was sick. It's really sweet stuff.

Some of the arrangements aren't quite where they'd end up, and that's fun, too. I'd like to trace the evolution of the start of "Stoned Me", for example. David Kemper does some super-interesting hard syncopations during "Forever Young" which I don't recall hearing much of. It's like he's trying to put some more bounce into it, while Jerry wants to keep it slow and soft, a classic Garcia Band scenario that Kemper (I think - probably in the Barry Smolin interview) described as having his foot on the gas and the brakes at the same time. I do like this version of "Forever Young" a lot - it presents a little burn later on that works.

As ever, the amazing John Corley pulled a killer tape. If you know John Corley, please ask him if he'd be willing to have his masters redone - they are very much worthy of more optimal, high res treatment than they got 20 years ago. (I am NOT complaining.) Since I was there, I'd also like to pin down some tape archaeology, as I recall it. Corley apparently broke down his Nak 700s for stealth and put them in a silly hat. He hit the Stone a lot, and his tapes are pretty uniformly killer. I am fuzzy on the details, but when Bob Menke and Jim Powell were still friendly, one of them either transferred DATs (that would have been Bob) or acquired them from a third party and got them onto CD. Ladner and jjoops had formed the "misSHN in the Rain" offshoot of "The Music Never Stopped Project (TMNSP)", which was mostly working from CDs, ripping them, shn'ing them, and getting them to the tol.etree.org FTP server as a single integral collection. This collection ultimately provided the main foundation for what when to archive.org. The GD stuff went live, the Jerry stuff never could (not through the front door, anyway). But I digress. The misSHN guys were trading with Powell, and that's how most of the Corley tapes went from CD to the Lossless realm.

Listening notes below the fold, nothing major in there that I don't report above. But I do recommend this show if you are looking to chill.