"If you tell the Truth, you don't have to remember anything"
-Mark Twain
"You realize, of course, that everything I say is horseshit." -Kurt Vonnegut

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pie Up In The Sky

Today is the anniversary of a special guest apperance by legendary reggae artist Jimmy Cliff with the Jerry Garcia Band in 1989. Download this show from the Greek Theatre HERE and HERE.
Jimmy Cliff came on to the music scene when his movie "The Harder They Come" debuted in 1973. The movie was about one man's struggle for survival in Kingston Jamaica and his emergence through music. As someone who works on a daily basis with several people form Jamaica and the surrounding islands, the fact that there is english subtitles for people talking english in Jamaica, has always been the unintentional funniest part of the movie to me.
It didn't take Jerry long to become a fan of the movie and Jimmy Cliff. The movie was released February but didn't start to gain attention until it was made into a midnight feature in April. On July 10th of 1973, Jerry Garcia first covered the song with Merl Saunders, this also the same show that David Grisman sat in for on "Positive 4th Street." The song remained a standard of Jerry Garcia's side projects from then on. It is the third most played song in JGB history, to "How Sweet it is" and "Midnight Moonlight."
The article is right, there is sort of a struggle between Garcia and Cliff on stage. Cliff wants the song to be it's normal three and a half minute version of the song and Garcia of course is looking to stretch it. The two compromise somewhere in between. This was the only time the two collaborated and it was a magical.
I: Cats, TLEO, Forever Young, Run for the Roses, Mission, Harder They Come*, Deal
II: How Sweet, Stop that Train, Waiting for a Miracle, Think, Sis & Bros, Lucky Old Sun, Midnight Moonlight
* With Jimmy Cliff on vocals

Monday, August 19, 2013

He Was The Art

A video just appear on YouTube this weekend that features a lost Jerry Garcia interview from the 90's. The last 5 minutes of the video features a brief tour of the vault from the late Dick Lavtala.
In the interview Garcia discusses the avid test, Neal Cassady, his philosophies on the musical relationship between the Grateful Dead, and the fact that Rap is not music. Watch it below.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Coast Of California

Today is the anniversary of a great show from the 1991, yeah I said great, from Shoreline Amphitheater and can be downloaded HERE and HERE. This edition of the band featured the dual keyboardist of Vince Welnick and Bruce Hornsby. The virtuoso Hornsby provided an infusion of energy and light that was loss after Brent Mydland passed. His bright piano is a prevalent part of the mix and he served as a catalyst to mix up the standard placement of tunes.
The show opens with a splendid "Jack Straw," which due to Bobby's microphone problems allowed Bruce to take Bobby's part in the first verse interchange. Then what starts as a soft "Bertha" changes into high gear after Jerry starts belting over piano fills. Bruce's piano is all over the "All Over Now." Really inspiring. The longest song of the set is "Desolation Row." Bobby really fights to get through this one. The band pauses for a couple minutes after this, which facilitates some restless noodling. Quite naturally the band falls into the first first set "Dark Star" in nearly twenty years. This is nearly happened earlier in the year at Giants Stadium, but after a minute tease the band quickly transferred into "Masterpiece." This ten minute version of "Dark Star" is beautifully crafted until Bobby calls the "Promised" closer.
The second set opens with a lively "Scarlet Begonias." There is some beautiful interaction between Hornsby and Jerry on this interlude, until Hornsby links the band to "Victim or the Crime." There is no closing to this "Victim" as they move into a Phil-ful "Fire on the Mountain." After they roar through a monster "Truckin'." Each member filling the holes of the verse lines and crushing the ending jam into "Drums." Throughout "Space" there is a vibe that "The Other One" would be taking the band through the second half of the set but instead they twist the vibe into a heady "Playin' Reprised." The previous "Playin'" was three nights earlier at CalExpo, so they put a bow on that. A gorgeous "Standing on the Moon" comes next and listen as Jerry pulls the band back through a reprised singing of the full stanza, "A lovely view of heaven but I'd rather be with you." The band is not expecting it (much like the second solo on the Soilder Field "So Many Roads") but they quickly catch up to Jerry. Bobby storms out of the emotional "Standing on the Moon" with a delightful "Good Lovin'." Listen at the start of the song as Hornsby rifts "La Bama" over the song intro. Stellar. 
The next night the band briefly reprised "Dark Star" out of "Space," before transitioning into "Morning Dew." I know I know I like that combo too. 
I: Jack Straw, Bertha, Over Now, Ramble, Desolation Row, Dark Star, Promised
II: Scarlet, Victim, Fire, Truckin', Drums, Space, Playin' Reprised, SOTM, Good Lovin' E: US Blues
Last first set Dark Star was on 11/15/71

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Way Down, Down By The Docks

Last year on this date, I didn't feature the only show from this date in Grateful Dead history because I didn't have it. Well between then and now, the great Charlie Miller transferred much of summer 1982, including this show. So instead of sharing my college paper on the significance of "Bird Song" in my coming of age with the Grateful Dead, I have this show for download HERE and HERE.
The night beforehand is Dicks Pick's 32 and in some way this is the better of the two shows from Alpine this year. The first set has a lot of interesting placement of songs and a unique resetting miscue  during "LL Rain." The "Alabama/Promised" is very different only because it opens instead of closes the set. Then where you'd expect a set closer the band plays "Peggy-O" before closing with "Samson," which hadn't been played in the first set since .
The left field call of "Far From Me" opens the second set, which sets the stage for a glowing "Scarlet/Fire." The "Scarlet" is bright and features some great playing by Brent. Then the "Fire" is filled with some spectacular playing by Phil. Some great energy from Jerry's guitar flows into the ending jam, when if have headphones, you'll hear Bobby barking out a countdown into "Estimated. Here we hear another Bobby mistake as he sings "California" two bars earlier than the band is ready for it. Yet it made up for in the hypnotic jam that comes out of this "Estimated." Magnificent interplay between the band mates before the drums hollow out the song and the first special guest of the night joins in. Zakir Hussain is a tabla player who was a founding member of the John McLaughlin trio Shakti and someone who has appeared on every Mickey Hart album to date. He adds a special flavor to this "Drums/Space," like a little chilli pepper on your eggs. As "The Other One" explodes into a million stars, the next special guest John Cipollina burst onto stage with the sly twist into "Not Fade." The rocking "Not Fade" fizzles into "Wharf Rat," before exciting into the closer of some good "Good Lovin'." The six members are the only ones who return to stage to rip-roar through "Satisfaction," with "Wang Dang" lyrics and a peaceful "Brokedown." This is the perfect song to help you get through tomorrow for the eighteenth time. 
I: Alabama, Promised, TLEO, Mama Tried, Mexicali, Loser, Rooster, BE Women, LL Rain, Peggy-O, Samson
II: Far From Me, Scarlet, Fire, Estimated, Drums*, Space*, Other, NFA**, Wharf Rat**, Good Lovin'** E: Satisfaction, Brokedown
* With Zakir Hussain ** With John Cipollina

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I Had A Job In The Great North Woods

HEREHERE, and HERE you can download the first of many three set Jerry Garcia shows from 1987. The first set being acoustic sets by JGAB and the next two electric sets with his regular band.
The origin of these acoustic/electric shows started on Thanksgiving day in 1986. Jerry was reconnected with his musical side and some of the members of this band were over at MG's house for dinner. The instruments came out and they were singing and playing in the living room. Bill Graham remarked in between numbers that it was great fun and they should take it to the stage sometime. Jerry said back, "Yeah you should put this on Broadway," and that is exactly what Bill Graham did. Jerry played 18 shows between October 15 and Halloween at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Broadway. But before opening on Broadway, the show must debut somewhere else, which they did at this show in the woods of Northern California.
Jerry very smartly engages the crowd immediately with this new band by playing three straight songs that the audience would know from the Dead's acoustic sets from 1980. Well the first two were done in those set "Friend of the Devil," wasn't played acoustic from 1970 to 1982. But we all know it acoustically from "American Beauty," justlike the joyous set closer of "Ripple."
The electric set is slightly more energetic than your normal JGB show. "Get Out Of My Life," "Evangeline," and "Think" provide some extra emphasis to the slower beauts like "Forever Young" and one of my personal favorites "And It Stoned Me." The show ends with a delightful "Tangled Up In Blue," which Garcia spreads the final solo on, just like old times.
Acoustic: Deep Elem, Around This World, Friend, Trouble in Mind, Little Sadie, Diamond Joe, Spike Driver, Oh Babe, I'm Troubled, Ripple
Electric I: How Sweet, Forever Young, Get Out Of My Life, Run for the Roses, Stoned Me, Sis & Brothers, Deal
Electric II: Harder They Come, Shall Be Released, Think, Evangeline, Gomorrah, Let It Rock, Lucky Old Sun, Tangled Up

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Song I Used To Hear

It's been so embarrassing to hear people talk about my naked dancing behind the band in the Sunshine Daydream movie. Ha ha. Just joking that wasn't me but it was me raising my hands and calling "Yeah Donna" during the "Sing Me Back Home." Such a glorious rendition of this song that was only played by the Dead nine more times before it was forever replaced by "Stella Blue" and the likes.
Download today's selection from the Garcia & Kahn tour in 1982, which you can find HERE. Jerry had some pleasant surprises for the audience, the new song that was making the rounds was "Run For The Roses," the cool improvisation was "Bird Song," and the surprise returns were "Going Going Gone" and "Sing Me Back Home." He hadn't preformed "Sing Me Back Home" in approximately nine years and wasn't on the DeadHead's radar who was walking into the venue. This selection just came into circulation this year, which is why I choose it, plus it has the three criteria sited above. So lets hope that next Grateful Dead Meet Up At The Movies that we have more of the pick below and less of the pic at the top.
Deep Elem, Around This World, Jack a Roe, Bird Song, Sing Me Back, Gomorrah, It Ain't No Lie, Run for the Roses, Ripple, Dire Wolf

Monday, August 5, 2013

I'm Walking Down Your Moonlight Mile

HERE is the early show and HERE is the late show from the Calderone Theatre in Hempstead, NY from March 30th, 1976.
I'm not that big of a Rolling Stone fan. Unlike The Beatles, I feel like they have some great singles but are hit or miss on their LP's. The three LP's that I think that they knocked it out of the park for are "Gimme Shelter," "Sticky Fingers," and "Exile on Main Street." And ironcially "Exile" has the least amount of singles on it of any Stones album from the 70's. So when I noticed that JGB played my favorite song from "Sticky Fingers," I had to find a show and this is the one I came across. 
Little did I know that I stumbled across the first "Don't Let Go," which is unfortunately cut before completion and has been the Jerry Garcia estate's hastag of choice these Days Between. There is also a gut wrenching 25 minute version of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door." I'm not really sure that "Heaven's Door" has fully recovered from the Jerry shredding it got on this night. It's not even like this is one of those Dylan songs that comes with a lyric sheet that is thicker than the Bible. The song doesn't even have a chance to start and Jerry is already experimenting with the three chord song structure. Holding a peak, which he returns to several times through out the song making it an exciting listen. This is why, despite not seeing the man play in the last 18 years, I still haven't gotten over his music. Three chords with a hand full of lyric and he makes it a compelling for 25 minutes. His is a genius like no other. 
Early: Emotion, TLEO, Mission, After Midnight, Who Was John, Limbo, Dixie Down, Don't Let Go
Late: Sugaree, Catfish John, Tore Up, Struggling Man, Knockin', Mystery Train, Moonlight Mile, Sister & Brothers

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Thrill Is Gone From Me

The backside of yesterday's Squaw Valley show is the bluegrass side of Jerry. The Garcia/Grisman band played on August 25 and can be downloaded HERE and HERE.
The relationship between Jerry Garcia and David Grisman goes back to before the inception of the Grateful Dead. The two heard of each other before they official met at a Bill Monroe festival. Rumors of this great San Francisco banjo player and this great New Jersey mandolin player lead to their paths crossing. The two were the catalyst for the greatest selling bluegrass album of all time with the early 70's Old and In the Way. But not everything that goes well, ends well, and Jerry left Old and In the Way with some bad feelings for Grisman. So it took the two over 15 years to cool off before they reconnected. The two rehearsed and recorded in Grisman's home studio and took their act to the stage in 1990. Garcia praised the session as helping him reclaim his acoustic chops which he felt were lacking dispite the JGAB shows. 
These shows featured some of Jerry and David's favorite roots songs like "Off to Sea," "Old Rocking Chair," and "Louis Collins," which makes its debut at this Squaw show. Then the played some of Grisman's originals like "Dawg Waltz." Then the brought out the two Grateful Dead tunes that Grisman played on the "American Beauty" album for; "Friend" and "Ripple." It is important to note that the Grateful Dead played "Ripple" one time after the 1980 acoustic/electric shows and this was the only opportunity some DeadHeads ever had to see this classic tune. After this show, Garcia only sang "Ripple" 6 more times. Then this show also has a special guest on the last two songs. Bela Fleck, who also appears on the recent Garcia Live Volume 2, plays banjo on "Eat my Dust" and "Ripple" and night caps a special weekend at Squaw. 
I: Jack a Roe, Spring In California, Grateful Dawg, Louis Colins, Off To Sea, Friend, Two Soldiers, So What
II: Russian Lullaby, Dawg's Waltz, Thrill is Gone, Old Rocking Chair, Arabia, Eat My Dust*, Ripple*
*With Bela Fleck

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Goes To Show You Never Can Tell

The show I'm going to today is a JGB performance from Squaw Valley in 1991, which you can download HERE and HERE. This show is special to me because Squaw Valley was the first place I moved to after college. It is also the first time that I lived outside of New York State and Tahoe is such a blissful place.
I moved into a couch my friend had which had a terrace that overlooked the mountain. We would sit out on the terrace and jam "Bird Song" on our acoustics into the beautiful mountain air. I also taught Matt some of the songs that I was working on. At the time I wanted to be a singer-songwriter, so moving to Tahoe was probably a poor choice but I was out of St. Lawrence and wanted a similar type place (except with a lot less girls). Looking back I wrote some of my best songs and when I put all the songs on a recording I named it Tahoe Journal and called it the best year of my life. (This is of course before my life became complete with my wife and kids. "Yes dear.")
So Bill Graham put this two day festival together on top of the Squaw Valley mountain. The site of the 1960 Olympic Games and were the USA won their first Gold Metal in ice hockey. The shows centered around Jerry's two side projects; JGB and Garcia/Grisman. Bill Graham even made a button for the people who instead of paying decided to try and hike the 2,000 plus vertical feet up the mountain instead of taking the gondola. This was the last concert collaboration between the two friends Jerry and Bill because later this fall, Bill Graham died in a helicopter crash.
I: How Sweet, Stop That Train, Run For the Roses, Forever Young, Never Can Tell, Lazy Bones, Deal
II: Way You Do, Waiting For a Miracle, Struggling Man, Money Honey, Shining Star, Somebody to Love

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Jerry Garcia Solo Show

Download the early show from the first and only Jerry Garcia solo show HERE. Well not the first and only. Jerry Garcia spent much of 1962 as a solo folk guitarist and singer. Then he started playing with Robert Hunter and David Nelson as the Wildwood Boys, which transitioned into Mother McCree's and then finally the Warlocks. So this is the one and only since the inception of the Grateful Dead.
Jerry sort of reluctly agreed to do some solo acoustic shows in 1982 and this was the inauguration. Garcia reportedly left the stage after this set and begged the promoter to let him get someone to join him. He supposedly said tha he felt naked up there and please let me get John Kahn to join him up there. The promoter agreed and the next gig on April 21st, Garcia & Kahn played the Beacon Theatre. 
This is a fantastic listen. "Oh sweet mama your daddy has those Deep Elem Blues," is a fitting opening by the man. There is little in-trepidation in his fingers as he takes his first solo break but quickly he gets to a fitting comfort level. Then he pars the two Elizabeth Cotton numbers after maybe forgetting the lyrics to "Freight Train" as he seamlessly slides into "Oh babe." "Gomorrah" is the first original from the "Cats" album and is followed by the first Grateful Dead song "Dire Wolf." "Stagger Lee" sounds great on the acoustic and it is curious why they didn't try this out for the fifteenth anniversary tour. He only preformed this acoustically 3 times. His growing confidence is evident on the sly filler solo during the fantastic "To Lay Me Down." Then Jerry debuts the title track to his next solo album, "Run For The Roses." The set is closed with a sweet "Ripple," before encoring with "Reuben." And that got him to request John Kahn's accompaniment because "Reuben, Reuben tell me true for I have no one but you."
Deep Elem, Freight Train, Oh Babe, Gomorrah, Dire Wolf, Little Sadie, Stagger Lee, Valerie, All Around This World, To Lay Me Down, Run for the Roses, Ripple E: Reuben 

I was wrong about a JGB release but the good ol' Grateful Dead are finally releasing Sunshine-Daydream.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

On The Day That I Was Born

Forty years ago, the Grateful Dead played a birthday show for Jerry Garcia that was one for the ages. All the aura and mystic of the Grateful Dead was a ship that docked itself at Roosevelt Stadium. After The Band opened the festivities, the Grateful Dead stepped on to stage and fill that sail with wind enough to sail the seven seas. Download a matrix of this show HEREHERE, and HERE.
There is a lot to groove to in the first set. The "Sugaree" is magnificently clear, the "Race" most definitely is on, and "You Ain't Woman Enough" is still Joe Greg's favorite Donna cover. The "Bird Song" pals in comparison to the Watkins Glen one from four days earlier and is one of the last one's until the 1980 acoustic sets. There is the rare first set "Stella Blue," which is highly dramatic. Then there is "Casey Jones" closer, which is the band seems to almost lose the handle on before kicking it into high gear for a fierce end of the set.
The second set features dreamy combo of "Dark Star/El Paso/Eyes/Dew." The "Dark Star" starts like your surfing and beautiful cumulus cloud. Floating on the golden cloud steers us over the skies building steam as Garcia sings the lone verse. Then the music like joining clouds turn from tranquility to that of thunderous roars. When the storm passes, Bobby transitions into the a song that they played more than any other song in 1973, "El Paso." The song was tapped as a very versital song because it work, because of Garcia's playing, out of mega jams or as first set song. There is a few second trasition jam, where the band debates moving back in to "Dark Star," where Jerry rips into a massive 20 minute "Eyes." Listen to Keith rock the grand piano on the final verses. He is playing it so hard that you think that he had to move to the electric piano for the jam because he broke the grand. In the finale jam Jerry methodically takes the band down the steps to a haunting "Morning Dew." This song is like a fog stretching out over a graveyard. Magnificent as it is hurtingly romantic. Though it isn't listed as it, the "Going Down the Road/One More Saturday Night" sounds like it was meant as encore for the weekend's events.
Although it is listed in the poster, there no record of there being a show on July 30th in Deadbase or recording on Bit Torrent or Archive. Otherwise these three shows would make a stupendous future box set if it exist in the vault.
I: Promised, Sugaree, Race is on, You Ain't Woman Enough, Bird Song Mexicali, TLEO, Straw, Stella, Big River, Casey
II: Around, Half Step, Uncle, Row Jimmy, Dark Star, El Paso, Eyes, Dew, Sugar Mags, GDTRFB, Saturday Night
Tonight, after my niece's birthday party, I'll be heading to the movies. Even if you show up late, I say do anything possible to get to the movies, because these shows haven't been put out on DVD afterwards.
I've also decided what I'm doing for these Days Between, I'm going to feature a show outside of the dates and anniversary and mostly Jerry stuff away from the Grateful Dead, except for the one GD show because it is part of my themed year featuring a special guest. And wouldn't you know it, jerrygarcia.com just got an overhaul and should be a more interactive website, so feel free to dork out on it with me.