January 8, 2010

Post Comments Here

One of the formatting issues with blogspot is that readers don't have a place to comment unless they respond to a specific post.
So I thought I'd start the year by making a space for visitors.... If you have comments, questions, or requests that aren't related to a topic I've posted, you can put them here!

I should also mention for readers - I can't turn out posts like these very quickly, but hopefully I'll be able to add about two posts per month, time permitting. (Wish I could post more often, but life gets in the way!)

Also - generally when I have a correction or update to a post, rather than silently revising it, I post a comment. Partly this is to show that the discussion is always ongoing, that these essays aren't "the final word" - and to encourage others to comment as well.


  1. love what you're doing with this blog, more power to you :o)

  2. this blog is awesome!

  3. ive been loving your blog, and happily stumbled on it while i've been in the middle of an early era obsession.

    just a quick question, does a SBD exist for 11/8/70, or if not, can you recommend the best sounding AUD?
    noticed it highly rated in the Deadbase polls, but havent heard it yet.

    thanks again for great reading.

  4. There is no SBD for 11/8/70. There's a link to a good source in my Port Chester November 1970 post.

  5. Well, this idea was a dud... So I'll post another comment for myself!

    In writing these essays, I rely very much on previous Grateful Dead writers and scholars, online and in print - so the material I present is a collective effort.
    But I write alone. I take great efforts to prevent errors and omissions, but some slip through. I've made many discoveries while researching these pieces, and some of the older posts here may have mistakes or outdated info I've forgotten about.
    This site is always in the perilous condition of being not-quite-updated...

    So it's very helpful when readers submit corrections or additions. (But so few do!) I'd also appreciate suggestions on topics people would like to hear about, to try to broaden the variety of posts here...
    Ideas for improving the site are also welcome. (I just added a new index to help people find older posts.) I'd like this site to be a definitive Dead resource and research guide, but sometimes the simplest ideas escape me until someone else mentions them!

  6. How are we supposed to submit corrections? I don't see an email address. Have you seen the new Wolfgang's Vault video of 12/27/77? Not sure if that was circulating before.



  7. Actually, that Wolfgang's Vault video is 90% from 12/30/77, which has circulated for a long time; just Cold Rain, Around & Samson are from 12/27/77.
    I suspect more Winterland videos will pop up in the future, though.

    Corrections & additions can be made in the comments; no email necessary.

    I do have to check/approve comments before they appear, so they don't get added immediately when you post.

  8. Hey Folks - just thought I'd post this story and see what comments come back.

    A couple days after Jerry Garcia sprung the mortal coil (might have been the day after but not for sure) I stopped in the Grottoes Va 7/11 and bought a cup of coffee. Got a couple bills back as change and later realized that one was an old crumpled dollar bill that had the GD skull w/ lightning bolt design stamped over George's face. There's no way that somebody put that out after hearing the sad news...talk about weird synchronicity. I kept it on my dresser under a wooden box that I kept loose change in. Had it for many yrs but then it disappeared. think maybe one of the kids innocently lifted it.

    So what say you all? Anyone else find any of these bills? I thought maybe JG might have had a hand in that, wish I still had it!

  9. hey any new posts soon?? I've read all of yours about 10 times, they are fucking great!

    1. Thanks. I think there will be a short post in the next week or two. Unfortunately that will be all until January. I don't have much time these days; I'm sorry my posts are so intermittent.

  10. what would you think about a Houseboat Tapes post? I am confused about what was found, or it was just Dicks Pick's 35 and Road Trips 1.3?

    1. Well, I don't think I'll be posting about August '71 anytime soon, unless it comes up as part of some other discussion. I have plenty of posts in the pipeline, though, just waiting to be written.
      But anyway, according to McNally's liner notes:
      "It seems that in the late summer of 1971, just before Keith Godchaux began rehearsals with the Dead, Garcia handed him a big box of tapes and said, "Here, this is our most recent tour. Learn our music." The irony was that Donna Jean doubts mightily Keith ever bothered to listen to them - he'd never listened to the Dead all that much before he auditioned...he just had an uncanny innate facility for the music. In any case, he left the tapes on his parents' houseboat in Alameda, CA, and there they stayed. For almost 35 years... Master tapes include April 28 and 29 at the Fillmore East (released [from alternate tape sources] as "Ladies and Gentlemen," which was mixed from the multi-track masters), the 7/31 Yale Bowl (alas, the reels were blank), a small piece of the second Hollywood Palladium show, the complete shows from Berkeley Community Theatre 8/14 & 8/15, and others. Dick's Pick #35 is the complete San Diego (8/7/71) show, all that was salvageable of the 8/24 Chicago show, and an hour-plus of the Hollywood Palladium (8/6), which is all that existed on the tapes."
      Lemieux said in an interview at the time that they had nothing in the Vault from August '71 prior to getting the Houseboat Tapes, and that the recovered 7/31 tapes were blank. In later years, though, they did come up with the 7/31 SBD, 8/23, and more of the 8/6 show, so it's unclear where those tapes came from, or exactly how many "other" unlisted shows were included in Keith's tapes. (They also said that the portion of 8/24 included on DP35 was "all that was salvageable," which leaves vague how much more of the show survives on tape.)
      At any rate, we now have SBD tapes from every summer '71 show (though not all complete). Personally I'm now very curious about what '70-71 shows Mountain Girl recently returned to the Vault - David Lemieux has kept mum about that, only 4/18/70 Family Dog has been released so far from that stash, and we're not likely to ever get a complete list of the returned shows.

  11. Hey LIA, do have any insight to why or when David Grisman overdubbed mandolin on the Positively 4th Street on Live at Keystone/ Keystone Companions?

    Not complaining, this is my favorite Garcia solo track, and it took me forever to find out that it was Grisman playing the that fast note melody climax thing in the second solo and under Jer's singing. It makes me wonder why he was never part of Garcia's club bands, he added an interesting part to this song. It would have been epic. This track seems like a bridge between Old and In The Way and the Garcia/Grisman recordings of the 90s.



    1. Good question!

      He would have done the studio overdub sometime in late 1973, most likely at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. (Fantasy Records was Merl Saunders' label, which released the record.) So it would have been concurrent with the Old & In The Way shows.
      But as far as I know, Grisman never played live with the Garcia/Saunders band, nor did he contribute to Garcia's other studio albums in this period (not since American Beauty in 1970). It must have been a happenstance thing - Grisman had his own career going on. Maybe Garcia just thought a mandolin part would work well for that song!

    2. I think I found more of a connection. The Keepers compilation released in 1997 consists mainly of JG/MS songs in the studio with the band containing Vassar Clements and David Grisman, so perhaps Jerry was trying to add them to his club band or maybe just they were fooling around in the studio.


    3. Good find!
      Per deaddisc, three songs on Keepers (Mystery Train, That's All Right, and Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You) were recorded on 1/12/74 with Clements and Grisman - kind of a Garcia/Saunders/OAITW blend.
      However, from what I could find, Live at Keystone was released in late '73, so Grisman would have done his part for that album on some earlier date.
      So it looks like Grisman was in the studio with Garcia & Saunders on at least two dates in that period, working on tracks... There is probably more to that story than has been told; but maybe it was no more than Garcia saying, "come in and let's see how this sounds."

  12. Those Keepers tracks are excellent, probably my favourite JGMS tracks and I would recommend the CD to anyone. I assumed it was a load of inessential scraps and leftovers for years before I finally got a copy, I was very wrong indeed. However I do not believe the sleeve notes.

    "The following year (1974), Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, and Vassar Clements were playing in Berkeley with "Old and in the Way" and made their way to Fantasy after the show. There they found Merl finishing up some sessions with John Kahn... Around 4am (of 1974-01-12), the jamming began and, luckily for us, the tape started rolling. The results were incredible "one take" performances of "Mystery Train" and "That's All Right" which showcased Garcia's stunning guitar and vocal work. Also joining Merl and friends on that magical night at Fantasy was Geoff Muldaur, offering a soulful rendition of the classic "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You."

    The CD essay assigns "Bolinas Brown" to a 1973 session and "La-La" to a later (74?) session but the track listing have these as part of the same Vassar/Grisman "1974-01-12" session albeit with different lineups. What a mess.

    It would be a big surprise if OITW played Berkeley in January 1974, especially without John Kahn who supposedly was at Fantasy with Merl. I think what we have is an early March 74 jam session possibly after a Great American String Band show or get together. I don't think we know of a GASB Berkeley show but 1974-03-08 started with Vassar and Grisman at Columbia in SF for a "Compliments" session, then a proto GASB rehearsal at Grisman's Stinson Beach house with Jerry and supposedly Richard Greene (where was Vassar?) amongst others. I think they might have been having such a good time that Jerry and Grisman picked up Vassar (if he wasn't at Grismans) and went to see Merl and Kahn when everyone else had had enough.

    I may be wrong about the 8th but I think early March is a good bet. We know Vassar was in SF at the GAMH with Skunk Cabbage on the 1st, at Columbia on the 8th and the GAMH again on the 10th with Skunk Cabbage and GA Fiddle Band. Late April around the time of the Golden State Country Bluegrass Festival is another possibility.

    1. Ah, so the Saunders session may have been in March rather than January...
      Grisman & Clements also play on the Compliments outtake "Back Home in Indiana" - the only track I know of where they're present, though there might have been others still unreleased. It was a different session, too - the lineup & studio are different than the Saunders tracks. (The drummer for those was E.W. Wainwright, who's known to have played with Garcia/Saunders at the Keystone in early March '74, which would support a Saunders studio session at that time - though probably Wainwright played with him at many other shows as well.)
      At any rate, that's three dates Grisman was playing in Garcia's studio sessions... Unfortunately they parted ways shortly afterwards for 16 years, otherwise there might have been mandolin on Reflections!

  13. There is also the acoustic "Lonesome Town" on "Outtakes, Jams & Alternates" and, according to jgmf, an unissued Grisman/Clements version of "Russian Lullaby".


    I just skimmed the "All Good Things" booklet in the hope of finding useful recording dates (to little avail) and noticed that Geoff Muldaur plays on "Compliments." So, with the exception of drummer Wainwright, everyone at that Fantasy jam is on "Compliments."

    1. Oops, forgot about that!
      There needs to be a dedicated Garcia sessionography somewhere...

      While Garcia recorded a lot more than he needed to for Compliments, it's curious that none of the Grisman/Clements tracks made the cut.

  14. I am currently working on a Garcia Sessionography! Many records he played on in the early 1970s have been released in the 1990s and 2000s, so it leaves a lot to be researched. Garcia himself said that he could not remember all the sessions
    (Garcia's memory of the early 1970s was shady; he had forgotten by the late 1980s that they band had ever played "Here Comes Sunshine" live...) he played in the early 1970s because he wanted to gain experience in the studio, although curiously it seems most of his sessions were pedal steel, which he abandoned soon after.

    Random Question- I'm curious, LIA what is your favorite Dark Star and top 1974 show?


    1. I hope your Garcia Sessionography reaches completion!
      Deaddisc.com is a good source for Garcia guest spots; the JGMF blog has scattered info on various Garcia sessions (there's a new post on the mysterious Nov '76 sessions); and Blair Jackson's "Cutting Room Floor" online has info on many of Garcia's later guest appearances. Garcia's interviews themselves aren't that useful, that I've seen (I think his lengthiest comments come from the 1981 Swing 51 interview). But I'm sure you're on top of all that!

      Random Answers - 9/19/70, 10/18/74. (But I'm more partial to individual '74 sets than the full shows.)

  15. LIA - curious if you have knowledge why a batch of Betty Boards have recently made the light of day. I understand there are concerns involving the authenticity but many seem legit.
    Love what you do and return here irregularly because it sucks me in and, as you have noted, life does get in the way!

    1. I don't have any info on the new batch of boards (not all Betty's, some were taped by Bear or other crewmembers), but they're as authentic as can be, as far as I know. Most of the Dead shows have circulated already, but many of the new copies might be upgrades to some degree.

  16. Hi, I have one quick question. In one of Robert Hunter's interviews (http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/grateful-deads-robert-hunter-on-jerrys-final-days-we-were-brothers-20150311), he says this (about the back cover of American Beauty):

    They had a photograph of everybody with guns, and I said "No!"
    I don't say no very often, and I don't know who I am to say no,
    but I said no in a big fashion and they left it off. Can you
    imagine the back of American Beauty with the Grateful Dead armed
    to the teeth?

    Has anybody out there ever seen this photograph? I know I haven't. I don't think he's referring to those front-steps-of-710 photos -- there's only one gun there, and those photos were pretty old by then.

    1. The only photo I know of that seems to match his description is this one:
      But I don't know if that's the one they were considering.
      Also see the comments here: