Tag Archives: Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia Band – GarciaLive Volume Four

GarciaLive Volume Four: March 22nd, 1978 Veteran’s Hall highlights an oft-requested Jerry Garcia Band line-up featuring Jerry, John Kahn, Buzz Buchanan, Maria Muldaur and Keith & Donna Godchaux. Falling just days after the conclusion of the Garcia band’s tour and days before the release of Cats Under The Stars, this intimate performance in Sebastopol, CA showcases a particularly relaxed, vibrant and soulful Garcia Band evident on moving versions of “Mission in the Rain,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” and the gospel standard “I’ll Be With Thee.” Rocking takes on “Mystery Train,” “I Second That Emotion” and “Midnight Moonlight” bring the surging tempos that offer beautiful balance to the performance and showcase the band’s tremendous musical range. The performance also marks the first guest appearance from future Jerry Garcia Band keyboardist Ozzie Ahlers.

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Jerry Garcia’s Rosebud Guitar

I was pushing the grocery cart down the magazine aisle at Stop & Shop when a music magazine cover rang out to me.

Photograph by Rayon Richards

I didn’t hesitate to reach for the magazine when I saw the cover of Guitar AficionadoThe Deadhead in me gingerly placed the magazine in my shopping cart. I said to myself as I headed to the checkout, “I have my idea for a music blog post this weekend.:)

Jerry Garcia‘s Rosebud guitar is pictured inside the magazine. An American beauty of a guitar that Don Irwin, guitar luthier custom-built for him. Jerry Garcia considered Rosebud Don Irwin’s masterpiece. One look will tell you why.

(The photos below and above are from Guitar Aficionado, Copyright 2014. If you love guitars I urge you to pick up a copy of the May/June 2014 issue or any of their other fantastic back issues here. They do guitars total justice)

EPSON MFP image

Photograph by Jay Blakesberg

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Manassas – Stephen Stills and Friends

 

Rolling Stone Magazine posed the weekend question yesterday, What is your favorite double album? My answer was The Beatles (album), a.k.a. The White Album. 

 

I have added thoughts about other favorite double albums in my collection. The album Manassas from Stephen Still‘s band in the early 70s plays strongly in the music of our heart.

 

 

I’ve always found Manassas to be a pleasurable, well-flowing recording. What I love the most about Manassas is how the music gels as the four sides play out. The assembled musicians follow each other in a natural groove that builds into polyrhythms that envelop the listener.

 

Manassas has been relegated over time to the status of an overlooked and forgotten album in the annals of rock. The band was an intuitive, collaborative nucleus who knitted together cohesive sound. Along with the band members listed on the début album cover above, added people included Byron Berline (fiddle), Bill Wyman (bass) and Jerry Garcia (pedal steel guitar). Bill Wyman was reported as saying that he would have left the Stones to join Manassas.

 

I found an interesting video segment of Manassas on YouTube. Like many of the 70’s videos I have watched it was filmed and broadcast on Beat-Club for German television. It has held up well over time capturing the band live before Manassas was released in April 1972. I like witnessing Chris Hillman playing guitar and sharing vocals with Stephen Stills. There is a magic between that works effectively. My favorite song by Manassas is, “It Doesn’t Matter” which appears on the video.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunshine Daydream, Veneta, Oregon – 8/27/1972

The August 2013 Grateful Dead Bulletin contained a wonderful surprise. A limited edition box set entitledSunshine Daydream DeluxeCD/Blu-ray (Exclusive)

On August 27, 1972, fresh off their now-legendary European tour, the Grateful Dead traveled to Veneta, OR and reunited with the Merry Pranksters for a common cause – to throw a benefit concert for the Kesey family’s Springfield Creamery. A stage was erected under the hot Oregon sun at the Olde Renaissance Fairgrounds, tickets were printed on the fronts of the Creamery’s yogurt labels, and the rest is history…

The Dead in collaboration with Rolling Stone Magazine are featuring a video clip  (click on image of Jerry Garcia below to view). from the Sunshine Daydream movie that was shown this past Wednesday August 1st at select movie theaters in celebration of Jerry Garcia’s 71st birthday. This was the 3rd annual Grateful Dead Meet Up at The Movies.

I have to tell you I watched this clip and I was immediately transported back in time to the early 70’s when I first experienced the Grateful Dead live in concert (November 7, 1970 The Capitol Theatre in Portchester, NY and July 31, 1971 at Yale Bowl in New Haven). The movie captures The Grateful Dead just as I recalled seeing them live.

I was hooked when I saw that RS/Dead “Jack Straw” clip I pre-ordered right then and there. It has everything I want, The Grateful Dead live outdoors, Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters (who filmed the movie) and Deadheads dancing and twirling in the hot sun.

The version of “Jack Straw” that they perform is beautifully done. I’ve never heard that song sound as sweet as this rendition.

The opening scene with the baby and the dog is cute and touching.

Grateful Dead Play ‘Jack Straw’ in Veneta, Oregon, in 1972

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Garcia’s – Lobby Bar at The Capitol Theatre in Portchester, NY

The first place I ever caught the Grateful Dead live was at The Capitol Theatre in Portchester, NY on November 7, 1970. The New Riders of the Purple Sage opened the show that evening with Jerry Garcia playing pedal steel guitar. I recall my brother-in-law Paco telling us that he had drinks next door to The Capitol at Vassons with Jerry Garcia and Pigpen prior to the show. So this announcement is very àpropos.

The Capitol Theatre has christened its lobby bar as “Garcia’s” in honor of the legendary Grateful Dead guitarist and singer, who considered the venue was of his favorite in the country. The bar, which formally opens May 16-18, will operate seven days a week and will host live music. The opening ceremony will feature three night’s of performances by Reid Genauer and Friends.

The news came yesterday, at the end of the final night of Furthur’s nine-show run at The Capitol Theatre. Garcia’s daughter Trixie was on-hand for the announcement. “We chose to launch this idea at the Capitol because of its long and illustrious history with the Grateful Dead and the jam scene,” said Trixie. “We hope that it becomes a hub for the community to share stories and continue to build lifelong memories and friendships. Pete Shapiro and the Capitol Theatre staff were the appropriate partners to do this with because of our shared goals and his continued love and support of the Grateful Dead community. Just as important to note is the fact that Jerry’s parents supported our family by owning and operating a bar in San Francisco in the 1940’s and so it seemed right to reconnect with our family tradition.”

Garcia’s will be the first bar to be officially associated with Jerry Garcia’s family.

Garcia’s will include rare photos, artwork and equipment, including vintage never-before-seen shots from famed music/fashion photographer Roberto Robanne, who met Garcia in 1966 and had unlimited access to the band. The bar will also have a 18” bronze sculpture of Garcia’s hand, which has been loaned to the establishment by noted philanthropist and Grateful Dead fan Scott Brittingham. Garcia’s will offer craft beers, as well as wines and spirits, with a focus on local producers. The bar will also host concerts from emerging artists on nights when the theatre is closed.

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Jerry Garcia Website Launches! – An Initial Review

Jerry GarciaTake a journey over to the just launched Jerry Garcia Web site . You’ll find it more than a long strange trip its been ;)

The Jerry Garcia Web site accomplishes two main objectives on behalf of its visitors, 1) Rich content about Jerry Garcia’s life, friends and accomplishments,  2) A creative, engaging shopping experience.

The site is designed by Third Door, Inc. I am surprised to learn how many popular music artist sites have been designed by Third Door’s David Maier. David’s choice of tools as a graphics and Web designer map to the Web software I plan to become more skilled in using in 2013 and beyond. The site was constructed with WordPress for content management, Adobe PhotoShop for images and Adobe Dreamweaver for HTML/HTML5 coding.

The Web site has a product tie-in promotion with the first release from the newly launched Garcia Live series which features a recording from the historic Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey on March 1, 1980.

My first assessment of the jerrygarcia.com Web site is based upon the following viewpoint/criteria.

Fan Viewpoint

Shopping Experience – A+

The Jerry Garcia Store is a standout section. It is tightly coupled with the Garcia official merchandise offered through their exclusive arrangement with MusicToday for ordering/fulfillment. Products were easy to view with the Zoom feature available for closer articulation.

Fan level information – B+

The Timeline section has 97 posts but lacks an evolutionary dated timeline for context and correlation (suggestion…). The content offers in depth reading and visual images that drive the reading experience well.

My favorite image is the black and white photograph of Jerry Garcia playing the pedal steel guitar. The Bio is nicely summarized. I would have liked to have seen a Web link to Wikipedia or another more substantive biography about Jerry.

The News section is very initial with just 4 posts. But it is only Day 1 for the site ;).

Multimedia content – A+

The Music, Artwork and Video sections meld together in cohesive fashion. The Music section offers a cover art jump point to a second page with music vendors, song listings and just the right level of social network icons for now.

The Artwork area is a gem and it is a good first level representation of an evolving Gallery area. I suggest an Amazon link on this page to the coffee table book,  Jerry Garcia: The Collected Artwork for visitors (I just love leafing through that book!)

The Video section knocked me out. The highlight for me was Jerry Garcia’s 70th Birthday. I was unable to watch Move Me Brightly on TRIStudios this past August. I am pumped to see the 17:47 video highlight featured on the Video page.

Technology Viewpoint

Usability – A

The Web site fully leverages responsive design and WordPress content management effortlessly. The images are compelling and never oversized or stretched. Navigation is straight forward and relaxing. It represents a landscape book with a menu as table of contents off to the left side, unobtrusive but accessible.

Design- A+

The page design varies between various postings or single Photoshop images of Jerry that are warm testimonies of him.

Responsive design is available throughout the Web site, which makes this a technology appealing visual, audio, video experience.

I have anticipated the Jerry Garcia Web site for sometime now and I wasn’t disappointed one iota!

Great work team! I look forward to the content evolution from here on out.

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Jerry Garcia – Happy 70th Birthday – August 1, 2012

 

Wednesday, 8/1 vs. NYM 7:15 p.m.
SOLD OUT!

Presented by McAfee
The Giants invite you to the ballpark to celebrate the 70th Birthday of legendary musician and San Francisco Native Jerry Garcia! Garcia was born in San Francisco on August 1, 1942, and grew up in the city’s Excelsior District, before becoming a founding member of the iconic rock band The Grateful Dead. AT&T Park will be rocking with pre-game music on the field, compliments of the band Moonalice and entertainment, featuring some of Jerry’s most famous hits throughout his illustrious career. Your special event ticket package includes a seat in one of the Jerry Garcia 70th Birthday Bash sections for the August 1st game against the New York Mets, and a special birthday-edition Jerry Garcia bobble head! Ticket proceeds will be donated to the Rex Foundation, along with other non-profits affiliated with The Grateful Dead! Come support a great cause and help us celebrate the birthday of one of San Francisco’s biggest legends!

 

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Jefferson Starship – Blows Against The Empire

When I think of the music of Jefferson Starship, I am transported back to their premier recording, Blows Against the Empire (November, 1970). It echoes in my head and heart with a unique resonance these many years later.

I especially love the track, “Have You Seen The Stars Tonite”. I can visualize being on a deck in outer space, looking up through a clear glass ceiling floating amidst the stars.

Blows Against The Empire is an amazing blend of science fiction combined with a rich textured musical synergy. One can only imagine what life was like back then in the canyons above San Francisco as members of Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Quicksilver Messenger Service and friends communed and recorded together.

This amalgam of musicians became known as the Planet Earth Rock and Roll Empire.

I purchased today from the Planet Earth Rock and Roll Store the 3 CD set that includes the Blows Against The Empire deluxe edition, the Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra CD (the sequel to Blows…) and the bonus Perro CD. When I have received these items and digested the music I will write an update blog post.

(Thanks to Wikipedia for the following information and for continually providing a great backdrop of music encyclopedia knowledge for research and blogging purposes.)

  • Paul Kantner – vocals, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, banjo, bass machine
  • Grace Slick – piano, vocals
  • Jerry Garcia – banjo on “Let’s Go Together”, pedal steel guitar on “Have You Seen the Stars Tonite”, sound effects and vocals on “XM”, lead guitar on “Starship”
  • Bill Kreutzmann – drums on “Let’s Go Together”
  • Mickey Hart – percussion on “Have You Seen the Stars Tonite”, sound effects and vocals on “XM”
  • Joey Covington – drums and vocals on “Mau Mau”, congas on “Hijack”
  • Jack Casady – bass on “A Child Is Coming” and “Sunrise”
  • David Crosby – vocals and guitar on “A Child Is Coming” and “Have You Seen the Stars Tonite”, background vocals on “Starship”
  • Graham Nash – congas on “Hijack”, sound effects on “Home”, background vocals on “Starship”
  • David Freiberg – background vocals on “Starship”
  • Harvey Brooks – bass on “Starship”
  • Peter Kaukonen – lead guitar on “Mau Mau”
  • Phill Sawyer – sound effects on “Home” and “XM”
Year Title Chart positions Certification
US
1970 Blows Against the Empire by Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship 20 Gold (RIAA)
1971 If I Could Only Remember My Name by David Crosby 12 Gold (RIAA)
Songs for Beginners by Graham Nash 15 Gold (RIAA)
Sunfighter by Paul Kantner and Grace Slick 89
1972 Graham Nash David Crosby by Graham Nash and David Crosby 4 Gold (RIAA)
Rolling Thunder by Mickey Hart 190
1973 Baron von Tollbooth & the Chrome Nun by Paul KantnerGrace Slick, and David Freiberg 120
1983 Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra by Paul Kantner

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Capitol Theater in Portchester, NY Plans Triumphant 2012 Return, Part II

This blog post is about The Capitol Theater resurgence in Portchester, New York.

The San Francisco Scene on the East Coast

When I look back on the concerts I attended at The Capitol Theater I was thankful to see the psychedelic sounds of San Francisco were well represented.

Our first concert at The Capitol featured Santana and John Lee Hooker at the late show on Friday June 12, 1970. We bought the tickets late and got seated in the balcony. You had a great seat no matter where you sat as the vantage points were all conducive for the stage. John Lee Hooker opened for Santana. I am embarrassed to say that I wasn’t a patient concert goer like I am today. We were rude to the great bluesmen and kept shouting for Santana. I regret my actions that night and wish I treasured John Lee Hooker’s set more than I did. It turns out that was the only time I got to see him play.

When he came back out for an encore we groaned but let me tell you this, he schooled us that night. He did a rendition of “One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer” that included the boogie blues beat that enthralled me. He turned me around with that number and I was cheering for him when he left the stage. Little did I realize how much Carlos Santana respected John Lee Hooker until years later when they recorded The Healer together.

Santana ripped the roof off The Capitol that evening. I recall they were bathed in a warm red light most of the night. I owned the first album Santana and played it all the time on my hi-fi system. Their percussive sound formed a rhythmic beat that kept us dancing out of our seats.

I didn’t see Santana in concert again until 2002, 32 years later. I have seen them live 15 times since the first show in Portchester. They are my favorite band and I have every one of the Santana recordings in my music library. 42 years of music and still going strong, Viva Santana.

The next concert by a band from San Francisco was our first concert by The Grateful Dead on November 7, 1970. I was sitting in the balcony the night of the Santana show when the sound system started playing Workingman’s Dead. The announcer stated that The Grateful Dead would be playing a bunch of dates at The Capitol in November. I ran right downstairs to the lobby box office and purchased our tickets for the third row.

File:Gratefuldead-workingman.jpg

Seeing The Grateful Dead and the New Riders of the Purple Sage that close was a pretty awesome deal. NRPS featured Jerry Garcia on pedal steel guitar. Jerry played right in front of us and he was spectacular on pedal steel guitar. He loved playing that instrument. He smiled throughout the entire NRPS set. I was especially taken with the vocals by John “Marmaduke” Dawson on “Last Lonely Eagle”.

The Grateful Dead played from 9:00 pm until 4 am the next morning, which was an incredible feat. I loved the energy the band gave off and how cosmic it all felt. You could tell they loved playing The Capitol. I loved the people twirling in the lobby and how happy everyone was to be there. I am glad this show was taped and I can play it often to relive the experience.

The following week Jefferson Airplane pulled into town. We attended the late show on November 13, 1970 which featured Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna and E Pluribus Unum. I was excited to catch Jefferson Airplane with Grace Slick on vocals, along with Marty Balin. They were a powerful combination with Jorma and Jack playing behind them. The JA set was a classic music choice of their catalogue. Hot Tuna was a surprise that night and they also featured Papa John Creach on fiddle.

We would see Hot Tuna again January 20, 1971 on a cold winters night. They headlined for a bill that featured Big Brother and the Holding Company and John Hammond. The funniest part of that show was that there were so few people in The Capitol due to the snow storm that we were invited to stay for the second show, which we did. The guy behind us tried to get an encore from Hot Tuna but Jack Cassady just told him come to the second show, its free ;)

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Anthem of the Sun – Grateful Dead

grateful dead- anthem of the sun

Image by cdrummbks via Flickr

I was turned on to the music and positive chemistry of the Grateful Dead by an article I read in Circus Magazine in 1968. The author made a profound impact upon my consciousness by describing his concert experience in the California desert at a Grateful Dead concert. He articulated well what the concert felt like for him, how karmic the Dead were live. I went to the record store the very next day and bought Grateful Dead, Anthem of the Sun on vinyl for $2.79. It proved to be one of the best music values I would buy in the initial phase of my record collection.

I played that record on my hi-fi system in my bedroom. I would leave the selector arm over to the left-hand side so that the needle would pick up at the end and replay from the beginning again.

I must admit my first few plays of Anthem of the Sun did not exactly click with my mind. I found the tracks densely layered and I couldn’t concentrate on what they were trying to communicate to me. But by the fourth full listen I had a couple of breakthroughs and I was forever hooked on the acid sound of improvisational psychedelic jamming.

Adding to the psychedelic madness on the album was Tom Constanten, a friend of bassist Phil Lesh who joined the band in the studio to contribute piano and prepared piano (influenced by John Cage) tracks; Constanten would formally join the band in November 1968. His contributions to the band’s sound were always much more clear in the studio than in their live shows, and Anthem of the Sun was no exception. Constanten made it so that the piano pieces seemed like three gamelan orchestras were playing all at once. He even went so far as to use a gyroscope set spinning on the piano soundboard.[6] (Courtesy wikipedia)

My favorite track on Anthem of the Sun is “That’s It for the Other One”.  I liked its four-part interwoven thematic interpretation.

"That's It for the Other One" – 7:40
I. "Cryptical Envelopment" (Garcia)
II. "Quadlibet for Tenderfeet" (Garcia, Kreutzmann, Lesh, McKernan, Weir)
III. "The Faster We Go, The Rounder We Get" (Kreutzmann, Weir)
IV. "We Leave the Castle" (Constanten)

Anthem Of The Sun - LP (Back)

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