Jan 16, 2013

December 8, 1967: Psychedelic Supermarket, Boston

“Making the Scene” ad from the MIT Tech paper, 12/5/67:

The Grateful Dead will bring more of the acid-rock sound to Boston. Featuring the noted blues guitarist Jerry Garcia and organist-folk hero Pigpen, they will play from 9 pm til Midnight this Friday and Saturday at the Psychedelic Supermarket, 590 Commonwealth Ave. They have had a single in “The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)” and a successful album.

* * *


The Grateful Dead, one of the current popular San Francisco Bay area groups to make it big nationally, made their Boston debut Friday night at the Psychedelic Supermarket. The most impressive thing about their sets was the personal involvement and rapport they had with the audience. If there is one characteristic besides the geographical that the San Francisco groups have in common, it is this genuine warmth, openness, and just plain friendliness: the idea that “we love you.” In a conversation between sets, guitarist and group leader Jerry “Captain Trips” Garcia reflected this musical philosophy.

Musical friendships
Garcia is generally recognized as one of the four or five best rock guitarists. He and the amorphous object known only as Pigpen form the nucleus of the group. (Pigpen’s real name, according to Dead guitarist Bob Weir, is “Hogg Corrall – two g’s, two l’s.”) The group has also had two drummers for two months now. The whole group are good friends with all the Bay Area groups, going back to the time when they were all starving on the streets together. For example, Garcia is very close to Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady of the Jefferson Airplane, as well as Big Brother and the Holding Company’s Janis Joplin, who along with Pigpen is SF’s number one poster idol, and whom Garcia calls “the best chick blues singer there is.”

Contact with audience
Disappointed that the audience sat and listened rather than danced during the first set, they opened the second show with a freely improvised half-hour version of “In the Midnight Hour,” which included bits of “Get On Up” and other songs. Mr. Ross Laver, who runs things at the Supermarket, said, “I’ve been trying to get people to dance for two months, and this is the first time it’s happened. It’s great.”

Recording history
The Dead’s performance live is completely distinct from that on their Warner Brothers album. Their songs, which average ten to fifteen minutes in person, were cut, except for “Viola Lee Blues,” to lengths compatible with the usual LP format. For this reason they will probably never have a hit single, although they put out “The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion”/”Cream Puff War” last spring. They are scheduled to release another single in February, and a new album, which will contain live tracks, in March.

(by Steve Grant, from the MIT Tech, December 12 1967)

http://tech.mit.edu/V87/PDF/N52.pdf (p.6)

These Psychedelic Supermarket shows are not in Deadlists, but here is one article about their discovery:

1 comment:

  1. Some points of interest:
    Garcia and Pigpen are seen as the center of the group. (Pigpen is even called a "folk hero," way out in Boston where no one has yet seen him!)

    The reviewer had a conversation with Garcia between sets, but unfortunately (lack of space?) didn't share any of it with us, except perhaps a stray comment about other SF musicians. (Looking at other MIT Tech issues, they were quite curious about the SF scene.)

    The only song mentioned is "the freely improvised half-hour version of In The Midnight Hour," which sounds like it must have been pretty similar to the 9/3/67 version, "get on up" and all.

    The Dead would spend much of December working on their album in NYC studios; their estimate of when their single & album would be out was a little optimistic!
    But note that, at the start of December '67 (that is, BEFORE Hassinger quit the sessions), they are already planning to use live tracks on the album. Possibly at that point, they were thinking of just the Nov '67 Shrine shows they'd recorded.

    "They will probably never have a hit single!"