Nov 4, 2013

December 27, 1970: Radio Interview

12-27-70
KPPC-FM 106.7 PASADENA
DJ TED ALVY, 2-4 PM
JERRY GARCIA, BOB WEIR, JOHN DAWSON, DAVID NELSON

[Since I'm not familiar with the New Riders' voices, they are generally identified as ??]

[Candyman, from LP]

DJ: ‘Candyman,’ from the Dead. Let’s turn on the mikes. Members of the Dead and the New Riders, both and together and one and separate, are here.
Garcia: Mm-hmm. It’s a lie.
DJ: Jerry –
Garcia: Yes, yes.
DJ: Bob, Marmaduke, David.
Weir: Marmaduke doesn’t have a mike?
Garcia: Why don’t you guys come up here, slither up to the mikes?
DJ: They can slither.
??: We can sit on the floor.
DJ: I’ll tell you what else we played, just in case: ‘Truck Stop Girl’ from Little Feat, ‘Trucker’s CafĂ©’ from Ian & Sylvia Great Speckled Bird, ‘Candyman’ from Fred Neil cause we couldn’t find Roy Orbison, and ‘St Stephen’ from – pronounce the album, just to make sure. I really can’t pronounce it.
All: Aoxomoxoa. [repeated]
DJ: If I had reverb – let me put some echo on it. [We started with] ‘Love Scene’ from Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point, a guitar solo from Jerry Garcia.
Garcia: Actually it’s not a solo, it was double-tracked. I must confess, there are parts –
??: It was double-tracked?
DJ: Do you like it at all?
??: Jerry Garcia plays Sandy Bull.
Garcia: No, no. I didn’t like it.
DJ: But it’s a good segue.
Garcia: Yeah well, whatever. Antonioni liked it.
DJ: OK, this is KPPC stereo in Pasadena, and the radio station now belongs to you until 4:00.
Garcia: Where do we sign? [laughter]
DJ: Do you want some of the questions that people have been calling in, like –
Garcia: Sure.
DJ: What do you eat for breakfast; what’s become of the baby? [laughter]
??: Give that guy ten points.
DJ: You may start with, you were busted on the Philadelphia FM station, weren’t you Jerry?
Garcia: No I wasn’t, the guys who played a tape of sort of a very loose interview from my New York hotel room were busted.
DJ: What did you say?
Garcia: Nothing, you know?
Weir: He said ‘Bleep, I must answer the bleeping telephone fifty bleeping times a day!’
Garcia: [laughs] I didn’t say anything, I just rapped, you know? I mean, I never really say anything, you know. And the guy felt that he didn’t want to ruin the syntax or something like that by editing out all the obscenities or whatever, you know, whatever they would object to in Philadelphia at 1:00 in the morning.
DJ: They played Merle Haggard unedited, though. He recorded a concert live there, and they didn’t bleep anything out.
Garcia: Really?
DJ: Anything.
Garcia: Nothing?
Weir: Not even the standard country-western dirty jokes?
DJ: We may, if you’d like to, go into where the Dead were before ‘Workingman’s Dead,’ because a lot of people – I guess you’re aware of it, just by looking at record sales – ‘Workingman’s Dead’ to a lot of people is the first Grateful Dead album, and ‘Live Dead’ when it came out sort of summed up things before, and then your recorded music came out this year, as you have been for how long into things like ‘Workingman’s Dead’?
Garcia: Well, that, it’s kind of like – there’s kind of a dual identity happening, you know what I mean? And we’ve never been able to successfully – What we tried to do with the first bunch of records is to successfully transfer, you know, the live Grateful Dead sound to a record in the studio, but it never worked.
Weir: So we tried making records in the studio and that didn’t work real good either.
Garcia: Right. So then we decide, well why don’t we do something that we can do in the studio and make it work? And that’s what worked.
DJ: Now right before you did this, you lost the organ, right?
Garcia: Huh?
DJ: You lost the organ.
Garcia: Oh, TC?
DJ: Right.
Garcia: Yeah.
DJ: Did that have anything to do with it, or –
Garcia: Umm…
DJ: Cause see like, you’re quoted all over, like in all kinds of weird things, ‘Jerry Garcia says this,’ and there’s things like, ‘He was a classical influence on us,’ and then people say, ‘Well, they were into acid rock, now they’re into country’ –
Garcia: All those things are just weird labels, they don’t really have anything to do with anything, you know?
DJ: Right. What –
Garcia: See, the difference – the thing about TC was that TC just didn’t have, like – his way of thinking rhythmically and his way of melodic phrasing, like, didn’t have – the boogie-roo, you know, if I can use that term. It’s like – the rest of us had been playing like rock & roll continually, and that was like our background playing together, and TC’s background had been entirely classical, and so –
Weir: He was quite an accomplished musician.
Garca: Incredible, you know, an incredible musician, and maybe at some time in the future we’ll be able to get it all working.
DJ: Will he do like an album on his own?
Garcia: He’s doing now, he’s done the music for a play in New York called ‘Tarot,’ which is a mime play, you know and he’s performing with his own music in that play. And you know, he’s keeping busy, he’s like a very creative dude, and super, with a super musical education, just incredible.
DJ: If you could – I don’t know how to go back to the beginning and bring it up, if you know what I mean. You started –
Garcia: Well…
DJ: You started with sort of things beginning in San Francisco. You personally were what, acoustic, folk oriented?
Garcia: Yeah.
Weir: We didn’t really start in San Francisco.
DJ: Was it Palo Alto?
Garcia: Yeah, we were down the peninsula.
DJ: It was you and Bob, Jerry and Bob?
Weir: And Pigpen. In a jugband.
Garcia: See, but that’s like an overlapping layer that overlaps to the preceding era, which was me and Nelson here. We used to play together bluegrass music. And before that, me and Hunter used to –
DJ: Was the whole thing overlapping? The New Riders is an overlapping thing, too.
Garcia: Everything is overlapping. Our whole scene is just incredibly, one overlap after another.
DJ: Cause see, I’d like to approach it cause there are people out there that just got into the music –
Garcia: Oh I know, but we would have to go into a long complex genealogy or something like that –
DJ: I know. Why don’t you and Bob just sum it up in brief statements, and then we’ll play a track that I think started people getting into Dead.
Garcia: OK, you sum it up.
Weir: Well, we jumps and the kids they jumps too. [laughter]
Garcia: I don’t have any, I can’t sum it up cause it hasn’t been summed up yet.
DJ: Can you sum it up in a bleep, at least?
??: Bleeep!
Garcia: Oh man, you know… We’re all musicians, you know, we can put it there, we’re all –
Weir: We’ve known each other for a while and this is how it fell together. You know, and how it fell together is a long and not so very interesting story.
Garcia: Right, you’re right, in fact it’s more than passing dull, man.
DJ: OK, then I’ll –
Weir: It wasn’t dull when it was going down, I’ll say, but to get into all that it’d take years, because you have to explain each event and –
DJ: No, I wasn’t really looking for that, I really don’t know what I was looking for, but I think I got it.
Garcia: Maybe we’ll fall into it.
DJ: OK, I think this will fall into it, and then we’ll go from there.
Garcia: OK.

[Uncle John’s Band, from LP]

DJ: OK, that’s ‘Uncle John’s Band.’ [ongoing conversation behind him]
Garcia: Really, you got a copy of that?
Dawson: Got the tape, yeah.
Garcia: Outtasight, you mean the studio version?
Dawson: Yeah, that one we made so that you can take it down here.
DJ: Oh, great.
Garcia: Let’s listen to it.
DJ: That song flashed people, if they were into the Dead, they said, ‘That sounds like the Dead,’ and then if people weren’t into the Dead, they called and said, ‘Who is that, Crosby Stills Nash & Young?’ You know, something like that.
??: Well the singing ain’t quite that good.
DJ: No, but you know what I mean. Let me do a quick rap. This is KPPC in Pasadena, here’s what’s happening in Laguna. The chamber of commerce and the city council said that if the music is not turned off by 6:00 then no food or medical supplies will be let in.
Weir: Oh, they can’t do that.
DJ: They’re doing it, and probably the music will be turned off at 6, so food and medical supplies could get in. I guess there’s about 5,000 people camped out a second night in Laguna Canyon. The people at KYMS in Santa Anna advise you not to come in today, if you’re not already there, cause it’s like a five-mile hike and they feel hassles are going to begin if the music’s not stopped at 6, and who knows. But the chamber of commerce and the city council of Laguna will let no food or medical supplies in. They want the music turned off at Laguna Canyon Festival. If you want any more information, call Zap Restaurant, 660-9773, Zap Restaurant on Sunset, dial 411 for information. Where are you going to be tonight? Do you know? Do you know what the El Monte Legion Stadium is? Oh yeah, you know, cause –
??: Yeah, you can ride the bus to El Monte. Ride the Greyhound bus to El Monte and there you are. There’s a bus station in the parking lot.
Weir: At the El Monte Legion Stadium?
Garcia: Send your food and medicine.
DJ: You’re aware of the LA trip with that, like the ‘50s rock & roll concerts there, drink wine in the parking lot and reds and that whole thing.
??: Oh yeah?
Garcia: I heard a little about that.
DJ: So like, when we first heard Grateful Dead at El Monte, it was like, you know, a great acid flash. Not true, but it really is happening, you did it last night, and the place wasn’t very full and you don’t like it that way, right?
Weir: Well in this particular case –
Garcia: Well, it doesn’t sound that good when it’s not full.
DJ: Because of the sound. The promoter did price it at five dollars and you had no knowledge –
Garcia: It’s unfortunate.
??: We didn’t know.
Garcia: We didn’t know, honest folks, we really really didn’t.
DJ: I didn’t think so, but I wanted you to say it. Let me bleep that, though. The bleeper’s gone. All right, the information is, El Monte Legion Stadium will sell tickets to you at the door only at 7:00, and they will open the doors at 8 – when the New Riders will go on?
??: 7:30.
DJ: 7:30.
??: What happens at 7:30?
??: That’s when we go on.
??: Oh, we go on at 7:30.
DJ: And they’ll play until the Dead come on, and the Dead’ll play until they stop.
Garcia: Something like that.
DJ: And it’ll happen tonight and tomorrow night.
Weir: It’ll be OK, it’ll be OK, we’re gonna use new microphones tonight and it’ll be better than it was last night.
??: I bet you don’t get new microphones tonight, did you ask for them?
??: Yeah.
Weir: Anyway, that wasn’t all that much of a hassle except for us, but –
??: We’ll get new microphones.
Garcia [loudly]: To digress! Now, where were we? [cross-chatter]
Weir: Oh yeah, when you come and you’re looking for the place and it doesn’t say ‘Grateful Dead’ anywhere, that’s because it says ‘wrestling.’
Garcia: Wrestling? [We’re at the wrestling…]
??: Right, wrestling every Wednesday and Friday night, or Wednesday and -
DJ: Well between the four of you, would you guys do a tag-team wrestling match right now on the air for us?
Garcia & co.: No.
Weir: …take on Marmaduke…
DJ: How about, as an alternative, would you explain what the New Riders of the Purple Sage is, because –
Garcia: Marmaduke can do that.
DJ: OK. How about if we move him to the microphone.
Dawson: Move me into a microphone – am I close to a microphone?
DJ: Explain from the conception to who was playing the last time you were in LA and if there’s any personnel changes and what’s –
Dawson: [babbles in southern drawl] Yas, well, um, uh, yes, um…
??: Watch your level, watch your level.
Dawson: My level? What happened to my level? Goodness… Now well you see, Geminis have a hard time starting this story.
Weir: We’d really believe all that hippie mis–
Garcia: C’mon man, spit it out, spit it into the microphone man.
Dawson: No, we had a – well, it’s another one of those overlapping scenes, you see, because I used to be hanging out with these guys when they were the Warlocks playing down in Magoo’s Pizza Parlor, you see.
Weir: And before that, even.
Dawson: And before that even, right. We were all hanging out in Palo Alto in the back of Dana Morgan’s music shop, and in the Tangent, the famous old Tangent on Wednesday evenings had these strange scenes going in it, and there was lots of country music and bluegrass being played back then. And when I was about five years old I used to sit up on top of the refrigerator and listen to this old country music station out of Chicago, you see. And so I got this country music thing going in my brain. And a while ago, Jerry got a pedal steel guitar that he picked up in Denver, and I was hanging out one day up there with them, when they were just hanging out at their studio place there, and Jerry says ‘hey, come on over and pick a few tunes for me so I can learn how to play this thing!’ And I said ‘sure man, I don’t mind picking a few tunes.’ ‘Heh heh, I can teach him a few of my tunes and maybe I can get a pedal steel player one of these days, heh heh,’ I thought to myself, and he was thinking, ‘heh heh, maybe I can get this guy over here and he’ll pick some tunes and I can learn how to play this thing.’ Right, so we worked that on out, I mean a little more elaborately than all that, but that’s some kind of thing that was going down.
Garcia: Close.
Dawson: Right. And I got this job in a coffeehouse down in Menlo Park, California, called the Underground, and I think it’s now folded.
Weir: Isn’t that Palo Alto?
Dawson: No, it was in Menlo Park. It was right next to Palo Alto, mind you, but it’s in Menlo Park, the Underground is. It’s right next to Kepler’s, famous old Kepler’s bookstore.
Garcia: Ira Sandperl. (Who knows who Ira Sandperl is…)
Dawson: Right. Joan Baez. Peaceniks, all that stuff.
Garcia: Right, old days.
Dawson: Right. Anyhow, that was all there you see, and I had this job singing for the people, when they ate their roast beef sandwiches, it was a little hofbrau kind of thing, and I was supposed to make the music for them to eat by. And so I sang my folksongs, you know, and pretty soon Jerry started coming down in his big rickety old orange bus that he had, and he would drag his pedal steel along, and we were both sort of practicing there, working in the coffeehouse, and he was practicing pedal steel and playing, and I was practicing singing and playing, and we had all the people in the coffeehouse, you know, they were digging it, cause it was something that nobody’d heard before, cause the pedal steel guitar, you know, in 1970 in Palo Alto is like a Volkswagen in Chicago in 1953 kind of thing – it’s very obscure, nobody’s heard of one before. You might have seen such a thing wandering around on the streets but you didn’t know quite what it was, right?
Garcia: Pedal steel, do you mean, or –
Dawson: Right, sure, pedal steels, you’ve seen them wandering around on the streets all the time.
DJ: [Was] Jerry’s bus a bus?
Garcia: Bus a bust? Well it wasn’t really… [sputters out, laughter]
Dawson: This long elaborate story gets down to mainly to this, we started out this thing of, um…
Weir: Come now, don’t belabor the point.
Dawson: I’m trying not to.
Garcia: One thing led to another, and -
Dawson: Right, one thing led to another and we accumulated a couple of more people and said ‘let’s have this country band.’ Right, and we can play some of the famous old country tunes and we can play some of the tunes that I’m making up, and maybe we can have some fun and play some nice country music. And so that’s what we’ve been trying to do.
DJ: OK, Marmaduke, you stand up front at the microphone and sing and play acoustic guitar.
Garcia: He writes all the tunes too, which are all really good tunes…
DJ: Jerry plays pedal steel – David Nelson electric guitar – I can never remember the bass player, who’s still the bass player?
Garcia: Dave Torbert.
DJ: Dave Torbert.
Weir: Toronado.
Dawson: Tornado.
DJ: And Mickey was playing drums, is he still playing drums?
Dawson: Mickey’s not playing drums with us any longer.
DJ: OK, who is?
Dawson: Spencer Dryden.
DJ: Who was formerly with the Airplane.
Dawson: Right.
Weir: It’s the neo-isolationism of the New Riders.
Dawson: Neo-isolationism? I don’t understand.
Garcia: Additional overlaps.
Dawson: Right, additional overlaps! It’s great, Spencer’s got a really nice touch for our music, and it seems to make an improvement, and it’s been good.
DJ: Cause Mickey, he just seems so spaced, I really like him as a professional. Cause when you did, like I mentioned I saw you at Euphoria, which is now Pepperland and it still has a bad sound system you said, you came on and did an acoustic set, and Mickey was there, and then the New Riders came on and Mickey was there, and after a little break and a pantomime show you came back and he was there with Bill and you did electric. He was there the whole time and he seemed to just be spaced into everything. And now he’s on the back of Downbeat advertising Zildjian gongs.
Garcia: Right, that was a hustle to get some gongs. [laughter]
DJ: Do the New Riders have an album that’s completed or not?
Dawson: Well, it’s sort of completed, I mean we’ve made all the basic tracks and we sang a few of the lines flat so we’ll have to go sing them over again, and then we have to mix it.
DJ: Who’s on the album – I mean, how many of you are on the album?
Dawson: Well, all of us are on the album, including Spencer and Mickey, I mean, Spencer did a couple of the tracks and Mickey did a couple of the tracks, so it makes kind of an interesting transition -
DJ: Do you do ‘Honky Tonk Woman’?
Dawson: No, we’re not gonna play ‘Honky Tonk Woman’ on the record, cause it’s all a studio record and ‘Honky Tonk Woman’s more a live thing.
DJ: The next live Dead album, maybe.
Dawson: Well, on the first live New Rider record, you know, there might be such a thing someday that – the first New Rider in the studio –
DJ: But there should also be a live – do a double album with one New Rider, one live Dead –
Garcia: We’ll decide, man.
DJ: OK. [laughter] Are you gonna be on Warners, the New Riders, the same label?
Dawson: We haven’t decided yet.
DJ: Oh, OK.
Dawson: If they give us a good enough deal we’ll talk to ‘em. [laughter]
DJ: Are you gonna stay with the group, Jerry, or are you going to tour separately without Jerry?
Garcia: Oh, eventually I think it would be groovy if they auditioned other steel players, and got somebody so that they could go out and tour, without having to depend on the Dead going along and that sort of thing, you know.
DJ: Right, that’s what Hot Tuna, just went acoustic so they could do that.
Garcia: Right.
DJ: Is ‘Box of Rain’ the closest that I could play of the New Rider-type thing?
Garcia: We’ve got a New Rider tune right here.
DJ: Oh, you do?
Dawson: We’ve got a genuine New Rider tune here, yeah, we made a rough mix of some of the stuff we’ve been doing.
DJ: Well, I could play ‘Box of Rain’ while I’m cueing that up, I can play another track which is just there and it’s going to be played eventually, or you can talk for three minutes while I make noise in the background.
Garcia: Play the music.
DJ: OK.

[Box of Rain, from LP - cut, possibly some talk missing - Friend of the Devil, from LP]

Political Voice: ‘That’s exactly what we’re running against in this country today!’
DJ: That’s Spiro, and before that it was the Grateful Dead, in that order. [laughter] And both are American beauties, both the album and the voice are American beauties. It’s a beautiful cover, it’s a beautiful album – this is KPPC in Pasadena, to be legal. And explain something, before we go into a track from the New Riders of the Purple Sage forthcoming LP, that’s probably not in final mix but it’s at 7 ½ and 2-track, and Jerry, take it.
Garcia: Huh, what?
??: Take it away, Marmaduke!
Dawson: Take what away?
Weir: Son, you got some explaining to do.
Dawson: I forgot my line.
DJ: Harry’s probably got one. Harry’s gonna be here in an hour. Harry!
Harry: Yeah, yeah?
DJ: What year – you know the special you ran for the credibility gap, what decade was that for?
Harry: That was the sixties.
DJ: The sixties –
Harry: You missed that.
DJ: Missed it – I crashed, I missed the whole sixties. Did you want to explain something about ‘Ripple,’ the first track? Cause you got David on electric guitar, and - [the others correct him]
??: That’s not ‘Ripple,’ that’s ‘Box of Rain.’
DJ: Oh, did I say ‘Ripple’?
??: Yes, you did.
DJ: I was thinking of the wine bottle – and it’s there. Take the wine bottle…it’s in the trashcan…
??: Mind’s wandering? Find your mind wandering, do ya?
DJ: Um, who is on ‘Box of Rain’ and why?
Garcia: Why indeed? [laughter] That’s an interesting question.
Weir: That one worked out to pretty much who was there.
??: What was the thesis…
Garcia: It was Phil’s song, and Phil wrote the song cause he had a guitar, and he had this guitar, he doesn’t normally play the guitar, he’s not like a guitar-player turned bass-player like a lot of bass players are –
DJ: Is he a mathematical genius, by any chance?
Garcia: Phil? Well, he’s got absolute pitch.
??: I heard that.
Garcia: Yeah. And he can count. I’ve heard him count. As high as 17 and 18.
Weir: Oh, he counted to 26 last night. (And Bill counted 25.)
Garcia: 26 last night? Erroneously, of course.
??: It was the warmup for…
??: How many, did it countdown, was that…
Weir: It was on ‘Beat It On Down the Line.’
??: ‘I beat it higher than you can!’
Garcia: So anyway, he wrote the song with the guitar, and so he was playing the guitar, singing the song over at my place, and there’s a piano there, so I started banging away on the piano, and when we went into the studio, he thought, you know, in his head, in the arrangement in his head – which is what a record is about, getting the arrangement in your head out into the real world – he’s like, he heard Dave Nelson-style guitar, and it just - so.
DJ: OK – explain Robert Hunter first, and then we’ll go into – [laughter]
Garcia: Explain Robert Hunter just like that, you got a million years?
Weir: He’s nutty as a bedbug.
Garcia: He’s brilliant, Robert Hunter’s really a far-out guy, he’s like a – See, he and I used to, we used to live in a couple of wrecked cars in a vacant lot in east Palo Alto together, and we ate this crushed pineapple, man, that he stole from the army. And plastic spoons, I had a glove compartment full of plastic spoons in my car.
DJ: Pineapples are hand grenades?
Garcia: No no no, this is like the big, you know, serviceable cans, huge big ones with crushed pineapple.
DJ: OK – from the army.
Garcia: Yes. And that was like ten years ago. And –
DJ: Does he write all the lyrics, is he still –
Garcia: Well, see, we work at any number of ways, man, sometimes I’ll have like a melody, you know a whole complete melody including phrasing, and I’ll like sing a wordless song you know, and I’ll put it on a tape for him or something like that and he’ll listen to it and listen to it, and it’ll creep in and out of his head for weeks maybe, and pretty soon he’ll write you know, several alternative possibilities of songs that it could be, and I’ll go through ‘em, you know. It’s kind of like really a good relationship, Hunter’s a great guy to work with because he goes in every direction, he’s completely flexible.
DJ: Who wrote the New Riders song we’re gonna hear, and what’s the name –
Garcia: Marmaduke writes all the New Riders material. Marmaduke is an excellent songwriter.
DJ: OK, and you arrange as well, Marmaduke, or it just falls together?
Dawson: Well, the band arranges it - like, I write stuff that the band can play behind, you know.
Garcia: We just play.
DJ: What’s the song called, and we’ll listen to it.
Dawson: ‘Louisiana Lady.’
Garcia: Is it one song on the tape or two?
Dawson: There’s just one, we got one ‘Louisiana Lady’ and that’s it, and we’re just gonna play it once and then we’re gonna make off with the tape and you won’t hear it until the record comes.
Garcia: Rough mix.
DJ: OK, New Riders.
??: [whispers] Get your tape recorders ready!

[Louisiana Lady – cuts after 20 seconds]
Radio Tape: ‘Mistake, mistake, your disc jockey has just made a mistake.’ [laughter]
DJ: What did I do? …
Garcia: You twisted the tape. You took it… Hey listen man, have you tried plumbing? [laughter]
DJ: I haven’t done it for three years now.
Garcia: Plumbing? No wonder you’re so fussy with that wrench.
DJ: We’ll just see what happens.

[Louisiana Lady]

DJ: OK – ‘Louisiana Lady,’ the New Riders of the Purple Sage.
Others: That’s ‘Looziana.’
DJ: Oh I’m sorry, OK, I’m from southern California. You’re from Palo Alto, right?
Garcia: No, San Francisco.
Dawson: I’m from Chicago. [laughter]
DJ: Marmaduke’s from Chicago. Where are you from, Bob?
Weir: Palo Alto.
DJ: And David, from Palo Alto?
Nelson: Seattle, Washington.
DJ: Seattle? OK. This is KPPC in Pasadena –
Weir: Seattle? I swore I’d kill the next guy I met from Seattle!
Garcia: Don’t do it Bobby, you’ll regret it in the morning! [laughter]
DJ: I’m not gonna explain the mistake I made.
Garcia: Why not, go ahead.
DJ: I put the tape on wrong. Let me get some commercials out of the way, OK?
Others: Yeah, sure.
DJ: The New Riders, whom you just heard, are going to be appearing with a group called the Grateful Dead at a place called El Monte Legion Stadium tonight and tomorrow night. Your tickets are at 7:00 for five dollars and you get to go in and see the New Riders begin about 7:30.
??: And sit by the fire, they have full big fireplaces.
DJ: Really? Really?
Garcia: Yeah, there’s fires there. [laughter] They truly are - fires.
DJ: Can we go back a few years and say is there any other heat there?
Garcia: Ha, very clever.
Dawson: Well all the guys that just got out of Vietnam that now have jobs with the El Monte police department come and hang out, you know, and check out the action.
Garcia: I think you can assume that anybody that isn’t you is the heat.
DJ: OK, let’s do a few commercials. I’ll get some commercials out of the way while you huddle and decide what to do next. If you want to buy the new Dead’s album it’s $2.64 at Warehouse Record stores in West Pomona, Belmont Shores, Long Beach, Torrance…

[commercials]
DJ: OK, we’re back live. [laughter]
??: ‘Mama, can I have a bunch of crazy tapes for Christmas?’
DJ: How about this.
[Casey Jones, from LP – cut, possibly some talk missing – High Time, from LP]

[acoustic guitars & mandolin tuning & chatter]
DJ: That was ‘High Time,’ and how did you hit all those notes?
Garcia: I faked ‘em, man, can’t you hear the…[??]…[not making me] sing it man, let’s face it.
DJ: OK, of the Grateful Dead and the – [loud tuning] Is this mike on? - yeah. OK, the Dead are playing at El Monte Legion Stadium – it’s a dance, right?
Garcia: It’s a dance! [Dance people can afford big fireplaces…]
DJ: I have trouble – I don’t dance – I don’t really get into dancing, but with the Dead, always.
Garcia: Why not?
DJ: Whatever that means. OK, it’s El Monte Legion Stadium tonight and tomorrow night with the New Riders – Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Marmaduke, David Nelson, you’ve got this until a little before four.
[band chatter – “Can we do it in another key?” “What key you like better?” “I’ll try this.” “That too high?” etc.]

SILVER THREADS & GOLDEN NEEDLES

??: That’s a take. [laughter] [more tuning, talking off-mike]
Weir: This [??] folks; I just wanted you to know that.
Dawson: This is KPPC in Pasadena, for all you FCC listeners. [laughter] I used to have my third-class license, you see. I know about that stuff. [DJ asks an inaudible question] On a Sunday sometime?
Garcia: Hey, we have our gospel quartet here.
Weir: Yeah, let’s do it.
??: …gonna do that gospel…
Weir: And it is Sunday, that’s true.
Garcia: All right, OK, let’s try for a couple of gospel songs.
Weir: OK, all you sinners, either hark or split. [laughter]
Garcia: Are these things directional or what? [muffled reply about the mikes]
Weir: Or just a good old Sennheiser – the kind I hate.
Garcia: You got an RCA [??] over there.
[mikes are moved around, more random chatter]

COLD JORDAN

[someone off-mike is talking to the band]
Weir: Well that’s not really a dancing number.
Dawson: Hey we met a guy on the train who could dance and play fiddle at the same time. [question]
Weir: Oh, no, no, the train trip across Canada.
??: Let’s play another gospel tune.
[sounds like the DJ is inviting them to a record store: “go down to [??] Records, and do a trip for a couple hours…any of you, any time you want to come down and do a record…”]
??: It’s an open invite.
Dawson: David Nelson is an avid discophile of bluegrass music, and we could do a number like that sometime.
Nelson: Avid discophile?
Dawson: Right right, you’re somebody that loves records.
[more chatter – “You want a G?” “No, we just want a D, or is it B?”]
Weir: That was ‘I Hear A Voice Callin’, that was in C, I think. [sings]
[some inaudible discussion about singing]
Weir: [deep voice] ‘Sing out, sing from down here!’ Do you think I have a deep voice, down low, husky?
??: Close to the mike will do that too, husky.
??: You get right up on ‘em and they have a lot of [nice false teeth].
Weir: [slowly] You tryin’ to tell me I talk slow? [laughter]
??: Where were we?
??: El Paso.
Weir: El Paso? Sure.
??: Wait a minute, let us figure something out – let’s do the gospel –
Weir: OK.
??: Do a segue.

I HEAR A VOICE CALLIN’
??: Do one more and then [pray for a minute].
??: Sure – gonna do one more gospel number.
SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT

[inaudible question - mic bumping]
DJ: This one’s on now – OK. Jerry Garcia on my right, extreme right – John Birch on his extreme right – Bob Weir, Marmaduke, David Nelson, thank you.
All: Oh, it was our pleasure.
DJ: Say something to the people so they come down! They don’t know what they’re missing.
??: Oh, yeah, yeah –
??: Make it on down to El Monte tonight –
??: - at the wrestling place, where we’ll be playing with the New Riders of the Purple Sage, as, we’ll be playing with the Grateful Dead.
DJ: El Monte Legion Stadium. [inaudible dialogue] ‘Destination Music’ is next with Harry Shearer. Say something – say you’ll come back and do a trip sometime.
Weir: Hey, we’ll come back and do a trip sometime.
DJ: That one’s not on!
[they play a short farewell instrumental – laughter]
??: Ha, I got you on that one!
DJ: Oh, that was a great wrestling match. OK, this is KPPC, and Harry Shearer’s next for two hours with ‘Destination Music.’ This is Ted Alvy, I’m leaving. I’m gonna see the Dead today, and tonight, aren’t I? And dance. OK, the Grateful Dead, thank you.
Spiro Agnew: ‘That’s exactly what we’re running against in this country today!’
[Truckin’ from LP – cuts]

4 comments:

  1. This is a mostly accurate transcription; I missed some interjections and couldn't make out some bits; a few spots were guesswork, and I'm sure I got the words wrong sometimes. Having a multiple-person interview means they do talk over each other quite a bit. It reads strangely in places; often the meaning depends on their vocal tones, so some lines make more sense when heard than read.

    This interview is more valuable for the music & comedy than as a source of information. While the DJ wants them to talk about their musical history, it doesn't quite work out that way - Marmaduke sounds happy to rattle on at length about the story of the New Riders, but the others get impatient with him & he wraps it up quickly (alas without telling us about the early bass players). And it sounds like Garcia's ready to tell stories about Hunter in the early '60s, but the DJ only wants to hear about Hunter's role in the Dead. (At least Garcia gives an example of how he writes with Hunter.)

    I'm not sure they had an acoustic set planned; it sounds like an impromptu idea to get out of the interview, and the gospel songs were definitely a spur-of-the-moment thought.
    They had some friends with them; I couldn't tell how many, but at least one girl.

    We hear that as of December '70, the New Riders were in the middle of recording their album, but had not yet signed with Columbia. (I wonder how many 'rough mixes' the Dead had brought to KMPX when recording Anthem & Aoxomoxoa.)
    Spencer Dryden had only just joined the New Riders that month. Mickey Hart's now advertising Zildjian gongs (good way to get free gongs from them...) There's a bit of speculation on the New Riders' future - will there be a live album? Garcia's already saying, "it would be groovy if they auditioned other steel players...so they could go out and tour [without the Dead]."
    Interestingly, Garcia says TC didn't work out with the Dead since he couldn't "boogie," but both he & Weir praise TC as a musician. It makes me wonder if Garcia's work with TC was kind of a step toward his work with Wales & Saunders - a pairing with a keyboard player who would show him unfamiliar fields of music.
    We get sort of an explanation of why David Nelson played the solo on Box of Rain - by Phil's request, apparently! And we sadly hear that Garcia did not like his 'Love Scene' instrumental.

    The DJ saw one of the July '70 shows at the Euphoria, and we learn a couple things: that Mickey was the drummer in the acoustic set, and the 'pantomime show' (certainly the Rubber Duck Company with TC) appeared between the New Riders & the Dead's electric set. Unfortunately no details about that.
    The DJ also agrees with the Dead that Pepperland "still has a bad sound system," which is interesting since they'd just played at Pepperland a few days earlier. I wish they'd talked about that on tape!

    Garcia & Weir seem to think the 12/26/70 show didn't sound very good. (Weir promises that tonight "it'll be better than it was last night.") They recall the miscount to BIODTL - on the tape, it sounds like it was Garcia who missed the 25-beat count, prompting Weir to yell, "You fucked up!"

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  2. For more on Garcia's Philadelphia FM incident, see:
    http://deadsources.blogspot.com/2012/07/january-1970-garcia-on-radio.html

    For more info on the Laguna Canyon Festival, which the police successfully shut down, see:
    http://www.lysergia.com/LamaWorkshop/LagunaBeach/lamaLaguna.htm
    http://articles.latimes.com/1990-12-19/news/vw-6328_1_laguna-beach
    http://jgmf.blogspot.com/2009/12/gd-ca-december-27-1970-canyon-east-of.html
    (Supposedly the Dead tried to show up at the festival but were kept out by the police barricades!)

    Anyway, the informative bits of this interview are peripheral; what I like about it is that it gives a little hint of what the Dead might've been like backstage, with all the banter; and we also get a more sardonic Garcia than we usually see in interviews. It's priceless when the DJ screws up the tape & Garcia mildly asks, "Have you tried plumbing?" - I also love his cheerful warning to the radio audience that at the El Monte stadium, "You can assume that anybody that isn’t you is the heat."
    Weir has some good lines too. "All you sinners, either hark or split!"

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  3. Great, great stuff. Thank you!

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  4. The DJ also comments that "the place wasn't very full" on the 26th - which is interesting, since it was a Saturday night, and the Dead were booked for Saturday through Monday, so the promoter at least must've expected they would sell well. The $5 ticket price seems to have been considered far too high by the band & DJ.
    Perhaps they appeared on this show as promotion, to get more ticket sales (though of course they don't openly say so). But we don't know how far in advance they decided to appear on the radio show. Maybe the DJ invited them & they were just killing time on a slow afternoon in Pasadena...
    At any rate, their effort seems not to have paid off too much. At the beginning of that evening's show, the 27th -
    Weir: It is cold in here, and if you dance around -
    Lesh: You'll get warmer.
    Garcia: And there's a lot of room to move around, and we're not gonna do anything unpredictable...you can just listen almost anywhere. Feel free to move around.
    Doesn't sound like the place was jammed!

    Here's a picture of the stadium, taken at the time - http://www.flickr.com/photos/80643375@N00/525207681/
    You can see the big sign that they comment on here: "Wrestling Thursday" (two signs, even). One commenter mentions that there was indeed a Greyhound bus station in the same lot. And there were fireplaces in the stadium (although the DJ was unaware of them) - one dead.net attendee of the 12/28 show says that it was "a very cold night and a small crowd huddled together for warmth and fireplaces on the side of the hall fired up as well."
    Three cold, poorly-attended shows at a dingy wrestling stadium....must have been a blast for the Dead...

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