Oct 1, 2022

June 13, 1972: KSAN Jerry Garcia Interview


Ever since we mentioned that we were planning a special issue on the Grateful Dead, quite a few people have written in to try and help us and generally take an interest. Well as fate would have it, for two main reasons the Dead issue is becoming harder to foresee as time goes by. Firstly, I've now got enough information and material to fill a fair-sized book, and secondly we haven't got the bread to enable us to get the thing printed in a decent, 'professional' way, So for now, rather than let the articles gather dust, we are going to print some of the best material we have collected so far.
The interview below was sent to us by a remarkable girl named Kathy who must take credit for recording it (she went over to San Francisco about the same time that the Dead left for home after their European tour), transcribing it, and providing the explanatory notes, She's a true Dead-head in every sense of the word. She sleeps, eats, thinks, and talks Grateful Dead, and if you are one of the lucky people who feel the same way about them, you will know exactly what it's like, and you won't need people like Nick Kent to tell you how boring and depressing he thinks "EUROPE 72" is. So much for rock critics! Well anyway here it is.....a talk with Jerry Garcia and a few insights into the structure and format of American FM Radio.


This interview was conducted by Radio KSAN in San Francisco. KSAN is a station which tries to combine its function as a music station with a role it takes upon itself as a community voice and information service. It is geared to a young, liberal, thinking audience.
One or two general comments - points to bear in mind when reading through the interview. First, remember that it was in fact a spoken interview interspersed with music and interrupted by commercials, telephone calls and people in and out of the studio, hence the digressions from a particular question and the basic lack of flow within a question or an answer which would not occur in a written question and answer interview. Second, perhaps more important, remember that the staff at KSAN, and probably a large proportion of the listening audience, are very familiar with the Dead, their approach and their music. They are really the Bay Area band. They have almost a Cinderella position as the band which made good without sacrificing its integrity, and San Francisco is very proud and fond of them. They are easily the most played band over the local stations.
The notes below, indicated by the numbers in the margin, refer to either specific events happening around at the time, or people or places which may not be familiar to anyone not deeply involved with West Coast personalities or area.

1. Fillmore - "Bill Graham, his friends and his enemies". I know the album "Fillmore, the Last Days" has been released here but I think the film has not. It is what it says it is: a semi-documentary about the creation and organization of the last week of the Fillmore West, The "friends and enemies" quotation is from a trailer for the movie played constantly over KSAN and other stations because the film was premiered that very week, in fact, Thursday 15 June. The trailer ran together comments on the Fillmore, snatches of music and lists of the artists appearing.
2. Listeners' Personals. This is one of the services KSAN provides. Listeners can phone or write in any message they want to pass over the air, and this spot occurs several times each day. Usually it comprises people with something to sell or those searching to buy something, people wanting a ride to this or that place, and car owners seeking riders - it can be almost anything that is a valid piece of information or request. /p.9/
3. Autumn Records was owned by Tom Donahue, who will be known to most of you. He is manager of KSAN.
4. Broadway is the street in San Francisco for night clubs, strip joints etc., complete with barkers outside each entrance advertising their product. It is almost a tourist attraction. Not far away is North Beach, which is the Italian area mostly, very Bohemian in every sense. Tom Wolfe rather aptly described it "slums with a view".

Tuesday, 13 June 1972.

KSAN: I was gonna call you earlier in the week and see if you could bring up a bunch of records or some little odd things. I'm sure you've got a lot of stuff in your collection that maybe nobody's ever heard of.
JERRY: I've got a few weird moments. But I didn't think of it though -
KSAN: And I forgot about it.
JERRY: Otherwise I would.
("The Wheel").
KSAN: The album "GARCIA" did nicely, I thought.
JERRY: Well, we don't -
KSAN: Well, 300,000 is alright, I mean, hey.
JERRY: It didn't really do that many all - I mean you know, I don't really know. It's like around there including tapes and all, stuff like that. It's just sort of - but I didn't really wanna - I wasn't really into having it be super-successful or anything like that. Not that you can do anything about it one way or another, you know what I mean? It was just - it was supposed to be modest.
KSAN: Do you find yourself - do you get into a thing - when you're playing with the band do you play one way, and when you play by yourself - did you have - was this an urge, something you wanted to do on your own so that you could play it your way rather than as a collective?
JERRY: No - it wasn't really the trip of playing the music a certain way, it was really I wanted to approach it technically from the studio viewpoint a different way. And it was like - it wasn't that, you know, the music is super far-out or different or anything like that, it was just the way I wanted to go about it was really - well, was a trip for me to do it in the studio is to approach it a certain way and that sort of thing.
KSAN: What were the differences between how you did it as a solo album and how the Dead might record ordinarily?
JERRY: Well, normally with the Dead when we - when we're doing like a studio thing we'll put down a basic track for example, which usually it will never have less than four instruments almost. Bass, drums, maybe two guitars, or maybe guitar and some other instrument or something like that, maybe a vocal. And the way I did this was I worked with just one other guy really on the tracks, which was Bill Kreutzmann, and we just did like a simple acoustic guitar and drums thing, or I played piano and he played drums, and I used those as foundations and then built things on to 'em. The trip for me was being able to play the different instruments and approach it from a viewpoint other than like a guitarist, if you know what I mean. Sort of - I was thinking more in terms of the overall space and what was going on around and there isn't any emphasis particularly on guitar parts or things like that, you know what I mean? It's just that I'm limited insofar as that's what I play more than anything else, right? But I tried to play organ and bass and all this other stuff which was like - it was a good trip, and all the electronic stuff was - was like I wanted to approach it in weird ways which I didn't wanna have to take the time to explain, you know, to - to put another musician through the trip basically, which was essentially, you know, just an ego trip really in terms of what I wanted to accomplish.
KSAN: Are some of the biggest ego problems with musicians in the mix-down?
JERRY: We used to have a lot of those kind of problems but our band's pretty - we've gotten to be pretty - it's pretty much whoever's tune it is like more or less responsible for the overall sound of it, so - and we've got, you know, I mean it just works out pretty well. /p.10/ But that's largely because we like to work together. I guess that is probably where the problems come up because it's like - as a guitar player I know I'm super-conscious of my part, you know. It's like if I don't like it you know, I think the track is a drag or something like that, if I don't like my part.
KSAN: Does that happen?
JERRY: It used to, but since I made that record it's made me think a lot more moderately about, you know, like how important my own part is - you know? It's like it's easier for me to think in terms of the whole thing.
KSAN: Were you at the Fillmore the last night when they made the movie Fillmore?
JERRY: Yeah. Yeah, we were. We struggled to avoid getting into the movie because it was like really a notably bad night for us and the tapes were a drag, and everybody was out of tune and everything, and we were - it was that thing of not having played for a couple of weeks, you know, three or four weeks we'd been in the studio.
KSAN: Couldn't you fake it and synch it in later?
JERRY: Well yeah, but we didn't really wanna do that either. But finally Graham just hassled us and hassled us and we finally went for it. We doctored 'em up a bit.
KSAN: He's persistent.
JERRY: Oh God, I'll say.
KSAN: The reason - I'm trying to get subtly into -
JERRY: Bill Graham, his friends and his enemies.
KSAN: That's right. Tell us about Bill Kreutzmann.
JERRY: Kreutzmann? Kreutzmann's a great drummer, I can't really tell you about Kreutzmann. What could I say? He's a great drummer.
KSAN: How about - what's your birthday?
JERRY: August lst. Leo.
("Deal", commercials and "Ripple").
KSAN: I had a call from a listener. The question referred to something I think you referred to in an interview in the Rolling Stone newspaper - about remixes of "Anthem" -
JERRY: That's right.
KSAN: And also - how do you pronounce -
JERRY: "A-oxomoxoa". That's the way we pronounce it. Or, however you like.
KSAN: That reminds me of an experience I had on an hallucinogenic drug in the Hilton Hotel or something in New York City -
JERRY: Rick Griffin too.
KSAN: That's right, and Rick Griffin.
JERRY: Right right. Well I'll tell you what happened with that. We - Phil remixed "Anthem" and I remixed "Aoxomoxoa".
KSAN: That's right.
JERRY: But you know, our relationship with Warner Bros, has been very weird through the years and it was - we, we brought up this whole trip because it's like a pet project of ours. It's like cleaning up the past, which is sort of the way we saw it, and we wanted them to - they were, it - you remember that Grateful Dead month trip they were - Warner Bros, were doing? They were going to re-activate our whole back issue scene you know, so they could sell our old records, and we thought, wow, if they're gonna put out our old records why don't we re-mix those things? So we did and we gave 'em to 'em, but that was it. We also had the covers revised a little bit, you know, so they'd be a little spiffier but - God I haven't - oh, I got a test pressing once from Warner Bros. with the remix on it, so I know that somewhere -
KSAN: They actually did master it then?
JERRY: Somewhere they did, yeah.
KSAN: But they never issued it?
JERRY: No. That's the last we heard of it.
KSAN: Somewhere in the deep recesses of Burbank, California...
JERRY: Maybe a write-in campaign or something like that will bring 'em out. But if anybody is really serious about wanting to have those, it could possibly be arranged with a little - with a certain amount of hassling, a tape or something like that, through the Grateful Dead office.
KSAN: You may have just unleashed - /p.11/
JERRY: Well I didn't mean to do that. But you have to be serious.
KSAN: You have to be a student and at least working on your Ph.D. on the Grateful Dead. There's something that happened - you don't mind me bringing up Altamont? I won't mention any messy details, But this was early on - in fact, I had a gas at Altamont.
JERRY: Some people did.
KSAN: People just were leaning over - I didn't see any of the - it was just, "hey somebody got killed or something" - but my experience was all fine. I didn't see anybody get hassled.
JERRY: It depended on where you were.
KSAN: Except, well I was backstage for about two minutes standing somewhere in the backstage area, and I just got tired of being pushed to one side or the other because trucks were moving up and it just wasn't a good place to be, you know.
JERRY: Right.
KSAN: And so I moved around front and everything seemed cool out there. But I have one flash, and there are just certain little things that stick in my mind that I know I'll remember 40 years from now or something. And there was somebody's V. W. bus, camper or something, up parked way up on a ridge, and there was a Chinese girl who may have been a part of the Grateful Dead auxiliary contingent anyway, and she was standing up there, "Come on, good old Grateful Dead! Are you Grateful or are you Dead?" And a cheer, and everybody - things were - was that an official cheer?
JERRY: No. That's the first I've heard of it. Right now is the first I've heard of it.
KSAN: But it sounded well rehearsed, like she'd been running through it for - I could see she had everything but the pompoms.
JERRY: Right. Right. Good old Grateful Dead freaks.
KSAN: Perhaps we could talk about the history of steel guitars?
JERRY: Sure.
KSAN: This is something - the genesis of that I don't know.
JERRY: Well, I don't know - I don't know exactly either, but I know something about - I know sort of a general thing. The steel guitar is like - it's a descendant of the whole Hawaiian guitar thing, and it also ties into the whole - the thing of making a guitar a louder instrument. In the old days, in the early days of jazz and stuff like that, they used to use banjos because they were nice and loud and percussive, and later on they started using the - like slop style rhythm, rhythm guitar and stuff like that, and there was an effort to make a guitar a louder instrument. This was before electric stuff. So some guys here in America decided to - started making instruments with metal resonators in 'em that sort of mechanically amplified the guitar, and they were sort of a cross between a guitar and a banjo in a way, very loud and biting. And somebody took that idea, that instrument, and raised the nut on it and started playing slide guitar in like an Hawaiian style. And that was like in the days of just a six string simple thing, Then that, you know, was absorbed into country music really as a technique and it sort of became the dobro, that thing and, you know, eventually the Hawaiian guitar players started using electric instruments - you know, somewhere back in - probably the late 30s, early 40s, something like that. They started using double neck instruments so they could have more tunings, and at the same time - well I guess Hank Williams, the guy Don Helms that played with him is one of the guys that really - that you really started associating the sound of a slide guitar with country music. That was early 50s, late 40s. And then somewhere along in there guys started wanting to have fewer necks on their instruments, so they tried to figure out ways to make it so they could change the tuning on a guitar real fast. Somebody came up with the idea of the pedals. What the pedals do is actually stretch certain strings, you know, so the idea being you'd stretch the strings and then you'd have a new tuning. So then somebody started, you know, using the pedal as a playing technique. It probably was Buddy [Emmons] because he's the guy that's most responsible for the way the steel is now. Actually it's you know like maybe 20 years old as an instrument, very new instrument.
KSAN: How much work do you do with the steel guitar?
JERRY: Not a lot anymore. I guess I did my most continuous playing with the New Riders. Really I'm a novice at it. I'm not good at the instrument, but you know what I mean, it's - /p.12/
KSAN: But you're fond of it.
JERRY: Yeah I love it. That was my whole reason for getting into it you know, I just loved the sound of it and everything. But it's amazingly difficult.
KSAN: Even being competent, or outta sight or whatever, on a conventional guitar doesn't necessarily lend the same mastery -
JERRY: Not really.
KSAN: Is it a new science?
JERRY: It is yeah. It's completely new for me. It involves techniques which are just nothing like what you have on a guitar.
KSAN: There's a magazine coming out. There's a Gemini somewhere in San Francisco keeps sending me this magazine with little notes affixed to it, and it's called "Guitar Player". Ever heard of it?
JERRY: Oh yeah, right. I even did an interview for them once.
KSAN: How do you like the magazine?
JERRY: It's a great magazine. It's like the guitar player's magazine.
KSAN: It's coming out here I take it. Right?
JERRY: It might be some place like Bakersfield or some place like that.
KSAN: Bakersfield?
JERRY: It could be. Somewhere in California though.
KSAN: Bakersfield still exists?
JERRY: Sure.
KSAN: "WORKINGMAN'S DEAD" is not one of the albums slated for remixing?
JERRY: No, that's pretty much gonna stay the way it - the way it ended up.
KSAN: Is "New Speedway Boogie" for Speedway Meadows?
JERRY: Yeah.
KSAN: Can we listen to it?
JERRY: Sure.
["New Speedway Boogie"]
KSAN: We've just had a couple of calls while that was playing. One person called and said do you have any plans to play the Harding Theatre, or some place small like that he said, somewhere that somebody could just go and get into the music.
JERRY: Yeah, I think we'll probably do the Harding Theatre again. I mean, we don't really have any plans, particularly, except to just keep on doing what we're doing. And there's no reason not to, you know. We'll do whatever's groovy.
KSAN: Someone else called and said generally do you have any concerts planned, sort of the same question I guess, and do you have any studio produced albums coming out? And he also wanted to know, the third part of this three part question, is there any way to get a life time pass to all Grateful Dead concerts?
JERRY: There must be some way. I'm certain there's some way. That's -
KSAN: You could hold some kind of contest or something.
JERRY: I think if your vibes are good enough - I don't mean it like, you know, in a judgement sense - but I've never seen anybody right? - anybody who has like good, outgoing, straight-ahead vibes, they could always seem to get in. I don't know whether that's, you know, what that means, but that's as close to it -
KSAN: That's the best story.
JERRY: Yeah right, it's the best story. It's that kind of stuff I think that works.
KSAN: I have a question too. How does one go about getting - there's a very rare teeshirt around, in fact I saw it the other day for the first time, it has a sort of skull with a lightning bolt going through it and on the back it says "Grateful Dead San Francisco".
JERRY: Right. That's our official teeshirt.
KSAN: I saw one on an unofficial person.
JERRY: I don't know who's got 'em. I think you should maybe -
KSAN: I think a good scam would be to reproduce it myself, and bootleg it.
JERRY: Well that's what everybody else does.
KSAN: Yeah but that one teeshirt has not been bootlegged.
JERRY: Really?
KSAN: No. I understand that that teeshirt has been a great success in various parts of Mexico where the skull is really highly thought of. /p.13/
JERRY: Right.
KSAN: And people like, you know, step aside as you're walking down the street wearing that teeshirt.
JERRY: Step aside, step aside.
KSAN: As we said, we're talking to Jerry Garcia -
JERRY: Ask me about the record again.
KSAN: Which record?
JERRY:  The one that we're working on.
KSAN: The - oh, oh I'm sorry. Jerry, you're working on anything that you intend to have coming out?
JERRY: Yeah well, right. So what? Yeah, we're working on - we just did a long tour in Europe, in fact the longest tour we've ever done anywhere.
KSAN: How were you received, if I may sidetrack from the record?
JERRY: Amazingly well, considering that we'd never been there and all - before, and the only thing that anybody had to go on was like the myth that preceded us, the media myth you know.
KSAN: Do you find that you're a legend in your own time?
JERRY: Well, yeah something like that but it's - well, a lot of our trip was characterised by like trying to correct misconceptions you know, with European journalists. It was amazing! We were travelling with a huge amount of people, we had like forty people, our whole - almost our whole scene, so we had sort of our own ambience travelling with us and it was, it made it, it made it pretty groovy actually, it was the only way we could have stayed out that long. But the thing is that we -
KSAN: You didn't make any money with forty people travelling-
JERRY: Not at all. We didn't, but that wasn't what we were trying to do. We were just trying to go and have a good time.
KSAN: We have a double-barrelled question. He says first get back to the record, and second who are the Old Riders of the Purple Sage?
JERRY: I almost know the answer to the Old Riders of the Purple Sage one. But they're the ones that recorded "Drifting Along with the Tumbling Tumbleweeds" I think. They're like contemporary with the Sons of the Pioneers and that, you know, that's the Riders of the Purple Sage. And then Riders of the Purple Sage is also a book by Zane Gray. That I think is the original, really the original.
KSAN: We'll go back to the tour, which will someway lead us up to whether or not we're gonna have some concerts in San Francisco and where the new album is. Did you get behind the Iron Curtain or where did you play?
JERRY: No we didn't. We only played in the places that are - that are most light, in the sense of - we played in the places where rock and roll isn't a potential political opportunity. You know what I mean? Like in Italy, for example, if you have a rock and roll show it's like an excuse for police to beat up students, the same with places like Greece and Spain and stuff like that. So like a lot of those places, which would have been interesting to get to, we didn't because of that - that thing. We went to England of course, and Denmark, Holland, France, Germany.
KSAN: Amsterdam?
JERRY: Yeah, Amsterdam.
KSAN: Did you find Amsterdam is - everybody who comes back says, "oh, Amsterdam, that's where......." you know.
JERRY: Oh it's beautiful. It's delightful.
KSAN:  Did you go to that club where - toke-up?
JERRY: No, we didn't go - we didn't really hit the town that much 'cos we were staying somewhere out of town, near Leiden actually. We played in a lovely hall there though, the Konzertgebau which is like really tasty, old time, 18th century, gilt place you know.
KSAN: Did you come out in white tie and tails?
JERRY: It was just us, you know. But we sounded great in that place, nice and - you know, well articulated sound.
KSAN: So it was England, Denmark, Amsterdam and?
JERRY: France, and Germany, Spent a lot of time in Germany.
KSAN: But Yugoslavia is pretty loose, I thought you might make it over there.
JERRY: We didn't do anything that would have been - there were so many of us travelling, and we were actually there - /p.14/ because of that whole work permit thing it's difficult to move around from place to place. We were travelling overland. We had buses rather than flying from place to place, and we - and so all of it was new to us you know, and so the thing - we were - our big hang up was, you know, how long are we gonna stay out, you know that sort of stuff, not where could we go.
KSAN: The Stones on this tour that they're doing are doing an incredible number of concerts over a very short period of time actually, and it looks - it's something to exhaust somebody. They're gonna need months to recuperate from it, it seems.
JERRY: Right.
KSAN: And even in San Francisco the difference between Tuesday night's concert and Thursday's concert was very great, and sort of instead of getting better and more together they got a little more exhausted and worn out, and I think it showed too. Jagger in particular who's really up there jumping around looked a little bit -
JERRY: It's hard work.
KSAN: It sure is hard work. You do a good 12 hours in an hour and a half standing up there, and to do it twice a day is 24 hours a day worth of work, and you're gonna need something to keep you going. But did you work that kind of schedule?
JERRY: No, we worked fairly loose. We worked really a pretty open schedule. You know, we did maybe 20 gigs in the amount of time we were there so we had - our whole trip, the way we do our show is like - we weren't playing with anybody else, generally speaking we were doing it all by ourselves, so we were doing like four maybe five hours a night, and we wanted to be, you know, in reasonable shape to do it and to improve rather than -
KSAN: You were doing four and five hours?
JERRY: Yeah, we were doing long shows there. Because there was only us on the bill and because, you know, most of the halls were really far out to play in.
KSAN: But they weren't dance halls.
JERRY: No. It was -
KSAN: So you were doing four and five hour concerts?
JERRY: It was concerts yeah. It doesn't seem that long though you know, I mean because for us it's like playing and getting it on, you know, and we had 'em spaced out in such a way so that each time we were really, you know, itching to play. We had like maybe two days in between each gig.
KSAN: I know you're noted for doing long shows in the city but five hours? Four hours? Have you ever done concerts that long in the States?
JERRY: Yeah. When we played only - you know, just by ourselves. Normally we're restricted by stuff like the fire marshall, the union, you know, all those kind of just regular straightahead restrictions about time, that kind of stuff, so a lot of times we don't get to do that, but when we're on our own and the pace is right - that's really the key thing - when the pace is right it's like, it makes us wanna do it really. We weren't consciously thinking, "okay now we're gonna do a four hour show or a five hour show". We'd go out and play and it'd be like two and a half hours were gone before we knew it, you know. We'd take a break for maybe a half hour and then come back and play some more.
KSAN: I had a lot of phone calls and Jerry was talking about the guy who did the jacket for his album "GARCIA". When are you gonna have an album called "MESSAGE FROM GARCIA"?
JERRY: Never, man. It's been done. Have you ever read that - ah well never mind.
KSAN: The novel?
JERRY: Yeah it's awful.
KSAN: It is?
JERRY: It's a nasty little morality play of some sort, yeah. It's grim.
KSAN: What's your background? What's your nationality?
JERRY: I'm Spanish Irish.
KSAN: How's your Spanish, or your Gaelic?
JERRY: Poor. They're both bad, in fact non-existent.
KSAN: They keep getting mixed up and nobody can understand it. Somebody called and one, I can't really phrase it the way they did without getting everybody in trouble, /p.15/ but they wanted to know about your condition during the recording of "WORKINGMAN'S DEAD" and - what sort of stimulants if any?
JERRY: "WORKINGMAN'S DEAD" - no, actually we were not into any kind of particular - actually the space we were into when we were doing "WORKINGMAN'S DEAD" was one of extreme paranoia because we'd just been busted in New Orleans. It was right in that period. And we were going through changes about "wow are we gonna have to go to jail behind this" because it was still hanging up and that was like - that was going down - and then like we had extremely heavy scenes with the guy who was like our manager at the time and it was like very intense, you know, personal energy, that kind of stuff rather than a specific drug. Actually when we work in the studio we all try and stay, you know, comparatively straight. On our earlier records that's not so.
KSAN: But more recently. Some of the other calls -  when the Grateful Dead were known as the Warlocks, which was when I first met you back in 1964, 1965 -
JERRY: Way back.
KSAN: That's a long time ago - a young lady apparently wrote some sort of poem. I'm not familiar with this but one of our colleagues was - Ralph Gleason printed it in an article -
JERRY: Oh that's right. That was -
KSAN: And he wanted to know whether he could get a copy of that or whatever.
JERRY: Yeah, I even know the girl that wrote that, she's like a good friend of ours. Whether or not - no, I don't know whether or not that could be arranged. I guess the person to call would be Ralph Gleason or maybe even the Chronicle.
KSAN: Or go down to the San Francisco public library if you know about when it was reprinted.
JERRY: Right.
KSAN: Somebody else wants to know what Pigpen's LP is going to be like and is it finished and when's it gonna be out?
JERRY: It's not finished, in fact it isn't even started yet, but he's - you know, working on it. He's been writing a lot of tunes lately, and playing a lot more lately, so I imagine - you know, Pigpen works in his own - at his own rate, so you know, whenever it's ready is when it'll happen. I hate to make promises, you know.
KSAN: Especially after the remixes on -
JERRY: Right.
KSAN: The same person asked do you have any plans, or actually he seemed to think that you did have plans, he just wanted to know when are you going to play Palo Alto?
JERRY: We don't have any plans. I'll tell everybody right now that we don't have any plans. We have maybe one or two gigs coming up in the next two months and they're mostly, you know, what they are is out of town generally speaking, and we're probably gonna work around here but we don't know where and we don't know when. But we will, you know.
KSAN: And one other person wanted to know - it just flashed me - somebody wanted to know when are you gonna record "El Paso"?
JERRY: I think "El Paso"'s gonna come out on our new record.
KSAN: You've done it live but -
JERRY: That's right. Well, our new record is another live album folks, it's not a - it's not - a studio album it's - the way we plan it is this, and I don't know what's gonna happen. What we're doing is we're going back through the tapes from Europe and our main - our whole main trip with recording has been to develop a good way to record live so that it sounds like us on record, and so once again there's another live thing coming out. It might be three records.
KSAN: You said you wanted it to sound like, you know, you wanna sound like you sound on record and vice versa. The Dead have gone through some - I think a very strange evolution if you can call it that. Normally, sometimes anyway, you can look at a band and see that they've gone on from here to here to here. With "WORKINGMAN'S DEAD" and "AMERICAN BEAUTY" you've done an awful lot, the band itself and the vocals and things, you've gotten into harmonies and stuff that you really didn't experiment with before. This has happened around the time that Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young have really you know, made a big splash with their harmony work and things. /p.16/
JERRY: Right.
KSAN: Were they influencing you or -
JERRY: Ah for sure. Yeah, for sure.
KSAN: Do you wanna go into it or -
JERRY: Well I - you know - it's just the thing of -
KSAN: I didn't mean to tack it down just to there but -
JERRY: No but that's really where it's at.
KSAN: I'm not talking just about the harmony though, but the whole evolution of the Dead seems really to be zigzagging all over the place rather than going from here to there.
JERRY: That's true - because actually we've had like a lot of things going on at once all along, but it's been like how to approach any little facet like - say we wanted to do a country music thing, and like "WORKINGMAN'S DEAD" was like a country music approach to a record, although the record isn't really a country record, you know what I mean? That kind of stuff. It's like everything is still going on that we've ever done really in terms of trends, and it's like one year we'll work on harmonies, another year we'll work on rhythm you know, and another year we'll work on weird time signatures, and you know, it's - it's just whatever's going on at that particular time. I think. We have a girl singer now, well which you can hear on Bobby's record.
KSAN: Where can we hear that?
JERRY: Cassidy, Play the track called Cassidy. It's a good tune.
KSAN: Can you explain this for us, or do you want to? Is there an explanation -
JERRY: This particular tune? One of the - one of the girls that was staying out at Bob's place, when he was living out in the County on a little ranch was - had a kid at home there, Bobby helped deliver - deliver the baby; the baby's name is Cassidy, and that's what this tune is about. He wrote it.
KSAN: We're back talking to Jerry Garcia.
JERRY: Hi gang.
KSAN: Okay, we got a bunch more calls. This is a strange way to do an interview but - you say you have phonophobia? That's strange, that's a really opposite trait of mine. When the phone rings I find that -
JERRY: Must answer it. Must pick it up.
KSAN: I have admiration for people who can just sit there and reject it.
JERRY: I can't really reject it, it's more active paranoia.
KSAN: Some of the questions that we had - a young lady called and said that some of her friends had invited her down to a Grateful Dead concert Saturday night in Los Angeles. Are you having a concert, and where is it and what's the story?
JERRY: Yes we are. It's at the Hollywood Bowl. The Hollywood Bowl. Us and the New Riders.
KSAN: And the New Riders.
JERRY: Yeah.
KSAN: What's the - may I ask, this is my own question, how - what was your involvement with the New Riders' album and -
JERRY: Well, the first one I played pedal steel on, the second one I played just a couple of banjo cuts, piano on one tune.
KSAN: Are you still actively involved with them?
JERRY: No, they have - they've got their own total trip.
KSAN: But for a while there you were with them.
JERRY: That's true, but I couldn't really pull off doing two things sort of full time, you know what I mean? It was just - to continue doing it that way would've been to hang them up really. They've got a player now who's like much more together really as a steel player than I was, and he's also like their guy, you know what I mean. They've got a band now.
KSAN: He's part of the New Riders.
JERRY: Right, right.
KSAN: Somebody called but I don't - I just advised them about your management problem but that's ancient history by this time, so I think it was very well covered in the Rolling Stone interview and if anybody wants any information on that, 'cos it's complicated and it would take hours. /p.17/
JERRY: And not really interesting.
KSAN: It's not involved with the music. Somebody wants to know if you have any plans for working with Mickey Hart in the studio or what are your plans with Mickey Hart if any?
JERRY: Mickey's got - his record, which he's been working on for a long old time, is just at the point where it's starting to be mixed, and Phil and I are gonna help him out mixing it. We've done tracks on it also, so that'll be coming out soon.
KSAN: Is he gonna be doing anything with the Dead?
JERRY: I don't think so.
KSAN: Somebody wanted to know - this is sort of a philosophical question - in this person's mind he associates you a lot, the band, with the Jefferson Airplane, and he wanted to know just what's happening with the Jefferson Airplane, if anything, and I don't know if you're the person to ask that question to.
JERRY: I'm not really sure what's happening. I haven't seen 'em since I've been back. I know Hot Tuna's playing a lot. I guess the Airplane will probably go out and do, you know, like one or two tours a year when they feel like it, and when it's right for 'em. The reason for that relationship is because of that classic press release that says "acid rock bands like the Grateful Dead and the Jefferson Airplane" or "the Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead". It's part of that.
KSAN: Somebody wanted to know is "St. Stephen" about Steve Gaskin? And if that's so how you got involved with -
JERRY: No, it's not, not - it's not specifically about Steve Gaskin, although if anybody likes that way of looking at it that's groovy with me, and I'm sure it's groovy with him.
KSAN: We had a couple more calls. One gentleman called and said he's a Pete Williams fan, the Johnny Otis Orchestra guitar player, he wanted to know if you'd been influenced by him because I guess he feels there's a fraternal affinity there.
JERRY: No, he was never one of the guys that I copped a lot of licks from, but a lot of that - the feeling of the Johnny Otis - the Johnny Otis rhythm section feeling and the way - the whole way that that guitarist constructs his ideas is kinda like, similar to me yeah. The guy that I stole most of my licks from back when I was learning how to pick was Freddie King.
KSAN: Somebody else wanted to know how about Merl Saunders and the album "TURBULENCE"
JERRY: "HEAVY TURBULENCE". How about it man?
KSAN: Got any comment on it?
JERRY: Well Merl - those guys, I play with 'em here in town all the time. Merl, well he's just a fine organist.
KSAN: Was Django Reinhardt an influence on you?
JERRY: Yeah, as far as his touch and tone, but I've never like tried to, you know, break down his stuff or play it.
KSAN: It would be difficult for a contemporary guitar player not to have been influenced by Django Reinhardt today.
JERRY: Really.
KSAN: Somebody wanted to know - any plans, you'll have to try and interpret what this guy means - any plans to try to get back to the vibes or energy as envisioned in your second album? And what was the meaning of "Born Cross-Eyed"?
JERRY: You'd have to ask Weir because he wrote it. That's his - he was born cross-eyed, Weir was, and that's it. That's the title at any rate.
KSAN: It's that simple. And someone else called, and I don't like to get into these things 'cos whatever these alleged big rock festivals - but somebody said that the Rainbow Tribe is having some kind of a rock festival somewhere - do you know anything about that?
JERRY: No I don't.
KSAN: Forget it then. That's -
JERRY: It's all news to me. Generally speaking we've been sort of avoiding that sort of thing.
KSAN: But you are opening - this is your first new world date in the Hollywood Bowl next Saturday night?
JERRY: Yeah, right.
KSAN: That's the coming home fest?
JERRY: Yeah well, I guess.
KSAN: Can you see the forest for the trees of knowing the Grateful Dead and where they are at? /p.18/ At any one given time - where you're going musically or -
JERRY: No. We're a band.
KSAN: Do you listen to your own records at home?
JERRY: Not too often. Sometimes. More often I listen to tapes.
KSAN: Does it become more of a critical exercise?
JERRY: I always compare it with how - how I wish it had been and that sort of thing.
KSAN: It's not possible then to listen to one of your own records and just get it on as someone who would go out and buy it and take it home?
JERRY: Well, if a record is really good I think so. I think, you know like if I can stand to listen to one of our records for a lot of times then I figure, well, if it's good enough for me then enjoy listening to it.
KSAN: The Dead, and you in particular, get actively involved in mixing a lot of times don't you?
JERRY: Right.
KSAN: That's something that I - I've never, well I did it once or twice for singles and things down at Autumn Records and stuff, but it's something that I don't have the patience for and I find that after I've listened to a record or a track over and over and I've heard it built from beginning to end somehow the magic is lost, and I can't hear it anymore, I can't hear anything you know? Do you ever get that feeling?
JERRY: Well, I try to work in such a way as - so as not to bore myself, you know. When I'm doing a mix I try and do it as clearly and quickly as possible. I think that really those things are - that's part of the whole technique of working in the studio, which is like - I think the best mixes are when - when it's played right, you don't have to mess with it, you don't have to be remixing it really, you just have to let it play through so that the music that was played in the recording session comes through. That's like my approach to it. I like to do the mixing before.
KSAN: Do you ever spend a whole night working on one track?
JERRY: No. I just - I can't make myself do that.
KSAN: You go from this to that?
JERRY: Sure. If I get tired of something then I'll say I have to hear something else.
KSAN: Because frequently many people do that as an accepted practice in the music industry, and many people are maybe not aware of it, but sometimes you sit in the recording studio from seven or eight at night until six or seven the next morning and you listen to that one track maybe a hundred times, over and over.
JERRY: Right, well that's the thing about doing it. Like if you're playing, if you're doing studio work as a musician, well then there's a normal phenomenon that occurs, it's like you have really a good - get a good take the first time or the second time, then you say, "oh well, let's go for a better one" and they don't really start getting better until like the 50th or 60th. So it's a matter of really being able to balance the various elements.
KSAN: This is in a recording?
JERRY: Yeah.
KSAN: That's another thing too. I would think, and I'm not a musician so I really can't say, but it seems to me that if I were, it would get awfully tedious and kind of - like wow, the 60th time in just a few hours and we're doing the same song!
JERRY: Right. That's the old way to do it. I don't think anybody likes to work that way anymore, I mean most of the people, for example when I go into the studios with people who - who've had a lot of experience and know that they don't wanna approach it on that treadmill basis or the - you know, the nine to five thing whatever, the career trip, they mostly wanna - for the music to have some life and to communicate properly and stuff like that. It really has to do with what everybody feels and that's probably more important than all the technical aspects, it's just, you know, the thing you're talking about is like the famous dichotomy in making a record, you know, going out and -
KSAN: There is no way then - /p.19/
JERRY: Going after one that's loose and -
KSAN: There is no other way than doing it over and over again. And I think that most people are just not aware of the amount of work and the importance of the mixing after it's cut, and very frequently it takes a lot longer to mix it, and is even more expensive to mix it, than it was to record it. And even though you've recorded something it could come out any way of an infinite number of ways -
JERRY: That's right.
KSAN: Do you have a waterbed?
KSAN: You're not one to -
JERRY: I'm not a hedonist,
KSAN: You're not one to be drawn into the stampede of the madding crowd.
JERRY: Rabid consumerism.
KSAN: We had a lot of phone calls during that last commercial spot trip. Somebody on the line wanted to know something about the Les Paul guitar or something that you used early on and what happened to it or something?
JERRY: I just got tired of Gibsons. I sort of played Gibsons for a long time and I switched over to Fenders.
KSAN: We have a related question. Somebody wanted to know about instruments that you and Phil had made at Alembic.
JERRY: Right, well Phil Lesh - Phil's bass is really a modern technological achievement. It's really remarkable. I couldn't begin to explain it except that it's quadraphonic and has a separate pick-up for each string.
KSAN: Is it radio or cord?
JERRY: No it's cord, but it has a huge coaxial cable and it's got its own amplifier inside it and variable filters -
KSAN: Inside the guitar itself?
JERRY: Yeah. It's quite incredible. Anybody who's serious about guitars and far out instruments oughta get hold of Alembic.
KSAN: Did you have a guitar made there?
JERRY: They're making one for me now, yeah. I have all my guitars worked on there.
KSAN: Can you describe it?
JERRY: No. I can't really describe it, it's just - my particular trip with a guitar is the simpler it is the better, whereas Phil's is amazingly complex, but it depends on what you want.
KSAN: Especially for a bass.
JERRY: They also built Jack Casady's bass which is legendary.
KSAN: It's a legendary bass?
JERRY: Yeah.
KSAN: Are they constantly improving? Is the state of the art increasing?
JERRY: Yeah. These are the only guys too who are doing - who are actually developing the state of the art of electric instruments.
KSAN: We had a call from a guy and I think we just got a little business for your publishing company. I hope anyway. He is - he is working on a doorbell that when you press the button it plays the opening notes from "Morning Dew".
JERRY: (amid great mirth). Far out! Tremendous!
KSAN: Yeah well I told him to get in touch and, you know - for every doorbell sold you might make a buck or something, and I'm sure every Grateful Dead freak will wanna have one. You've never gotten into - the Dead are noted for or is noted? are noted?
JERRY: Am noted.
KSAN: Am noted. The Dead am noted for really not getting involved in rabid consumerism in addition to not getting involved in rabid hedonism. Though I would say you drive - I was in Stinson Beach one day and I saw you driving by in a rather hedonistic looking automobile. I've never even been in one but I'd like to.
JERRY: You talking about my old Bentley?
KSAN: I'm talking about - well, it didn't look too old, I mean it's been well taken care of.
JERRY: Yeah it's a 48 Bentley. Right. It's not in good shape any more. I mean actually the only reason I was able to get it was because they were selling it cheap. I saw - I spotted it on a used car lot up in Santa Rosa and it was just sitting there amongst the - /p.20/
KSAN: You wouldn't mind if I said you looked a little self-conscious driving it, would you?
JERRY:  Oh I never - well now it's up on blocks, it doesn't run any more. It was just like barely running when I got it, but it looked so neat you know, it's like a piece of metal sculpture.
KSAN: I mean it was a Bentley alright. People don't notice - I mean not the average person, they don't see Bentleys parked outside their houses every day and so you can't tell whether it's a 48 or a 72 or what. It's a Bentley. Course the difference between a Bentley and a Rolls is just the radiator I'm told. Is that right?
JERRY: Well, I - in the old days they were completely different. Like mine is - it's just a - it's a Bentley, it's got a Bentley engine in it. It's a Bentley, the whole thing. I think Bentley did, used to do, the coach work for Rolls. I don't really know though, it's all very obscure. But there's - when I got that Bentley I started getting all kinds of weird things along with it like - a Bentley Club book that has these chatty little raps you know from English Bentley owners: "and we took our 38 Bentley out, you know, in the Sahara Desert for 3 days and had a marvellous time", you know what I mean? This incredible thing. It's like, kind of like gardening or something like that, having these -
KSAN: Well, if you have a Bentley you become a member of sort of a larger fraternity.
JERRY: Something like that. But I'm not really into the trip.
KSAN: You're not just a car driver anymore.
JERRY: Well unfortunately I'm - you know, I don't go for any of it, you know. In fact I'm looking to unload the thing now.
KSAN: You wanna put an ad on Listeners' Personals?
JERRY: No, no. I don't wanna sell it, I think it'd be a burn. I'm giving it away to a friend.
KSAN: Oh well, that's good. We could give it away to the one millionth person to buy a copy of the "LIVE/DEAD" or something. What did you think - I don't want to get into areas of controversy but - what did you think of the "LIVE DEAD"? A couple of albums that were done for MGM - one I think and maybe another in the works or something?
JERRY: There's the Historic and the Vintage.
KSAN: Bob [Cohen] asked for your permission I recall.
JERRY: Yeah well, see the thing was it was originally gonna be a whole different thing. It was originally gonna be - this was back in the days when there was a sort of a - an attempt to sort of community-ise the Family Dog. It was after the - in the wake of that whole light show strike and all that stuff that was going on, and originally that record was gonna be made - the proceeds were gonna go toward keeping the Family Dog running at the time, and it was originally a whole different record company. But that - the record company that was originally doing it was bought up by MGM, there was some weird swindle went down and actually, as far as the music goes, well it's what we were doing in 66, and if anybody cares to listen to it you know, that's - they just ought to know that it's 66 and we weren't as good then of course as we are now, and - you know, but it is what it is.
KSAN: You weren't doing live albums in 66.
JERRY: Not really. We weren't even doing studio albums in 66, it was before we made our first studio album.
KSAN: Did you ever record anything as the Warlocks?
JERRY: We recorded a demo.
KSAN: For Autumn?
JERRY: For Autumn Records yeah, indeed.
KSAN: Is it still around?
JERRY: I'm sure that Tom's got a copy of it somewhere.
KSAN: What about "Fire In The City"?
JERRY: Oh right, John Hendricks! Right -
KSAN: We've got that here.
JERRY: Ah incredible, I forgot about - I forgot all about that. Oh and "Your Sons And Daughters" was the other side of that. That was for a movie.
KSAN: I'm looking up here - Les Paul and Mary Ford - /p.21/
JERRY: Wow really? Too much!
KSAN: Grateful Dead "Don't Ease Me In", "Your Sons And Daughters" -
JERRY: "Don't Ease Me In", that's another oldie. That's on Scorpio.
KSAN: How far back does that go?
JERRY: That must be, you know, late 65 I guess. That's real old. That's our first single.
KSAN: "Don't Ease Me In" was the first single?
JERRY: Yeah, that was our first single.
KSAN: We're gonna listen to the recording "Don't Ease Me In". Who were Scorpio Records?
JERRY: Owned by Gene [Estribou] who's a very nice cat, good player and sort of a - he inherited a lot of money so he decided to make records with it.
KSAN: Does he still do it?
JERRY: No. You know, he just lives now.
("Don't Ease Me In")
KSAN: That's the Dead alright.
JERRY: Yep. It's us.
KSAN: Primitive Dead.
JERRY: Oh yeah. We were fresh out of the bar then.
KSAN: Were you still wearing suits and ties?
JERRY: No. We never wore suits and ties.
KSAN: I remember, it seems to me -
JERRY: Suits and ties? I used to wear a vest.
KSAN: Maybe it was a turtle neck sweater.
JERRY: Could be, could be. Yeah, we were still playing the bars when we did that.
KSAN: What bars?
JERRY: Oh, we played the Fireside, we played the Whisky A Gogo, we played all those joints. We even played Pierre's on Broadway. Topless.
KSAN: Did you ever play Mothers?
JERRY: No, we never did. We couldn't make an audition there. We went up there and auditioned but they didn't like us. The Great Society auditioned the same day but they got the job. Then they had Grace.
KSAN: That's right, and that record came out - I think it was the first and last record on the North Beach label and only 500 copies were pressed, and I've still got a box of 25 somewhere.
JERRY: Far out!
KSAN: Of "Somebody To Love".
JERRY: Discographers would kill for that record.
KSAN: That's probably - it's true. I gave a couple away one time as a prize for something. "Don't Ease Me In", that's definitely early Dead. It was recorded in 63? 64?
JERRY: I would say around 64, maybe 65. I don't know. I know that it was a long long time ago.
KSAN: I remember the band, various members of the band, coming up to Dorman Avenue out by Army Street.
JERRY: That's right.
KSAN: The old Autumn Record offices. I'd like to ask you about "Fire In The City". How did that come about?
JERRY: I don't really quite remember how it came about. I think we were working at Trident Studios or something like that and somebody there turned us on to it because John Hendricks also worked there. That's where we recorded it anyway, at Trident Studios.
KSAN: Well how did John Hendricks and you get together?
JERRY: We played a benefit together I think is what happened.
KSAN: You were both in the studio at the same time? Or -
JERRY: No, he - yeah, we were in the studio. We worked on it all at once, did the vocals and everything all at once.
KSAN: All in one take.
JERRY: Right. Yeah, it was quite a trip too because he was such a pro, and we were all - you know. He got us to sing little parts and all that stuff, it was really fun.
KSAN: Are they still ever used, the Trident Studios?
JERRY: I really don't know. I don't even know who runs it anymore.
KSAN: Nice homey little place. You used to do all your mixing - /p.22/
JERRY: Yeah, we mixed there for a few years.
KSAN: And they had Mad magazines on the sixth floor.
JERRY: Plenty of 'em.
KSAN: When did you get back?
JERRY: Oh about a week ago. A week and a half - maybe two weeks ago now.
KSAN: And you're sort of recuperating, is that it?
JERRY: We're listening back to the tapes from the tour.
KSAN: You're in the process now - you're selecting and in the mixing process?
JERRY: That's right.
KSAN: We're gonna listen to something from the first LP on Warner Bros. Was that when they had that party down at the Italian American Hall?
JERRY: That's it, right. Right you are, down at the Fugasi Hall.
KSAN: That was an incredible party. It was probably the strangest odd mixture of people -
JERRY: Definitely.
KSAN: I mean it was almost like the stag line, you know - the freaks on one side and so on.
JERRY: Right, that was in the days when there were a lot of straight people in the music business.
KSAN: Yeah and they were all coming up from Los Angeles, and there was a definite line drawn there.
JERRY: Oh yeah.
("Cold Rain And Snow")
KSAN: The Dead have always been noted for playing free concerts, and they're associated with really the beginning of the trend. Whether or not that's true they're associated, and they certainly have done more of them than their share. In addition to that they've played a lot of benefits and things for other causes, although are not probably well known for expounding causes. Do you have any views on the war?
JERRY: Well, I hate it. You know, I think that's probably - I hate to think it's still going on, it's such a waste.
KSAN: The war's over in the Dead. [sic]
JERRY: Yeah right, I know - and that, it's a waste. It's an incredible waste. I never have put too much energy into the war, either against it or for it, because I think that any energy in that direction is ultimately war, itself. We were just in Europe where - and while we were there, the whole increased bombing scene was happening, so there was a lot of attention on American guilt about the war. And a lot of accusation about "you're an American", you know - you get very conscious about being an American, you know, when you're travelling, just because [of] who you are.
KSAN: Did you run into any hostility because of it?
JERRY: Not - well not really because we were in a more or less positive space during our whole tour and, you know - so - people pretty much took it for granted that we were against the war, although it never came up much except, you know, just amongst ourselves really. And, you know, I don't have any solution to it. I don't know what'll make it stop. I think - think that the public is powerless, and I don't - in that sense I don't think that the average person should spend too much of their time being guilty about the war or - you know - pumping too much energy into war thought. I think that ultimately a state of non-war is for people to resolve their own trips and to be in a peaceful place in their heads. I think that that's like the realest thing you can do. I think that anything else has the possibility of being - of turning weird on you. You know what I mean?
KSAN: Can you cause war to stop or -
JERRY: Well that's what the whole demonstration thing turned into - anti-war demonstration turned into war itself, you know - so I think that's an obvious trap there somewhere. But I don't - I'm not really an expert, it's difficult for me to talk about it. That's as much as I can say. I mean, if you don't like war don't be it.
KSAN: You can't - it's difficult to be violently non-violent.
JERRY: Right, because it just means that - it's just a vote for war. You're - it's just a continuation, /p.23/ and the only way I can relate to any of that kind of stuff is like where does it affect me individually as a person? And I feel that, you know the war energy thing is like definitely taking energy away from forward going trips that could be happening - more consciousness. I think just everybody keep pouring out more consciousness and maybe ultimately it'll affect that whole state of war. But I don't think that people should be guilty about it. Individually. Except those that are responsible, you know.
KSAN: The Dead collectively have played a lot of benefits for a lot of causes, and including anti-war movements, and a lot of musicians have written songs that are directly related to the war or the turmoil in this country. Most of your music is good time music or philosophic music and music about people in close relationships and things like that. Has much of your music been influenced by large issues?
JERRY: No. No, because for us that's - that would be like taking an - some kind of editorial viewpoint, as though we were like the hypothetical spokesman of some - you know, some - it would be an invention in short, it wouldn't really be truly together, you know. All of us are basically cynics in terms of the whole range of - the energy that people have to put into places like war and politics and all that kind of stuff. I think we generally agree that that's not where it's at, in terms of living one's own life, which is where all those problems ultimately come to. It's like if you focus on politics, stuff that's going on outside yourself is like - I see it as moving away from your own self, and I think everybody's got some percentage of themselves that's at war, you know what I mean? Take care of that, take care of what's at home, take care of what's around you.
KSAN: Are you - from knowing you personally I know you are into some aspects of pop culture. Mad magazine or whatever.
JERRY: Yeah.
KSAN: Are you in that sense an American, a product of the environment?
JERRY: Definitely. Definitely. I watch T.V. I do all that stuff. You know what I mean? It's just - that's who I am. I'm not trying to avoid being an American, I dig it in fact, it's just that, you know, like everybody else who is brought up in America the ideal, the vision is much bosser than the reality is, and the whole thing is to try and make it so that the reality is, you know, meets up with the good old America.
KSAN: Are you into horror movies by any chance?
JERRY: Yeah, I'm into all that stuff. I mean you know, I'm a kid. I'm into all those things, I love 'em.
(Break for trailer for forthcoming horror movie triple feature).
KSAN: The second album was very different from the first. It was more ambitious - maybe influenced by "RUBBER SOUL" and those albums that marked the beginning of the concept that finally developed into the rock opera.
JERRY: Right.
KSAN: I don't know how I can cue up "Born Cross-Eyed". Actually maybe I could play "Alligator".
JERRY: That's complicated.
KSAN: "Alligator"'s the shorter right?
JERRY: "Alligator"'s real long. Well, there's a first part and a second part but you can fade out.
KSAN: Somebody here says Pentangle do "Cold Rain And Snow". Pentangle? Did you ever hear of that?
JERRY: I'd like to hear that. Pentangle's a nice group. It's not our song, it's a traditional tune. But I never heard anybody do it but us.
KSAN: Okay. And the difference between authorship on the second album, somebody says here.
JERRY: Well, the first album had a lot of stuff that wasn't ours on it. The second one we just flipped coins and did that kind of stuff. It's really difficult you know -
KSAN: But there is a marked different concept in the second album than the first.
JERRY: Oh yeah. The first one was our - you know, our record company record. You know, that's the one they took us down there and made us do. You know, three days, done, finished, wrap it up, you know, and the second one we decided we wanted to make it ourselves. /p.24/
KSAN: Do you find that a record gets five times better if you spend five times more time on it?
KSAN: I know this is a bit of a trial for you, listening to the older stuff -
JERRY: It's fun though.
KSAN: Maybe you can understand this question. What does it say -
JERRY (reading): play with Bill Champlin drummer - I play with Bill [Vitt] now and again who was playing drums for Yogi Flegm, sort of the Sons of Champlin, and I played with Bill - me and Phil played with Bill Champlin when they did a gig with us.
KSAN: Familiar with a guy named David Bromberg?
JERRY: Sure.
KSAN: He's gonna be in town.
JERRY: Yeah, he's a nice cat, good player.
KSAN: Are you gonna check him out?
JERRY: I hope so.
KSAN: The third album was "AOXOMOXOA". Does the word mean anything at all?
JERRY: I don't know.
KSAN: I know it's Rick Griffin art, but why the symbolism of the skull on all the -
JERRY: Again you'd have to talk to Rick Griffin about that.
KSAN: Well, but then it's the Grateful Dead isn't it?
JERRY: That's true, but it's his version.
KSAN: His version of the Grateful Dead?
JERRY: Right, right. That's the way we work with artists. They see us the way they see us through their eyes, and we don't lay any trips on 'em.
KSAN: That's right. If you choose the artist you must be in some agreement, if only from enjoying their art.
JERRY: Definitely.
KSAN: The name the Grateful Dead comes from the Egyptian Book of the Dead? The Kingdom of the Sun or something -
JERRY: Well that's what Chet Helms discovered yeah, but that was actually after we had the name. We got it originally from a dictionary, Oxford dictionary. Oxford New World dictionary.
KSAN: Were you just looking for names and "here it is. Oh" -
JERRY: Sorta like that, yeah. Just opened it up and that was the thing. There it was.
KSAN: Spelt that way?
JERRY: Yeah.
KSAN: What was the definition?
JERRY: It has to do with ethnomusicology. It's a kind of ballad.
KSAN: It is a type?
JERRY: Right. Grateful Dead ballads. You've heard of murdered girl ballads, unquiet grave ballads.
KSAN: There were a lot of death songs in the 50s and 60s too in teenage pop music, you know.
JERRY: Right, "Endless Sleep".
KSAN: When will there be a good movie about the Dead?
JERRY: There's a nice little movie by Robert Nelson.
KSAN: Called the Grateful Dead.
JERRY: Yeah he's a great film maker. There are some guys who wanna do a movie on us. They've been sort of setting it up for a long time. What they wanna do is make a movie that would be just a movie of one of our live gigs, you know, just three hours long or four hours, just a record of that thing sort of.
KSAN: Why don't you play the House of Good, somebody wants to know.
JERRY: Well they have to come over and ask us.
KSAN: Would you be interested in doing a movie satire on "Me And My Uncle", somebody wants to know. He's gonna call your office and propose such a thing.
JERRY: Might conceivably.
KSAN: And the other thing is what do you think of the Pink Floyd?
JERRY: I like some of what they do, yeah.
KSAN: They definitely - it's definitely a different bag.
JERRY: Right, but I do like some of what they do. /p.25/
KSAN: They're into huge quadraphonic speakers and big live performances.
JERRY: Right. I love their set up, it's amazing.
(Love theme) [from Zabriskie Point]
KSAN: You actually did that in a motion picture sound studio? Where you actually watch the film and play the score as you're watching.
JERRY: Right.
KSAN: That always fascinates me. I'd like to see it done with a big orchestra.
JERRY: Yeah, it's a science at that level.
KSAN: Where are the Dead headed for? How do you feel about yourselves musically - are you tighter than ever?
JERRY: Oh yeah, yeah. We're - in fact for us it feels like we're just about ready to start getting it on.
KSAN: It's just beginning.
JERRY: Yeah. We've got our - by now musically at any rate we've got the right components and everything happening the way we always hoped it would, and it's just - it looks like, it looks really good.
KSAN: You've been together an awful long time. Ten years now I guess almost -
JERRY: Pretty nearly.
KSAN: Is there any reason why some bands break up and feel they can't develop musically - like the Buffalo Springfield and the Byrds seem to have split apart and reorganised into endless bands and they're still evolving, and the guys who play in those bands - if they wanna develop in some way they feel they have to go away and play with somebody else or - and yet the Dead, and maybe the Rolling Stones are the only other example, are the only band that really seem to enjoy working together.
JERRY: Right. I think that's it, enjoying working together I think must be it. I guess everybody is different in terms of the way they see themselves and everything, you know what I mean? With us it's just - it's just right on.
KSAN: Have you ever come close or talked about splitting up?
JERRY: We've gone through scenes kinda like that, but you know -
KSAN: You've found one way of doing it is each member of the band has gotten involved in their own thing, as well as maintaining the involvement with the band - if the temptation is there to do something different you go and do it and then come back or -
JERRY: Right. Our whole trip is if you're not getting off, you know, doing it, then we have to change the trip so that it leaves space enough for you to do that. And that's like our whole approach.
KSAN: We were talking earlier about being into something one year and some other facet the next. What are you into now?
JERRY: Oh, I can't really - I can't put my finger on it. We're just - we're into just playing more and everybody's writing more. We're just into doing more of everything. We're into all those things, and well, nothing specific.
KSAN: And what's happening with a man who's missed in the San Francisco area - Mr. Owsley who's now doing time. I think the band got down to see him one day?
JERRY: Well right, and we're gonna go down again pretty soon I think. Right now he's like at a minimum security prison. At any rate he'll be out some time soon, this year we hope, September or maybe before that if everything goes good.
KSAN: Coincidentally somebody called me and told me that Owsley had got a band together.
JERRY: Wow, that's news to me. Far out.
KSAN: In the pen?
JERRY: That's entirely possible. There are some friends of his who are good musicians in there with him. Well I mean, you know how it is -
KSAN: Does he have a studio set up?
JERRY: I doubt it, because they don't let you have that much stuff, but he gets to hear music and stuff like that. I know that.
KSAN: Well how was your head when you saw him?
JERRY: Fantastic, man. The guy is a very far out guy. He knows how to keep himself together. /p.26/
KSAN: Does he still have his recording gear stashed away?
JERRY: Yeah. He's got a pretty good scene going, because of - like a co-producer's credit on the Janis Joplin album. It was made from some tapes that he recorded when he was working at -
KSAN: The live album?
JERRY: Yeah.
KSAN: The live tapes? oh far out. So he'll have a little change put away?
JERRY: Right, so - yeah. It'll be cool - I mean, it should be okay for him when he gets out.
KSAN: Nice to be in touch with the outside.
JERRY: Right.
KSAN: But it's too bad he's in there.
JERRY: Terrible.
KSAN: You beat your thing in New Orleans right, is that right?
JERRY: It's sort of dropped into some kind of legal limbo but it - you know, it - it's there.
KSAN: I just wanna play one more record. We got a nice interview. I wish it could have been longer.
JERRY: Well I gotta get going anyway. Thanks a lot for listening to us folks.
KSAN: Did you know it was gonna be this long?
JERRY: No, I never know anything. It's been fun.
KSAN: We're gonna play "Uncle John's Band". Do you have any feeling about -
JERRY: We like it.


If you're a Grateful Dead freak and you're not already weary of reading Jerry Garcia interviews, 'GARCIA: A SIGNPOST TO NEW SPACE' (Straight Arrow Books $3.50, €1.75) is required reading. Chances are you've probably read most of it because about half of the text appeared in 'Rolling Stone' as the only really detailed investigation into the Dead's early history. The remaining portion of the book titled 'A Stoned Sunday Rap' involves the interviewer Charles Reich and Garcia becoming increasingly incoherent as the dreaded dope takes hold, and while it may be amusing to read once it's not nearly as engrossing as the rest of the book despite Garcia's irrepressible wit and Reich's hilarious unintentional portrayal of the hip University professor who's never smoked before in his life. I'd recommend you to sit back in a large cosy arm-chair and read this book with "AMERICAN BEAUTY" coming through on the old headphones.

(from Fat Angel no.9, 1973, p.8-26)

Thanks to runonguinness

1 comment:

  1. Fat Angel was a British music magazine, focusing mainly on American rock, that put out a few intermittent issues in the '70s. The editor at the time was Andy Childs, who would later move on to ZigZag magazine in '74 and write more articles about the Dead there! Fat Angel had already run a piece on the Dead earlier in '72 (issue #7), but I don't think they ever got to their promised "special issue on the Grateful Dead," alas. It makes me wonder what articles were left to "gather dust".... (This issue also had a review of the Europe '72 album, which I'll post later along with Nick Kent's.)

    Fortunately, Fat Angel had a San Francisco connection in the form of intrepid Dead fanatic Kathy, who recorded and transcribed this KSAN broadcast after the Dead's return from Europe.
    Garcia probably did a number of radio appearances that have long been lost and forgotten, but by chance this one was preserved. At this point Garcia wasn't doing much but listening through the Europe '72 tapes picking out songs for the album, so he had plenty of time to chat with the unnamed DJ. The conversation can be somewhat random with the callers' questions, but a lot of ground gets covered. Garcia isn't always forthcoming with every question (in the radio discussion his answers tend to be briefer than in a "regular" interview, and sometimes it's telling what he doesn't say), but he still has plenty to report to the radio audience.

    Kathy did a super job with the lengthy transcription, which seems to be word for word. All I added were some commas, an occasional name correction, and a few links & pics.
    This blog's dedicated to Kathy.