DJ Alex Bennett
with Garcia, Weir, Lesh, Hart, Kreutzmann, Dawson, Cutler, McIntire.
Taped 9/16/70, broadcast 9/26/70.
Taped 9/16/70, broadcast 9/26/70.
[The tape starts with everyone laughing and talking at once, wild chatter.]
DJ: They’re all off-mike, you haven’t got your microphones turned on.
Garcia: We have wonderful mike technique.
Weir: Yeah, we have good mike technique.
DJ: If you’re not picking up Jerry right now…
[Someone buzzes into mike, Weir asks a question.]
Weir: Can you hear me? Am I coming through loud and clear?
Garcia: How about monitors?
Cutler: We can’t hear what we’re saying.
?: Use earphones.
?: Why don’t we get some isolation booths.
?: Get somebody to tune ‘em.
DJ: I bet Jerry’s never had a chance to be the moderator, why don’t you be the moderator, and I’ll just sit back and be the guest?
Weir: Let Marmaduke moderate.
DJ: [That may be the] way to do it. I’ll be the guest and the group can be the moderator.
Lesh: What it’s like working here in New York?
DJ: I work here.
Cutler: What’s it like?
Garcia: What are we doing here?
DJ: I don’t know.
Lesh: We’re interviewing him.
Garcia: Why? Right. [Laughter.]
Lesh: Tell me, how do you like the Big Apple?
DJ: Hello, it’s the Big Apple, I prefer radishes.
Cutler: Good one.
Weir: Next question.
Garcia: Here’s something we can really talk about.
Cutler: Okay - let’s talk about our experience on the flight.
DJ: You were on a plane – [Everyone talks at once.] – [tell us] about your plane flight today.
Garcia: We were on the plane sitting with Huey Newton and David Hilliard.
Weir: And a bunch of Greek would-be patriots.
Garcia: Greek dance class, right.
Weir: They were on their way to Greece, and having a good time.
Lesh: Probably ‘cause when they got to Greece they couldn’t have a good time anymore.
Weir: Yeah, those guys are gonna last about twenty minutes in Greece.
[General crosstalk about the Greeks.]
Weir: They’re just a bunch of straight –
Garcia: - […] the way they’re covered.
Lesh: Well, we won’t tell anybody who they are. They’re just a bunch of Greeks, you know.
Garcia: Well, we were on this flight today with nobody at all.
Weir: They didn’t even have a movie.
Cutler: And it was very interesting.
Garcia: It was good, it was good, you know, it was Huey Newton, and we all flashed, wow, there’s Huey Newton and here’s this long flight, same section and all that – you know, and so we just talked, we just raved for the whole flight.
DJ: How do you fly, tourist or first class?
Garcia: Tourist. Oh, we fly any way they’ll let us on, is what it boils down to.
?: Why don’t you ask him what Huey Newton said?
DJ: What did Huey Newton say?
Garcia: Oh, he said a lot of things, they were all good, they were all good – I mean, I’m not a tape recorder or anything. The Greek people had a tape recorder.
DJ: They had a tape recorder?
Garcia: Yeah, in fact we all recorded a little postscript, you know, they wanted to have something to remember the trip by.
Weir: They got [teary] toward the end of it ‘cause they thought it was one of the greatest times they’d ever had. [Everyone talks at once, ‘it was really great.’]
Garcia: And it was, they were doing the Greek dance up and down the aisle –
Weir: Yeah, everybody’s hands joined -
Garcia: It really was, it was the most incredible, peaceful celebration, good time, you know, six miles in the air, you know.
Lesh: Right, right, just celebrating being there together.
Garcia: There was a lot of weird factions involved – right, you know, a weird enough situation.
Weir: I mean, everybody in our section of the aircraft was having a party, including the stewardesses and everybody.
DJ: I’m getting a funny feeling that anytime you guys fly, anybody in the section that you’re flying in has a party.
Weir: Well, it began to happen that way as often as not these days – like, we have reputations among some of the airlines for having raging pillow fights and stuff like that, and some of the airlines have banned us and stuff like that, but generally we have a good time.
?: It’s all cool, man.
Garcia: Well it’s not fun to have a bad time, you know what I mean.
Weir: Might as well have a good time, ‘cause an airplane flight’s a guaranteed bad time unless you have a good time.
DJ: What would you suggest to people who are flying –
Garcia: Don’t. [Laughter.]
DJ: Thank you, Jerry.
?: Take the train.
DJ: What would – no, they have to fly, right, OK.
All: Why? Why?
DJ: In order to enjoy that flight, we have –
Garcia?: If God wanted us to fly, we’d have wings.
[Some group chatter.]
Weir: Make sure you got one of the good movies.
DJ: Is that it, is that the whole –
?: There are no movies before noon now, America should know this, there are no movies before noon.
DJ: On any flight?
?: On any flight, any airline.
Weir: Hey, I got something we can talk about however.
?: What’s that?
Garcia: Too much, about time.
Weir: Hey, did you see that thing in the newspaper yesterday about Spiro Agnew coming out with his new target being pop musicians and pop movies and –
DJ: The drug culture. Well I ask you, are there –
?: Did you say Spiro Agnew?
?: Let’s talk about dope.
Weir: Oh, I would like to say this live on the air to everybody, Spiro Agnew is a jackass.
?: It’s not live, it’s not live, it’s tape tape tape tape tape – [laughter] – edit edit edit.
?: Now you can all try to guess what the word was that they cut it out.
DJ: We won’t. [Everyone talks at once.]
?: They won’t cut it out?
DJ: I won’t cut it out.
?: Jackass is not a bad word –
?: In fact it’s a very good image –
Weir: Yeah, it’s a particularly descriptive word –
Garcia: I prefer knucklehead, however.
Weir: On the other hand, I really love him – I mean, if the country needs the leadership image of a lovable laughingstock – [Laughter.]
Garcia: Hey, he’s the perfect foil for us freaks, right? Nice and slow, dull-witted – [Laughter.] I mean, you know.
DJ: Well I ask you, I mean he said that there were drug references in songs, now are there?
Weir: Well hey, he’s got the right idea man, but he’s got his facts all wrong.
Garcia: He’s about four or five years late, maybe.
Weir: - […] years and years behind.
Lesh: I mean, how would you be if you’d been programmed by Art Linklater?
DJ: Right. I don’t trust anybody who has Billy Graham as a guru, you know.
Garcia: A couple of musicians that he accused, Paul Kantner and Dave Crosby – Airplane and, you know, Byrds, Crosby Stills & Nash – they, you know, got that – they read that thing, the Spiro Agnew speech, saw it on television, something like that, and they sent him all the new records, you know, all of our new records.
Weir: With all the latest drug references.
Garcia: Right, with the new drug references to kind of bring him up to date with a little note, you know, ‘Good morning Spiro, from Mr and Mrs America.’ [Laughter.]
Weir: […] he was playing one of the Beatles songs, ‘I get high with a little help from my friends, I get by – ’
DJ: Maybe he’s only mad ‘cause he doesn’t have any.
Garcia: Well he doesn’t know what friends are. [Everyone talks at once.]
Weir: […] friends, that means drugs –
?: Friends, aren’t they little red ones or –
Weir: They obviously mean friends like maryjane and benny and speed – and he quoted, that’s an exact quote.
Lesh: Until somebody pointed it out […] -
Weir: I’ve known a whole lot of freaks in my day, and I’ve known a whole lot of people who’ve been using drugs and stuff like that, and I’ve never known anybody that ever interpreted that line in that song –
Garcia: He read it in Reader’s Digest, man.
Weir: He must have, yeah.
Lesh: No, Art Linklater told him.
Garcia: Right, right.
Lesh?: Private soiree.
Weir: “And I’ll tell you this, Spiro, and I want you to repeat it.”
DJ: I read an article on the air – I read a little book or pamphlet on the air, it’s about an 18-page pamphlet, but I felt it was worth reading, as boring as reading can be, that the Birch Society puts out, about musical lyrics being subversive –
Garcia: Oh, that’s good, that’s good.
DJ: And Spiro Agnew got his whole speech from that book.
Garcia: Oh, no doubt, of course, right.
Weir: I prefer the bigshots […] bleeding the –
Garcia: His sources are unimpeachable.
Lesh: [whispers] Teenage gangs rock and rolling across America. [Laughter.]
Weir: Led by a bunch of bigshots in […], the hell, really great – that was in Chicken, a little pamphlet put out by one –
DJ: Where are you guys living now, I heard you were living in Novato?
?: All around Marin County, yeah. Some in Novato, some in Fairfax – all around – Black Point.
DJ: […] I used to live in Marin County too. Why’d you choose Marin County?
Garcia?: Why did you choose New York? [Laughter.]
?: I chose both...
Lesh?: One of them chose you.
?: Marin County’s a little bit of paradise, you know.
?: It is?
Weir: It’s true. […] suburbs, you know.
Garcia: Compared to New York, yes it is.
Lesh: The first day I had my house in Marin County, I came there directly from New York. It was like going from –
?: Straight up and down?
Lesh: To flat.
DJ: You’re from New York?
Lesh: No, I was born in Berkeley.
DJ: But you came from New York and then –
Lesh: Yeah, I went there directly from five weeks on the road, culminating in New York.
Weir: In answer to your question, yes Marilyn, there is a Marin County.
?: What? Get that guy out of here.
?: It’s a beautiful county. [Cross-chatter.]
DJ: I’m trying to figure out some organization for this discussion, I’m about ready to give up. There really isn’t.
?: We just got off a five-hour flight, we had our time senses –
?: We’re pretty scattered. [Crosstalk.]
Garcia: - …gestalt interview.
Lesh: I mean you’re getting an in-depth portrait…
Garcia: Well we’re gonna come up with this radio I Ching –
Lesh: - the shallowest portions of our minds.
Garcia: Right, we’re not gonna come up with a linear, you know, question-answer –
Weir: Yeah, what it’s gonna sound like over the air is of course –
Lesh: Well, if they haven’t got quintaphonic by now…
?: They never will… The backwards people of earth had better come to an understanding with us Martians or… [Laughter, buzzing.]
Weir: They’ll just never understand.
DJ: Why don’t I ask a totally rational question?
Group: Why don’t you? Try it, try it.
DJ: [formally] What – with the new Grateful Dead album – it is so well-produced and so commercial – why all of a sudden have you gone to the more commercial sound?
Lesh: We sold out. [Laughter.]
Garcia: Hey man, I’ll tell you –
?: It’s about time, isn’t it?
Garcia: That’s what we started out to do, but we had been incredibly unsuccessful at doing that for the longest damn [time], and finally we’re good enough to the point where we can get our stuff to be, you know, communicative to a large body. You dig it? I mean, that’s the way it’s really been, although it looks like we’ve gotten simpler and, you know, more direct and stuff like that, that’s what we have, you know? But the thing is, we’ve gone through it from the top down – you know, like starting off with this incredible crystalline baroque Taj Mahal sort of structure, which we’ve hammered and chiseled down to a fine little diamond, after a long period of time we’ve come out with a sound that is, you know, commercial blah blah blah…secondarily commercial so a lot of people can hear it, you know…
Weir: [talking over Garcia] Yeah I mean, a couple of our records have just been hard to hear, there’s too much going on and a lot of it is just a little bit hard to keep track of.
Garcia: And a good lot of it is so weird that the average listener won’t put up with it.
DJ: You tried to put out a free album – didn’t you?
Garcia: We tried to do a lot of things, at one time or another. [Crosstalk.]
DJ: Was that just a dirty rotten rumor or what?
Weir: No, it was an idea that we had –
Lesh: Somebody actually did put out a free record, the Sons of Champlin put out a free record in San Francisco, called “Jesus Is Coming” as a matter of fact.
DJ: But didn’t you want to like have Warner Brothers print up like a couple million of these albums and just pass them out free or –
Lesh: Oh, sure – […]
Weir: Well we called up – [Crosstalk.] – the label and said, “Hey, why don’t you press a whole bunch of albums and send them out,” and the guy said, “You must be kidding.”
Garcia: That’s what it boils down to. I mean, what it comes down to is, we don’t have the apparatus to put out a free album.
Lesh: If we had pressing plants and distribution networks ourselves, we could probably do it.
Garcia: We have access now to the tools where you make a record. Which we didn’t use to have access to.
DJ: Are you happy with [the new album] and the way it is and everything?
Garcia: Workingman’s Dead? That’s not the new album anymore.
DJ: Oh, well that’s not the new album to you, that’s the new album to us.
Garcia: We’re just finishing the other new album.
DJ: We peons who don’t sit in the studio –
Garcia: Workingman’s Dead is a nice lead-in to the new album.
DJ: What’s the new album like?
Garcia: Oh, it’s nice.
DJ: Do you like it?
Garcia: Oh, I like it a lot.
Weir: Fun and games.
Lesh?: I really like it a lot, yeah.
?: It’s Bill!
DJ: Here comes Bill Kreutzmann. I remember Bill ‘cause Bill was at our show.
Bill: Do you remember me?
DJ: I remember you – you’ve grown a beard and a moustache? Pull up a chair somewhere, we’re having a happy fizzies party.
?: Join us.
Garcia: Bill is our resident redneck. […]
Weir: He was here – you remember him, he was talking about guns last year.
Bill?: I remember the […] on a show, and he kept saying all this […] should all get guns and […]
DJ: Why don’t you take a seat over there so you’re on a mike that there aren’t already eight people on.
Garcia: Get next to Weir and get on a mike.
Weir: Get next to Marmaduke –
Bill?: Hey, I’m sorry I couldn’t wait for you, but I thought –
?: No, you were right –
[Tapecut, something’s missing here.]
Garcia: Me and Phil have known each other for a long time, maybe ten years.
Lesh: We were just beatniks on the streets together – [Garcia: Right.] – not doing anything at all, turning on.
Garcia: Hanging out, trying to get high. [pause]
DJ: Um, where do we go from here? [Everyone answers at once.]
Bill?: Did the boys come in earlier?
DJ: The boys?
Lesh?: They haven’t been here, I don’t think.
?: Would anyone care for an M&M?
Group: Yeah…. Fire when ready… They melt in your nose.
[Weir mumbles about moving “closer to the mike…so I can get heard.”]
DJ: Jerry? All you guys?
Group: Huh? Yeah?
DJ: Jerry Garcia? Phil Lesh?
Lesh: Here, present.
DJ: Bill Kreutzmann?
DJ: Pigpen McKernan?
? No – Pigpen, he’s sleeping. Pigpen’s a no-show.
Weir: Pigpen’s a no-account worthless [sleazebag].
?: Bring my microphone back.
DJ: Mick Hart?
Hart: Right here.
DJ: Bob Weir?
Weir: Right here, your honor.
DJ: Now there’s one, I don’t have a name down here.
?: You got two that you’re missing.
?: That’s Messieurs Cutler and McIntire.
DJ: Cutler and McIntire?
?: Yeah, right. That’s our cutthroat management team. [Chatter in background.]
DJ: I heard the other day that Gracie Slick was gonna name her child God and I –
?: With a small g.
?: That was one of the best laughs of the – [Laughter, chatter.]
DJ: I just thought about – when the kid goes to school and they say “Billy? Here. Sam? Here. Janie? Here. God?”
Weir: What do you think? [Laughter.]
DJ: They say, “Hey man, I don’t know, I don’t think we can hold class today, God isn’t here, you know.”
?: God is always here.
Garcia: Yeah, I’m sure Grace thought of all that.
Garcia: I’m sure she thought of it all.
DJ: Yeah, right.
?: You know what the cradle for God is? A rack.
?: Oh, the rack. [Crosstalk.]
?: Gracie had a rack […] unbelievable expense and six months of someone’s time – [?: Can you imagine how unreal it’s going to be?] – and now there’s a rack in the living room of the Airplane mansion in San Francisco, and there’s a seal on it right now, it doubles as a dining-room table and as a crib.
?: It’s unrealistic [for a new] baby.
?: There’s no blood troughs. [Laughter.] I mean, you can’t have a rack like that […] blood troughs. [More cross-chatter and noise, everyone talks at once about the rack.]
Garcia: No nails or anything, you know, it’s really sturdy. Some groupie came by the house, she said, “Ooh, a rack, put me on it,” you know. [Laughter.]
Weir: They put her on it and she […] [Laughter.]
Garcia: But a rack, you know, just the idea, though, more than amazing, and the seal on it is certainly a flash.
DJ: There’s a seal on it?
Garcia: Well, you know, the kind of seal that swims in the ocean.
DJ: There’s a seal on the rack.
Group (all at once): [seal noises] – with little flippers and little leather things pulled out…poor little flippers…got its flippers one night…more than peculiar. [Laughter.]
Garcia: Yeah well, it’s the Airplane, you know. [Laughter.]
?: The RCA dog has an arrow in its head. [Laughter.]
DJ: Is it a picture or a stuffed dog?
?: No, it’s real. [Group chatter.]
Group: His master’s voice, you know, the big dog? …They got one of those [from a] store window…with an arrow in his head… [Everyone talking at once.]
?: They don’t know how it got there, but…
Garcia: …but they disclaim any knowledge…
?: It’s still smiling.
DJ: [formal] What is your home life like?
Weir: Much like this. [Laughter.]
?: It’s not quite like this.
Lesh: There’s usually a fire going somewhere.
[Crosstalk, muttered conversation.]
DJ: I’m just gonna keep asking stereotyped questions, and you can give me non-stereotyped answers.
[Everyone talks at once.]
DJ: I heard a great story about Jerry from Bonnie Bramlett a few weeks ago about a radio station up in Canada that you went to. [Garcia talks in background.] And the guy didn’t know a thing about you, he had never played your records, and by the end of the thing you just told him what he could do with himself.
Garcia: Yeah, right. I told him.
Weir: He didn’t have much left to do with himself.
DJ: So after hearing that story, I’m afraid to ask stereotyped questions.
Garcia: I don’t mind stereotyped questions –
Weir: Your stereotyped questions are about six million levels above that guy’s stereotyped questions. [Laughter.]
Garcia: That guy’s were stereotyped beyond the pale, I mean, they were the funny papers, you know, it was…
Weir: “How’d you guys get your name? How long you been going?” and you know, “What are you doing here?” [More talking in background.]
DJ: Wasn’t your final line, “Just wait til Joplin gets a hold of you?”
Garcia: Yeah. [Laughter.] [She’d eat] him alive.
DJ: Let me say this is WMCA in New York, and we have most of the Grateful Dead and then some with us, and – let’s see, stereotyped question. Gosh, how long have you guys been recording?
Weir: We’ve been recording for three years.
Lesh: You’d never know it, though.
DJ: [formally] How does your mother feel about your long hair?
Weir: My mother thinks it’s okay. She didn’t at first.
Bill?: [We should] tell you about Bobby. His parents asked Phil and Jerry to keep him in school.
Lesh: And we said, “Why sure, Mrs. Weir, we’ll see that Bob goes to school.” [Everyone talks at once.]
?: Just turn him over to us! We’ll keep him in the rock & roll school!
DJ: Your mother thinks you’re at school right now?
Weir: No, but she at one point wanted them to make sure to impress upon me how important it was that I stayed in school.
?: So we told him all about […]
DJ: And she trusts Jerry? [Laughter.]
Weir: Oh, she trusted him implicitly. He told her with a straight face, he said, “Mrs, Weir,” lying through his teeth all the time, he said, “Mrs. Weir, sure, we’ll do anything you say.” [Laughter.] Or words to that effect.
Garcia: Well what can you do, man, you know? Someone’s mother.
Cutler: Wishing to please her at the time.
Garcia: Sure, I didn’t want to upset the poor dear.
Weir: Since then, however, she’s learned to live with it. I like my folks, they like me, it’s really great. We visit each other every now and again, have a good time, laugh, roll around, pass drinks and have a good time. It’s really great. I recommend it.
DJ: [formally] Stereotyped question number two – gee you guys have been together for a long time when a lot of other groups have broken up. How do you manage to keep your group together with the kind of solidarity that you are showing our audience right now?
Weir: You got me.
DJ: Now do you think that can get on the air, Bill? Do you really think that can get on the air?
Bill: [LONG BEEP.]
?: He’s a drummer, a musician.
Bill?: I’m being lit on fire.
Garcia: I think we should amend that to, he’s a drummer, a human.
Bill?: No, definitely not, strike that.
DJ: [formally] There’s a kind of magic you people seem to spread wherever you go. What is that magic?
?: VD. [Laughter.]
?: We didn’t bring our clap carriers, those guys couldn’t […]
?: This guy’s great, fellas – [we] got a live one. [Laughter.]
?: Okay, four?
Garcia: Who knows?
DJ: I’m running out of stereotyped questions.
Garcia: We don’t know anything about any of those things, I mean, you have to remember that we live in a universe that doesn’t have any Grateful Dead in it. We don’t know who the hell we are. […]
Weir: Why don’t you ask questions that personally interest you, man? Because I’ll tell you that if you ask us questions, you’re liable to get reasonable answers at any given point, you know, you’re as likely as not –
Bill?: What do you think it’s all about?
Weir: We already interviewed him, man, you’re late.
Garcia: No, we didn’t interview him very well, though, not in depth.
Weir: Why don’t we ask him some questions.
?: How many watts is your radio station?
Group (all at once): Yeah, what do you think it’s all about? What are we doing here? What’s your image of us?
?: We don’t really know that. [Laughter, chatter.]
?: Is this a stereo radio station, by the way?
?: Too bad.
DJ: What is my concept of the Dead?
Lesh: No, not a concept, man, image.
?: What do you see on the wall when you […] the Dead?
Lesh: - concept is a level up or down, whichever way you want to look at it.
?: Picky, picky, picky.
Garcia: But it’s a different level, for sure.
DJ: What I’m saying is, is that – it’s a kind of – well, to begin, it’s very communal. Am I right or am I wrong?
Garcia: Well –
Lesh: Keep talking.
Bill?: You tell us –
Lesh: We wouldn’t know, man, we wouldn’t know.
DJ: I see it as being communal, I see it as being –
?: On what level? Communal how, living together, or what kind of communal?
DJ: There’s a togetherness that you have with each other but that you also share with everyone else that is around you. I mean, when you go into a theater, there’s a kind of togetherness that the people who are there feel with you, and –
Garcia: We try not to do anything to make ‘em feel anything different than the way they might normally.feel.
DJ: I sort of called you a people’s band at times.
Weir: It’s more or less – let me clarify that – I hate to sound trite, but it’s more or less like we try to have a party every time we do something like that. So that, you know, it’s not just us, it’s everybody having a party, ‘cause that’s my idea of a good time. And, you know, we’re paid to show the people a good time, so we try to show ‘em a good time.
Garcia: The whole thing is what a good time is, is different, and the whole thing of what an entertainer is or what a musician is – all those roles are changing.
All: Always changing.
DJ: Well how do you conceive of yourselves? Or don’t you?
?: Every day we’re a little bit different…
Garcia: I don’t know, I don’t think about it too much.
DJ: Have you ever tried to break it down yourselves, or do you just say the hell with it?
Lesh: How is it possible?
?: - it’s so big, it’s so much […] – [Crosstalk.]
Lesh: Any one person looking at it can only see it from his own viewpoint.
Garcia: Right, none of us can look at it.
?: - as the Grateful Dead, only as individuals.
Cutler: Hey, Jerry – how much when you’re – can I ask him a question?
DJ: Yeah, sure.
Cutler: How much when you’re playing, you know, and you’re really into the music, you know, are you conscious of anything outside of the music, like for example, maybe a flock of 1800 people really getting into it?
Lesh: We’re not really conscious of it.
Garcia: Yeah, you really are, oh sure – [talks over someone] there’s different kinds of levels, depending on whether you’re on or not. If you’re the most on, then you’re conscious of it all. [Cutler: Right.] If you’re less on, you might be like more conscious of the music.
Lesh: Or if you’re not on at all, then you might be conscious of the people watching you.
Garcia: Right, yeah right, it’s various different things – you know, there’s a lot of gradations in there, and it has to do with not being the same all the time.
Cutler: Is there a connection between the level of like communication or recognizing, seeing, you know, feeling an audience, and how high you feel you are when you’re playing? In other words, you know, like, if you can really dig the audience and dig the music, then you’re much higher –
Garcia: Yeah, it has a lot to do whether or not the audience is the sort that gets it on, too, you know what I mean? I mean there’s audiences that you can see and you can have contact with ‘em and still not be getting something happening, you know. [Cutler: Right.] And there’s other times when it’s just already happening and you just walk into it.
Cutler: How much do you feel that the management of a place, you know, controls what kind of an environment you’re playing in, you know, in the sense that how much can the management contribute to it being a really groovy musical evening, and how much – obviously the musician gives the most, you know, but does the management play a big part?
Weir: Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Well, most of the time he plays a part in whether it’s good or bad; for instance, Bill Graham has over the years evolved a style that has – he has a place on either coast where you can be pretty assured of having a good time at.
Garcia: Or hearing good music.
Weir: You can’t go there expecting to have an excellent time because his places have their ups and downs – on the other hand, you have some […] idiot promoters, say in Dayton, Ohio, for instance, who are just radio station guys and they’ve got some backer and they’re gonna do their big thing.
Lesh: Right, and take the money home.
Weir: And take the money home, and you walk into those places and it’s promoted all wrong, the vibes are off, and it’s an idiotic thing to try to do, to try to get that place higher.
Cutler: What kind of a place do people best like playing in? You know, numbers, whatever, you know – the dream place.
?: Outside. Outdoors.
Garcia: I myself go for a couple of different versions – outdoors is where you get the highest, I think, like on a good day – not too many people, you know, not too freaky of a scene, not particularly heavy, but mellow. [Cutler: Mellow, right.] And that’s like a great place to start from, that’s like a perfect place to start from. Another good one that’s a good environment from the aesthetic point of view, in terms of the sound and the quality of the sound, and that sort of thing has to do with being in a hall of reasonable size, with good, you know, excellent acoustics, and a really good sound system.
Weir: And care given to details like the sound system, you know, comfort for the people and stuff like that. [Garcia: Right, and the stage crew and all that.] And low admission price. [Cutler: Yeah right, that old free-for-all…] And care given to all those details –
DJ: Have you had all those things together in one –
Garcia: No, no, we haven’ t, because what we’re talking about is the impossible gig, we’re talking about –
Lesh: What we would put on ourselves.
DJ: Are you more concerned with the musicianship of the music or the vibrations you set up in the audience?
Lesh: They’re one and the same, man.
Garcia: Sure, you can’t separate ‘em, being a musician is kinda like being a yoga, in a way – a reporter’s good too – I mean – in the sense that you keep up the exercise, you know, and your level with the exercise is like gonna be your opening –
Lesh: A spiritual discipline.
Garcia: Right, it s a spiritual discipline, so the more you discipline yourself, the keener your edge.
DJ: What’s the single greatest thrill that you’ve had with an audience, I mean –
Bill: Haight Street was really high.
DJ: What happened?
Bill: We played one day in Haight Street, we got up at around 11:00 and –
DJ: Could you get a little closer to the mike there?
Bill: - decided to play, we went down to Haight Street, and we set up a flatbed truck –
Lesh: […] don’t you remember man, the mayor had closed off Haight Street from all vehicle traffic –
Bill: Oh yeah, closed it off.
Lesh: - for one Sunday before that, and it worked pretty well, it was pretty mellow, so they decided to do it again, and we decided the next time they did it, we were gonna sneak in and play.
Bill: Right, right, so we did, we played –
Lesh: And the cops let us in –
Lesh: There was one motorcycle cop who just let us in, he said, “Go on, [go for it…”]
Bill: And he later lost his job, he later was transferred out –
Phil: Was that [Simon Sunshine]?
Bill?: No no, that wasn’t [Sunshine] – that was another guy. Moustache. Motorcycle […].
Lesh: Anyway, Haight Street is about – it’s a really long street, it comes up one of the main hills of San Francisco and goes all the way to Golden Gate Park, and the part of it that we could call Haight-Ashbury was, what, half a mile or a mile long?
?: It had Straight Theater on it –
?: Nearly a mile
Lesh: And it was a three-lane street – it wasn’t as wide as some of the New York streets, but, you know, it wasn’t as narrow either as some of the cross-streets, right, and it was packed with people all the way down – far as you could see –
?: There’s a picture of it, on Live Dead, there’s a picture of all the […].
Lesh: It was the highest – I think it was the highest performance, or the highest relationship between us and an audience – but it wasn’t anything like an audience, man, it was like an outdoors acid test with more people. [Garcia: Right.] Only I didn’t take any dope that day –
Bill: But we got high.
Lesh: But we got off, oh boy.
Bill: Oh, it was really getting off – everybody was.
Weir: I took lots of dope and got higher. [Laughter.]
Lesh: Everybody just got really high.
Bill?: It was a really magical type of picture that came out of that scene – it had a cross, a giant cross coming down the street –
?: Right, a cross of sunlight – […]
Bill?: - of sunlight, that the camera didn’t see, you know, when he shot it… A very high picture.
Garcia: We’ve had some far-out ones. The Be-In was another one –
Lesh: And after that, though, Haight Street was never again closed to vehicle traffic.
Garcia: Right, because shortly after that started the hassles, the riots –
Bill?: That was the riots, they started breaking the windows two weeks after that.
Weir: In fact, right after that [Haight-Ashbury] crumbled.
Garcia: […] the National Guard. Right.
Lesh: No, but the National Guard was before that, during the riots of, I guess it was ’66.
Garcia: Oh, right, right you are. That was the first big scene. The scene that finally closed it down were those last ones, those final ones –
Lesh: Right, which were not race riots at all – or you know, like triggered off by [race] – which the other earlier ones were.
Garcia: Right, right.
?: In the earlier days –
Lesh: It had been blown before that, even, you know, ‘cause there was mostly dealers and customers there on the street – [Garcia: Right.] – and in the marketplace.
Weir: Interesting to watch –
?: Yeah, you could walk down the street yelling, “Lids, acid, speed…”
Lesh: Whereas in 1966 you could walk down the street and you knew everybody on the street, everybody – [Garcia: Right.] – and everybody knew you, and they were all your friends and there was a beautiful –
Garcia: Then it was a small community. I mean, then it was a community of a manageable size, which we as a band have managed to maintain the part that we had then still more or less as a community, and we still see most of the people that we were seeing then, and you know – [Weir: And a few new faces.] – right. We’ve sort of kept our scene intact, but – you know, I mean, it really isn’t any different now, really – the difference is now locality, and there isn’t that convenience, and there isn’t that place where everybody is.
Lesh: That was sure groovy. [Crosstalk.]
Garcia: When you have a place where everybody is, man, magic things happen all the time, because you have a lot of ‘on’ people, and they’re moving around and steaming together and getting together and carrying out weird –
DJ: You know, I think one of the many – you might disagree with me, one of the downpoints of Haight-Ashbury, I was talking to Gene Schoenfeld about this, in his opinion was the emergence of speed and smack –
Garcia: (sighs) Of course, of course.
DJ: - which like, you know, just completely started rotting the –
Lesh: But speed’s been around for a long time. It was around before acid, as far as I knew. And smack’s always been around.
DJ: Yeah, right. But what I’m saying is –
Lesh: The combination of that with all of those kids coming in there looking for what they didn’t have at home – [Garcia: Right.] – or what they felt was over at the end of the rainbow.
DJ: Where do you guys draw your limit, so far as drugs are concerned?
Lesh: Personally –
DJ: What do you think of speed, smack, and so on?
[Everyone talks at once.]
Garcia: I think everybody can choose their own poison, man, that’s what I think – I think that everybody can choose their own poison, everybody can mess with their heads, can run themselves up walls, can do themselves in any way they want because it’s free, everybody can do that.
DJ: They have the right over their own body.
Garcia: Yeah. Their own mind, their own being, their own soul –
DJ: But if someone were to come to you and say, “Should I try smack or try speed,” what would you say?
Garcia: What would I –
Lesh: What do you need it for? What do you want to use it for? Drugs are tools as well as escapes. [Garcia: Right.]
?: That’s really old-fashioned, [nobody does that anymore], what are you talking about?
?: Yeah – nobody asks.
?: Every kid in the world who’s 12 years old and […] speed is going to take it… [Crosstalk.]
Garcia: That’s the thing, it’s not as though – if there was – There’s no situation in which we would be considered to be experts in this matter, you know, really.
Weir: Yeah, the only real answer to that question is, I guess you gotta find out.
Garcia: Yeah, you find out one way or another, you either trust what people say […] – stuff like “speed kills,” and you hear a lot of stuff like that, you know.
?: Or you don’t trust it –
Garcia: Or you don’t trust it –
?: You can find out, one way or another.
?: It’s a drag being acid babysitters.
Garcia: But you can think about that on a lot of different levels, you know – you [can] consider drugs to be one of the ways for a person to eliminate themselves from endless karmic recycling. Y’know I mean, there’s a lot of ways you can take – a lot of levels you can think about it – you can think about drugs the way you think about automobiles, in the sense that everybody whose survival material, in the sense, like, where it used to be there were a lot of natural deaths, you know, at childbirth and stuff like that, and people were dying a lot; now everybody is kept alive, pretty much, in the United States, so like the automobile’s an out for that, you know, speaking globally, you know, or… For example, that’s a possible way of thinking about it – drugs are that too, maybe, you know. I mean, it’s certainly more than one thing.
Lesh: Evolution’s speaking, in other words.
Garcia: Right, right, on some other level –
DJ: But you would agree with the statement that speed kills?
Garcia: Oh yeah man, sure, it’s obvious.
Lesh: Yeah, so does the automobile, see.
Garcia: So does everything! [Everyone talks at once.] Life kills, right – and those things are truths, you know – I mean, you know, those are true. And all I know about ‘em is that they’re true.
DJ: Larry said to me once in an interview that I did with him that he didn’t see any difference between somebody taking cyanide and killing themself immediately or smoking two packs of cigarettes for twenty years and doing it eventually.
Garcia: Probably not.
Lesh: Well then also that means we permit suicide, right?
Garcia: Sure, but that’s –
DJ: We don’t though – if I remember correctly, in California – I used to live in California, it’s against the law to commit suicide. [Talks over someone.] If you manage to commit suicide, you can get two or three years in jail for it.
?: You mean with a gun, but not with cigarettes. [That’s] not considered suicide, but it is, if you’re knowledgeable about what you’re doing, if you know that the smoke kills you, and you’re taking the smoke in, that’s suicide. [Weir: But that’s a debate still.] And that’s legal in California.
Lesh: And everywhere else in America so far.
Garcia: Yeah, so obviously, suicide, in the broadest, widest, and –
Lesh: You can’t legislate against it.
Garcia: Right, obviously.
Lesh: On any level, period.
Garcia: No, not on any level, so it might as well be an act of free will whether or not you kill yourself – that’s the whole thing for having – why are there any laws – [Lesh says something.] That has to do with preventing injury to one’s body, which is a big Christian trip, you know – don’t hurt your body, whatever you do. Which is probably a good thing, you know, and all that.
Lesh: Well that trip itself probably evolved out of something which was maybe more potent in the earlier days.
Garcia: Undoubtedly – but what it’s turned into is law. [Lesh: Right.] Endless law. [Lesh: Endless.] So it’s endless law having to do with this jurisdiction that really has to do with one’s own consciousness and all that stuff.
Lesh: For instance, you’re also not supposed to hurt your body by indulging in unorthodox sexual positions – for instance, in lots of states. And the poor cops (the dumb guys) have to enforce that stuff.
DJ: Yet they will hurt your body by arresting you and throwing you in jail –
Garcia: Possibly even beating you.
DJ: Yeah – it’s amazing.
Garcia: It’s been known to happen.
[Someone mutters in background, people talk over each other.]
Garcia: I think we can safely say there’s something wrong.
DJ: I’ve heard that, I’ve heard that.
Garcia: Yeah, right.
Lesh: Is anybody doing anything about it?
Garcia: Huey Newton is.
DJ: How are you? [Everyone replies at once.]
Garcia: […We’re who] we are, probably because of it.
Weir: Yeah, we’re busy knowing about it, and that’s, I guess, action itself. Of one sort or another.
?: Power is knowledge.
Cutler: You’re kind of doing something about it in the sense that you often play for people, for example, who don’t have bread.
DJ: What did you just say? [Laughter.] Say it again, I have a reason.
Garcia: He said –
Everyone: Power is knowledge.
Garcia: Do you like that?
DJ: No, I thought he said something else that I’ve attributed to our armies now, if you go into the army you learn carnage knowledge.
Garcia: Carnage knowledge?
Lesh?: Carnage knowledge? Oh, carnage power, right, KP. [Laughter.]
DJ: Only thing is, I think it’s spelled with a C.
?: Which is? Knowledge? [Laughter.]
?: You’re getting confused. Award one baffled point to the west.
Garcia: Where are we?
Weir: Let’s talk about something else.
Lesh: [In the future we can raise] flying saucers.
?: I’ve forgotten what we were talking about.
DJ: You just got through traveling across the country making a film, didn’t you?
Garcia: Oh yeah, Huey Newton is. [?: No.] No, we didn’t do that film.
?: Cultural rip-off.
Garcia: No, it wasn’t really – [Everyone talks at once.]
DJ: The idea was Warner Brothers was making a movie, a caravan going across the country – [Garcia: Something like that, right.] – starring the Grateful Dead.
Garcia: Well, something like that, but the thing was that it was really a whole other bunch of people, who are friends of ours kind of peripherally, from San Francisco, it was their scene and they were putting it together and they were doing it, and it was really silly of us to go. It wasn’t our scene, we didn’t do it, you know.
Weir [talks over Lesh]: Somewhere, involved in it somewhere, like I say, were some money-hungry lawyers that decided, “Well, here’s our chance to take some people for a ride,” and so at the last moment they [thought this was] some chilly contract, and we said, “We can’t accept these, we’ll see you later.”
DJ: Wait a minute, there’s another conversation going on over here, what’s happening at 8:15? Oh, that’s now.
Bill?: We’re gonna get to play tonight – […].
DJ: You’re playing at the Fillmore, but this’ll be on too late to [announce the Fillmore gig] –
Bill?: Oh, no no, we’re just gonna go on a […].
DJ: Oh, I see.
Lesh: It’s like not a show or anything like that.
DJ: Yeah, where are you gonna be appearing after the – let’s see, when’s this gonna be on, the 24th, 25th – this’ll be on the 26th of September; you gonna be around the general area playing at all? [Everyone replies at once.]
McIntire: We’re gonna be – we’re doing the Fillmore East right now, but that’s [too late] – [DJ: That’s a week ago.] We’re gonna do the Capitol Theater in October – November, first week of November, and in October we’re gonna be on the east coast doing schools, a lot of different schools.
McIntire: No, no, no, more like colleges – like Flushing, New York, Patterson, New Jersey, then we go to the midwest for Mankato, Minnesota, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Minnesota, St Louis, Columbus, Ohio, Stony Brook, New York –
?: Move right over Mankato.
DJ: You’re so organized you’re sickening.
McIntire: Well I’ve got my calendar right here. [Crosstalk.]
Garcia: If you want information, we’ve got gobs of it, man, we’ll stock your hour full of information.
DJ: Well why don’t you just start throwing information at –
?: Not me, I’m the minister of anti-information –
?: There’s our anti-information –
Garcia: There you go; so much for information portion of our program, ladies and gentlemen.
McIntire: No, let me say something about Boston, how we’re gonna be in Boston.
?: One thing about Boston –
?: Now you Bostonites –
Weir: Boston’s a good gig, man, they have good […] in Boston.
?: …know about Boston – Boston, come in…
McIntire: We’re gonna be in Boston, folks, in November, on the 20th and somewhere around the next weekend too, Boston U and then someplace –
[Others start singing a Boston song – laughter.]
DJ: We have ten minutes to analyze this hour. Well, what have we accomplished?
[Everyone talks at once, wild chatter.]
?: […] exactly what we said, man!
?: Now people of America, [now that] I have you…
?: […] know that Alex Bennett has long hair?
?: You can say, “Citizens of New York, submit or perish, you are a conquered people.”
?: Hey, we could get a little Orson Welles show here.
?: There is now a super force field over the city of New York, we are closing it in rapidly; within 15 minutes of hearing this program, you will be demolished. Good luck.
?: That was the head mimi speaking.
DJ: Well, I asked for a dearth of information – [laughter] – you’ve got a plethora.
Cutler: Hey, you’ve managed to produce the most boring hour. [Laughter, cross-chatter.]
Lesh: Why would anybody on AM radio listen to an hour of people talking?
[The engineer makes a signal.]
?: […] he’s giving you a hook.
?: Look at those scissors.
?: That’s it – bye – get them bums out of there.
DJ: That’s his sign for, there’s too much crosstalk – I got news for you, there’s been too much crosstalk since we began tonight.
?: You’re having a gestalt […] – you’ll have to listen to this in 16-track.
[Weir starts singing ’A million bottles of beer on the wall.’]
?: Kill him! Kill him!
Weir: And on and on like that.
Garcia: That’s another way to kill an hour.
?: Let’s keep going!
Lesh: No, no… don’t encourage him.
?: Whenever you break a string, that’s a good thing to have. You have a Bob Weir walkie-talkie…
?: Hey, people of New York, have you heard the yellow dog joke?
Lesh: No, no, they’ve all heard it – every one of them has heard it. He’s told it the last four times at the Fillmore.
Cutler: Has to be in.
Weir: Oh, well if I really must… [Laughter.]
DJ: What’s the dumbest question you’ve ever been asked?
Weir: That. [Laughter.]
Garcia: You never remember the dumb ones. You only remember the piercing ones.
Cutler: Can I ask –
DJ: What was the most piercing question?
?: “Aren’t you guys getting a little weird?” [Laughter.]
?: Yeah, that was piercing, all right.
Garcia: We get that question after every album.
Weir: “Hey man, what’s happening?”
Garcia: Yeah, hey man what’s happening.
Weir: That’s a piercing question.
Garcia: That’s a question that happens to you a lot. It’s always cosmic, always topical.
Lesh: Right, ‘cause if you consider, just what is happening?
Garcia: What indeed?
?: If anything.
Garcia: And well we might consider, what is happening? [Laughter.]
Cutler: Why bother?
Weir: What does it all mean? [Laughter.] Where am I, who am I, what am I doing here?
Lesh: […] – here are sixteen of them – all at once. [Laughter.]
Cutler: Okay, we’re gonna draw this program to a proper –
?: Oh no, we still have – [Everyone talks.] – seven minutes.
Cutler: There’s still seven minutes.
DJ: Order! Wait a minute, wait a minute – [Talks over Lesh.] We’ve gotta start sounding like a radio program. Hey, man, I’ve gotta take an upper hand here now, gotta start sounding like a radio program. Okay, you and me can talk. All right, Bill Kreutzmann, when was it you first became a cop? [Laughter.]
Weir: […] I got an idea though, man, I got an idea, why don’t we just dial a number at random and get whoever that person is, and one by one we’ll rave at him.
Garcia: Oh, no no, let’s ask him a question.
Weir: Ask him a question, yeah, but I mean, “This is a radio station, WMCA, and you’ve got the Grateful Dead here – ”
Lesh?: Do you think the country’s going to hell? [Laughter.]
Weir: Why don’t we do that, why don’t we dial a number –
?: Can we pipe the phone in here? You can get the phone on the air –
?: You can do anything in this radio [station] –
DJ: Move that speakerphone over to here.
Garcia: I don’t want it over here, that’s Weir’s idea, let him do it. [Encouragement from all.]
DJ: Oh wait, we can’t do it – I don’t have earphones, we can’t hear the people, let’s not do it.
Garcia: The hell with it. [Everyone talks.] It’s a bad idea, there’s no reason on earth why we should give Bob anybody –
Lesh: - we should bug some poor unfortunate. [Garcia: Right.]
Weir: It was just a merciless little idea I had.
[Everyone talks at once.]
Garcia: Hey guys, okay, let’s start talking about irresponsibility in the media.
Others: Yeah! Go!
Garcia: Well, I’m asking you.
Weir: I mean, what are we doing here?
Garcia: This is my turn to interview.
DJ: What about the irresponsibility in the media?
Cutler: Well, is the media irresponsible?
Garcia: […] have to prank some poor unsuspecting person, for all you know an invalid or shut-in. [Laughter.] And you didn’t even care.
?: You heartless fiend.
Garcia: See? Ha, there’s a point there. Aha, you may deny it now.
?: […] No, it’s documented, man, he can’t deny it.
Garcia: That’s it – the media makes the news, the news creates opinion, man, opinion is based on the media, which is like – [DJ: Nailed to the wall.] – blah blah blah, etcetera etcetera –
DJ: You found me out, Jerry.
Garcia: Well, it’s an […] in a way, you know, and everybody who’s in the media should think about it a little, about what they’re putting out, because you put out negative stuff and you get a negative situation, and that’s true, that’s the thing that happens.
Lesh: Instant karma obtains.
Garcia: Right. Because the world is going very fast today, news is everywhere –
Weir: Hey man, I just wanted to make a little crank call. [Laughter.]
?: Well, use a payphone, would you?
Garcia: I’m sorry Bob, but you must face up to these responsibilities, this is an important matter that we’re discussing.
Cutler: Can I ask a question?
DJ: We have a question here.
Cutler: Yeah. Jerry – could you say, if you were flashing on what you would like to do in the future, you know, of your musical ta-da-ta-da-ta-da, what would it be, what would you like to do, man, what trip would you like to go on musically? [Someone groans.]
Weir: I’d like to play standing on my head.
Garcia: I’d like to play in the Mormon Tabernacle.
Weir: Yeah, that would be a good idea. [Others: Yeah!]
Garcia: And in the Taj Mahal, of course. [Others: Of course, of course!] And the base of the Great Pyramid, of course – and Glastonbury Cathedral –
Lesh: And then the tip of the Great Pyramid!
Garcia: And the tip of the Great Pyramid, of course. I don’t know, I’d like to do anything that they’ll let me do, whoever ‘they’ are.
DJ: I hear the Taj Mahal’s a bad –
Garcia: Whatever ‘let’ means.
?: Musically no, man, musically –
Garcia: There’s a recording by Paul Horn, done in the Taj Mahal.
? Good recording…
DJ: […] on the microphone for?
Garcia: We’re giving them little personalities. [DJ laughs.]
Lesh: Now if we only had some flowers.
Weir: That’s a great idea, Jerry, I think I’ll do it tomorrow.
Garcia: I got it from Phil. [Coughs.]
Lesh?: I’ve had it, you guys…. Decorate these microphones… [Crosstalk.]
DJ: […] gentlemen, the cups, the little lily cups that are used to drink water from – yes, and I’ll do it too – and putting them on the two little nets that are on the side of the microphone – [?: Out of sight.]
Lesh?: It kind of looks like they have earphones on.
Garcia: Hey, did you notice that, there’s the synchronous universe, one two three, they dropped off.
DJ: They did drop off like that –
Garcia: The left one on each one, too.
DJ: In the vernacular, wow, heavy, far out.
Weir: Hey man, blow my mind –
?: I thought that was far-oot. [Everyone repeats word.]
DJ: What is that name?
Others: Far out. Far-oot, far-oot.
?: The kink of Araby.
DJ: Look, we have people listening to us right now, is there anything you would like to share with them?
Garcia: There’s a lot of good records coming out pretty soon, folks.
?: Buy ‘em.
Garcia: And if you can’t buy ‘em, steal ‘em.
?: Bring ‘em home.
Garcia: And if you can’t steal ‘em, listen to ‘em on the radio. And if you can’t hear, [BEEP]. (Laughter.)
Cutler: What good records are coming out?
Garcia: Well, many, many, many good ones –
?: Run down the list?
?: There’s ours.
DJ: Mantovani has a new album coming out next week.
Garcia: Does he, he’s my favorite.
DJ: Are you a Mantovani group – I wonder what a Mantovani groupie looks like?
Cutler: Sixty….high heels… [Others chatter.]
DJ: Last week – last week I – hey – what?
Garcia: He knows it.
Cutler: I’m telling you what Mantovani’s groupies look like, man. [Chatter.]
DJ: Don’t say it again, please.
?: That’s the way it is with these –
?: Let’s do this – Sam was Mantovani’s road manager and just –
Cutler: The peak of my career, you have to say.
Garcia: He used to own the block. [Cutler: Right.]
DJ: Last week here I asked Alice Cooper what the average Alice Cooper groupie was like, and he said, ‘Well, he’s 14.’ [Garcia: That’s good.] That was funny. Um… Well, is there anything you would like to impart to the people before you go, something you would like to say?
Weir: No, nothing. [Others make remarks.]
DJ: Oh, we’ll give you about three more minutes ‘cause I’m sure there are quite a few things that we have to cut this hour. [Crosstalk.]
Lesh: More time for commercials.
DJ: We don’t have any commercials on this show.
?: Why – I’d like to ask a question, why particularly did you want the Grateful Dead on your, uh, your, uh…show?
Garcia: ‘Cause you couldn’t get the Staple Singers.
DJ: ‘Cause I like you.
?: [sarcastic] Oh, amazing!
DJ: And I’ve heard that when you all get into a room together, it’s magic.
All: No, no!
?: That’s just a PR release! [Laughter, all shouting.]
Garcia: PR people, there’s another example of irresponsible media.
Weir: Hey, one time –
DJ: There is a guy at a station called WHUY, in Baltimore, who wishes he had probably never met Jerry Garcia.
DJ: Remember that case –
Garcia: Oh sure, yeah, right.
DJ: - he got sued because you said some four-letter words and –
Garcia: Hey man, it’s not my fault he didn’t edit the tape.
DJ: You know what […] me is that he didn’t, like, say, “Okay, we won’t pay the hundred-dollar fine, we’ll take it to like the Supreme Court and fight it,” and the commission, like Nicholas Johnson, wanted him to fight it. [Garcia: Right.] But they didn’t.
Garcia: But see, the station and the guy whose program it was are two different entities entirely, and the station was not willing to go through with the hassle, while the guy at the program was certainly willing to. In fact, he put on the tape as a kind of a thing, ‘cause normally, his normal trip was to edit out anything that would be, you know, objectionable to somebody or another. But he didn’t do it in this case, only God knows why, I didn’t even say anything on the silly interview –
Weir?: What did you say that they got –
Garcia: Oh, just a lot of [LONG BEEP] – that kind of stuff, you know, just talking.
DJ: And he just didn’t edit ‘em. But it was pre-taped?
Garcia: Yeah, it was pre-taped – I wasn’t even –
?: It was pre-taped, he could’ve edited it.
DJ: [When it’s] pre-taped, you’ve got no excuse –
Garcia: This was in a hotel room, man, this was in a hotel room.
DJ: Well this is in a studio that’s now a hotel room.
Garcia: I know, well, that’s too bad.
DJ: The Gideon bible is over there.
Garcia: Do I have to swear on it before I can say anything else?
Lesh: Where’s the TV?
[Everyone jokes about the Gideon bible.]
DJ: Well with that, I think we shall bring an end to this hour. The guests for the last hour – you can give me a little background music if you want. [Laughter, noises, discordant chanting.] The guests for the last hour, the Grateful Dead. Be with us once again next week right here on Santa Monica pier –
Weir: I say, my dog has no nose!
All: No nose? How does he smell?
Weir: Bloomin’ awful! [Others: Groans, “ta-da.”]
DJ: Today’s the first day of the rest of your life…
This was a tricky transcription! With eight people in the interview, they talk over each other frequently, so there was more chatter going on than I could catch. When two or three people talked at once, usually I could only pick out whoever was loudest on the mikes. Words or phrases I couldn't make out are [...]. As usual this isn't word-perfect - I omitted many repeated words, false starts, interjections & interruptions.ReplyDelete
Also, I'm not familiar enough with the voices of Hart, Kreutzmann, Dawson & McIntire to be able to tell confidently who's speaking, so half of the interviewees are generally identified as ?. This isn't ideal, so improvements would be welcome. But I think individually, none of them say as much as Garcia, Weir, or Lesh - they mostly joke around.
The Dead probably weren't interviewed on AM radio stations very often; but WMCA, formerly a top-40 station, was then switching to an all-talk format. Alex Bennett had a talk show on WMCA, and was known for interviewing rock musicians, radicals, and counterculture types (he mentions some of them in this show). He liked the Dead - apparently some members of the Dead had been on Bennett's show the previous year, and they're quite relaxed with him.
A lot of the conversation sounds pretty stoned - Cutler can barely get his questions out, even Garcia hardly makes sense sometimes, the more philosophical discussions are close to nonsense, and fuzzy hilarity abounds. This can make for exasperating listening (let alone transcribing), and it's not a super-informative interview except in incidentals. I wish Bennett had more questions prepared (his ironic "dumb stereotype questions" are unfortunate, and he's often at a loss how to fill the hour), but then the freeform approach was fitting, and it was clearly a challenge to corral the entire high-spirited group into a question-answer format.
Some of the topics covered: the plane flight with Huey Newton (though the Dead were more struck by the dancing Greeks), Spiro Agnew's anti-rock & drugs comments, the Dead's new "commercial" sound and their inability to put out a free record, some Grace Slick household gossip, a bad radio interview Garcia had done in Canada, Weir's mother, Bennett's image of the Dead as communal & together, Cutler's attempts to ask specific performing-related questions (and what kind of places the Dead most liked to play), the 3/3/68 Haight Street show and the crumbling Haight scene, the Dead's view on drugs and personal freedom, their pulling out of the Medicine Ball Caravan film, their October tour schedule, and the Philadelphia WUHY station that was fined for airing Garcia's obscenities:ReplyDelete
A few other notable tidbits:
- the Dead rhapsodize about the Haight Street show; it clearly was a special memory for them. (At least for Bill & Phil.) They already see the Haight '66 scene as a golden lost age.
- "It's a drag being acid babysitters." Here the Dead come across not so much pro-drugs as pro-freedom and choice: 'find out for yourself.'
- Bill says they're going to play that night, I guess a jam session (or broadcast?) but I couldn't make out the details.
- "Citizens of New York, submit or perish, you are a conquered people." Phil said the same thing to the people of Boise on 9/2/83.
- Garcia wants to play the Great Pyramid, among other places.
- The Dead are quite indulgent of Weir's humor (though Phil does not want to hear the yellow dog joke again, or the "million bottles of beer!"). Garcia's response to the planned prank call is telling - he reluctantly goes along with the idea at first, then calls it a bad idea and turns on the host for "media irresponsibility" because he was going to "prank some poor unsuspecting person, for all you know an invalid or shut-in...and you didn't even care."
- The October tour schedule is mostly set. McIntire mentions a couple shows that were canceled: one in Mankato MN, possibly a second Boston show in November, and a Columbus OH show that was moved to the end of the tour (maybe the venue was changed).