Dorks vs. Jets
July 10, 2012 12:10 AM   Subscribe

David and the Dorks (aka Jerry and the Jets) played one rehearsal, 4 sets at the Matrix nightclub in San Francisco (Dec. 15, 16, 17 and 20, 1970), and one show at Pepperland in San Rafael on Dec. 21. Lineup: David Crosby, Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, and Mickey Hart (or was it Bill Kreutzmann? Or both?). Setlists. Shows. Analysis. Songs inside.

Cowboy Movie
8 Miles High Jam
Motherless Children
Drop Down Mama
Wall Song*
Bird Song
Deep Elem Blues
Alabama Bound * lyrics only
might be Perro Sessions; not clear
posted by msalt (14 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, I've never heard of this. Listening to Bertha, Jerry's voice sounds great.
posted by octothorpe at 4:31 AM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

I never heard of it either. Listening to the first YouTube link now. Classic SF vibe, but a little more gritty (and, in the wider sense of the term, funky) than the Dead of the same era. More focussed. And Garcia has a meatier sound than what we're accustomed to in his playing with the Dead, as well.

Moving on now to Motherless Children. Cool, I dig their take on it. Here's the great Blind Willie Johnson's version. I love Roscoe Holcomb's, too, but can't find it right offhand at YouTube.

Their Eight Miles High definitely needed more than one rehearsal... ill advised of them to perform it!

Too bad there's no recording of Alabama Bound. I love that tune, and would've liked to hear what they did with it. Here's an impromptu version of it (live take, very stripped down) that I posted to Mefi Music a while back.

Thanks for this, msalt.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:08 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, and yes, Garcia's voice sounds, as octothorpe said, great. For Garcia, at least, that qualifies as a "great". He's helped by having Crosby as harmonizing partner, too, though: Crosby, of course, could sing circles around anyone in the Dead.

But also, about that one: is that a rehearsal? They stop cold, after a verse or so, talk amongst themselves a bit, then continue. Maybe a sound check recording?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:15 AM on July 10, 2012

(I'm talking about the Bertha link.)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:16 AM on July 10, 2012

I really enjoyed hearing this, and especially the depth of Garcia's voice. Thanks!!
posted by redheadedstepchild at 7:29 AM on July 10, 2012

Motherless children is lovely. Thank you for this.
posted by alloneword at 9:04 AM on July 10, 2012

But also, about that one: is that a rehearsal?

Yes. There are apparently 3 recordings circulating (see the Shows link, you have to scroll way down.) One is for the rehearsal. One is labeled 12/15/70 but the rehearsal mentions sound problems at an apparent previous performance, so some think the rehearsal and that show must have been 12/16 or 12/17. The third is 12/20. No sign of the Pepperland tape. It's all very fragmentary.
posted by msalt at 9:19 AM on July 10, 2012

Alabama Bound

Apparently the Dead played it at a soundcheck on 28 March 1993 but not in an actual set (aside from David and the Dorks). No recordings around from the soundcheck that I know of, though no doubt some Deadhead somewhere has it.
posted by msalt at 9:30 AM on July 10, 2012

That's also apparently the first known rendition of "Bertha." The Dead wouldn't perform it until February 18, 1971, at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY.
posted by msalt at 11:42 AM on July 10, 2012

To have been a fly on the wall! My contribution to this oeuvre was convincing Crosby -- an effort that took many years of concerted effort (this was written only halfway through!) -- to release "Kids and Dogs," a haunting masterpiece he recorded with Garcia for the "If I Could Only Remember My Name" sessions in 1970. (It sounds a lot better on Crosby's box set "Voyage," which I helped put together, than it does on YouTube.) If you're drooling over these recordings, or over the much circulated "PERRO sessions," but don't own "If I Could Only Remember My Name," you haven't a clue.
posted by digaman at 12:43 PM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

Fun fact! The Vatican listed "If I Could Only Remember My Name" as one of the 10 best rock recordings ever. Lord knows why.

Hey, Digaman, one of the comments in these links says "Still waiting for someone to write the definitive book on the PERRO sessions. Probably Steve Silberman." Just in case you missed that.
posted by msalt at 2:13 PM on July 10, 2012

Garcia's meatier sound

Yes! Sad he dropped it. "Death Don't Have No Mercy" on Live/Dead is another good one.
Or one of my faves, Easy Wind (check this tape around 4:30). For that matter, Bob Weir has a great meatier sound on that song too. I'll never understand why they dropped that song.
posted by msalt at 2:29 PM on July 10, 2012

msalt, heh, thanks, but to paraphrase Lou Reed: "The market for a PERRO book would be fabulous."
posted by digaman at 2:57 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Well, the theory is that e-publishing changes all of that. Doesn't necessarily make it worth your time though, I realize. (Good luck on the neuro project!)
posted by msalt at 12:10 AM on July 11, 2012

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