Sunday, January 27, 2013

Villanova Field House (John Jake Nevin Field House), NE Corner of Ithan Avenue and Lancaster Pike, Villanova, PA

Capacity 1500
Paul Monaghan, who had rendered the elaborate plans for Villanova's physical expansion, was the architect for both Vasey Hall and the Field House.(1)
Officially opened on April 1, 1932 as the Villanova Field House, it was originally built at a cost of $350,000. When it first opened its doors the college’s enrollment was approximately one thousand students.(2) It included a swimming pool.(2)
The most storied player in Villanova history, Paul Arizin, played during this era, 1946-1950.
Coach Al Severance discovered Arizin, already a Villanova student, playing basketball in the Villanova Fieldhouse. Arizin holds the Villanova record for most points in a game (85), and is credited with inventing the jump shot. By the time Arizin was leading the league in scoring as a second-year player with the Philadelphia Warriors in 1952, only a few other players had mastered the early version of Michael Jordan or Sidney Moncrief.

Paul Arizin 1952
The Field House was renamed to honor long-time Wildcat athletic trainer John Jake Nevin on November 22, 1985.
Once the home of both the Wildcat men's and women's basketball teams, the building is currently home to the women's volleyball squad, as well as administrative offices and training facilities. In 1932 a swimming pool was completed.
It has permanent seating for 1,500 in the sideline balconies of the building, and can accommodate more with temporary seating on the floor of the arena.

1/23/72  Howard Wales

1.)^Recognizing Excellence,
2.)^Contosta, David R., and Gallagher, Dennis J., Villanova University, 1842-1992: American--Catholic--Augustinian, pg 108,,+architect&source=bl&ots=cvnVaq8c04&sig=aWA07__yq5iGJhSsKnfrkqcA6sI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Rk3ET8jMK4bhiALxzdmoCA&sqi=2&ved=0CFcQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=villanova%20field%20house%2C%20architect&f=false

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wolfgang's, 901 Columbus Ave., San Francisco, CA

Capacity 600
The 8,000 square ft. building was built in 1923 as a nightclub called Club Lido.
901 through 915 Columbus is the same building.
In the 1940's and 1950's the venue was a dance and jazz club called The Italian Village, subsequently shortened to The Village around 1971, wowed the troops during World War II with big bands and USO shows, continuing at least through to the early 70's.
Chuck Johnston, one of the kids in the original "Our Gang" comedies, bought into the foundering Italian Village on the site in 1953 after a fire had ravaged the premises. He rebuilt and reopened the Village in August 1956 with Johnnie Ray as his attraction.  He didn't have much luck. Abbott and Costello were booked for three weeks, but were bought off after a week. He tried old-timer Sophie Tucker and stripper Lili St. Cyr, but he was gone before a year was up. The club changed hands many times, trying out different recipes, none working. The club hosted weekly twist parties during the dance's craze in the sixties.(5)
The Village is listed as a gay bar in 1972.(4)

November 30, 1972 at The Village.

Dance yer Ass Off Inc. opens at 901 Columbus in 1975.

On Nov. 26, 1978, a cigarette smoldering in a mezzanine lounge ignited a two-alarm fire that gutted the Dance Your Ass Off Inc. disco at 901 Columbus Ave. The fire damage is estimated at $70,000.(2) This club had no cover charge and made a million dollars it's first year of operation.

In the early 1980's the building was the brief base for the relocated Boarding House.

Wolfgang's was opened at 901 Columbus Avenue by Bill Graham in 1983.
David Crosby sat in for three songs with Stephen Stills, photo by Richard D. Price.

It quickly became one of the top rock venues in the city. This 600 seat location was a hit, it's easier to list who did not play here then did. On July 31, 1987, a fire broke out in the hotel above the club, the combination of smoke and water damage closed the doors on a Bay Area institution forever.(2)
March 20, 1986

The Ramones performed here on September 15, 1986.
The place reopened as the "7th Note" jazz and dance club in 1990.

In November 2003, the building became "Cobb's Comedy Club", which was formerly located in Fisherman's Wharf.  Cobb's Comedy Club shared the corner with The Columbus Cafe

Now called The Columbus Cafe.
901 Columbus Cafe, different paint job.
Another paint job.
1972 Merl Saunders [6] (The Village)
10/10/73 Merl Saunders (The Village)[7][8]
WICCA , Paul Pena opened.

 8/28/84 John Kahn (acoustic) Rodney Albin Memorial Benefit

2.)^Perkins, Laura, 2003-11-21,
4.)^Gay Bars of SF,
5.)^Selvin, Joel, San Francisco, the Musical History Tour, pg. 40.
6.)^Arnold, Corry, comments, 2013-01-23,

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dana Morgan's Music Store, 534 Bryant, Palo Alto, CA

Gil Draper asked Dana Morgan Sr. to open a store with him. Dana refused. They had known each other because Dana Sr. had conducted the orchestra that appeared on El Camino Real, with Gil Draper on saxophone.[16]

"My first contact with Dana Morgan Jr. was in 1961, at his dad's cramped, over-packed music/instrument repair shop in downtown Palo Alto CA, That was where my father bought a trumpet for me from a rather 'greaser' looking dude. That store for sure triggered the aspirations of many local youths to peruse a life in 'music'. Over the next few years, Dana's image change from that slick-back ducktail to longer and longer hair. In 1964, he sold me my first electric guitar and later 'loaned' me his Gibson Thunderbird Bass and Atlas amp for my first 'band gig'. I do remember that a LOUD band rehearsed at the smallish shop all the time and 'after-hours' and that his Hawg was in the ally carport always. My friends and I were in and out of the shop all the time; drooling-over guitars, amps and such; watching odd-looking people flowing through the narrow hall leading back to the lesson rooms; always a constant din of wind and string instruments. As the '60's closed and as a few of us turned into some sort of 'hipsters', Dana was less and less a presence at the shop. Into the '70's, some of my friends now 'taught' new youths in the shop's lesson rooms....Dana would be seen now and again on this ever louder Hog on the streets of Palo Alto, Redwood City, La Honda, and the roads up and over to the Coast."(

"Dana Morgan was my next door neighbor in Menlo Park growing up. The front of his house was hung with musical instruments in the same way others would have had hanging plants."[18]

Jerry rehearsed here in

"Garcia bought a banjo from fifteen year old drummer Bill Kreutzmann's father at the Dana Morgan Music Store, and was soon working at the store himself."[7]

Summer 1963

Jerry would hitchhike from Mountain View to work at Dana Morgan's.
"I remember so vividly taking guitar lessons with my friend David Simons at the Dana Morgan Music store in downtown on Ramona in the mid-sixties. Our teacher, Jerry Garcia. He would teach us our lesson for the day then spend a few minutes playing for us. Man he was good."[11]

"I had many talks with Jerry, he was a friend. Our friendship started when I was sixteen and took guitar lessons from a family friend's son, Jerry, at Dana Morgan Music Store, Palo Alto, Ca. Of course, it helped to be a person with the same last name of Garcia, he always referred to me there after as his little "cousin." It was a cultural mixing bowl Palo Alto at the time. My father and uncle Bob played flugel horn with Jerry's dad in the Lyons Club Band."[14]

In the Michael Wanger/Frost Amphitheater 6/8/69 Grateful Dead Documentary release, Bob Weir says: On New Year's Eve in the back of Dana Morgan's Music store, no one was interested in getting guitar lessons. Myself & a friend of mine dropped by and sat and rapped and decided we had enough talent amongst us, or questionable talent amongst us, to start a jug band. The jug band got rolling very shortly thereafter. I of course played hyperventilated jug & washtub bass.
"I was on unemployment by that time.  My job with the magazine had dried up.  I fell into a routine of picking up my bi-weekly unemployment check and drifting down to Morgan’s and playing with Jerry if he wasn’t teaching. He demonstrated some pretty adept finger style playing of his own.  His influences were people like Earl Scruggs (who plays fabulous
guitar as well as his trademark banjo playing).  He played some Kirk McGee rags, he played some Doc Watson finger style. But it wasn’t all showoff.  We usually just played together for the pure joy of playing and swapping licks. Many times there would be other musicians there that would join in and we’d jam."[3]

4/14/64 Unknown Student
Banjo lesson
Jerry plays seven unnamed tunes before Rawhide and Stoney Creek.
"I took five string banjo lessons from Jerry Garcia for $3.00 a half hour at Dana Morgan."(17] This was recorded by the student.

1964 Student Margaret Bell
"Jerry Garcia worked at Dana Morgan's Music Store in the mid-60's...I took lesson's from him, at first...then baby-sat for his daughter, Heather, while the band (the Warlock's) practiced...then started hanging out on Sundays at Dana Morgan's to watch the Warlock's practice...this was when Dana was the bass player. They'd send me for lemonade and donut's to (I want to call it-) Brewer's--- Does anyone remember Brewers? Or am I getting the name wrong?"[10]

"I was a guitar student of Jerry's at Dana Morgan Music Studio at age twelve, (1962) during the summer, right before his band went from the jug band to the Warlocks."[13]

12/31/64 Warlocks
Jerry plays an early 1960's Guild Starfire III guitar.[9]
Jerry Garcia At Dana Morgan Music
When I was about 15 or 16 I lived in Palo Alto. There was a great music store called Dana Morgan Music. I think it was around 1965. (ed. note: It was 1962)
There was a twenty year old guy working there named Jerry Garcia. He used to teach guitar and work at the counter. He had long unruly hair. He wanted a Beatle hairstyle but it was too frizzy. He was definitely a beatnik.We got to be friends. Many days I would go in on a hot afternoon and spend time playing guitar with him and talking about music. We talked about his general idea about creating automatic pop music by having songs with a form but a place within them to have long extended jams. This was not done in popular music at the time so it was a new idea. It was done in jazz and blues but not pop. He would also sit me down and make me play E-D-A over and over until I would get restless and take off. He loved to jam. He was developing his style right in front of me. About that time there was a guy who would just sit on the couch there and play E-D-A all the time. I always thought that they should play together in a group. His name was Bob Weir.[1]

Jerry Cracks The Code
Sunday, December 6th, 2009
Jerry Garcia saw something in the Rolling Stones. He really related to them. You might say he modeled his early style after them. I remember one day I was hanging out at Dana Morgan Music in the back. I knew Dana Morgan and the instrument repair guy Fred. I knew the whole family, really.
Jerry Garcia had a teaching alcove underneath the stairs leading up to a storage room. He was intently studying the guitar solo of  Heart Of Stone when suddenly he shouted “I got it!” to no one in particular. He came running out of the alcove with his Guild guitar in one hand over his head. He he had cracked the code of what Keith Richards was doing in his solo which was a series of run together triplets.
If you listen to Jerry’s early solos with the Grateful Dead you would hear that exact form where he runs together triplets forever!![1]
"And Jerry even had a couple of gigs through Stanford University where it was him and some – Troy Weidenheimer, who already played electric, because electric wasn't out of the question. Not at all. It was to the world, the media and everything. But... rock and roll is where I started in music actually. And Troy Weidenheimer was a working electric guitar player. We used to just admire him and sit there and watch him play. I later played a couple of gigs - I played bass with Troy Weidenheimer. So, there's all this thinking about yeah, go electric. I’m still working with The Pine Valley Boys, but Eric [Thompson] comes by one time to Gilman Street and says, “Hey, they're practicing down at Dana Morgan's Music Store right now.” It was about this time of day [late afternoon]. I said, “Yeah? Let's go over.” So we walked over there, and there they are in the window and you know, and Garcia's going, to Weir, “No, no, no, not like that you goony child!” I thought, oh man.
David Gans: Jerry was being mean to Bob?
Dennis Nelson: We thought that's awful hard to take. I don't know if I could stand that, man.
David Gans: Being yelled at by Jerry?
Dennis Nelson: Because we would be in the same position."[5]

1965 Warlocks
Jerry plays an early 1960's Guild Starfire III guitar.[9]
"Dana supplied all the instruments for the very first configuration of the Warlocks, as they called themselves when they first started. Dana actually attempted to play bass, but was inadequate to the task, and after a couple of gigs in Magoo's Pizza in Menlo Park, they decided that Dana wasn't quite up for it."[8]
"I saw Jerry every Tuesday night at 7:00pm for my guitar lessons at Dana Morgan Music in Palo Alto."[15]

Dana Morgan's Music Store, Palo Alto, CA
1.)^Shapiro, Mike, Jerry Cracks The Code, Beat Blog,
2.)^Troy, Sandy, "Captain Trips," pg. 59-60.
3.)^Van Maastricht, Norm, Reflections On The Garcia, pg. 7.
4.)^Wanger, Mike, Bob Weir's high school classmate.
5.)^Nelson, David, David Gans Interview
6.)^Uncle Buck, comments, 2008-04-08, General Discussion,
7.)^Schenk, David, and Silberman, Steve, Skeleton Key, pg. 101.
8.)^Dawson, John, Brown, Toni, NRPS Interview, Volume #18, Issue #3, June 1991, Relix,
9.)^Wright, Tom, Garcia musical instrument historian, 2014-03-02, email to author.
10.)^Bell, Margaret, comments, 2008-02-17,
11.)^Duncan, Jerry, comments, 2013-09-11, Do You Remember Old Palo Alto,
12.)^Steele, Bill, comments, Do You Remember Old Menlo Park,
13.)^D'Anna, Jo, comments, 2014-05-09,
14.)^Henderson, Judith, 2015-02-09, email to author.
15.)^Takahashi, Ned, 2015-03-06, email to author.
16.)^Draper, Gil, 2015-04-01, telephone interview with author.
17.)^Unknown student.
18.)^Esselstein, Lisa, 2015-06-28, Grateful Dead Tour Veterans 1980's,

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The In Room, 1048 Old County Road, Belmont, CA

The In Room was located on Old County Road "a few lots north of the Belmont Iceland" (815 Old County Road) approximately 1 mile north of Ralston Avenue on the east side of the street (same side as Iceland) according to a long time Belmont resident named Jim who worked there as a bouncer after getting out of the service.
The bar was in business from 1964-66, was wild and closed after local neighbors complained to the police. Currently the 1000 block of Old County Road is just south of Ralston Avenue on the west side or train track side. In 2012 there were apartment complexes there.
According to Jim, the club was previously an up scale restaurant and not affiliated with a hotel which is on the internet. Jim does remember seeing the Warlocks and the Beau Brummels there. (5)
McNally describes "It was a heavy hitting divorcee's pick-up joint, the sort of swinging bar where real-estate salesmen chased stewardesses and single women got plenty of free drinks. Dark, with red and black as the color scheme, it was the kind of place that sold almost nothing but hard liquor.

The Warlocks were booked at the In Room for six weeks, from mid-September until late October of 1965. They played five 50-minute sets a night, five nights a week. 150 sets later, The Warlocks were a real band. The first week they had backed The Coasters for a set each night, but for the balance of the run they covered the gig themselves. They would start out playing almost straight-up, but as they got higher and the night got looser, their playing got more "barbaric." Oddly enough, they started to build their own audience of nascent freaks, who would show up for the later sets, distinctly different than the hard-drinking pick up crowd. One night, for example, a band of Tacoma transplants called The Frantics ended up hanging out there, which is how Moby Grape guitarist Jerry Miller and Jerry Garcia first met.(1)

The In Room was in Belmont, half way between Palo Alto and San Francisco. The Warlocks had played a little further up the El Camino (The Fireside and Big Al's), but the In Room stood for a mid-point. The Warlocks were a real band making real money (if not a lot), but they were still doing their own thing and finding their own audience, so they were half way there.(1)

Jerry performed here
approximately 30 nights over a six week period from
Mid September-late October 1965  The Warlocks
McNally: "By the end of October, it became clear that the In Room could get along without them...and they brought the run to a close. As they packed their gear into the Pontiac on the last night, the manager [told them] 'You guys will never make it. You're too weird.'" 
McNally: "A couple of Family Dog members had gone to the In Room to check out the Warlocks as a possible band for their first show, but they decided the boys didn't have enough original songs to make the cut."
What's interesting is not so much that the boys didn't make the cut, but that the Family Dog folks had heard of them in the first place, in early October '65!(4)

1.)^Arnold, Corry, Lost Live Dead, 2011-09-16,
2.)^jgmf, 2010-05-10, comment, Lost Live Dead
3.)^McNally, Dennis, Long Strange Trip, pg. 88.
4.)^Light Into Ashes, comments, 2011-09-30,
5.)^johnny, comments, Lost Live Dead, 2011-06-03

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Vic Garbarini, Musician, #36, 10/81 Interview

Jerry Garcia:
In Search of the X Factor

MUSICIAN: You guys have probably put out more live albums than
anyone I can think of - two double live releases this summer alone. Is
the mysterious "x factor" that sometimes transforms a Grateful
Dead concert impossible to capture in a studio situation?
GARCIA: I'm not sure if it can or can't be captured in the studio,
though I agree that so far we've failed to capture it there. But we've
never really been set up to perform in the studio. Our idea of
performance is what we do live, and making records is more of a
concession to the realities of the music business than a real
expression of our natural flow. Let's put it this way: if making
records was a thing you did as a hobby, it's possible we might have
turned to it at one point or another. But I really think live music is
where it's at for us.
 MUSICIAN: How about playing live in the studio?
GARCIA: Yeah, we've tried that, but it's difficult to do with the type
of band set-up we have, especially the technical problem of
recording two drummers at once. We can't baffle or isolate  them;
they have to be together, they have to communicate. So live in the
studio the microphone hears them as one big drum set, and that's not
something you can straighten out in the mix.
 MUSICIAN: But isn't there also a psychological reason having to do
with the role of the audience?
 GARClA: Very definitely. But that's something we have to talk
around; we can't talk about it directly. It's not an exact science, it's
more an intuitive thing, and you're right, it does have a lot to do
with interacting with the audience. But we don't manipulate them,
we don't go  out there and try to psyche them out or anything.
It's quite involuntary.
MUSICIAN: Can you feel when its happening?
GARCIA: There are times when both the audience and the band can feel
it happening, and then there are  times when we have to listen to the 
tapes afterwards to confirm our subjective impressions and see what really 
happened. That's the way we've been able to deduce the existence of this "x" 
chemistry. In any case, it doesn't have to do with our will.  .
MUSICIAN: Is there something you can consciously do to facilitate it? 
GARCIA: Well, in a way that's what we're all about: making 
effort to facilitate this phenomenon. But the most we can do is
be there for it to happen. It just isn't anything we can control
on any level we've been able to discover.
MUSICIAN: All right, if it isn't what you do, maybe it's who you
are: the chemistry between you; the internal dynamics of 
band; your value system; what you eat for breakfast . . .    
GARCIA: I'm sure that's a major part of it.          
MUSICIAN: Can you delineate some of the principles that you 
feel help maintain who you are?                
GARCIA: Actually, trying to pinpoint those principles is our 
real work - it's what we're all about. As far as I can tell, they 
have to do with maintaining a moment-to-moment approach
in both a macro- and micro-cosmic sense. It's hard to maintain 
that moment-to-moment freedom in large-scale activities 
because things like booking tours have to be planned well in 
advance. So it's in the smaller increments, the note-to-note 
things, that we get to cop a little freedom. You can see it in our 
songs, where there's an established form and structure, but 
the particulars are left open. In terms of the macrocosm - the 
big picture - we know the tune, but in terms of the note-to- 
note microcosm, we don't know exactly how we'll play on any
given night, what the variations might be. Even simple cowboy
tunes like "Me and My Uncle" and "El Paso" change minutely from
tour to tour. "Friend of the Devil" is another tune that's changed
enormously from its original concept. On _American Beauty_ it
had kind of a bluegrassy feel, and now we do it somewhere
between a ballad and a reggae tune. The song  has a whole
different personality as a result.
MUSICIAN: How much improvisational space is built into the 
longer, more exploratory pieces like "St. Stephen" and "Terrapin
GARCIA An awful depends on the piece. "Terrapin"  has
some sections that are extremely tight, that you could  actually
describe as being arranged; there are specific notes that each
of us have elected to play. The melody, Iyrics, and chord
changes are set, but the specific licks that anyone wants to
play are left open.
MUSICIAN: Would you say that this looseness, this willingness
to stay open and take risks is a crucial factor in creating a 
space for that special energy to enter?
GARCIA: Absolutely! It's even affected the way I write songs. 
In the past, when I had an idea for a song, I also had an idea for 
an arrangement. Since then I've sort of purged myself of that 
habit. There's simply no point in working out all those details, 
because when a song goes into the Dead, it's anybody's       
guess how it'll come out. So why disappoint myself?
MUSICIAN: Who or what gives the Dead its overall direction, then?
GARCIA: It's been some time since any of us have had  specific
directional ideas about the band . . . the Grateful Dead is in its
own hands now; it makes up its own mind, and we give it  its
head and let it go where it wants. We've gotten to be kind of 
confident about it at this point. It's become an evolving process
that unfolds in front of us.   
MUSICIAN: As a band you guys seem to have a dual personality;
on one hand there's the improvisational, exploratory material like
"Anthem" and "Dark Star", while on the  other there's this very
structured, tradition-bound sort  of music. It was generally the
earlier material that  was stretching boundaries, while the albums
from  _Workingman's Dead_ onwards have been more structured.
So I was wondering if that was because the relationship between
artist and audience was falling apart at that point, and that 60s
energy envelope you were tapping into was beginning to disintegrate,
forcing you to resort to simpler, more formalized material that
didn't depend on that energy field?
MUSICIAN: Darn. . . it was such a great little theory. 
GARCIA: Let me straighten that out right now. First of all, you're
right about the audience/artist communication thing  falling apart,
although that didn't happen to us. Let me give you a time frame that
might shed some light on all this: at the time we were recording and
performing the _Live Dead_ material onstage, we were in the studio
recording _Workingman's Dead_.We weren't having much success
getting that experimental  stuff down in the studio, so we thought
we'd strip it down to the bare bones and make a record of very
simple music and see if _that_ worked. Time was another factor.
We'd been spending a long time in the studio with those exploratory
albums, six to eight months apiece, and it was really eating up our
MUSICIAN: You didn't feel any aesthetic conflict?
GARCIA: No, not at all. Because those two poles have always
been part of our musical background. I was a bluegrass banjo
player into that Bakersfield country stuff while Phil was studying
Stockhausen and all those avant-gardists.
MUSICIAN: Is that where the...
GARCIA: . . . prepared piano stuff on "Anthem" comes from? Sure.
MUSICIAN: _Wait a minute, how did you know I was going to
ask that?!_
GARCIA: (Smiles)
MUSICIAN: Okay, never mind, but what happens when you reverse the
procedure and play _Workingman's Dead_ in concert? Can you still
get the same kineticism?
GARCIA: Yes, it turns out we can. For the last year or so we've been
doing some of those tunes, like "Uncle John's Band" and 
"Black Peter," and they fit in well in that they become poles of 
familiarity in a sea of weirdness. It's nice to come into this  homey
space and make a simple statement. It comes off very  beautifully
sometimes. And inevitably it draws some of the  weirdness into it.
What's happening with the Grateful Dead  musically is that these
poles are stretching towards each  other.
MUSICIAN: Which of your albums do you believe come  closest to
capturing the band's essence?
GARCIA: I'd pick the same things that everybody else would:  _Live
Dead_, _Workingman's Dead_, _American Beauty_, _Europe '72_. I'd
take _Terrapin Station_, too, the whole record. I'd also  definitely
recommend the two live sets that just came out.
MUSlClAN: How important is the acoustic approach to the  band?
GARCIA: Not very, because we only do it in special situations.  In
fact, there have only been two periods in our career when  we did
acoustic material: first in the early 70s, and then again  just lately.
MUSlClAN: Why did you come back to it?
GARCIA: It's something that's fun for us because of the  intimacy
involved; it brings us closer together, both physically  and
psychologically, and as a result we play with a lot of sensitivity. I
mean, I can just turn around like this and go (swats imaginary band
member) HEY, WAKE UP! Lotsa' fun...
MUSlClAN: Speaking ot direction: some people are wondering if you've
gone totally off the experimental approach, since  you haven't
released anything in that vein since _Terrapin  Station_ back in '77.
GARCIA: Yeah, but '77 isn't really so long ago in Grateful  Dead
terms, you know. That's just a few records ago! Ideas  around here
take a year or so just to find their way to the  surface, much less
achieve their expression, which can take  three or four years. We're
always looking at the bigger picture.  People have been hollering for
us to bring back "Dark Star"  and stuff like that for some time now,
and we will. But in our  own time.
MUSICIAN:You're not afraid of your old material?
GARCIA: Oh, absolutely not. It's partly that there's a new guy  who
hasn't been through all that with us, and we have to bring  him up
through all those steps slowly. It's not that he's a slow  learner, it's
because we originally spent months and months  rehearsing those
things that were in odd times.
MUSlClAN: Like "The Eleven"?
GARCIA: Right, that was tacked onto the "Dark Star"  sequence. It's
called "The Eleven" because that's the time it's  in. We rehearsed
that for months before we even performed it in public. Luckily
Brent's a much better musician now than we were then, so it
shouldn't take that long. But we've still got to find the rehearsal
time to put those songs together again.
MUSlClAN: Are you ever concerned that any of you will fall  into
cliched patterns, either as individuals or as a group?
GARCIA: No, because the musical personalities of the various
members have been so consistently surprising to me over the years
that I'm still completely unable to predict what they would play in
any given situation. In fact, I'd challenge  anyone to check out any
Grateful Dead album and listen to, say, what Phil plays, and look for
stylistic consistency. You won't find it. These guys are truly original
musical thinkers, especially Phil. Let me give you an example: Phil
played on four songs for a solo album of mine called _Reflections_.
Now, I  write pretty conventionally structured songs, so I asked Phil
to  play basically the same lines on each chorus so I could  anchor it
in the bass. But I didn't really see the beauty of what  he'd done 'til
later when I was running off copies of the tape at fast forward. The
bass was brought up to a nice, skipping tempo, right in that mellow,
mid-range guitar tone, and I was struck by the amazing beauty of his
bass line; there was this wonderful syncopation and beautiful
harmonic ideas that were barely perceptible at regular speed, but
when it's brought up to twice the speed. . . God, it just blew me out.
MUSlClAN: Considering all the improvisations you do, I'm surprised
you don't acknowledge jazz more as an influence on your playing. You
had to be listening to Coltrane, at least.
GARCIA: Oh, definitely Coltrane, for sure. But I never sat down and
stole ideas from him; it was more his sense of flow that I learned
from. That and the way his personality was always right there¿the
presence of the man just comes stomping out of those records. It's
not something I would've  been able to learn through any analytical
approach, it was one  of those things I just had to flash on. I also get
that from Django  Reinhardt's records. You can actually hear him
shift mood...  
MUSICIAN: The humor in his solo on "Somewhere Beyond  the Sea" is
GARCIA: Anger, too. You can hear him get mad and play some nasty,
mean little thing. It's incredible how clearly his personality comes
through. It's one of those things I've always been impressed with in
music. There's no way to steal that, but it's something you can model
your playing on. Not in the sense of copying someone else's
personality, but in the hopes that maybe I could learn how to let my
own personality come through.
MUSlClAN: So it's a question of imitating essence, not form.  
GARCIA: Right. My models for being onstage developed from  being in
the audience, because I've been a music fan longer than I've been a
musician. A very important model for me was  a bluegrass fiddle
player named Scotty Sternman, who was  just a house-a-fire crazed
fiddle player. He was a monster technically, played like the devil.
Anyway, he was a terribly  burnt-out alcohol case by the time I saw
him, but I remember hearing him take a simple fiddle tune and
stretch it into this  incredible 20-minute extravaganza in which you
heard just  _everything_ come out of that fiddle, and I was so moved
emotionally that he became one of my models...l mean, there I  was
standing in that audience with just tears rolling out of my  eyes¿it
was just so amazing. And it was the essence that counted, none of
the rest of it.
MUSlClAN: Looking back, were there any other groups or artists that
were pivotal influences on your concept of the  band?
GARCIA: There have been a couple of different things for a
couple of different people. For myself, I was very, very
impressed by the music of Robbie Robertson and the Band.
There isn't any real textural similarity between what we play;
I just admired their work very much.
MUSICIAN: Is there anybody on the current scene that you
feel a particular kinship or identification with? 
GARCIA: The Who. I think the Who are one of the few truly 
important architects of rock 'n' roll. Pete Townshend may be 
one of rock 'n' roll's rare authentic geniuses. And there's also
the fact that they're among our few surviving contemporaries. . . 
I'm just really glad they exist. 
MUSICIAN: I was talking with Ray Manzarek recently and he
remembered reading Kerouac describe this sax player in a 
bar who had "it" that night, and how badly Ray wanted to get
"it" too. . . whatever the hell it was.
GARCIA: Hey, that same passage was important to us! Very
definitely. Our association with Neil Cassidy was also 
tremendously helpful to us in that way.
MUSICIAN: And of course there was Kesey and the Acid 
Tests. That must also have been about going for the essence 
and not getting stuck in forms ...
GARCIA: Right, because the forms were the first thing to go in 
that situation. You see, the Acid Tests represented the freedom
to go out there and try this stuff and just blow. 
MUSICIAN: Did the acid simply amplify that impulse, or did it
open you to the possibility in the first place? 
GARCIA: Both. The Acid Test opened up possibilities to us 
because there were no strictures. In other words, people
weren't coming there to hear the Gratetul Dead, so we didn't
have the responsibilities to the audience in the normal sense.
Hell, they didn't know what to expect! Sometimes we'd get
onstage and only tune up. Or play about five notes, freak out,
and leave! That happened a couple of times; other times we'd
get hung up and play off in some weird zone.  All these things
were okay, the reality of the situation permitted everything.  
That's something that doesn't happen in regular musical circles - it
took a special situation to turn us on to that level of freedom.
MUSICIAN: Had you experimented with either acid or musical
"weirdness" before?
GARCIA: Yeah, we'd taken acid before, and while we were on
the bar circuit playing seven nights a week, five sets a night.
we'd use that fifth set when there was almost nobody there but
us and the bartenders to get weird. We joined the Acid Tests
partly to escape the rigors of that 45 on, 15 off structure that
the bars laid on us every night.
MUSICIAN: Did you have ideas about what all this might
open you up  to, or was it just "let's step through this doorway"?
GARCIA: Just that: let's step through this doorway. We didn't
have any expectations.
MUSICIAN: Do you feel any ambivalence about it now? Acid
had a down side for some people
GARCIA: No, I loved it. I'd do it again in a second because it
was such a totally positive experience for me, especially when
you consider that we were at the tail end of the beatnik thing, in
which an awful lot of my energy was spent sitting around and
waiting for something to happen. And finally, when something
_did_ happen, boy, I couldn't get _enough_ of it! When we fell in 
with the Acid Test, I was ready to pack up and hit the road. We all
went for it.
MUSICIAN: How did that evolve into the whole Haight-Ashbury scene?
GARCIA: What happened was that the Acid Test fell apart
when acid became illegal, and Kesey had to flee to Mexico.
We ended up down in L.A. hanging out with Owsley in Watts.
then moved back to San Francisco three or four months later.
MUSICIAN:Were psychedelics really the main catalysts in
initiating the Haight scene? 
GARCIA: I think it was a very, very important part of it. Every-
one at that time was looking hard for that special magic thing,
and it was like there were clues everywhere. Everybody I knew
at least had a copy of _The Doors Of Perception_, and wanted to
find out what was behind the veil. 
MUSICIAN: What closed that doorway?
MUSICIAN: Just cops? 
GARCIA: That's it, really, cops. . . It was also that this group
of people who were trying to meet each other finally came
together, shook hands, and split. It was all those kids that read
Kerouac in high school - the ones who were a little weird. The 
Haight-Ashbury was like that at first, and then it became a
magnet for every kid who was dissatisfied: a kind of central 
dream, or someplace to run to. It was a place for seekers, and 
San Francisco always had that tradition anyway. 
MUSICIAN: Sort of a school for consciousness. 
GARCIA: Yes, very much so, and in a good way. It was sweet. 
A special thing. 
MUSICIAN: Sometimes I think that whole scene was a 
chance for our generation to glimpse the goal, and now we've
got to find out how to get back there. 
GARCIA: Right, and many people have gone on to reinforce 
that with their own personal energy. It _is_ possible to pursue that
goal and feed the dog at the same time. It just takes a little 
extra effort. 
MUSICIAN: Can you talk about your relationship with the  Hell's
Angels? I played in a band backed by them in Berkeley  and it was, ambivalent experience.
GARCIA: Well, that's it. It is ambivalent. I've always liked them 
because they don't hide what they are, and I think all they require of
you is honesty - they just require that you don't  bullshit them - and 
if you're out front with them, I think you  don't have anything to worry
     The Angels are very conscious of their roots and history, so  the
fact that we played at Chocolate George's funeral way  back during
the Haight-Ashbury was really significant to them. They didn't have
many friends in those days, and so anybody who would come out for
one of their members was demon strating true friendship. And with
them, that really counts for  something.
MUSICIAN: What do you feel attracted Kesey to them in the first
place? The noble savage concept?
GARCIA: No, I think Ken saw them for what they are: a definite
force of their own which you can't hope to control. When they
come around, it's reality, and you go with it.
MUSICIAN: What about Altamont?
GARCIA: Horrible.
MUSICIAN: It sure was. But having been in the Bay area at the time, I
can understand how you might have thought it a  good idea to
recommend them as security people.
GARCIA: We didn't recommend them!!
MUSICIAN: I thought the Stones people said you suggested it?
GARCIA: Absolutely not!  No, we would never do that. The Angels
were planning on being there, and I guess the Stones crew thought
this might be a good way to deal with that fact.
MUSICIAN: The Angels aside, as soon as you entered that place you
could feel this incredible selfishness - the complete antithesis of
what went on at Monterey and Woodstock.
GARCIA: Yeah, that's what it was: an incredibly selfish scene.  Steve
Gaskin pinned it down best when he said that Altamont was "the
little bit of sadism in your sex life the Rolling Stones had been
singing about all those years, brought to its most ugly, razor-
toothed extreme." Kind of ironic, since they were the ones who
started that "Sympathy For The Devil" stuff.
MUSICIAN: You guys have avoided falling into the darker side of
things. Did that require constant vigilance on your part?
GARCIA: It did for me at any rate. During the psychedelic experience
the fear and awfulness inherent in making a big mistake with that
kind of energy was very apparent to me. For me, psychedelics
represented a series of teaching and cautionary tales, and a lot of
the message was  _"Boy, don't blow this!"_ Back in the Haight there
really were some Charlie Manson characters running around, really
weird people who believed they were Christ risen and whatever, and
who meant in the worst possible way to take the power. Some of
them saw that the Grateful Dead raised energy and they wanted to
control it. But we knew that the only kind of energy management
that counted was the liberating kind - the kind that frees  
people, not constrains them. So we were always determined to avoid those
fascistic, crowd control implications of rock. It's always been a
matter of personal honor to me not to manipulate the crowd.
MUSlClAN: Did that temptation present itself?
GARCIA: Yeah, sometimes we'd discover a little trick that would get
everybody on their feet right away, and we'd say  let's not do that - if
that's going to happen, then let's discover it new every time. Let's
not plan it.
MUSICIAN: Back in those days there was a real bond  between the
audience and musicians. Something changed  around '71, and it
became a spectacle, with the audiences  sucking up your energy and
the band falling into egotistical  superstar routines. It was
entertainment rather than communication, and something special
was lost. Were you aware of this change, or am I crazy?
GARCIA: Yeah, it was obvious, because in spite of all that talk about
community, we knew it couldn't happen among the musicians,
because each wanted to be the best and overshadow the others. A
truly cooperative spirit was not likely to happen.
MUSICIAN: Was it the record companies and the materialistic
orientation they represent that spoiled it?
GARCIA: I don't think so. To me, the record companies have never
been a malicious presence. . . they're more like a mindless
MUSICIAN: I didn't mean that it was intentional on their part. I  just
feel they represent a set of values and a means of organization that
are at odds with the goals of music. They created  an environment in
which the soul of music couldn't survive...  
GARCIA: Yeah, I agree it was the music business and entertainment
as a whole that killed it, because in entertainment there's always
this formula thinking that encourages you to repeat your successes.
All that posturing and stuff is what show business is all about, and
that's what a lot of rock became: show business. It's just human
weakness, and I guess it's perfectly valid for a rock star to get up
there and..  
MUSICIAN: But wasn't what happened in San Francisco a few years
earlier on a much higher plane of experience?  Audience and
performer were meeting and interacting in a  real way...
GARCIA: That's true, but that was something that just happened in
the Bay Area, you know. It never made it to the East Coast, and it
definitely didn't make it to England. And so those people were
coming from a much more rigorous model of what it meant to be a
rock 'n' roll star. That came from their  management and business
levels, as things were lined up for  them in advance and they were
given those models as the way to do things. When we met English
rock stars at the time, it was like meeting birds in gilded cages;
they really wished there was some way of breaking out of what they
were into, but they were trapped.
MUSICIAN: What happened to the energy field you'd established with
your audience when you went to, say, New York or London?
GARCIA: We found that we'd brought it along with us, and the people
who came to see us entered right into it. And that's what's made it
so amazing for us, because our audience, in  terms of genuineness,
has been pretty much the same as it was back in the 60s. And so has
our own experience.
MUSICIAN: Including your new generation of fans?
GARCIA: Sure. The 16-year-olds coming to see us now are no
different than they were in the Haight; they're looking for a  real
experience, not just a show.
MUSICIAN: Going back to the idea that there was an opening  for a
while to a different quality of experience that gave people a taste of
something other, it seeems - and I don't want to  sound mawkish - that
you guys are one of the guardians of that experience. On a good night,
anyway. It's as if you guys serve as a touchstone for some people.
GARCIA: Well, that's the way it's sort of working out, but it isn't 
something we decided or invented. In fact, it's inventing us, in  a
way. We're just agreeing that it should happen, and volunteering for
the part.
MUSICIAN: I wonder how many people really believe this is a bona
fide phenomenon you're talking about, and not just a  purely
subjective impression.
GARCIA: Deadheads already know, but they disqualify themselves
just by being Deadheads. We try to measure it all the  time, but it's
hard to communicate to people. But that's okay,  'cause it probably
isn't everybody's cup ot tea. But it ought to be there for those who
can dig it.
MUSICIAN: This conversation keeps bringing me back to  something I
heard in an interview a few months ago. It was the idea that maybe
music is looking for a musician to play it...  
GARCIA: There's more truth in that than you can know. It just 
chooses its channel and goes through. And you may be able to spoil it
in other situations, but you can't spoil it in the Grateful Dead.
MUSICIAN: But couldn't you destroy that matrix by egotistically
closing yourselves off from each other and the audience.  Lots of
other bands have.
GARCIA: Certainly, but luckily for us the music has always  been the
big thing for the Grateful Dead, and all that other  ego-oriented stuff
is secondary. I mean, we've had our hassles, who doesn't? But all of
those things have only added  more and more into the experience.
Nothing has made it smaller. It's been a fascinating process and...
MUSICIAN: ...a long, strange trip?
GARCIA: (Laughs) Yeah! And it still is. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Stanford Frat Parties, Palo Alto, CA

The actual addresses where these Fraternity parties took place is unknown.

5/61 Robert Hunter(3)
1963 Zodiacs
Jerry and Pigpen were also playing occasionally in an electric blues/rock group called The Zodiacs, fronted by a guitarist named Troy Weidenheimer. "while Jerry was teaching folk guitar, Troy was teaching electric guitar; he was known around town,", say Eric Thompson. Troy had an R+B band  that played Stanford frat parties  and Jerry sometimes played bass in it  and Pigpen was the singer.(1)

Sara Garcia: “For money, Jerry had played in a rock & roll band with Troy Weidenheimer. They played fraternity parties. What they had to put up with was awful.”(5)

Bob Weir: "Garcia had done a few electric gigs with Pig in a band called the Zodiacs before I'd ever known them, and so they had a little experience with R&B."

Garcia later spoke at length about Troy Weidenheimer’s influence on him:
“Troy taught me the principle of ‘hey – stomp your foot and get on it.’ He was a great one for the instant arrangement…fearless for that thing of ‘get your friends and do it,’ and ‘fuck it if it ain’t slick, it’s supposed to be fun.’ He had a wide-open style of playing that was very, very loose; like when we went to play gigs at the Stanford parties, we didn’t have songs or anything, and he would just say ‘play B-flat,’ you know, and I’d play bass, and we’d just play along and he’d jam over the top of it; so a lot of my conceptions of the freedom available to your playing really came from him. He would take chorus after chorus, but he directed the band right in the now… We never rehearsed or anything ever, we would just go to the shows and play – and he was so loose about it, he didn’t care, he just wanted it cookin’ so he could play his solos; and he was just a wonderful, inventive, and fun, good-humored guitar player. One of the first guys I ever heard who exhibited a real sense of humor on the guitar. He was quite accomplished. I mean, in those days he was certainly the hot-rod guitar player of Palo Alto, as far as electric guitar was concerned. While I was a folkie and all that…”(4)

“Jerry would let me know when a playing opportunity was coming up [and] we four would load us and our instruments into that old car and go anywhere we could play… We played a lot of little gigs, usually at no pay. Sometimes it would just be a house party. Sometimes a coffeehouse in San Francisco… We’d just pile in the car, get there, set up and play, get in the car and go home… You just played as much as you could. Sometimes they even fed you. They seldom paid you.”
“Troy Weidenheimer taught guitar over at Swain’s House of Music in Palo Alto. He would get together with us from time to time…(1)

"I never kept track of how many or for who or where they were. We didn’t care. We’d just pile in the car, get there, set up and play, get done, get in the car and go home.  You didn’t think  “archival”.  You just played as much as you could."(2)

1.)^The Zodiacs,
2.)^Van Maastricht, Norm,
3.)^McNally, Dennis, A Long Strange Trip, pg. 33,

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Gracie Allen, her early life

Early life

Gracie Allen was born in San Francisco, California, to George Allen and Molly Darragh, who were of Irish Catholic extraction. She made her first appearance on stage at age three and was given her first chance On Air by Eddie Cantor. She was educated at the Star of the Sea Convent School and during that time became a talented dancer. She soon began performing Irish folk dances with her three sisters, who were billed as "The Four Colleens." In 1909 Allen joined her sister, Bessie, as a vaudeville performer. At a performance in 1922 Allen met George Burns and the two formed a comedy act. The two were married on January 7, 1926, in Cleveland, Ohio. Gracie allen was born with two different color eyes on blue and one green.

Birth date mystery

Depending on the source, Gracie Allen is alleged to have been born on July 26 in 1895, 1896, 1902, or 1906. All public records held by the City and County of San Francisco were destroyed in the earthquake and great fire of April 1906. Her husband, George Burns, also professed not to know exactly how old she was, though it was presumably he who provided the date July 26, 1902, which appears on her death record. Her crypt marker also shows her year of birth as 1902.[4] Among Allen's signature jokes was a dialogue in which Allen would claim that she was born in 1906, her foil would press her for proof or corroborating information, she would say that her birth certificate had been destroyed in the earthquake, her foil would point out that she was born in July but the earthquake was three months earlier in April, and Allen would simply smile and reply "Well, it was an awfully big earthquake." The most reliable information comes from the U.S. Census data collected on June 1, 1900. According to the information in the Census records for the State of California, City and County of San Francisco, enumeration district 38, family 217, page 11-A, one Grace Allen — daughter of George and Maggie Allen, and youngest sister of Bessie, Hazel and Pearl Allen — was born in California in July 1895.[1] In the census taken on April 15, 1910, however, for San Francisco's 39th Assembly District, Enumeration District 216, Page 5A, Grace Allen is listed as being 13 (instead of 14).[5] Since Gracie was alive in June 1900, it is not possible for her to have been born after that date. That leaves 1895 (1900 census) or 1896 (1910 census) as possibilities. It should be further noted, however, that census enumerators received their information by word of mouth, often from third parties, and discrepancies between ages from one decade's census to another were not uncommon in this time period.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The San Francisco Ferry Building Clock

article picture
Repainting the Clock Face in 1938, photos by San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library

Ferry Building Guides were recently treated to a talk by Dorian Clair, a specialist in antique clocks who in 2000 began working on the Ferry Building’s famous timepiece. Today the Ferry Building still boasts its original Special #4 clock made by the Boston clock maker E. Howard in 1898. It is the largest dialed, wind-up, mechanical clock in the world.

Before the ’06 quake, this top-of-the-line clock lost only two seconds a week. Although the clock is now powered by an electric motor installed by Dorian, the old weight and pendulum system is still in place and could be hooked up in a few hours. This system’s one-ton weight, which dropped 48 feet in 8 days when it powered the clock, now rests just above the main entrance. The Standard Clock Company added a slave drive system that ran the clock between 1918 and 1974, when the first electric motor was installed.

Dave Myers 1994 interview

I need to know the location of this interview. Anyone?

The filmboard at one point says D. Myers. Is that the interviewer? 

There's a David Myers, Film Director. Also a Cinematographer, David Myers filmed "Woodstock"and "The Last Waltz".

I am guessing this is 1994.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Melody Lane Music Store, 388 University Avenue, Palo Alto, CA

In September 1950, Robert Martin was named president and general manager of Melody Lane. He was the former record department manager fo the Tupper& Reed and Art Music Company stores in Berkeley and Capitol Records Branch Store Manager in Seattle.(3)
In 1954, it had a row of glass-enclosed phone-booth sized rooms, with a three-speed record player and small bench that would squeeze two if you had a date. The rooms smelled thick with the sweat and stale cigarette smoke of the preceding listeners, who sometimes had tattoos. You could bring in several l.p.’s at a time to sample.(4)

Robert Lee Emerich and his wife, Barbara owned Palo Alto's Melody Lane Music store for several years.(6)

Brent Herhold has had a few laughs during his 21 years as owner of Melody Lane -- the popular sheet music store on Ramona Street in Palo Alto.
There was the time a funeral director's wife requested the song ``He Touched Me'' for a family who wanted her to play it at a service. He gave her the only one he knew -- the Broadway musical tune -- and she played it. It turned out the family was expecting the gospel song ``He Touched Me, ' which referred to touching of a holier kind.
Since the 1960's, it has been a musical crush of library-like stacks of music snug in a stucco and red-tiled roof. A Birge Clark architectural creation.(5)
Melody Lane closed in 2000(2) and the clothing store Cassis moved in. In 2011, Anatolian Art was located here. In 2012 it's called Trina Turk.

1963? (1)

1.)^Celeste, 2007-06-23,
2.)^ Dremann, Sue, What's happening to music stores in Palo Alto, 2005-04-08,
3.)^Billboard, 1950-09-16, pg. 32
4.)^markweiss86, 2012-04-29,
6.)^SF Gate, 2004-01-04,

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Jeremy Alderson Interview, 7/3/89, Hotel Room, Buffalo, NY

I met Jerry Garcia in a hotel room in Buffalo, New York on July 3rd, 1989. Right from the start, he was friendly, warm and open, like we were just a couple of guys chatting over some beers. The room was very plain—no flowers, no paraphernalia, no silver trays with notes from admirers. I can’t say, though, what was in the adjoining room, which I knew was his as well, because at one point the connecting door opened and his girlfriend Menashe walked in. She too, was very friendly, and when I said I would be done soon, she told me not to worry, that she just needed something, but I should stay.
At one point I even mentioned that I had heard he had some Jewish ancestry, but he assured me it wasn’t true. “Well, I’ll skip all the Jewish questions,” I said. “Oh, go ahead,” he chuckled. It was clear that he wanted to talk and maybe that was only partly because of the subject. The rest of it may have been because, well, vegetating in a hotel room before a gig isn’t the most fun. In fact, at one point he just out-and-out said, “Talk as long as you want. I don’t have anything else to do.” It was all very relaxed. I finished up the interview and that was that.
Then about ten years later, I got a call from Dennis McNally, the Dead’s publicist. He was preparing to write A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead and had come across the transcript of the interview that I’d sent him years before. “How did you get this?” he asked. “What do you mean?” I questioned in return. “You’re the one who set it up.” True, he said, but no one else had gotten Jerry to open up that way about his psychedelic experiences, and could he, he wanted to know, use a few quotes in his book. I gave my okay, and then said, “You know, it was funny. It seemed like Jerry wanted me to stay, like he wanted the company, but I was just there as an interviewer, and I couldn’t go beyond my role.” “Tell me about it,” he answered, surprising me, “I felt that way for years.”
In retrospect, I think I know why Jerry was so forthcoming.
When I met him, I was working on a (still unpublished) book about LSD, for which I had already interviewed Albert Hofmann, who discovered it, Timothy Leary, and numerous other people, famous, infamous and unheard of, who had had memorable roles in psychedelic history. I think the project appealed to him, because as he put it, “There are a lot of questions that it would be nice if somebody would address them in a serious way.” I told Jerry a little bit about what I’d learned, the most important point being that the supposed dangers of acid were all hype. He asked me why I was writing about it at all. I told him that LSD had meant a lot to me and I was just being loyal to it. He said he thought that was a good thing. For him, he said, LSD had made it “easier to not fit” into society, and that instead of feeling damaged, as a result, he felt that, “In fact, my life has turned out to be really amazing.” I think Jerry gave me the interview, because, in the end, he was loyal to it, too.

When was the last time you took psychedelics?
Some time in the last year, maybe mushrooms, because I think it’s milder, easier to handle. The nervous system stress is something that a younger body handles better.

You’ve slowed down to what? A couple of times a year?
Yeah, irregularly. It’s not something I plan for. It’s something that I’m likely to do on impulse. But I always keep some psychedelics around. I like to have some DMT. I like DMT ‘cause it takes you a long way and it’s short. It doesn’t take a day and you’re back to reality in like an hour, but in the meantime it sort of blows out the tubes. In terms of the psychedelic requirement—that you experience some kind of supernormal perception of some sort or even imagine that you do, whether it’s in the mind or whatever—if that’s the criterion, then to me there’s times when that’s helpful. It’s like a coffee break almost, you know what I mean?

Does legality make a difference?
To me it does. I don’t think it does in the long run, but it does in the sense of the encroachment of the world at large, the interference of it with the flow of your experience whatever it may be. The modern world I find more frightful, that’s why the high energy mass is a little bit hard to handle, because everything I hear is a siren or a helicopter or something. It’s like immediate paranoia of some sort—sometimes high energy paranoia, full of lots of overlapping horror fantasies and sometimes it’s just interference. And that has to do with something to do with my connotation, that’s my own personal stamp on what the world is like. I don’t feel that it’s a kinder, gentler world.

I’m hoping that people will get a better idea about LSD and psychedelics just from the collective sense of what it really means to people.
For me it was a profoundly life changing experience. It has a lot to do with where I am now and why I’m here and why I do what I do and it all fits in and it was all happening as I was making the decisions to become who I am, you know what I mean? So it all steered me directly into this place.

Were there specific insights? Does it reduce to any kinds of things you can actually talk about?
Well, a couple of like cute one-liners, but basically they don’t translate out here. They have to do with my personality and the voice that’s speaking to me had the same sense of humor. It isn’t like I can’t talk about it. For example, there was one time when I thought that everybody on earth had been evacuated in flying saucers and the only people left were these sort of lifeless automatons that were walking around, and there’s that kind of sound of that hollow mocking laughter, when you realize that you’re the butt of the universe’s big joke. There’s a certain sardonic quality to it that I recognize as my own personality.

You’ve talked about there being a scary side.
For me some of the scary ones were the most memorable. I had one where I thought I died multiple times. It got into this thing of death, kind of the last scene, the last scene of hundreds of lives and thousands of incarnations and insect deaths and these, like, kinds of life where I remember spending some long bout, like eons, as kind of sentient fields of wheat, that kind of stuff. Incredible things and these sort of long, pastoral extraterrestrial kind of cultures, kind of bringing in the sheaves sort of things.

So it was through the dark period and then up again?
Yeah. There was one time that was really memorable, actually it scared me silly but it was also wonderful. One time when I had taken LSD and I think artificial mescaline, and the LSD was “White Lightening” which was incredibly strong and very, very pure. I remember I was lying down on the grass and we were living at the time in a large sort of ranch place in northern California, the band was, and we were all tripping that day, us and a lot of friends. I was lying on the grass and I closed my eyes and I had this sensation of perceiving with my eyes closed—it was as though they were open. I still have this field of vision and the field of vision had a partly visible pattern in it and then I had this thing that outside the field that little thing that you spin around and it takes the little strip of metal off? It was like that and it began stripping around the outside of the field of vision until I had a 360 degree view, and it revealed this pattern and the pattern said “All” in incredible neon. It was, (laughing) it was one of those kinds of experiences. But the fact that these things are happening to you in your own personal language means that they have something to do with whatever it is that’s in your own personal programming. Now a lot of this stuff that I experienced and saw and felt and so forth are things that I don’t think I picked up in this existence. They aren’t directly memories. They aren’t some kind of fusion. They aren’t things I’ve read in books. I don’t know what they were or where they come from. So, there are a lot of questions that would be nice if somebody would address them in a serious way. It’s one of the reasons it’s unfortunate that psychedelics have become confused with drugs.

You have said that the Acid Tests were the best environment for taking acid.
It was for me. A lot of people freaked out though. A lot of people became completely unglued, absolutely. I can’t unqualifiedly say that this was really totally great. My personal experiences were absolutely great.

Why were the acid tests so good for you personally? The freedom?
Yeah, the freedom had a lot to do with it and the synergy—the thing of lots of things happening at once. No specific focus which meant that the kind of pattern beyond randomness, the whole study of chaos has been an interesting kind of affirmation of this sense that when you take away the order something is left. Another level of order comes to the surface. So in that sense the modern study of chaos—fractals and [Benoit] Mandelbrot’s chaos—reflects to me something about the way the Acid Test was when you took the order away from it, the focus away from it and all of the traditional trappings of the division between audience and performer. Say you put a bunch of people in that setting, everything becomes everything, audience and performers are one. The performance and the reality outside the performance are one. And all these things start to happen on other levels and it’s terribly interesting. It’s more than interesting.

What was it like playing the Acid Tests?
It wasn’t one of those things where people paid to come and see us specifically, so we had the option to be able to not play, and there were times when we would play maybe 20 bars and everybody would come unglued and we’d all split. So there were times when we really didn’t want to play, but there were times when we really did want to play, and not only could we play, but since nobody had any expectations about what we were going to play, we could play anything that came into our minds.

Does this have something to do with expectations?
We’ve chosen to go with the thing of we don’t care whether they have expectations or not. We do what we want to do anyway, because what’s in it for us otherwise? We don’t want to be entertainers. We want to play music. That’s what we want to do and we want the music to be interesting for us as performers.

Did you ever have contact with the more scientific side who said you were just wasting your time, destroying yourselves?
People used to say it all the time about the Acid Tests. Too high energy, it’s dangerous, the kind of stodgy, Tim Leary school of the east coast, very cheerful, this is a sacrament.

And what did you say in return?
We said, “Well, who said that we are all doing the same thing? I mean we aren’t researching, we’re partying. We’re having fun.”

A lot of people I’ve interviewed said you get nothing from just partying with LSD.
That was the difference between us and them. For me it was very profound on lots of levels. Going off into the woods and being meditative didn’t cough up anything for me except for how pretty everything is. I got my flashes from seeing other people and interacting with other people, because I was also looking for something in this world not out of it. I was looking for a way to get through this life, not a way to transcend it.

Have your feelings about LSD changed over the years?
They haven’t changed much. My feelings about LSD are mixed. It’s something that I both fear and that I love at the same time. I never take any psychedelic, have a psychedelic experience, without having that feeling of, “I don’t know what’s going to happen.” In that sense, it’s still fundamentally an enigma and a mystery.

What drugs do you do now and how much do you do them including alcohol and nicotine.
I still smoke cigarettes, I don’t drink alcohol very much, once in a while a little bit.

How many cigarettes do you smoke?
I smoke a couple packs a day.

Do you still smoke marijuana?
Once in a while. Not so much as I used to. I sort of stopped. I got into a substance abuse program of my own which went on for quite a long time and then I stopped taking drugs. I quit drugs, I got off them. And I went all the way with drugs. I mean I got into serious hard drugs.

Did you ever put your own physical safety in jeopardy while you were tripping?
Lots of times.

Can you give an example?
Just being without a shirt, that kind of stuff. I mean it’s a thing, you know, what’s your physical safety? Other times I don’t know whether I did or not because I got through it. I went walking in traffic and stuff, but I never thought I was in any kind of danger ‘cause I could see what was coming. I drove a lot of times when I could barely wind my way through the hallucinations. But the fact that I’m here means that I didn’t feel I was risking my life. If I thought I was, I probably wouldn’t have.

Did you ever put anybody else’s physical safety in jeopardy while you were tripping?
I may have, just by being a member of the Grateful Dead. You know, every once in a while there are people who jump off the balcony. They’re leapers and stuff, people who think they can make it happen.

Did you have passengers in your car when you were driving?
I’ve had passengers in the car, but I never once felt that I was risking anybody. I would never risk anybody without risking myself first.

Did you ever make love on acid?
Yeah. It wasn’t for me because one of the things I like about psychedelics was the thing of being liberated from your body. I had a sense of remoteness from my body. Some people, that was their whole trip. But for me it never seemed very appealing. It was too something, too much of the sensorium or something. “Ah, God, it’s too loud,” you know? It wasn’t a very good experience for me.

Should ordinary people be allowed to take LSD?
Why not? I mean, maybe it turns out that there are no such things as ordinary people. Maybe all people are extraordinary.

Did taking LSD change your feelings on death?
Sure. I’m not nearly so afraid of death anymore. I don’t think I was terribly afraid of it before, it never was one of my hang-ups, but I think it really erased anything about fearing it. Psychedelics at their most powerful are scarier than death.

What advice would you give someone contemplating their first trip now?
I’d say go for it. Bring a friend.

Let’s talk about music for a moment. Do you feel some songs are much more psychedelic than others?
No, I don’t. The audience does. There are schools of thought about this, but for me all music is psychedelic. Country and western music is psychedelic. The blues is psychedelic. Everything is psychedelic. All music.

Let’s go back to your first psychedelic experience—peyote. Who gave it to you?
I don’t even remember where I got it from, from a connection that had something to do with the old cabal in Berkeley and there were some people who were members of the Native American church who got it through legitimate channels from the Navahos, Hopis, whatever.

This was before you met Ken Kesey or anything?
Yeah, a long time before that. My friend Bob Hunter had his psychedelics in the federal program at Stanford where Kesey got turned on to it. So I had known about psychedelics and of course I had read The Doors of Perception and saw this show about LSD where they thought at the time that it was producing what they described as a temporary madness, a temporary schizophrenia. I remember being very impressed by this artist who was drawing. He was in this just incredible ecstasy and he was drawing strange things. I thought, “God, I’d love to get some of that,” even when I was a kid.

How was it?
I didn’t get off very good from my first peyote experiences because the taste was so hideously horrible. I got sick as a dog of course and I mean I really wasn’t prepared for it and it wasn’t that great. I mean I had been much weirder before, taking speed for five days and hallucinating madly at the end of it. I already knew that there was something.

Is there any experience that stands out as the highest?
The experience of the dying many deaths. It started to get more and more in kind of a feedback loop, this thing where I was suddenly in the last frames of my life, and then it was like, “Here’s that moment where I die.” I run up the stairs and there’s this demon with a spear who gets me right between the eyes. I run up the stairs there’s a woman with a knife who stabs me in the back. I run up the stairs and there’s this business partner who shoots me. Boom. And it was like playing the last frame of a movie over and over with subtle variations and that branched out into a million deaths of all sorts and descriptions. I don’t think I ever really recovered from it.

Well what does that mean? You mean you were transformed by it?
Yeah, I was a different person then again.

Well what do you make of reality now?
I think it’s mostly a joke pretty much. It’s hard to take it very seriously just because I know that just around the corner, metaphorically speaking, there’s a whole lot more. There’s a whole lot of other stuff. I don’t know what it is or why it’s there or why it’s so highly organized, but I know that this reality is basically tossing cards in a hat. In the face of all of the stuff there is in the mind.

Why shouldn’t LSD be considered as just another drug?
My feeling about it is that all drugs should be legal. I think heroin should be legal. I think that cocaine should be legal. I don’t mean legal exactly. If they want to take the narco dollar out of existence. If they want to make it so that that huge sum of money that people are spending that the economy is going, it’s leaving this country, the way to do it is to make it so that people pay what they’re actually the cost of. I mean, drugs are not expensive.

The thing is that you say it’s different. We all feel it’s different. But what is the difference?
I think the difference is that LSD is not strictly pleasurable. I think that you could take cocaine and pretty much never scare yourself or heroin for that matter. Apart from having an overdose and being uncomfortable for a while—say, for cocaine or dying with heroin—but you certainly die peacefully. LSD can scare you and that’s one of the things that makes it different.

The last thing I want to ask you about, this is sort of an odd question but it’s a simple one: Why are you giving me this interview?
I want to be able to say to people in this time, with the big “Just Say No” where everybody is so roundly against drugs, that, hey, not all drug experiences are negative. I would like for that minority voice to be heard. Some drug experiences are quite positive and can be life-enhancing and can be pleasant and can be not dangerous and don’t necessarily promote criminal activity.

One of the quotes that I read was that you realized there was more than we’d been allowed to believe.

Who allows us?
That’s what I wonder. Who is the guy, where does it say, even in the ten commandments, “Thou shalt not get high. Thou shalt not change your consciousness”? Who says? The way I understood it, it was helpful to change your consciousness sometimes.

Information of getting an audio recording of the complete Garcia interview may be obtained by writing to

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

KPFA Studios, 2207 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA

KPFA Studios
2207 Shattuck Avenue (above Edy's Ice Cream)
Berkeley, California

1946 Lewis Hill moves from Washington DC to the San Francisco Bay Area and begins work toward creating the first listener supported non-commercial radio station in the United States.

1949 KPFA's first-ever broadcast was on April 15, 1949, from the still-under-construction studio atop the 6-storey Kroeber Building at 2050 University Avenue, Berkeley.

1954 An on-the-air discussion of the effects of marijuana results in the California Attorney General impounding the program tape.

1955 Poets Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti bring the Beat Generation to the airwaves. A few years later the FCC questions Pacifica's broadcast of some of their works as "vulgar, obscene and in bad taste.
Live folk music was originally aired from the first KPFA studios atop the Kroeber Building with Barry Olivier, listed in the KPFA Folio as "Folk Music (live)". The show continued with Barry and Helen Olivier thru September 13, 1958; it was first listed in the Folio as "Midnight Special" for the March 8, 1958 show.
The show was first hosted by Gert Chiarito at the new studios at 2207 Shattuck atop the Edy's Ice Cream Building on September 20, 1958, and Gert terminated the show on June 17, 1966. [6]
1960-1963 The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (SISS) investigate Pacifica programming for "subversion." Suspected writers include Bertolt Brecht, Norman Cousins, Carey McWilliams, Dorothy Healey, and W.E.B. DuBois.
1960 The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requests a tape of a Pacifica broadcast of poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti that it found "in bad taste" with "strong implications against religion, government, the president, law-enforcement and racial groups"-- and demands full information on Pacifica finances and governance.

1962 KPFK broadcasts women's history profiles of Dorothy Healey and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn--programs that are later used in SISS Hearings charging Pacifica is communist infiltrated.

1962 WBAI is the first station to publicly broadcast former FBI agent Jack Levine's expose of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI. The program is followed by threats of arrests and bombings, as well as pressure from the FBI, the Justice Department, and major broadcast networks.

1962 The FCC withholds the license renewals of KPFA, KPFB, and KPFK pending its investigation into "communist affiliations." Pacifica was never ultimately cited in any of these or subsequent inquiries. Ironically, the FCC chair later denounces the broadcasting industry for not defending Pacifica during its investigation of the foundation.

1967 Pacifica broadcasts a live interview with Latin American leader Che Guevara months before he is killed in Bolivia.

1970 Federal agents ultimately arrest a Klansman and charge him with plotting to blow up KPFA.

1973 Pacifica provides gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Senate Watergate hearings.

1974 The Symbionese Liberation Army delivers the Patty Hearst tapes to KPFA/Berkeley and KPFK/Los Angeles. KPFK manager Will Lewis is jailed for refusing to turn the tapes over to the FBI.

1990 The KPFA News wins multiple awards for their round-the-clock coverage of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area.

1991 KPFA/Berkeley moves into its newly constructed building on Martin Luther King Blvd. in September.

1999 On July 31, 10,000 Bay Area residents demonstrate in Berkeley, demanding the reopening of KPFA, which had been shut down by Pacifica's then Chair Mary Frances Berry and Executive Director Lynn Chadwick in a dispute over control of the station. Chadwick and Berry relent and KPFA begins broadcasting again in early August.[1]

1961 John "The Cool" Winter
Barbara Meier recalls, "We'd go to parties or drive over to KPFA {in Berkeley}. Little impromptu gigs and parties would turn up."[2]

Winter 1962 Phil Lesh, Gert Charito
They'd seen each other around, but at a party at Pogo's, Lesh remarked, "Jerry, you sing and play good. I work for KPFA, how'd you like to be on the radio?" "Why not, what do we have to do?" "I'll go up to Berkeley and get this tape recorder, and we'll make what amounts to a demo, and I'll play it for Gert [Chiarito, the producer of The Midnight Special folk show]." Gert Chiarito was so impressed that she had Garcia do an entire show solo, a virtually unprecedented event on The Midniight Special. She interviewed him about his music, and then he played. He was just nineteen. She remembered that he played "Long Black Veil", and the "sad distant country" tone of it moved her. She was particularly startled toward the end of the hour to notice his missing finger. "He was playing as though he had everything and a few extras."[2][3]

1963 Ron "Pigpen" McKernan
Pigpen remembered in 1970:
"We played Gert Chiarito's Midnight Special show on KPFA. Me and Jerry did one. I played harmonica and Jerry played guitar."[1]

"Usually it was more of a folk revival kind of thing and I don't think there were really the venues for it. There was no place like the Ash Grove or the Club 47 in Northern California, so we ended up doing things like playing on Gert Chiarito's program on KPFA and things like that — that was about as public as you could get. And then we'd play at these little tourist places in North Beach."[1]

A Black Mountain Boys anecdote from Eric Thompson:
"I remember one time [the Black Mountain Boys] went to a real country dance hall in a place like Richmond [California, near Berkeley] and we played some tunes and these guys were very nice to us. They said 'That's a nice bluegrass sound.' They played Ernest Tubbs stuff in those places. You came in and you stamped your hand with a blue fluorescent stamp, and there was a bar in the back and there were fights. It was sawdust on a big wood floor. But we didn't make a lot of contact with that world. That was one of the few times we did. Usually it was more of a folk revival kind of thing and I don't think there were really the venues for it. There was no place like the Ash Grove or the Club 47 in Northern California, so we ended up doing things like playing on Gert Chiarito's program on KPFA and things like that — that was about as public as you could get. And then we'd play at these little tourist places in North Beach."(5)

8/23/70 Grateful Dead
KCBS TV, KSAN FM broadcast on 8/30/70.
"There were only two Calebration broadcasts. The first one comprised sets by Boz Scaggs and Linda Ronstadt, and the second was the Dead, followed by R&B singer Swamp Dogg, and then by Quicksilver - each played about 30 minutes. All were clearly recorded in the same studio, but it was NOT KQED. I believe the show was broadcast on KCBS, with the FM feeds at KSAN and another commercial station."[4]

Jerry was interviewed here on
Grateful Dead Hour #68

8/13/90 Jerry, Brent Mydland interview
Grateful Dead Hour #99

7/29/91 and Phil Lesh, David Grisman interview
Grateful Dead Hour #149

10/21/91 interview on songwriting
Grateful Dead Hour #161

8/30/93 and Bob Weir interview
Grateful Dead Hour #258

12/6/93 Ken Nordine rehearsals
Grateful Dead Hour #272

4/28/81 Jerry interview
Grateful Dead Hour #414 aired 8/26/96

4/28/81 Jerry interview
Grateful Dead Hour #415, aired 9/2/96,

Grateful Dead Hour #415, aired 9/2/96,
There were no performances on these dates.

12/90  with David Grisman interview
Grateful Dead Hour #149
They're from Rex Radio, Phil Lesh's show.  He and Gary Lambert are the hosts.  Grisman received the 1990 Ralph J. Gleason Award and so he was featured in the 12/90 program. Jerry came along for the interview, so it's mostly Dawg and Jerry. Wonderful interview!

KPFA Studios, Berkeley, CA
1.)^McKernan, Ron "Pigpen", 1970,,
2.)^Jackson, Blair, Garcia: An American Life, pg.41, 59.
3.)^Grateful Dead FM Broadcasts, 2011-02-25,
4.)^crypdev, comments, 2013-09-06,
6.)^Mandel, Dave, former KPFA radio programer/DJ summer 1961, comments, 2014-10-21,