Anybody else think this sounds like a load of nonsense?

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Anybody else think this sounds like a load of nonsense?

Postby hogan » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:24 am

I wasn't there, and I do conceed anything is possible but my gut says "not bloody likely". Read Augy's review of this show. He gets into some rather farfetched ideas concerning JG's gear.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1977-0 ... 283.flac16
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Re: Anybody else think this sounds like a load of nonsense?

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:24 am

Interesting stuff. copying and pasting for convenience:

Reviewer: Augy - - November 25, 2008
Subject: Only show with no drums and Jerry into a Moog I ever saw!
Also, this is the only time I ever saw Phil do a distinct bass solo; during "Eyes of the World", of course. Those of you who saw them in '73-'74 may have, but after this, he pretty much stopped that. This is my third show, and believe it or not I actually think this was the weakest of my amazing first four, i.e. that's how great the other three were in my opinion! The best of these I think was the fourth one, namely at The Forum 1977/6/4 i.e. just prior to the more well known Winterland shows in June. The other two being the second of each of following the pairs: with "The Who" at Oakland Stadium 1976/10/10 and at L.A.'s Shrine Auditorium 1976/10/15!
The Swing was a strangely built building for a concert! (By the way it no longer exists because apparently a plane crashed into it after E.L.P., being the last band to play there shortly after Grateful Dead played there in Dec. '80; (which was also a great show, and the only one I ever passed out at, but that's another story)! (What the hell does E.L.P. have to do with it, nothing other than the coincidence which I explain below). The following if you'll bare with me, is some historical context of this show and as you know, it started a new era for the band, in addition to simply the new compositions that is, also new devices facilitating the new compositions etc.
Starting with what is simply weird about the Swing but of lesser significance, since it's only noticeably on the audience tape; I got from a fellow who recorded from "a" balcony. Why I saw "a" balcony is because, there were only balconies on either side, yet not in the back like most rectangular buildings, such as, for example, Winterland or the Oakland Aud. (Kiaser). Those had their long axis running to and from the stage.
The Swing on the other hand, was at a 90 degree angle to more common configuration, i.e. it's width was much longer than it's length from the stage towards the audience. Hence, the audience tape I had before the "Betty Board" came out, sounded very lopsided! Despite this, it had an uncut "Franklin's Tower" unlike the first board I got! However, unfortunately the fellow from whom I got my first board copy, was unwilling to let me do the dub it myself, yet he didn't pay enough attention to the contents of recordings were prior to copying it. So consequentially, I lost the intact audience "Franklin's Tower" having been recorded over with the board which was cut in "Franklin's Tower". So, I was relieved that it's been patched here!
What's more significant but not readily apparent, is the mention of "technical difficulties" by Bob Weir early in the first set; (not that equipment delays were very unusual but this one was unique). That is, here Steve Parish was rigging Garcia into a Moog synthesizer which Keith played ever so briefly!
One gets the distinct impression that Keith apparently disliked electric keyboards. This is understandable given how primitive synthesizers were at this early time! Moreover Billy K. was interviewed in B.A.M. magazine around the time of Brent's first show, stating there was room for improvement in the technology which came since obviously they used them extensively later on. How much did this have to do or not with Keith's eventual exit from the band? I did hear something when Brent came in the band, that they were looking for "more sustain", as can be produced with electric keyboards.
Other evidence for this is a show a Texas later this same year, but I wasn't in attendance so I can't say for sure yet Keith seems to have left the stage after very briefly playing an "electric" during the beginning of "Playin' in the Band"? (Perhaps it's not appropriate to characterize Keith in this way since at least the following year he played for example, at the outdoor show at my alma mater when I was a freshman, at U.C. Santa Barbara, an electric "Fender Rhodes" piano), as well as an organ on a few tunes during his first rehearsals in '71.
So, back to Garcia, who just started using the "Unity Gain" effects loop into his volume knob on his guitar five months prior to this, at the show the day before my first show (i.e. the 1st one with "The Who" at Oakland Stadium" 1976/10/9). Here at the Swing was the first use of the new "Mutron" envelope filter, (synthesizer-like device), which still at this early time apparently had to be piped through a Moog synthesizer, configured as such for this debut of "Estimated Prophet" yet it was odd to see Jerry plugged into Keith!
Now, I'm not saying Dead Heads in general feel as my personal friends at the time did who weren't too enthused by bands such as E.L.P. which among others used synthesizers extensively, however I was more open minded. I remember pointing out to my friend as Steve Parish was plugging Jerry into the Moog since we were up in the front of this $7.50 general admission concert.
The state of the art at the time was that synthesizers could only play a single note at a time i.e. monophonic, and only Keith Emerson at the time had a keyboard capable of polphony until later. Another coincidence, is that the only other famous professional guitarist that I ever saw play live using a "Travis Bean" guitar besides Jerry Garcia was Greg Lake, (Jerry's had a sticker on it saying "The enemy is listening"); not that that has anything to do with it but it is still true!
Some of you may remember around '89ish when briefly, (which I only saw once at The Forum in Inglewood, Ca.), Parish bring out a gray Stratocaster with a big box, (Roland Synthesizer?), attached to the bridge for Jerry to noodle on during the "Improvisation" section; (I refuse to call it "Space", since there is no air in outer space, hence no sound). I knew folks who felt this is one of the best early renditions of "Slipknot!" I myself am kind of bias, since it was the only one I saw before they brought it back out at Tempe, Ariz. in '83!

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Re: Anybody else think this sounds like a load of nonsense?

Postby WilliamC » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:57 am

Can't listen to the show (being at work) but a with little googling....

His notion about the Mutron III is, as you say, "not bloody likely". The Mutron III had been around 5 years or so by 1977 and appeared on Stevie Wonder's Higher Ground in 1973. In addition, his idea of "state of the art" in synthesizers, is, well, under informed. Arp, Oberheim, Yamaha, Moog, Korg and no doubt others all had commercial polyphonic synths by 1976 at the latest. And he seems to conflate Bobby's desire for "sustain" with Jerry's desire for "color" in the music.

BUT - In the late 70's Musitronics was developing a gadget that worked like a Moog type analog synth but controlled by a guitar. JG might have had a prototype of some sort, a specialized gadget built specifically to drive the Moog, or even a Mutron III modified to provide control voltages. Roland introduced the GS500 in 1977 (google for pics - it's amazing) and Arp the Avatar so this sort of thing was definitely "in the air".

Musitronics history here: http://www.mu-tron.org/

Be sure to follow all the links.
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Re: Anybody else think this sounds like a load of nonsense?

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:19 am

There was a plug in synth that Jerry used on Terrapin Station .... I forget what it is/was called ...
Around the same time period .....
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Re: Anybody else think this sounds like a load of nonsense?

Postby tigerstrat » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:32 am

I think that this reviewer is not completely off his rocker, but did misinterpret what he saw being done onstage. I think he saw Keith's Mini-Moog (or whatever it was) being worked on, but that it had nothing to do with Jerry's rig. On Estimated, it does sound like Keith is playing a funky-clunky synth of some sort, with a radical high-end sweep, but Jerry OTOH has a fairly straight-forward and familiar Bean> low-pass Mutron sound.
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Re: Anybody else think this sounds like a load of nonsense?

Postby mttourpro » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:45 am

WilliamC wrote:
In addition, his idea of "state of the art" in synthesizers, is, well, under informed. Arp, Oberheim, Yamaha, Moog, Korg and no doubt others all had commercial polyphonic synths by 1976 at the latest.


He's not completely without merit....

http://www.moogprodigy.com/Synth%20Timeline


1975-1979 - OBERHEIM Two Voice. This was one of the first polyphonic synthesizers however it only produced two notes at a time. It used the famous SEM modules to create the two voices. Basically this just allowed them to link to monophonic synthesizers together. This keyboard however was quickly outdated as it was not a very sophisticated polyphonic synthesizer as eight voices would soon become the standard.

1976-79 - YAMAHA CS-80 - Yamaha was late in the game however they quickly caught up and produced this revolutionary keyboard that was polyphonic up to eight notes which was incredible for the time. Unfortunately however, the Prophet five made by sequential circuits was lighter and cheaper and did much better in the marketplace. It was one of the rare times in history when a small American company out did a huge Japanese corporation.

1978-84 - Sequential Circuits Prophet 5. This was a very important synthesizer beyond compare. It was surely the first practical programmable polyphonic synthesizer. It was the defining keyboard of the early 1980s. The company has recently resurfaced and are producing new models. It's always nice to see the Pioneers return.

FWIW, I bought an ARP Odyssey (used) in 1979 for $400 which was a lot of money back then. ARP never made a polyphonic to my knowledge. The first affordable polyphonic synths (Juno-800 I believe) came out in about 1983 and they were about $800---total garbage by today's standards.
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Re: Anybody else think this sounds like a load of nonsense?

Postby WilliamC » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:48 am

Yeah... I probably got carried away there. :oops: Not as many as I thought in 1977. Here's the polyphonics I can document online for 1977 or before:

Polymoog, 1975: http://www.synthmuseum.com/moog/moopoly01.html
Oberheim 4/8 Voice, 1974: http://www.synthmuseum.com/oberheim/obe8voice01.html
Korg PE 1000 (Univox K4), 1976: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/Oct02/a ... rg40th.asp
Yamaha GX-1, 1973: http://www.synthmuseum.com/yamaha/yamgx101.html (and of course the CS-80 in 1977)
Arp String Ensemble, 1974, Omni 1975: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARP_Instru ... highlights
Arp Omni 2, 1977: (Also at synthmuseum but I've already got 5 URLs)
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Re: Anybody else think this sounds like a load of nonsense?

Postby tigerstrat » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:53 pm

WilliamC wrote:Arp String Ensemble


That's it! In the 7/12/76 soundcheck pics (GDG, p.176) , this keyboard is seen sitting atop Keith's Rhodes:
Image

ARP(by Solina) String-Ensemble into a Mutron III on hi-pass setting is my guess.
Last edited by tigerstrat on Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Anybody else think this sounds like a load of nonsense?

Postby WilliamC » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:03 pm

Behold! The power of the interwebs! :lol:
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Re: Anybody else think this sounds like a load of nonsense?

Postby waldo041 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:47 pm

What's more significant but not readily apparent, is the mention of "technical difficulties" by Bob Weir early in the first set; (not that equipment delays were very unusual but this one was unique). That is, here Steve Parish was rigging Garcia into a Moog synthesizer which Keith played ever so briefly!
One gets the distinct impression that Keith apparently disliked electric keyboards. This is understandable given how primitive synthesizers were at this early time! Moreover Billy K. was interviewed in B.A.M. magazine around the time of Brent's first show, stating there was room for improvement in the technology which came since obviously they used them extensively later on. How much did this have to do or not with Keith's eventual exit from the band? I did hear something when Brent came in the band, that they were looking for "more sustain", as can be produced with electric keyboards.
Other evidence for this is a show a Texas later this same year, but I wasn't in attendance so I can't say for sure yet Keith seems to have left the stage after very briefly playing an "electric" during the beginning of "Playin' in the Band"? (Perhaps it's not appropriate to characterize Keith in this way since at least the following year he played for example, at the outdoor show at my alma mater when I was a freshman, at U.C. Santa Barbara, an electric "Fender Rhodes" piano), as well as an organ on a few tunes during his first rehearsals in '71.
So, back to Garcia, who just started using the "Unity Gain" effects loop into his volume knob on his guitar five months prior to this, at the show the day before my first show (i.e. the 1st one with "The Who" at Oakland Stadium" 1976/10/9). Here at the Swing was the first use of the new "Mutron" envelope filter, (synthesizer-like device), which still at this early time apparently had to be piped through a Moog synthesizer, configured as such for this debut of "Estimated Prophet" yet it was odd to see Jerry plugged into Keith!


complete myth, the soundboard clearly has jerry using the Mutron III in his new effects loop. And keith is playing a moog synth. jerry is NOT plugged into keiths moog, and cannot play both the guitar part through an envelope follower and a keyboard through a synth at the same time. 2 distictive and seperate instruments through 2 distictive and seperate effects. furthurmore ALL the photo's of the day on the green with the who are TB 500 #11 with NO EFFECTS loop. TB 500 #12 and effects loop debut Dec 31, 1976.

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