Grateful Dead Music Forum

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 #131381  by James-T
 Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:33 am
There is a new Garcia interview, audio only, posted on YouTube.
It's from just before sound check from the Portland show.

Garcia talks tours, the middle east, Mexico, the Canadian legal system and surprisingly, lots about his gear. Throughout the interview he's tuning the Wolf explaining that he's trying to see if there is is any love left between him and that guitar.

He talks about not trusting Alembic with any of his guitars, Doug Irwin replacing the decal with an inlay and how he digs the stability of the Travis Beam, he talks about going through teo sets of strings per show, and even about his dislike of high output PUs as they screw with the harmonics, which makes me think why I've always wondered why the Dragon II's on my PRS gave my CU 22 lousy harmonics compared to my 67 Sg junior.

The interviewers are a couple of grad students from Reed Collage, a storied private school in Portland, it's a step inside what tour was like in the 70s,


 #131389  by tigerstrat
 Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:52 pm
New to Youtube, you mean. I've had this recording for 12 years now, obtained from the former Reed student who interviewed JG... and I posted a partially transcribed (the gear-related stuff only) in a post to the old Yahoo "Gearheads" group back circa 2002, and here on rukind in 2008. Here's the transcription:
The following takes place backstage at the Paramount Theater (now the
Schnitzer) Portland, OR, perhaps post-soundcheck, 10/2/77. A Reed College
student-radio producer, an acquaintance of Jerry's since Europe tour of '74,
is making a recording of basically hanging out with Jerry as he
changes strings. Some dialogue is hard to make out, because the
interviewer has brought a few friends along(or they were already
there?), and it's more of a mini-party going on than an interview,
with frequent snuffling and chopping and scraping sounds audible.
Jerry talks about a wide range of things, among them Kesey, Mickey's car
accident, their Egypt plans, a possible Iran trip(!) and the guitar he
is servicing as they speak. What I've transcribed is just the parts of the conversation as it pertained to guitars or gear:
> **Interviewer(GT):"Is that the one you were using last night?"
> **JG:"Yup."
> **GT:"What was the one with the 'T' in the neck?..."
> **JG:"Um, Travis Bean."
> **GT:"Are you still using that one then?"
> **JG:"Uhh....yea, I had been using it, but I just got this back
> uh, the guy who made it for me; whose been- whose worked on it
> some...and uh, wanted to...see if there's...still
> me and it."
> **faint tuning noises**
> **GT:"Do you have your guitars worked on at Alembic?"
> **JG:"No. Don't trust 'em...!"
> (general appreciation of the joke)
> **JG:"This guy named Doug Irwin, who's real good, does really nice
> work. Like when I gave him this guitar, it was really pretty beat-
> up had a decal on it, this little...(probably pointing at the
> Wolf inlay)...and I got it back from him and he'd inlaid it in wood
> and brass, you know (laughs) My god, it blew my mind! Now there's a
> guy-(unintelligible through the murmurs of appreciation)"
> *(more tuning)
> **JG:"You can talk to me while I'm doing this..."
> **GT:"What are you using for strings now?"
> **JG:"Uh, these are these strings called uh...Vinci's. And, uh,
> they're made, this guy Tony Vinci, a guy in NYC who builds
> the string-winding machine that all the other companies (use)...And
> the interesting thing about them is that they're uh...they don't
> any nickel in them, so in terms of their magnetic efficiency,
> about 50% more...efficient as far as magnets are concerned."
> **GT:"So they're just pure steel?"
> **JG:"Yeah. They don't last very long; they rust through in a
> night...and they're really-"
> **GT:"You lost a couple last night,"
> **JG:"Oh yeah! That was the first string I've broken in about four
> years; Me and (RainBob?) were...exclaiming about it. That's because
> this guitar isn't set-up quite right yet. I need to fool with this,
> and uh..."
> **GT:"I'm still workin' on that Black Walnut thing"
> **JG:"Oh yeah?"
> **GT:"Yep, goin on three years now. One of these days..."
> (tuning)
> **JG:"Jeez, I hate this. This is really the most miserable part of
> music: Tuning."
> **Girl:"You done?"
> **JG:"Well, I have to let it sit for awhile,"
> **GT:"Stre-e-e-tch..."
> **JG:"...And everything has to get adjusted. See, the Travis Bean,
> the nice thing about it is that it's uh, incredibly stable, so you
> can change the strings and it doesn't have to go through any
> But this guitar, like other wooden guitars, to get it to really
> right and play in tune and stuff, you gotta set it up again every
> time the strings are changed, because it changes the whole
> (unintelligible)."
> **GT:"How old is that thing?"
> **JG:"Oh,it's about 5...maybe 5 years...6 years old I guess. I'm
> exactly sure how old."
> **GT:"What brand is it?"
> **JG:"It's not any brand, a guy made it."
> **GT:"What kind of pick-ups are those?"
> **JG:" These things? I don't know. There's this new company that
> makes these things and I don't even know what they're
> I don't know what the name is, but they're uh single...single-coil
> pick-ups like a, a Tel-, uh, Stratocaster."
> **GT:"Have you heard of Danny Sheen's pick-ups? There's this guy in
> town..."
> **JG:"Yeah,"
> **GT:"He's supposed to wind incredible pick-ups, just beautiful
> things..."
> **JG:"(deep breath) It's one of those things, that I'm not sure...
> I'm not sure what the trip is with them. I don't even really... I
> don't have really- I don't really like magnetic pick-ups all that
> much; I wish there was some other way to do it; they're kind of
> clumsy. And the thing is that the hotter you make the pick-up, the
> more irregular the harmonics get to be, because it bends the string
> down here. (laughs) You know, if you have really strong magnets,
> like wauuhh...the string, the string, instead of being like that
> like that. So the harmonics here are always incredibly inharmonic.
So you
> always wonder 'Why the fuck's my guitar sound like it's not in tune
> here'. You run into those kind of weird exchanges."
 #131396  by tigerstrat
 Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:22 pm
There is no video. I got the audio from the guy who recorded his backstage chat with Garcia on probably a Panasonic portable cassette recorder. Most circulated copies probably originated through me CD vining it on Deadnetcentral circa 2002, come to think of it.
 #131962  by Jon S.
 Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:58 am
Most guitars can go out of tuning after one or two songs, faster or sooner depending on the setup, action, player's touch/technique, etc. Today, Jerry would have a strobe tuner at this feet or hands to mute the sound for 15 seconds to tune back up and end of problem. Or do what many artists do, have a roady take your current axe, pop on another, play the next song, and repeat. Completely resetting up a guitar after a string change alone? Honestly, that's beyond my ken and the thought of replacing wood with metal as a response to needing to retune occasionally strikes me as overkill (switching to metal for tonal reasons is an altogether different calculus).
 #132260  by Mosfed
 Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:01 am
It's interesting that the single coils in Wolf weren't made by Fender. It would be amazing to learn who made them.
 #132294  by tigerstrat
 Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:28 pm
Mosfed wrote:It's interesting that the single coils in Wolf weren't made by Fender. It would be amazing to learn who made them.

Jerry is referring to not knowing who had made the pups on it when he had recently gotten it back from Irwin. The earlier (73-75) Wolf probably had Fender pups, although I don't know of any confirmation on this either.
 #132307  by Mosfed
 Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:28 am
Right but this is still pre dimarzio, still in single coil land. I have always assumed that Garcia's Fender style single coils in the Wolf were made by Fender. It's interesting that maybe they were not.
 #132340  by cmc64
 Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:02 am
See this thread.

I emailed and spoke with Becky and Bill. They are looking into it and I am waiting for a miracle. Will keep you guys posted.

Thanks Mike!!
Last edited by cmc64 on Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
 #132341  by cmc64
 Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:03 am
cmc64 wrote:See this thread.

I emailed and spoke with Becky and Bill. They are looking into it and I am waiting for a miracle. Will keep you guys posted.

Thanks Mike!!
Sorry for the double post. It is too damn early and my eyes are barely open. Mods, please remove. Thanks!!!