Sunday, March 29, 2009

And now something a little bit different...

Bill Kreutzmann of the Grateful Dead (date unknown, probably mid-80's)Kreutzmann-Margen Band
July 29, 1986 -- Carol's Speakeasy
Chicago, Illinois
Grateful Dead lightning bolt Celtic design

Bill Kreutzmann - drums David Margen - bass
Alex Ligertwood- vocals, guitar, percussion
Jerry Cortez - guitar
Nate Ginsberg - keyboards

In The Midnight Hour
Feelin' Alright, Back In The USSR,
Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen, Dear Mr. Fantasy,
A Girl Like You (?), La Bamba Not Fade Away,
Turn On Your Lovelight, Hey Pocky Way Drums Iko Iko,
Gimme Some Lovin'
, Casey Jones, The Weight

Anyone want to listen to a cover band? That's essentially what these guys are. Back when Jerry went into his coma, I guess others in the Dead had to figure out what to do next. What if Jerry didn't make it? What if there was no more Grateful Dead?!? Well, that's probably not what they were pondering at the time, they just knew Jerry would get better... but in the meantime, why not get some people together and play some music?! I'm a-guessin' that's what Billy wanted to do... or maybe someone asked Billy if he wanted to play some gigs. He got together with Dave Margen and Alex Ligertwood from Santana and a couple other guys to play a few shows. I wish I knew the whole story but that's what can easily be pieced together. It's not exactly known how many shows were played, maybe someone still alive on planet Earth has a clue, but what I know is there are just three shows with recordings in existence, all from the last week of July. Maybe others will surface someday but for now there's just this and two others. Along for the ride was Jerry Cortez and Nate Ginsberg, a couple of musicians known in the Bay Area. Cortez recorded with Bob Weir at some point in time and today Mr. Nate owns a music school for piano lessons.

Though there were only three known Kreutzmann-Margen Band shows, the band, with a new name, continued on after this to play during Jerry's coma and, in fact, beyond. From time to time -- in December '86, at least one show in '87, and in March of '88 -- when the Dead weren't on tour they got together to play some shows. The band was then called Go Ahead which many Deadheads have heard about. Taking over on keys for Ginsberg in Go Ahead was some dude named Brent Mydland.

Ginsberg may have only been with these guys for a few shows but at times his playing is just as good as Brent, on Lovelight especially. It's kinda weird not hearing Pigpen or Bob sing the song but still, this is some fun stuff. There are some cool moments when Ligertwood and/or Cortez are smokin' on guitar and Billy's playing is perfection. While brief, I really dig his drum solo. I guess Casey Jones is the only true GD song here and it's really a little odd hearing it not being sung by Jerry. Since it's the one tune in the setlist that Billy knows so well, you can really tell how his drum work totally steers this along at first. Ligertwood then works more in tandem with him when he wrangles the crowd into it near the end. Overall, they give it a good whirl. The total highlight of the show, at least for me, was the song before -- Gimme Some Lovin'. Excellent as is the Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen earlier in the show and Dear Mr. Fantasy, too. Margen shines on bass through that entire stretch. At the very end, The Weight's not as sweet as with Jerry and Bob and Phil and Brent or with Bruce... but it's a nice way to end the evening.

The recording's decent. At times it feels really good but then for some reason Hey Pocky Way got rather distant. Maybe it's just the drugs I've ingested over the years messin' with me. All's I know is it ain't terrible.

And once again -- it's (mostly) a cover band, but it's fun. I'm sure the people there had a blast and I've dug listening to it. I'm lookin' forward to eventually posting some more of this stuff.

ARCHIVE HEADPHONESKreutzmann-Margen Band, as of March 29, 2009,
is not @ the Live Music Archive
Download The Show Here

Audio Quality:
Lineage: Master Audience Cassette (by Greg Holtz) ? FLAC
Part One ▪ Kreutzmann-Margen ▪ 7/29/86
7/29/86 ▪ Kreutzmann-Margen ▪ Part Two
7-29-86 aka 07-29-86 aka 7/29/86 aka 07/29/86 aka 86-07-29 Carol's Speakeasy

1 comment:

Unknown said...

We shot a video of that show......I've got to check it to see if it was simply Part I and Part II, or if there were two shows that night that we attended.

Carol's was on the southern end of Chicago's Old Town on Wells Street. That south end featured the Bijou Theater showing gay films and Carol's which was a gay bar.

Someone this band wound up playing there........toward the end of the evening, the doors were opened up and some odd-looking folks came in (think: leather, etc) and some other gays came in and enjoyed dancing with the rest of us.

now from Durham, NC

one says one number and the other another
but they were set at the same time. Hmmm...

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated