Dave's Picks Vol. 11

Recorded live at Century II Convention Hall, Wichita, KS (11/17/72)

Released: 2014

Tracks

Promised Land [3:12]
Sugaree [7:01]
Me And My Uncle [3:11]
Tennessee Jed [7:47]
Black-Throated Wind [7:04]
Bird Song [11:01]
Jack Straw [5:00]
Box of Rain [4:54]
Don't Ease Me In [3:16]
Beat It On Down the Line [3:26]
Brown-Eyed Women [5:11]
Big River [4:39]
China Cast Sunflower > [7:10]
I Know You Rider [4:46]

Around And Around [3:55]
Casey Jones [6:33]
Cumberland Blues [6:31]
El Paso [4:17]
He's Gone [14:12]
Truckin' > [9:57]
The Other One > [19:49]
Brokedown Palace [5:57]
Sugar Magnolia [8:24]

Uncle John's Band [8:07]
Johnny B. Goode [3:57]

Bonus - Live in Oklahoma City (11/15/72)
Playing In the Band [30:57]
Wharf Rat [10:38]
Not Fade Away > [7:47]
Goin' Down the Road Feeling Bad > [7:12]
Not Fade Away [3:27]


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Liner Notes:

Jack Straw in Wichita

I grew up and came of age in the Midwest—Wichita, Kansas. At the time, as with many young folks, we considered it a cultural wasteland. Forget that there were three art museums, a symphony orchestra, and traveling musicians that would swing through town, or even that Allan Ginsberg stayed for a while. We were stuck in the Midwest, in a huge, landlocked island of un-coolness—the total opposite of either coast.

In my senior year of high school, I started working for a local promoter doing art and general grunt work. The outfit started out as Tiny Alice and later became Little John Productions. (John was a small figure who had a condition called brittle bone disease. Something was always breaking—fingers, arms, legs. Kind of a mess.) Wichita was not without concerts. We had no shortage of English bands. The real Fleetwood Mac played there once or twice a year. Rory Gallagher always was a treat to see. But some of us wanted that Americana, the San Francisco sound. I pestered John to bring in the Grateful Dead, probably to the point of being annoying. As the big cosmic puzzle fell into place, it finally happened…

In late October, Little John called and said he had a surprise, but that I had to do the art and it had to be done quick. I went over to his house, and he gave me the news—there was going to be a Grateful Dead show in Wichita! I was stoked! I decided to do a “Lady of the Lake” type of image. Probably because of the short time allowance, the art was to be an 8 1/2” x 11” handbill, not a full-size poster. Back in the day, the art would be done by inking the design and handing it off to the production company that would screen-print the posters in full color. I always felt a little cheated that a band so famous for their archive of poster work only got a handbill for their sole Wichita show.

The big day finally arrived. It was a cold day, November 17, 1972. I got to Century II late that morning, and there was already a flurry of chaotic activity. The Dead’s crew was at work setting up the soundboard and equipment. In the middle of the floor stood a figure: black cowboy shirt, black cowboy boots with silver toe and heel caps (minus one of the toe caps), discreetly smoking a joint. It was Jerry! I stood there, a speechless 19-year-old, watching as a small herd of green-shirted security personnel with squawking walkie-talkies scurried around him, much like a fog of gnats, looking for the source of the smell. St. Jerry was oblivious to them, and the Keystones could not see the forest for the trees. Quite a comical sight to behold.

At some point, Jerry took to playing guitar. I was in heaven. To just sit and listen—wow! At that point, I was asked by John if I knew of someone who might want to come down and help with the running, picking up stuff in the contract rider—cases of Heineken beer, Drambuie, and boxes of oranges, among other stuff. Since I was underage and couldn’t pick up the beer or liquor, I called a friend, Jack, from a pay phone in the lobby to see if he might be interested in helping out. The comment was, “Is that Jerry playing guitar in the background?” “Yeah, man.” I swear, Jack was banging on the doors before I hung up the pay phone receiver. We went out, picked up the needed goods, and beat feet back to the venue to see as much sound check as we could. I remember the crew being a bunch of surly Visigoths. Dicks, really, so I pretty much stayed out o their way. I cordoned off an area of seats for my girlfriend, sister, and other friends. They all showed up extremely glassy-eyed, moving in slow motion, and were very relieved to have a prime bunch of seats staked out. The crowd was large, and everyone was stoked that little Wichita was the place to be on that particular evening. It was a very cold November nights, but in the convention hall there was a feeling of warmth and contentment. Once the music started, everything went into blur mode. Europe ’72 had been very recently released, and these were like new songs! “Brown-Eyed Women”! “Jack Straw From Wichita”! Wow, the band knew that we existed! A much better acknowledgement than “How you doin’, Wichita?” And to be mentioned in a Zane Grey-type cowboy romp—what an honor! In later years after moving to Portland, Oregon, I had a personalized license plate that read “JKSTRW.” It has since been retired.

As the first set wound down, I decided to slip backstage to say thanks. Somehow I found myself in a room with Bob Weir, who was there all by his lonesome. I managed to sputter out a “Thanks!” and an apology for interrupting his solitude. Other folks started to filter in, and I told Weir that my friends out front were scraping their fingernails on the ceiling. He asked if they would like a little surprise. He called over one of the crew, and the next thing I knew a tray was being loaded up with foam cups of beer, fresh-squeezed OJ, and oranges. We took the goodies out to my friends with a simple “Compliments of the band.” The refreshments were handed out to a very surprised and very high bunch of folks. This act also softened my view of the crew.

All in all, it was a very good night. In the years to come, we would trek up to Kansas City, since the band never again played my hometown. But for a punk kid, I felt like I owned Century II that November evening.

—Gary Houston

 

Credits:

Grateful Dead

JERRY GARCIA: Lead Guitar, Vocals
DONNA JEAN GODCHAUX: Vocals
KEITH GODCHAUX: Keyboards
BILL KREUTZMANN: Drums
PHIL LESH: Electric Bass
BOB WEIR: Rhythm Guitar, Vocals

Produced by GRATEFUL DEAD
Original Recordings Produced by OWSLEY STANLEY
Produced for Release by DAVID LEMIEUX
Executive Producer: MARK PINKUS
Associate Producer: DORAN TYSON & RYAN WILSON
CD Mastering by JEFFREY NORMAN at MOCKINGBIRD MASTERING, Petaluma, CA
Art Direction and Design: STEVE VANCE
Cover Art: TONY MILLIONAIRE
Tape Research: MICHAEL WESLEY JOHNSON
Archival Research: NICHOLAS MERIWETHER/UC Santa Cruz Grateful Dead Archives
Special Thanks: Sheilah Stanley, Starfinder Stanley, Kate Dear, Julie Temkin, LeeAnn Wong, Steve Woolard

 

 



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This album was released in August 2014.



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