Grateful Dead

Jerry Garcia Band: Bay Area 1978

Let Me Roll It to You…

Just in time to celebrate Jerry’s 67th birthday (August 1, of course) comes a new installment in the Pure Jerry series, this one an especially hot selection from 1978. This was a particularly exciting period for the Jerry Garcia Band, which at that time included his perennial bass buddy John Kahn (of course), Buzz Buchanan on drums (who’d played with Jerry since the fall of ’77), his partners in the Dead, Keith Godchaux on piano and Donna Godchaux on vocals, and, at many shows that year, second singer Maria Muldaur, who blended so nicely with Donna.

We’ve drawn together the listenable/usable/releasable parts of four Northern California shows from the first half of ’78 to create this stellar compilation. Much of the material was culled from consecutive shows in February of 1978, shortly after Jerry, Keith and Donna had returned from fine, high-energy Midwest tour by the Dead (documented wonderfully on Dick Picks Vol. 18). Songs from the 2/18/78 JGB show at the 2,000-seat Marin County Veteran’s Auditorium include a barn-burning “Mystery Train,” the loping “Catfish John,” and, best of all, a spectacular “Lonesome and a Long Way Home” that ambles through all sorts of fascinating moods and spaces over the course of more than 20 minutes. The next night, the JGB landed at the Santa Cruz Civic—a similar-sized venue—and this time the fans (and now, you!) were treated to such tunes as the Motown classics “Second That Emotion” and “The Way You Do the Things You Do” (a great version!), “Mission in the Rain,” Dylan’s “Simple Twist of Fate,” and, the piece de resistance, a 30-minute “Don’t Let Go” featuring generous solos all around and ultra-soulful guitar-and-vocals from Jerry on the “Hold me tight and don’t let go…” passage towards the end. Wild!

Rounding out this exceptional package are four tunes from June 1978: The 6/10 show at the tiny Keystone Berkeley gives us the bouncy, rockin’ “Tore Up Over You” that opens Disc Two; then, after a couple more tunes, we move to 6/18 at the Keystone Palo Alto—a favorite JGB haunt for many years—for what is arguably the greatest version of Paul McCartney’s “Let Me Roll It” that the group ever played (and there weren’t many), and then superb versions of the still-new “Gomorrah” and the gospel tune “I’ll Be With Thee”—the latter always a fine showcase for Donna and Maria.

If you loved the ’78 Pure Jerry from the Warner Theatre (3/18/78), this one should be right up your alley, too—it’s definitely primo JG! You can see the full track listing below, and order your copy here!

—Blair Jackson

Track List


1. Mystery Train (2/18/78, Veterans Memorial Auditorium)
2. Catfish John (2/18/78, Veterans Memorial Auditorium)
3. I Second That Emotion (2/19/78, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium)
4. Mission In The Rain (2/19/78, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium)
5. Don't Let Go (2/19/78, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium)


1. Tore Up Over You (6/10/78, Keystone Berkeley)
2. Simple Twist Of Fate (2/19/78, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium)
3. The Way You Do The Things You Do (2/19/78, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium)
4. Let Me Roll It (6/18/78, Keystone Palo Alto)
5. Gomorrah (6/18/78, Keystone Palo Alto)
6. I'll Be With Thee (6/18/78, Keystone Palo Alto)
7. Lonesome And A Long Way From Home (2/18/78, Veterans Memorial Auditorium)


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BTW's picture
Joined: Jun 14 2007
Happy B-Day Jerry!!!

Listened to Mountain Girl on Sirius today...great stuff!!!

Joined: Jun 14 2007
Keystone Palo Alto finally manifested :} Smiles

My first show was the reconstruction period 1979 Keystone Palo Alto ,long time overlooked by Berkeley Keystone,would like to see 1979 Keystone think it was in June,they would'nt let me in because I was'nt drinking age but they were cool enough to let me watch the show from the door :} then 1980 came and jumped on the grateful Dead bus,still on it. looking for Fresno 1974 with a really ripping Eyes which was really good throughout that years.Larry "HAPPY Bitrhday Jerry"

Joined: Jun 24 2007
perfect 5 pm listening

Mystery Train is awesome! Jerry in fine form; am dancing around the kitchen; happiness abounds...

Joined: Jan 26 2008
wherever you go there you are...


cactuswax's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
78 JGB

The hottest. Can't wait for this. The Warner Theatre release is one of my all time favorites (that Mission in the Rain especially - it's like one of my favorite things of any type ever... y'know, like there's pizza, girls, THAT Mission... not necessarily in that order...anyway...). So, yeah, this oughta be a good'n. Happy Birthday Jer - I celebrated properly for you and with you yesterday.

Joined: May 8 2008
Get It!!

If yuo have any doubtsm check out the Listening Party. Jerry just shreds it up on Mystery Train, and the band is great. The Way You Do the Thing You Do is real sweet, very nice version. Nice vocals from the ladies too.
(oh, and the other release sounds damn fine too!) Get em both if u can!! LOL

Joined: Jun 12 2007
Lawsuits finally settled I guess

Missed the PJ series, I can only assume they were on hold due to the estate lawsuits out there. Great way to remember Jerry on his birthday, with some great looking music by the way.

JackstrawfromColorado's picture
Joined: Jan 2 2009
I miss you so much Jerry

Happy Birthday... Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the light you shed..

"I've stayed in every blue-light cheap hotel. Can't win for tryin. Dust off those rusty strings just one more time. Gonna make em shine."

giantnerd's picture
Joined: Jun 24 2007
Good news!!!

Wow!!! sounds great...count me in...order placed

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007

so good to see the Pure Jerry Series back on track. Can't wait to hear this one.


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