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)


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
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.

DarkStarr1971's picture
Joined: Jul 15 2008
Pure Jerry SF Bay Area 78'

OK I'm ready for this. Money Paid!! After the other earlier 70s Pure Jerry Releases Blew me out the freaking window onto the front lawn!! The JGB Band sure had Power, Unreal. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JERRY !! JGB Forever!! DarkStarr1971

rdevil's picture
Joined: Nov 2 2007
Donna and Maria...count me in!

I'm a stickler for complete shows as far as the Greatful Dead goes and I appreciate that most of the pure jerry series have been full shows. This release, though, has exactly what I want to hear--my favorite JGB lineup! Complete shows are always prefered but not as essential for the Jerry band as compared to the Dead.

OmnipotentGratfulDead's picture
Joined: Apr 19 2009
Happy Birthday Jerry !!!!

This is awesome 2 amazing releases on Jerry's Birthday, you guys just made my day! The Road Trips release is cool, but this Pure Jerry release just makes me smile from ear to ear. Just anxiously awaiting delivery now. Happy Birthday Jerry, we all miss you and are Still Grateful.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.