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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Harvested_Wind's picture
Joined: Mar 22 2008
got it!

mine just arrived (along with RT, Vol. 2, No. 4). can't wait to hear it!

long island head's picture
Joined: Jan 13 2009

should we expect to get the pre ordered discs any1 have an idea,i know they said late august and here we r any1 recieve theres yet...ty

musicrama's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007
Next year release before Jerrys Bday.

This is awesome to get 2 great releases introduced during "Jerry Week". Please think for next year to have a release ready so that we could actually listen to them during this week. Its now the end of August, and still no order shipped. Anyway, keep the great music flowing. How about a DVD box set next. We are all desperate for some new HQ surround sound GD DVD release!!

Duece's picture
Joined: Jun 10 2007
Mystery Train Rocks

Just listened to Mystery Train online - If there is any hesitation buying this there should not be after you listen - absolutely insane - Go Jerry!

Joined: Aug 18 2009

order placed, can't wait!

Joined: Aug 27 2008
Thank you!

Thank you again for making this compilation available. I enjoyed the "listening party" sample tracks, so I will enjoy the whole album even more.

Joined: May 26 2007

Just listened to "Don't Let Go" from disc 1. Tremendous!

Gans/GD Hour blog
GD Hour station list

Joined: Feb 9 2008
Jerry Band Releases

Love them dearly and look forward to each new one released. But I have to say the song selections are almost the same as all the other ones out there. Would love to hear a "Twilight" a killer "Ruben and Cherise" just name a few. Keep 'em coming though I know there are alot of gems out there.

Joined: Oct 26 2008
Miss You Jerry

Can't beieve it's been 14 years. Just got a take it Day by Day wiyh Everything. Really miss you Jerry Bear. Dino K

Joined: Jun 14 2007
When Jerry Died 8/9/1995 Pacific Time

I was walking down University avenue in palo alto window shopping,getting ready to frequent my favorite health food store ,when one of the guys came up to me to give me the sad news,I did'nt believe him at first but the news mentioned it,it was pretty full page ,flags at half mass it was big news,just like when John Lennon got shot and Elvis dying,can't say much about Michael Jackson but the heavy hitter rock 'n rollers,I still feel sad about it my lifestyle had to be revised :{,luckily alot of my friends desended down upon are favorite Record store here in Santa Rosa in "Mass"with all his human frailties and all he transended what a musician was he truly put his humor,warmth and personality into all his music,it showed,he was real,his music Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia Band helped us through some hard times,sad times,fun & loving times it was a soundtrack for our lives.Be Well Larry Peace thru music


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