After special guest Judy Collins joins us to untangle the surprising origins of the Dead’s most-performed song, “Me & My Uncle,” the Deadcast wades into the oversold 3-night April 1971 Dance Marathon that became part of “Skull & Roses,” guided by tour manager Sam Cutler and friends.
Skull & Roses 50: Side B supplementary notes
by Jesse Jarnow
Judy Collins was the first musician to record “Me and My Uncle,” released on her 1964 album, The Judy Collins Concert. She revisited both the material and the Town Hall stage earlier this year, and will be releasing a new live album to digital platforms on August 7th, Live at the Town Hall NYC.
But, according to Bob Weir, he learned the song from “a hippie named Curly Jim.” Curly Jim turns out to be Curly Jim Stalarow, who has a number of surprising connections to the Dead and the larger psychedelic counterculture. Thanks enormously to Corry Arnold’s two posts on the Hooterollin blog about the Curly Jim and “Me and My Uncle” connection, from 2011 and 2017, respectively. As always be sure to stick around for the comments.
Sally Mann Romano joined us to speak with us about her time around the Dead’s scene when she was married to Jefferson Airplane/New Riders of the Purple Sage drummer Spencer Dryden. Sally wrote really the most amazingly titled rock memoir ever, The Band’s With Me. For fans of the extended Jefferson Airplane family and west coast rock in general, it’s an eyebrow-raising delight.
This episode likewise uses some of the audio of Jerry Garcia and Charlies Reich talking about “Me and Bobby McGee” from Garcia: A Signpost to New Space, a book compiling extended interviews by Charles Reich (and Jann Wenner) with Jerry Garcia in 1971 and 1972, available wherever books are sold from Hachette/Da Capo Press.
We also go deep into the Grateful Dead’s 3 “Dance Marathon” shows at the Manhattan Center in New York, the space now known as the Hammerstein Ballroom. Robert Brenner took an incredible set of photos of the shows, displayed here. If you click through them fast enough (especially with Skull and Roses cranked) it’s like a little movie. “Lighting by Candace,” the ad reads, referring to soon-to-be Dead lighting director Candace Brightman.
So cool and farout, man :)