Various Artists: A Tribute to Jerry Garcia - Deadheads Festival, Japan 1997
Recorded April 8th 1997, Shibuya On Air West.
I found this in the reduced price rack in the Virgin Megastore in Paris. Itís a pretty low profile release with Tom Constanten, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Merl Saunders and The Rainforest Band. Itís rather a bizarre tribute, in that Rick Danko simply does four old Band songs. Theyíre not even ones that Jerry Garcia covered, and I thought the point of these things was doing versions of the artistís songs. In his interview sequence Danko says he met Garcia "Back in the sixties - 1965 I guess, when The Band and The Grateful Dead were cutting their teeth".
During The Weight he slips his guitar off during the first couple of lines and sings the rest of the song walking around the stage with the mic in his hand, looking uncannily like Ronnie Hawkins. Pity John Dawson is shaky on the words, but after singing backing on the chorus, he seems surprised to be invited to take a verse. There are four short solos, all well-taken on piano, both guitars and violin. In The Shape Iím In he seems to be having a lot of fun, dancing and even twirling. The largest back cover shot shows Dawson and Danko singing together, with Danko holding a mic and no guitar, but interestingly Dawson has a jacket on. He doesnít during the filmed show. Of course, thereís less than two hours of a three and a half hour show on the disc.
Merl Saunders finishes the show, in which he thanks the others for supporting him, which looks like the way it was on the disc, though not on the cover. Nice T-shirt. Great set.
ArtistsTom Constanten - piano
New Riders of The Purple Sage - John Dawson - guitar, vocal / Russell Gauthier - guitar, violin, vocal / Garry Vogensen - guitar, vocal
Rick Danko - guitar, vocal
Various Artists - A Tribute to Jerry Garcia, Deadheads Festival, Japan 1997 - 116 minutes - 1997/8 - Japanese Laser Disc NTSC - VAP Video Super Rock series VPLR-70650