Pre-Dead Days

[NOTE: Many of the songs mentioned below can be found on the collection Jerry Garcia - Before the Dead, released May 11, 2018. Specifically, Little Birdie, Sally Goodin, and Hold That Woodpile Down are on Before the Dead, and are played by the Sleepy Valley Hog Stompers at Boar's Head Coffeehouse, which was located in the Peninsula Jewish Community Center. Those three songs are in the order shown below and the reference to being the "Slugs" comes after Sally Goodin. Here are the liner notes from Before the Dead. KD 5/10/2020]


This weekend's project was to catalog the tapes that I have of Jerry & Pig from the Pre-Warlocks days. I was interested in seeing what kind of music Jerry and Pig were playing around this time. I don't know if any Weir recordings exist from this time. I also wanted to see how many of the Jerry songs I could find a source for. It seems that The New Lost City Ramblers were a bridge between the new folk folks and the old-time bands. I've included NLCR next to all the songs I know that they did (13 in all).

  • Jewish Community Center, San Carlos, Ca - 6/11/62
    Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers

    Jerry Garcia - Banjo, Guitar
    Marshall Leicester - Guitar, Mandolin
    Dick Arnold - Fiddle

The recording was done in front of a live audience. Sound quality of the tape is below average with a sharp drop off on the high end. Levels and balance change rapidly at times as well.

  • Run Mountain (NLCR)
    Jerry makes a comment that if the words are hard to understand it's because they are making some of them up, since they can't understand them on the record.
  • Bill Grimes the Rover (NLCR)
    (Not Garcia on vocals)
  • Cannonball Express
  • Devilish Mary (Gid Tanner & The Skillet Lickers)
    Jerry introduces the band as listed above.
  • Buck Dancer's Choice (Instrumental) (Buck Dance by Rev G Davis)
    A comment is made that they don't know why the song is called that, maybe at some point a buck dancer choose it.
  • Little Birdie (Stanley Bros among many)
    Credit is given to the "Coon Creek Girls". This song is interesting because it contains the lines,
    • I have a short time to stay here
      And a long time to be gone.


    • I'd rather be in some dark holler
      Where the sun don't never shine
      Than to see you be (?????) [somebody's darlin'] (KD 05-10-2020)
      And to know that you'll never be mine
  • Sally Goodin
    Joking reference to the band needing a new name, they decide to call themselves the "Slugs".
  • Hold The Woodpile Down (NLCR, Uncle Dave Macon)
    They take a short break.
  • Crow Black Chicken (NLCR)
  • Johnson Boys (NLCR)(Listed as Hop Up Pretty Girls on label)
  • Shady Grove
  • Uncle Joe
  • Take Me Back To The Sweet Sunny South (NLCR)
  • Hungry Hash House (Credited to Charlie Poole & The NC Ramblers)
  • Man Of Constant Sorrow (Sung A Capella by Jerry)
    Jerry mentions that he heard Roscoe Holcomb do it that way.
  • Rabbit Chase (credited to Charlie Parker) (NLCR)
  • Three Men Went A Hunting (NLCR)

    Switch to blues mode, acoustic guitar & harmonica. Pig Pen on Harp, Mike Sector(?) on vocals.

  • Blues instrumental
  • Careless Love
  • Going to Chicago
  • 99 Year Blues (Pig on Vocals)

    Switch back to old-time mode.

  • Blue Goose
    Singer is not Jerry.

Recording seems to be from KFOG Deadhead hour. Richard Raffel (sp?) is playing a tape from Stu Goldstein (an MD from Walnut Creek we're told) who used to co-manage the Tangent. Tape quality is pretty good, but obviously from an FM broadcast and a couple of gens down from that. The tapes that were actually being played must have sounded very nice.

Jerry & Sarah
The Tangent, Palo Alto, Ca
Feb, 1963
[NOTE: These songs make it on to Before the Dead as well, along with Jerry's apology and mention of their wedding, but the venue is dated May 4, 1963. KD 05/10/2020]

  • Deep Elem Blues
  • Will The Weaver
  • I Truly Understand You Love Another Man (NLCR)
  • All Good Times Are Past And Gone (Flatt & Scruggs)
  • Long Black Veil 
    Jerry apologizes for playing a "modern country song" that is not a folk song. He also mentions that they were married last week.
  • The Man Wrote "Home Sweet Home" Was Never A Married Man (NLCR)
  • Keno The Rent Man (NLCR)
  • On Some Foggy Mountain Top (NLCR)

    The Wildwood Boys
    The Tangent, Palo Alto, Ca
    Jerry Garcia, Dave Nelson, Norm VanMastricht

  • Roll In My Sweet Babies Arms (NLCR, Flatt & Scruggs)
  • Jerry's Breakdown (Original Garcia composition)
  • Standing In the Need Of Prayer
  • Muleskinner Blues
  • Pike County Breakdown
  • Come All Ye Tender Maidens (Stanley Bros)
  • We Shall Not Be Moved

    The Second Story Men (Pig's Band)
    The Tangent, Palo Alto, Ca

  • McKernan's Blues
    Includes some of the verses of Lightnin' Hopkins' Katie Mae
  • Rocky Mountain Blues

    Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions
    1/1/64 (date listed on tape)

  • My Gal
    "Memphis Jug Band" sound, including kazoo.
  • The Rub
    The song Lightnin Hopkins recorded as "Ain't It Crazy" or "Mighty Crazy".