Friday, October 15, 2010

December 21-22, 1976, Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA: Jerry Garcia Band (Who Is John Rich?)

The Jerry Garcia Band played regularly at the Keystone Berkeley from the group's inception in 1975 until the club closed in 1984. More than any other club, it seemed to be Garcia's home base, and as a result there are many shows at the Keystone Berkeley that are interesting for reasons beyond the music itself. In particular, while the Garcia Band did not regularly feature guest players, they were not uncommon at the Keystone Berkeley. However, given the casual nature of the shows and Garcia's reticence in talking to the audience, many of the guest remain somewhat mysterious.

Pedal steel guitarist John Rich is one of the two most intriguing and unknown guests in the history of the Jerry Garcia Band (the other being the mysterious Tim Hensley, who played electric piano alongside Nicky Hopkins on October 11 and 12, 1975). Rich played pedal steel for almost every song for two nights at the Keystone Berkeley, on December 21 and 22, 1976, possibly again on January 29, 1977, and then disappeared to wheresoever he came from. The limited picture we have of a pedal steel guitar providing some color between Garcia and Keith Godchaux popped open a fascinating door in to Garcia's musical mind, only to have it popped shut again. The instrumental thinking seemed to be for the steel guitar to play the part usually played by an organ, an angular yet perfect fit for the country-tinged Garcia Band.

Unfortunately, that is all we know. Who was John Rich? I'm not even sure how we know his name, but I assume Garcia introduced him at some point during the two nights. Google is no help. There is a very well known country singer named John Rich, part of the duo of Big And Rich, so search efforts are largely stifled. And the famous John Rich, besides being a bass player, was born in 1974, so it definitely wasn't him. Someone named John Rich played steel guitar on a 1993 album by a country singer named Billy Dean, but I have no idea if that was the same person. Otherwise I draw a blank.

I am mainly posting this in the hopes that someone has an answer to who John Rich was, and what his musical connection to the band might have been. He seems to have been a fine, tasteful player, so he must have been a professional musician somewhere. I have to think that playing 4 sets in two nights was a clear sign that this was a tryout of sorts for the Garcia Band, but for whatever reasons Jerry must have found him wanting. The band actually played three nights, but Rich did not play on December 23. Of course, Rich possibly had another booking. Various sources have noted some steel guitar sounds on the January 29, 1977 Keystone tape, and suggested that it was Rich again, and perhaps it is, but we really have no idea.

A couple of points come to mind:
  • Garcia rarely shared the stage with a pedal steel player. I can think of the closing Festival Express jam, when Buddy Cage and Garcia (and many others) backed Ian and Sylvia and others, but nothing else comes to mind. I believe Garcia sat in with the Riders once in 1972, playing six string, thus sharing with Cage again, but otherwise that's all I can think of. 
  • As JGMF has correctly observed, the very name of the Jerry Garcia Band was a sign that it was a serious undertaking for Garcia, so I think that is why he did not ask Cage to sit in. Given the strange touring schedule of JGB, working around the bookings of both the  Grateful Dead and Elvis Presley, Garcia could not afford to have another member committed to a full-time band. This leads me to think that Rich was some kind of pro in Los Angeles or Las Vegas, where steady money could be made while still finding time for fun playing with Garcia. Thus I think the John Rich connection was through Ronnie Tutt, who played Vegas with Elvis and did sessions in Southern California in between Garcia gigs. 
  • There were many fine Bay Area country players, particularly in the South Bay, most of them not well known, so that is a possibility too, but the rather insular Garcia tended to play with people recommended to him by his own circle of musicians, so I don't know who the South Bay connection might have been. Garcia was still friendly with Peter Grant and Norm Van Maastricht, both playing country music in the San Jose area--Grant was playing it on Garcia's old Zane Beck pedal steel guitar--so its at least in the realm of the possible.
Otherwise, that's it. All we really know is that a guy named John Rich played pedal steel guitar with the Jerry Garcia for most of four sets at the Keystone Berkeley on December 21 and 22, 1976 (and possibly again a few weeks later), and he retreated into the ionosphere. Here's to John Rich, wherever he is--anyone with knowledge or entertaining speculation should post them here.

46 comments:

  1. Don't even f-ing tell me the Dead or JGB ever played with Elvis.


    Keith G. was the greatest of Dead keysmen, IMHE; Constanten quite good too (whoever plays keys on Euro 72 rocked--Con. mainly ah think with pigpen doing a bit of his organ stuff). pedal steel lends a nice sound at times--if the PSster knows what to do, and plays some jazzy chords, etc--but...gets a bit twangy after a while

    Remember, Yes on 19 (not sure if yall are calniks, but...whatever).

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  2. Ron Tutt, Garcia's drummer during most of the mid-70s, was also Elvis Presley's drummer. The Garcia Band schedule had to be worked around both Elvis and the Dead.

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  4. Jerry par-taying wit' da King!

    It was Godchaux on piano on Euro 72. Copacetic. ...KG had tight honky tonk chops (quite superior to Brent IMHE), but also some jazzy fills, even a bit of free/atonal sounds now and then. I was not aware they redid vocals in studio after the GD returned from tour until checking the Wikster. Wonder if any musick was. The Dead rarely if ever recaptured the energy of Euro 72 on record at least--a few archived shows, maybe--def. not after KG's death.

    JG's keysman Saunders could play pretty well--the last show I saw--JGB @ Henry Kaiser--'92 ah believe--some great playing, tho JG obese as f**k and unfocused.

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  5. JGMF has mentioned in his new post a few times where Garcia played with a pedal-steel player - http://jgmf.blogspot.com/2010/10/john-rich-question-reply-to-corry.html
    One of the instances that's interesting to me (since it's not the usual NRPS sit-in) is the Scotty's Music Store jam - which used to be known as thought of as '5/14/70', but since Scotty himself said Buddy Cage was there, I feel 12/9/71 is a much more likely date. Anyway, there was a recent discussion about it -
    http://www.archive.org/post/329204/scottys-music-store-jam -
    Of course this wasn't an 'onstage' performance, but an impromptu jam that happened to be taped - and as such, one of the few taped examples of the jam sessions that Garcia must have continually participated in. And with all the pedal-steel players, guitar-players etc that Garcia would have interacted with, it's perhaps remarkable that we don't have MORE guests in Garcia's '70s shows. It seems to have been a slightly more closed-off scene than, say, the Hartbeats...
    Of course, by the mid-'70s Garcia was in more professional, 'rehearsed' outfits, and jamming all night was no longer the priority.

    Oh, and no idea who John Rich is, yet.

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    1. Believe it or not I just sold John Rich an amp through craigs list. Has a home in Florida but staying in Manhattan for a short time. If you wantbto get in touch with him let me know and I'll contact him.

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  6. Found this on youtube - a video of the gospel group the Oak Ridge Boys (circa '70) -
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3e49E1pBV6o

    The poster comments:
    "The pedal steel player on this song is John Rich (not to be confused with John Rich of "Big & Rich" fame). He played steel and electric guitar for the Oaks for several years, and later with William Lee Golden's band."

    You only catch a couple brief glimpses of him in that clip, but there's another video which starts right off with John Rich sitting behind his pedal-steel, playing a guitar -
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRGAvsBAOLE

    Wikipedia says John Rich was in the Oak Ridge Boys from '72-'75. Looks like a lead! Haven't found what he was up to in '77, though...but given that he was in a gospel band, there may well have been an Elvis/Ron Tutt connection.

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  7. PS - those clips are actually from around '73.

    I (or somebody) might check Ernst Jorgensen's book Elvis Presley - Complete Recording Sessions to see if Rich is listed anywhere as a session player.

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  8. LIA, this is a really great find. The Oak Ridge Boys do seem to have played with Elvis (I think as part of a kind of revue), so that points towards a Tutt/Rich connection

    Also, it does seem important to point out that singer William Lee Golden had a really giant beard, thus helping to qualify Rich for working with Jerry.

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  9. I was initially very skeptical of the Elvis connection, and thought it was a red herring. But a little further research confirms that John Rich had played with Elvis.

    Looking through the Elvis sessionography, John Rich was not mentioned - it looks like Elvis turned to Weldon Myrick when he wanted pedal steel in the studio.
    But - I saw in an interview with steel player Bobbe Seymour the comment that John Rich had played live with Elvis - but with no dates or details.
    However - digging further, I saw that one of the Oak Ridge boys had been one of Elvis's backing singers before joining the Oaks, in a group called the Stamps Quartet. In '73 a sideshoot of the Stamps evolved called Voice, which also backed Elvis and opened at many of his shows.
    From an Elvis site:
    "Voice was a vocal group, who backed Elvis on some recordings and live concerts, from 1973-1975. The members were: Donnie Sumner, Tim Baty, and Sherrill Nielsen [singers], plus piano player Tony Brown, guitarist John Rich, and bassist Tommy Hensley. Elvis himself named the group Voice."
    (Piano player Tony Brown was also in the Oak Ridge Boys. Brown became a regular player for Elvis's sessions & shows - but it appears that otherwise, though Elvis became quite close with the Voice singers, the rest of their band was dispensible for his purposes.)

    So there you have it. From Elvis sideman to Garcia Band washout, in two years!

    What baffles me is how the guy wound up with the Garcia Band for even two shows.
    We've assumed it was due to the Ron Tutt connection - but why would Tutt have to suggest a pedal steel player to Garcia, who presumably knew quite a few? Did Tutt have any input into JGB members or guests? Could Garcia have heard or known of John Rich on his own? We don't know what Rich was up to in late '76, his Elvis days over - maybe session work.
    At any rate, this is a connection (and brief JGB stint) we know so little about, it's hard even to speculate...

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  10. Fantastic research, LIA.

    I have been under the impression that Garcia left the choosing of JGB members to John Kahn. In this case, the connection may have been through Tutt, but I don't think Jerry had the time or inclination to find new band members.

    One thing about "being Jerry" was that if he called a player's manager about a possible booking, an elaborate fuss would ensue that Garcia probably wasn't interested in. For another thing, in the pre-cell phone era, you couldn't just call people directly. If the Dead were on the road, how would someone (like John Rich) even call Garcia back?

    I have to assume that Garcia suggested the idea of a pedal steel player joining the band, Kahn asked Tutt and the John Rich connection happened. One thing about Garcia was that while he probably had met plenty of musicians over the years, most of the ones he met were in working bands all over the country (eg Buddy Cage, Rusty Young), not free-lancers available for the Garcia Band.

    Conversely, guys like John Kahn and Ron Tutt were freelancers themselves, except for the Garcia connection, so they knew those types of players.

    Now, if we could only find out about Tim Hensley...

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  11. "guitarist John Rich, and bassist Tommy Hensley" ... that is just too weird.

    Corry, you are absolutely right that Garcia didn't deal with finding the other players - that was definitely John Kahn's bailiwick. Kahn mostly drew people from LA, so if Rich has no LA connection (and in any case, it seems plausible that) he probably asked Ronnie Tutt and got the name from him.

    There is an interesting kind of contradiction here. I have contracts and other things showing that Kahn, Garcia and Tutt were the principals in a corporation called "Jerry Garcia Band", with variously dated papers from late '75 into '77. I assume they were trying to nail down the personnel and even the sound to make the whole thing a going concern, which led to the trying on of these various players. So, you have the soon-to-be rigidity of the corporate form giving rise to these seemingly random little one-off guest/new member shots.

    Oh yeah, LIA: great, great research. Thank you for sharing!

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  12. With respect to the corporate status of Garcia, Kahn and Tutt, there's another interesting aspect: it seems like Keith and Donna were just contract players. I wonder how much contractual participation those two had for Cats Under The Stars? Not that the album made money, necessarily, but how much (%-wise) would they have made? Were they just paid session fees?

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  13. Let's no forget that Donna sang backup for Elvis early in her career. It doesn't seem likely that she would have crossed paths with Rich back then, but who knows. I'll e-mail her and see what she recalls. Has anyone already done this?

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  14. To reiterate my comment from elsewhere (JGMF on the same subject), we actually have very little recorded evidence of January 77 JGB shows. Its entirely possible that John Rich played on all or most of the shows between Dec 21 '76 and Feb 6 '77.

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  15. Good grief, the Garcia Band seems to have been like a retirement home for Elvis alumni!

    It's interesting to me how passive Garcia seems to have been about getting bandmembers - like whoever wound up there, 'OK, let's try it out. Kahn, this would sound nice with some pedal-steel...or maybe another piano...' Might explain why some of these mid-'70s guests/members didn't last very long... And of course, when he was done with somebody, he wouldn't say a word himself but left it to a henchman... What a strange band-leader.

    As an aside - speaking of Keith & Donna, wouldn't the same contract situation apply on the Reflections album? They could be considered JGB members, Grateful Dead members, or perhaps even separate "Keith & Donna Band" members... Unless Garcia was totally oblivious, I would be surprised if they only got session-player fees for those two albums. (And one might wonder about Garcia's fees for participating on their album & shows?)

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  16. My impression about Reflections is that UA/Round ran out of money, which is why the Dead had to record for Jerry. I don't understand the economic transaction there, but it suggests that Kahn and Tutt were getting paid to record, and the Dead weren't.

    A strange bandleader indeed.

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  17. Fascinating stuff, folks.

    I doubt K&D were just paid session rates. But it's also funny that their names aren't on the legal documents surrounding "Jerry Garcia Band" that I have seen. Maybe they were already business partners with Jerry in GD, and there was an equity stake in Round or some such arrangement.

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  18. When musicians make an album, they actually go into debt to their record company versus their royalties (minus the advance). Generally speaking, band members don't make much of anything unless a record is a hit, or at least not until a fair amount of time passes (if the album keeps selling).

    The Keith and Donna album, produced by Jerry, would not likely have made any money anyway. Keith and Donna probably got a few bucks for mechanical songwriting royalties (another subject).

    Cats Under The Stars would have been a single album deal with Arista, as Garcia had no contract with them. I'm sure Keith and Donna were part of that deal, but there's no guarantee that the royalties were split evenly amongst the participants, or that Keith and Donna each got the split that Kahn and Tutt did. Of course, per Garcia, probably nobody got any royalties anyway.

    The single album deal with Arista would have been separate from the business arrangement from Garcia, Kahn and Tutt. A more interesting thing to think about would be the finances of the 90s live Jerry Garcia Band albums. I assume that Kahn got a producer's fee or royalty (or both), and Garcia and Kahn split the rest of the money. My guess is that Melvin Seals et al just received a straight fee for being on the album(s).

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  19. K&D also seem to have been the most insular members of the Garcia band - I think their entire income came from being Grateful Dead members (aside from whatever they got from the JGB). Donna had done studio sessions pre-Dead, but from what I gather, neither she nor Keith did studio work with other musicians while they were in the Dead (aside from a couple 'family' albums with David Bromberg & David Rea)...
    The exception is their brief solo K&D stint in '75, when the Dead were off for a while - but that came to a close when they were swallowed up by the JGB in '76.

    So in that respect, K&D were kind of the 'odd men out' within the Garcia band, being entirely dependent on touring with Garcia.
    On the other hand, within the Grateful Dead, Garcia himself was the outlier, as the other Dead members didn't involve themselves nearly as much with outside non-Dead projects. So perhaps it's fitting that Garcia would settle into another band with players who were also juggling multiple commitments...a 'sidemen's band', as it were.

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  20. As small note: Tutt toured with Elvis beyond Vegas. In Aloha from Hawaii he is listed in the album notes as drummer and Elvis mentions him as such during the band introductions.

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  21. We're definitely oversimplifying Tutt's role in Elvis concerts. He toured with Elvis nonstop from 72 onwards, as far as I know. He's in the Elvis On Tour movie from 1972 (at Greensboro, NC) rocking away, and I think Tutt played every show Elvis played for the last several years.

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  22. Even that understates Tutt's involvement. He played with Elvis continually from 1969-1977. (Which is the equivalent of several Dead eras...)
    To this day, Tutt is perhaps most famous for being Elvis's drummer. Occasionally an article will note that, oh, he played with this Jerry Garcia fellow too...
    Later drummer David Kemper noted a similar phenomenon:
    "For most of my career, projects led to other projects - word of mouth would get me jobs. The JGB led to nothing...the band had no relevance outside the Grateful Dead community... Musician friends would ask me what I was doing, and I'd tell them I was in the Jerry Garcia Band, and they'd ask, "Garcia from the Grateful Dead? I didn't know he had a band." (I was like that myself before John Kahn called me.) These were actively working musicians who didn't know Jerry had a band separate from the Dead...clearly they had no idea that we'd go out and play for 17,000 people at a time. I'd tell them, and they'd be very surprised."

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  24. The Jerry Garcia Band was a unique institution with a peculiar set of values that infused its decision making. The Deaddisc.com site has a fascinating note on Melvin Seals's "initiation" into the band (http://deaddisc.com/disc/Run_For_The_Roses.htm)

    Seals: "I did some gigs with Maria Muldaur. Her boyfriend at the time was John Kahn. He [came to] the gigs, and he admired what I was doing so he asked me if I'd be interested in jamming with another band sometime. He never really went into the details of what it was. Nobody even told me he played with [Jerry].

    [Kahn] called me up one day [and said] we're trying to put some rehearsals together to get some gigs. I went up to the address and there's Jerry Garcia and John Kahn and all these other musicians. I didn't even know what was going on. Really, it still didn't hit me until the end of the rehearsal."

    So here's this hugely profitable band, playing a lot of weeknights, rarely rehearsing, releasing an album a decade, and you can't request entry into the circle. The "leader" of the band (Jerry) doesn't really run it, because he's busy doing something else. Very strange indeed.

    Kemper is another great player, by the way, and he is only overshadowed in JGB history because Tutt is such a giant.

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  25. Perhaps I should mention for folks the source of that Kemper quote, one of the best interviews about Garcia I've seen:
    http://www.well.com/user/shmo/kemper.html

    I still can't get over how casually people were inducted into that band. The "leader" doesn't bother picking his own bandmates, barely rehearses or even discusses the music with them (not that there are many songs to rehearse).
    I guess Garcia wanted to follow the same pattern the Dead used, of things falling together 'accidentally' & without planning.
    Which meant in many ways, this became as much the John Kahn Band as Garcia's.

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  26. "as much the John Kahn Band as Garcia's"

    If we ever get into the business papers, I think this will be confirmed.

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  27. The JGB achieved a nice sound at times, but let's be honest: it depended on Jerry's brand-name recognition. The John Kahn Band would not sell out the Kaiser. I doubt it would've sold out, say, Slim's. Melvin Seals--that was the JGB keyboardist with a jazzy-gospel touch. JG/Dead also played with Merl Saunders quite a bit.

    Ah the Wikster has some interesting bio-data on Kahn. 'Heads supposedly considered Kahn suspect for encouraging JG's heroin habit--and Kahn hisself died of OD. Bad joss.

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  28. John Rich is my dad. I'll have him read all of the above and answer some questions. He'd get a real kick out of this, and I would too!

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  29. iamtwon, it would be great if he could weigh in! We had to guess about a lot of stuff, so it would be great to find out what really went down.

    As near as I can tell, John Rich was in the Garcia Band from December 21, 1976 to January 29, 1977, and the surviving tapes are pretty interesting (Jan 29 '77, particularly). I know myself and the regular commenters would love to hear about it. You or he could Comment, or email me directly at corrarnold at gmail.com

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  30. iamtwon, can you please drop me a line by email at jgmfblog AT gmail DOT com? I would love to be in touch with you, please! I want to learn more about your Dad. Thanks in advance.

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  31. Who is John Rich? There has been an inquiry as to "Who is John Rich" The pedal steel guitar player that played with Jerry Garcia. I am he, but my name is John L. Rich, multi-instrumentalist I was born in Chatanooga TN, raised in Sanford Florida, and became a resident member of the music capital of the world, Nashville, TN. Specifically pertaining to the question asked; the Berklee gig was actually an invitation from my friend, Ronnie Tut, who recommended me to the Jerry Garcia Band, a new group with a few of the Greatful Dead members. This was about a year after Elvis' "Aloha From Hawaii". Many people don't know that Jerry Garcia played pedal steel on the hit "Teach Your Childeren" by Crosby Stills Nash and Young as he loved the steel guitar.


    It was my honor and privelege to fly in from Nashville, to meet and perform with the band at Berklee, CA for a couple of nights. Rehearsal was held in a gourgeous house in the hills. I remember the band's brand new Porsche 911's, each a different color parked in the long wide drive. We breezed through the tunes with ease, and later relaxed at my motel room with "Red Carpet" treatment. The gigs were two hour-and-a-half long sets with forty-five minute breaks in which the fans stood around talking quietly waiting on the band to return to the stage. The place was packed and the loyalty of the Dead fans, especially to Jerry, was unbelievable. The first set was smoking hot with a great sound system, monitors that would shake your pant-legs. Being in my late twenties and exposed to the music world's outer edges, although not a novice to rock 'n roll's lifestyle, I noticed a half-dozen audience members' middle fingers missing from their right hands. I asked Ronnie about it and he said, "It was because they wanted to be like Jerry". I was shocked to the point of not wanting to be there. I told Jerry after we finished, thanks for the opportunity, but I didn't think the job is for me. The circumstances and experiences of a thirty year Nashville world experience of recording and touring with many great, exceptionally decent artist and bands of whom most I consider my friends, has been an experience that cannot be expressed in one hundred novels.

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  32. Who is John Rich? There has been an inquiry as to "Who is John Rich" The pedal steel guitar player that played with Jerry Garcia. I am he, but my name is John L. Rich, multi-instrumentalist I was born in Chatanooga TN, raised in Sanford Florida, and became a resident member of the music capital of the world, Nashville, TN. Specifically pertaining to the question asked; the Berklee gig was actually an invitation from my friend, Ronnie Tut, who recommended me to the Jerry Garcia Band, a new group with a few of the Greatful Dead members. This was about a year after Elvis' "Aloha From Hawaii". Many people don't know that Jerry Garcia played pedal steel on the hit "Teach Your Childeren" by Crosby Stills Nash and Young as he loved the steel guitar.

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  33. It was my honor and privelege to fly in from Nashville, to meet and perform with the band at Berklee, CA for a couple of nights. Rehearsal was held in a gourgeous house in the hills. I remember the band's brand new Porsche 911's, each a different color parked in the long wide drive. We breezed through the tunes with ease, and later relaxed at my motel room with "Red Carpet" treatment. The gigs were two hour-and-a-half long sets with forty-five minute breaks in which the fans stood around talking quietly waiting on the band to return to the stage. The place was packed and the loyalty of the Dead fans, especially to Jerry, was unbelievable. The first set was smoking hot with a great sound system, monitors that would shake your pant-legs. Being in my late twenties and exposed to the music world's outer edges, although not a novice to rock 'n roll's lifestyle, I noticed a half-dozen audience members' middle fingers missing from their right hands. I asked Ronnie about it and he said, "It was because they wanted to be like Jerry". I was shocked to the point of not wanting to be there. I told Jerry after we finished, thanks for the opportunity, but I didn't think the job is for me. The circumstances and experiences of a thirty year Nashville world experience of recording and touring with many great, exceptionally decent artist and bands of whom most I consider my friends, has been an experience that cannot be expressed in one hundred novels.

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  34. After hearing from my internet savvy son, Anthony Rich who lives in Nashville, of the question asked by Grateful Dead fans who want to know, "Who is John Rich", my answer would have to be "Without Jesus, I am nothing!" It is my desire to leave you with a testemonial for now, hoping that "whosoever" may want to hear more. Have you ever met someone who thought man, not God, wrote the bible? Throughout my whole life, if anyone would have asked me about my salvation, my answer would have been, "Yes, I think I'm saved, having tried to live a godly life, doing the very best that I could, with good morals, well... most of the time, observing the law, obeying my parents, and trying to love my neighbor".


    Then, my bible knowledge was very limited. Although I knew of the trinity, and believe Jesus was God's only begotten son, having memorized John 3:16 and a few other versus, but not much more. Unfortunately, I had always been interested in the manual for my car, that to know God's manual, the Word, Emmanuel... who he is... why he came... what he did. Through desire to know more, I found that god used holy men of old to write down "His" very words in both Hebrew and Greek. The old King James 1611 bible is the infallible, inerrant, preserved translation for English-speaking people. Anything else, at best, is a revision. Why would anyone chose to study, preach, or teach what man has changed, rather than what God said?

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  35. Revelation 22:18-19 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book.


    2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


    Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?


    One must believe the bible is true. The word of God is to be taken in its proper context and that it interprets itself. The traditions of men, with their opinions, continually distort, confuse, and misinterpret His precious, holy world. Once I understood this, my desire was tremendously increased to know truth. That's when God began working in the circumstances of my life to bring me to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.


    For many years it was my desire to know more about God's word. Knowing him as I do now is a result of that desire.


    II Corinthians 6:17-18 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.


    I am so glad that I chose to obey the Lord's call, leaving false doctrine to embrace his truth. God then led me to Liberty Baptist Church in DeLand, FL, where I heard the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.


    II Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?


    Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,


    Isiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.


    As I was challenged to examine what I was trusting to take me to Heaven, I realized that I did not posses "Bible Salvation", and therefore, I was not saved. From desiring, hearing, and understanding the truth by the word of God, John L. Rich was able to believe and trust only in God's finished work of redemption by Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. That is why, since April, 2003, never doubting, always confident, I know my saviour Jesus Christ, that Heaven is my home and that without Him we are nothing. He is our best friend!


    II Corinthians 5:18-21 And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.


    So, who is John Rich? Just a wicked rotten sinner, saved by grace, serving the Lord with all the talents he has given me.


    Thank you for listening...

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  36. Revelation 22:18-19 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book.


    2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


    Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?


    One must believe the bible is true. The word of God is to be taken in its proper context and that it interprets itself. The traditions of men, with their opinions, continually distort, confuse, and misinterpret His precious, holy world. Once I understood this, my desire was tremendously increased to know truth. That's when God began working in the circumstances of my life to bring me to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.


    For many years it was my desire to know more about God's word. Knowing him as I do now is a result of that desire.


    II Corinthians 6:17-18 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

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  37. I am so glad that I chose to obey the Lord's call, leaving false doctrine to embrace his truth. God then led me to Liberty Baptist Church in DeLand, FL, where I heard the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.


    II Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?


    Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,


    Isiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.


    As I was challenged to examine what I was trusting to take me to Heaven, I realized that I did not posses "Bible Salvation", and therefore, I was not saved. From desiring, hearing, and understanding the truth by the word of God, John L. Rich was able to believe and trust only in God's finished work of redemption by Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. That is why, since April, 2003, never doubting, always confident, I know my saviour Jesus Christ, that Heaven is my home and that without Him we are nothing. He is our best friend!


    II Corinthians 5:18-21 And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.


    So, who is John Rich? Just a wicked rotten sinner, saved by grace, serving the Lord with all the talents he has given me.


    Thank you for listening...

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  38. Sorry for the repost overlap there.

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  39. Mr Rich, thank you so much for resolving this mystery for us and telling us something about yourself (don't worry about the reposts-- it happens to the best of us). It's very interesting to hear about having worked with the Jerry Garcia Band from a musician's perspective.

    I did sometimes see Deadheads tuck back a finger and give the "Garcia salute"--I didn't realize it was visible from the stage. I'm not aware of anyone actually injuring themselves in anyway, but it probably looked pretty weird in the dark.

    Thanks again for filling us in. It's great to find out who you really are.

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  40. For those of you still following this thread, we are now left with speculation as to who might have played with JGB on January 29, 1977, if indeed there was a steel guitarist.

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  41. Corry, Long time since my last post. Would like to restate the fingers i saw missing in the audience were up-close, on our breaks and it was not a "Garcia Salute" from a distance. Believe it or not... in fact, ask Ronnie Tutt. Also please excuse the typo spelling of God.

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    1. John, nice to hear from you, and thanks for clarifying this amazing fact. It must have been pretty strange indeed to see up close.

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  42. Corry, Thanks for your kind reply. Check out "The Goldens" on Youtube...especially "Keep The Faith" & "Take Me Back To The Country". Your JGB fan, john rich.

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