Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hooteroll--When Was It Recorded?

(the cover of the Howard Wales & Jerry Garcia album Hooteroll?, released December 1971 on Douglas 5/CBS Records)

I do not usually focus on released albums, as the Deaddisc site generally does such an excellent job. My focus has always been on live performances, specifically the different dates and venues and exact lineups that performed. However, a recent discussion about Jerry Garcia's brief East Coast tour with Howard Wales in January 1972 begged an interesting question: when was Hooteroll? recorded?

The Hooteroll? album was released in December 1971, on Douglas 5 Records. Credited to Howard Wales and Jerry Garcia, the label seems to have been the private imprint of jazz producer Alan Douglas, but since it was manufactured and distributed by Columbia (with a Columbia record number), it was essentially a Columbia release. Hooteroll was released the month before Garcia's first solo album (Garcia) on Warner Brothers. I can't imagine that Warners was pleased to have an album of Jerry Garcia jams in the store at the same time as his first solo album. On the other hand, the Columbia sponsored tour of the East Coast in January 1972 acted as pretty good publicity for the Garcia solo album, so it all worked out well in the end.

The passage of time, however, has obscured the timing of the recording. JGMF has established fairly convincingly that Merl Saunders took over for Howard Wales in the Monday night jams at the Matrix on or about September 7, 1970. Without a doubt, Saunders was partners with Garcia, Kahn and Vitt by October 1970. Did Garcia go back and record the album later with Howard Wales?

The personnel on the Hooteroll album was
  • Howard Wales - piano, organ
  • Jerry Garcia - guitar
  • John Kahn - bass
  • Curly Cook - rhythm guitar
  • Bill Vitt - drums
  • Michael Marinelli - drums
  • Ken Balzall - trumpet
  • Martin Fierro - saxophone, flute

Wales, Garcia, Kahn and Vitt were the "Monday Night Band" at The Matrix from about April through August, 1970. Martin Fierro is a familiar name to Garcia fans, as he joined the Garcia/Saunders group in 1974, but his performance on Hooteroll seems to pre-date that by at least 3 years.  Curly Cook was a familiar name in Bay Area music, having played with Steve Miller Band, AB Skhy, Crowfoot and others, but who felt that the quartet needed a rhythm guitar player? Douglas? Did Garcia ever talk about the recording of the Hooteroll album?

Questions abound. Who were drummer Michael Marinelli and trumpeter Ken Balzall? What studio was the album recorded at? Was Garcia present in the studio, or did he overdub his parts? If Garcia did some overdubbing, on some songs at least, it would have explained Curly Cook's presence. Alan Douglas had a reputation as a producer of having a clear idea of how his artists should sound, even if the artist wasn't as inclined in that direction. I have a feeling that Douglas felt that Garcia could become established as a jazz player--not a bad idea--but that may not have been Garcia's intent. Douglas had attempted a similar thing with Jimi Hendrix and organist Larry Young, so I am not simply imagining this.

I do have a theory. I think the material was recorded in the Summer of 1970. In the Fall of 1971, various people must have persuaded Garcia to let the album be released as a favor to Howard Wales. I think the motivating force was Clive Davis. Davis had always wanted to sign the Grateful Dead, and he had signed the New Riders at least in part in order to court Garcia. Davis would have been sympathetic to the idea that Garcia could have been made into some kind of jazz guitar hero, and he would have encouraged the release of what was otherwise fairly uncommercial music. Davis surely knew that the Grateful Dead's contract with Warners would be over by 1973, and he had to be interested in the Dead.

Since Warner Brothers was releasing the Garcia album, they may have tolerated the Columbia release in order to attract attention to Garcia as a solo act. Interestingly, Warner Brothers was not thanked for giving permission for Garcia to appear on the album, leading me to wonder what Garcia's contractual status was as a solo artist.

However, Alan Douglas and co-producer Doris Dynamite did produce another album in San Francisco in the middle of 1970, instrumental music that was used as the soundtrack to the Spanish allegorical Western movie El Topo. Since El Topo was released in December of 1970, I have to assume the soundtrack was recorded in the Summer or Fall of '70. The soundtrack album was credited to the group Shades Of Joy. The principal arranger for the music was Martin Fierro. Howard Wales appears on the album, as does trumpeter Ken Balzall. Also on the record are drummer Jerry Love and bassist Roger "Jelly Roll" Troy, both of whom would join Wales in early '72 when he toured the East Coast with Garcia.

The credits for El Topo say that the album was recorded at CBS Studios in San Francisco, with Douglas and Doris Dynamite as the producers. I think Douglas invited Garcia, Kahn and Vitt to jam with Howard Wales on CBS's dime, with an eye to releasing an album in the future. I suspect that many of Fierro's horn parts were added to Hooteroll later, as was Balzall's trumpet. Cook or Marinelli may have been present at some of the jams, or overdubbed some bits and pieces as needed. A few long nights in the Summer of 1970 would have provided enough material for the album and the outtakes that were added later.

The extreme vagueness on the record cover about recording details is typically a sign that something funky was happening with the recording or the timing, since usually album covers were full of things like the name of the studio and thanks to special friends. The engineer is named on the album (Russ Geary), who was not the engineer on El Topo (Glen Kolotkin handled the desk for the soundtrack). The album was mixed by Tom Bongiovi, who would work with Douglas many times (Bongiovi's younger cousin is the famous rock singer Jon Bon Jovi).

Whatever the very peculiar circumstances of the release of Hooteroll might have been--and they had to be peculiar--Garcia was a willing participant. There are pictures of Garcia and Wales on the back and inside covers, and Garcia played several dates with Wales's band in early 1972. Still, it's odd: an album recorded in the Summer of 1970 by a band who had moved on (Saunders had replaced Wales), playing noncommercial music and released on a label that wasn't Garcia's, fully a year later with no explanation, while a Warner's solo album was released, publicized by Garcia's first paying East Coast solo shows playing nothing off the solo album.

Garcia may have been willing or even eager to do a favor for Howard Wales, but he was too busy recording and touring to be working on strange backroom deals with record companies. Given the strangeness of Hooteroll's recording and release--I am open to any other theories, but they are likely to be just as convoluted as my proposals--someone had to have a vested interest in making sure Garcia appeared on the Wales album.

The back cover of the album has a photo of Garcia and Wales sitting on a couch, smoking a joint--racy stuff for 1971. A close look at Garcia's hands suggests that the photo's negative is reversed, since Garcia's left hand appears to be missing a finger. A look at the original LP credits says Photographs: Ron Rakow. Whatever peculiar path was that led to Hooteroll's release, Garcia was always willing to go along with Rakow's schemes, and I have to think that we owe the album to Mr. Rakow. I have to say, for all the aspersions rightly cast on Rakow, if I am correct about this we would not have had an idea about the music of Howard Wales and Jerry Garcia without the release of Hooteroll, so he did everyone a musical favor there. The true story may never be known--Rakow doesn't talk much--but at least the music made it out into the world.

Update: JGMF has done some amazing research, and makes a pretty convincing case for Hooteroll having been recorded at the end of 1970. He also illustrates how there were considerably more machinations between Douglas Records and the members of the Dead than I had realized, which adds to my idea that Columbia was courting the Dead in anticipation of stealing them from Warners.


  1. I'm not sure about your theories on the motives behind Hooteroll - it's a shadowy region that can only be populated by speculations at this point!

    On one side, I also lean towards a 1970 recording. Mainly because Garcia was regularly playing with Wales at this point - and Wales also guested on several songs on the American Beauty album in summer '70, whereas it was Saunders who played overdubs on the 1971 live album - making a 1970 studio collaboration with Wales easier to imagine.

    On the other hand, the idea of a band 'resurrection' in fall '71 also has some merit (perhaps on Alan Douglas' promptings, or even Garcia's?). The personnel on Hooteroll are different from the band that went on tour in Jan '72 - but they play some of the same tunes. (And, I could be wrong, but does any of the Hooteroll material appear on the 1970 Side Trips recording? Some comparative listening might be instructive.)

    Garcia did have some contact with Wales in '71, for apparently the Dead auditioned Wales as a possible keyboard player in summer '71. Bob Weir said the resulting music was "much too weird too everybody backed off."

    Jerry talked a bit about Hooteroll in the Signpost to New Space interview. (Although the bulk of the interview comes from summer '71, clearly this was added from a later followup interview.)
    "It came out pretty successfully. It could have come out better. It could've come out really fine, in my opinion. I'm talking about the way it fell together, cause none of their material was written or anything. We either worked it out in the studio, or it was totally improvised - like South Side Strut is just a jam, it's a thing which just happened, with all those changes and horn parts; we did it all live. It was very loose, but the results of it came out remarkably sophisticated."
    Unfortunately, he doesn't answer any of your questions! - except to suggest that the studio work was 'live' with the horn players.

    Garcia said later of the January '72 tour: "I didn't really go on the road that time to play. The thing was really misrepresented. I just wanted to get Howard out playing, and the band had a nice thing going which really didn't have much to do with me. I was just there fucking around."
    Which makes it clear that he was there to support Wales' album, not his own!
    I wonder whether you might not be too quick in ascribing the desire to release this album to everyone except Garcia...

  2. Very interesting details, thanks.Very interesting to hear the comments about the horn sounds like Fierro and Balzall were both there, at least for that track.

    I'm confident that Jerry enjoyed the music on the album and was happy to have it released, both on its own terms and in order to raise the profile of Howard Wales. My thrust is to suggest that it wasn't Garcia working the phones with Columbia trying to get the record put out. I think that other people, whether they were Alan Douglas, Clive Davis, Ron Rakow or unknown parties were formulating the actual release.

    Alan Douglas has been poorly received for some of the things he did with unreleased Hendrix material in the mid-70s. The complexities of the Hendrix estate is so dense, I don't know what to make of the accusations, but in general Douglas was accused of trying to make Hendrix look "jazzier" than he actually may have been. Douglas (and engineer Tom Bongiovi) had some NYC session guys overdub new parts on top of Hendrix tracks, and it was seen as sacrilegious by Rolling Stone and others.

    All this is a roundabout way of saying that Alan Douglas was confident about making records his own way, so I'm not ruling out any possible: overdubs, multiple recording sessions, you name it. I'm just wondering how much of a role Wales played, as well as Garcia.

  3. The recording of the EL TOPO soundtrack is, I think, a dead end with regards to HOOTEROLL. When John Lennon saw the film in December 1970, it was a total obscurity that was only playing at the Elgin Theater in NYC. Lennon later convinced Allen Klein to buy up the film, and only then, in late 1971, did it get a widespread release thanks to Allen Klein's ABKCO, who distributed it.

    The official soundtrack album was worked on in October of 1971, and released on the Beatles' Apple Records in December 1971. The album that Douglas worked on was NOT the original soundtrack, but was, I believe, more of a knock-off to capitalize on the success of the film. Since the actual soundtrack wasn't even mooted until late 1971, I cannot believe that Douglas' project was any earlier than that, and the fact that the musicians on that EL TOPO album toured together in early 1972 suddenly makes a lot of sense. I think that EL TOPO post-dates HOOTEROLL by about a year or so.

  4. sraile, this is a completely fascinating twist on the links between Howard Wales and Alan Douglas. It explains a lot of confusion.

  5. The official soundtrack album was worked on in October of 1971 ... The album that Douglas worked on was NOT the original soundtrack, but was, I believe, more of a knock-off to capitalize on the success of the film.

    I am not sure what to make of this. In itself, it doesn't change the notion that the Douglas Records thing, however it might have related to the film or the official soundtrack, is Douglas Records no. 6, released in late 1970, about a year before Douglas Records no. 5 ... does it? If you are saying that the Douglas Records thing was never really released, or wasn't released until much later, then that would be more important than whether there was a separate project.

    I am sure I am the one misunderstanding, just want to try to get clarity on what you're saying, sraile.

  6. As sraile notes, the "Music of El Topo" album is not actually the soundtrack to the film - that was a separate album.
    The Shades of Joy album was a Martin Fierro project 'inspired by' the film, and with some Jodorowsky input (at least, he's credited as composer and wrote some liner notes).

    All the discographical sources I can find online say that the "Music of El Topo" album was recorded and released in 1970.
    And yet, El Topo wasn't even shown until Dec '70 (at the Elgin Theater only) and wasn't distributed nationwide til June '71.
    So...I think sraile is onto something, and our "known" 1970 release date is wrong.

    JGMF also noticed that while Hooteroll was Douglas Record #5, Music of El Topo was Douglas Record #6, also suggesting that Hooteroll was released first. (And the mysterious Doris Dynamite was credited as co-producer for both albums - apparently her only album credits! She seems to have been Douglas's 'personal assistant'...)
    Douglas Records #4, by the way, was John McLaughlin's Devotion, said to have been released in Sept. 1970.

    Fierro's Shades of Joy group had also released a self-titled album in 1969. The Wales band on tour in Jan '72 was not the Shades of Joy - lacking, of course, Fierro or any horn players - but the drummer & bass player had been on the El Topo album, not on the Hooteroll album, for what that's worth.

    There's a new review of the Hooteroll reissue - - which mentions:
    "Record producer Alan Douglas was in attendance at some of the Matrix jams and coaxed Wales and Garcia into recording what eventually became Hooteroll."
    Since the author had interviewed Wales, this info could come from Wales himself.

    And, another strange tidbit from this site:
    Engineer Russ Gary, remembering the summer of 1969, says, "I made albums in Studio D with A. B. Skhy, and an instrumental album by Jerry Garcia and Howard Wales for producer Alan Douglas."
    Which is interesting - he was indeed the engineer for Hooteroll, but it couldn't have been in 1969, so I assume he's being a little loose chronologically.
    BUT, it's still useful evidence because he says later on that he left Wally Heider's studio in August '71 to work for Fantasy - so it's another sign that Hooteroll must have been recorded before Aug '71, at least.

    And, as a final aside, here's a Rolling Stone review of Hooteroll (from Nov 11, '71) - - which notes that Garcia was an EC Comics fanatic, and pleads that a "Hooteroll volume 2" be released so that Jerry can buy more comics!

  7. By the way, guitarist James Vincent wrote a memoir (Space Traveler), with some info...

    He first saw the Howard Wales Band (Wales, Roger "the Roll" Troy, & Jerry Love) at the Lions Share in San Anselmo sometime in '71.
    "The Roll told me that Howard had just finished an album with Jerry Garcia called Hooteroll. Howard had brought them back from out east to do another record for Douglas Records. Apparently Alan Douglas had a distribution deal with Columbia Records... There was even talk of a tour with Jerry Garcia upon the release of the Hooteroll album."
    Struck by the music, Vincent joined the group immediately. "The band started playing some small gigs in places like the Matrix, Keystone Berkeley, and Lions Share. In the summer of 1971 we began recording at Columbia Studios in San Francisco, and I had my first encounter with Alan Douglas and his assistant, who we referred to as Doris Dynamite. (Roll liked to refer to her as "Nubs")... On our first session I met a sax player named Martin Fierro... At the time he was recording his first soundtrack album, for El Topo...
    "In the meantime, we hooked up with Jerry Garcia to prepare for an East Coast tour for the promotion of Hooteroll. When I met Jerry for our first and only rehearsal prior to going on the road, I had no idea how big this thing was going to be... I had never really paid much attention to that band."

    The "Hooteroll Band" arrived in New York in Jan '72 (accompanied by Sam Cutler), and Vincent noted at the press conference that the reporters were eager to interview Jerry Garcia, while being "polite" to Wales.
    "We played to a sold-out house at the Academy of Music and received an enthusiastic response, complete with encore. Our approach to playing music was not unlike the Dead's, except the musicianship was perhaps more technically advanced." (George Harrison was backstage.)
    "After that night we were joined by another band that would open for us on the remainder of the tour. Observing this band in action was a humbling and inspirational experience for me. The group was the newly formed Mahavishnu Orchestra...
    "The most prestigious venue on our tour was the final gig at Boston Symphony Hall. It was amazing to me that our audience, comprised mostly of "Dead Heads", did not seem at all impressed with the great music being played by our "warm up" band. It certainly was a new type of music...executed with a virtuosity that was unprecedented in rock, and it was obviously way over the heads of their listeners. In that audience, there were people with human skulls impaled on long skulls, and they were ready to "jam", not to be taken on an esoteric musical journey executed with precision and elegance.
    "Our two roadies were Joe Winslow and Steve Parrish, from the Dead Family. Not only were they real pros at their work, they were great protectors of the band. Whenever any ill-behaved audience members would try to storm the stage, these two could always be counted on to stop them dead in their tracks. Along with all of the gear they transported and set up every night, they always made sure we had a couple tanks of nitrous oxide ready to go..." (Vincent mentions that during the Boston show, Wales was soaring on an acid trip.)


  8. Anyway, that's about all he says about this band, in-between all the drug stories. And there are MANY drug stories about Douglas, Wales, etc... (Apparently Douglas was a cocaine fiend, while Wales had the most potent weed Vincent ever encountered, plus they were often dosed with LSD before shows; so the band was permanently wasted. "We all felt invincible...we all lived on the edge back then. Looking back, I feel truly thankful to be alive...")

    He does talk about Wales' music:
    "I very much enjoyed the musical was unlike any band I had ever worked with. The songs were not difficult to learn, and we were never expected to play Howard's music the same way twice. That approach to our music produced a good deal of spontaneity and excitement when the band really 'connected', but we found that connection was not always a sure thing. When we were 'off', we could certainly be less than inspirational. Our unspoken goal was to give it a little time, develop as much consistency as possible, and just get comfortable playing together. One element that heavily influenced our rehearsal was the ever-present giant reefer..."

    He's vague about what they were recording in summer/fall '71 (Wales didn't release another album at that time), but it seems to have included work on the El Topo album, while Hooteroll was already done.
    Apparently the band folded after the "Hooteroll tour".

    For the curious, more of this book can be read on googlebooks.

  9. Yes, "Light Into Ashes" got my poorly-written point, which was that a 1970 release of the "Music of El Topo" album is extremely unlikely, and that date must be incorrect. We know that "Hooteroll?" was released in late 1971, and I firmly believe that the "El Topo" album was, too (which makes the catalog numbers of both of those albums make sense). I mean, ABKCO controlled the film's distribution in the United States, and they didn't get their official soundtrack album out until late 1971....I just don't see how anyone else could have beat them to the punch by a year or more. Oh, and for what it's worth: I'm also the "anonymous" who posted over on LLD on this topic about the dating of Billboard issues. Just couldn't figure out how to post with my ID, but it looks like I've got it now! :-)

  10. sraile, welcome aboard, and thanks for figuring out the El Topo mystery. I had wondered how a New York producer made a soundtrack in San Francisco for a Spanish surrealist movie. Now I can see that it was all after the fact.

  11. Thanks for having me! I just finished my portion of work on the last John Lennon book that will ever need to be written (see if you're interested), and now I'm psyched to turn my attention and research skills to my second-favorite band. I was totally stoked to find this site (and Jerry's Middle Finger). You gentlemen are Deadheads after my own heart. Let's go solve some mysteries!

  12. Welcome, sraile!

    What you say makes great sense to me now, really seems the most plausible interpretation of the confusing dates and such.

    I have a follow up post that is drafted that'll go up momentarily that persuades me that I was wrong about a late 1970 completion date for Hooteroll.

  13. A glance at album reviews in old Billboards shows a review for Hooteroll in the Sep 11 '71 Billboard ("Garcia's name alone should sell this album"), and a review for "Music of El Topo" on Dec 18 '71.

    So the order of those albums is now positive. As well, it's now clear that Hooteroll was not released as late as December '71, as we thought. (The Sep 18 '71 issue lists it on sale for $4.98.)
    Indeed, Billboard shows Hooteroll as #201 on the charts in their Oct 9 '71 issue (just above the Grateful Dead's live album!).

    So far from being delayed, we now know Hooteroll was finished around June '71 and released that September.

    (The July 10 '71 Billboard reports that "Fierro's Shades of Joy has just recorded an LP for Columbia", and by Sep 25 they mention that their 'music from El Topo' is due to be released. We know from JGMF's posts, though, that Billboard's not entirely to be trusted about recording dates.)

    There's also a little review of the Garcia/Wales Academy of Music show in the Feb 5 '72 Billboard issue, which notes that the audience was mainly there just to see Garcia...

    And as a further aside, the Feb 27 '71 issue has a little promo about Douglas Records that says upcoming product will include "Garcia-Wales", "an album by Grateful Dead leader Jerry Garcia with Douglas artist Howard Wales on piano" (!) and the soundtrack for El Topo (!! - planned as early as Feb '71, it seems). And the Nov 6 '71 issue has an interview with Alan Douglas about the music on his label.

  14. Anyway - now that the dating issue has been cleared up - the place of Garcia's own solo album in the timeline becomes clearer.

    I don't know how early on he decided (or was urged) to record one himself (the January 23 '71 Billboard reports that he, the Dead's drummers, and Pigpen are all starting to think about solo albums - and also goes into much detail about their planned June '71 tour of Europe! - but not til July 17 '71 is it stated that he's recording his solo LP at Heider's amidst mixing the Dead's live album.)
    But clearly Garcia's solo album followed months of sporadic, but continual, work in the studio with Crosby, PERRO, and Wales. While happy to be a sideman for others and prominently helping THEIR albums, he seems to have been reluctant to get started as a "solo" artist. (Had the Dead recorded a studio album in '71, we might not have had that first Garcia album...)

    His commitment to playing small Matrix shows with Wales is also striking. You would not expect him to be playing at the Matrix on, say, 7/6/70 or 10/26/70, but there he was...insatiable. One gets the impression of him rushing home in a tour break to dash to the nearest stage...

  15. ...and, pertaining to nothing in particular, I'd like to report a "lost" show I saw mentioned in Billboard - at the Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver 1/23/71:
    (The poster, oddly enough, shows the 1966-era Dead. But this promoter wasn't the only one out of date - some of the spring '71 posters show the 1969 Dead, with TC in the band!)

    Billboard (the 1/23/71 issue) said that after the little January run, the Dead would "take three weeks off and return to San Francisco to develop new material."
    Which is exactly what they did! One of the few notable things about these January '71 shows is that the Dead DON'T preview the new songs featured in the Feb '71 run...

    Billboard also accurately reports the Dead's scheduled tours for March & April - and I can't help but quote the planned "Europe '71":
    "In June the entire Dead Family (some 50 people) goes to Europe for a one month tour. They have rented six barges, each capable of carrying 15 people, and will travel where they can by water. One of the barges is a sound stage, and the bands will play as they travel down the canals of England and Holland. Tour also includes dates in France, Sweden and Germany, and the entire trip will be filmed for release as a full-length feature."

  16. LIA's discovery of the "Europe '71" tour reminds me that I also discovered a reference to a planned "Europe '68" tour in a 1968 issue of Billboard. I don't have the details in front of me (this was years ago and I was more focused on John Lennon than the Dead), but that might be something nifty to turn up again.

  17. I am gathering information on the hits and misses of the GD in Europe, that is, with some focus on the planned tours/gigs that never materialized. I plan on posting on it at some point. I think my email is linked to my profile, so I'd grateful receive (and credit) any information!)

    LIA, thanks for all of this information. Great stuff.

  18. Sraile - there's already a post here about the canceled Europe '68 tour!
    (I've discovered in the past, sometimes you turn up something exciting only to find that it's already been posted on here...)

    Now the Europe '71 tour was not just 'canceled', but bumped back to the next year...I'm not sure why the initial plans fell through - the Dead were, after all, able to play one show in France in June '71, so it would have been worth their while to play more. Pigpen went with them, so his ill health wasn't an issue yet. Perhaps lack of forthcoming Warners funds? - the Dead were able to "prove" themselves later in '71 with the success of the live album, and decided to finance the Europe '72 trip by recording another live album. (Though, alas, no film except for the Danish TV show.)

    The Dead's European tours in later years seem to have been rare because their crew did not like traveling to Europe!

  19. And to throw a little more in the pot - a snippet from Blair Jackson:

    'An intended followup to Hooteroll never materialized, thanks in part to Dead envy, according to Wales. "I never got along with the rest of those guys. There was a lot of jealousy... The only person I was friends with was Jerry. In fact, they were very jealous over the fact that we did Hooteroll together."'

    Is there more info on this issue? I know in the Saunders years, Merl felt the rest of the Dead was suspicious of him for 'stealing' Jerry from them; and Richard Loren (Jerry's manager) said, "Even though no one would come out and say it, the Merl and Jerry Band became a little bit of a threat... There was a little uneasiness amongst the band members to accept it. They wanted Jerry all to themselves."

    So while I'd like to say that Wales was being paranoid, there may be something in what he says. It may or may not be coincidental that he stopped playing the Matrix shows with Jerry right around the same time he contributed to the American Beauty studio album.
    (On the other hand, Jerry continued to be very supportive of Wales - although they didn't do any more studio recordings once Hooteroll was done, Jerry still went on that January '72 tour - the Dead were on a long tour break, so he had the opportunity.)

  20. That's a nice find, LIA. I keep committing to myself to checking out Jackson and McNally before I post anything at all -- Jackson, especially, for non-GD stuff -- but it sometimes just doesn't seem to fit into the blogging rhythm.

    That story has tons of verisimilitude. There was definitely a dance between Jerry and the rest around how much and with whom he could play, record, etc. It's a testament to JG's loyalty to the GD that he'd let himself be constrained, even on the margin, by them.

  21. OK, here's the story in the liner notes of the new Hooteroll reissue:

    "In 1970 producer Alan Douglas and Jerry Garcia were hanging out with friends at photographer Ron Rakow's house in Marin County.
    Garcia told Douglas to come down to the club to hear him play with jazz organist Wales: 'Great music, you'll have a good time.'

    The following Monday, Douglas showed up at the club.
    He later said: 'I never heard Jerry play so good.'

    After the first set, Garcia sat down with Douglas.
    JG: How'd you like it?
    AD: Great. Let's record it.
    JG: Are you serious?

    Douglas went to his old friend Joe Smith, the vice-president of Warner Brothers Records, and told him the story. Smith, who could have contractually prevented the project, said: 'Do it.'

    The next couple of months were spent recording the Hooteroll album at the CBS studios in San Francisco. Released on the Douglas Music label in 1971, the album had considerable visibility...

    As is usual in the music business, producer Douglas asked Wales & Garcia if they'd like to do a Hooteroll tour to support the record. They agreed. Douglas paired them in concert with John McLaughlin, who was also on the Douglas Music label. The bands did ten dates together. 'Jelly Roll' Torres (aka Roger Troy) put a tour-band of old friends & bandmates together.

    The last gig was at the Palace Theatre, Providence, where the bonus tracks were recorded.
    'She Used to Live Here', Jerry's vocal solo, was a spontaneous happening. We'll never know what possessed him to start singing. But the band fell in behind him, everybody got into it, and the tapes were going."

  22. When I saw the Jellyroll Troy was identified as 'Torres' (also on the back cover), it struck me that this whole re-issue is kind of penumbral, which kind of reinforced one of Corry's original points, that there was a late of possibly-intentional obscurity around the whole thing.

  23. Yeah, I don't think they strained too much for accuracy in those liner notes...probably just a brief conversation with Douglas and that wrapped up the "research".
    (I love, though, how in praising Garcia the notes make the rest of the Dead sound like a bunch of burnt-out unmusical nobodies who weren't right for him...only with Wales' band could he truly shine!)

    How I wish they'd included a whole bonus disc of the Providence show rather than just two tracks....sigh... Maybe that'll be in the deluxe 2021 50th-anniversary reissue.

  24. I've always loved me some Hooteroll?, so I have found this discussion particularly intriguing. In fact it inspired me to pick up a near mint copy of the Ryko release on vinyl a couple of months back. Then again today, I stopped by the same record store, which BTW I hadn't been to since the latest visit and lo and behold, there in the bin is a Douglas 5 copy of it with a "Promotion - Not For Sale" sticker on the back. Well needless to say I couldn't resist it for $17.99, when it could potentially hold a clue as to when Hooteroll? was recorded. After taking it home and doing some careful examination, I can see no date anywhere on the record or packaging. I don't think I had ever seen the original with the gate-fold photo of Garcia and Whales holding a Scientific American up and the joint passing photo on the back. The red Douglas label is also kinda cool, the vinyl also near mint, so all in all glad I swiped it up. When searching the web for catalog numbers however I did notice that Discogs lists one version as being released in 1970 with a different catalog number of Douglas 5, DGL 69013. The one I scored is KZ30859. Not sure if this means anything, but in my experience discogs is a pretty solid database. Perhaps it was released in a smaller run in 1970? I look forward to this story unfolding some more, thanks again to all involved for investigating these very important matters.

  25. Brad, this is an amazing detail--god, what if there were two releases of Hooteroll? Or put another way, from an accounting point of view, there were definitely two releases as far as the record company was concerned, but why? And were there any differences between the releases?

    It was not at all unheard of for record companies to release an album more than once, with a different mix. This is such great information...all Hooteroll, all the time!

  26. This is very curious indeed Corry. Not sure if you came across the Rolling Stone review in your research, but by the tone of it, it appears as if it was out before the review was published on Nov 11th 1971.

  27. Even if the album was just reassigned from Douglas to CBS, and the number just represents an accounting change, its still intriguing (my copy has the CBS number KZ30859 also). I wonder if anyone actually has a copy with the Douglas number?

    Given all the intrigue involving Jerry, the New Riders and Columbia, I can't believe the number change was irrelevant. Maybe the financing of Douglas Records changed, and the album was "re-integrated" back into Columbia, and that may have accounted for the delay.

  28. I mentioned in one of my posts above (1/13/11) that Hooteroll was definitely available for sale in September '71.

    I notice the discogs site lists both the catalog numbers (DGL69013 and KZ30859) - their info that the first release was in 1970 is quite bogus, though, as mastering for the album wasn't completed til June '71, as we saw here:

    I looked at the catalog numbers for some other Douglas releases of the time:
    Last Poets (Douglas 3) - Z 30811
    Lenny Bruce (reissue of Douglas 2) - KZ 30872
    Music of El Topo (Douglas 6) - KZ 30920
    McLaughlin, Devotion (Douglas 4) - KZ 31568, but also a UK release of DGL 65075 (and some other European variants)
    McLaughlin, My Goal's Beyond - KZ 30766, but also a UK release of DGL 69014 (and DGL 64537 in the Netherlands)
    Hooteroll - KZ 30859 in the US, and DGL 69013 in the UK

    Not to be exhaustive about it, but I think it's simply a matter of different catalog numbers for different countries. (And discog's 1970 entry for Hooteroll is an error.)

    1. Hi I was wondering should this disc have both Labels and cat# on the Release at discogs?
      Douglas KZ 30859
      Columbia Records KZ 30859

  29. LIA, this is great research--it was fun while it lasted to imagine an alternate release of Hooteroll.

  30. Ihave spent an hour or two huntil out my copies of the album with no luck. However, it seemed appropriate to at least add the review of the album from the Arizona Republic (19710926):

    Hooteroll? Howard Wales and Jerry Garcia,
    Douglas 5 (KZ 30859)

    This is soap opera jazz done on the organ, rock style. There's nothing else like this music — since the old radio days of Nick Carter - Sam Spade serials — or the red dust jacket with the buxom blonde on the cover.

  31. I have been going through an incredible interview with Garcia from ca. late October 1970 (1), that has him saying "I just finished a record with Howard Wales."

    Maybe we already knew that, but I can't keep track of the various posts and comments, so thought I'd post what I found from the horse's mouth.

    (1) Goodwin, Michael. 1971. Jerry Garcia at 700 MPH: Incidental Music at the Celebration of Life. Flash 0: 32-39, quote from p. 35.

  32. Over 50 minutes of unheard and amazing jams from the original Hooteroll recording sessions has been located in the Garcia family archives and will hopefully enjoy a release very soon, the vault also contains a second night of Jerry, Howard and John Kahn jamming at the Matrix from 1970. In addition to these treasures over seventy minutes from 1/29/72 from Buffalo during the brief east coast Hooteroll tour has also been located and will hopefully be made available.

  33. One of the music columnists for the Examiner reported in the 11/7/70 issue (p. 10) that "Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia and Howard Wales wrapped up an album session at Wally Heider Studios".

  34. Anybody have any leads on Doris Dynamite? My mom was friendly with her back in the Alan Douglas days and at almost 90 is looking to reconnect. Thanks.