Archive for the ‘music’ Category

TIAAD “outtake” re 3/17/70 with the Buffalo Philharmonic

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

Have you seen that thing going around about a $500 reward for the lost recording of 3/17/70, Grateful Dead with the Buffalo Philharmonic?

Here’s a bit of info about that event, deleted from our final manuscript due to space issues:

Peter Case (musician): They were playing in Buffalo [March 17, 1970], at the Kleinhans Music Hall. It was a very strange gig, because the billing was the Grateful Dead, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Lukas Foss. The opening act was a top-40 band that was starting to kind of freak out. They were called the Mellow Brick Road at one point, but I think they just changed their name at the gig to The Road.

The Grateful Dead was fantastic, and they were full-on into that “Dark Star” period. They were great. Then the orchestra came out. I guess they said it was going to be a battle of the bands. The Dead was playing their music, but the leader of the orchestra would yell “Attack!” They’re not improvisers, particularly, the guys in the orchestra, but they were coached to attack the Grateful Dead musically. And they did, with their tympanis, their blasts of drums and horns and cacophony. The Grateful Dead were playing, doing one of their improvs, that loping boogie beat that Lesh and the drummers would be playing, the thing was just rolling along, and Jerry would be soloing. Then for a second there, the orchestra would sort of drown it out, and then the orchestra would stop and [the Dead] would sort of emerge out of the clouds of the attack, still doing their thing. It was pretty funny. The Grateful Dead never blinked. They just kept playing. [Laughs] It was really really funny and great.

Another strange thing about the show: The very opening act was a John Cage piece. You’re in whatever state you’re in when you go see the Grateful Dead in 1970… The way this piece went was, there were violinists and they walked out into the theater and they played their part as they walked through your aisle. You would have to stand up and let them pass. They went right through every aisle in the place, playing their violins. It was incredible, but the best part, of course was the Dead.

It was a great-sounding place, so the Dead sounded great in there. Everybody walked out saying that that was just completely insane, that the orchestra had topped themselves by acting completely nuts.

Bob Weir: I remember we brought our smallest amplifiers and we were still three or four times too loud. We had to turn them down to the point where we couldn’t really get tone out of them in order to not drown out the orchestra. A rock’n’roll trap drum kit acoustically is at least twice as loud as a symphony orchestra.

DG’s Northern California gigs

Friday, December 16th, 2016

A most unusual circumstance: several consecutive performances close to home! Details and more future gigs at

  • Sunday, December 18, 7:30pm: David Gans and the Broken Angels (Jordan Feinstein, Robin Sylvester, Jeff Hobbs, and Neil Hampton) at McNear’s Mystic Theatre, 23 Petaluma Blvd., Petaluma CA. Book signing/meet’n’greet with DG and Blair Jackson before the show! Dead Again opens. Advance tickets are available here.
  • Friday, December 23, 7:30pm: Joe Burke, DG, and Amber Allen at the Bazaar Cafe, 5927 California Street, San Francisco. No cover! Facebook event.
  • Friday, January 6, 8-10pm: DG and the Broken Angels at Murphy’s Irish Pub, 464 First Street East, Sonoma CA. Jeff Hobbs on sax, violin, etc; Robin Sylvester on bass; Neil Hampton on percussion. No cover!
  • Sunday, January 8, 10am to 2pm: Kensington Farmers’ Market – Colusa Circle, Kensington CA. Free!

Silberman on CCP

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

‘Fans of open-ended, telepathic, “conversational” jamming will enjoy this latest project by David Gans and friends, all folks who are steeped in the idiom. I especially love the long track “Three Food Groups” here, which brings to mind the classic opus of the jamming genre, “Dark Star.” Enjoy.’ – Steve Silberman

Order your copy here.

Chocolate Coffee Pot

New “single”: “Pancho and Lefty”

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

I took delivery of my new acoustic guitar by Mario DeSio a few days ago. I brought it into the studio this week, with Jeff Hobbs on cello and Joe Kyle, Jr on bass, to record one of my all-time favorite songs: Townes Van Zandt‘s “Pancho and Lefty.” We did a nice jam at the end, too.

I posted it on Bandcamp as a “pay what you want” item. You can have it for free, or you can contribute any dollar amount you like. I spent $700 on the recording (paying the musicians and the studio), and I would like to recover that amount if possible. All proceeds will be invested in more recording! I think of this as the first track of a “covers” project I hope to call David Gans Murders the Classics.

Thank you for listening, and please share the link!

Jarnow on CCP

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Chocolate Coffee Pot: “New conversations starting in the dialect of the Grateful Dead and proceeding into something like the secret language of twins, or in this case perhaps quadruplets.” – Jesse Jarnow, WFMU DJ and author of Heads: A Biography of Psychedelic America

Kind words for “Hand-Me-Down”

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

Last week I jammed with Mokie in Salt Lake City. Their drummer is Dave Brogan, who also plays with ALO – a band I admire greatly. We had a great time! I gave Dave a copy of It’s a Hand-Me-Down, and this afternoon he sent me these kind words:

“I’m listening to your acoustic dead album right now, and it is great! The clarity of presentation really allows me to dig into the lyrics, and the emotional content is super strong too. Perfect balance. Great work.”

Chocolate Coffee Pot CD

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Chocolate Coffee Pot is an album of studio improvisations.

Chocolate Coffee Pot

David Gans and Jim Brighton – guitar
Robin Sylvester – bass
Neil Hampton – drums
Jordan Feinstein – keyboards (1, 2, 3, 4, 6)
Jeff Hobbs – violin, saxophone, percussion (5, 7, 8)

All songs composed by the musicians performing on each selection and published by Whispering Hallelujah Music (BMI), except “Cassidy’s Cat,” composed by Grateful Dead and published by Ice Nine Publishing Co. (ASCAP).

Recorded by Jeremy Goody at Megasonic Sound, Oakland CA
Produced by the musicians and Jeremy
Mastered in HDCD™ by David Glasser at Airshow Mastering, Boulder CO

Cover painting by Howard Rheingold
Package design by Maurice Tani

Here’s an audio sample with bits of all the jams.

“The album is great. The interplay among the musicians is an endlessly inventive conversation. Super Bravo on this one! Kudos to all involved!” – Barry Smolin, host of HEAD ROOM on KPFK (Los Angeles CA)

Word of mouth is everything!

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

I asked my pal Maurice Tani to create these memes. Spread ’em around!!




Nice article in the Wilmington Star News

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

For writer and musician David Gans, career has intertwined with Grateful Dead by Brian Mull

I do a lot of interviews, and I am sometimes dismayed by what I see. Not this time! Brian transcribed his notes accurately and organized his material beautifully!

12/5/15 poster by John Warner

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

I finally got hold of the posters we didn’t get in time for the DG/Terrapin Flyer show at the Field Museum last December! John Warner did the art!


“Brokedown Palace” video

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Matt Mays directed this video of “Brokedown Palace,” from my CD It’s a Hand-Me-Down.

While David Gans is well known for his Grateful Dead reportage, his own musical career typically focuses on his well-crafted original material. However last year, as the Dead celebrated their 50th anniversary, Gans released It’s a Hand-Me-Down, which presents songs from the Dead catalog in a “solo electric” setting. Today, we premiere a video which features Gans’ version of “Brokedown Palace.” He explains to Relix, “Grateful Dead songs speak to the heart and soul on so many levels. ‘Brokedown Palace’ often feels to me like a song about death, about shedding the aches and pains of one’s aged body. So [filmmaker] Matt Mays and I thought it would be appropriate to use photos from my life in the video. Not that I’m in any hurry to leave this world!”

Capitol Theatre interview

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

This Is Why You Should Turn On Your Lovelight with David Gans

Shows are Wednesday, May 4 (with the Broken Angels) and Wednesday, May 11 (solo, with special guest Garrin Benfield). Both shows start at 8.

I’ll be signing books and CDs before and after the show.

More gigs and more info here.

KLCC (Eugene) interview 4/20

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

I was interviewed by Eric Alan on KLCC Eugene OR last Wednesday, promoting that night’s gig with the Garcia Birthday Band and the Merry Pranksters at the WoW Hall.

The interview includes a live performance of “Down to Eugene” Listen here.

DG interview on Chico Currents

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Interview with my old pal Alan Chamberlain on his podcast Chico Currents

Rosie McGee on TIAADWD

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Kind words for This Is All a Dream We Dreamed from Rosie McGee, who is one of the voices in the collective narrative.

“The beauty of this unique book lies in the authors’ decision to let ‘those who were actually there’ tell the Grateful Dead story in their own words, from their own memories of living, working and traveling with the Dead, culled from hundreds of interviews conducted over many years. The bonus of these ‘mini-memoirs’ from the band members, crew, associates, family and friends lies in their recalling details of everyday life inside an environment that was all but ordinary. Great reading, plus an important reference book to add to your Grateful Dead bookshelf!”

Rosie McGee, photographer/author and one of those who were there, then.

This Is All a Dream We Dreamed