Jam – 2010-29-12 – Carroll’s

This was the week between Christmas and New Year’s and there is a lot going on.  The Fab Faux are playing a 4 night stand at the City Winery and Alan went Monday, his first time seeing them, I went Tuesday and Scott was going this Wednesday; the night of the jam. We we lucky enough to be able to enlist the drumming skills and styles of Bayside Russ.  This was great to be able to get our final jam in for the year and it was a difficult one to pull off.  The region was hit by a blizzard that dumped 20-24″ of snow on the city and Manhattan was still reeling from the hit and the streets, parking spots and sidewalks were all covered with snow and slush to varying extents.  In addition, Terminal 5 was holding a show and this meant the area around Carroll’s was about as crowded as I have ever seen it.  One wrong turn trying to find a spot and you could be stuck in a 30 minute traffic jam.  I avoided it for the most part and so did Kevin.  Russ was so fortunate as it took him like and hour to circle around looking for a spot.

With all of this said, we got a very late start, after 9:09.  Speaking of which, I was still recovering from a cold I had over Christmas but that gave me the opportunity to chart out some new Beatle songs for us to plow through.  Some showed potential, actually, I think they all showed potential and are quick and easy.  We learned Rich and Alan used to play the One After None-O-Nine so they were well rehearsed in it.  Below are the first five songs we played of the night that were recorded for your listening, so called pleasure.  Set 2 had a corrupted file issue on Rich’s recorder so I list what I remember we played, but I am sure I left a few out.Carroll’s was virtually abandoned as we were the only ones playing this week.  They even unplugged the soda machine during this hiatus.  We had no guests in the room as it was just Alan, me, Kevin Rich and Russell to hold down the fort.  I thought we did an okay ob of it also as the music got better and better as the night moved on. I also have to thank Alan for risking his life checking the electrical shock potential using his screw driver detector for me.  I started the night with a shock from the mic on my nose, but Alan  resolved that and worked for me as a human guinea pig.


Let us not forget as we were mutilating Beatles songs uptown, Scott was capturing the Fab Faux playing them nicely downtown and below is a link to one of his great videos of the Fab Faux playing Rain.

[Youtube = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDuwzS4pASg%5D

Jam – 2010-11-22 – Carroll’s

This week was the always difficult Thanksgiving week in which to squeeze a jam out.  It’s like taking a dump after eating too much Thanksgiving stuffing and potatoes without salad and asparagus, if you get me drift.  With the Allman Brothers at the Roseland, we knew Scott was not going to be around for the second week in a row.  Not to fret, pardon that drummer joke, we were able to get Bayside Russell in to do the proverbial squeeze and fill the throne.  I personally hadn’t done that since that  morning, but that’s my own sickness. Russell did a great job drumming, he really gives us an authentic Dead drumming attitude.

Kevin was back in the saddle and ready to jam and was quite bummed that he got saddle sores from the not well done Been All Around the World.  I think we made it up with a pretty good rendition of the Cats directly thereafter.  Hot off a version by Further at the Garden the night before, we did the full Weather Report Suite, sans the prelude.  I recall a real nice transition into the Let it Grow which was exciting and worked more smoothly than any other one I was a part of, so. kudos to everyone.

Next Time You See Me was nice when Alan broke out the harp. That’s harmonica for all you noobs out there, I mean “new-bes” for all you non-geeks out there.  Back to the harp, I’m never ready for it, don’t have it on my mind, but there it is, shocking me every time I hear it. The sound of it brings me back to those old tapes and Pigpen versions.  Cool stuff and he plays it so it sounds right on.  At that moment, the harmonica is the most authentic sounding instrument in the room.  Okay enough droning on about droning on.  I won’t drone no more, maybe that’s I will drone no more.  How about, I won’t drone more? So give it listen at the links below, enjoy the Thanksgiving and get set for some joyous Deadstein fun closing out the rest of 2010.


Jam – 2010-10-13 – Carroll’s

This was a pretty momentous week of Deadstein as it celebrated the 20th anniversary of Deadstein’s first jam on October 9, 1990. For the occasion we had Larry Brent, Deadstein’s original lead guitarist, back in his lead seat. It really was a surrealistic experience playing with Larry again and thinking back to those jams now spanning two decades ago.

There were too many guests to name them all and probably the only ones I knew were Ken and Stu as well as Michael. We also had Jeff, who played with us last week play with us this week who came with his friend and connection to us, Peter. The rest of the peanut gallery was suspect and Alan probably picked the right week not to show. There was a lot of guitar going on and a lot of mischief. One off those assholes probably tore down part of the bathroom and will be a neg-black eyed on Deadstein’s steal your face.

I mentioned that Jeff was jamming with us and last week we geared our setlist toward his style. This week, celebrating the 20 years, we had no such mercy. We decided to play the entire setlist that we played 20 years ago which was big and meaty. Even when Rich asked for some mercy on the setlist for a You Win Again, I also had no mercy. I was determined to finish the setlist from 20 years ago. It took us until 12:15, but we did it all the way through the Going Down the Road. It was a good thing Russ was there to help out with the drums because I don’t think Scott would have made it all the way through on his own, but this week, Scott was going strong at the closing. It was a big night of music and scop only to end with the neg-scop of the bathroom incident. WTF.

To hear what we did this night, go to the links below:


Anyway, look forward to another 20 years of jamming, the first 20 was a life saver and we will all need a life saver for the next 20. It all starts next week unless we have been kicked out of Carroll’s. Whose friend was that bozo

Jam – 2010-09-29 – Carroll’s

This was a strange week that blossomed from a normal week.  Scott was busy taking care of business and had to cancel on us during the morning of the jam.  It wasn’t looking bad for too long because Rich was all over it and contacted Bayside Russ and we got a confirmation from Russell that he could be there by 9:30.  That was great news and a shortened late jam is way better than none at all.  It gave us a little time to shoot the shit and for Kevin to draw this cool artwork.    This is my favorite from Kevin so far.  We also spent some time watching the great Stella Blue performed by Barry Sless, John Molo and Pete Sears of Moonalice and David Nelson Band that I video taped over the previous weekend. It shows Sless playing a phenomenal final lead on the Stella Blue on his peal steel guitar.  Check it out.

I was prepared and had a backup drummer in my bag, my Boss DR-770 drum box.   Some how I transitioned a rocking jam that was going on for a while into a Me and My Uncle played using the Boss drum box.  It was a surreal and uncomfortable by an experience nevertheless.  The next song, a Sugaree, we played using the drum box and Russell showed up by the end of the Sugaree and we were able to transition from the robotic drummer to the human Russell which was also surreal and less uncomfortable.

The rest of the night with Russell featured some good music.  We opened with the China Cat Rider with Alan playing the Jerry riff and me on the Bob.  We played a few challenging song s that were way beyond our capabilities such as the Hell in a Bucket and Help on the Way.  In both cases we made our way through them some how.

We had the big Black Throated Wind and we were so enthralled with the music that was going on that we blew right past the 12-midnight quitting time and ended the Sugar Magnolia at 12:14.  It is rare they we fly right through quitting time.  Usually making it to quitting time is the challenge.  It was a nice night music a a lot of fun.

To hear the song click the links below:


As far a s guests all we had were Scott Bayer who banged his new drum for one song.  Additionally, in the studio next door we saw Chick Correa sitting at a piano.  That’s why you have to go to every jam.  I know I’ll be there next week.

Jam – 2010-08-30 – Carroll’s

With Scott leaving for a California trip on Tuesday morning this last jam of August 2010 was relegated to happen on a Monday night.  Scott then realized his flight was at 7:00 a.m. and Deadstein the night before the flight was not in the cards for Scott.  All weekend leading up to the jam it seemed as it was not in the cards for us because Deadstein was to be without a drummer.  Not a good prospect considering we were all set to play the show from 30 years ago from August 30, 1980 at the Philadelphia Spectrum. Listen to it here.  This was a great show and I had been spending all weekend figuring out how to play and chart Easy To Love You so Deadstein could give it an attempt at the jam.  It was in the 1st set of the 8-30-80 show and Deadstein had never played it before.

At the last minute on late Saturday night Bayside Russell answered our pleas for help and offered to play on Monday.  Yeah, that was something to get psyched about, Deadstein pulling out a last minute jam out of the jaws of defeat.  Deadstein was not to be denied.  Actually, it look like we will be denied next week with secular and Jewish holidays occupying almost all of it, but that is another story.

When we got there we had a lot of business to attend to because 8-30-80 is a significant show and a tall order to complete during our typical 4-hour jam.  I don’t think we have ever completed 2 sets in their entirety when we have set out to do it.  I was ready to accomplish the mission as I copied the MP3s from the show to my iPhone and had it plugged into the PA so I could use the songs as reference to set the tempos and grooves of the songs before we played them.  On many occasion, I took this concept to the extreme and cranked the MP3 and let the band join in with the groove for a verse and then fade it out and start the song without ending what was going on.  While this resulted in many a frantic feeling song, it did get us all onto the same page, playing the songs correctly and, for the most part, we finished the songs as we started them.

One thing we realized as we were going through the setlist and listening to the songs prior to playing them is that we play most of  the songs really slow and the Dead play them really fast, especially on a Saturday night on the East Coast in 1980.  I want to go to there!  For this reason, we were blessed to have Russell playing with us this week because he is a much busier and energetic drummer than Scott and was able to play and push along with these driving tempos we were playing at.  In the end, I think this helped to make the music really good and more authentic than we usually are.  The recordings will tell the story I guess.

Scott Bayer showed up as our only guest of the night and that did give us an opportunity to play a song to Carol over the cell phone live from Hell’s Kitchen.  We hadn’t played to her for a few weeks so that was a good thing.

The Stranger set the tone for the evening as we faded into it with the MP3 and I avoided the awkward intro to the song and just jumped into the first .  This worked well and got us off to a good hot start.  I recall Russell saying the Peggy-O was epic and most of us enjoyed the 1st set.  We were trying to play the songs in the spirit as the Dead would have done them in 1980.  Our first and only attempt at the Easy To Love You succeeded in that it had a beginning and ending and the middle that filled in the space between the two.  Somehow, we managed to get through it and even had a few good moments in it.  This set us up for the great ending of the set Althea –> Straw.  After playing a satisfying Althea we were feeling good about ourselves as we were channeling how the Grateful Dead must have felt about themselves also after such a great Althea and were psyched to play a Jack Straw to close the first set.  A Stranger opener and Straw closer makes a structurally strong set from a alliteration perspective and provides for a lot of possibilities.  We closed with the first set Straw trying to play at a blazing and sometimes uncomfortable blistering pace.  I think all this heightened tempo playing was a good exercise for us to see how some songs come together when played at those 1980’s Grateful Dead tempos.  I think the Straw while playing through the versus was one such song.

We finished the first set just after 10:00.  It was quite a gratifying accomplishment.  The second set was big and I didn’t think we had any hope of finishing it but we started up with the Scarlet –> Fire which we didn’t give short change to at all making the possibility of finishing even more remote.  Then we had to play the 2 first set songs, C.C. Rider, Ramble on Rose sandwiched between the two epics before drums.  It was going to be tough.  Good thing the tempos were fast and we were playing quickly in the second set.  The C.C. Rider got really loud at one point I remember as I was fanning some distorted chords at the end of my lead.

The Estimated pre-listen revealed a super fast Estimated that got us scurrying down that pipeline at record pace.  I listened to the Eyes from the Spectrum on the car ride in an knew it was also a really fast version, so I started it up really fast like the show and Rich was pleading for forgiveness and to play it slower.  I would have nothing of it and continued to blast our way through it.  We did a token drums space, actually just drums and rushed to finish the set list.  This was a lot of music and we were burning a lot a calories playing it.  I guess Russell should have been eating his bananas in preparation of the hard assault because after drums he got a cramp in his calf and was having trouble dealing with it while not losing the beat.  I found it very humorous.  We closed with the Not Fade in 1980’s style, Black Peter and Sugar Magnolia and it was 12:06 and the final bell.  No time to play the One More Saturday Night encore.  That’s okay, there was no one there to request and encore and it wasn’t Saturday night, so it would not have been appropriate.

Wow that’s a lot of writing, a lot of playing and a lot to be happy about.  Good to play and take off the next day from work so I could jot down the memories from the night before because they fade fast.  That’s why it is good that I try to write all this down and more importantly, that is why it is good that someone taped that tremendous show in 1980, without the taper, we would have never known about that great Althea Stranger to close the first set.

To hear the music made from this evening go to:

Jam – 2009-12-23 – Carroll’s

Mitch and Adam with new toys, 335 and FlipIt was one of the biggest nights of Deadstein ever.  We had lots of everything.  To start with Scott was on vacation in Hawaii so that enticed us haul Coffee-Boy’s ass in and sit him down on a drum throne.  On his coattails came the contingent of other Baysiders including Mitch who was slinging his new Epiphone 335 (”Dot”) as well as his new Canon 5D DSLR, both being quite impressive.  If he only purchased the Gibson 335 and a shitty camera in 10 years his guitar would be worth what his new camera is worth instead of vice-versa.  In any case, a guitar can’t record memories and won’t make Mitch money the way a camera can.

To continues, we had Bayside Al on guitar and Bayside Russell on the other drumset.  Finally, Alan Wikler was able to make it in time from his Florida trip and also made the jam.  This left us with a whole bunch of bunches including 2 Alans, 4 guitarists, 2 drummers, 2 DSLR cameras and a whole bunch of sound.   The wall of sound wasn’t enough to describe the music.  We should have called it the “Room of Sound.”  Ironic, as Coffee pointed out, was the fact that in this whole big room of musicians there wasn’t a sip of alcohol anywhere to be found.  That was until Adam showed up who was accompanied by a slim silver flask of high quality Scotch.

Sensing the density of the aura before me, and the pre-song sounds in the room sounding like a 100-piece orchestra warming and tuning up I decided to call for the Dark Star opener which got us sounding and jamming for a while until I wrestled down the mess and brought it into a Feel Like a Stranger.  The whole trip was a long one and definitely set us on the path that was our jam for the evening.

Our only guests for the night were Bayside acquaintance, Adam who was using this opportunity to have some fun away from his family.  Pretty cool how Adam has seen us at a Short Hills gig since he is friends with those guys and in addition, he is also friends with John and Mitchell Spitz.  It’s a small freaky world.  He really seemed to have a good time relaxing in the Deadstein spirit of Hanukkahs past.  In addition, their friend Jason with long, curly, brown locks was also there.

I can’t say there was a first set, vs. a second set, all I know is that the nigh ended about 30 minutes early as Coffee didn’t seem to have enough caffeine in his midst to keep the mother rolling and he was driving Rich home, not have Scott for a ride, the jam ended at 11:30, but with all the talk and post-mortem, we weren’t out any earlier and we could have gotten in a few more songs.

I also had some new equipment which was a Boss OD-20 distortion box which I enjoyed throughout the night, enabling myself to cut through the morass. I also had new strings on my Strat which also helped my tone.  I liked it for the most part as I teamed up the new OD-20 with my pedal board including a compressor, chorus and Alan’s MXR envelope filter which I used and liked.  I used it for the Stranger, Ramble on Rose and Catfish John.  I then quieted down the masses with a less intensive Friend of the Devil which had a plethora of leads associated with it.  Other items of note include mixing up the selection a bit with a surprise Walking Blues which was pretty good.  We also had, in no particular order an Althea, Ramble on Rose, All Along the Watch Tower, China/Rider, Tore Up, Lovelight, Brokedown Palace and we closed with a Music Never Stopped that was initiated by Coffee Boy.  It must be some of those Scottisms rubbing off on him.

To listen to the music go to the following link or click on the songs below:


T’was a big night before Christmas and at the Deadstein  jam, everything was smoking, except for a ham.  Let’s try to get one more jam in for 2009 and start 2010 with a bang.

Previous Older Entries