Jerry Garcia
Previous_arrow  Tuesday, Jan 20, 1970  Next_arrow
MGM Studios, Los Angeles, CA



Added Pacific Sun 4/1/70 news ad image - slip_not on Jul 15, 2009

Added this session. See notes for details. - jjupille on Dec 3, 2008

Blair Jackson

"Love Scene Improvisations", recorded by Garcia for the movie "Zabriskie Point." Blair Jackson gathered wonderful information on this episode for his book Garcia: An American Life, but space constraints left the material on the cutting room floor. Happily, Blair has posted these materials to his webpage. "There I was on the old MGM scoring stage where they used to do Gene Kelly musicals and The Wizard of Oz — just me and my electric guitar and a little amplifier," Garcia remembered. "And Antonioni's back there [in the control room] with one engineer, and the scene is playing on a huge screen, and I'm picking along, trying to get my ideas. "I sat down and just played, and [Antonioni] said, 'Oh, I like that very, very much. That's very, very good.' And I said, 'Hey, wait a minute. C'mon, give me a chance!' And he said, 'Oh no, no. That's exactly what I want!' I wanted so badly to do something good because, well, it was Antonioni for chrissakes! He was satisfied so quickly I didn't know what to think. I was unhappy about it. I was just getting warmed up and, boom, that was it." Still, Garcia said he liked working with Antonioni, and the experience did nothing to diminish his admiration for the director: "I like his work so much. It's so modern — his sense of space and time and all that." And Garcia's seven-minute "Love Scene" worked beautifully in the film and on the soundtrack album, which also featured previously unreleased material by England's leading psychedelic band in that era, Pink Floyd. "Love Scene" also stands as Garcia's only solo electric guitar outing in a recording studio. According to Don Hall, music supervisor on the film, Garcia actually did have a bit of time to work on the piece, first trying it on acoustic guitar, then tracking four different performances, two of which were fused into the final music for the film. "I think Jerry was actually down for about three hours," Hall remembers. "And he was great to work with; everybody thought so. At the time we were working on the MGM lot people like us weren't exactly welcome—they did not like long-haired hippies. The people at MGM felt quite threatened by these 'hummers' coming in; that's a term composers used for people who don't read music. It was a strained relationship between Antonioni and MGM. There was a lot of bad feeling going around. Even at the recording studio it was a very strained situation. Jerry and I walk in. Jerry's got a flannel shirt on and he came in and through his professionalism and his natural vibe or aura or whatever you want to call it, those people loved him. By the end of the session they were calling him Jerry and jumping all over the place and doing whatever they could do for him. And these were people who heretofore did not like what was going on, didn't appreciate the music at all." ...The 2/15/73 GD show jam between Dark Star and Eyes that Phil and Jerry play is the song, "Love Scene," that Jerry recorded for the Zabriskie Point soundtrack. A number of fragments from this session were officially released on the Zabriskie Point Soundtrack by Rhino Records.

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