inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #51 of 145: 'Got To! (freeform) Sun 26 Aug 01 16:01
    
In the late '70's, John used to play at a club on Haight Street in a band
with Pam Tillis.  Which band was that?
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #52 of 145: Eric Rawlins (woodman) Sun 26 Aug 01 16:23
    
David, a question for you: Seems to me I once sat at a keyboard and
determined that your high note on "The Fool" is a D a step above high C.
That's really high! Did you have formal voice training at one time?

Second question: What was the Nicky Hopkins period like? I only caught one
gig with NH, but it seemed to me his playing was a poor fit for the band's
style.
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #53 of 145: Mary Eisenhart (marye) Mon 27 Aug 01 09:55
    
I forget whether it comes up in the video (I'm supposed to be finishing
this article I'm writing instead of posting here, so I don't have
time to check), but one of the things I remember most strikingly was
his musician work ethic, which maybe bordered on the insane...

Case in point, one night I recall in North Beach, probably a Thunder &
Lightning gig at the Chi Chi. A weeknight, and I don't recall the weather
being great or the crowd worth counting (the hardcore group of usual audience
suspects, and that was about it...). Furthermore, John (and Nick, maybe)
was reportedly newly back from Europe, like within the last 24 hours. And
besides, word had it, he had a fever of 104 from some bug he'd picked up
on tour. When he showed up, he looked even frailer than usual, plus
haggard and ashen and barely able to speak. Nonetheless he was adamant
on the point that he had never missed a gig in the time he'd been playing
and was damned if he would start now, and this in a venue where he could
easily have gone home with everyone's cheerful blessing. It was clearly
a real serious deal to him, even though he could barely stand up at the
time.
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #54 of 145: David Freiberg (freemountain) Mon 27 Aug 01 10:04
    
Rik- The first time QMS really went on the "road" was just when the
first album came out.  We stuck to west coast gigs before that. We
certainly didn't do the glamorous rock star stuff when we did get out
there - we stayed at the Chelsea in NYC - historical - not glamorous.
Ron Polte, our manager, never let us get too far from the streets, at
first.

Eric - Yes that was D above high C.  I think people had betting pools
on whether I'd hit it in performance.  Actually, it was easier to do it
live than in the studio. It seems the excitement of the audience made
it easier.  No, I never had any formal voice training (or guitar, bass
or keyboard - save the 3 lessons I got from Evelyn Cipollina). I
recently started singing a little classical music - did the tenor solo
in Beethoven's 9th in an amateur production.  Fun!

The Nicky Hopkins period - that's a pretty big question.  Let me think
about that one ... I'll get it in the next post.
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #55 of 145: David Freiberg (freemountain) Mon 27 Aug 01 10:33
    
Mary - I never knew John to miss a gig.  I seemed like every time we
were to go on the road, John would get really sick just when it was
time to leave.  Before the plane landed, he would seem to make a
miraculous recovery and feel fine for the rest of the tour.

Now - back to the Nicky Hopkins period.  When Gary split - he really
was the engine that made us all chug along so well - we couldn't figure
out what to do -- we wrote new material - actually tried out a few
replacement guitarists - nobody clicked. Nicky was in town, having
played on the Steve Miller and Jefferson Airplane albums and we asked
if he'd like to play on ours. He'd grown to like it around here, so he
agreed.  He sure saved our butts,  I'd hate to hear the Shady Grove
album without him.

John and I were born on August 24 - Nicky was our polar opposite -
February 24.  He and John had a lot in common. Aside from frail health
issues and skinny bodies - they both were collectors - well - John was
more of a pack rat than Nicky.  Nicky and John hit it off and Nicky
agreed to join QMS.

We played very few gigs during the period that Gary was gone - Nicky
didn't really replace him - no one could. Usually we'd get Nick
Gravenites to sit in with us if we played anywhere.
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #56 of 145: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Mon 27 Aug 01 11:04
    
God, I'd forgotten how Nicky got involved with Quicksilver. Thanks for the
refresher, David.
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #57 of 145: David Gans (tnf) Mon 27 Aug 01 14:31
    

>Actually, it was easier to do it live than in the studio. It seems the ex-
>citement of the audience made it easier.

I've had that experience.  And I've also had the experience that John seems
to have had countless times, of being miraculously cured just in time for the
gig.
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #58 of 145: David Gans (tnf) Tue 28 Aug 01 14:18
    

A friend of mine is a first cousin of John and Mike's.  In 1973, we had a
regular gig at a restaurant/bar in Greenbrae, and we regularly visited with
cousin Mike (who at that time was living with her husband and ids in Mill
Valley).  I was thrilled to meet John, of course, and he was VERY kind to me.
He showed me how to play slide guitar with a knife, and he gave me my first
taste of cocaine (but enoughabout that).

he also loaned me one of those great bat-wing Gibson Les Paul SG guitars for
a while.
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #59 of 145: Mary Eisenhart (marye) Tue 28 Aug 01 14:29
    
Hal, you say you decided to make the video a few months after John's death;
what did you use for source material (footage, photos, music, etc.). Deadheads,
of course, are perfectly obsessive about archiving EVERYTHING...was there
enough of that going on, inside and outside the various bands John
was in, to give you a good selection of stuff to draw from?
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #60 of 145: David Gans (tnf) Tue 28 Aug 01 15:15
    

Don Coolidge writes, provocatively:



Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2001 15:05:14 -0700
Reply-To: Don.Coolidge@Sun.COM
To: inkwell-hosts@well.com
Subject: John Cippolina

Personally, I think that Cippolina was far too accomplished
as a guitarist to ever be seen as typical of the San Francisco
sound. Folks like Barry Melton and Jorma Kaukonen were
immensely talented, but had far less innate musical ability
than Cippolina.

I was sorry to see Dino Valenti re-join Quicksilver after
his time in jail - it became his band, and was never again
as good, as creative, or as eclectic as it had been for the
first two albums, when Cippolina had much more to do with
shaping the band's music and direction.

-- Don Coolidge
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #61 of 145: David Gans (tnf) Tue 28 Aug 01 15:21
    

I am not sure I know what "innate musical ability," or why you think John had
more of it than David F., Barry Melton, or the guys in Moby Grape, or the
Dead.
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #62 of 145: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Tue 28 Aug 01 16:14
    
David, do you remember that amazing antique carved wooden bear we bought for
John as a birthday present? I've always wondered whether John kept that, and
what happened to it when he died? Do you know?
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #63 of 145: David Freiberg (freemountain) Tue 28 Aug 01 17:16
    
Mr. Coolidge - I hate to quantify innate musical ability - it's all so
subjective - in the ear of the listener.  I'm sure that Dino had his
fans that thought his stuff was more creative than anything that QMS
did before.  I *wouldn't* be one of them to be sure. Dino couldn't
really be IN a band - it would have to follow HIM.Carol Kay, the great
studio bassist, told me of the time when Dino was making an album in LA
and they called in Hal Blaine with her and Dino was complaining that
they couldn't keep a beat - a ludicrous suggestion!

 Actually the only reason that I went for Dino in the band was to get
Gary back, as they seemed to come as a package.  I think if John still
had a voice on this plane, he'd say the same (though, I'm sure it would
take hours to wheedle it out of him). Duncan had/has as much going for
himself musically as any of the aforementioned folks.

Ms. D-B - I think I remember the bear being in his house the last time
I was there many years ago.  I'll have to ask Mario, Antonia or Mike. 
It was his kind of thing, I think.
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #64 of 145: Eric Rawlins (woodman) Wed 29 Aug 01 08:33
    
>Carol Kay and Hal Blaine can't keep a beat

!!!!!
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #65 of 145: David Gans (tnf) Wed 29 Aug 01 08:50
    

COmplaining about Hal Blaine's abilities is a pretty strong indication of an
alternate reality!
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #66 of 145: David Gans (tnf) Wed 29 Aug 01 08:50
    

Ihor Slabicky writes:



To: inkwell-hosts@well.com
From: "Ihor W Slabicky" <Ihor_W_Slabicky@raytheon.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 09:37:05 -0400


howdy y'all,

not being a well-head myself, but always being appreciative of the well, i
have to thank david gans for passing along this interesting discussion
about john cipollina and qms...

my big question - what is the feasibility of releasing live recordings of
the qms from the early days, say up through 1970 or so?  complete concerts
kind of thing?  sort of a 'from the back of the recording shack', like the
dead's 'from the vault' or 'dick's picks' series?  there surely must be
some folks in the greater tape trading community that have these older
performances, and in good quality.  every so often, little gems do surface.
i imagine that this would be an extremely difficult effort to track down
any of these shows, get the rights, get the band members permissions, etc.

btw, who owns the rights to the 'quicksilver messenger service' name?

I-)  ihor
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #67 of 145: David Freiberg (freemountain) Wed 29 Aug 01 10:14
    
Remember what I said about not being able to hold Quicksilver in your
hand - it always slips through your fingers?  Well, a few years back,
when there was very sympathetic Dead/QMS head as president at Capitol
Records, Mickey Hart and I had the great idea of putting out a live
album of pre-Dino QMS.  After all Capitol had recorded all those sets
for the Happy Trails album and all we'd used was Who Do You Love and
Mona.  Even with heavy pressure from the pres., the out-takes were
nowhere to be found in the vaults.  Vanished into thin air!

Capitol did release a "collectors" 2 CD package recently which has
some live stuff on it.  They had to find bootlegs and boot the boots
for the material.  John was a pack-rat, as we all well know, and had a
very hard time saying no to anyone.  I'm sure he had all the 1/4 track
rough mixes from the studio and (in my mind) was the likely source for
most boots.

As to who owns the rights to the name - John and I signed off on the
name in 1986, when Gary was putting out an album.  I had done some
singing on it and suggested that he should use the name, as no one else
was.  Guess that was a bad idea, as Greg Elmore got a lawyer and it
ended up in court where the judge decided that they both owned the
name.As soon as the lawyers started sending letters, Capitol shelved
the album (Peace by Piece).  You can still get it by going to Gary's
web site:

www.qms2001.com
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #68 of 145: the System Works (dgault) Wed 29 Aug 01 10:45
    

One of my favorite 60s nostalgia items is sitting in a friend's 
living room,  and  I think it's John's.   It's the top of a Gibson 
amp with Dymo tape labels over each of the knobs,  so instead of 
"volume" it read "love beads",  and instead of reverb it says
"gumption",  etc etc.   

I want to get a picture of my six year old with her ukelele sitting
on it.  
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #69 of 145: radiantly surreal imagery (rik) Wed 29 Aug 01 10:48
    
Damn, but that's a familar story.   When you did the original few albums,
was gthere anybody at the record company that had a clue what you were uyp
to, or were they just looking to grab a piece of the SF band action?
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #70 of 145: radiantly surreal imagery (rik) Wed 29 Aug 01 10:48
    
dgault slipped in while I was thinking.   I'll never do that again.
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #71 of 145: the System Works (dgault) Wed 29 Aug 01 10:54
    
David,  was Quicksilver associated with Ace of Cups?  I remember 
they played at my high school a couple of times and we booked them 
through Ron Polte,  in 68 and 69.   Loved them.  Any idea where
they are today?

<rik>...HA!
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #72 of 145: David Gans (tnf) Wed 29 Aug 01 10:56
    
Dan Healy has some live two-tracks of QMS, either in his possession or in the
Grateful Dead vault.  I saw some of them a few years ago, in the vault.
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #73 of 145: Hal Royaltey (hal) Wed 29 Aug 01 14:00
    
> what did you use for source material (footage, photos, music, etc.). Deadheads,
> of course, are perfectly obsessive about archiving EVERYTHING...was there
> enough of that going on, inside and outside the various bands John
> was in, to give you a good selection of stuff to draw from?

It wasn't easy; early QMS footage is very hard to come by.  Much of what we have
we got by word of mouth.  BGP and GD had some footage, but most of what we used
was shot by various fans over the years.  Ron Polte was kind enough to let us use
the _Westpole_ footage.  Some European fans came up with the German and Greek
footage.  Most of the stills came from the Cipollina family, and for the vast
bulk of the them, we have no idea who took them, or when.   We filmed the
interviews, of course.   I think our interview with Bill Graham is one of his
very last.

The other problem we faced was the poor quality of some of the footage.  We're
talking about 30 year old 8mm home movies shot under less than ideal conditions.
An unfortunately large percentage of it was just unusable, as you can tell
from the quality of some of the included footage.   If we'd had anything 
better we'd've used it.


    
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #74 of 145: David Freiberg (freemountain) Wed 29 Aug 01 15:54
    
When QMS signed with Capitol, a veteran A & R man, John Palladino was
assigned to us and stuck longer than I did.  They were very good to us
for many years. I wouldn't say that they had a clue as to what we were
up to, but they more or less let us do what we wanted and helped, if
they could.

THE ACE OF CUPS- They were our friends, they sang some b/g on the
first album.  That's right, Ron Polte managed them.  Diane, the
drummer, is still playing, I believe. I'm sure Denise, the guitarist is
still playing music, though I haven't seen her for a few years.
  
inkwell.vue.121 : Hal Royaltey: John Cipollina, Electric Guitarslinger, with Special Guest David Freiberg
permalink #75 of 145: Linda Castellani (castle) Thu 30 Aug 01 00:08
    
E-mail from richi ray harris:

Thanks for your chat with Freiberg (a fine chap) and other guests. I was in a 
rock band, the Freedom Highway which played at Fillmore and was also managed 
by Polte and the boys and always love to hear conversation about the subject.
thanks,
richi ray harris
  

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