Their Story

From December of 1970 to June of 1975, Jerry Garcia and keyboardist Merl Saunders played over two-hundred and fifty shows together, mostly on the west coast. Other band members included John Kahn on bass, Tom Fogerty on guitar and vocals, Sarah Fulcher on vocals, and multiple iterations of drummers that included Bill Vitt, Bill Kreutzmann, Paul Humphrey, and Ron Tutt. Martin Fierro, Armando Peraza, and George Tickner rounded out the line-up from time to time. Saunders recalls that the first gigs were often very loose and free-flowing. Garcia claims that during this time, Merl taught him what it was to play straight music—closer to the standards, and more rooted in tradition. Jerry says he received his music education in a large part from Merl Saunders.

Musicians

  • Jerry Garcia

    guitar, vocals

    1970 - 1975

  • Merl Saunders

    keyboards, vocals

    1970 - 1975

  • John Kahn

    bass

    1970 - 1975

  • Bill Vitt

    drums

    1970 - 1971
    1971 - 1972
    1972 - 1973
    1973 - 1973
    1973 - 1973
    1973 - 1974

  • Bill Kreutzmann

    drums

    1971 - 1971
    1972 - 1972
    1973 - 1973
    1973 - 1973
    1973 - 1973
    1974 - 1974
    1974 - 1974

  • Paul Humphrey

    drums

    1974 - 1974
    1974 - 1974

  • Ron Tutt

    drums

    1974 - 1974

  • Martin Fierro

    saxophone

    1973 - 1973
    1973 - 1973
    1973 - 1973
    1974 - 1974
    1974 - 1974
    1974 - 1974
    1974 - 1974
    1974 - 1974
    1974 - 1974
    1974 - 1975

  • Armando Peraza

    congas

    1972 - 1972
    1972 - 1972

  • Tom Fogerty

    guitar, vocals

    1971 - 1972
    1972 - 1972
    1972 - 1972

  • George Tickner

    guitar

    1973 - 1973

  • Sarah Fulcher

    vocals

    1973 - 1973
    1973 - 1973
    1973 - 1973
    1973 - 1973
    1973 - 1973
    1973 - 1973
    1973 - 1973
    1973 - 1973