Sunday, July 17, 2011

What ever happened to "Electric on the Eel"?

Electric on the Eel was a dead-head event, where the grateful dead were the headliners. Jerry Garcia "got sick" during one of his famous visits to the Eel River at Frenches Campground. Jerry had a life long problem with health issues. He was overweight, diabetic and he dabbled into too many drugs. At one of his last events here, he  had to postpone for a while to "get well". It was a bad week for Garberville, Jerry's fans were quite willing to take things without paying. They called it "taking back from the man".

 Out of the ashes of "Electric on the Eel" rose "Eclectic on the Eel" with Ry Cooder and David Llindley. They did a lot of Sam the Sham songs. Eventually, Reggae on the River became very popular and soon surpassed all other events, and became the main focus of the local venues. Then the reggae wars started, and it hasn't been quite the same since.

Funny that you would ask, I'm listening to some great Reggae music as I type this... Reggae on the River is this weekend, and it is across the street from my house. They have moved the event to Benbow Lake State Park. They only play music until 10:00 pm, no dope allowed, Jerry would not have been welcome. Bummer.


Anonymous said...

Did they have Electric on the Eel when I was still there. I must have missed it. Darn!!


spyrock said...

we are having the neighbors over for spaghetti. does that make me a pastafarian? one of the reasons i never became a rock star is because my best friend when that window opened played drums as well. he was older but i beat him out for 1st chair in the school band. i was a natural. totally right brain. he was a left brainer who kept a very steady beat. i was totally spontaneous. he was totally repetitive. the only difference was parental control. i was on a short leash. he didn't have a leash. his dad was gone flying bombers for the air force all the time. he asked me to be in the band anyway. i said no because i liked him and didn't want to be a drummer by taking that opportunity from him.
so he started the first band in my town called the brogues. when the draft hit, two of them went to nam and two of them moved to san francisco and hooked up with the cippalinos from mill valley and quicksilver was born. so i went to my first concert back in the fall of 66 to see greg and gary.
first on the bill was janis who sounded like a banshee belting every bit of pain and heartbreak for the first time since being dumped on all her life back in texas. then quicksilver and finally the dead with pigpen and two drummers. that was the best i ever heard the dead play. they really had a lot of energy and they already had an entourage of characters who danced with us to their music. the dead was always more of a family so two drummers was ok. they didn't want the drummer to just play tick tock tick tock. after that, i'm not sure they ever played a concert straight. they never sounded as good. but i would go anyway. until they started charging $4 or $5 for pink floyd. that ended it. then it was tuesday nights for a $1 at the fillmore west and all those free concerts in golden gate park. the only drum i play these days in the medicine drum pretty repetitive. but the right brain beat still flows through me like this here bit of writing.

Ben said...

Whatever happened to the Rainbow Festival? That was always a factor in the migrations through G-town.

kaivalya said...

Ben, I'm not sure if you were talking about the Rainbow Gathering which is every year around July 4th at a different location on public land each year. This year it was in Washington State and we saw quite a few folks migrating through this area on their way to the gathering.

As for Ernie's questions, I'm not even sure where to begin... so I won't. But I would like to remind you about ROCK & Reggae on the River in 1985. Some say the it was more expensive to insure a Rock'n Roll event back then, kinda like HipHop can be today - so they just stuck with Reggae on the River.

Anonymous said...

don't worry Reggae on the River was just the warm up for the Huge after hours party at the cooks valley campground, Keith Bowman had music blaring 24/7 the whole weekend long, and I am sure there were no jack booted state park thugs to get between the hippies and their vices.