|scan courtesy 45cat.com|
Finders Keepers is also probably the most misattributed song on official Garcia/Saunders releases. Recent releases (the Keystone Companions set and GarciaLive #6 7/5/73) correctly give credit to General Johnson and Jeffrey Bowen, of the soul group the Chairmen of the Board, who released it in April of 1973 as a vocal tune with an instrumental version on the single’s b-side. It was one of the group’s biggest hits and Garcia/Saunders recorded it that July, making it one of the rare tunes in their repertoire that was a more-or-less current hit single. On all prior JG/MS releases, though, it’s credited either to Saunders & John Kahn (the original Live at Keystone album and on Pure Jerry 9/1/74), or just to Saunders (on his Keepers collection). The song is called Finders Keepers (with a misplaced apostrophe on the single, though the name of the band also is misspelled), but on G/S releases the title was never quite settled upon: “Keepers”, or “Finders”, or “Keepers (Finders).” It seems almost like a sly little joke about the incorrect songwriting credit, but it still seems like a questionably shady move (Saunders even named an album after it!). The song also appears on several of Saunders’ albums from the 90’s-00’s, but I don’t know how it’s credited on those. Deaddisc generously posits that perhaps the misattribution is because Saunders and/or Kahn rearranged the tune, but they didn’t. Have a listen:
Merl did overdub a cool, soaring ARP synth part on the original Live at Keystone recording, so there's that -- but, as far as I know, he never tried recreating in performance. He sure knew how to work the hell out of that clavinet though, as 11/5/73 and many other renditions show. It turns out Merl was paying homage to one of the all-time greats: that’s Bernie Worrell (RIP) of Parliament/Funkadelic playing the clavinet part on the original.
And, just for fun, here’s the original vocal version, which is giving no trouble to the Soul Train gang: