tracks musicians credits notes related releases

Before Time Began

The New Riders Of The Purple Sage / David Nelson

Initial release : 1986

Relix 2024

The first NRPS album on Relix comprises half archive material from the earliest NRPS recordings and half backward tapes made by David Nelson. Garcia, Hart and Lesh play on four of the tracks and also possibly on two other tracks.

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album cover


  • Henry (Dawson)
  • All I Ever Wanted (Dawson)
  • Last Lonely Eagle (Dawson)
  • Cecilia (Dawson)
  • Garden Of Eden (Dawson)
  • Superman (Dawson)
  • Deh Rominap
  • A Handful Of Brains
  • I'm Through With The Fish, Harve
  • Och Tamale
  • A Handful Of Brains Part 2
  • Where Discipline Comes In

Garcia definitely appears on the first four tracks on which the musicians are;

  • John Dawson - guitar, vocals
  • Dave Nelson - guitar, vocals
  • Jerry Garcia - pedal steel guitar, vocals
  • Phil Lesh - bass
  • Mickey Hart - drums
According to the CD notes tracks 5 and 6 were recorded in 1968 by John Dawson 'with the help of Garcia and some members of Doug Sahm's group.' So Garcia probably also plays on these tracks as well.


  • Producer - David Nelson
  • Engineer (1-6) - Bob Matthews
  • Mastering - George Horn
  • Cover art - David Nelson
  • Liner notes - David Nelson
  • Special thanks to - John Cutler, Dick Latvala, Willy Legate, Rob Bleetstein, Bob Emory, Harvey Johnson

  • Tracks 1-4 - recorded at Pacific High Recording, San Francisco, November 1969
  • Tracks 5-6 - recorded at Pacific Recording, San Mateo, July 1968

Their first NRPS recording session, with the original line-up of John Dawson, David Nelson, Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh and Mickey Hart, was in November 1969. The first four songs on this release are from that session.

Tracks 5 and 6 are from an earlier recording seesion in July 1968 by John Dawson 'with the help of Garcia and some members of Doug Sahm's group.'

Tracks 7 to 12 are experimental, backwards tracks made by David Nelson.

David Nelson's liner notes, Something Old, Something Weird ... a feeble explanation of Before Time Began, give more information about the both the recording sessions and the backwards tracks.

Related releases

Henry and Cecilia were included on;

Henry, Last Lonely Eagle and Cecilia were included on; Last Lonely Eagle was included on; Henry was included on; Last Lonely Eagle was included on;