HOW WE WISH HE WERE STILL ON
THIS LONG, STRANGE TRIP WITH US
Jerry Garcia would have turned 66 years old yesterday. It's daunting to think almost thirteen years have gone by since his passing on August 9, 1995, but it was what he did when he was alive that makes his presence resonate in countless lives. He wrote songs that sounded like folklore even when they were new, and his playing was a mercurial, wholly unique thing – a holy sound plucked from the universe and given to us as gift. In many respects, that's how Garcia's life comes across, a gift to all of us, and one that generation after generation gets to open as they discover what some of us were fortunate enough to have experienced in real time. His mere presence, even on less-than-stellar nights, made the world glow a bit more due to his inner light. Happy birthday, Mr. Garcia. You are missed but only until we press "play" again..
The man threw a good party, as this Garcia and Friends show in Petaluma from 1987 shows. Jerry performs "Fire On The Mountain." joined by Carlos Santana, Babatunde, Olatunji, Mickey Hart, Hamza el-Din and Bobby Vega.
Here's Garcia and Bob Weir talking to Tom Snyder on Tomorrow Show in 1981. There's not much better than a happy, engaged Jerry and he's certainly both in this chat.
Always a superb interpreter of Bob Dylan's work, here's the Jerry Garcia Band in 1990 doing "Tangled Up In Blue."
His talent for creating extreme intimacy, even in the largest halls, was a hallmark of Garcia's live presence. He could conjure stillness with palpable vulnerability as this "Stella Blue" from Winterland in 1974 shows.
We wrap up our birthday well wishes with "Deal," given a fun ride at Germany's Rockpalast in 1981.
We encourage to share your own birthday wishes and Jerry memories this weekend. Lord knows, none of us attended his wonderful circus alone…
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