THOUGHTS ON GARCIA: DON'T LET GO

It's been ten years since Jerry died. We can't believe it either. How often have we thought of Garcia, listened to his music, considered his impact? Where would we be - any one of us - without Jerry Garcia? He has shaped our world in ways we'll never know. Plotted a path we'll never even see. His legacy lives on in bands and cover songs, influences heard and not, tales of truth and those of myth, and most of all, in the people who still love him, and always will. With Respect and Love, we honor Jerry Garcia the JamBase way.

THOUGHTS ON GARCIA
Click on the artist for their answers to the following:
• How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?
• What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?
• What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

1

Donna Jean Godchaux
2

Keller Williams
3

David Lemieux
4

Jim James
5

Joe Craven
6

Otis Taylor
7

Al Schnier
8

Reed Mathis
9

Jay Blakesberg
10

Dave Schools
11

Buddy Cage
12

Sam Bush
13

Reid Genauer
14

Jamie Janover
15

Jeff Austin
16

Warren Haynes
17

Vince Herman
18

David Gans
19

Marc Brownstein
20

Dan Lebowitz
21

Bob Matthews
22

Josh Clark
23

Al Howard
24

Steve Molitz
25

Nat Keefe
26

Martin Fierro
27

Josh Baron
28

Tom Speed
29

John Kadlecik
30

Sean Canan
31

Dennis McNally

DONNA JEAN GODCHAUX


Grateful Dead (L to R): Weir, Donna Jean, Garcia, Kreutzmann
By Jay Blakesberg
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

Having come from a recording studio environment in Muscle Shoals, Alabama I was thoroughly blown away at the spontaneity and the depth of Garcia's music. His philosophy was so woven into his music that I don't think they can be separated. He had more capacity to communicate high things than anyone I have ever known, both in music and when he spoke. I was always amazed at how naturally he did this, and at the unassuming way he carried himself given the adoration of so many. His influence on me was profound, to say the least, both in my music and in every other aspect of my life. Still is.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

I was one of the most fortunate people in the world to have spent the time with Jerry that I did. There are countless memories that I remember with such fondness and gratitude that I consider that time spent the most valuable of my life. Recording vocals in the studio was such a blast. He was so incredibly funny, and between Jerry, Bobby, and me, the session dissolved inevitably into a pool of laughter. Yeah, I think I loved laughing with him almost more than anything.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

This should be a no-brainer, but it's hard to condense into words. I believe he gave the world a view of music and life that lifts people out of the ordinary into the extraordinary, from the predictable to the unpredictable, from the expected to the unexpected, and most of all - a hunger and appreciation for it that never goes away. He did all this with a guitar and wonderfully scraggly voice. Amazing.

JamBase | San Francisco
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KELLER WILLIAMS


Keller Williams by C. Taylor Crothers
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

The man, the musician, the guitar player has influenced me on the guitar in infinite ways. Just from his spacing and his cadence of lead playing, as well as his very vulnerable singing and his lyrics, which were mainly written by Robert Hunter, but he made them his own. And he definitely influenced me greatly in his music. As far as the life path goes, just the Grateful Dead in general, I traveled so many times to see the band, and that in turn crossed over into traveling to my own gigs. So by the time it came to travel to my own gigs, it was easy because I had already done it.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

I would say it's probably Sandstone Amphitheater in Kansas. I think it was '90, or maybe '91. Jerry was totally tan, and he was wearing shorts and his legs were all brown. He was happy, and he was looking good.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

Well, I would say For the Faithful or another title for the record would be Reckoning. Two different titles, same record. I think that's the most significant thing that Jerry has given.

JamBase | San Francisco
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DAVID LEMIEUX


David Lemieux
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

Just watching Jerry and listening to him for so many years, he taught me to never take things too seriously. To expect the unexpected. To embrace the unexpected. And to never trust a prankster.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

Never having met him, my best memories were things I recall from seeing him live. What comes to mind immediately are the times when everything would go wrong, technically, onstage. As soon as Jerry's equipment got fixed or his guitar got re-strung, he rarely eased his way back into a jam or a song; he threw himself into it with a flurry of notes or power chords, as if to say, Hey, I'm back

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

Aside from the obvious, he sure had a lot of quiet integrity. There are those who open their mouths and spew about anything that is on their mind, but they often lack credibility and come off as being full of hot air. Jerry didn't seem to feel a need to pontificate to everyone about everything. When he did, though, it usually really mattered and came from his heart, and people listened.

JamBase | San Francisco
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JIM JAMES :: MY MORNING JACKET


Jim James with MMJ
Bonnaroo 2005 by Dave Vann
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

There are certain songs of his that take me to this place... and it is a place to which only his music, his voice, can take me. There is this realm he knew that I think no one else has really quite mastered. It is a place that is not sad, not happy, not fast or slow, but all these things at once. And when I'm feeling tired and beat down, or discouraged about life, it is a place I like to go to hear the simple, sweet, sound of his voice, and I always end up feeling better when I come back. I try to remember that, to just be simple and sweet sometimes, especially when I am feeling like being an asshole.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

Oddly enough, my fondest memories of Jerry really don't have much to do with the Dead or his music per se, as I did not really discover that music till much later in life. The first time I recall hearing him was his amazing steel part on Teach Your Children by CSNY. I think that guitar part is one of the sweetest sounds ever made; it makes me want to cry and have kids every time I hear it. I feel like all mysteries of life could be revealed if that guitar part was isolated and analyzed in a lab. We would know then what we've been trying to figure out for so long. It's not even what he is playing, but the way he played it. It's cool how all those guys worked together too, 'cuz another fave of mine is his steel part from Laughing off Crosby's first solo record If I Could Only Remember My Name. I like how he just pops up when you least expect it. Pure genius.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

There is a certain sweetness to everything he touched and sang and played on. Something so human, yet so divine it is hard to describe. We know he came from another place, but he had such a great way of getting us humans to try and love life and to see all the beauty and possibility that exists in music.

JamBase | San Francisco
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JOE CRAVEN :: DAVID GRISMAN QUINTET


Joe Craven
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

My perception of Jerry Garcia's recorded music and his approach to making art, in general, has reinforced my own sense of the importance of always striving to be investigative, exploratory, and intuitive in my own music and visual art. His musical voice, broad-based and imprecise, speaks of endless possibility... a hallmark of rich aesthetic language.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

A recording session at the home of David Grisman in the winter of 1989 in which, in the middle of a take, Jerry stops playing, lights up a cigarette, and launches into a dissertation on foreign film directors with almost professorial confidence and delivery.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

A persona that, like his guitar language, speaks of mystery, enigma, and therefore, a reminder of the lenses through which possibility, interpretation, and experience in life exist.

JamBase | San Francisco
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OTIS TAYLOR


Otis Taylor
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

Jerry's sense of adventure and personal integrity has made it a bit easier for artists like myself who are flying under the radar and don't fit neatly into a little box. It's like when Magellan came to America - it opened up things for a lot of people.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

When I first went to Haight-Ashbury in the 60's, and I saw a poster for the Grateful Dead. That name I thought it was just way too cool. F---n hip.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

You can count the times on your hands and feet when an artist has had such a profound impact on musical style and popular culture. Northern California had the Dead, and Southern California had the Beach Boys. Think about it: both are American bands that spawned subcultures that are still thriving today - Deadheads and surfers. Most artists have to die before they receive the type of widespread acclaim that Jerry had, but he had it long before that.

JamBase | San Francisco
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AL SCHNIER :: moe.


Al Schnier by Jake Krolick
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

Jerry's emotive vocals and fluid guitar lines are indelibly stamped in my memory. He was my hero for a long, long time. I've never really sat down and tried to figure it out from a musical standpoint (like I did with Rush albums in junior high). I'm not sure I really want to know. I'm too big of a fan, and I'd hate to spoil it. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Regardless, all of those years spent hanging on every last note of his certainly formed a lot of what I know today about improvisation. Regarding the life path - it's sad, but Jerry's disregard for his own well-being is a reminder to stay healthy. It's too easy to fall into those trappings when you're the house band everybody wants to party with EVERY NIGHT. Garcia's frailty was only a small part of the human quality that resonated thru his playing (not to mention humor, heartache, the prankster, etc.). It's hard to imagine what it would have been like listening to a Jerry that was also a marathoner.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

My fondest memory has to be the night I saw him do back to back acoustic shows (with John Kahn) at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ about 1984. The place was like a zoo - hippies hanging from the rafters, a rundown theatre, Garcia holding court with an acoustic guitar and upright bass - and the place was raging, dumbfounded, lit for sure. I was sure a Trojan horse was going to burst through a wall at any moment. What a night.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

It's a tough call. It's obvious that his musical contributions will reverberate through generations of musicians for a long time to come. In some way, it's hard not to think that he sacrificed himself in the process. He is surely missed, but he's celebrated every day.

JamBase | San Francisco
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REED MATHIS :: JACOB FRED JAZZ ODYSSEY


Reed Mathis by Jeremy Scott
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

Jerry influenced the course of modern music on so many fronts... as a songwriter, as the catalyst and organizer of one of the most legendary ensembles in music history, as a virtuoso instrumentalist, and as a spiritual icon and father figure to millions. He constantly grew and reinvented himself and his bag of tricks throughout his life, and the music he left for us is as varied, original, and innovative as the masters of the jazz and classical world. Personally speaking, I'd say the thing that touches me the most is the naked beauty and honesty in his guitar playing... the sensitivity of it, the revelations in it, the whole vibe of it just slays me. And also, all those songs Amazing songs. Crazy Fingers, Stella Blue, Eyes of the World - these are some of my favorite songs ever written.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

I never saw Jerry in person. The Dead didn't really come to Oklahoma much, but when I was just getting to be old enough to hang out with some older players and sit in at some local clubs, many of the cats who befriended me were teaching me Dead tunes so I could sit in on their gigs. I'll never forget hearing those melodies and badass chord changes and lyrics coming out of us, and the elation of the audience when they figured out what song it was. So I maybe got to feel 0.0000001% of the real magic of the Dead experience there, and it touched me.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

JamBase | San Francisco
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JAY BLAKESBERG

1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?


A Young Jay Blakesberg
Being 15 or 16 or 17 years old in suburban anywhere USA is always a difficult time. It doesn't matter what decade it is, you are just searching for your place in the script. Any of our high school friends could have been born with the same distorted Psychedelic chip that I was lucky enough to win in the DNA lottery, but it is just as likely they wouldn't. You might just have to go somewhere else to find those like-minded people. The teen friends you are hanging with might drop acid with you on a snow day, but for them it is a party day. For you, your mind is forever blown, and it is a life-changing experience. Most of my friends from those beer and bong-drenched days in the late 1970's never made it past the 50-mile radius of ground zero in suburban NJ. I remember in 1976 my friend Nick Katsanis told me we have to go see the Grateful Dead before they break up I did a Jerry Garcia Band show in July 1977 (Asbury Park, NJ), followed by my first Dead show at Englishtown, Labor Day Weekend 1977. I smoked pot, drank beer, and grooved to a few songs that I thought I knew. I was 15. Within two years, I would travel to shows that were five or more hours away. I met people who were like me. I danced by myself to live bootleg cassettes in the family rec room on the lame stereo that came with the house when we moved in around 1971. I was changing. My friends in high school were not. They were still your classic 1970's stoner knuckleheads drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon cans and smoking Colombian pot in U.S. Bongs bought down at the mall. By the time I graduated high school, with a Skull & Roses patch hand-sewn to my blue graduation gown, my life was changed. I might not have known it right then and there, but two very pivotal things had happened to me: psychedelics and the Grateful Dead. I was on the bus, and thru a strange set of circumstances, I had a camera with me. I love taking pictures It gave me a certain identity that maybe I was searching for as the lost stoner in high school. Little did I know that it would be my career (and still my identity to many people). I didn't have any understanding what a photography career could be back then. In about 1981, I was at a party with my DeadHead hippie girlfriend at her father's Upper West Side apartment. He was in the textile business, and many of his colleagues were there. A very nice gay man asked what I wanted to do with my life. I said photography. When he asked what kind, I had no idea. I didn't even know what the options were. I was clueless Lou Reed wrote (but Page sang it to us all), my life was saved by Rock and Roll. I could not be any more like that person than I am today. Photography, and the creative outlet it has given me, started with bringing my camera to Grateful Dead concerts. Today it is what I live, think, and breathe everyday. I love this and am so happy that I have made it as far as I have doing something that brings me so much joy that brings a positive reaction to so many of the people who have seen my work over the years (if you read photo credits). I hate to think where I would have landed in that 50-mile radius if the Grateful Dead, psychedelics, and photography all hadn't come together for me.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?


Jerry Garcia by Jay Blakesberg
I am a firm believer that life should be fun. Yes, life is serious business. Politics, environmental awareness, economic reality, children, and everything else we do are important facets of living, but you still have to have fun When I graduated from high school and went on tour, the real fun began, and it was non-stop. Going on tour or to cool rock festivals to experience the wealth of incredible music today is a much different journey than it was when I started to see the Grateful Dead. Listen to any Dead show from the mid 1970's and you are likely to hear mind-blowing rock and roll that was so far out in left field compared to anything else that was happening at the time. It was the beginning of a new and exciting time for music that we took very seriously, but also realized how much fun and joy could be had from being on tour with all these other crazy, like-minded freaks. The music was bliss, and it was Jerry's playing and the words he sang that were the focus of my Grateful Dead experience. Jerry's playing was truly like no other, and for a true music fan like myself, it was an experience that will stay with me forever. His playing could at times be so spectacular that we literally had to be scraped off the floor after an incredible show (but let's be real and remember that it wasn't always an incredible show). I can still go back and listen to Dick's Pick's # 15 (Englishtown - 77) and listen to the He's Gone/Not Fade Away jam at full volume and have the hair stand up on the back of my neck. That 35-plus-minute section of music is some of the most inspiring playing I have ever experienced, and compared to anything else being played in 1977 by any other artist, it is so completely original and truly mind-blowing. Yes, the music played by the Grateful Dead and the times we had on tour were very fun, and for that I will be forever grateful

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?


Jerry Garcia by Jay Blakesberg
As a young DeadHead, almost anything Jerry did I thought was great. We placed him high on a pedestal and thought he was channeling the word of God (pretty easy to think on 1000 mics). By the time I moved to the Bay Area in the mid 1980's, I was thinking about how I could make a living taking pictures. Relix Magazine would publish my photos, and by that time the pay had increased from under $10 per picture in the late 1970's to a whopping $25 per image. As my life changed to that of a working photojournalist, I began to get opportunities to photograph many amazing musicians whose music had touched me in some way. After a few years of trying to ignore a bloated and inconsistent Grateful Dead, I returned to them with enthusiasm after Jerry's 1986 coma. They came back playing stronger than they had in many years, and I tapped right back into the zeitgeist. I also was shooting more of the scene again. Beginning in 1987, I started a wonderful relationship with The Golden Road Magazine. Thru that relationship, I got my first opportunity to do a solo portrait with Garcia. It was January of 1991, and it was to be at the Dead office in San Rafael. I was so excited to have this opportunity and thought about all the different ways I could spend what I thought would be maybe a thirty-minute photo session. Dennis McNally (GD publicist) put me in an office so small that I had to climb on the desk to get in front of Garcia to shoot. I was given under three-minutes to do the entire shoot of Garcia alone and Garcia with Robert Hunter. The solo portrait of Jerry turned out to be my absolute favorite shot that I ever did of him, and it will grace the new, special 40th anniversary issue of Relix Magazine this month. It was also that day that I realized that Jerry was just a regular guy who did not really like all the limelight stuff that came with being a rock star. He didn't really care about the photo shoot and was only there because he was told it was part of the deal for the interview. He became a very human guy to me that day, but still a guy that could play music that moved people in ways they didn't even know they could move.

For more of Jay Blakesberg's work, please go to www.blakesberg.com. For information on Between the Dark and Light: The Grateful Dead Photography of Jay Blakesberg, click here.

JamBase | San Francisco
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DAVE SCHOOLS :: WIDESPREAD PANIC, STOCKHOLM SYNDROME

1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?


Dave Schools by Josh Miller
Garcia taught me a lot of lessons both musical and life-wise: first and foremost was the fact that as a musician one did not have to confine oneself to any one particular style or genre. In fact, it was helpful to experiment with all kinds of music and in doing so carve out a personal niche that was more personally satisfying as well as musically unique. As a person I think Garcia helped to shatter the "Rock and Roll Pipe Dream" aspect of stardom. Was he a happy person because of his success? I don't know but it never really seemed like he was happy in the last half of the Dead's career... except when he was playing music! I think Garcia and I share the same need to be making or listening to music at all times. I'll bet the guy even dreamed music... I know I do... I need a bedside tape recorder!

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

One of my great personal highlights was watching a performance by the Dead at the Hampton Coliseum in May of 1981 (a banner year for "energetic" performances). As I watched this group of middle aged men in t-shirts and jeans create some of the most amazingly heavy ("Stranger," "Other One") and beautiful ("He's Gone," "Wheel," "Wharf Rat") music I had ever seen it struck me that this was something real and intangible that tapped into some kind of universal subconscious primal memory that we all share: mystery and wonder. The intent of the band, the "x-factor," the whole of the group being greater than the sum of its parts: all of these things combined to deliver what became a mind-blowing lesson for a young sixteen-year-old budding bassist. That lesson was to follow one's heart and to try to be a conduit for not just music but also the energy of life. To be mindful and able to listen to those with whom you are creating music was the key to something so much more than just playing music together. Somehow that night at the helm of all of these forces was a slightly gray haired man who was ripping the guitar to shreds. I can remember thinking that they were rocking more intensely than The Who (my other favorite band still to this day). To me, I had just learned a new lesson in the School of Rock - and no, I wasn't tripping!

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

I think I pretty much covered that in the above two responses but I did think of this: I feel that Garcia's ability to interpret the words of Robert Hunter was a wonderful extension of the great songwriters and lyricists of the older days like Johnny Mercer/Henry Mancini. In addition, Garcia's voice, though never what one would call "sonically mellifluous" always seemed to convey more emotion than that of any other "properly trained" vocalist. Garcia understood the ultimate wonderful connection that makes magic when music is combined with words and then he carried that connection to the listener and conveyed the intent of the song in a memorable package. This is why the Dead were the most archived band of all time and why songs like "Ripple" and "Uncle John's Band" will stick around for generations to come. I wish more modern day musicians would make this connection.

JamBase | San Francisco
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BUDDY CAGE :: NEW RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE


Buddy Cage
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

There is no Rule Book.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

Agreeing to pick out the winners of all our Record Plant road-remote tapes and thereby saving us - all of us burnt out from playing a two month tour - and of course, just kinda stayed on [the road]. HE LOVED THE MUSIC SO MUCH. He ended up producing the Home, Home On The Road album.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

On stage danger - risks. AND pulling it off.

JamBase | San Francisco
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SAM BUSH


Sam Bush by Tony Stack
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

Jerry's music influenced me to be unafraid to step out. In the early days when we started New Grass Revival, we were one of the first bluegrass bands to do extended jamming. The Dead and the Allman Brothers fashioned a way for us to follow on our acoustic instruments in search of the perfect jam.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

It was December 31, 1989. New Grass Revival had been invited to play on the Grateful Dead's New Year's Eve Show at the Oakland, CA Coliseum. This was the last set for the Revival ever, and after stepping offstage we were greeted by Jane Fonda, Bill Walton and Jerry Garcia. Jerry gave us an ecstatic review of our show in the form of "THAT WAS REALLY FAR OUT, MAN!" He made us feel totally comfortable in what could have been a really nervous situation. He couldn't have been nicer.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

Jerry inspired a sense of freedom to experiment with music. He influenced a lot of young people who had never heard acoustic or bluegrass music to give it a good listen. Through the band Old & In The Way, he turned on a lot of people to bluegrass who would otherwise have never heard the genre.

JamBase | San Francisco
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REID GENAUER :: ASSEMBLY OF DUST


Reid Genauer
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

At the risk of sounding cliché - Jerry Garcia is probably the sole reason I ever really got into music. Before I discovered the Grateful Dead music listening was sort of superficial to me - a pleasant form of entertainment. I was initially drawn to the music because all the naughty/cool kids in 8th grade (particularly my friend’s older sister) were into The Dead. But when I heard the music and began to understand it I was moved. I was captured by the lore and the craftsmanship of the songwriting and the emotion of the performance. From then on The Dead and music in general became less entertainment and more obsessions. The Dead were a window into all forms of music for me: pop, jazz, bluegrass, folk etc. Long and short is that Jerry Garcia and his partner in crime Robert Hunter are what drew me to want to be a musician and a songwriter.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

I'm not really sure about this one. I guess it was an interview that he gave that I had at the end of a bootleg (it might have been a tape of the Grateful Dead Hour) where he talks about being really pissed off after a show because he thought it was bad. He goes on to tell about how he threw Phil Lesh down a flight of stairs afterwards because he was so bent out of shape and then that he listened back to the show years later and loved it. I loved this story for two reasons: 1) the thought of Jerry being so rip shit seemed kind of intriguing and oddly entertaining, 2) I feel that way on occasion after a show and its reassuring to know that I am not alone in the universe of dissatisfied performers AND I have had that happen to me - A show I felt was lame that sounded great after the fact. What's worse though is one that feels great during and sounds awful upon listening back.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

Soul, hope and humility.

JamBase | San Francisco
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JAMIE JANOVER :: ZILLA


J. Janover by T. Voggesser
1) How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

The guitar of Garcia was the driving force for me loving the Grateful Dead and the Dead were my favorite improvisers for many years right as I started playing the hammered dulcimer. For me, Garcia taught me the art of selfless channeled beauty through melody.

2) What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

Playing basketball backstage at the Oakland Coliseum Dec. 31, 1989

3) What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

The legacy of how to take your own path and make it evolve into something way beyond the music itself, all the way to the point where your very creative spirit has a profound and healing effect on large numbers of people.

JamBase | San Francisco
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JEFF AUSTIN :: YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND


Jeff Austin by Robert Massie
1) How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

The extent of Garcia's influence on my music and life are almost too far reaching to tell in a short amount of time. When I would watch him play and sing, he always gave me such hope...he showed that you could get up on stage night after night, and even if your voice was tired, your body had nothing left, if you just let that spirit grab you and TRUST IT (these being the key two words), amazing things can happen. Suddenly, your voice is gold, your hands feel like two math geniuses at work. Also, the way that he let the fans help him along through his career was amazing...he really loved us all, and his music and ENERGY showed it. It makes you realize that you are not alone up there. I'd rather watch him play everyday than any of the "virtuoso musicians" that are out there today. Just show me something real...and he did.

2) What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

I would have to say that I have three. The first being in 1987, when I was in sixth grade - I was your typical dork...Bob Dylan on my headphones as I headed to choir class, trying not to get beat up. My mom asked me if I wanted to go see something really, really cool...something she thought I would like. She drove me and an older friend of the family - who has also since passed - to the UIC Pavilion in Chicago (I lived in the suburbs) and let us go to the show. She didn't come with us...she always told me she had already experienced it and didn't want her memories of it to be changed if the scene had changed as much as she had heard it had. What a great gift to give to your son. They killed, and the next year I had the second best experience at the Rosemont Horizon, also in Chicago. Opening the first set with "Scarlet" > "Fire," "Louie, Louie" > "Cumberland Blues..." it was too much. The last one I have to mention is Richfield Coliseum in Ohio 3.21.94. It was the greatest Jerry I ever saw out of 98 shows. He commanded the evening...taking over "Bobby's Greatest Story" with "Bertha"...and the most moving "Stella Blue" you have ever seen. I swear he was crying...I know I was. He never left the stage that evening, played straight through "Drums" and into "Space." God, what memories.

3) What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

I think the greatest thing he has given us is that if you truly love what you do, and embrace the gifts you have been given, it will carry you through hell and high water. People will look at you with love and admiration because of the chances you take. Give you all the energy you could ever need to get you past those lowest of life's moments. That's all anyone could ask for in life. Also, in a weird kind of way, he gave us all a great gift with his passing...look at all of the bands that he inspired that are now traveling, making livings, and inspiring other people all over that he or the Dead may have never reached with their music. It just shows how far one mans spirit can go...weather he's with us or not.

JamBase | San Francisco
Go Listen to Garcia

WARREN HAYNES :: GOV'T MULE, ALLMAN BROTHERS


Warren Haynes by Susan J. Weiand
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

Jerry and I are very different, musically speaking, but I have a feeling if we'd had the chance to talk music and influences we'd have shared a lot of common ground – from blues to jazz to bluegrass to soul music. He influenced me in several ways but perhaps the most important way being that he forged his own path that was uniquely his and didn't let anything convince him not to. Playing in so many formats, bands, projects, etc., covering songs from all genres, and writing songs in all genres, all the while bucking the mainstream.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

One night at Madison Square Garden, Bruce Hornsby pulled my wife Stefani and I up on stage and sat us right behind his piano. We were literally ten feet from Jerry. My wife was a huge DeadHead so she was freaking out. We were able to watch from the band's point of view how they communicated, how Jerry subtly lead the band, and the audiences attention being so focused on him. Unfortunately, I didn't meet him that night, which would have been my best chance, but I still have a mental picture of what I consider one of my "Forrest Gump Moments."

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

His entire being – it came out in his music. All the history, the passion, the vulnerability, the uniqueness – all flowed out of him into other people.

JamBase | San Francisco
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VINCE HERMAN :: LEFTOVER SALMON, SPIRIT OF GUTHRIE, GREAT AMERICAN TAXI


Vince Herman by Susan J. Weiand
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

I first saw him in 1977 at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh and the power of that music just knocked me over. I saw him a couple more times in high school and then in college kinda hit the road hitchhiking to see a bunch of shows. That really gave me the road-bug, the traveling-jones, in pursuit of music. I think that seed was planted deeper during my time traveling with the Dead than at any other period in my life. And I was in West Virginia at that time and I was really a bluegrass player and getting deep into that, but rock & roll and the Dead still did it for me because it was from that deep Americana Well that Jerry pulled the tunes from and made that folk music come alive in great ways.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

I think my favorite memory was a 1984 show in Morgantown and Jerry was playing this incredible "China Doll" just doing that ascending lick and these people in my area were bouncing this balloon around and everyone was just following this balloon and Jerry is singing, "Just a little nervous from the 'fall'" and right on 'fall' the balloon hit something an popped! and the whole crowd just went "Ohh!" It was just a beautiful thing. Those crowd scenes where the whole crowd would catch this buzz or jump back, there were some powerful group consciousness things going on, those were my fondest memories.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

The most significant thing that Jerry gave the world very well may be that he gave the hippies a door to the banjo and to bluegrass and the whole roots thing, he pointed a lot of kids in that direction. And just 'good being,' I think that's all any of us can do... Here's to Jerry, long may he run.

JamBase | San Francisco
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DAVID GANS


David Gans
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

I learned so much from Jerry that it's hard to know where to begin. I think the most important lesson, as our mutual friend Henry Kaiser always quotes, is to "serve the music." Jerry was there for the music, not for his own glory.

Because I spent a good portion of my formative years as a musician studying Jerry and the Grateful Dead, you can always hear him peeking around the corners of my songs and my performance. But I also learned from Jerry to be myself, to (in Kesey's words) "take what you can use and let the rest go by." So I compose songs and choose covers that further my personal narrative, and I don't know how to be anyone but myself.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

I had many opportunities to hang out with him, and I interviewed him many times for print and radio. He was almost always in a good mood, and in interviews he was unfailingly generous with his time and thoughts.

I think my favorite memory of Jerry was the interviews he gave to Blair Jackson and myself on two nights in the spring of 1981. We talked about so many subjects, and he was so full of positive energy. The full transcripts are in Conversations with the Dead, if you're interested in reading this phenomenally wide-ranging dialogue.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

Jerry was a great American musician: he listened to everything, and he drew on a multitude of sources in the creation of his own unique book of original compositions. He had a very good ear for songs; you can look at the list of material he covered in his many incarnations and follow those threads into a world of wonders. The expressiveness of his singing and guitar playing, always tasteful and faithful to the song and the story being told, make much of mainstream music seem shallow and gaudy in comparison.

JamBase | San Francisco
Go Listen to Garcia MARC BROWNSTEIN :: THE DISCO BISCUITS, CONSPIRATOR


Marc Brownstein by Adam Gulledge
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

Well, in a way his music has influenced my music exponentially. Would we be able to truly go anywhere if we had not been shown that anywhere can be gone to... The road less traveled has a lot of traffic, all because of the Dead.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

Rich Stadium. Sting opening for the Dead. No one in the place. Jerry walks onto stage. Instantly 80,000 people appear. Jerry leaves. They boo.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

Truth and Passion.

JamBase | San Francisco
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DAN LEBOWITZ :: ALO


Dan Lebowitz by Susan J. Weiand
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

Musically speaking, the thing that always impressed me most about Jerry was the unique sound of his guitar playing. You can spot him from a single note. There are other players who share this attribute, but Jerry took it a step further by taking his sound into all sorts of genres. Electric, acoustic, rock & roll, folk, bluegrass, it never made a difference, he always sounded like Jerry. A common thread between all the players I admire most is that they possess a unique sound all to themselves. It's something that I put a lot of value on and Jerry is a great example of it.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

I only got to see Jerry live a few times and, while I had a great time, I was pretty young so I'd have to say that my fondest "in person" memory of him is from when I was about five or six years old. I was traveling to the east coast with my family and seated a few rows behind us was Jerry. My dad recognized him and pointed him out to me. I still remember the larger than life vibe of not only him, but the whole entourage. I also remember it being the first time that I thought about what it would be like to be a musician traveling from place to place playing music for people. Apparently, the idea stuck.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

Some of my early concert experiences were Grateful Dead shows that my parents took me to when I was a kid. Interestingly enough, I have very little memory of the actual music. It wasn't until I got older that the music really spoke to me. The scene, however, spoke volumes to me. I found it really inspiring, this whole notion that you don't have to fit into the norm, it was okay to step outside of the box and be yourself. I was totally blown away by the creative expression that all the "heads" embodied. Jerry, along with the rest of the Grateful Dead were not only pioneers of the scene, but brought it to people like me who would never have found this sub-culture while growing up in the suburbs.

JamBase | San Francisco
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ROBERT C. MATTHEWS


Matthews & Garcia
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

Major, major. I was privileged to probably be the person who got to spend more time than anybody else on a one-on-one basis in the creative environment of the studio with Jerry. I was, I feel blessed to have the experience. It was a unique relationship that worked very smoothly where he could look to me to be able to help him create the music and count on me to, as I described, remove the technical issues to help the music occur. Once to twice he would yell at me for, "Don't try to second guess me!" But that was part of what I did. And being able to play music with him in the New Riders that was also pretty fun. He was a great friend, a fantastic person; I learned how to give a good interview from him, the style of communication, perspective. Major influence on my life. And actually family; he pointed out to me that we were both Brothers-in-Law. My wife's sister is married to Jerry's brother. So a small little, another little closure or coincidence.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

Probably I would have to say, Garcia his solo record, working with him on that. Because that was artistically, esthetically, relationship wise, from a creativity perspective that was almost perfection. As far as its ability to spontaneously create new music from the ether quickly, without any fanfare, it just fell into place, the music told us what to do, and of course Jerry was very good at listening to what the music said, I would have to say that that was probably the fondest memory.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

A) Have fun at what your doing. B) If it's not fun look for another direction, go for what you're driven towards.

JamBase | San Francisco
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JOSH CLARK :: TEA LEAF GREEN


Josh Clark by Josh Miller
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

The first time I saw a "steal your face" was in my Drivers Ed course. Someone had penciled in a version in my drivers' handbook. I thought it was a sign for a heavy metal band. I learned it was, of course, a symbol for the Grateful Dead. Little did I know this symbol and band had an entire universe attached to it. I live in this universe. It's huge, it's still expanding, and like its "leader" this universe and its inhabitants seek adventure and embrace mystery with a great sense of irony and wit.

Having never been to a Grateful Dead show featuring Jerry Garcia I suppose I'm a Dead Head by association. I have a big bag of bootlegs in my truck, I can't get rid of them and they seem to be multiplying on their own. As far as Jerry Garcia's influence on me musically, I suppose in a self imposed world of technical perfection of guitar playing he came out of a Driver's Ed handbook and told me I don't have to stay in the yellow lines. So if anyone's got a problem with my driving, blame it on Captain Trips.

JamBase | San Francisco
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AL HOWARD :: K23 ORCHESTRA


Al Howard by Elyssa Page
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

Jerry's music opens up a road that traverses through experience, time, landscape and perception. It is free, complex and knows no boundary of genre. It has touched the lives of so many musicians, artists and people in general in an immensely profound way. Jerry has taught me to free myself from categorical confinement and that one can create unfiltered soulful expression and still reach masses of people.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

I never got to see the Dead and in fact didn't really catch on until kind of late in the game. When I was 19 I went and saw Page and Plant. It was a time in my life when I partied pretty hard and on that particular evening I was completely tilted. I came home from the show and put on the first Mr. Bungle album, I wanted to challenge my brain with the most uncomfortable music it could handle. After a 70-minute barrage of circus jazz metal I decided to massage my thoughts (as well as frantic heartbeat) with something a little less abrasive. I had a copy of American Beauty on vinyl. I placed it on this old wood covered turntable, it was the size of a washing machine and had built in speakers. I sat down on the massive beanbag in corner of my room and got comfortable, blue lights and candles. From the moment the needle hit the vinyl notes of perfection filled all the space in my room. Every harmony, every melody, each word resonated with something deeper, every subtlety surfaced. I remember tearing up after "Brokedown Palace." There is something about his voice on that song, completely pure, stripped, raw and refined, filled with hopeful remorse. I remember it all making sense to me at that moment. Sounds, circumstance and timing all coming together.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

Jerry and his friends sculpted a subculture that at its finest moments embodies some of the most beautiful aspects of humanity; creativity, freedom, music, individuality, unity, art, nature and a feeling that we are all sharing in something greater.

JamBase | San Francisco
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STEVE MOLITZ :: PARTICLE, HYDRA


Steve Molitz by Casey Flanigan
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

Jerry's commitment to music in general is really inspiring to me. The idea of living music - not just playing it - requires that you surrender your entire being to this intangible, infinite entity simply for the pure love of what you might discover if you search deep enough. I don't think Jerry played music, he just was music. It's like that old saying about playing the blues... "it's not enough to know which notes to play; you have to know why you're playing them." I think Jerry always knew why he was playing, and I'm inspired by the fact that he was constantly challenging himself to play outside of his comfort zone. It's a strange paradox... being comfortable without a comfort zone. In that sense he really was a 'headlight on a northbound train,' and that bravery influenced me to get on board and find out where the train was headed...

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

I regret that I never got to see Jerry perform live, so I suppose my fondest memory of him would have to come from stories I've heard. The first one that comes to mind is fairly simple, but for some reason it really stuck with me. In Phil Lesh's book he describes a pre-Grateful Dead Jerry always sitting around picking and strumming out riffs and somehow never repeating himself. There's just something really beautiful and mysterious about a guy who can play the guitar for decades and always find something new to play.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

A renewed sense of magic. There's an entire sub-culture of people all over the world that believe in miracles again thanks to Jerry Garcia...

JamBase | San Francisco
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NAT KEEFE :: HOT BUTTERED RUM STRING BAND


Nat Keefe
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

He was serious about his work. The Grateful Dead worked so hard on their craft. I thought about this even when I was a twelve-year-old jamming in the garage with my first band and certainly with Hot Buttered Rum. The lessons from his shortcomings have influenced me too: Keep substance use under control. Don't let the inertia of the organization you create work you ragged. Talk about "family" problems.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

My dad and uncle took me to see my first Dead show at Frost Amphitheater in Palo Alto, CA when I was ten years old. I remember walking in there and thinking it was so cool to have two drum sets. Then the band comes on and everybody stands up and starts dancing. I had never really danced like that before but some nice ladies got me dancing with them and boy did I have a good time! I've been hooked on rockin' and rollin' ever since!

I was thrilled when they started playing "Chinacat Sunflower," one of the few songs I knew. That's a song that can really appeal to a kid. Then when they went into "I Know You Rider" it felt like we were making history. I was impressed with Garcia's nonchalant demeanor onstage. Most of the rock 'n' roll I'd seen was flashy 80s hair bands. The Dead were definitely not flashy, but had a relaxed living room appeal to them, like one of them could be my dad.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

He brought together different strains of American music into a popular, danceable form. In the Dead I hear the improvisatory exploration of Miles Davis and John Coltrane, the ancient tones of bluegrass and old time music, and the dance pop sensibility of 50s and 60s rock 'n' roll. This created a music which is now itself a genre. It's both modern and ancient. It's serious and fun.

JamBase | San Francisco
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MARTIN FIERRO


Fierro, Kahn, Garcia
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

He influenced me in the folk department of playing as I was coming from the jazz background. He got me into more of the middle of the road type of music - so obscure and beautiful. Where is he coming up with all of this material? The songs he sang were so earthy and beautiful. I never met anyone with that type of approach to music. He wasn't technical but down to earth and soulful.

He was a musical historian too – he knew so many old songs, stuff that was totally outrageous. Traditional music from a hundred years ago and old Irish songs. I wasn't into that before; I was strictly a jazz and rock & roll guy. Jerry opened a whole universe to me.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

The first time I met Jerry: When I came to San Francisco in 1968 I was playing with conga players in Golden Gate Park and this scrappy looking guy showed up and he said, "Hey what's your name?" I said "Martin Fiero" he said "You new in town?" I said yeah "I'm from El Paso, Texas" he said "You want to come play with us tonight? My name is Jerry Garcia we're playing down at the Matrix tonight with John Kahn, Howard Wales and Bill Vitt."

I had no idea who he was – he was just another nice person inviting me to play a gig. It turned out to be one of the most incredible experiences of my entire life, of my entire career. He came and introduced himself to me. I was brand new in town – having a person like that invite me to a gig – WOW! I didn't know it at the time; it was just an invitation to sit in at a gig.

We were friends for both of our entire lives. To me it's always meant a lot that he went out of his way to come and talk to me. Now I try to go out and find people in the world and pump spirituality and love and energy into their playing. Especially guys who are new in town. I go talk to them and hopefully give them a lot of strength. Tell them they'll do ok and go out there and do your thing and eventually the world will listen to you. That's what Jerry gave me – the ability to go out in the world and encourage and give people spiritual health so they can feel good about themselves.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

Himself. His hard work, his music, his love, his conviction. His crazy zany intellectual bullshit he always had. He gave everything he had to us.

Watching Jerry pour his heart and soul out to the audience, playing with so much love – he gave everything of himself to the people; just watching him perform – his humility was so disarming he was a totally soulful person. A lot of different Jerrys to a lot of different people – to me he was so loving. If it wasn't for Jerry I wouldn't be where I am today musically and artistically. I'm known throughout the world because of Jerry.

He took you to a place you'd never been to before. He touched a spot in your soul and your heart that nobody could ever do quite the same. That spot that cries and feels and sings beautiful stuff. He was a minstrel and he was a hell of a fucking guitar player.

JamBase | San Francisco
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JOSH BARON :: RELIX, EXECUTIVE EDITOR

1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

The music of Jerry Garcia has influenced my life in some incredible ways—and I'm not even a musician like the rest of those asked. When I got turned on to the Grateful Dead in junior high amidst devotion to Pearl Jam and Nirvana, everything changed. Whereas before I would get off on those big lyrical hooks—"Here we are now, entertain us" or "Oooooh, I'm still alive"—I started waiting for those magical moments of improvisation where Jerry would hit those notes at those pinnacle moments. When I started high school, I found like-minded people and they in turn shaped who I was, etc (to the extent that I actually had two pages in the yearbook my senior year devoted to Jerry's passing). But it was studying Jerry's different projects outside of the Dead that got me into being a musicologist of sorts, constantly reading, talking, listening and thinking about music in a serious way. And it was that passion, combined with some good luck and timing, that landed me at Relix.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

My fondest memory of Garcia... that's a tough one as I didn't attend all that many Dead and Jerry Band shows nor ever had any personal interaction with the man. I guess my fondest memory of Jerry would probably be the first time I ever saw him in-person: April 16, 1993 at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. I vividly remember being extremely moved by, among other songs, the second set opener of "Shining Star."

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

The most significant thing Jerry Garcia has given the world is probably the sense that music can make a difference in peoples' lives. Whether bringing people together to protect the rainforest or stop nuclear proliferation, giving life to a party or a tone to a somber event, getting someone through a day or accompanying them in hard times, Jerry Garcia worked. Let me rephrase that slightly: Jerry Garcia works.

JamBase | San Francisco
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TOM SPEED :: HONEST TUNE MAGAZINE, PUBLISHER


Tom Speed
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

Jerry Garcia had a profound and pivotal impact on me, directly and indirectly. Jerry and the Dead helped me to tap into a vast world of music that I didn't know existed. I discovered a universe of music that transcended time and genre and geography. The Grateful Dead opened the door for me to bluegrass and jazz and blues and especially everything in between. It gave me a much better appreciation for all American music and how it's connected.

Also, it was an epiphany for me, and my seventeen-year old ears, learning that there was music beyond what you could hear on the radio or even through records. I learned that music lived in the moment and that there was magic in those moments. For me, that magic has never subsided and as it turns out, I've spent a lot of time examining and relaying that experience as much as I can.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

I never met Jerry, so all of my memories of him are limited to what I saw and heard from the stage, and what I've read about him or seen on TV. Like a lot of folks, I sort of feel that I knew him on some elemental level beyond that of the corporeal—maybe not the person, the guy you go to the movies with, but the spirit behind the person, the elemental essence. That's in the songs.

The musical memories are numerous: The first time I saw him completely captivate a crowd with the stillness of "Stella Blue" just floored me. I'd never seen anything like that. The way he'd flash a devilish grin on stage always put a smile on my face too. I could go on forever about specific shows and songs, about soaring the cosmos and all that. But I think one of my favorite memories may be a non-musical one. It was an appearance on David Letterman's show where Jerry and Bob were doing these goofy parlor tricks, ever the pranksters. It was hysterical and human. It makes me laugh just thinking about it.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

I think he impacted music and the way people approach music—both as practitioners and fans—in an extremely powerful way. There are a lot of people all over the world who, because of his influence, get a lot more out of music than they otherwise would; a lot more insight, a lot more joy. He promoted a love of music and a love of songs that a lot of people picked up on. So that was significant; that and the spirit of leading an inquisitive life, of loving what you do and doing what you love.

JamBase | San Francisco
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JOHN KADLECIK :: DARK STAR ORCHESTRA (GUITAR/VOCALS)


John Kadlecik :: DSO by Weiand
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

What a huge question. Musically, I can honestly say that I learned how to improvise in major scales from listening to Jerry. At the point in my life when I got turned on to the music of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead I had studied classical violin for nine years, taught myself guitar for three years to learn about improvisation, and was beginning to get into jazz, Zen Buddhism, and psychedelics. Jerry's music rolled all that together into an amazing bridge between rock and jazz. And while one might normally think of a bridge as just a way to get from point A to point B, the people I met going back and forth across that bridge, the view from the bridge, and the great perpetual party happening there made me want to hang a while... a long while. And from the stories I read about Jerry Garcia, the man, what resonated deepest with me is the notion of consciousness-at-large, that when brainstorming for a solution to a problem in a group situation, the best solution can come from any of the participants. Whether that problem is a business logistics issue, how to create a great jam, or just how to have a good time, everyone in a group that is plugging in their creative energy has the potential to become the focus point of the collective energies and manifest the best solution. And while the boardroom and recording studio make obvious examples, I think by far the best is the concert hall, where the entire audience can "plug in" their creative juices with the band and sound and light crews to brew up the best possible time for all involved. And who out there, at one Dead show or another, hasn't had the experience of going to a show with some unresolved personal issue, danced their butt off for 3 1/2 hours, and come away with the perfect answer to their problem?

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

Regrettably, I never got to meet Jerry Garcia in person, so I feel I should only write from personal concert experiences. With that said, I can still only narrow down my fondest memories of Jerry to two: "What a Wonderful World" from November 24, 1991 Jerry Garcia Band performance in Minneapolis, and the first set "Standing on the Moon" from a March 21, 1990 Grateful Dead performance in Hamilton, Ontario.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

I would say the most significant thing Jerry has given the world is a thirty year body of musical work that unifies the "high art" music of classical, neo-classical, and jazz with the "street" music of American blues, folk, and bluegrass, in the context of the modern rock dance-concert-as-archaic-revival. I would include both the songwriting/studio recording aspect and the live concert experience as two equally important sides of that work. Furthermore, collaboration seemed to be a hallmark of Jerry's efforts on both halves of this musical equation. With lyricist Robert Hunter, Jerry's songwriting achieved a perfect marriage of storytelling and melody, chord changes and archetypal literary imagery, poetry and soundscape. In the Grateful Dead he co-created a musical style that is as distinct from the rest of rock music as bluegrass is from the rest of folk music. Jerry and Bob Weir crafted some of the finest examples of how two electric guitars can work together; with Phil Lesh he worked out an incredible way for two superb melodicists to create simultaneously. Even all of Jerry's side projects, including his own namesake band, featured other singers, songwriters, and soloists. I personally think that the full impact of Jerry Garcia's musical legacy has yet to be felt by society, that it will be a touchstone for artists, musicians, and counterculture types for decades or even centuries to come, and that history will ultimately regard his work as a high water mark for mankind in the twentieth century.

JamBase | San Francisco
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SEAN A. CANAN :: BOCKMAN (GUITAR)


Sean Canan :: Bockman by SuperDee
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

A big lesson to learn from Jerry is that he virtually ignored the mainstream society through his entire career. One of the few to succeed further than most mainstream icons without succumbing to those temptations. He ALMOST escaped the 1980's without giving in, something that every single star from the 60's and 70's reluctantly fell for.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

I remember when I was about eight years old; my dad brought home the record In the Dark. It didn't take long before I was acting out entire basketball games in my basement while singing along to "West LA Fadeaway." Not long after that I realized that he had been playing Europe '72 and Reckoning since the I popped out of the womb. Around that time, the same thing happened to me with "Back in the Highlife" by Steve Winwood and his Traffic records.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

Well, certainly the most obvious thing is that through the Grateful Dead, Jerry created an entire sub-culture that is still running strong. Maybe always will in some shape or form. His music became the hymn for the congregation of a modern day nomadic society for which the slang is... oh I can't remember... starts with an H.

However, I don't think that his cult leadership is the most important of his creations. His contribution to the music world is what I like to remember. Jerry's ability to channel a sort of divine musical breeze through his guitar solos are not equaled on the guitar by anyone, especially at the time. He may have been the first guitarist to completely let go of his ego. His band followed in suit. Some people called it psychedelic, but the Dead really were the first rock band to hone the idea of group improvisation.

JamBase | San Francisco
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DENNIS McNALLY :: GRATEFUL DEAD PUBLICIST & BIOGRAPHER


Dennis McNally
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

I spent at least twenty-five years listening to the Grateful Dead a lot; everyday. So you could call that an influence. Thanks to Jerry I got the intellectual opportunity of a lifetime to write the book I wanted to write. I got the job of a lifetime, which has basically been my life career, and through Jerry – and the wider ramifications of the Grateful Dead – I met my wife and daughter, and the great bulk of my friends, it's fairly completely influenced my life; and in almost universally good ways. Other than my birth-family, it's everything – it didn't just influence my life, it filled it up!

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

When the Grateful Dead did the National Anthem for a Giants game, we did sound check at ten and then the game/show/song wasn't until one and because of the traffic no one could leave the stadium. So I had these bored musicians I had to entertain from ten until one and at some point I saw some very famous ex-Giants, and you have to remember that Jerry grew up as a kid in the Bay Area, he wasn't a huge sports fan, but he was enough of a sports fan to know who Willie McCovey was, and he was very impressed to meet Willie McCovey. Now Willie McCovey is a natural born gentleman and they schmoozed for a while and that was all cool. Then I went up to Willie Mays and I said, "Mr. Mays can I introduce you to Jerry Garcia, he's going to be signing the National Anthem?" Now Willie Mays is notoriously grumpy, and he said, "No!" and called out to the other players – there was some kind of Giants alumni gathering before the game – and he said, "Come on you guys I want to get to the party" and they left. And Jerry cackled! First he was talking about how cool it was to talk with Willie McCovey, it touched a part of him that was sixteen, and then he just laughed almost till he cried at how wonderful it was – and he meant it – to be snubbed by Willie Mays. Not because it was personal, Willie Mays didn't want to talk to God at that point, but it was normal, and frankly, Jerry liked being treated normally.


Jerry Garcia by Jay Blakesberg
Melvin Seals tells a story about when he auditioned for the band; he didn't know who Jerry was. And Jerry loved that! You know how most famous people, "Don't you know who I think I am!?" Well in this case it was, "He doesn't know who I am? Great! We're just jamming, fine, I'm another musician.

One of the cooler New Year's Eves that the Grateful Dead ever played was with Etta James. And there was this great moment, and it was very much a normal showbiz moment, Etta came up and she leaned her arm on Jerry's shoulder as he's playing, I think she even gave him a little hip-bump. And I was thinking, in most Dead Heads mind's you don't touch Jerry as he's playing! The Grateful Dead didn't go in for any showbiz stuff! And I could imagine them being shocked. Jerry was obviously gassed, he loved it. This was Etta James for Christ's Sake. So I made some remark about that after the show and I said something to the effect of, "At that moment you looked like you could have been very happy just being the backup musician in some anonymous band." And he said, "Absolutely!" And he gave my wife away; he acted as the Father of the Bride. Those were the moments, it was the normal stuff where he didn't need to be Jerry Garcia with a capital "J" "G," he was just Jerry. That was my blessing, that's what I got. Because he was a sweet boy, at his grumpiest he was always basically civil. And it was only right at the end where he was just miserable-among other things, from diabetic mood-swings and he wouldn't hang out. Most of the time he just loved smoking a fat one and raving.


Jerry Garcia by Jay Blakesberg
3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

Jerry Garcia is the greatest success story of all time. It just depends on how you measure success. He lived his life on his own terms, some of them weren't the smartest terms, so he ended up not being physically healthy – and that's dumb – and he was dumb about that. But on the whole he wanted to devout his life to music and to honoring music; and he did that. And he and the Grateful Dead got this incredible success despite the fact – in fact in part because – they did everything the wrong way. They did things for musical reasons not financial reasons, and they ended up being able to live life on their own terms; what could be better than that? All he asked out of life was the ability to keep playing.


Do you have a memory of Jerry you'd like to share? A moment that influenced your life? A meeting with the man that left an impression? If so, please use our Comment box below to share.

For more Thoughts On Garcia be sure to click "Continue Reading..."

ERIC MCFADDEN :: ALEKTOROPHOBIA, ERIC MCFADDEN TRIO, P-FUNK, STOCKHOLM SYNDROME


Eric McFadden by Weiand
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

He was a sincere, cynical and talented man who influenced me mostly through the influence that ran through him.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

I have no memories of him... I never knew him. I have only visions.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

Consideration.


BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO


Buckwheat Zydeco by Joseph A. Rosen
I wasn't that familiar with the Grateful Dead, but when Buckwheat Zydeco opened for Eric Clapton's tour a while ago, the Dead's tour was sort of following ours into stadiums and such all over the country. Everywhere we went we'd see hundreds of kids camped out days before the Dead's shows waiting for them. I remember thinking, "Damn those guys must really mean something to these kids." I thought it was great and really showed how music can be more than just something you listen to -- it can really move you. The Dead and Jerry Garcia sure did that!


SAM HOLT :: OUTFORMATION


Sam Holt
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

It opened up possibilities. His music let me know that the whole can be greater than the sum, and that there is more going on than what you can touch.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

Alpine '89 "Morning Dew." Jerry giving everything he had during that song - and how powerful it was. It really moved me.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

He built something (even though he probably wasn't consciously trying) that will never be torn down. His music will live forever, and inspire generations. He also let people know that there is no limit to what can be accomplished through music.


ROB KORITZ :: DARK STAR ORCHESTRA (DRUMS)


Bob Koritz :: DSO
1. How would you say the music of Jerry Garcia and/or the man himself has influenced your music, your craft, and/or your life path?

Well, if it wasn't for the music and the man, I obviously wouldn't be in the group I am in. However, no matter what music I am playing, Jerry taught us that it is OK to take chances out there where everyone can hear your mistakes, and that is the joy of true spontaneity and improvisation.

2. What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?

Berlin, Germany 1990, I am with a few traveling buddies at the Brandenburg Gate, when all of a sudden Garcia pops out of a black BMW. He has a huge smile on his face and we say "Hey Jerry." Well, Jerry takes the time to turn around, figure out who was yelling to him and then ask "You kids having fun over here? Enjoy the show tonight!" That night I was right up front, and when Jerry saw me, he said, "Wasn't the gate cool today?" That was my only personal encounter with him, but it left the impression of a warm, caring, funny man.

3. What would you say is the most significant thing Jerry has given the world?

A true artist, who was all about his craft, whether it be music or art. The ability to realize that music is bigger than the individuals on stage and if it is done right, that the music, the players and the audience all become one and no component is more important than another.


JAMIE McLEAN :: THE DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND (GUITAR)


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Comments

Greenjah starstarstarstarstar Mon 8/1/2005 04:40AM
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Greenjah

How I miss that sweet sound of Jerry's guitar. He told us a story through the notes he played, and we got it, we all got it.

Happy Birthday my friend.

Greenjah starstarstarstarstar Mon 8/1/2005 09:30AM
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Greenjah

Although I've already posted a comment, I would like to share a story with all who would listen:
It was 4/7/95, my birthday, and I was sitting 4th row center with my homey OB at the Big Sombrero, Tampa, FL. In the middle of Days Between, Jerry turned to his side and looked right at my friend and I -I mean "RIGHT AT US!!!" , like a bolt of lightening. Both of us looked at each other in disbelief -"Did that just happpen" we asked ourselves. Yeah, it did. Till this day we still talk about that one moment in time.

The only possible expalnation is that Jerry was saying thanks to us for being so loyal for so many years (12 to be exact!), and maybe somehow knowing it was my birthday (although that would be some trick) and knowing the end was near. Either way, it happened and it was huge.

Thanks for the memories, Jerry...

mitchrivers starstarstarstarstar Mon 8/1/2005 11:39AM
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Fantastic article...Being a musician, my course was changed forever after my first Dead show, standing in the 1st row in front of Jerry, I learned more listening in just the first set then 10 years of playing...Happy Birthday Jerry!!!

syf starstarstarstarstar Mon 8/1/2005 02:11PM
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Happy Birthday Papa. I remember Bobby crying that night in NH during throwin stones "...the future is here WE are it, we are on our own,,, Papa's gone Papa's gone..." There has not been a day since he passed that his name or a thought of him did not cross my mind. I felt cheated out of 20 more years. LOVE is REAL and never fades away. One day we will all be with papa again. Till then it's Ratdog forever.
(and maybe a few friends every now and then)

chibbity starstarstarstarstar Mon 8/1/2005 02:37PM
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i think that the music of Jerry Garcia has touched many people in a personal way. He was an incredible musician, and i think that it is truly amazing that even after his death, we still celebrate his birthday. Even though he is not here with us physically, we can reach him through his music, his lyrics, and that sweet sound of his guitar. Thank you Jerry, and the rest of the Grateful Dead family for making life so much sweeter :)

stolenogre starstarstarstarstar Mon 8/1/2005 03:23PM
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It is indescribable yet so simple. I like Donnas comments about lifting us out of the ordinary.. Giving the music time to take you there. At times it went nowhere and others it took off like a rocket. My life philosophy has been extremely magnified by experiencing Grateful Dead music for nearly 30 years now. Living in the moment, rolling with the changes and stopping to smell the roses.. Once in awhile you can get shown the light... I miss Garcia badly and feel this world needs his presence more than ever. So It is up to all of us to carry on his vibe and the openness we all have gained from our collective experiences. We are ALL friends here... Thanks for the music..
Michael McMorrow/Stolen Ogre

"You need music, I don't know why. It's probably one of those Joe Campbell questions, why we need ritual. We need magic, and bliss, and power, myth, and celebration and religion in our lives, and music is a good way to encapsulate a lot of it."
Jerry Garcia

oldmanclemins starstarstarstar Mon 8/1/2005 03:51PM
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there was nothing more beutiful to me than hearing his voice in those slow songs while the blue light would hit him and make this glow around him while his hair blew in the wind.the last song i saw him sing was days in veagas of 95.....and everytime i hear the version from that show i can remember exactly how he looked at the time....incidently i somehow knew in the middle of the guitar solo that that was it for me....id never see them again, and i didnt.nut not a day goes by that i dont listen to them, and remember all that i learned there.

TimCorcoran starstarstarstarstar Mon 8/1/2005 04:55PM
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TimCorcoran

This past weekend at the 3G's, it was clear to me that Garcia is still with us, around us, and within us. Theres no questioning that Jerry's life on earth will be pasted on though our lives, and in those who still carry on a little Jerry thought, or two... Tom says, "Jerry's vibe is alive and well, after all these years".
~*~Happy Birthday Jerry~*~

DaveT starstarstarstarstar Mon 8/1/2005 05:27PM
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DaveT

Happy Birthday Jerry ;)-~ You make me smile...Thx

alltimepanic starstarstarstar Mon 8/1/2005 05:40PM
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thanks for a real good time

cofor20 starstarstarstarstar Mon 8/1/2005 06:09PM
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cofor20

1995-2005 Ten Years So Far

Jerry dies while I'm working in San Diego (I live in Mississippi), I call a few friends & take off for the memorial. I return home & start my tape collecting addiction. God gives my wife & I our first Daughter that year, Shelby Magnolia. I didn't get to see as many Grateful Dead shows as I would have liked, so I begin looking for alternatives. Drugs, Phish & vegetarianism don't fill the void. By '99 we have our second daughter Hannah Rose, and I found my career in cooking. Every step of the way with Jerry's guitar singing in the background (literally, I have the video tapes to prove it). Through the good times and the bad times. Finally, in 2001 I step beyond drug addiction & begin a new part of my life with my family. Since then I've learned to balance career, family & fun. I have had Jerry's music with me through it all. That's the only thing that hasen't changed in the past ten years. I can put in a CD or DVD (thanks to the music sharing freaks on the internet) and go right back to that space; where Jerry's music takes us. I'm only just beginning to realize how much the music has impacted me. Jerry Garcia's music is the soundtrack to my life.
What will the next ten years bring? I can't answer that, but I know what the background music will be...

Thanks Jer,
C.O. Russo

PS The name of the street I grew up on was Lazy River Road. Coincidence? Not.

mojohan Tue 8/2/2005 01:52AM
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mojohan

Wow! I never imagined something that I've known for more than half my life would be this hard to put into words.
Ever since the mid to late 70's Jerry and the dead lifestyle
in general have had a profound impact on my (as well as countless others)life. Although i'm no candidate for sainthood
(or even heaven for that matter) I, and the people around me
seem to think I turned out pretty good.I contribute most of that to Jerry.I probably would'nt be alive today ,considering the track I was headed down way back when.
Thanx to Jerry, Im able to embrace all the wonderful new music
thats out there now,a lot of it as much as I enjoyed the good ole Grateful Dead.Almost.
Happy birthday Jerry ,your one of a kind,always will be.
I know we will meet again ,but for now , Thank You.

shaun hannon

BillsMusic Tue 8/2/2005 08:13AM
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BillsMusic

Good ol' Jerry - a timeless inspiration to hundreds of thousands of people. The legacy he leaves behind is not only the music of the GD and JGB, but in the countless musicians that he inspired.

"It ended there on a field of soldiers,
A place for them to take their final stand,
And on the day the Captain died,
And after all our tears were cried,
The long, strange trip had finally come to an end.
The day a bunch of freaks became a legend,
Preserved on tape and engraved in our memories,
It's up to all of the future generations,
To carry on the Ceremony of the Free..."

Bill Kurzenberger
http://www.BillsMusic.net

shakobe starstarstarstarstar Tue 8/2/2005 11:55AM
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on the day that jerry passed a great sadness filled the air in my small town in northern california.I went home puffed my spirit medicine and let the tears roll, listining to jerry licks of a 71 porchester show.Later that day there was an impromptu gathering of fellow dead heads in the park downtown consoling eachother and remmembering our friend,it was truly beautiful,truly family.In 95 as some people turned thier energy to festivals, phish, and other bands, I turned that same energy throwing raves and party's cause quite simply i love to dance. Though no matter how many party's i've thrown,phish shows i've been to nothing brings me back home like jerry's voice and guitar.Like mariachi to mexicans, like polka to polish, and celtic to the irish the grateful dead will always be home to me. we love you and miss you jerry.
"mama many worlds i've come since i first left home"
u.v.m

shainhouse starstarstarstarstar Tue 8/2/2005 12:55PM
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I remember the day Jerry died. I was in the middle of a lake in my kayak. my friend just paddled up to me and started crying. After he told me, I accidentally tipped the boat and was too beat up to do a t-rescue, so I just swam to shore. 5-6 friends were sullen, speechless and heartbroken. Right then and there I realized how important this man was to who we all were then, and what we have become now. RIP forever man, you're always in my heart.

-shainhouse

nlever Tue 8/2/2005 01:01PM
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The day Jerry died my mother called me to make sure I was "ok." This was my teetotatling, Methodist church going mother, who couldn't have been more horrifed to have a Deadhead daughter if you paid her to be horrified. I flunked out of school to follow the Dead (my fault not theirs :), I left home and turned my back on my family for their unacceptance (and now in hindsight because of my own unacceptance of them too) but here was my mum checking in with me. She told me she knew how I felt because when Elvis died she cried for days. Too cool We've been best friends since and she gets that Jerry and the Dead and what they represent are a philosophy worth considering.

andresmitchell Tue 8/2/2005 01:36PM
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I was sitting at my miserable job at my desk in a room full of other salespeople when my friend Jason called.
"Did you hear?"
"Did I hear what?"
"Jerry's dead."
"No. Say it's not true. No way, this can't be."
"Sorry bro."
By the rest of the people in the room I was asked what happened. I told them that Jerry Garcia had died. They said "oh, we thought something bad had happened." I quit on the spot. Someone once said about the dead "for those who weren't there, no explanation would do; for those who were there, no explanation was necessary."

It took me five or six years after 1995 to see live music again. I swore I would never go to a show again. I'm glad I came back. Still makes me cry though.

moemoemoe star Tue 8/2/2005 02:33PM
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I was eight years old on August 9, 1995 and only a few towns away from the treatment center in which Jerry passed. I awoke from a bad dream in the middle of that night, knowing something was wrong (pretty heavy for an eight year-old). That was an unforgettable end to a summer. A trail of roses had formed outside my grandparents house in Marin, leading to an effigy of Jerry. My parents were not Deadheads, but I got my Deadhead uncle to take me through the park the day of the memorial service. There is no way for me to describe the scene on Hippie Hill. The thousands of devotees, friends, musicians, gathered in one place to remember the music of one man. At my young age, that is when I realized how remarkable a musician Jerry Garcia truly was.

Subsequently, I picked up the guitar a couple weeks after his death. This ten year anniversary also marks for me a decade of musical discovery and wonder. For this, I can only thank Jerry for putting me on a trail to musical enlightenment. Out of death comes rebirth. "Fare you well, Fare you well. I love you more than words can tell." Goodbye Captain.

Grape Drank starstarstarstarstar Tue 8/2/2005 02:36PM
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Grape Drank

Haiku for Jerry

Jerry was a man
Who gave life to a guitar
And to us a dream

rpmills Tue 8/2/2005 04:58PM
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Being the only Deadhead in my family and born in 1980, I never got to "see" Jerry live on stage or in person. Nonetheless, he taught me important music puts us all on the same boat, it is a language we can all understand.

Thank you Jerry for bringing such a sweet sound to so many ears for so many years. Know that you continue to live through not only your music but also through the community of young and old Deadheads alike who will never let the world forget you. See you in the next one.

dmbacoustic17 Tue 8/2/2005 05:23PM
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in 1995 i was 8 years old when the captain died. it is a testament to who he was that i have learned and experienced so much through him, after his death. I'm happy to say i've been on the bus now for 7 years and feel so cose to him because the music lives on. His spirit has continued because of the sharing spirit of the grateful dead community. I want to thank Jerry, the band, and all of the beautiful fans who have made my experience as memorable as it has been, it is obvious he lives on in all of you, and in the music. lets all take a minute to stop and smell the roses, look back down the golden road, and look ahead to the many memories to come. may the four winds blow you safely home jerry.

anitrak starstarstarstarstar Tue 8/2/2005 09:04PM
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anitrak

Jerry's Tones are pure magic. i remember listening to the Eyes of the World off of the 74 Winterland run before the hiatus and understanding exactly what he was trying to get across and how he felt. He was amazing at doing that. Just throwing himself to the audience and laying it on the line. His voice was never anything to outstanding but yet it still struck you to the core. When I listen to Ship of Fools or in later years a Muddy River it just shakes you. Like he is just built up all this sorrow inside. But then pulls around with a Suger Mag or Casey Jones and he's happy again. I hated to see him waste away in the 90's and I only wish that he could have wised up to his health so much sooner. But still the music lives on, I thank all the guys in the band, you've saved my life a couple times over.

bluedrinks Tue 8/2/2005 10:28PM
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In vegas of 93 there was some wacky weather at those shows.Rain and thunder kept pounding the stadium.there was a story in the local paper how a few heads got hit or were close to where lighting had struck,one guy did not want to let the paramedics take him to the hospital 'cause he did not want to miss the show.on Day one it began to rain during stings opening set.when he was done it began to pour down hard.the patchwork quilt my buddies and I were sitting on turned into a place to hide from the rain.There were dozens of deadheads under the quilt.A joint the size of my arm was passed around and the mushrooms I scored at earlier at lake mead were starting to hit me.This beutiful girl who I noticed earlier standing close to us passed out and fell on the ground and within second this hairy ape of a man swiftly picked her up and put her over his shoulders and dissapeared into the crowd.
I remember on day 2 how the stadium erupted into the Wave.rain had been moving in and out of the stadium and the crowd was going crazy.this wave must have circled the stadium over a dozen times.Then suddenly the sky broke through the clouds and the band came onto the stage and busted out Here comes sunshine.The audiance just went wild.
Its the strange and beutiful memories like these that kept me going after jerry died.

BDL starstarstarstar Wed 8/3/2005 06:55AM
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Captain Tripps...you showed me how to play music emotively, completely in the moment and with faith in the unexpected. A true improviser, of course with your guitar, but even with your warbling, sweet voice.

All of my family and the Los Federales family celebrate his life in all of the recordings we have and the music that we create. Jerry flows through us, we are all part of this music, and that is why his energy stays alive with us.

I was at jones beach on the fateful day. The allmans were beautiful. I was so sad, but surrounded with so much mournful love, it was like jerry was there. Mournful love, weeping and wailing, and smiling. Thanks for changing the world, Jerry. (and thanks for keeping the torch burning to the rest of the boys and the wonderful heads)

MikeMosher starstarstarstarstar Wed 8/3/2005 09:35AM
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MikeMosher

I can clearly remember the day jerry died... I was 11 years old, my dad and I were driving to the mall to buy my mom something for her birthday. We heard the DJ say that Jerry had died. We looked at each other didn't say a word, and he turned around and drove straight home. We spent the rest of the day crying and listening to old dead vinyl. I miss you Jerry...

BK3 Wed 8/3/2005 09:39AM
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Simply too much to say! I consider this time period between Jerry's birthday and his departure from this world like the period between x-mas and new years--an introspective time. I remember feeling chills travel up and down my body during a Garden run in the late 80s, for example. When Jerry unleashed those notes, you know the ones,...simply amazing! His voice (allowing us to vicariously live lyrics created by Hunter, Rowan, Berlin, Cotton, etc.) his mission (participation in the last American circus), and his dream (artistic and personal expression and freedom) were embraced and shared by all. It is fitting that he is honored in so many ways each and every day. I do my part by keeping his spirit alive on my acoustic and by having an album or show handy for when the mood strikes. I know we all do our part in our own way. That is what made experiences with all things Jerry so special.

In all the shows I witnessed, one does stand out to me right now. It was Albany, early 90s, at the Knick (not that damn Pepsi arena), and Jerry Band was in town. The show started as they usually did in a slow, laid-back build (a welcome vacation at the time from the mania surrounding much of the scene). Anyway, second song or so (hard to recall now) John Kahn busted a string. The band slowly spiraled to a halt. Jerry informed us of the mishap and said to hang on. We did. While commentary from Garcia was shock alone, what came next will always stick with me. Jerry approached the mic picking Freight Train solo. It felt more like a back porch than an arena (this would be the closest I would come to seeing him solo acoustic). He blew us away. About half way through the tune (again hard to recall exactly when), the band kicked in and it was business as usual. For that brief moment, I saw Jerry for who he really was: a brilliant man that loved to play music, entertain and live the dream.

Freight train, freight train, run so fast
Freight train, freight train, run so fast
Please don't tell what train I'm on
They won't know what route I'm going

When I'm dead and in my grave
No more good times here I crave
Place the stones at my head and feet
And tell them all I've gone to sleep

When I die, oh bury me deep
Down at the end of old Chestnut Street
So I can hear old Number Nine
As she comes rolling by

When I die, oh bury me deep
Down at the end of old Chestnut Street
Place the stones at my head and feet
And tell them all I've gone to sleep

Freight train, freight train, run so fast
Freight train, freight train, run so fast
Please don't tell what train I'm on
They won't know what route I'm going

cosmicpal starstarstarstar Wed 8/3/2005 03:39PM
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cosmicpal

Unlike the others, I honestly don't recall where I was when news of Jerry's death lunged at the winds and swept the world with mourning. It breaks my heart, but in the summer of Black '95, I too was dead. I didn't weep. I didn't call my friends. I didn't pull out any Grateful Dead records. I didn't do anything but dig deeper into my pockets for more drugs.

Sad, but I didn't realize then how something as profound as Jerry's own passing still couldn't penetrate beneath the surface of my own loss. I moved silently through those days, breathing a little here and there. I remember watching San Francisco on TV: the vibrant colors, the beautiful crowd, the Grateful Dead up there on stage without any instruments, Wavy Gravy, a giant poster of Jerry emblazoned overhead like a super angel. I wondered why he wasn't there. Why weren't the people twirling? Why are they all crying? Where are the balloons dancing in and out of the crowds? Where are the smiles?

I was too numb to even recognize death. All my life, I had been so alive. I had smiled with ease and played in wonderment. At one time in my life, I had every single Grateful Dead album. I listened to them a lot 'cause it was contagious and dreamy and so different than anything else out there. Their music beget in me a lively soul: made me want to dance, to live, to stream across the universe fueled by my own smiles. But, sometime in Black '95 I removed myself from the world I had known and loved; and instead, I stumbled into a world of excess, loveless lovers, dead flowers, and incorrigible habits. I was too sick to even tour what I knew then- would be the last time I'd get to see Jerry. I had no vision, no finer sense of spirit, no hope; I was dead, dead, dead.

The following spring, I moved from the midwest to Colorado. Change would be good: a new environment, some fresh air, living close to nature- all good things to milk a guy back to health. I stopped the drugs for awhile. The footsteps seemed lighter, my heartbeat seemed stronger, and my eyes seemed to see with more clarity. One day, I pulled out one of my Grateful Dead Cd's and put it in. It was from a Winterland show in '77- a golden era of Dead music. I recall sitting on the couch, reading a book. The music had merely been in the background while I continued to read. But, all of a sudden, I heard Jerry's guitar illuminating from my speakers during the song, Loser. I sat up. That wondrous sound. That beautiful, haunting guitar ripping through my speakers! The sound was radiant and clear- it was like Jerry was speaking directly to me. I sat there with tears streaming down my face, like they do now. I was alive! I removed myself from the couch and twirled my arms, my wrists, my hands. My head swayed from side to side. My hips swiveled gracefully, and my feet started rocking on the carpet. I was alive! I was crying, smiling, and laughing all so wildly and happily. I was dancing with Jerry- feeling the flow of his love surround my very room and engulf me. Everything was going to be all right. I danced all night in that living room, thanks to Jerry. When the time comes, I'll be sure to make myself a bed by the waterside. Fare you well.

All this week, at the office, I've been listening to nothing but the Grateful Dead, as a tribute to the one I've always loved most- Jerry Garcia.

cosmicpal@comcast.net

plife starstarstarstarstar Wed 8/3/2005 08:48PM
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when I hear jerry's guitar I smile. thanks for that jerry.

jakayker26 Thu 8/4/2005 08:12AM
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All I know is that when I hear the Dead and Jerry come through the radio I smile, no one else has done that for me. Thanks, Jerry I'll see you when I get there...

shoestringstrap starstarstarstarstar Thu 8/4/2005 09:39AM
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shoestringstrap

i was in a pretty dark place when i went to my first dead show. I was at shoreline and i never had seen so many happy people in one place. i hadn't ever seen a tortilla vs. marshmallow fight either. they opened with jack straw which was by far my favorite song at the time. i didn't know the song terrapin in the 2nd set but as the crowd yelled out the chorus throwing their arms in the air and spinning I knew I had found something special.

I tried to recapture the feeling later with Phish and other bands after Jerry died but nothing has matched the feeling of that sunday at shoreline. Sure, phish on new years was amazing, phish at coventry was emotional and heavy, but it didn't have the same magical mystery to it.

I can thank jerry and the dead for writing songs that were easy enough for me to learn guitar chords on. I pretty much learned most of my guitar basics with the grateful dead anthology in hand. i owe jerry all of my chromatic runs and the licks i play over open chords. they're really just his, i'm borrwing them.

I'd like to say that the dead changed my life while Jerry was still alive but really the true impact of it all happened after Jerry died. Jerry planted the seed in my brain but I had to water it and give it sunlight.

Masquerade began when nightfall finally woke
like waves against the bandstand dancers broke
to the painted mandolin

tylerblue starstarstarstarstar Thu 8/4/2005 12:37PM
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My best moment with Jerry live was him belting out "I'd rather be with you" from "Standing on the Moon" at the Pyramid in Memphis on 4/1/95. All I could do was hug myself.
My most intimate moments with Jerry on tape come from his only solo performance ever in Passaic, NJ from '85. I used to come home late, turn out all the lights and listen to "All Around this World" over and over.
Fortunately the imagination is a powerful thing and I try to visit Jerry and the boys in the good old days as frequently as I can conjure.

jiudice starstarstarstarstar Thu 8/4/2005 02:15PM
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jiudice

My top most amazing Jerry moments that come to mind have to be the 9/18/87 MSG "Dew"...it's chilling everytime I listen to it. Another moment for me came at the old Richfield Coliseum on 3/21/94 during "Stella Blue"...just indescribable how he belted that out- unlike anything else I had heard to date. And of course my all-time fav has to be the instant elation during the "pause" between Help->Slip...and the coming of Franklins!! :) If I could only bottle that feeling...
And from a taper, thank you so much for being the pioneer for allowing Taping!!!!!!! :)
Joe in Seattle

ScarletBegonia82 starstarstarstarstar Thu 8/4/2005 07:31PM
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ScarletBegonia82

I remember when I first started listening. My older sister was really into the Grateful Dead and I stole one of her tapes. It was the "Grateful Dead" Album with the skeleton and the crown of roses. Wharf Rat was the first song that really pulled me in. But it really wasnt til college when I started downloading the shows that I really knew what it was all about. I guess I was too young when I first got a hold of it. Music had always been a really important part of my life. But not until Grateful Dead, and then Phish. Too bad I didn't realize how AWESOME going to shows was until last year when I saw String Cheese Incident in London. And then I was able to get to Coventry for my first and last Phish show. I just wish I could have found the community earlier, because its where I have belonged all along.
Thanks to Jerry and the Dead, and all of you amazing fans out there. This community has the strength to live on forever.

trpnstn1 starstarstarstarstar Fri 8/5/2005 01:26AM
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Words can not begin to describe the gifts that Jerry gave to me, gifts that I am forever Grateful for, that still influence and guide me to this day. From my very first show ('87) I was able to see, on many levels, how the energy of the Grateful Dead, and the surrounding family, guided by Jerry, wasn't just providing entertainment, it was guiding us into a SPIRITUAL space by letting a higher energy flow through the band, to us, where we reflected that energy back, allowing us to ALL rise to a transformative level by floating on the bubble created through synergistic energy. I felt like I was HOME. The energy created gave me "inspiration", hope, confidence, understanding, and a feeling of belonging.

As I continued to seek out that space, I found my place within it. Going to see Jerry play became, for me, like going to church. A vision at a Shoreline show helped me decide to take the risk of becoming a psychologist and working to help people find their own "inspiration", and hope, and confidence, etc. It also guided me to do research to expose how media influences people's self-perception, gave me the energy to fight for social causes, and the courage to stand up for what I believe. I found friends, adventure, and a large part of my identity in being a "deadhead".

As I studied the human psyche and took the "path less traveled", I learned about archetypal psychology, and the lyrics Jerry sang, and the rituals we were creating, became more clear to me. When I learned that Jerry and the boys were in communication with Joseph Campbell, and that Joe himself had changed his mind about there being no living myth left after he saw us create our own ritual space, I started to be more active in supporting this dynamic, and I worked to be a positive force at shows, and the community outside of our circle.

When my path got hard (as any warrior path eventually does), I found energy and understanding in Jerry's playing and Hunter's lyrics that helped me go on. Shows filled me up and let me go back outside of our bubble to fight against the demons and fear in peoples minds, and this became my personal quest.

By the time Jerry's mortal coil released his soul, his impact on me was past the point where death could take him away. Jerry Garcia's influence on who I am, how I think, and what I do can not be over-stated. To me, he was a conduit of energy, a prophet, a man who knew his purpose and sacrificed his personal balance in order to keep that energy flowing out.

He created "ripples in still water", when I had no dreams of my own, he "dreamed of me", when I had doubt and questions and I was tired and confused and lonely, he let me know I wasn't alone, showed me a way out, and gave me the energy to hold onto the wheel as it turned.

His physical death was a blow to me (even though, I realized later, my dreams about him in the weeks before had been preparing me). But I know now, he never really died. The seed he planted, in me, in others, in all that started the "jamband" scene survives, and grows, and spreads more seeds to this day. Just like any prophet or visionary.

How LUCKY I was to be there at all and to recognize it and appreciate it. How lucky we all are that his energy just continues to grow!

Happy Birthday Jerry, and Thank You.

Trpnstn1

FormulaOBX Fri 8/5/2005 04:43AM
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10 years have passed since the end of the beginning.Take the joy Jerry has given us and spread it like wildfire to your children,family,friends and loved ones.He has carried me through rough times in my life.Literally carried me through.Thank you Jerry for ALL its worth.

markhazell starstarstarstar Fri 8/5/2005 07:21AM
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Two moments stand out -- the first, at a Sunday afternoon gig at the Fillmore back in the spring of 66, standing talking with Bill Graham and Jerry about Bill's plans to bring Otis Redding to the Fillmore -- Jerry was so enthusiastic -- he just loved music so deeply.

The second a few months later down at the Santa Clara fairgrounds, setting up for a gig where the Sons were opening for the Dead. Bill Champlin and Terry Haggerty started to jam with Jerry and Phil, and Phil just took off in a direction that left Bill and Terry lost and confused and Jerry was just laughing, saying how Phil was absolutely never where he expected him to be -- I marveled that he could play in that kind of open space.

And finally, just last week, I downloaded a Bruce Hornsby concert and Bruce told a story about Jerry wanting to play on one of Bruce's songs -- you know, "Hey man, why don't you let me play on that one?" and Bruce had Jerry's inflection down absolutely cold -- it made me grin ear to ear.

Deaddough starstarstarstarstar Fri 8/5/2005 11:07AM
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From an early age, Jerry Garcia's approach to the guitar sparked something in me that has yet to find definition anywhere outside the realm occupied by his fingers, smile and mind. Every show was a reinvigorating experience, and it just hasn't been the same since he passed.
I was there that final night at Soldier Field as he laid into the solemn groove of Black Muddy River near the end. Somehow, I could tell that he was near the end. During that song, I felt like he was literally dying. But he'll live forever through his recordings and in the minds of all who witnessed that spark firsthand -- and sometimes those who weren't can catch it just by listening to the spirited stories of those who were there.

bugs Fri 8/5/2005 03:18PM
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bugs

the day Jerry died: I remember like yesterday, I was a Humboldt student and had taken a job for the summer bottling and filling kegs at the Humboldt Brew Co. anyway, that year we had already driven up to Portland and down to Shoreline ect. this guy that I worked with comes into the back where we were working and goes "hey, did you here?...Jerry Garcia is dead.". my heart sank, I was numb..I didn't believe him so I dropped everything and went to the bar area and found out it was true..as I walked back this other prick comes up to me and says "Jerry's DEAD! hahah! that fat hippy..ect..ect.ect.." I looked up flipped him the bird, walked out and back home...drew the shades, and proceeded to listen to boots and puff for about 2 days...

DaveT starstarstarstarstar Fri 8/5/2005 08:20PM
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DaveT

Just a sidenote for JIM JAMES... Jerry didn't actually play the steel guitar until the day he recorded that part for CSN&Y. He came down, saw the steel there and asked if he could mess around with it. He never planned on doing that solo that day, never even played the steel guitar. He just busted out that solo and it stuck. His greatness was always just a byproduct. Amazing!

1rowboat starstarstarstar Sat 8/6/2005 04:00PM
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For me, it was hearing Jerry sneak into Fire On The Mountain on Dead Set. It was 1981 or so and I was sitting in my room,"in the dark." I had heard the dead and kind of knew a few songs, but that song not only introduced me to the magic of The Grateful Dead, it literally introduced me to the wonders of music and changed my whole world.

Countless times over the past 25 years in his life and after his death Jerry's guitar and yes his voice moved me in more ways than i can count or explain. Happy B-day jer.

piginapen36 starstarstarstarstar Sun 8/7/2005 07:56PM
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some of those posts made me cry. i guess my story is interesting because i was 15 when jerry passed on. i had wanted to go see the dead in birmingham al the year before in my friends brothers VW bus. My mom knew my friend and about the dead and about vw buses and decided that was not going to happen so my friend went with someone else. they came to high school the next day still spaced and wearing tye-dyes. honestly i am kind of glad i didnt do that. it is interesting to think that most of my exposure to the dead and the 60's in general is through books and television and yet i feel like i have a pretty good grip on what it was like. anyways the day jerry died i was at my parents and walked out to get the paper and read that jerry garcia had died i cried and told my mom, "now i will never get to see the dead mom" looking back that seems selfish but hey i was 15. even though i never got to see them they led me away from motly crue and whitesnake to far better music with heart and INTENTION.

do you guys think jerry had love for himself? i guess it is something i am wondering a lot latley how can one live a lifestyle of that manner and love ones self?

Grupp starstarstarstarstar Mon 8/8/2005 06:18PM
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Grupp

On August 13, 1995, I called my parents from northern Sumatra. I had been traveling alone in Asia for 11 months. It was my birthday. My father said, "We've got some bad news." My brain took a time-out to prepare for the possible scenarios about my finances or the family pet. "Jerry Garcia died. It's all over the news. He had more money than god, but he was totally unhappy..." His voice trailed off as I took a seat in the little phone booth and let some tears out.
So I never really had closure in the way that I wanted, which was to be with friends or to attend the vigil in San Francisco. But in 2001, I put together a course of independent study at UC Berkeley and took a look at the Dead, at Jerry, at what they accomplished and how they impacted American culture, the music business, improv, etc. I invited David Gans as a guest speaker. I conversed with Rebecca Adams about her social science course at UNC. I researched and presented and made dialogue with 50 young people who never got to see Jerry play. We watched concert footage, films and documentaries, we read lyrics and reviews and commentaries, and we listened to a lot of music. Jerry's influence remains palpable and vital on the next generation. I can't believe he died 10 years ago already...
Thanks for this piece, Jambase - it's righteous.

jolietj Tue 8/9/2005 06:42AM
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kudos to all and jambase for the wonderful comments bestowed upon jerry. everyone I'm sure remembers their first time.for me it was 5/17/78 uptown theater in chicago. since then his magic along with his fellow brethern has given me and my children inspirational impact. Sadly, there has to be a last time. deer creek '95, the infamous "gate crash" (it should have been in my hometown chicago. ironically enough i was in their hometown for work during that time.) either way what i remember most was jerry's soulful heartfelt persona on stage during both good and bad times. he truly was an inspiration. thanks for moving me brightly jerry.

Bambam starstarstarstarstar Tue 8/9/2005 08:20AM
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I remember my mom knocking on my bedroom door that morning...asking if she could come in. Right away I knew something was up, her face looked like a cross between lost and upset. She told me the news and I told her I didn't believe her (although I quickly thought that would be a weird thing to say to her son) and rolled over. She just turned on the tv in my room and left and there it was...all over every channel. I was 19 then, a few weeks away from leaving my NJ home for college in California. Walking in to the living, I saw my mom watching the tv and holding back tears. She turned to me and said, "He seemed like such a nice man. A lot of people loved him." I couldn't even muster a response. I remember getting in my car and just driving, for hours...listening to local stations paying tribute. I felt glad I'd been able to see the Dead a handful of times the previous years...but that would be it. Not many of my friends were into the Dead then, so I spent most of the day by myself, just listening.

I would make the trip up to San Francisco for the first time a year to the day in 1996. I remember walking down through Haight-Ashbury...and making my way up to the old house on 710. It gave me shivers thinking of Jerry and the boys sitting there. It was still early morning, but there was an old man with a rose sitting on the stoop out front. I talked to him for a bit and he mentioned he remembered them back in those days, and kept trailing off about how much those days in the mid-60's meant to him.

I'm 29 now...and the thought that ten years has passed is something of a wonder to me. I guess I'M beginning to feel a bit nostalgic myself. I miss Jerry all the time, but when you break it all down, nothing rings more true than saying "His music will last forever." I feel honored that I call myself a fan of Jerry Garcia. And I feel honored that I can pass that down to anyone who is willing to listen. RIP FOREVER JERRY.

TheCasualFiasco starstarstarstarstar Tue 8/9/2005 08:26AM
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I don't think I'll ever forget that summer. Boston Garden was just about to close down, but not before The Grateful Dead raged it in September. My best friend and I were attending music camp in RI (we were probably 14 at the time) and his sister had been kind enough to hook us up with tickets to that show - it would have been my first Dead show. As the last few days of music camp winded down my excitement grew - I had stolen a copy of "One From The Vault" (which is still arguably one of the greatest live dead albums ever in my mind) from my older brother or something and listened to it non-stop for that whole summer. That week my parents bought me my first Les Paul and I was always noodling on it trying to figure out those "jerry-rolls". I believe that's exactly what I was doing on the steps of my music school/camp when my mom picked me - she was the one who broke the news to me: "that nice man from that band you love died today" she said trying to be as sensitive as possible - I cried the whole way home. Needless to say, the Boston Garden show never happened and it was torn down shortly thereafter. It wasn't upsetting that I was never going to see Jerry or The Grateful Dead ever, but rather that he had died such a sufferable death - if you think about it he was dying all along - killing himself slowly with heroin, that was the saddest part to me, that a man who everyone associated with the hippie-mentatlity i.e. - fun/loving/free, etc was so unhappy by the time he died. But the positive thing here is that so many people were/are affected by Garcia everyday through his music and art, I know I am. Its weird though - I've seen The Dead and Phil and Friends, and even the Grisman Quartet several times- and even though Jerry's not there - his energy is so strong - its like those jerry-rolls still echo within the notes of those other musicians - that's power...
Thank you Jerry!

Juan starstarstarstarstar Tue 8/9/2005 09:25AM
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RIGHT ON!!!

Really nice work with this piece! Particularly, nice work with the Blakesberg initiative. I find his images of the Dead particularly captivating and it was great to hear from him presonally on the 10 year anniversary of his death. Ya know... it's something that goes unmentioned today, mostly because of taboo - but its amazing to note the important contribution of psychedelics to culture and evolution. The entire vortex of energy swirling around the Dead scene had very much to do with psychedelics (obviously) - from Hunter and Kesey's days in the goverment experiments. What a giant irony that the good 'ol US government would provide the spark that catapulted consciousness into the new and ever developing revolution. From "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" to "Chinacat Sunflower," the culture and creativity that flowed from these conscious dreamers can't be understated - particularly Captain Trips himself - Jerome Garcia! Jerry was and continues to be a reluctant musical prophet and genius - a "broken angel" if you will. Ya ever listen to "That's It for the Other One" on "So Many Roads" - @ the beginning of the tune, its so wonderful to listen to him try to describe the "truly strange" experience of being on stage and playing music under certain conditions -"beyond the pale" he gleefully asserts. Jerry, the Dead, Hunter, Kesey, and ya can't forget Owsley "Bear" Stanley - are all responsible for "opening" up music and life to experimentation, for destroying boundaries and barriers in music and life and ultimately being the founding fathers of what we know as "Jam" music today! [The importance of jazz music in the genesis of "our scene" can't be understated either - from Bird and Coltrane, to Miles and Herbie!] Hell - music is life, creation - and the spontaneity, mastery and understanding that Jerry displayed, through and despite all his flaws, preaches creativity and living in the moment, adaptation and communication and even humility.

But that curiosity is also what killed the cat - literally and figuratively. The psychedelic experience is powerful and omnipotent - and its like Ram Dass says in (the highly recommended) "Be Here Now" - coming down is like "being cast from the kingdom of heaven." Yep - the Days Between can be tough and burdensome and shoudlering the load of an entire organization grown out of control, with so many people's livelihoods depending on touring and so many heads lives revolving around the Dead and road experience... hey man... our jamband prohet was only human!!!

Jerry's life and musical contribution is truly invaluable and often mocked, misunderstood and downplayed by mainstream media, music critics and listeners and particularly, the scared "square" world. Though perhaps equal part historical accident to match the originality and trailblazing "way," Jerry and the Dead created a sound and structure in the music industry that has served as the foundation for countless independent artists, whether acknowledged or not. Bands like Phish and particularly String Cheese have followed the Dead's lead in creating hugely successful business ventures that, in the end, allow one critical opportunity: the ability to create music on their on own terms - true artsitry indeed.

Jerry's contribution to music goes beyond the Dead too - Old & in the Way is one of the most important bluegrass bands of all time, JGB provided some funk and soul, Legions of Mary was groovy beyond imagination, New Riders of the Purple Sage florished with Jerry. Hell - I even have this one show from The Great Amercian Music Band - featuring Jerry, Grisman and Taj Mahal - damn awesome indeed! Jerry channeled music theory and history in his playing and various projects. From folk to Americana, country, blues, rock and roll and jazz - Garcia was all things past, present and future. He was (and is) a time traveler, a shaman of consciousness, a figurehead of a movement and ideal, an angel trapped in the shortcomings of the flesh, a revolutionary, a genius, a musician - though humbly so, in his words, and in passing, he was only the last thing - a musician and true artist. So "Sing Me Back Home" Jerome, because the "Brokedown Palace" is now empty for "He's Gone." His spirit lives on! -- THANKS JERRY -- LOVE AND LIGHT -- JOHN SMRTIC

micp1274 Tue 8/9/2005 10:01AM
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10 years ago, my very pregnant wife and I took a day trip to the Jersey Shore, oddly we never listented to the radio. When we got home there must have been 20 messages telling me of the bad news. My beautiful daughter came 2 weeks later, we named her Cassidy. Peace to all.

Juan starstarstarstarstar Tue 8/9/2005 10:17AM
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Don't Forget.... stay tuned to JAMBASE this weekend and next week for coverage and photos (my little contribution to the scene and legacy) from GATHERING OF THE VIBES as the Jambase tribute to Jerry and the 40th Annviersaary of the Dead rolls on!!!!!
Friday night is Ratdog!
Saturday night: Tribute to Jerry & the Dead with Dark Star Orchestra & special guests: Peter Rowan, Keller Williams, Marvin Seals, Tom Constanten, Donna Jean, David Nelson, Martin Fierro, Gloria Jones!!!!!!!!
And hey, while I'm at it, though un-Dead-related, Sunday:
MMW with Schofield!!
Yahoo!
KEEP IT LOCKED HERE TO JAMBASE KIDS!!!
John Smrtic

ace2002 starstarstarstarstar Tue 8/9/2005 04:42PM
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ace2002

i was at irvine meadows 4-17,18,19-87. my first show. I had tickets for sat and sun but not fri. my friends and i got to the lot early to scout out tickets. "why is everyone walking around with thier arm in the air and one finger extended?," i asked my friend."they're looking for a miracle ticket." he said. cool, so off i went with my arm in the air. after hours of that i just resorted to kicking back at our car and asking heads as they cruised on by and still no luck. i began to play frisbee with some guys that were parked next to us and when it was time that everyone that had tickets started to go in, one of the frisbee guys asked if i wanted a ticket. hell yes! how much? -- nothing. what? free?
he said a friend of his couldn't make the show a told him to miracle someone with his ticket. i was blown away! i couldn't believe that there really was such a thing. i was completly hooked to the whole experience. miracles,music, friendly strangers,shakedown and everything that embodied a dead show. what a weekend! Since that day i was lucky enough to see jerry and the boys about thirty more times and even gave some miracles myself. regarding the grateful dead and deadheads: what we all learned in the first grade really rings true - the golden rule -
jerry,i will always miss you.

thank you!

northbound Tue 8/9/2005 04:49PM
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Last night I gathered with old friends from allover the country at our local community center to dance to Jerry again. We chose a Warfield show from 01.30.93. What an incredible time. There was about 40 of us spinning shaking and getting off with the music...many of us started dancing together in the mid 80's, so it was incredible to feel that spirit again together.
Thanks Jerry.

rastallama starstarstarstarstar Tue 8/9/2005 10:09PM
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the day before:

by this time, we were able to schedule meetings around shows. I came down from New Hampshire and met a buddy who was a group publisher for a set of trade magazines where we ran ads. We decided to meet at their office in the city, duck out early and see Bob Weir's band in Central Park.

Dancing around sort of off to the side, I said they should take it down a notch. Its too big and summer 95 was too weird. This was kind of fun Little show. Jerry could do bluegrass. Just dancin in the streets.

The next morning 9:30, August 9th, I'm in my office at corporate headquarters in Greenwich. This really cute girl with brown curly hair and green eyes stops in and says Hi, I'm Christy. I say hello and she asks if I was in New York last night. I said well...

She said, I saw you dancing around at the show. I told my husband, that guy is a vice president at our company and he didn't believe it. I asked if she had fun and she said it was fuzzy mellow . We said goodbye, nice to meet you etc. She left.

I was tired, a little crispy and just grooving on meeting her.

Later that morning Christy comes back and says, I don't know how to tell you this but, Jerry died. My husband is at home and not going to work. He's listening to the radio and feeling bad. I believed her mostly but went over to my computer and checked The Well and an AOL message board. The screen was flying like instant messaging. 1995. Checked CNN. It was true.

I just wanted to leave the office. If a family member had died, no problem. Jerry was like family but if you weren't on the bus you wouldn't get it. Still, a bunch of people stopped by to check in. I said I was really bummed and I guess his body just couldn't keep up. I went through the motions and checked the web a lot. I cried a bunch in quick breaths and salty eyes for seconds and blinked it back . Pretty much all day.

Five o'clock. I was supposed to go sailing with my Dad. I don't get down to see him that much. Whenever I'm in town for work, we'll go out on his boat and sail until just after sunset. And talk. Good times. He called and said I guess maybe we shouldn't sail tonight. I said thanks.

I'm on my way out the door and Christy shows up and I make like the wooden cross to scare away vampires with my fingers thing and say, three times is bad. Kind of a joke. She just says I wanted to see how you were doing. I'm ok. I guess. Our network administrator is walking out the door with me at the same time and says, who was that?

I said, that's Christy. I think she works for Ralph. He goes, I don't think I set her up.

I'm driving over to my Dad's boat just to sit on it at the dock. One fatty down. I could take it out but I've got my mandolin and its a warm, not very windy night. I'm listening to the Fordham station and feeling the wave of bittersweetness crashing across our continent. It helps. I try to figure out Standing On The Moon but my brain is pretty much cancelled.

I'm starting to wonder if maybe Christy was an angel. Sent to tell me the truth and help me on my way. I mean, I'm sure she was a real person and I know she didn't have hidden wings or anything remotely not human about her. She could have been the most human person I'd ever met. She said she worked for Ralph. But, I'd never seen her before. I'm sure of that. The company wasn't that big. I went down to the main office a couple of times per month. I'm totally, happily married but, there's no way I wouldn't have at least noticed her. She was amazing.

Maybe that's how this angel thing really works. They aren't fairy creatures, they are just the archetypical messenger sent to those in need. People just receive the word the way they can handle it best. Sometimes you can get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right. That's way more likely than that other kind of angel.

Trainwreck024 starstarstarstarstar Tue 8/9/2005 10:56PM
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Jerry, Im safe to say we all miss you, and you will always be in our hearts.
Peace to you Jerry.

contact Wed 8/10/2005 01:02AM
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ask some new questions, maybe tailor them to the artist...the responses get kinda repititive

splurge Wed 8/10/2005 10:22AM
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splurge

On August 9th 2002 I walked into my local neighborhood bar, and sitting on a stool at the end of the bar was my friend Bulldog. Now Bulldog was one of the guys who had turned me on to the Dead and hooked me up with some the classic tapes when I first started taping and trading.(Y'all remember cassette tapes) So I sat down with him and had a beer for Jerry, talked about Mikey's last show in Iowa the month before, and bullshitted about our lives in general. It was a wonderful little evening, a piece of rememberance and tribute between two friends. That was the last time I ever saw Bulldog, he saddly passed away a week to the day after Mikey died. Now August is a time of rememberance for me of three beautiful people who loved life and music, and I know Jerry and Mikey are sitting in heaven wondering who this short little guy is who won't let them stop playing. I love you man. Bulldog forever!

ajerk Wed 8/10/2005 11:09AM
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ajerk

ripple...>"}}}><
inn trey we trust

Prana1971 Thu 8/11/2005 11:04AM
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I have many fond memories of Jerry and the years I've spent following the Grateful Dead but some of my fondest are those things that can't be pointed to as a singular incident but rather an overall feeling for the time.

Mail order, jamming out, friendships formed with the folks next to in the lot, the Double Decker Hare Krishna bus, fine herb, miracles, the tingle you got an hour or so before the show began, Jerry and the gang, veggie burritos, the warmth of your engine as you lie in the back of your Volkswagon bus on your way to the next show and that smell (what is that anyway)? Reuniting with old friends (the folks that were next to you in the lot two years ago), drum circles, bumping into stangers in the middle of the night making their own beautiful music, I could go on for days but most of all the sweet, sweet memories of all these things that will last forever and be remembered each time you slide a show into your tape deck.

Thank you Jerry, the Grateful Dead, and all of you that made the experience possible for so long and continue to do so.

God Bless the Grateful Dead!

dannymo Thu 8/11/2005 06:44PM
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once again i find myself wandering why you people(jambase staff)choose to exclude and or add some of the comments on these stories???did ajerk really add to the discussion with his retarded "in trey we trust"comment?is nothing sacred in this scene? captain trips deserves better!! by the way it's one n in inn jerk.shame on you staff and your gills are showing!

Bacquel starstarstarstarstar Fri 8/12/2005 04:32PM
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I was lucky enough to see almost a 100 Dead shows and witness Jerry's magic that profoundly shaped the rest of my life but my relationship with The Grateful Dead wasn't all roses. As time went on in the late 80's into the early 90's it began to wear thin and found myself feeling either I or the band were losing it's magic. During my early years I poured alot of energy and focus into my fascination with Jerry and the magic of The Grateful Dead but I began to see them less and less in the 90's due to an increase in what I saw as off nights. The Exceptions were fine weekends in Eugene. I began travelling out of the country and one trip through Asia lasted a full year. I returned to the Northwest in late 94 and in the Spring of 95 The Grateful Dead were playing Memorial Stadium in Seattle during Memorial Day weekend. I didn't think much of it at the time and made no plans to travel from Bellingham to Seattle (90 minute drive). Given how little The Dead played Seattle and how big a role they played in my life is worth mentioning that I didn't think of going. When the weekend they were to play arrived I got a call from an old touring friend who was in town visitng mutual friends and was also there to see the dead. He was pretty amazed I didn't have tickets or plans to see the shows. I said I would think about it. throughout the morning I started to think "What the hell am I doing?! Jerry is playing 90 minutes away and your not going to see him?" My girlfriend and I packed for the weekend and left in the afternoon. I hadn't seen the dead in over 2 1/2 years and most of my friends had given pretty poor reviews of how hit and miss they were these days so I expected nothing. The first day of the shows the stadium was half full yet the show was pleasantly and surprisingly for me - Fun. Next day the stadium gathered quite a few more people and the show had more energy and was considerably better than the last eve the vibe was really good with the crowd and the weather. The last night every deadhead in Seattle came out of the woodwork and came close to filling the stadium. The evening carried some classics and the band seemed quite energized notably Jerry. Our group was in a super good mood and at set break a couple got married next to us on the floor, phil's side. A tried and true Scarlet>Fire>Playin>Uncle John's Band lifted the crowd to pace the second set. Jerry began belting out a Fire On the Mountain chorus and harmony that roused the stadium. I thought to myself "Well this certainly isn't what I expected - for me this is as close as we are all going to get to Good Ole Grateful Dead" Everybody was on the bus and shakin it. The set ended with a rousing "Good Lovin'" I remember seeing people lookin down into the stadium from their apartment building windows taking in the scene during the Good Lovin' as it was a party that couldn't be ignored by anyone in the vacinity. It was smiles all around and for me mainly that I found a return to the magic of my early days with this group of musicians and fans. I think I was so taken by the end of the show because my interest was as close to an all time low with the dead. My faith in anything and anyone finding their true spark/gift no matter how much time has passed was rekindled in that moment. I was truly happy as I left that show dancing my ass off to Joe Cocker's "Feelin Alright" thru the PA. We shared some yucks outside and one of my friends turned on his boot heel said "See ya later." and left for the ferry - we all had plans to have a few beers. I asked him later what happened and he told me he knew that was the last time he would see Jerry. About 2 months later he was the one who called and gave me the news as I answered the phone in bed. I immediately went back to that night in the stadium: The Wedding on the floor, Jerry during Fire and the rollicking Good Lovin' to send us home. I loved that I was fortunate enough to end on that note for seeing those guys live. Here am am now typing this realizing I was one of the lucky ones. I am happier than ever that I made that decision in May of 95. I wonder if Jerry knows how much he is missed.

richromeo starstarstarstarstar Sat 8/13/2005 11:04AM
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Short & sweet, Reid's response re: Jerry's biggest contributions to the world have been my favorite so far. Outside of the wonderful, wonderful music, a lot of the 'Pied Piper' effect Jerry had (and still has) on so many can be attributed to his personal ethos. I think many deadheads recognized elements of the strong character behind this self-admitted far-from-perfect individual ("Anyone who thinks I'm God should talk to my kids.") as things to aspire to, things that mainstream materially-motivated society had cast aside.

Soul, hope and humility.

Yes, that really is such a key part of what carries me along every time I drift off on those waves that only listening to the music of the Grateful Dead can raise for me.

Paradise waits ~
on the crest of a wave
her angels in flame...

posereddie Sun 8/14/2005 05:57PM
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Wow, from '76 till today, from the moment we decided to grow our hair and join this hip crowd, if only to appose the English Beat, to read Tom Wolf and H S Thompson and Jack Kerouac, buy a Harley, wear black shirts for life, drop acid and see God . . . it's been a ritual that has been replayed innumerable times over these past many decades. It will never end. The music never stops.

Weezer starstarstarstarstar Wed 8/17/2005 03:37PM
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I like Vince's reflections on Jerry and the GD experience. The whole group mind thing seemed to give the band much of its staying power in the culture. Seems like natural phenomena also worked along with the band -- I remember seeing lightning dance during Lazy Lightning (at outdoor shows) or rain fall during Looks Like Rain. And the crowd was attuned to these things. Everone and everything was very "in the moment." It made people feel alive.

bstubbs Thu 8/18/2005 11:47AM
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Just a short story.

The first time I ever heard Jerry Garcia, I was 13 Years old and away at boarding school. One of the seniors put on this tape. I have no idea where it was from or when but the first thing I heard was Jerry playing Ramble on Rose. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard and it changed my life. I was never able to see The Dead but what that recording did for me was unbelievable. I realized that there is more love and emotion that can some out of people than I could imagine. I have spent the last fifteen years exploring the scene and learning about the universal language of love and friendship that we all can share. So thanks Jerry for opening my eyes and helping me to see the beauty in all things

Stilltruckin starstarstarstarstar Fri 8/19/2005 02:30PM
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My father was in the Vietnam war ( regardless of my own beliefs on that, its a part of the story)and when he returned he lived in San Francisco. He got pretty heavy into the West Coast music scene and definately has some great stories.

After some time, he moved back to Minnesota and raised a family, but one thing that he never lost was his love for the Grateful Dead. Growing up, ever since I was real little I remember hearing the sweet sound of the Grateful Dead flowing through the house.

As the years went on , I became a huge fan myself and as I remember I was the only 6th grader listening to the Dead. I kept really involved through high school collecting tapes and sitting around getting buzzed listening to Jerrys guitar.

After my senior year of highschool, I was getting ready to get shipped off to Colorado to go to college when I realized that the Dead were playing Soldiers Field in Chicago. My dad approached me and we got tickets and I grabbed a few good buddies..some other Panic/Dead heads and we got ready to go.I had yet been to a show at this point and couldnt wait.

A few weeks go by and we pack the car and hit the road. Its about a 5 hr drive no traffic from Minneapolis to Chicago and we chatted and sat and listened to stories that my dad told about the S.F. days.

We got to chicago and tried to get tickets to Saturday July 8th but couldnt so sat in the lot and waited until Sunday July 9th, 1995...the last show! This gets to the pinnacle of my fond memory...

The whole trip was great and hearing (live) and seeing (live) all the boys was AMAZING, but as we are all grooving, I look to my dad and he looks to me as he was doing the half-groove head bob, and he said "Do you feel it?" I felt it with my old man at Jerry's last show!!! Intense!!

Nothing was said after that...just tons of dancing. Jerry changed my life! I listen to the Dead every day and no matter what, "theres nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile"

Thanks Jerry - Grateful Dead

cofor20 Sat 8/20/2005 09:17AM
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cofor20

http://www.petitiononline.com/Garcia/petition.html

sideshownyc Mon 8/22/2005 01:19PM
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My last Dead show was such a dissapointment at the time...100 degrees in the lot at the Meadowlands in 95, less that a month before Jerry died. Watching a few huffers go down after inhaling a baloon. I got bum shrooms and a had to break up a fight on line to get inside...This was not my transendant dead experience. Once inside the music seemed distant, the jams were off, jerry sounded old.

But as Jerry taught me, all i remember now is the positive...which is: The last thing I ever heard jerry and the crew perform was a "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds"...thats how I want to remember my last show>

johns13 Tue 8/23/2005 06:41AM
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i've greatly enjoyed reading all of these thoughts on the impact garcia had on music, the players, and the scene in general.

however, i can't help but wonder, "did garcia only influence men?"

donna jean is the only woman represented and i can't help but wonder if there aren't other female musicians out there that were influence as well.....there has to be. how bout a bit more representation for the ladies?

Jazzgtrl4 starstarstar Tue 8/23/2005 07:40AM
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Why are you interviewing people who have never seen the dead or garcia? when you ask "What is your fondest memory of Jerry Garcia?" and they say "well never saw him or the dead" "got into it late in the game....." come on. lets hear some real stories and interesting responses..

Stubbler starstarstarstarstar Tue 8/23/2005 01:51PM
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Stubbler

Yes, we would all like to say that we experienced Jerry Garcia, first-hand. But not all of us got into it "early", as you may require, Jazzgtrl4. This should not be an exclusive club only for people who were into the Dead when they were touring. I think responses like Dan Leibowitz and Al Howard are totally appropriate. I personally love what Al had to say about his first experience and how he sees the music of Jerry and the Dead has influenced our world, and in that it is totally interesting to many more people beyond yourself.

Sueshi starstarstarstar Tue 8/23/2005 10:38PM
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Sueshi

I find it interesting that you have interviewed exactly one woman for this piece. I am sure there were a few more female musicians who could have contributed their thoughts to the article?

phishphreak420 Wed 8/24/2005 11:10AM
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i remember the darkest day for me, i had just broke down in nashville and was hitching to michigan to see some old friends, i was at a little truck stop just out of town [nashville] when in walks my uncle who drove truck and lives in mich. he asks what im doin and i tell him im tring to get to mich. and he says well lets go. it was just past noon and of all the people to hear talk good about jerry i would never have thought it would be paul harvey. he started his news cast with the words "the world of music has lost a legend, jerry garcia died last night in a rehab hospital in ca." i was in shock id all ready ordered fall tickets and was kooking forward to another great tour with the MAN and his troops. all i can say is im glad i got to see 100+ shows god bless and all good to you jerry youre gone but not forgotten........

MLERNER starstarstar Wed 8/24/2005 01:28PM
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With all the connections Jambase has can you guys please get some people to make comments about Jerry that have really been to a Dead show and spent some time with the band there is a handfull of people that have never even seen the man so tell us about Jerry well daaa I never saw a show but I read in a book that he was cool. Come on get some really good souls out there who know the experience and feel the experience because it lives amoung us in our everyday lives. The impact is immense and truly lives on through the spreading of the sense of family and sucess for us all. May the force be with you and if you are not a member of the club than sorry cosmic charlie don't let the deal go down. why thanks

acullen76 Thu 8/25/2005 08:20AM
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I will say I am glad that there is a forum like this for fans to discuss memories or feelings on the Dead and more specifically, Jerry.

A few comments I read were harsh, saying that people who never met the band or talked to Jerry or bought a VW bus and went on tour for 20 years, cant be touched or have emotions of Jerry b/c they would have no clue.

That mentality reminds me of the preppy, meat heads in highscool that picked on people b/c they were different. All you have to do is listen to feel it. Lets not be snobby Dead Heads!!!

I agree we are all entitled to our opinions, but this in rememberance of Jerry and how he touched us all.

His tunes were played on a harp unstrung......God I miss Jerry. I saw one show...the last, and I had many years left in me, but Jerry will never be forgotten.

Bluegirl313 Thu 8/25/2005 08:32AM
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Bluegirl313

Surely the only folks who here who have missed the bus are those dim enough to think that Jerry, of all people, would agree with the self righteous idea that only those lucky enough to have seen him live are 'allowed' to experience and share in the timeless resonance Jerry's spirit and music have had on this world. MLERNER, if you really want to show his impact 'through the spreading of the sense of family and sucess for us all', try for a second to embody the selfless, non-judgemental, and inclusive attitude Jerry fostered in his life and music. Instead of honoring his memory, your divisive words exhibit a childish conceit that has no place in the philosophy you claim to live by. The world we live in is polarized enough as it is.

Wilson964 starstarstarstarstar Thu 8/25/2005 10:11AM
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My first and only trip to see the dead was in 95. My dad and I went together. I was in high school. Totally out of my element. We arrived that morning and walked thru the enchanted forest at buckeye lake. Had no idea what I was about to get into. The scene was something I had never experienced. The sights, the sounds, the smells. Oh the smells. First time I realized my parents were "cool". I had always been told that "that smell is what happens when cigs burn down to the filter." Yep, naive I was.

It was raining that morning, Traffic is on stage, My dad and I made our way to about 50 feet or so from the stage. The rain kept comming down, people were holding tarps above thier heads so people could escape the rain/hot box.

Then Traffic leaves the stage after thier set and a miracle happened. The rain stopped. The sun came out.

The Dead came on stage.

It was a day I will never forget. I went to coventry, but that day in the summer of 95 with my dad in his cowboy hat sticking out in the crowd, the two of us sharing something that we knew we would remember the rest of our lives. We had no idea it would end so soon.

Thank you Jerry,

cofor20 starstarstarstarstar Thu 8/25/2005 01:03PM
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cofor20

I think it's even more wonderful to have folks comment on Jerry that have never met him or saw him play live. It shows just how powerful the MUSIC really is. I was able to see some shows, but my children weren't so lucky. I'd like to think someday they will be able to express a few good comments on the music of Jerry Garcia.

assafjaffe starstarstarstarstar Fri 8/26/2005 12:47PM
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assafjaffe

Nobody could say it any better than Martin. Thanks so much for your input Meester. Jerry gave us all so much and I want to thank him and his spirit but also Martin who has given me that energy he learned through the big guy. I only met Jerry once, he was so sweet but I'm thankfull for all the experiences I've had with Martin over the past two years and I think alot of us learned through Jerry, even if it was second hand like my experiences listening to Martin tell stories till late in the morning while cutting tracks for 7th Direction's album. It's nice to hear Martin acknowledge how Jerry helped him gain notoriety, it's just one of the many things I'll always be grateful to Jerry for.

surfgirl730 starstarstarstarstar Mon 8/29/2005 08:57AM
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Well I didn’t think it was possible in my life for one person to change my life twice. When you have someone enter into your life you expect them to have an impact, but never could I imaging the impact that Jerry Garcia was going to have on mine.

I was a lost 17 year old girl who was not really into the whole hair and makeup thing that most girls are in high school. I was at the beach and someone I was riding with put in a tape. The first song that played was Casey Jones. That song forever changed my life. I fell in love that day with the sounds that flowed from the speakers. I had to know more about the man and the group that was speaking to me so intimately. As I began to discover the Grateful Dead I also began to discover myself. The true self and the true nature of being at home with a room full of strangers. I hit the road to my first show in 1990. I found myself drawn to the music and drawn to the feeling of family that I found on the road. A family that I did not know I had. A family that opened their arms to me so naturally and honestly. I spent the next 5 years seeing as many shows as I could. I found myself longing to be there to hear the next song, to see the next strum of the cord, to feel the vibration of the dancing feet.

I spent my off time from traveling working at a natural food store and making clothes for the next show. How I managed to get a college degree too still baffles me. I can honestly say that I felt whole for the first time in my life. I was truly happy. Whether it was seeing The Dead at a huge arena like RFK or seeing the Jerry Garcia Band at Ziggys, I knew that I was where I wanted to be forever. I envisioned bringing my future children with me one day to experience what was so beautiful about life and how the world was not always so dark. That on those days when the music was playing the light shines so bright that you almost can’t believe that it is real. Why would I even consider that such ecstasy would end so quickly? But alas the cruel reality struck.

On Aug. 9 I was up way to early driving home from a road trip and as I turned on my car the radio began to play. Play a voice that was so sweet to me. Sweet like the rain on a summer day. But that day was not a sweet day because as they began to speak the world began to change. Jerry Garcia had passed to a new venue that was waiting to hear his sweet sweet voice. I had a tape in my player and hit play as I sit on the side of the road crying tears for the life that was lost. The first song that played to me that day was Jerry singing Knocking On Heavens Door and I knew he was speaking to me. Saying goodbye and wishing me well.

As the days, months and years flowed I did those things that I never imagined. Got a real job, got a house and got lost. I found that I had forgotten that music makes me happy. I realized that about two years ago. I discovered my love for music again and I realized that yes it wasn’t the same as when Jerry was alive, it was different. It was good music and it was good people. It would never be the same again and that was ok, because without those years of joy I would not know the person I am today.

As I sit here listening to Like a Road I know he still plays to my soul and when I hear a beautiful note today no matter who is playing I look to the sky and thank the man who changed my life forever, twice.

Blessings.

lookyloo Mon 8/29/2005 09:37AM
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It was summer tour 1990, RFK Stadium Washington DC. I had a tough time purchasing all the tickets for this tour via mail order and had to use Ticketron after MO was closed for this show. My seat was in the 500's section, my buddy had Mail Ordered and was on the field. So, I put on my roller skates and set off to find a field ticket to buy/trade. I skated maybe 10 minutes and saw a head selling a ticket. I paid $2 more than face, which did break my "face value" policy, but I was on the field. I got back to the car and showed my buddy my ticket, he did a double take, then took out his ticket. WHOLLY SHIT the tickets did match 100%, the color was a tiny tiny bit off, and the foil stamp skeleton was not as crisp as his was. I think I've got a counterfeit ticket. So I skate over to the backstage entrance to wait for someone "official" looking to come out. This guy with a stack of laminates comes driving out on a golf cart. So I asked if he could tell me if the ticket was real. He looked at it, handed it back to me and said “It’s real”. I replied that I had just looked at my buddies Mail Order ticket and mine is different. He said “ok, give it to me” I said “you’re not going to take my ticket are you?” He replied “My name is Henry Sullivan, I’m head of Grateful Dead security, if I don’t get you another ticket I’ll drive you onto the fucking field myself…..forget it………GET ON!” and he gestured to the back of his golf cart. So I got on. We drove backstage where he produced a set of blank ticket stock, no prices or seating information, but all the other info date, foil stamp, etc were there. He compared them side by side, tore a bit of the ticket to see the inside paper, and then started FREAKING. In a matter of minutes I was standing backstage with 10 of the largest heads I’ve ever seen. I was told that I needed to find this counterfeiter and point him out to the team. We set off, I didn’t get 50 yards from the spot when I saw him, he looked at me, saw the gang of people with me, and bolted like a bat out of hell. They caught him with several thousand in cash and another 50 counterfeit tickets. Henry invited me back onto the golf cart and we went backstage with 2 others, Bob and Kevin. He said he was going to get me a ticket to the show in the Bands box seats just to the side of the stage. While standing there, believe it or not, Jerry walked right past us after finishing sound check. Bob called out to him “Jerry, do you have a second?.....(he points to me) this kid just helped us bust a counterfeiter with a few grand in cash and 50 counterfeit tickets” So Jerry looked at me, smiled, and offered me his hand, which I gladly shook and left me with a “Hey, thanks a lot man!”

That’s my Jerry story.

trpnstn1 Wed 8/31/2005 04:22AM
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For me... Words can not begin to describe Jerry's impact on my life. Due in most part to his vision and leadership regarding the energy direction when he played, shows became like church to me, being a Deadhead became part of my identity and the inspiration I gained at shows guides me to this day. From my first show I had a profound feeling of being HOME. Being raised by a "hippie" mother, I was used to seeing energy and experiencing altered states. I could see energy flowing through the band, the largest beam through Jerry, into the audience in a web like pattern, and then being reflected back in this synergistic loop that lifted people to inspiration and transformation. This was the first time I had experienced being ONE with the band and the crowd instead of just entertained. When I graduated 3 years later ('90) I went on tour questioning if I should go to grad school, do research in psych to expose media ads, and become a psychologist... OR.... stay on tour. The answer came at Shoreline in the form of "Fire on the Mountain". Off I went. When I experienced doubt, loss, fear, weakness, I held on until the next time I could see Jerry, and connect with the energy flowing through him to us all. I was rarely disappointed. His death was a HUGE blow to me. I finished my Ph.D., but with little energy. I searched other scenes for what I needed. Good music, but not church... not archetypal and inspirational. Then it hit me. The bands now are the next generation. They grew up with the Dead and Jerry as their parents and now they each reflect a different form of the same spirit and energy I found seeing Jerry. Jerry's influence was so HUGE that it affected me personally (my career choice, my choice in friends and my boyfriend, my choice in how to eat, decorate, LIVE), and spiritually (no words to describe), but it also changed the face of music and planted seeds of a new way of engaging with music and people at a live show. I know that decades from now, Jerry's influence will only be more obvious, like Bob Marley now. Jerry gave himself to be a conduit of energy for US... I am FOREVER Grateful.

arno starstarstarstarstar Wed 8/31/2005 07:23AM
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too many memories, too much magic too big a void still to go into..plus I have to watch out reading these posts at work because people wonder why I am crying......

but to add to the jerry jus folk category - I remember during the late 70s, i think it was Springfield MA being slightly in a different mind space, first few rows at a general admission concert (6'4 250 pounds made them my fave)and being mesmerized by a cigarette butt stuck on the side of jerry's sneaker the entire first set.....realizing the incongruity that he was just another down to earth guy with trash stuck in his foot but looking up and heavanly sounds emanating from those hands

fave show - Lewiston Fairgrounds 1980 [25 years ago this week!]

hey remember the naked woman who squeezed by me in the aisle in Providence and jumped on stage and grabbed the dead mike during set break?


and on
and on
and on
and ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

crog Sun 9/4/2005 04:14PM
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my first time smoking pot was accompanied by the grateful dead compilation, skeletetons in the closet and a dark room. to say the least, i came out of the experience a changed man. jerry garcia has a way of tapping into a part of your soul that otherwise remains dormant. at sixteen, i finally found what i had been looking for. its a shame that energy flow is not tapped into the same way jerry was able to do it.

Dankstar starstarstarstarstar Mon 8/14/2006 02:26PM
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Dankstar

I MISS YOU but I will see you soon I know ;)