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.

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