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.

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