THOUGHTS ON GARCIA: DON'T LET GO

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.

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Go Listen to Garcia


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