THOUGHTS ON GARCIA: DON'T LET GO

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.

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