Bruce Hornsby Discusses Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia & More

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Bruce Hornsby appeared on the Grateful Dead‘s Shakedown Stream pre-show with David Lemieux and Gary Lambert on Friday. The legednary singer-songwriter and pianist discussed his time with the Grateful Dead, told a funny story about Jerry Garcia and more.

Hornsby began the discussion by talking about how productive’s he’s been during the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak and described himself as a “self-quarantiner for life” in regards to cloistering himself in his home studio and making music. He also revealed he’s got a new record coming out soon.

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After talking about his family and how they’ve been during the pandemic, Hornsby segued into a story of how the Grateful Dead met his parents before they met him. The Dead had asked Bruce to open up for them in 1987 but before the shows his parents, who looked like “movie stars,” wanted to see what the Dead were all about and saw them at the legendary Hampton Coliseum. It’s great story.

Hornsby also talked Jerry Garcia and the only time he’d seem Jerry “rendered speechless.” Bruce then relates how he was sitting in at a Jerry Garcia Band concert in the early-’90s and was backstage with his friend Floyd Hill Jr., who he called June. According to Hornsby, June was quite the “shit-talker.” For a laugh, Bruce told June to mess with Jerry and June promptly did. Another hilarious story ensued.

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The discussion also touched on Hornsby’s music as platforms for social justice, specifically “That’s The Way It Is,” as well as African-American music’s influence on Hornsby’s own music as well as that of the Grateful Dead, a subject Oteil Burbridge had spoken about the week previous. Bruce also fielded a question about songs of his that made it into the Dead repertoire and speaks about it at length. It’s fascinating stuff.

Watch the entire Shakedown Stream pre-show with Bruce Hornsby below:

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