Patti Smith Performs Jerry Garcia Tribute

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Singer-songwriter Patti Smith posted an at-home performance of her song “Grateful” that was dedicated to Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia. Smith wrote the song 25 years ago today, the day Garcia died at the age of 53.

Smith played acoustic guitar and was joined by her daughter Jesse Paris Smith on keyboard. Behind them on a shelf was a framed print of the Dead’s 1969 album Aoxomoxoa.

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“This is a little song I wrote for Jerry shortly after he passed on August 9th, 1995,” Patti Smith said while introducing the performance. “It’s called ‘Grateful’ and we are, very grateful, to have had Jerry and to still have his music amongst us.” Smith also noted the song’s lyric “One common wire, one silver thread” is a reference to a strand of Garcia’s hair.

The Patti Smith Group shared a bill with the Grateful Dead in 1979 and recorded “Black Peter” (purportedly on August 9, 1995) for the 1996 Stolen Roses all-star tribute album. Watch Patti Smith and Jesse Paris Smith perform “Grateful” below:

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JamBase Live Video Archive
JamBase Live Video Archive