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Thoughts On Jerry Garcia...


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I don't know if anyone has seen this yet, but JamBase is interviewing a different musician for everyday in August, asking about what Jerry means to them, musically and personally.

To me, the more heartwarming testimonials are coming from the fans, leaving their comments below the piece. It's worth a read everyday. Donna Jean and Keller have started it off.



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My first Grateful Dead recording isn't actually by them: it's the "Deadicated" album, consisting of Dead songs done by other artists, with benefits going to the help save the rain forest.

Suzanne Vega gets two tracks ("China Doll" and "Cassidy"), and in the notes for her songs, she talks about the time she played with the Dead (at Madison Square Garden, IIRC), and how she was scared, because she didn't know their stuff, and they didn't know hers.

Jerry smiled at her, and said, "We just want to make you happy."



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" I remember the day Jerry died. I was in the middle of a lake in my kayak. my friend just paddled up to me and started crying. After he told me, I accidentally tipped the boat and was too beat up to do a t-rescue, so I just swam to shore. 5-6 friends were sullen, speechless and heartbroken. Right then and there I realized how important this man was to who we all were then, and what we have become now. RIP forever man, you're always in my heart.


Shain, I saw your tribute on there- very very nice.

One thing though, werent you 11 years old in 1995? Thats seems young to be kayaking all by yourself.

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This isn't really a Jerry comment but more of a band comment. Since this thread popped up, I thought I'd list a comment I made on another message board yesterday when asked of my most influential albums for me personally...

Grateful Dead - "Live Dead" - in highschool I "listened" to the Dead cuz everyone else in class did. I really didn't take it too serously. It was more of a social thing, but it did open my eyes ten years later when cool music of today was referencing them endlessly. Now I go back to some Grateful Dead (mostly pre-1971) and I definitely acknowledge "Live Dead" as my key psychedelic reference point.

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My friend's birthday is on August 9th and so we were all party'n when we got the news. Although i was only into them for a couple of years at the time as well as many of the others there, the party went downhill and it turned into a Reckoning/sit around and remember party....and the doob consumption went up 300%.

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Thanks for the post, Shain. I'll have to stay tuned.

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?

KW uses the word "vulnerable" to describe Jerry's music, and I think I've taken that to heart - as someone prone to musical gaffes, I had it made clear over however many shows that it's more the point on the horizon that you're aiming at than the particular steps you take, and that's let me take way more chances in my own playing, and on the way I listen to music more generally. There was always what I like to call the "airshow" quality of a Dead or Jerry show, when you were never quite assured that the wingtips wouldn't touch and everything would come crashing terribly to the ground. Sure, there were accidents - sometimes nasty :P - but when it did work... (insert comment about ineffability of pure music here).

There have always been more "perfect" players around, but they're, well, boring. Give me sincere human imperfection anyday. And, of course, I shouldn't overstate the "imperfect" bit, either; his playing was so rich, he did have such immaculate tone, and I always got the sense that every note he played was played with the built-in possibility that somebody in the crowd was tripping out really badly, and needed just the right note at that time to get them through... (now there's a tough assignment).

Favourite contribution? That's impossible, but "Crazy Fingers" on Blues for Allah has just sprung unbidden to mind.

Edited by Guest
"Boring" is surely the wrong word.
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what he said.

particularly the bit about crazy fingers.

the day jerry died i was on my way to do laundry...the same guy was behind the counter at the laundromat every time i went, and when he saw me he told me i looked terrible, like someone had just died. not knowing how to explain it all to him in the context of some famous guy dying, i told him that i had just lost my weird old uncle jerry, the guy who taught me about music and jack kerouac and all sorts of things. joe the laundry guy understood and we ended having the most pleasant sort of metaphysical conversation while waiting for the dryer.

fare the well, jerry. hope you went somewhere good.

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