Remembering Jerry  

AstirRelicLatah 65M
1288 posts
8/2/2006 11:08 am

Last Read:
8/18/2006 7:44 pm

Remembering Jerry

I was pursuing some posts today and ran across one that was an ode to Jerry Garcia. He would have been 64 years old yesterday. For those of you who may not know, Jerry was the lead guitar player with The Grateful Dead. A band who started me down the path of self discovery and one that has continued to play an important part of my life 36 years after I first heard them.

There used to be a saying: There is nothing like a Grateful Dead Concert. I can attest to that…….Seeing them play outdoors when it was raining cats and dogs. The band comes out and the sun comes out, brilliantly behind them…..Being in DC Stadium with the Allman Brothers, a nine hour show and three sets. The last being a contest with Dickey Betts and Jerry for two hours……Seeing the various key board players and the differences they brought to the band…..Being a GD keyboard player was sort of like being a drummer in Spinal Tap, a very high mortality risk.

In the early days, the best part of the shows was space jam time. The band would go off on a tangent and noodle away for twenty or thirty minutes on a theme. Garcia would play intricate little figures will the rest of the band did their own thing. On good nights, the music would take you to a different. On bad nights, it was time to get a drink……..

The Jerry and Hunter songs…so soulful…..Often ballad like in how they were delivered…The tasty guitar licks that accompanied those songs was always a pleasure to listen to. The best songs Dark Star, Sugaree, He’s Gone, The Wheel and Morning Dew…All had the potential and often the reality of a transformational experience.

Greatness was spawned from this band…Your playing has influenced so many of my favorites…Lyle Lovett, Bruce Hornsby, Warren Haynes just to name a few….

Then, there was your bass player and muse to your playing. He’s resurrected the magic….For the first time in years the magic returned….There was a time when following the Dead was worth the time and effort….That time returned this summer with the Phil shows…

Jerry thanks for creating the music, the scene and the metaphysical space you played in. It’s meant so much in my life.

What bands have had a life changing affect on your life? How much would you inconvenience yourself to go see them?

catkit13 67F

8/2/2006 4:56 pm

as i said in my comment to your comment on my blog, i'm so glad the memories are good ones! i never got to see the dead in concert, so i'm jealous that you got that chance!
so much good music over the years, so many wonderful stories in the songs and the music
we lost a lot of the good ones, many much too soon - but as the song says, rock 'n roll heaven must be fab!

AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/2/2006 6:24 pm:
I've seen either the Dead or related band members over 60 times. Your entry started me thinking about how special Jerry was and all the great music and growth he spawned in me. This summer also saw Phil Lesh (GD bass player) bring out a band and players that was as good as the Dead's golden years. The music was special and the playing even more so. Thanks so much for motivating to think and write about the experience.

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