I miss Jerry every day !!!!!!
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Hey Fat Parrot. Smoking The Persian (Heroin) was Jerry's passion. He's in the big H now, a place I feel he gave me glimpses of on more than a few occasions. It's been a long strange trip from the first be-in's and Acid Tests. Kesey, Neal, Pigpen and Jerry. I think I'll listen to 4/26/71 and wish I was there. I'll offer up a sweet Garcia/ Grisman Quintet 5/7-11/91 Warfield disc in Jerry's memory. Thanks for the reminder FP.
The older I get the more I appreciate Jerry. I think when I really started appreciating him was when I started listening to the Deads live stuff. A perfect example is comparing the song "Dancing in the Street's" on "Teripin (sp?) Staion" and then listening to the same song on their live Cornell 1977 version. It sounds like two different bands and Jerry sounds totally absent in the studio version. On the live version you will hear a mesmerizing 12 minute long guitar solo that gives me goose bumps every time I hear it. Having all those live shows on recordings is a true musical treasure. What a treat it is to discover a live show and listening to a 12 minute Jerry jam that I've never heard before. I am also really getting into his bluegrass. i'm digging both the old stuff with "Old and In The Way" and his later stuff with "Grateful Dog." He left a great American musical legacy in the way he made Bluegrass cool. There is a wonderful swelling roots musical movement on college campuses today that is highly influenced by Jerry.
I will say it again....I miss him everyday and that signature guitar sound.....I feel that the musical world has not been the same since 1995....it's different now....the musical values have changed.....he made music matter....instead of a generation where music is only an avenue to something else.....
Tomryan.....you might want to check out his guitar ''noodling'' with David Grisman instead ! : ) And yes, Mr. Garcia also loved jazz as does ''Dave Grusin'' You can listen to his noodling with jazz greats like Ornette Coleman and Howard Wales just to name a few..... Jazz as well as blue grass were greatly appreciated by Mr. Garcia.....
I'll not defend Jerry's drug habits. Other band members tried and failed to get Jerry right. It took Phil a liver transplant to chill out. Jerry's genius was in the feeling he put into his music. When I listen to Wharf Rat (Jerry's stated that this was the saddest song for him to sing) , the feeling projected is so deep it makes me wanna cry. He wasn't the best singer, but his voice was beautiful and instantly recognizable. He was clearly the leader and took on more diverse side projects than the rest of the band in spite of the demons that killed him. He was of the 60's and remained true to that spirit. It was an end that suited him. That we had him as long as we did (Pigpen was gone at 27) is amazing and something to be Grateful for forever.
Blah, blah, blah...O.K. guys, you make some good points. I listened to "Working Man's Dead" last night and it is a damn good record and I did used to really like Live/Dead from 1969 or 70. I bought those when they came out along with Howard Wales' "Hooteroll?", and they're all real good. (Wish I could find a good sounding CD version of "Hooteroll?". The CD I have says 1972 but I swear it was earlier. Maybe I'm thinking of something else by Wales but I actually remember it from 1969. A lot of those years are a bit fuzzy, though.) "American Beauty" is another great album.
By the way, demons didn't kill Jerry, he killed himself. But he's still makin' money off me...my wife buys me garcia ties and boxers.
Hey Tom: Too bad Hendrix, Morrison and Elvis didn't have a clothing line. I'm sure they would've all hung in there longer like Jerry had they known about your wife's clothing purchases and the windfall that would've entailed. BTW I think Jerry's artwork sucked and never would've seen the light of day had he not been a rock star. Addiction is a sickness not a choice, so your epitaph for Jerry seems a bit callous. To each his own.
"...Addiction is a sickness not a choice..."
Everybody's a victim, huh? What in the HELL happened to personal responsibility?
He CHOSE to use drugs. He BECAME addicted. He could have CHOSEN to quit. He CHOSE to keep smoking HEROIN and God know what else.
Would he have still been an addict had he not CHOSEN to use drugs? I think not.
So you see...It seems to me that addiction is not so much a CHOICE, rather a result of BAD CHOICES.
Six of one, half-a-dozen of the the other!
When he was about 5, Jerry Garcia had part of his right middle finger accidentally chopped off by his older brother, but that was nothing compared to watching his father drown on a fishing trip shortly after. This event was so traumatic that nobody thereafter could make him do anything he didn't want to do. He said the bad stuff happened in the beginning of his life and then things became wonderful, or something to that effect.
He was a reluctant leader, because he was essentially just interested in making music, not managing affairs, including his own. This resulted in messy relationships with his women, children, and the band and turned him more and more into a recluse during the last ten years of his life. He hated the responsibilities of leading a corporation with 30 some employees who depended on him for their livelyhood(something all succesfull entertainers have to deal with)The popular successes of the GD in the early nineties became a huge burden to him from which he attempted to escape with his beloved "persian heroin", which incidentally did not cause his death. What did him in was cigarettes, lack of exercise and bad nutrition which led to serious health problems including diabetes and cardiomyopathy. By the time he agreed to seek medical
help, his body had deteriorated irreversibly. While I'm not sure that I'd label addiction a sickness, there are addictive personalities, and Garcia, by his own admission
fit that profile. However, how he died and what he could have done diffently to prolong his life is irrelevent to me. I'm grateful for the music he gave us, and I miss him.
May he rest in peace.