View Full Version : Jerry Garcia passed away 15 years ago today.

Aug-09-2010, 1:05pm
My wife called to remind me (I had forgotten). NPR is presently doing a special.

RIP, Spud Boy...

Scott Holt
Aug-09-2010, 1:08pm
Man, I am getting old. Seems like yesterday when i heard of Jerry's passing. Rest in peace my friend.

Aug-09-2010, 1:19pm
I believe we have missed a great 'second act' career, ala Ricky after Nashville and Jethro after Homer. We get a glimpse in 'Grateful Dawg'.

Aug-09-2010, 2:16pm
I was the moderator on the Rolling Stone Magazine forum on Compuserve when they had his online Memorial. That seems like a lot farther back than 15 years.

Mandolin Mick
Aug-09-2010, 4:27pm
I remember that clearly, but it doesn't seem like 15 years ...:disbelief:

Aug-09-2010, 4:40pm
Fare thee well, fare thee well
I love you more than words can tell
Listen to the river sing sweet songs
To rock my soul :mandosmiley:

Aug-09-2010, 8:28pm
If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung,
Would you hear my voice come thru the music,
Would you hold it near as it were your own
Miss Him!!!

Aug-09-2010, 8:34pm
I was just playing that this morning.

Aug-09-2010, 8:39pm
All I know is something like a bird.......

Aug-09-2010, 9:21pm
I remember hearing about it at work; man the time flies by.

I really miss Jerry, but

the music never stopped...

Pete Counter
Aug-09-2010, 9:26pm
I cant forget because today is also my birthday! Thanks for the music Jerry

Darren Bailey
Aug-10-2010, 4:27am
I'd like to agree with the notion of "we've still got the music" but Jerry isn't the one making it. From our perspective we have the beautiful sounds, but the world has just rolled on without him which seems impossible somehow. "Stop all the clocks" as they say, I still genuinely find it strange when I think that he isn't in the world.

Mike Snyder
Aug-10-2010, 4:35am
That's good Darren. Jerry was deep into strange for most of his life. Thanks for the tunes, Jerry.

Dan Hoover
Aug-10-2010, 6:33am
i'll never forget seeing the dead play,we have the music still,videos,and memories..i was listening yesterday and thought,he has a great voice?? i alway's liked it but i never heard it that way before? i guess caught in a moment? what a great guy though?

Aug-10-2010, 6:44am
I caught the band 3 times:

1973 Nassau Coliseum, Hempstead, NY, Pigpen had just passed. I remember waiting outside all day for the doors to open, some guys were playing frisbee football, one guy was running full tilt to catch it, looking over his shoulder and ran into a light pole...ouch

1974 Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, NJ. It rained like crazy, they came on stage and sparks were flying off the equipment. They postponed till the next day.

1978 Red Rocks Boulder, CO. I hopped backstage whilst they were playing (you could do that back then) and snapped a photo of Garcia.

Also saw the JGB in Albany NY in 1974, I think he had a sax player.

Bob Andress
Aug-10-2010, 7:17am
I got to see about a dozen shows in the early 90s. Then I was introduced to Dawg through his work with Jerry. I would never listen to music the same way again. That duo is the reason I play.

Thank you Jerry, for countless memories, endless hours of great music, and for introducing me to your friend who changed my life.

Dan Hoover
Aug-10-2010, 7:27am
speaking of jerry and dawg,does anyone know anything about the different versions of Ripple and Friend of the Devil that were supposedly done? if they were ever released??i remember something about a longer mando solo in one or the other? but the band decided no??might be a good question to ask dawg?

Aug-10-2010, 7:38am
Jerry really knew how to deliver a lyric....I put him up there with Sinatra and Dylan. Great timing. I was lucky enough to see Jerry play and sing over 150 times.

Jerry had a tremendous amount of stage presence. When he stepped out on stage the whole room knew it.

Dylan on Jerry 15 years ago:

''To me he wasn't only a musician and friend, he was more like a big brother who taught and showed me more than he'll ever know,'' Dylan said. ''His playing was moody, awesome, sophisticated, hypnotic and subtle."

Aug-10-2010, 7:46am
speaking of jerry and dawg,does anyone know anything about the different versions of Ripple and Friend of the Devil that were supposedly done? if they were ever released??i remember something about a longer mando solo in one or the other? but the band decided no??might be a good question to ask dawg?

Never heard about this but would love to hear them. Both songs are just fine, near perfect, as is. No solo in "Ripple" so maybe the alternate version has one? Yeah, ask away!

I saw Grateful Dead dozens of times, first at a free impromptu show at Montreal Expo in August 1967 (shared with Jefferson Airplane, combined jam after both sets on Gloria), and a bunch of memorable shows like another free impromptu show at Wesleyan U in 1971 or 1972, a country-slanted show in Norman OK in 1977 (where in the afternoon we slipped around the venue and poked our heads in the green room while the guys were having lunch - nothing like being face to face with Jerry to blow your mind), New Year's Eve 1977-78 at Winterland, a Fourth Of July show in Buffalo opening for Dylan backed by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers - Jerry seemed a little off, wearing a red T-shirt instead of black, and had his first medical episode a few days later - and a memorable weekend stand at the New Haven Coliseum when the first night was so-so and the second night was amazing. So many shows, so much music ... I saw them way more than anyone else, until one day I counted up how many imes I'd seen The Nields and was astonished to realize I'd seen them even more! :disbelief:

Aug-10-2010, 8:36am
Looking at the two shows that constituted my one and only tour with the Dead - Denver CO 10/9/77 and Norman OK 10/11/77 - I am stunned to see they had completely different set lists other than the closer Around And Around. Who does that? Some bunch of hippies who believed in sharing music with the world? :cool: This is one reason why people would follow them - you never knew when the stars would align and they would play all or most of your favorites in one night. :mandosmiley: So they played "Scarlet Begonias" in Denver and "Eyes Of The World" in Norman - just two days and a few hundred miles in between. ;)

Getting this stuff from dead.net (http://www.dead.net/) - this is a fun way to spend a rainy day!

Paul Kotapish
Aug-10-2010, 1:29pm
Some aspect of Jerry's music touches me every day.

I played the annual Jerry tribute festival "Dead on the Creek" up in Mendocino County with my band Wake the Dead over the weekend. Three days of acoustic and electric music dedicated to Jerry's legacy. There were some great bands, including John Reischman's Jaybirds (with Scott Nygaard on guitar for that show), Peter Rowan's Bluegrass Band (with Jody Stecher on mandolin), Great American Taxi, Moonalice, et al.

If you live in northern California and are fond of the Dead and their incredibly diverse musical roots and branches, this is a great weekend to consider for 2011 with lots of mandolin music and everything from bluegrass to blues to full-out psychedelia.


And the giant Jerry puppet is not to be missed:


Mike Bunting
Aug-10-2010, 2:43pm
I saw Grateful Dead dozens of times, first at a free impromptu show at Montreal Expo in August 1967 (shared with Jefferson Airplane, combined jam after both sets on Gloria)/QUOTE]
Was that show at Place Victoire down town because that's where and when I saw them, maybe we were in the same audience. I met them because they were crashing in a place on Hutchison Street where I was living. I was working at the New Penelope Cafe at the time while attending McGill and Jack Cassidy and Jorma Kaukanen dropped in to jam with the jazz group playing that night, good stuff. Later that evening, I accompanied Cassidy and a couple of friends on a caleche ride around Mt. Royal. See, I remember some of the '60's! :)

Aug-10-2010, 4:39pm
Hey - cool! No, two shows, same day - the scheduled one (http://www.dead.net/show/august-6-1967) you went to, the unscheduled one (http://www.dead.net/show/august-6-1967-0) I went to. Looks like a club date, Place Ville Marie. Check them out at dead.net. (http://www.dead.net/shows/1967)Some of the reporting and navigating is a little clunky, but the contributors are making a genuine effort to be as inclusive as possible. They even have that Wesleyan U. show. (http://www.dead.net/show/may-3-1970) Unbelievable. :mandosmiley:

Aug-10-2010, 5:31pm
I saw the Dead with Jerry in 1991, it was my first and last show I saw with Jerry. My mom gave me tickets to the show for my 15th birthday! She and my brother went with me, so that may explain why I only got to catch them once with Jerry. By the time I could drive and make way back to another show on my own Jerry had passed. But, I am very grateful I got the chance to see him play at least once. To this day my mom stills says its one of the best concerts she has gone to, funny smells and all (she wasn't even close to a Deadhead, but by default she heard all their music through me on all our road trips). Old and in the Way was my first bluegrass album, my first time hearing the Dawg, and what lead me to Bill Monroe! Thanks for the tunes Jerry!

Bernie Daniel
Aug-21-2010, 5:39pm
I'd like to agree with the notion of "we've still got the music" but Jerry isn't the one making it. From our perspective we have the beautiful sounds, but the world has just rolled on without him which seems impossible somehow. "Stop all the clocks" as they say, I still genuinely find it strange when I think that he isn't in the world.

Cool. I felt that way when Buddy Holly crashed and died -- he was scheduled to land at Hector Field (Fargo, ND) less than 6 miles from my farm house.

On Jerry Garcia I wonder how many of his fans know he was an awesome 5 string banjo player? Most on this fourm I suppose -- but did most of the deadheads know that? I wonder.

Gary Hedrick
Aug-21-2010, 6:08pm
Several of the folks I work with are Dead Heads.......followed the band around when they could and when he died it was like Elvis and John Kennedy all rolled into one had died.

I got into a discussion with one of them about Jerry Garcia's bluegrass roots and he was upset with me. How could his hero be associated with that old stuff.

Aug-21-2010, 10:07pm
It really bothers me when I see or hear people talking like this about Grateful Dead. This kind of close-mindedness is the antithesis of the inclusion at the heart of their repertoire, and even their philosophy. Their repertoire was arguably the most diverse and far-ranging one in the history of rock. And at the drop of a hat, they would play just about anything that crossed their minds, if it felt right. Besides their own material, which incorporated a wide variety of genres and influences, the songs they covered ran the gamut from folk, bluegrass, old-timey, gospel, and jug band to country, rockabilly, blues, soul, pop, reggae, and other rock acts. Few other bands of their era devoted as much time and thought to roots music, and they were doing this way before there was such a term as Americana. At least two of their own songs pass for bluegrass - "Friend Of The Devil" and "Cumberland Blues" - and they covered the most bluegrassy Beatles song ever, "I've Just Seen A Face." You tell that clod masquerading as your friend (well, he kind of gets a pass if he's just a coworker) to go here (http://www.dead.net/songs?apage=*) and take a look at the songs they did.

If that doesn't work, tell them this: I've Been All Around This World, and now I'm Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad because I Know You Rider have left me out in the Cold Rain and Snow. I would rather be in some Dark Hollow, way up In The Pines, than watching Pretty Peggy-O Stealin' away on that Wabash Cannonball as it glides along the Big River.

If he still offers resistance, tell him they did at least five Everly Brothers tunes - "All I Have To Do Is Dream," "Bye Bye Love," "Cathy's Clown," "So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)," and "Wake Up Little Susie" - and they probably don't get squarer than that as far as this guy is concerned. If he still can't tell the difference between good music and whatever he thinks is hip after that, just walk away. Not worth wasting your time on him.

Bernie Daniel
Aug-22-2010, 1:50pm
Interesting post journeybear. I know a guy who was a teen age friend of Garcia and played music with him in some local bands -- as it happens he was also genuine bluegrass boy with Monroe for a year -- banjo).

This guy can tell you some great stories about both Garcia and Monroe.

I keep telling this fellow that he should write a book!!! :) And he really should but I do not think he will!

Aug-22-2010, 3:05pm
People who have stories to tell should find a way to get them told. Amid the clutter of yapping all over (thanks, twitter, facebook, cell phones, etc etc) there are always good stories worth hearing. Maybe your friend should consider co-writing - he can spin his yarns and someone else can shape them into a book. That way his stories would be preserved but he wouldn't have to sweat over them - just tell them with a tape recorder running and someone else could do the grunt work.

BTW, I think it was Bobby Vee who got his start by filling in at the gig Buddy Holly was flying to. If I recall my liner notes reading correctly - it's been a while ... :whistling:

Gary Hedrick
Sep-03-2010, 9:30pm
Bernie, might that friend be Sandy Rothman????

Ed Goist
Aug-01-2011, 10:15am
Happy Birthday (August 1st) to the late, great Jerry Garcia. The driving force behind the Grateful Dead and Rock Legend was born on this date in 1942. Garcia was everything a great musician should be: open-minded, generous, dedicated, optimistic and respectful of the music and its history. He is missed. Play on Jerry, Play on!

Ivan Kelsall
Aug-02-2011, 1:35am
Truly a great musician & human being. I remember visiting my usual Bluegrass CD store (since closed),the guy who owned & ran it,a good friend of mine & a dyed in the wool Greatful Dead afficionado,told me about Gerry's passing, & he was quite literally in tears.
Thank our gracious Lord that we have so much to remember him ( & so many others) by,

Dave Greenspoon
Aug-08-2011, 11:41pm
I remember to the moment when I heard the news that Jerry had died.

I was disappointed in the one Dead show I saw (MSG, maybe 1990?) but loved his work with the Dead, JGB/JGAB, and of course the Jerry & David [and Tony!] stuff. Old and In the Way came to me later, and then Legion of Mary, which was so mind-blowing to me as the bridge between the Dead and the JGB work.

What I admired most about him wasn't his incredible artistic prowess (musical and visual). That level of talent and creativity is a gift that is beyond human reckoning. It was his creative open-ness. Listen to old interviews where he's talking about what he's listening to at the time, and ask yourself who else was listening to the same stuff. Then think about what he did with it, say eventually working with Merle Saunders. It is just incredible to see how deftly Jerry moved through boundaries.

And BTW, most of the Deadheads I know absolutely appreciate that banjo was Jerry's first instrument, and that the set list almost always had some "pd-trad" tunes often found in the old time and bluegrass bands' playlists.

We Miss You Jerry.

Aug-09-2011, 12:26am
My band played our regular Monday night gig last week, Jerry's birthday, and I made a point of wearing a black T-shirt. I also suggested to the guitarist and lead singer we do a Dead song as a tribute (we do "Truckin'" and "Friend Of The Devil," neither all that often, so they were due for a turn anyway). Before we started I told the crowd we were dedicating the show to the memory of Jerry Garcia, and "tonight's show is brought to you by the letter J" - and he added "and the number 69," which is how old he would have been. Nice pickup there, especially from a thirty-something guy. But somehow neither came up. :(

So tonight I wore a black T-shirt again, hoping to work in a song to commemorate his passing. As it turned out, about 20 minutes before the end I was just about to suggest this when a kid came up tipped us, and requested a Dead song. Perfect. So we launched into "Truckin'." Had a good time with it, quoted "Dark Star" like I usually try to do, and sent some of that wonder-filled music on out to the night air, and hopefully some echoes landed within earshot of his spirit. I can only hope. :mandosmiley:

William Smith
Aug-09-2011, 3:47am
I was at work when I got the tragic news,,,very bummed,,I just seen em a little bit back at the Pittsburgh "Rain Show",I think they had 2 showes after that and it was over!,whoever was there at that concert can't deney the power of the Dead! They made it rain! Billy:grin:

Ronny Stecher
Aug-17-2011, 8:46pm
Did any politicians wish him a Happy Birthday?.......


Ripple rehearsal with The Dawg

Aug-17-2011, 9:06pm
I took a few Bluegrass Banjo lesson from Mr Garcia in Palo Alto in 1961 or so.
He taught at the Dana Morgan music store in Palo Alto CA.
At that time he had not (nor had I) experimented with drugs yet.
I don't recall speaking to him about Rock music during that time.
Garcia was swept away by American roots music then and particularly Earl Scruggs and Billy Ray from the "Colonels".
I never stuck with the banjo and it wasn't until several years later that I realized that the guy in The Grateful Dead had been my banjo teacher.