This time, a guest blogger, at my invitation … Dead Head and friend, Ira Haberman …
When Jeff Woods asked me to write something about Jerry Garcia’s 70th birthday, I beamed.
Then I sat down to think about what I would write about.
In the past I’ve written about how 12-28-91, the evening I first saw The Grateful Dead was a night that changed my life. That’s territory I’ve been over hundreds of times. BORING.
Then I thought about the countless hours I’ve listened to Garcia. Not just The Grateful Dead, but also his solo projects, his work with mandolin expert David Grisman, the Keystone Sessions with Merl Saunders, playing pedal steel with Crosby Stills and Nash, that same pedal steel playing with Riders of the Purple Sage, and on and on and on….
I also thought about the hundreds of songs that I sing out loud, teach my kids to love, and have had an affinity for since I was 16. Garcia wrote many of those songs with partner Robert Hunter. We’re quick to put the likes of Dylan, Guthrie, Springsteen, The Gershwins, Simon and Garfunkel on a pedestal as incredible American poets and songwriters but rarely do you ever see the names Garcia/Hunter amongst that list. I say, that needs to change immediately. Their impact has stood the test of time!
I think actually, that is Garcia’s legacy. Not that a whole bunch of kids followed him and his band-mates around, developing an undeniable subculture, an industry or even G-d like status amongst his peers, but that at the end of the day, and ask anyone who played with him, Garcia, just wanted to write and play great music.
So happy birthday “Captain Trips”, “The Fat Man”, you’re absolutely missed, but never forgotten…….
To celebrate Jerry, here are a few of my favorite clips (well at least today) from YouTube that are J.Garcia related.
Also, don’t miss “Move Me Brightly” an event Friday night, Celebrating Jerry Garcia’s 70th Birthday. More details can be found by clicking here.