Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Remembering Jerry...!

Probably not many people had as much of an impact on the continuing of 60s style rock and roll as Jerry Garcia.

The man had a wonderful way with music. In some ways, his influence is still felt!

Aug 9, 1995:

Jerry Garcia dies

Like his band the Grateful Dead, which was still going strong three decades after its formation, Jerry Garcia defied his life-expectancy not merely by surviving, but by thriving creatively and commercially into the 1990s--far longer than most of his peers. His long, strange trip came to an end, however, on this day in 1995, when he died of a heart attack in a residential drug-treatment facility in Forest Knolls, California. A legendary guitarist and true cultural icon, Jerry Garcia was 53 years old.

Jerome John Garcia was born on August 1, 1942 and raised primarily in San Francisco's Excelsior District, about five miles south of his and his band's famous future residence at 710 Ashbury Street. Trained formally on the piano as a child, Garcia picked up the instrument he'd make his living with at the age of 15, when he convinced his mother to replace the accordion she'd bought him as a birthday gift with a Danelectro electric guitar. Five years later, after brief stints in art school and the Army, and after surviving a deadly automobile accident in 1961, Jerry Garcia began to pursue a musical career in earnest, playing with various groups that were part of San Francisco's bluegrass and folk scene. By 1965, he had joined up with bassist Phil Lesh, rhythm guitarist Bob Weir, organist Ron "Pigpen" McKernan and drummer Bill Kreutzman in a group originally called the Warlocks and later renamed "the Grateful Dead."

From their early gig as the house band at Ken Kesey's famous Acid Tests, the Dead was a defining part of San Francisco's burgeoning hippie counterculture scene. They would go on to play at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and at Woodstock in 1969, but as big as they were in the 60s and 70s, the Grateful Dead grew even more popular and successful as the decade they helped to define slipped further into the past. Indeed, during the final decade of Jerry Garcia's life, following his recovery from a five-day diabetic coma in 1986, the Dead played an average of 100 to 150 live shows per year, frequently to sold-out audiences that included a significant proportion of tie-dye-wearing college students who were not yet alive when the Grateful Dead first made their name.

Don't know why I thought this was important to remember today, except for the fact that it serves to remind us all of our mortality! Maybe that is just my rambling, but that's the way I feel!

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio. I'll put on some old tunes from "The Grateful Dead" and we can all remember Jerry together!


Bob said...

Long Live The Dead!

chinasyndrome said...

Troubles ahead,troubles behind. RIP Jerry!


linda m said...

Ahhh, The Dead!!

Ben in Texas said...

Wasn't a fan at the time, but discover/rediscovered him from a Don Henley song.
"Out on the road today, I saw a DEADHEAD sticker on a Cadillac
A little voice Inside my head said, "Don't look back. You can never look back."

michael ultra said...

I got to see them play many times. My favorite was in Las Vegas on May 30th and 31st 1992. Heck yes it was hot!! 115 in the shade. Water spray bottles were very popular.

HermitJim said...

Hey Bob...
I'll raise my glass to that!

Have a great day, and thanks for the visit today!

Hey China...
Sort of hit the nail on the head with that one, didn't they?

I appreciate the visit today, my friend!

Hey Linda...
That's all that needs to be said, isn't it?

The visit is greatly appreciated this morning!

Hey Ben...
Sometimes all it takes is one song to make us a fan of a certain group!

Hang in there, buddy, and thanks for coming by today!

Hey Michael...
I lived in Vegas for a year, but never got to see a live show. Always worked behind the scenes on the telephones and communications!

I would have liked to have seen them live, I think.

Thanks for dropping by today!