Monday, August 08, 2005

Jerry Garcia---- Ten Years After

Gosh can it really be ten years since Jerry Garcia left us.
Hard to believe. Another case of you don't now what you got
til its gone.
His music lives on though. From reading one of his biographies and also one of the histories of the Grateful Dead what I took away from all that info was that Garcia really, really loved music, loved playing music, and loved delving into America's musical past and folklore, and extracted what he could and used it in a contemporary way.

Before his Grateful Dead years he spent a lot of time playing bluegrass music, studying it, playing with jug bands, collecting and sharing tapes, listening to old recordings, and learning all sorts of licks and styles.
And not only bluegrass music , but all sorts of folk, western, country, and old timey type music. The guy loved to jam with other musicians and loved to push the envelope of where a song could go.
You can hear this in lyrics from something like say 'Cumberland Blues':

Gotta get down to the Cumberland mine
That's where I mainly spend my time

Make good money, five dollars a day
If I made any more I might move away

In this little blog post there is no way I can do justice to his influence. I still enjoy American Beauty and Workingmans Dead. Just the first 3 notes from St. Stephen's always opens me up to a different dimension. Still trippy after all these years I guess. But after all Garcia was also called Captain Trips too.
As more Dicks Picks come out, along with other live concerts, and Dvds of concerts, everyone will be able to listen and encounter as much of Jerry Garcia as they want. So it is a shame he left us at 53 years, but didn't he ramble in his time?

He believed in sharing his tapes and the Dead believed in free taping of their concerts. Always a certain generosity of spirit about his music and sharing his music with the rest of us beings.I'll leave this off with a little lyric from Brokedown Palace:

'Fare you well, fare you well, I love you more than words can tell, listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul.'

Can still hear in my head the steel guitar lick right after that.
Check it out :"Grateful Dead: Truckin' Up To Buffalo" on DVD complete concert at Buffalo's Rich Stadium on July 4, 1989 with the picture taken from the master 1" video tape, shot with six cameras, and featuring an outstanding new 5.1 and stereo mix produced from the master multi-track tapes, this nearly three hour concert features such staples as "Touch of Grey," "Morning Dew," "All Along The Watchtower," "Deal," "Terrapin Station," and "U.S. Blues."
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