Friday, August 01, 2008

Happy Birthday Jerry Garcia

Copyright: Richard Blair
Jerry Garcia plays at the Greek Theater in Berkely, Ca. - 1976

The late great Jerry Garcia would be 66 today if he had not died nearly 13 years ago. The leader of the seminal San Francisco rock band the Grateful Dead was a profound influence on American rock and popular culture. This month's Relix Magazine has as their cover story How Jerry Got Hip (Again), it covers an emerging appreciation for the music of the Grateful Dead among younger people today, 13 years after the Dead finished leading their vagabond fans, known as Dead Heads, around America on their various tours. Many think of the Grateful Dead's music as the experimental music that they played during their early years in the '60s and during what became known as "Drums and Space" an experimental jam they played during every concert. The years of 1970 - 1974 the Dead was the most prolific band out there releasing 7 albums (four 1 record sets, two 2 record live sets and one 3 record live set), the final one being the single studio album Mars Hotel released on their then new record label Grateful Dead Records. All of that recording was in addition to near constant touring.

The Grateful Dead was considered an American roots band after releasing American Beauty and Workingman's Dead, albums that could be considered country if they didn't contain the patina and the sound of the Dead. Garcia also recorded and toured with the New Riders of the Purple Sage and Old & In the Way, a bluegrass band featuring Vassar Clemons and David Grisman.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

happy birthday jerry my most favorite musician.

everyone come to montrose harbor 08/09/08 up on the cricket hill at the top
from noon - 8pm
listen and talk about jerry and old times.
bring a lawn chair and your guitar or drum. see add in the chicago reader.

gr8tfulscott - elmwood psrk

7:29 AM  
Blogger El Rider said...

When Jerry died I lived in Wrigleyville and that day I rode my bike over to Cricket Hill. The drum circle went on all day and through the entire night, or at least until the Chicago Police allowed. That was a strange day, you could tell who was a serious fan by a person's appearance that day. I sent one of my employees home early, he was useless. I saw the story as it broke at about 9:00 AM, before the grain markets opened and that kid was a basket case by 9:15. Thank you for the heads-up, I will head over to Cricket Hill next week. Btw, Cricket Hill was once home to Chicago's annual Weed-Fest, as the name implies it was a pot festival. I was onstage at the event one year to photograph a friend from New York who headlined. As he tuned his guitar I stood at the rear of the stage, then all of the sudden this freak who used to sell his (probably acid tinged) poetry in the back of Gingerman's bar (once my favorite bar with a Hell's Angels bouncer - Tiny) on Clark St. stormed to the front of the stage to read his poetry, it was terrible. My friend turned to me onstage with this "what the F***?" look on his face as I was bursting out laughing, the pictures are classic and my friend threatened to use one on an album, I think it made it to an album sleeve. A month later the poet was at Woodstock II (he was actually scheduled) and then years later I saw him at a gallery opening that featured the work of one of my sisters, he is now a fairly prominent art critic who seemed to intimidate the art people who were there. On the other hand I had shared a stage with the guy, I think that I was the only one who talked to him, we laughed about Weed Fest at Cricket Hill.

5:31 PM  

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