The Cork Board

It’s Jerry Week !!

Those of you who know me well know that when it comes to identifying my musical heritage all tributaries can be sourced back to…………The Grateful Dead. From this one magical group all musical interest sprung. My love of jazz, free form jamming, groove, rock, country, old American traditional music, bluegrass……..everything, and on a personal level, the spirit of creative adventure and sharing. Their music is in my soul.

People have often asked “Why do you still listen to them?” , so many years after they threw in the towel after Jerry’s passing. The answer is simple. After all these years their music is still an adventure and a discovery. I can still listen to a show, say, from the 70’s, and hear music I’ve never heard before.

Though the band always professed to be an egalitarian tangle of musicians, at the heart of it all was Jerry. John Jerome Garcia – August 1,1942 to August 9, 1995.

He was a consummate musician and a man of his time. A joy to listen to in interview with a huge love for what he did and the most infectious chuckle.

He was and is a music icon. I love(d) this man.

Being a European Deadhead wasn’t easy. They rarely toured here and the only means of update we could cling to were tapes of the shows that were traded freely, press reports in rock magazines, Rolling Stone magazine. We would search out any news we could – get the latest tapes as soon as possible, though the network was often below the radar. Then the web was invented (yes, you youngsters, it was an old fashioned world once) and the
re-living of glorious days long gone became possible by the progress of technology.

Jerry played all types of music. Gospel, jazz, blues, ballads, old-time country, bluegrass, rock, ethnic, and sometimes downright wierd. I have an album “Side Trips”  which is just superb jazz. Bluegrass blows you away with “Old and In The Way”. The Garcia Band often performed gospel tunes.

So, the first week of August is “Jerry Week” when those who loved him from near and far remember the man and his music. The Dead site have posted this video up for old times sake.

I shall indulge my Jerry Week, as I always do. For the next 7 days all I will have in my ears is Jerry Garcia. I will relive and rejoice….and only wonder what might have been.

12 thoughts on “It’s Jerry Week !!”

  1. Great post for a great great band. Fortunately my birthday falls bang in the middle of this week. A few presents have felt better than this.

    1. Thanks Sheena. The Dead were not a heavy band – more psychedelic, for want of a label, at the outset. Later they would develop into playing anything that took their fancy from a cover of “Dancing in the Street” to longer rambling jams. Playing always as best they could and always impossible to pin down. A great life.

  2. Lovely tribute Alan, thanks for introducing me to Grateful Dead (never heard their music before though the name was familiar) I enjoyed watching the interview, they came across so adorable 🙂
    Never knew Jerry Garcia before reading this post, and now here I am feeling sad he’s no more.
    As a follow-up to this post, and while you enjoy Jerry Week, how about posting some of your absolute favourites?

  3. Your post has succeeded in winning over at least one new Grateful fan. I checked out a few of their numbers. Some of them were familiar but the band-song associations weren’t there in my scheme of associations. No problem: now that the associations are in place, I am looking forward to some more free association.

    1. HI Anna, thanks for dropping by and commenting on Jerry Week. Ah, the 60’s ….land of hope and glory. I still check in with Furthur once in a while given that by the magic of the webster in our new world you can download a whole show from the previous night these days. Long gone are the days of peering through a Relix mag for show dates and photos and then searching out a “cassette” ! Brave New World.

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