Uh, Jerry? Before you go...

From: Eyebrown <[e--br--n] at []>
Date: 9 Aug 1995 23:06:39 -0400
Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)

Just a minute. I know you've got someplace to go, but I'd like to tell you something.

I met you once, 28 years ago. It was at a party. You don't remember. That's okay, you didn't leave much of an impression on me at the time either. But a few years later, something about your music sunk into me. I'd heard you play a number of times before that, I'd heard your records--they were okay, but there were musicians I liked better. Then later, some time later, something reached out and snuck in while I wasn't looking.

I saw you and your band a bunch of times after that. Sometimes you weren't very good at all, I'm afraid. Most of the time you were fine, very fine. But every once in a while, you guys got outside yourselves. You once said that your music wasn't rock and roll. It was like rock and roll, used the same instrumentation, used a lot of familiar riffs, but it was something else. Most of the time you were wrong. It was rock and roll, pretty good rock and roll at that. But sometimes . . .

Well, I never bought into the whole circus that surrounded you, freed you and imprisoned you. I just liked the music. I kept up with your records, particularly the live ones (you guys never could cut it in the studio, except maybe "Terrapin Station," half of it, anyway). Many years later, I had different friends, different kinds of friends, different interests. The circus around you somehow made your music pointless to a lot of people, but not to me. I still play your records. I guess I always will.

I read your interviews. You were a bright guy. You knew exactly what was going on around you, but you never truly bought into it. I admire you for that. You played because you had to play. If they would only let you play in the middle of a zoo, too bad, but you still played. You kept getting better, too. A lot of them don't realize that.

I guess I've taken up too much of your time. I just wanted you to know that you made a difference to me. I think i wouldn't be the same person without your music. I don't know if that's good or bad. I do know I wouldn't change anything.

See ya, Jer. Good luck. I'll probably catch up to you someday.

"Goin' where the wind don't blow so strange."

[e--br--n] at []


From: Dick Allgire <[d--eg--e] at []>
Date: 10 Aug 1995 06:52:16 GMT
Organization: Pacific Information eXchange, Inc.

In September 1970 The Grateful Dead came to the Terrace Ballroom in Salt Lake City. I was 17 yrs old.

I went to the show, along with some of my closest friends. We sat right up front (luckily, little did we know then) on the left hand side of a very low intimate the stage. Out walked this band we didn't really know much about. Someone gave me something, something that was VERY STRONG. I was unprepared for that, and I was unprepared for the Grateful Dead.

Halfway thru the first accoustic set I started hallucinating wildly. My body started melting into the floor. My vision went.... well, you know. Anyway I told myself, "you're okay. You're at the Grateful Dead concert. You're high, you'll be okay." Since it was an accoustic set everyone was sitting. (Anyone remember a Dead show where people sat on the floor?)

Well I wasn't okay. Things got so bad I felt I had to get outside, get some fresh air. The music was too intense, I was losing it. I started to get up to leave. Obviously I was having trouble. I looked up and there was Jerry Garcia looking down at me, looking directly into my eyes. It seemed he beamed me a telepathic message. "Its okay," my mind heard him say. "I've been that way too. You're supposed to be like that. Listen to music and let it help you through." I sat back down. He smiled and nodded at me and played a beautiful lick, almost pointing the neck of his guitar at me. I made it through the concert, the most profound night of my life.

I always wondered, did I IMAGINE that little communication??

20 years later I had the opportunity to scuba dive with Jerry and spend an entire day on a small boat with him. I told him the story and asked if it was me being too stoned, or if he ever had moments like that with people in the audience.

"Oh it happens all the time," he said. "Sort of like throwing out a lifeline. Sure it happened. That's a good story."

I only ever saw one show.....

From: Kyaphas Wells <[k--p--s] at []>
Date: 10 Aug 1995 07:07:18 GMT
Organization: Netcom

My friends had been hounding me and hounding me to go to a show. I just moved to VA from NJ and they were now hours from me. But they still didn't stop. So finally, they got tickets to the DC show this year (about a month or 2 ago) and just surprised me. Kinda tied me up and threw me in the trunk so to speak. We got there and I was getting kinda excited about the whole thing. I don't have any tapes, nor do I listen to their music, but I was getting into the whole thing just the same.

We must've walked about 5,000 miles before the show actually started. Just roaming around, talking to people, hearing the neverending "Your first show? What do think so far?" My legs were killing me by the time the show got under way. It was incredible!! I never had such a fantastic time in my life. The music was out-of-this-world! I loved every second of it. The one song that still sticks in my mind was/is "Aiko-Aiko". The entire crowd became one person, they had been wanting to hear it all nite, and when it finally started, well I'm sure everyone here knows what I'm talking about....

The entire experience affected me on a level I never dreamed of. (For you occasional readers, I was completely clean and sober FYI). I couldn't wait to go to another show. My buds said they'd call and we'd set up something. Terrific!!! I was already pumped for the next time!

But now what.......


From: Michael D. Goldberg <[t--pc--t] at []>
Date: 10 Aug 1995 02:06:17 -0700
Organization: CRL Dialup Internet Access (415) 705-6060 [Login: guest]

Winterland, 1972...we were standing around outside after the show, higher than high and trying to get our bearings, when this little door in the side of the building opened up and out came Billy and Pigpen, followed by Jerry. They were walking pretty fast and Jerry was 10 feet or so past me before I realized that I really wanted to say something to him, but I couldn't think what to say (couldn't think at all is more like it); he was almost out of earshot when my mouth opened by itself and out came: Thank you, man! As they say, my heart was in my mouth. Jerry stopped dead (ahem!) in his tracks, turned on his heel, looked me right in the eye and said: No, man...thank you!

So many good times, so much loving music, such a beautiful holy vision...the death of one person may stop the concerts, but it won't stop the grateful dead (as opposed to the Grateful Dead). Thank you, man...


Jack's Diving Locker in Kona says Goodbye and Thank you

From: Capt. Steve Ward <[w--s--f] at []>
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 95 02:31:09 GMT
Organization: Internet Marketing Consultant

I just came home from Jack's. It turns out that it was on this day in 1988 that Jerry became a certified Scuba diver officially after completing a course with Jeff and Teri Leicher, the owners of Jack's.

Jerry would come to Kona when he could to come dive. He became involved in a pilot program to install mooring buoys along the coast here. You see, every time an anchor is dropped on coral, it destroys it. So these buoys are used instead, saving untold amounts of the coastal environment. Jerry donated $10,000 to the mooring fund, and helped install a few! Now all the dive shops use these buoys, and the state is installing them on other islands.

I remember on Kailua pier, I'd be heading for my ship, and I'd pass Jeff's, and Jerry would be sitting on board, looking very relaxed and happy to be going diving. He was well liked here, and will be missed not only for his great musical talent, but for the person he was.

Kona joins the world in saying Aloha, Jerry.

Kesey's Message to Garcia

From: Ptb19 <[p t b 19] at []>
Date: 23 Jan 1996 15:13:16 -0500

Due to the excerpts being posted, I am reposting Kim and Ken Broadfoots post of a couple of weeks ago. I think it is Beautiful!


by Ken Kesey

Hey, Jerry-- what's happening? I caught your funeral. Weird. Big Steve was good. And Grissman. Sweet sounds. But what really stood out -- stands out -- is the thundering silence, the lack, the absence of that golden Garcia lead line, of that familiar slick lick with the uptwist at the end, that merry snake twining through the woodpile, flickering in and out of the loosely stacked chords...a wriggling mystery, bright and slick as fire... suddenly gone.

And the silence left in its wake was-- is-- positively ear-splitting.

Now they want me to say something about that absence, Jer. Tell some backstage story, share some poigniant reminescence. But I have to tell you, man: I find myself considerably disinclined. I mean, why go against the grain of such an eloquent silence?

I remember standing out in the pearly early dawn after the Muir Beach Acid Test, leaning on the top rail of a driftwood fence with you and Lesh and Babbs, watching the world light up, talking about our glorious futures. The gig had been semi-successful and the air was full of exulted fantasies. Babbs whacks Phil on the back.

"Just like the big time, huh Phil."

"It is! It is the big time! Why, we could cut a chart-busting record to-fucking-morrow!"

I was even more optimistic. "Hey, we taped tonight's show. We could release a record tomorrow.

"Yeah right--" (holding up that digitally challenged hand the way you did when you wanted to call attention to the truth or the lack thereof) "--and a year from tomorrow be recording a Things Go Better With Coke commercial."

You could be a sharp-tongued popper-of-balloons shit-head when you were so inclined, you know. A real bastard. You were the sworn enemy of hot air and commercials, however righteous the cause or lucrative the product. Nobody ever heard you use that microphone as a pulpit. No anti-war rants, no hymns to peace. No odes to the trees and All things Organic. No ego-deaths or born-againnesses. No devils denounced no gurus glorified. No dogmatic howlings that I ever caught wind of. In fact, your steadfast denial of dogma was as close as you ever came to having a creed.

And to the very end, Old Timer, you were true to that creed. No commercials. No trendy spins. No bayings of belief. And if you did have any dogma you surely kept it tied up under the back porch where a smelly old hound belongs.

I guess that's what I mean about a loud silence. Like Michaelangelo said about sculpting, "The statue exists inside the block of marble. All you have to do is chip away the stone you don't need." You were always chipping away at the superficial.

It was the false notes you didn't play that kept that lead line so golden pure. It was the words you didn't sing. So this is what we are left with, Jerry: this golden silence. It rings on and on without any hint of let up...on and on. And I expect it will still be ringing years from now.

Because you're still not playing falsely. Because you're still not singing Things Go Better With Coke.

Ever your friend,


Stephen's Eulogy

From: [J--t--g] at []
Date: 12 Aug 1995 10:13:53 GMT


"If the Grateful Dead had not existed, it would have been necessary for us to invent them."


I met him three times.

The first was on September 14, 1988 in the United Nations building, of all places. The band was holding a press conference there to discuss their first rainforest benefit. Afterwards, I managed to gather up the nerve to go up to Jerry, introduce myself, shake his hand and mumble some random words of thanks for all the good times.

A couple of years later, I was given the chance to conduct a one-on-one interview with him one morning at Dead headquarters in San Rafael. The band's publicist told me that when Jer got there he might want to have some breakfast, then maybe pick his teeth for a minute or two before we got started.

A few minutes later he pulled up in his black BMW. We were introduced, and then he ordered food from a nearby eatery. Talk about your surreal experience--I was sitting in the small front room of the Dead's home offices, watching my idol eat steak and eggs five feet away from me. (And he did in fact pick his teeth afterwards.) The publicist had asked that I focus most of my questions on the then-new LP "Built To Last," but I couldn't help working in a few personal queries.

"Do you think you'll ever play 'Help On The Way,' "Slipknot,' or 'St. Stephen' again, or are they gone for good?" I asked.

He shook his head. "We'll play 'em again someday."

Less than a week later, the band dusted off "Help/Slip/Frank" for the first time in years. Never did get that "Stephen," tho'.

The last time I spoke to Jerry was in Eugene, Oregon, where the band was set to play two shows with Little Feat. I had just spent almost 13 hours straight barrelling up the coast with a friend, armed only with the hope of a security guy who was working the show and had promised to get us in. When we arrived at 9 a.m. that Saturday morning, another security guy decided that rather than help me find my friend it would be easier to just let me loose backstage to look for him myself. As I started walking, I looked up and saw that Jerry was 50 yards away and walking straight towards me. I reintroduced myself and he actually remembered me.

"I just wanted to say 'hi,'" I said. "Have a great show."

"I'd be happy with a good one," he replied with a grin.

"Well," I said without thinking, "I just drove 13 hours straight from Los Angeles to get here, so..."

"So you want a great one?"

I nodded silently, feeling stupid and hoping I didn't sound demanding. The band ended up cranking out two of the most incredible shows I've ever seen.

It's always been difficult if not impossible to explain the Dead's mystique to "outsiders." As cliche as it might sound, you had to be there, and those of us who were are sure to have a tough time in the months and years ahead realizing that as many times as we play the old tapes and reminisce about past shows, nothing will ever bring back the gestalt of the moment. The tapes are material; the moment was much more.

Mythologist Joseph Campbell, whose work primarily documented the tales, archetypes and primal themes of ancient civilizations, saw the band live just before his death in 1987 and recognized in the Deadhead microcosm that timeless element of ritual that he had spent most of his professional life identifying in other cultures. It was fitting that the initial AP wire obituary on Wednesday included the following single quote from Jerry:

"You need music," he said. "I don't know why; it's probably one of those Joe Campbell questions, why we need ritual. We need magic, and bliss, and power, myth, and celebration and religion in our lives, and music is a good way to encapsulate a lot of it."

So here's to the magic, the bliss, and the power of the myth. Here's to the celebration, and indeed to religion. What the Grateful Dead had was always much more than the sum of its parts. Though perennial rumors of their plans to call it quits persisted, especially in recent years, an obligation to a greater source seemed to help ensure that they'd be together until death forced them apart. Death, as they often reminded us, don't have no mercy, nor reprieve, nor compassion. The Dead were the mythmakers of our age, and it is now up to us to deliver their message to the next generation of storytellers. Jerome John Garcia sparked a fire within the hearts of so many. We are left to carry his torch into the future, using the brilliance of its inspiring light to lead the way.

Let it shine.

Fare you well.