• August 3, 2011
    http://www.dead.net/features/blairs-golden-road-blog/blair%E2%80%99s-golden-road-blog-%E2%80%94-iwaaj-or-was-it
    Blair’s Golden Road Blog — IWAAJ, Or Was It?

    “It Was All About Jerry.” If you’ve prowled Deadnet Central or other Grateful Dead message boards/sites through the years, chances are you’ve encountered “IWAAJ.” During what has become known in Dead Head circles as “The Days Between” (Garcia’s August 1st birthday through the day of his death, August 9th), I seem to see that abbreviation pop up in discussions even more, as folks weigh in and ponder Jerry’s passing and his impact, etc. But year-round, fans drop “IWAAJ” into online conversations in a variety of situations, perhaps most often as final punctuation in discussions about the relative merits of post-Garcia bands—as if that abbreviation, in and of itself, explains why RatDog or Furthur or any other group doesn’t possess that fully magical Grateful Dead X-factor; i.e. because Jerry is not part of it.

    Well, duh! There’s no question that Garcia was the dominant creative force in the Grateful Dead. As an improvising guitarist without peer, passionate singer, chief songwriter, de facto spokesman for the group and possessor of an incredible mind and wit, Jerry left shoes impossible to fill. He is the major reason I spent 25 years and untold treasure going to see him at every opportunity, and why I have scribbled more than a million words (literally) about his exploits. I echo the sentiment of the bumper sticker I see occasionally: “I MISS JERRY EVERY DAY.”

    But I don’t believe IWAAJ. One song into my first Grateful Dead show back in 1970, it was abundantly clear that there was a very special chemistry going on within the band and that each player was an integral and original part of the group’s overall sound. I had never heard another bass player like Phil Lesh, nor a so-called “rhythm guitarist” like Bob Weir. What the drummers were doing behind them was unlike the standard rock rhythms most bands trotted out. It was deeper and more complex. As I saw the band more often (13 times in those first two years), my appreciation of the uniqueness of each of the players and his contributions to the overall gestalt grew exponentially. And while that was happening, I was also learning that the Grateful Dead’s following was an audience unlike any other in music and that the atmosphere the band and crowd created together was its own wonderful thing. As the years went by, the specialness of the Dead audience (compared with other bands’ fans) and its bond with the band became even more apparent.

    One reason Dead Heads are so obsessed about sound is because it was not AAJ. I clearly recall griping after some shows (especially at Winterland) that the band played great but I couldn’t really hear Phil as well as I’d like, or noting that Healy had Weir turned down way too low at many shows in the early ’80s. (Alas, the tapes confirm that assessment.) Sit on the extreme right or left of a hall during the later Healy era and you risked either being deafened by Brent or losing him for the most part. I always wanted to hear every instrument clearly and balanced, not just Jerry, and I certainly wasn’t alone in that sentiment.

    When other players in the band had “off” nights, a spectacular night by Jerry helped but usually could not completely elevate a show to true greatness — all parts had to be in sync and moving smoothly for that to happen. Conversely, having everyone in the band playing really well except Jerry — as happened so often during the more disturbing portions of 1994 and 1995 — didn’t really do it, either. But I give the guys major points for heroically trying not to let his diminished capacity drag the music completely down. At a lot of those shows, it was AAEE — “All About Everyone Else.”

    So, now we’re 16 years into the post-Garcia era, and there are still many folks who have no interest in hearing the ex-Dead members playing together, or they’ve checked it out and been disappointed (by its lack of Jerry-ness!). My feeling, though, is that so much of the Grateful Dead’s essence and Garcia’s spirit is ingrained in each of the surviving players, and within the songs themselves, that it isn’t at all hard for me to accept those players in new combinations reinterpreting this music I love, sometimes in radical ways. In the early days after Jerry died, it was the original Missing Man Formation lineup of Vince Welnick, Steve Kimock, Bobby Vega and Prairie Prince that first showed me I could feel that Grateful Dead spark again—that it didn’t take Jerry being there to get me off. So I’ve always tried to be open to whatever new lineups of players have come down the pike investigating and exploring the Dead’s musically egalitarian methodology (everyone is important!) and seemingly boundless repertoire. (It’s too bad it took Jerry’s death for us to hear everything from “The Eleven” to “Viola Lee Blues” to “The Golden Road” to “Mountains of the Moon” splendidly reinvented for modern times.)

    All of the guys in the band are still playing fantastically well and seem to be dedicated to constantly reinvigorating the Dead canon. I’ve left shows by The Other Ones, The Dead, the Mickey Hart Band, Phil Lesh & Friends, RatDog, Furthur and other Dead-connected groups positively glowing, and that’s all the proof I need to believe that great as he was, and as much as I loved him, it was not AAJ — for me. And the crowds by and large remain a source of joy and inspiration, as well.

    God, I miss Garcia! But I’m so happy that those he left behind didn’t just fold up the tent, close shop—whatever the appropriate metaphor is—and leave their shared history behind. The evolution continues, without Jerry, and it’s still putting smiles on faces and offering, to quote a recent Phil-Hunter tune, an invitation to the dance.

    “Uncle John’s Band” asked, “Will you come with me? Won’t you come with me?” Yup, I will! Wherever it goes.

    How ’bout you?

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“It Was All About Jerry.” If you’ve prowled Deadnet Central or other Grateful Dead message boards/sites through the years, chances are you’ve encountered “IWAAJ.” During what has become known in Dead Head circles as “The Days Between” (Garcia’s August 1st birthday through the day of his death, August 9th), I seem to see that abbreviation pop up in discussions even more, as folks weigh in and ponder Jerry’s passing and his impact, etc. But year-round, fans drop “IWAAJ” into online conversations in a variety of situations, perhaps most often as final punctuation in discussions about the relative merits of post-Garcia bands—as if that abbreviation, in and of itself, explains why RatDog or Furthur or any other group doesn’t possess that fully magical Grateful Dead X-factor; i.e. because Jerry is not part of it.

Well, duh! There’s no question that Garcia was the dominant creative force in the Grateful Dead. As an improvising guitarist without peer, passionate singer, chief songwriter, de facto spokesman for the group and possessor of an incredible mind and wit, Jerry left shoes impossible to fill. He is the major reason I spent 25 years and untold treasure going to see him at every opportunity, and why I have scribbled more than a million words (literally) about his exploits. I echo the sentiment of the bumper sticker I see occasionally: “I MISS JERRY EVERY DAY.”

But I don’t believe IWAAJ. One song into my first Grateful Dead show back in 1970, it was abundantly clear that there was a very special chemistry going on within the band and that each player was an integral and original part of the group’s overall sound. I had never heard another bass player like Phil Lesh, nor a so-called “rhythm guitarist” like Bob Weir. What the drummers were doing behind them was unlike the standard rock rhythms most bands trotted out. It was deeper and more complex. As I saw the band more often (13 times in those first two years), my appreciation of the uniqueness of each of the players and his contributions to the overall gestalt grew exponentially. And while that was happening, I was also learning that the Grateful Dead’s following was an audience unlike any other in music and that the atmosphere the band and crowd created together was its own wonderful thing. As the years went by, the specialness of the Dead audience (compared with other bands’ fans) and its bond with the band became even more apparent.

One reason Dead Heads are so obsessed about sound is because it was not AAJ. I clearly recall griping after some shows (especially at Winterland) that the band played great but I couldn’t really hear Phil as well as I’d like, or noting that Healy had Weir turned down way too low at many shows in the early ’80s. (Alas, the tapes confirm that assessment.) Sit on the extreme right or left of a hall during the later Healy era and you risked either being deafened by Brent or losing him for the most part. I always wanted to hear every instrument clearly and balanced, not just Jerry, and I certainly wasn’t alone in that sentiment.

When other players in the band had “off” nights, a spectacular night by Jerry helped but usually could not completely elevate a show to true greatness — all parts had to be in sync and moving smoothly for that to happen. Conversely, having everyone in the band playing really well except Jerry — as happened so often during the more disturbing portions of 1994 and 1995 — didn’t really do it, either. But I give the guys major points for heroically trying not to let his diminished capacity drag the music completely down. At a lot of those shows, it was AAEE — “All About Everyone Else.”

So, now we’re 16 years into the post-Garcia era, and there are still many folks who have no interest in hearing the ex-Dead members playing together, or they’ve checked it out and been disappointed (by its lack of Jerry-ness!). My feeling, though, is that so much of the Grateful Dead’s essence and Garcia’s spirit is ingrained in each of the surviving players, and within the songs themselves, that it isn’t at all hard for me to accept those players in new combinations reinterpreting this music I love, sometimes in radical ways. In the early days after Jerry died, it was the original Missing Man Formation lineup of Vince Welnick, Steve Kimock, Bobby Vega and Prairie Prince that first showed me I could feel that Grateful Dead spark again—that it didn’t take Jerry being there to get me off. So I’ve always tried to be open to whatever new lineups of players have come down the pike investigating and exploring the Dead’s musically egalitarian methodology (everyone is important!) and seemingly boundless repertoire. (It’s too bad it took Jerry’s death for us to hear everything from “The Eleven” to “Viola Lee Blues” to “The Golden Road” to “Mountains of the Moon” splendidly reinvented for modern times.)

All of the guys in the band are still playing fantastically well and seem to be dedicated to constantly reinvigorating the Dead canon. I’ve left shows by The Other Ones, The Dead, the Mickey Hart Band, Phil Lesh & Friends, RatDog, Furthur and other Dead-connected groups positively glowing, and that’s all the proof I need to believe that great as he was, and as much as I loved him, it was not AAJ — for me. And the crowds by and large remain a source of joy and inspiration, as well.

God, I miss Garcia! But I’m so happy that those he left behind didn’t just fold up the tent, close shop—whatever the appropriate metaphor is—and leave their shared history behind. The evolution continues, without Jerry, and it’s still putting smiles on faces and offering, to quote a recent Phil-Hunter tune, an invitation to the dance.

“Uncle John’s Band” asked, “Will you come with me? Won’t you come with me?” Yup, I will! Wherever it goes.

How ’bout you?

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“It Was All About Jerry.” If you’ve prowled Deadnet Central or other Grateful Dead message boards/sites through the years, chances are you’ve encountered “IWAAJ.” During what has become known in Dead Head circles as “The Days Between” (Garcia’s August 1st birthday through the day of his death, August 9th), I seem to see that abbreviation pop up in discussions even more, as folks weigh in and ponder Jerry’s passing and his impact, etc. But year-round, fans drop “IWAAJ” into online conversations in a variety of situations, perhaps most often as final punctuation in discussions about the relative merits of post-Garcia bands—as if that abbreviation, in and of itself, explains why RatDog or Furthur or any other group doesn’t possess that fully magical Grateful Dead X-factor; i.e. because Jerry is not part of it.

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I'd like to further spark the discussion with this very thoughtful rumination on "IWAAJ" that popped up in the Garcia conference on Deadnet Central a day or two after I'd turned in my post. The author is Rango Keshavan, whom some of you may know from his years as a pillar of the Dead community. Take it away, rk! Of course, it's all opinions. For me, the reason IWAAJ isn't, as some people are trying to box me into the corner of, that other members of the band didn't bring a LOT of vitality to the table, of course they did. It's all obvious and of course doesn't really need to be mentioned. But, without Jerry there, I submit it would NEVER have gotten to where it got to. The guy was the heart and soul of the band. Phil was the intellect, in fact, it's very obvious that he approaches the music in a very structured manner, when you go see P&F, that's what you get, a really psychedelic structure, highly complex, but intellectual, without a lot of heart and soul in the mix. He brought that to the GD, but with the GD, it was tempered by Jerry's bending of those structures. The band played this thing, we're all trying to "define" what it is, but many of us experienced, and continue to experience in our individual listenings, what "IT" is, and the entire band definitely played it. But, from what I hear, they played it because of Jerry Garcia's intent. Jerry knew what he was doing, musically, spiritually, whatever you want to call it, he knew he was bending minds, and he took on that responsibility in the strongest of ways, and was getting people HIGH, by playing the music right, by making sure the music was being played right. Not by whipping the boys into shape by forcing them to play in a particular way, but by giving them the latitude to play in a certain way, and the PLAYING his music in that structure, which lent the tremendous heart and soul that could be felt in the air, that would leave a ringing resonance that could be cut with a knife as the set ended, and leave one like they just had a mystical experience that rivals any mystical experience to be found in the world. But, this was found inside a steel and cement structure, which, for that evening, was transformed into a space ship that would rocket you into a whole new reality. IMO, that was Jerry doing that. That was Jerry opening the doors in the minds of people, including the members of the band, to be able to do that. And, when you get your mind into a certain state of consciousness, you can do that too. So, the entire band started doing that, and the crowd themselves totally grooved on it and started doing that themselves, not having the vehicle to do it with a musical instrument at the time, we would do it in our minds and our bodies and our interactions with each other in the concert hall. It was something to be experienced, and it's not something that seems to be happening at that level anymore. But, that can be experienced in the primal fury of the music of the late '60s. Take my favorite Dark Star. Entire band is there. But the highs that are taken, that's Jerry at the head of that space ship there, taking your mind into realms deep within and without. Yes, the entire fucking band is with him, but he's got the reigns, man. He's leading that charge. In the subsequent 11, his guitar is blasting, Phil is blasting with him, Weir is hanging on for dear life, the drummers are blasting away the structure. In 1972-1974, the band hit a very different and unique moment, they became a much quieter band, bringing in a lot of Jazz influences into the band even more than before (though it's quite obvious that shit was there in the primal era, that stuff is straight out of the school of Coltrane in many cases, amongst others). Watch the GD Movie outtakes, for example (hell, even the GD Movie). It's quite obvious that Jerry has the reigns. Okay, he's not telling people what to do, visually, and it's all about the group mind thing going on, but look at the depth of bliss he's exhibiting in as the UJB gets going. Or that great jam where Phil and Bob go hang with Billy and jam with him as Jerry leads it into to the weird. Yes, Jerry. And then, let's take the great, great renditions of Morning Dew, of Stella Blue, of Black Peter, etc… IWAAJ there. Plain as the sun shining over head on a hot cloudless summer day. Let's look at 12/31/78. Watch what's happening on stage there, say, in the Terrapin. Entire band together, Jerry in the center of it, it's revolving around him. The Scarlet Fire. The Ramble On Rose. Entire band is playing there, Jerry's in the center, swirling around the music. Even Bob songs, like Miracle. Like NFA. etc… Let's look at 1/15/79's second set, one of my favorites. The transition from Miracle to Shakedown. The entire Terrapin > PITB > Serringhetti > Space jam > PITB sequence which takes that show to another level. Jerry. Okay, the drums, he's not there, but he took them into that space and left him there. I've stood in the 2nd row and fixated on each and every member of the band and grokked what they were doing. Whole fucking band is playing lead at the same time, listening to each other and playing completely off each other. Including Jerry. But, he's driving that. He's got the keys and saying, dude, we're in this together, but I'm guiding the fucking ship. Your mind is safe with me, baby, but dude, your mind is going to get truly fucking HIGH. And it did. I remember in '93, maybe? Standing at the Boston Garden watching the space. Jerry's taking it out there. Most of the fucking audience is oblivious, there's a roar of conversation going. I'm standing there in the 2nd balcony transfixed as Jerry's guitar is taking my mind higher and higher and higher and higher. It's a matter of hanging on, but he's got that thread going with his guitar, and it's taking me higher and higher. Then this DB taps me on the shoulder and asks me to sit, and then continues to talk. Cripes! But, IWAAJ then.
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Two wordsGRATEFULFUCKIN' DEAD or If Jerry and Bob don't getcha, MICKEYPHILBILL (thanks to Tracy) Jerry Garcia Band wasn't even about JerBear. And to each his own, nobody likes everything, but for Deadbands the rule is the exception Many fine players dedicate themselves to bringing the music to life, everytime they play, Here in SoCal we have Cubensis, Up in Chico we had Dog Named Blue In Stanford they had Jerry's Kids and There's always DSO but Futhur is a different animal (check out the Shoreline sets from June) If the crowds are any indication this is some serious shit. So the naysayers can whine and moan and bitch all they want I'm dancin' my feet off every time I hear them play. Keep On TRUCKIN' The Sky Was Yellow And The Sun Was Blue People Stopping Strangers Just To Shake Their Hand.
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Very eloquent The Sky Was Yellow And The Sun Was Blue People Stopping Strangers Just To Shake Their Hand.
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Jerry wasn't the Grateful Dead, and the Grateful Dead was not a backup band for Jerry. The Grateful Dead was Jerry, Bob, Phil, Billy and Pigpen, and, of course, the subsequent lineup changes (especially Mickey). They soldiered on after Pigpen, hitting highs many times, especially during the first half of the band's existence. But, to me at least, to say "IWAAJ" is demeaning to the Grateful Dead and the group mind experience of their best work.
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The GD might not have been only "all about Jerry", but he surely made the GD what they were. Phil and Bobby completed the unique GD sound (Bill, too, but that combo of string players was the foundation.) The thing of it is, is, Jerry was the soul of the GD. the KEY. happy belated birthday, Jerry.
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It was All About All Of Them! When I first saw the GD, in 86, shortly before "the coma," Jerry was not i the best of shape. I Fremember wondering to myself "so this is the guy everyone is always raving about?" For my money, it was Bobby and Brent who shouldered the bulk of the front-line players, and it was the drummers -especially during Rhythm Devils- that convinced me it was worth spending money to see the band again. Of course, the following Spring, at Hampton, Jerry was back with a vengeance, and I finally "got it" in terms of what a fiery Jerry performance could mean. But as someone who was largely inspired to play the drums because of the GD, and who was fortunate enough to run with that influence and experience some small measure of musical success, I can still say that it was all about ALL of them. Of course, I'm still firmly in the "No Fake Jerry" camp, which leaves me out in the cold as far as Furthur goes. Jerry's playing MEANT something, because he cultivated his own style and approach, and his playing was a reflection of his life's experience; someone who simply stand's on the shoulders of a giant and imitates Jerry does not speak to my sould -or from his own sould- the way Jerry could and did. That's why I much prefer to hear players who have cultivated their own sound. Joe Russo, Furthur's drummer, is a really talented cat, and he's not trying to "be" Mickey or Billy; he simply plays like Joe Russo. I jst wish they had found a guitarist who had hos own thing....
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You speak for me, and I suspect many others, with what you write. I have always appreciated your honesty and integrity. Thanks for putting all of that into words.
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IT Was All About Jerry because he died first. There's no doubt he was a true visionary; those liquid lines guiding the spirit towards rippling epiphanies. Enlightenment at times. Probing the inner-mind, encompassing the revelatory, the scary, the playful and the heart-wrenching drag through our personal deep waters. However, he was also perfunctory, dull, uninspired, lazy, and casual. And that's why i loved him so much. We all know he'd be mighty embarrassed at this talk, dissection and dissemination; his throaty chuckle turns into deafening roar. The last thing he wanted. Unfortunately, the first thing he always got. This silly attitude and the accompanying pressures that plagued him contributed to his early death and indifference at times to the Dead and to the scene it created. It was NOT IWAAJ; (Jesus-fucking-Christ, these abbreviations are lame. Let's face it, if you use these in posts online it's YOU who are complicit). ALL players made the Dead special. mzkjr you are absolutely right; it is thoroughly demeaning to everyone. rkeshavan, obviously Jerry did it for you and he became central to your experience of the Dead. I can understand that. And you're right, it is all opinions at the end of the day. I think what this debate will highlight is how people actually respond to the Dead's music. Or to music in general for that matter. If you think it was all about Jerry you are an idiot. You are into the Dead because of the scene or the partying. The music obviously did not truly touch you. You are only lying to yourself. He was not a deity. I don't miss Jerry everyday. I can go for weeks and months without even thinking about him. Not once. I didn't know him personally and neither did the vast majority of you. I only "know" him through his music and those cherished, all too fleeting moments when that extraordinary music connected with a soul that was open and receptive and made you feel you were inhabiting his mind. I've had the same experiences with Bill, Mickey, Phil, Bob, Pigpen, Keith, Donna, Brent and Vince. I'm always incredibly suspicious when such complete devotion is given to any singular human being. An almost hysterical outpouring that only shows the sad state of affairs our heads are at. It is not healthy ladies and gentlemen. Look at the embarrassing displays of grief afforded Princess Diana by complete strangers who knew nothing about her. No one is that special. And neither is Jerry. All this is not to belittle his creativity of course. He was a visionary talent. All this is not to belittle some of you out there who were touched by his voice, his solos and his songs and the life-force it gave you in your darkest depths. He did that for me too. But no Bill, no Phil, no Mickey, no Bob, no Pigpen, no Brent, no Keith, no Donna, no Vince = no Grateful Dead transcendence.
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Love your comments, jonapi! And I always go back to the thought that without the two wonderful lyricists, the GD would have lost enough bite that we might not all be sitting here dissecting their every move all these years later. A large part of what makes these songs so terrific even after many, many listens is the lyrics. The stories, the characterization, the mysticism, and the eloquence of Hunter's and Barlow's lyrics adds worlds of depth to chord changes that in and of themselves are not always so captivating. Had Jerry and Bobby penned all their own lyrics, I'm afraid that much of the Dead's music would not have stood up to repeated listenings as well as it has. So to chime in on the side of it's NOT AAJ, I salute the wordsmith duo that gave us some rock-n-roll that did not utilize trite, sophomoric lyrics and overwraught sentimentality.
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That's a damn good, incredibly important point, Deadheadbrewer! Robert Hunter and John Perry Barlow are absolutely INTEGRAL to the Grateful Dead experience. You are so right. The words that guided our deepest trips. Bless them both.
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Regarding the post-Jerry projects, that there's some interesting points, blairj and lovecraft.As i've mentioned in the Going Furthur topic a while back, the Grateful Dead is no more. Respect paid to the soul of a dean man. The best way to keep it's influence alive, i believe, is through it's spirit not it's sound. Which in large part those other projects have done; the loping, laidback feel to Ratdog, the psychedelic swamp of 7 Walkers (easily the best Dead related group), the multi-limbed flow of Mickey's bands of percussive brothers. Phil & Friends a real delight with certain lineups. But, maybe for different reasons lovecraft, i'm with you concerning Furthur. I check in regularly through youtube, TRI and vimeo posts; keeping my hand in as it were. But alas, the spark has yet to catch. Of course, i'm only going from footage/recordings not the live experience as being based in London, soon to be Japan, barring some kinda miracle, until i can afford a trip the US it ain't never gonna happen! It's both drums and guitar for me. I've never forced the issue; i was incredibly excited when the news of Furthur broke but i'll be buggered if they just just don't leave me apathetic. Pretty much no feeling at all which is mighty odd as 7 Walkers, Ratdog, Rhythm Devils, Scaring The Children, Phil & Friends etc. i immediately warmed to. I don't lay the blame at John & Joe's door either, i assure you; maybe it's the general set up, the "modus operandi" you could say that ever so slightly damns it somehow. I don't know. I just think it's not different enough. With a seven piece out there touring and looking at transcendence it keeps it feet firmly rooted in the earth of the mundane. I personally, would've liked to see a real left turn; now THAT would be keeping with the Dead (not they are aiming for that of course). God knows i've thought about the guitar situation enough and am still at a loss; closest thing i could find would be the Jeff Tweedy (for those wonderful vocals and additional rhythm and guitar lines) and Nels Cline to add some stratospheric dimensional blasts into the unknown. I guess a good dance is enough in these difficult times. Just somehow left wanting a wee bit more, that's all.
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Tweedy and Cline, now that would be some shakin' up of the old tree. Certainly better than Ryan Adams hanging with Phil. So...I just wrote a long post here and had it disappear by some mysterious mis-keystroke that wiped it out while I was doing a little teeny edit. I hate that! I'll need to come back to it later...
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We have played an integral part as well as any. We molded and created a scene for which the band could grow, play and prosper. Think of all those great shows......and then think of the 30 years of studio releases. Why are the shows soooo good and the albums so lacking. The band members didn't change. It was the audience and the feedback, we provided each night.We didn't force them to play their hits every night. We had hits? In the latter years, we even excepted the blown lyrics,as the "norm". Sadly, It was also,Deadheads, who threated are very existence. Venues after years of enjoying our monies, simply said "no". It wasn't because they didn't like the music. Our masses forced stadium shows,a taping section, the wharf rats, the deaf zone, The dead head hour and the best sound systems ever. Grateful Dead has always been about: "The sum being greater than its parts". While Furthur may not be for everyone, cause Jerry is not there. However, The Grateful Dead "trip" is about the music. I leave you with the thought of a bumper sticker I saw on some Furthur equipement. It read: Jerry would love this band Jay Doublu
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....it was all about the music... The single thought shared by all the players finding their special spot in this thought and seeing where they could take it THIS time.... The living beast that became a 'tune' that all the players tapped into, from the musicians to the wordsmith to the audience.....the symbiotic relationship shared by NO other group I miss Jerry every day also but I do see Furthur, Ratdog & P&F (when they toured), The Dead... ...it was/IS always about the music........and always will be..... and finally...YES, there will NEVER be another Garcia and that makes me happy....he's the BEST! ..even a blind man knows when the sun is shinin'...you can feel it!..
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In the blog you talk about people not wanting to see the post Jerry bands. I've seen Rat Dog 3 times at the Landmark Theater in Syracuse NY and they were great. Their studio album Evening Moods is a diamond in the rough. I miss Jerry and being at the Rat Dog shows was a way of sort of being in his presence in a weird way. In a guitar magazine interview Bob stated that sometimes on stage with Rat Dog it felt like Jerry was there, suggesting certain directions in the music.(Paraphrasing.) Thank God for the Sirius/XM Grateful Dead Channel and my own music collection. Jerry's never really far away when you can hear the music. And for that matter Pigpen and Brent and Keith as well.
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A multiheaded being. Electric/electronic chamber ensemble. The whole greater than the parts. The chemistry of the combination. This was certainly a great part of it all. Was it all Jerry then? No of course not but it could not have been w/o Jerry nor could it have been w/o Phil or Bill and later somewhat perhaps w/o Bob and don't forget Mickey and Pigpen( in the beginning). The surviving members and bands all have something of greater or lesser value to me as a fan. None of them however truly have the gravatas of the Grateful Dead just like Jerry solo bands mainly (with some periods of exception) don't have the same gravitas. But do I enjoy JGB, Furthur, 7 Walkers, Mickey Hart, Phil & F, You Bet. Now lets go run and see!
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If IWAAJ, then why do I still listen to the GD daily, but the JGB much less frequently? Perhaps those who claim IWAAJ mean that It Was Largely About Garcia In The Context Of The GD (IWLAGITCOTGD) but for me, NYsteve gets it right: it was all about the music.
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I remember walking into some Grateful Dead shows and just about being knocked over by Jerry's vibe. It was Jerry, as you said, who made the Grateful Dead. I've been to all the different combinations after Jerry and there was still an x-factor but it was much more inconsistent than with the Grateful Dead. I like Furthur but it turns into a cacophony at times, not everybody is playing together with a shared memory. But I'm still very grateful that they are playing together. The crowd scene has degenerated a lot. Don't kid yourself, it's not about psychedelics anymore. It's very partly an opiate culture now. I think Jerry had something to do with that, also. Like people missing a precious relative, I understand those who will not attend any post-Jerry line-up. It's a very personal thing.
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I'm with rango ..only when Jerry is there do the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, does my soul get moved, do I get blown away into the strangest of places, do tears fill my eyes. Just one note can do it...one fucking note....turning somersaults at the edge of the universe, on the borders of dark and light. Long live Phil, Bob, Billy, Mickey and their bands but they can't do that.Thank goodness there is enough recorded Jerry to keep me going for a lifetime. I might feel different if the other guys came to Europe for some live shows, but for recorded music why settle for anything less than the best?
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jonapi writes: "If you think it was all about Jerry you are an idiot. You are into the Dead because of the scene or the partying. The music obviously did not truly touch you. You are only lying to yourself." Dude, you have no idea what you're talking about. We don't need other people (like you) telling us what we feel or don't feel. Many of your other points are good ones, but this one is NOT.
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that's how it is with jonapi Blair. Mixed in with the pearls of wisdom, pranksterisms and out and out hilarity( I am still laughing at his David Hasselhof gag) there is the occasional big smelly offensive stinkbomb. He's the Frankie Boyle of Deadnet.......entertaining us from the edge and crossing the line from time to time just to see what will happen. I say let him stay but give him one of those 'may cause offense' stickers! Greetings from (probably) the only deadhead in Turkmenistan currently raving to 10 June 73, where Jerry is simply everywhere!
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Nope, i believe this to be wholeheartedly true.You cannot possibly believe, hand on heart, that all that shining beauty; those moments of incredible revelation and elevation. Those soaring highs, those sweeping currents of transcendent bliss that penetrate and pierce our minds and keep us forever returning to the Grateful Dead; the songs, the lyrics, the solos, the swirling vortices of rhythm, the improvisatory explosions, the GROUP MIND that we consider so important can all be down to one man. It is the whole band. Now i made it quite clear that Jerry was and remains an integral part of the Dead's appeal. The Dead's music. The Dead's MAGIC. If it was Jerry that you mainly focused on and brought you to ecstatic highs; that got you through those dark nights of the soul when the world around you turned cold, mean and meaningless then that is beautiful. It would be impertinent and dare i say downright churlish to dismiss that, condemn it and disparage. But lets quit with the sycophancy. It cannot be down to one man alone. When the music is touching you deeply you are listening to the GRATEFUL DEAD. It is ALL of them. i LOVE Jerry's playing. I LOVE his voice. I LOVE his sense of humour. But deep down blairj, if you truly and honestly believe that it WAS all about Jerry only... then you too are showing an incredible amount of disrespect to the other members too. And in which case, what was the point of your blog? Dude, you have no idea what you're talking about. I don't need you (or people like you) telling me what i feel or don't feel. Many of the points in your blog are good ones, but this one is NOT. Don't tell me what what i'm talking about. Oh, hang on; now i'm telling you what you can and what you can't say..... get the picture?
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By the way, the next time you're transfixed by one of Jerry's beautiful, silvery, illuminatingly sublime guitar solos and you're tapping your feet?.... Yep, that would be the rhythm section accompanying him.
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I really love your post. Thanks.
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Jerry was kinda big in our lives...
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Since I'm one of the people over on DNC that uses this term a lot, and probably got Blair to write the blog, let me just clarify to all of you what I mean, perhaps you'll think just a little better of me (seeing some of the comments, I see some people think they're Deader than Thou and can define what others feel or not feel because of some internet statements they make). I was kind of hoping my original post on this subject would have explained it fairly well, which Blair kindly posted here, but anyway, let me try again. IWAAJ doesn't mean to me, never did, that the GD was ONLY about Jerry. IWAAJ doesn't mean to me that I, or others who feel the way I do, worship the guy. I would never want my life or my kids life to ever take many of the destructive and irresponsible avenues that Jerry's life took. I loved the guys music, and found great joy in it, and continue to. Doesn't mean I worship him, or Miles Davis, or Ravi Shankar, or Bob Dylan, or John Lennon, or etc... I love music, and Jerry played some damn good music that I consider myself blessed to have been able to experience. IWAAJ doesn't mean because, you have decided to take a definition about what I am saying and ignore a lot of the rest that I've written about, that you are "Deader than me" and I haven't experienced the magic. Without being able to subjectively prove to you that I have, just take my word for it, with the over 100 GD shows I've seen and the countless hours I've listened to the GD, I have. Thanks for being concerned about it though. IWAAJ doesn't mean I think that the GD would have been the GD without Phil or Bob or Bill. I don't, actually. But, who knows? It's a thought experiment. The only point on the side that they might have been is that they remained the GD when other members came and went, but the band obviously changed a ton. Each member, as they came, left, and sometimes came back in, changed the sound tremendously. The sound of the GD were always about who was in the group, when Pig was there, he was a huge influence, when TC was there, he added his wonderful little runs, when Keith was there and Mickey wasn't, the band went into a very different realm. When Mickey came back, it changed. When Brent came back, he totally changed the band, IMO. Bruce added a great flavor, and Vince changed the sound too. Obviously, it's about everyone in the band, moreso than most other bands, because it was a democracy. IWAAJ does not mean that IWATJGB. The GD was far better than the JGB, though I loved the JGB and do listen to them often enough. But, the GD were more of Jerry's peers, they weren't playing a background tapestry for Jerry to weave in, their tapestry was intervowen directly with JG's. A lot of that comes from having played together for so long, and under the conditions that they did (Acid Tests). However, FROM the evidence that is present, when Jerry was on, the band was incredible, and when Jerry was off, they were mostly not. I do think in the later years, the rest of the members tried to uphold the music to the best of their abilities, but even Phil has said that the X Factor wasn't happening after the early 90s. As Jerry was checking out, the X factor checked out for Phil. Bill said the reason he didn't want to continue was that the only reason he was doing it was to play with Jerry. Bob said in an interview when a particular GD release was coming out, that the current band (The Dead) were unable to reach the subtle moments that the GD were able to reach (this was with Phil, Bob, Mickey and Bill in the same band). No Jerry, no *Grateful* Dead. Even the band knows this. They agreed to not use the GD name ever again. Thus, the Other Ones, The Dead, and Furthur. Perhaps the same would have been made with Phil, Bob, and Bill. However, it wasn't made with the others, though they had a huge influence on the sound and direction of the band. I've seen all the incarnations of the post bands. I've enjoyed many at the shows. But when I go back to listen to them, I don't get compelled to ever hear it again. Perhaps a few shows I find intersting to hear again now and then. But not at the level I am compelled to listen to many of the GD shows I personally saw, or didn't see, for that matter. I can experience the "X factor" from those shows upon many listens. Some of my favorites are many shows from the 1967-1970 era, when I was just a young child, but yet, I get the X factor from them in spades. I'm currently drooling over the release of the E'72 box set because of the X factor that's ensconched in them. Then there's some of the shows I've been to, especially if I recorded them, because I'm right back where I stood there and it's totally transportive. So, that elusive X Factor is, I guess, what I'm talking about. I've loved many post GD shows I';ve seen. And some, well, not so much. There were GD shows, not so much. But, there's something not there. That, is the music and voice of my favorite musician I've ever seen (at least in the music of the western culture), and that is Jerry Garcia. Thanks for reading.
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It's always about the band. Or rather, the music that they make collectively. And for many/most folks, attraction to music is attraction to melody. In the case of a rock band, it has come to be that instrumentally, it's usually the lead guitarist carrying the bulk of the melody load. And if the lead guitarist also is a lead singer, and a primary songwriter to boot...well a pile of our listening attention gets focused there. So it was with Jerry and thus it was and is all about Jerry, whether he wanted it to be or not. Or at least mostly about him...hard to pretend otherwise, despite the the alchemy that can occur when you've got a group of amazing, like-minded musicians working their magic toward a common goal. The post-Jerry lineups fit two loose categories: the Ratdog/Phil & Friends/Rhythm Devils/7 Walkers bucket, wherein Dead members create their own bands with their unique focus on the music that they personally want to make; and the Other Ones/Dead/Furthur slot, which fall closer to making the statement that goes something like: "We are still the Grateful Dead, and as we've replaced other band members in the past, we're replacing the lead guitarist now." Thankfully, not under the Grateful Dead name -- imagine the fireworks around THAT one for a moment. The former category has tended to be less controversial than the latter: you either liked Ratdog, for instance, or you didn't, but there was less of a sense that you were dealing with a "fake Jerry" anywhere in the mix. These "self contained" bands were/are more like Jerry's various side projects as they related to the Grateful Dead -- in no way attempts to substitute for the Dead, just other bands with this or that member at the helm. At least for me. On the other hand, how much you did or didn't enjoy the bands in the second group often centered on how you felt about the replacement Jerry...and for many, there was and is no one worthy to replace him. For some, there was no reason to even try. Until the bands in the "Jerry replacement" category develop an identity of their own, as it appears Furthur is intent on doing (none of the others even took reasonable shot at it, IMO), it's always going to be all about Jerry. For myself, I've been fence-sitting regarding Furthur. I saw them last week and had something of a breakthrough...during one very fine "Morning Dew," I suddenly saw John K as the lead guitarist and singer for a band called Furthur, and not a replacement for Jerry Garcia in the Grateful Dead. Which I don't think is a bad thing, and I don't think that I've moved to the Dark Side as a result. I like the band, no more equivocation. We'll always have what Jerry has given us. As much as we'd love to have more, we still have a big whole pile of it. And in one form or another, his legacy lives on in the music being made today in his absence. So, damn, it IS still all about Jerry. I can live with that AND like Furthur. And, you know, all the music that I like that isn't about Jerry at all.
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I enjoy your thoughtful, considered observations on any topic. There's no doubt for me that it's all about the band. It's easy to focus on JG because he was such an exciting musician with amazing creativity and chops and fearlessness; plus with Hunter he was the biggest creative force behind their original compositions. Still, none of the projects Jerry did outside the Dead--and I love all of them--possess that same X factor that makes Grateful Dead music so unlike any other music out there in terms of group mind improvisation and spontaneity and weird chemistry. What Jerry said about Weir's playing--something like "his rhythm playing puts my playing in meaningful context"--could be said about any member of the band and the band as a a whole. For me, the context of the Grateful Dead makes Jerry's tremendous gifts that much more special, just as what he brings to the band is (obviously) so essential to the sound.
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but I generally found myself running out of brain cells and body parts to track what all the instruments were doing. The thing about this band, though, was that you couldn't not try. There was a lot of complexity to handle at all times.
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And sometimes it was all about the spaces in between the complexity!
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It's all about the songs (music and lyrics), because those will out-live every band member and fan. After that, there was and is a lot to go around for your particular taste. I must say, a few of Phil's shows were PRETTY satisfying... I'll take PL/Herring/Haynes' intensity over very late model GD, hands down. That was zesty, amazing live music. Blair (or whoever posted on this discussion regarding 1/15/79), I seem to remember all the band members playing steel drums at the Jan-79 shows, most vividly in Springfield where I had a great seat atop the hockey boards behind Brent. I think Jerry played too, but I can't be sure. Great show, I deemed it "best" until my next "best show" came along, on the next tour, 5/5/79. (And then there was Cape Cod in the Fall. Oh my God...)
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My keenest insight into the "magic" of the Dead's music came after a particularly mind-blowing show at the Kaiser Center in Oakland. I was departing the backstage area and surprisingly found myself next to Garcia while he was waiting for his limo. I took the opportunity to ask him, "What's it feel like when you guys are so 'on' like tonight?" He replied, simply, "It's like we're not even there." His reponse told me a few things: 1) He didn't think it was all about him; 2) The band did not ultimately control the vibe on any given night; 3) They were along for the ride just like the rest of us. It took the contributions from the band members, their families, the audience, the roadies, the venue employees - everyone present - to dictate whether or not a particular show was considered mediocre, good, great or transcendent. And when transcendent, there has not been anything else like it. Ever.
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Nice anecdote, bolo!
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nice, bolo...
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Another great topic and another cascade of thoughful comments here. Can I have it both ways? I always considered myself as strongly in the "not just about Jerry camp", but I can't disagree with a single word of Rango's eloquent posts. I bet we all agree Jerry's best work was with the Grateful Dead and vise versa. Surely, Jerry had a gift for inspiring the best from the rest of the band. In that sense, the title of "leader" might apply in a spiritual or inspirational way. Still, listening to the great era of 68-74, musically it seems more like a conversation among equals. I was trying to think of times outside the Grateful Dead where Jerry's playing was as sublime---the first that popped into my head was the NRPS sets in 1970. To my ears those sets are as magical as the Dead's acoustic sets at the time. Garcia playing just beautifully, but the whole band had the "X factor". Of course, they were recorded at Dead concerts , so maybe it was the audience factor, as jaydoublu mentioned. There were some equally great 1969 NRPS shows that weren't at Dead concerts, but then again, they had Phil and Mickey back then. The JGB? - never really came close to the Dead- maybe 3/18/78?- but then he had both Keith and Donna. Confusing- and yes, beside the point. Thanks Jerry!
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Phil is the chocolate sauce, Weir's the caramel, keyboards are the whipped cream and of course the drummers are nuts. Missing the cherry on top though.
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Probably the best one yet. Although I've never seen a post Jerry group ( I've been hurtin since 93) I have heard a few Furthur shows. Most recently the FurtherFest from last year. And I gotta say they get me there. They really sound fantastic. Who know's? One day when pigs fly maybe they'll do a few shows north of the border. I'm damn sure I wouldn't be disappointed. Keep up the good work Blair. I really enjoy your insights and everybody's opinions. (~}:)
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I just listened to Dick Picks 1 and 10 today and depending on the song and/or jam, I was enthralled with either Jerry and his indescribably tortured riffs (during 10's Estimated), or Bobby's deliciously weird chords and arpeggios (during 1's WRS) or Phil's Out of Left Field bass runs that pushed whatever jam they were in to a completely different space (especially during 10's Playing). To say that it was all about Jerry is fine- I have no problem with that- because on the surface, he is the attraction that allows the intimidated to slowly ease themselves into the deep deep Dead waters. Once in there, though, completely submerged and allowing oneself to relax, you realize just how much of a band- a true band- the Grateful Dead was. IWAATM- It Was All About The Music! J.T. Gossard Author of "The Hallucinogenic Bible" available on Amazon.com
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Gotta say, I'm sitting here listening to some '77 JGB and just lovin' it. I do listen to Garcia everyday of my life; be it in the good ole Grateful Dead, the JGB, Legion of Mary, Saunders/Garcia, Grateful Dawg. For me, I find enough variety in the man's music to satisfy my given tastes on any morning. I try to stay ahead of the curve of the music I've downloaded by listening to it before I forget its there. There's something in every show that gets me off (sometimes twice). I strongly agree that both Hunter and Barlow were influential contributors in this long strange trip. I'm enjoying my Nine Days of Jerry 2011 by celebrating the man's life and music.I've seen The Dead, the O1's, Furthur, PLF (the Q), Ratdog; and while I enjoy the live music it is not something I play in the privacy of my own home. I've tried repeat listenings but they lack the GARCIA factor. "I'll take a simple C to G and feel brand new about it!" "someday he'll be gone" So, if logic holds true...
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continuing the food analogies...... I take some fresh eggs, unpasteurised cream from the local farm, a dab of unsalted butter, some freshly ground Kampot black pepper, some fleurs du sel, freshly cut chives and parsley from the garden, add a pinch of pimenton, heat the pan and make a damn fine omelette. All those ingredients meld together perfectly. Deeelicious. Then I add some grated black truffle and transform a damn fine omelette to an omelette from heaven. So lovely that after each mouthful I have to stop and wonder at its delights. The truffle enhances each ingredient of the omelette and add its own unique, rich yet subtle flavours. Now for sure it would not be a heavenly truffle omelette without the chemistry of all those top quality eggs and herbs and stuff, but in the end it’s the truffle that makes the difference. Jerry is the truffle in my Grateful Dead omelette. You can work out for yourselves who the other ingredients are , but maybe Pigpen should be the black pepper. Feeling hungry?
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rkeshavan: That was an interesting second post; reading it i think i can safely say that we agree on most things. Rather more dubious was your remarks "seeing some of the comments, I see some people think they're Deader than Thou and can define what others feel or not feel because of some internet statements they make." and "IWAAJ doesn't mean because, you have decided to take a definition about what I am saying and ignore a lot of the rest that I've written about, that you are "Deader than me" and I haven't experienced the magic." You've obviously completely misunderstood what i wrote; at no point did i say or even imply a "Deader Than Thou" attitude. In fact, i think you just made that up in order prove some unrelated point of your own. What happened, my comments bring out the worst in ya did they? (Interesting that you felt you had to prove how equally Dead you were by letting us all know about the big 100). I could care less about how may shows you've seen; matters not one jot. But thanks for being concerned about it though. Many Deadheads never got a chance to see Jerry and i'm sure that some of them were touched on a much deeper level than a dude who traveled for 10 years, clocking 200 shows and getting wasted all the time. It is not patronising or displaying any snobby attitude to call the waves of people who descended in the '90's and maybe earlier, who only came to get trashed, showing complete disregard for the people around them. Witness Bobby in the Festival Express film getting agitated at the fools who gatecrashed and started attacking policemen. Fuck them. My idiot comment was aimed at the silly people who repeatedly bang on about Jerry as some kinda God figure; who get hysterical and break down in floods of tears at the mention of his name and take the "It Was All About Jerry" mantra seriously. As i wrote, i did not know Jerry personally but reading his views and from interviews from Bob, he was appalled at the idea. Now Jerry probably wouldn't have called someone these people idiots (even when at his most cantankerous and displaying his known lack of patience! Phil probably woulda though!) I think it's pretty safe to say that that eyebrow of his woulda raised up, and a cheeky wry grin would have appeared to force back the vomit. As i said, if someone's main focus was Jerry, if it was him that really gets you off when listening to the Dead, his playing and singing that gets you juiced, that's wonderful. Personally, being a drummer, i love Bill & Mickey; not all i concentrate on of course but my ears hover in their direction and their interplay with the other members a lot of the time. But if i said the Grateful Dead - "It's All About The Drummers" i would be an idiot. And the same with Jerry. Factually correct methinks. Many others here have said the same thing; bolo wrote a great piece that pretty much summed it up. Loving someone dearly and more prominently is not the same as having everything revolve around them. The comment that Phil made about the importance of Jerry could easily have been reciprocated. I doubt Jerry would have had the inclination to continue had Phil died earlier on. But anyway, the majority here thankfully are mentioning the music, the writers and fans as making it so special. I completely agree. I realise this is The Days Between and it hurts me too. They'll never be another like him but let's not be silly about it. We still have the music and the memories and no one can take that away from us. Right, i'm off to break out a Dead show; got me a taste for some 10/30/73 Kiel Auditorium action! I'll skip the Garcia tracks though.........................!
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Oh, and loved the posts from NYsteve, Underthevolcano, gratefaldean, nafoster1, puroshaggy, bolo24 and that spacey little badger!!! I enjoy reading evryone's but those stood out. Pigpen for me would be the grease! (or maybe that splash of wine when no one was looking).
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I think it is always going to be about Jerry - for everyone - and there is no getting around it. He was and still is an incredible conduit. That spark, that chemistry is a quest for the players, the audience, the songwriters, the crew.. I am always interested to see what is coming out of this incredible community of humans and definitely grateful "those left behind didn't just fold up the tent" including the audience and the families who allow for the weave to keep threading.
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I'll tell you one thing that this topic has prompted me to remember-a Providence concert in the late fall with the Jerry Garcia Band-my wife and I in the first few rows right in front of a very sweaty but smiling and happy Garcia. In the midst of a song Jerry looked over to the side of the stage and waved at his little daughter who was presumably going to be tucked in for the night. This was around 1990-1991 if memory serves. What a great scene and experience. Another great memory was Jerry literally bringing down the house at Boston Garden with an amazing version of "Standing on the Moon". Now lets go run and see!
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Searching for something, er, transformational to listen to last night, I came across Hundred Year Hall and that 36 minute "Cryptical Envelopment" (really Other One). Great Googly Moogly! There's five engines driving this beast--sometimes one kicks in and the whole thing thrusts recklessly and unflinchingly forward into chaos/cosmos, then just as suddenly another one pulls back and the whole organism pulls back and settles into stillness and quiet beauty. That's the Grateful Dead, not one musician or the other. If Garcia had jumped ship in '67 and gone and joined the Airplane, this music would not have happened, I feel confident saying. I can't imagine any other group of musicians who would have had the, hmm, fearlessness? trust? lack of good sense and caution? to take this music where it went. I agree that Garcia is providing the major spark through much of this composition, but I submit that the context of the Grateful Dead enabled Jerry to take his playing as "far out" as he did; also, that the musical personalities of the other musicians sent the music in directions that Garcia wouldn't have taken it on his own, and in the process pushed him creatively. Glad to have the honor of settling the debate. ;) (Not that I want the conversation to end!)
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I m more optimistic about 1994 and 1995 Obviously , there was a lack of ' something ' . Which is Jerry s health being in optimum conditions to play 100 % well recently i reflected upon the intriguing venture it d be to have a best of Cd of the February SLC and oakland shows ( 1995 } . Another compilation of the Spring tour from the Philly shows , up to the April memphis , Birmingham etc performances ... And nice it d be to have a well combined stab of the may NV , Seattle and portland shows . there was great inspitration in those shows , especially May 21 , and May 29 ( and May 26 perhaps with the HSF opener and Scarlet B - Fire on the mtn which people hailed as good } . Although Jerry was haggard , really haggard during many passages of this period , we need to see what GDP s artistic thoughts are in regards to that year , and also 1994 . Thanks * From 1994 i think in 17 years ive heard ALL shows on tape . Spring tour is OK . We all know whats good from there . Summer was Really happening . No need to indicate which shows . Fall and winter need really close examining . The Sept 29 show in Boston and other intriguing moments really stand out . Peace "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing". Socrates
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I can still hear Jerry singing "oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh" during fire. It is worth releasing, along with 5/29/95 (didn't attend...wanted to...long story). 8/21 & 22/93 would be great RT material. A splendid time was had by all. gimme gimme gimme...I need some more gimme gimme gimme...don't ask what for (Black Flag) STELLA BLUE
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  • Anna rRxia
    6 years 5 months ago
    i agree about slower tempos
    but phil & bob are getting on in years and this slowdown is not unexpected, don't blame jk or chimenti for this. look at the t-shirts closely. see those two names? it is what it is. i like it for the nostalgia of the entire experience. they aren't breaking any new ground here and, frankly, i would be amazed if they did. still, i have enjoyed myself quite a bit relaxing in a shady, uncrowded spot at a furthur show and letting the music softly play over me. i have also enjoyed the parking lot scene. even jawing with the chaperones closely hovering around their kids. the whole thing just makes me smile in a lazy way. i'm glad i caught the real thing back in the day. it makes reflecting on the current scene quite pleasant without the feeling that i've missed a single thing. enjoy it if you can. it won't be around much longer...
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    Hollowdweller
    6 years 5 months ago
    Never too late
    For me the surviving members have never come up to the level of mystery that they did with Jerry. Also after having seen them all numerous times post Jerry my opinion is only Kreutzmann seems to be able to play at the level they did when Jerry was alive. Further, don't get me started. For all the young guys in that band they play slower then the Dead ever did on a night Jerry was off. I really think the Americana music awards should give The Dead, esp Jerry an award because I think without them blazing the way the genre would not be what it is today.
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    Anonymous (not verified)
    7 years 3 months ago
    a short fuse held in check
    more patient than me, certainly, ha ha!! funny to see him get a little vexed at the start but he soon warmed to the subjects. gotta let it go i guess but man, what a drag is must be to reiterate the same ol' same ol'. part of the job i suppose but never should it be! nice to see him get excited about the Acid Test era and Cassady. don't forget to check ya private messages PalmerEldritch; i've sent you some links to free stuff that'll blow ya' Mind!!! have a good weekend, man!