Grateful Dead Hour no. 489
By David Gans
Week of February 2, 1998
San Francisco keyboardist Merl Saunders was a musical partner of Jerry Garcia's starting in 1970. As you'll hear in this interview, their work together was tremendously enriching to the guitarist. The recorded output of their collaboration is quite impressive, as the discography on deaddisc.com attests.
When Jerry was recovering from his diabetic coma in 1986, it was Merl who went to his bedside every day to help him recover his musical consciousness and retrain his nerve paths.
Merl suffered a stroke in 2002 that put an end to his performing career. Complications from an infection ended his life on October 24, 2008.
This week's archival GD Hour post features an interview with Merl Saunders on the occasion of the release of Keepers. The opening track on that CD is a studio recording of "Mystery Train" featuring Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, Vassar Clements and John Kahn of Old and in the Way.
Thank you for a lifetime of warm, inspiring music, Merl. It was a pleasure to know you.
Merl Saunders and Friends, Keepers
GEORGIA ON MY MIND
GEE, BABY, AIN'T I GOOD TO YOU?
Merl Saunders Live: Still Having Fun
Merl Saunders, Fiesta Amazonica AYAHUASCA ZONE
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Thanks for listening!
I love the live Sugaree. Completely different take on it. Thanks for this David. I'm going through these gradually. This is a great show. Merl comes across as a very pleasant and interesting man.
I only saw Merl once to my knowledge when he played keys on the other one at BCT '84-85 era. Always loved his work with Jerry, and now I know that Keepers is a MUST for my ears. Need to work out how to re-release Blues for the Rainforest. $50+ on Amazon? Too rich for this white punk off dope. Peace out, homies, and NICE JOB to you, David Gans, for this and all the choice tunes over the years. Everyone should buy your Weird Ones...CD - even as a pig in a poke, as it were. I know I will take a cha-cha-chance on it! DtM
Love this song done by Merl & Jerry.
This was recorded originally by Elvis . Elvis was later backed in studio vocals by a young lady named Donna Thatcher,
who later married Keith Godchaux and they both became members of the Grateful Dead.
Hurray--better late than not at all. Thank you David and Dead.net for these fine offerings.
love the version of GEORGIA ON MY MIND
Merl has some great stories, and that spooky thing at the end...