When Jerry Garcia got out of the Army in 1961, he settled in Palo Alto, where the living was a little easier than in San Francisco, and he soon had a number of friends whose kindness and couches were reliable.
One of his best friends was a brilliant eccentric named Willy Legate, who lived at the Peace House, which had been established by Ira Sandperl, Palo Alto and especially Joan Baez’s mentor in pacifism. Willy’s space at the Peace House was something he shared gladly with ne’er-do-wells like Garcia and Robert Hunter. He also offered them an unconventional and very insightful point of view that they greatly appreciated.
Willy remained part of what would turn in to the Grateful Dead family, and might best be known for coining the phrase so popular on bumper stickers, “There is Nothing Like a Grateful Dead Concert.” During the G.D. Records era, he wrote some of the stranger bits for the newsletter.
Jerry didn’t forget, and some years later Willy was the custodian of the Dead’s rehearsal hall/studio, Front Street. Part of that job was to be the first curator of the Dead’s tape archives there, which he eventually handed over to Dick Latvala.
Post-Garcia and Grateful Dead, Willy moved to Sequim, Washington.
Willy Legate died November 9, 2014, of an apparent heart attack, in Sequim. He was special.
He is survived by his daughter, Margarite Moselle.
“May the four winds blow him safely home.”