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Stories about Jerry Garcia

Lucidology

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
26,923
Another Jerry story I have goes back to when I was a young teenager
and my older friends would take me to Dead shows where it didn't matter if you were under age ...

I really wanted to play lead guitar like Jerry and wanted to get up as close as possible
to be able to focus on his hands when he was soloing...

So I would sneak through the crowd to the front of stage and watch his hands..
I did this so many times that Jerry started to recognize me ...
And he would smile, stick his tongue out at me and hide his hands (turn the other way)
so I couldn't see him .. Then he'd look back at me and we both would laugh ...
It was so cool ...
 

Strat

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,862
Ditto,
I knew him quite well as a Dr. He always used a few of us lucky fanboy Docs on his east coast swings as his health was quite dodgy due to the diabetes by then and the rigors of a long tour whacked out his sugars. While I have enough stories to fill a couple of books I will testify that Jerry was ever the playful, intelligent, humble and gracious gentleman. The list of well wisher fans before and after a show would astound you. He was universally loved and admired by notables of every field. When I see some of the other Phila and NJ Drs. that worked with the Dead in those days we all miss him terribly.

no he didn't. he had a heart attack in a rehab clinic.
 

Fingers

Member
Messages
709
:agree
...with the image expressed by Strat, Lucid., & Zias. Even though we sometimes argued (why the hell did I ever used to argue with Jerry Garcia, who I totally looked up to? & why did he even put up with me?), he was always about as deeply kind, just plain deep, philosophical & articulate as anyone I (or you, most likely) could meet. And QUICK!

As to drugs, the times I got to speak with him (often about music, I'm happy to say), were all 1970-'72, so grass/acid days, way pre-junkie. Many people regarded him as a guru & a teacher; for myself, in 1970 he taught me the method for passing a roach without a hemostat or finger-burn, which I guess had eluded me till then.

Gee, I could probably sell my thumb on eBay for big bucks!

Rick
 
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speedtaco

Member
Messages
833
Another Jerry story I have goes back to when I was a young teenager
and my older friends would take me to Dead shows where it didn't matter if you were under age ...

I really wanted to play lead guitar like Jerry and wanted to get up as close as possible
to be able to focus on his hands when he was soloing...

So I would sneak through the crowd to the front of stage and watch his hands..
I did this so many times that Jerry started to recognize me ...
And he would smile, stick his tongue out at me and hide his hands (turn the other way)
so I couldn't see him .. Then he'd look back at me and we both would laugh ...
It was so cool ...
Great story, thank you for sharing it.
 

Dave Klausner

Member
Messages
1,190
Couple of quick stories...

A friend of mine had an in at the GD headquarters, and asked for some New Years tickets, and was told no problem. Once word got out that we could get tickets, other folks started asking, so she called again for more and was told sure. Obviously more people found out and pressured her, so she called again for more tickets. This time, the GD folks put Jerry on the line, who berated her for coming back a third time for freebies. She panicked and said "yeah, well you play Black Peter for money!" and hung up. Jerry sent the tickets.

Another friend ran into Jerry in an elevator at the hotel after the show. In full fan boy gush, he told Jerry that that show had been the absolute highlight of his life. Jerry didn't miss a beat and replied "I hope things pick up for you."

Similar to another story here, a friend was on a scuba diving trip in Hawaii, and Jerry was on the boat. On the way out, the divemasters always have folks introduce themselves, and say what they do for a living. Jerry told them his name and said he was a musician. An Australian woman, who obviously wasn't a DeadHead, asked what instrument he played. Jerry replied "the ukulele."

Speaking of Jerry's diving, I was in Kona recently, and we were in a dive shop picking up some gear. I noticed a big photo on the wall of a beaming Jerry giving the "hang loose" sign. The divemaster said she had gone out with him a ton of times, and that he told her diving was the only time he really felt like himself. Usually, by the time they got back to port, word would have gotten out, and there would be hundreds of DeadHeads waiting on the dock, yelling, cheering, and even crying. It's hard to imagine the pressure he must have felt to be "Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead", and not just Jerry. RIP man.
 

theHoss

Member
Messages
1,248
Couple of quick stories...


Speaking of Jerry's diving, I was in Kona recently, and we were in a dive shop picking up some gear. I noticed a big photo on the wall of a beaming Jerry giving the "hang loose" sign. The divemaster said she had gone out with him a ton of times, and that he told her diving was the only time he really felt like himself. Usually, by the time they got back to port, word would have gotten out, and there would be hundreds of DeadHeads waiting on the dock, yelling, cheering, and even crying. It's hard to imagine the pressure he must have felt to be "Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead", and not just Jerry. RIP man.
Dave, was that at Jack's? I got certified out there in the early 90s, I guess that was when Jerry started to get into diving. Those folks had nothing but nice things to say about him. Jerry diving seemed both complimentary and strange. I always dreamed of running into him on a dive trip. I think he would have made a heck of a dive buddy. He might have burned air though?
 

paulg

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,848
We went to see the Dead in 73. We were all pretty high on mescaline (real high!). My friend got back stage and asked Jerry and Bob to pose for a photo. They gladly did so, laughing mightily. When the pictures came back from developing (pre-digital!) we had a great picture of his eye.
Ah the good old days!
 

telelion

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,693
I'm really delighted to see Jerry get so much affection here, especially about him being a good soul. Because not only did it seem to get ugly from inside the GD afterwards, but he has so often gotten slagged as a guitar player. Everyone knows he played sloppy quite often and noodled but he hit it out of the park many times and wrote some tremendous material. He was an American icon. If he was healthy and I think he was trying, I think his best days were ahead of him.
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
41,056
Everyone knows he played sloppy quite often and noodled but he hit it out of the park many times.
I'd compare him to Babe Ruth. The Babe struck out 1,330 times but that's what it took for those 714 homers.
 

telelion

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,693
I'd compare him to Babe Ruth. The Babe struck out 1,330 times but that's what it took for those 714 homers.
That's the perfect analogy that I never would have thought of and I'm sure Jerry would agree and appreciate it as well.
 

kwaves99

Member
Messages
1,909
Couple of quick stories...

It's hard to imagine the pressure he must have felt to be "Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead", and not just Jerry. RIP man.


This is exactly the reason that he turned to junk and other opiates for so many years. He wanted to tune out the Jerry is God **** that he was anointed with.
 

Seegs

Member
Messages
10,172
my cousin...Howard Wales...did some organ work for the Dead and an album with Jerry called Hooteroll...had a vinyl copy of it in my teens and remember loving it...don't know what happened to Howard or the album...

Chow,
Seegs
 

rhp52

Member
Messages
1,885
This is exactly the reason that he turned to junk and other opiates for so many years. He wanted to tune out the Jerry is God **** that he was anointed with.
Not to be rude but how exactly did you come by this info?
 

Dave Klausner

Member
Messages
1,190
Dave, was that at Jack's? I got certified out there in the early 90s, I guess that was when Jerry started to get into diving. Those folks had nothing but nice things to say about him. Jerry diving seemed both complimentary and strange. I always dreamed of running into him on a dive trip. I think he would have made a heck of a dive buddy. He might have burned air though?
I don't remember the name of it, but it was up a flight of stairs, and they had a big tank/swimming pool off to the side they used for instruction/certification purposes.
 

tdarian

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,033
I don't remember the name of it, but it was up a flight of stairs, and they had a big tank/swimming pool off to the side they used for instruction/certification purposes.
I think it was indeed Jack's as I've heard these stories and seen the photos in the dive shop. Apparently Jerry was an amazing diver and was very good on air. I was told they would put him in the water well ahead of everyone else and he would surface last and with air to spare.

He was also said to be very helpful around the Dive Shop filling tanks and stuff after each days dive.

I could see how this would be very good "medicine" after the rigors of a long tour.
 

grateful.ed

Member
Messages
2,183
Saw the Dead in Utica NY March 81 while in college. General admission. Worked my way up to the front by Drums/Space and was leaning on the railing in front of Jerry during space, about 20 feet away.

It must have been obvious to him I was tripping because during space he looked at me a few times then pointed his guitar at me and "shot me" with about 5 quick notes.

It was like I was shot and I jumped back....he got a laugh and then went about his business.

My Bobby encounter is better....Saw Bobby and the Midnites at Toad's Place in New Haven CT around 85-86. Bob is drinking white wine from a big glass goblet during the show and they keep filling it after every song. By the end of the night he's plastered.

They let people into the dressing room for autographs after the show, so I'm in line behind two girls who didn't appear to be interested in the Bobby or the band, just in line because a bunch of people are in line.

We get into the dressing room and Bobby is sitting on the floor in the corner of the room with a chair between his legs and signing tickets and other stuff.

When we get to Bob these girls realize they have nothing to have signed. There's a table with a coldcut platter and some other food for the band and one of the girls grabs a slice of cheese and slaps it on the chair. Since Bobby is on a serious wine buzz he tries to sign the slice of cheese. When the end of his pen gets caked with cheese he pauses and stares at the slice of cheese on the chair for a minute and looks up at the girls with a puzzled look.......One of the girls grabs the cheese off the chair and MASHES IT INTO HIS FACE!...He's sitting there with a dumbfounded look and the girls laugh at him and walk out.

So I'm next in line with a matchbook from the Park Plaza Hotel. He looks at me very suspiciously like I'm gonna throw a pie in his face. I give him the matchbook and he put his hands on both sides of his head and says- "I think I'm staying at the Park Plaza..next time I play here...NO WINE."

FYI- He came back to Toad's with the Midnites a few months later. No autographs that night so I'm standing in front of Toad's on York Street after the show, a red Porsche convertible with two blondes pulls up to the curb and Bobby sprints out and hurdles into the car between the two women and sits on the folded roof with his legs between them and the car speeds off.
 

PaulinNC

Member
Messages
91
Phil is a piece of work alright.

He is also the driving force behind squeezing every dime of income out of the back catalog, to the point I would add, that he blocks releasing most soundboard tapes, even though lots of folks (me included) would happily pay something for raw soundboards, just not $20 per show as he would prefer.
I don't think that is accurate, from what I remember it was Bobby who was all about that. I recall Phil actually being kind of upset by the whole Archive.org thing and putting out soundboards on his site, for free.
 

theHoss

Member
Messages
1,248
Very cool. Thanks for the dive stories. As a diver and guitar enthusiast it is nice to know that someone you respected musically also shared similar passions.

Thanks!

I think it was indeed Jack's as I've heard these stories and seen the photos in the dive shop. Apparently Jerry was an amazing diver and was very good on air. I was told they would put him in the water well ahead of everyone else and he would surface last and with air to spare.

He was also said to be very helpful around the Dive Shop filling tanks and stuff after each days dive.

I could see how this would be very good "medicine" after the rigors of a long tour.
 




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