Jerry Garcia was a kind, gentle soul who played an incredible part in musical history for many decades. His guitar style was totally unique. Lightning-fast riffs, grooving with the rest of the band, created an "electric Dixieland." But above all, it was the Dead's ability to frequently intuit each other's playing to create a harmonic convergence of sorts. That can happen when a band is together for thirty years, always focusing on the music, not the fame part--you know, the money machine, how-many-albums-we-can-sell thing. They enjoyed the gig; that's what it was all about. Thousands of heads getting together, groovin' on the same vibes. The Dead's a road band.
I'd like to believe Jerry's at peace now ('cause that's the kind of life he led). But we will miss your presence on the stage, Jerry. Please send us those higher vibes from the space you're in.
I'm with a catering company here in town, and I just wanted to say thank you for putting it the way it should be told when it comes to Jerry Garcia and the Dead. I really enjoyed the piece Michael Roberts wrote. It's all too true. They're just overblown. Thanks again.
As I read Chuck Green's caustic dismissal of Jerry Garcia in the Post, it dawned on me that I would be faced with a carbon copy courtesy of Michael Roberts in the next Westword. Chuck and Michael come from opposing ends of life--Chuck cannot escape his dried-up state of noxious maturity, while Michael is frozen by a terminal fear of growing up. Their opinions converge much in the way that extremists from opposite ends of the political spectrum wind up sharing the same narrow point of view under different labels.
Jerry Garcia's musical journey traveled many paths of which the Dead was but one, and some of these may be too sophisticated or innovative for Mr. Roberts's taste or comprehension. The Grateful Dead were perhaps the last large collaborative experiment left over from the days when more than a few people strove for peace, love and the celebration of life. While those of us lucky enough to share in it cannot explain it to the rest, I hope that we will carry on by continuing to share the love we got from Jerry and the gang.
We need to do what we can to shine a light in an era where enlightenment is dispensed as Prozac and artistic insight is provided by a scatological critic who confuses angst with music.
As a 25-year fan of Uncle Jerry and the Grateful Dead, I read with interest Michael Roberts's article and the responses to it. I agree that Roberts doesn't get it now and didn't several years ago, when I wrote regarding a show at McNichols Arena that Roberts went to.
Comparing the Dead to Nirvana or any of the other "X" bands out there: Jerry and the boys had staying power, thirty years' worth. Cobain didn't even live that long and left the music scene a better place for his passing. We still have to deal with his lovely widow, Courtney (the ugliest woman in show business), but perhaps not for long, with her lifestyle and habits.
Back to the Dead. They will not go on without Jerry. Weir and Wasserman will tour as before and the other guys will do their own thing. The Rhythm Devils (look it up, Roberts) will continue as the legends they are.
It is the end of an era. We mourn the loss of Jerry Garcia but say "thanks for the memories" and no regrets.
On an unrelated topic, regarding "Country Strife," in the August 23 issue, the teeming metropolis of Walden is in Jackson County, not Moffat. Perhaps Michael Roberts could be taken off the music beat and made your official map reader (if he can handle it).