Sunday, August 9, 2009

Jerry Garcia

Another day of clouds. But warm. Sitting here trying to get over the hurdle that sometimes prevents me from writing a lengthy document. And the internet is a good distraction, but I need to start writing.

As I sit here listening to a 10/31/87 JGB LaFontaine show in NYC on Sirius, I realize that today was the day Jerry died fourteen years ago. This band has had quite a profound impact upon my lfe, as I began going to shows in the late eighties while in undergrad and follwed the band somewhat intensely for almost a decade. Although I only saw fifty shows, I was able see the diverse venues where they performed in almost twenty different US states, and Canada too.

The carefree lifestyle of making it to the next town with nothing more than the contents of your VW and a dwindling wallet realizing that if you didn't think of something to sell, you'd be stuck in some place in god's country with no money to get home. But whether you sold Grilled Cheese in Alpine Valley (WI), Veggie Tempeh Sloppy Joes in Kansas City or Busch Beer in in St. Petersburg, you always made it. I think the Grateful Dead parking lot scene was the last vestige of pure capitalism in the United States. Adam Smith would have been proud, had he participated in this market.

But I've stopped going to any concerts by the remaining members of the band. Instead, I keep the memories fresh in my mind, and listening to a show from the past evokes the same memories that a photo album that I frequently take down from the shelf might. So much has happened in my life since Jerry's passing. And predominantly things in my life for which I am quite grateful.

"Its a far gone lullaby, sung many years ago.
Mama, mama many worlds Ive come since I first left home."
- R Hunter


Anonymous said...

Jerry Garcia? Didn't he make soem type of ice cream for Ben and Gerry's????

Jeff Westcott said...

I think that was his brother.

Anonymous said...

No matter.... life is better for the sake of both of them...