Dylan & the Grateful Dead

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dylan Paying Homage to Jerry

Dylan's thoughts on Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead through the years

“There’s no way to measure his greatness or magnitude as a person or a player. I don’t think any eulogizing will do him justice. He was that great, much more than a superb musician, with an uncanny ear and dexterity. He’s the very spirit personified of whatever is Muddy River country at its core and screams up into the spheres. He really had no equal. To me, he wasn’t only a musician and friend, he was more like a big brother who taught and showed me more than he’ll ever know. There’s a lot of spaces and advances between The Carter Family, Buddy Holly and say Ornette Coleman, a lot of universes, but he filled them all without being a member of any school. His playing was moody, awesome, sophisticated, hypnotic and subtle. There’s no way to convey the loss. It just digs down really deep”
1995 Dylan press release on the passing of Jerry Garcia

“You’re either a player, or you’re not a player. It didn’t occur to me until we did those shows with the Grateful Dead. If you just go out every three years or so like I was doing for a while, that’s when you lose touch. If you’re going to be a performer, you, you’ve gotta give it your all.”
1991 Interview with Robert Hiburn

“To me, that’s a great song (Joey). Yeah. And it never loses its appeal……That’s a tremendous song. And you’d only know it singing it night after night. You know who got me singing that song? Garcia. Yeah. He got me singing that song again. He said that’s one of the best songs ever written. Coming from him, it was hard to know which way to take that. [Laughs] He got me singing that song with them again. It was amazing how it would, right from the get-go, it had a life of its own, it just ran out of the gate and it just kept getting better and better and better and better and keeps on getting better… But to me, Joey has a Homeric quality to it that you don’t hear every day. Especially in popular music.”
1991 Interview with Paul Zollo

"The Dead did a lot of my songs, and we'd just take the whole arrangement, because they did it better than me. Jerry Garcia could hear the song in all my bad recordings, the song that was buried there. So if I want to bring out something different, I just bring out one of them Dead records and see which one I wanna do. I never do that with my records."
2006 interview with Jonathan Lethem

“Thank you. Well, I don't know exactly what to say here. Different peoples been coming down to the theater every night so far. And this night is no exception I guess. Anyway this is, keep ..., here's a young man I know you know who he is. I've played with him a few times before. I'm a great admirer and fan of his and support his group all the way, Jerry Garcia. He's gonna play with us, key of C.” – before “To Ramona”
10-16-80 Fox Warfield, San Francisco

“Thank you Grateful Dead!” – before “The Times They Are A-Changin’” …These were the only words Dylan spoke in concert during his 36 performances of 1987!
7-12-87 Giants Stadium, East Rutherford…Dylan and Dead concert

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