Sunday, August 12, 2007

Jerry Garcia Week: Part 2

I was going to write a piece about Jerry’s influence on Dylan on the anniversary of Jerry’s passing, but I got sidetracked. I think I’ll just let Dylan’s words do the talking.

“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

1 comment:

RRhodes4 said...

I am 60. Dylan for me goes back to "Blowin' in Wind", was with him from the beginning. In 1970, I am in college, had heard a few great pedal steel songs, which grabbed me, by then - Burrito Brothers, Someday Soon by Judy Collins. Anyway, I am walking down the hall and a guy we called "Dancing Bear", who later had a fairly long NFL career, has on a record. And I hear it and it blows me away. Of course, it's Workingman's Dead, and Dire Wolf. Went into his room, we burned one, and we listened to that album all night, doubt it was worth playing after that, we'd worn the grooves out. After that, went searching. Think in order it was the 2nd live album, always a huge Bertha fan, then American Beauty, then the first Live, Dark Star, St. Stephen. Was hooked at that point as he played the music I liked - country, R&R, bluegrass, some jazz scat. There never was, nor will there ever will be anything like the Grateful Dead, and most especially anyone ever again like Jerry. I saw them live maybe 20 times, first time in Cincy with the New Riders, next at Vanderbilt, my alma mater on a most magical, beautiful late October afternoon set up by a buddy, who I later learned had family deeply into the booking business, Norm Solomon. They had just returned from Europe, and when he fired up Brown-Eyed Women, then Tennessee Jed, which brought the house down, I knew then, the music was never going to stop. Thanks, man, you were the best! Sort of ironic that I lost my main two heroes within 4 days of each other - Mickey Mantle and Jerry Garcia. Still find something a little eerie about that. I think my adolescence ended on 8/13/95, started dying on 8/9. I and all my family were lucky enough to be staying in SF, by the Wharf, the 2nd week of August, 1996. Took me a moment to realize what was happening, but I never saw so many peaceful mournful people of all ages laying flowers, lighting candles to honor the 1st anniversary of his passing. Was as good a time as any to be on his turf except for '65-'67. While that remained remained pure, that would have been the ultimate. Thanks for all the super music, thanks for all your heart and soul in about every piece you ever did. The really is nothing quite like.... Jerry Garcia.

7-18-72 Roosevelt Stadium 50th Anniversary

  Excerpt from Deadology: the 33 Essential Dates of Grateful Dead History Accompanied by David Bromberg, Bob Dylan was in attendance for t...