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Jerry Garcia And The Grateful Dead

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Alex Walker

25 April, 2001

Period 1

Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead

Rock Legends of the 60s and 70s

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Jerry Garcia's life was filled with wonderful things, many of which he never expected in the first place. After an almost fatal heroin overdose in 1986, " Garcia philosophically stated, ' I'm 45 years old, I'm ready for anything, I didn't even plan on living this long so all this shit is just add-on stuff.' " ("Garcia") This attitude shows why Garcia did all of the things he did and even how some of them came about. Garcia, who "functioned as the preeminent pied piper of the rock era," led a life of great artistic ability which he used in many ways("Grateful Dead_ Rockhall").

Jerry Garcia was born as Jerome John Garcia on 1 August, 1942 in San Francisco, California ("Garcia"/'Grateful Dead"). Garcia learned to play folk and rock & roll when he was 15 even though the third finger on his left hand was missing because of an accident as a child. In 1959 he served in the U.S. Army for a very short period of time ("Garcia"/Erlewine_). J.J. Garcia, also known as Captain Trips, was a diabetic heroine addict and was arrested on charges of heroine possession in 1985(Erlewine_/"Grateful Dead_ Rockhall"/"Garcia"). While in a Forest Knolls, California drug treatment center, Garcia died on 9 August 1995("Grateful Dead"). Some of his ashes were scattered in the Ganges River not long after he died, and the rest were scattered into the San Francisco Bay in the second week of April 1996("This Is the Week That Was"E7). The effect of his death was equivalent to those of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Elvis Presley, and John Lennon. When Garcia died "The press was largely in agreement, concerning that a major talent in the world of music had passed on (either that or all the news editors on daily newspapers are all 40-something ex-hippies.)"("Grateful Dead") The "pied piper" was and is now no more than a legend in many people's eyes. The band name as well went down with Jerry as a unanimous agreement among the band members("Grateful Dead").

Captain Trips first played with Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions who became the Warlocks in 1965 and later became the "seminal '60s rock & roll band the Grateful Dead" for which Garcia is most known("Jerry Garcia_"). Grateful Dead is a name that was randomly chosen from an open copy of the Oxford English Dictionary. The juxtaposition seemed to appeal to the "chemically stimulated" band members("Grateful Dead"). The original members of the Grateful Dead were: Bob Weir on guitar, Ron

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"Pigpen" McKernan on organ, Phil Lesh on bass, Bill Kruetzmann on drums, and of course Jerry Garcia as leader and guitarist. The Dead's former and existing members are well know as "Deadheads." With the band "Led by Garcia's venturesome, modal guitar work, the Dead would delve into blues, folk, R&B, and spacey improvisations for hours on end," which would have some sets last as long as six hours("Grateful Dead_ Rockhall"). At the Dead's concerts "It was never ascertained who imbibed more psychedelic chemicals, the audience or the band," which made the concerts even more interesting("Grateful Dead"). The piper's other groups included Jerry Garcia & David Grisman, the Jerry Garcia Band, the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band, and Old & In the Way which included David Grisman, Vassar Clements, and John Kuhn. He also appeared with Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, David Crosby, Paul Kantner, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young("Garcia"/"Jerry Garcia_").

Within Garcia's Rock & Roll, Folk-Rock, and Country Rock history, his music could be described as reflective, gentle, trippy, organic, or intimate; the same was basically true for his artwork as well("Jerry Garcia_"). Through the Grateful Dead's sound the psychedelic revolution and the spirit of the Sixties have been kept for decades. "Deadheads and critics alike contended that the



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