Jerome John Garcia (Aug 1, 1942-Aug 9, 1995)

da boyz

Reluctant Guru and voice of the psychedelic generation, Jerry was complicated and human despite the seemingly superpower ability of moving so many of us to amazing heights during his incredible career. With his guitar he transformed an entire arena of fans from the mundane and often tedious world into a world filled with constant joy and pleasure in an indescribable Jerry zone. So indescribable that back in the day most of us fans would simply proclaim our mantra, “There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert” And that’s truly the only way to explain it, you needed to experience the transformation yourself to fully comprehend how insanely phenomenal it was. His voice and guitar wrapped us up in a protective cocoon and in mid show taught us to spread our wings. A concert hall full of beautiful butterflies mesmerized by one common theme, peace and love. I miss the privilege of watching them perform and most specifically being fortunate enough to allow Jerry to take me away with him on his improvisational jams. One day a jazzy set, one day Latin influence, tribal beats or maybe a deep Elem blues set you never knew what to expect from the genius guitar player from California. We miss you Jerry, thank you for the years of intense pleasure. Following is a tribute to what you’ve meant to many of us in general, and me in particular. It’s composed of many references to songs we loved and memories implanted or just improvisational word association in the sprit of the king of musical improv.

GOD DAMN UNCLE JOHNS MAD

When the song is done
The strings are unstrung
Songs go unsung
An empty feeling in the air
Ticketron memories remain
Waiting in vain
Our mission in the rain
Outside the concert halls
Kids climbing the walls
For a chance to get inside
All fried and wide eyed
To see a band beyond description
Jehovah’s favorite choir
But no matter how they prayed
The encores have all been played
No more road trips
Or fools ships
Searching for tix
Off we bounded
At risk of being grounded
Getting home late
Scamming to get through the gate
A simple twist of fate

No more mountains on the moon
No soothing tune
Toking one last bowl
To rock my soul
Where the river sings sweet songs
Flow big river flow
Cuz his words still glow
Like gold
Like a Ripple through still water
No pebble tossed
Ten million eyes glossed
And the Hunter is lost
Partner and friend
To the end
Who now has the time
To call his soul a critic
As we wait outside the lazy gate
Of winters summer home
Alone

Peeking through a lace banana
With a silver kimono chalice
This broke down Palace
Free of all malice
Unbroken chain
Mission in the rain
We hold you in the attics of lives
So
Fare ye well and so long
The river sings your sweet song
And fills the air
With that Jerry flair
To rock my soul
By the riverside
Fare the well
Saint Angel
Who can the weather command
Our favorite band

Take up your china doll
Its only fractured
In rapture
Magic wand in hand
Strumming his lightning bolts
My heart full of electric volts
Fragile peals of thunder
Took me under
He Shreds and rips
That Captain Trips
Took us away
For the day
Filled our hearts with emotion
With one searing motion
Strangers stopping strangers
Just to shake their hand
A giant of a man

But all that’s left is a trace
Of his inspiration
Yet still it flows
Suggesting rhythms
That shall not forsake you
But the song is sung and done
Thought We’d only just begun
I’ll meet you on the run
At the jubilee
Seldom turns out the way it does in the song
On a trip strange and long
But not long enough

William Tell has stretched his bow
Till it will stretch no furthermore
What for written on the morning sky
I shrug and say good bye
Lady fingers dipped in moonlight
Counting stars by candlelight
Only one is bright
Light a candle curse the glare
The choice of The Bear
And his magic elixir
In the dark
Light the songs with sense and color
Hold away despair
Talent so rare

Must be getting early
Clocks are running late
Gone to where the wind don’t blow so strange
Like a steam locomotive
Rollin down the track
He’s gone
He’s gone
Nothings gonna bring him back
He’s gone
And these spaces fill with sadness
The obvious hidden
In the shadow of the moon
And We’ll all be there real soon
To where the compass always points
Heavens mutation
Terrapin Station

If you could
I know you would
Dust of those rusty strings just one more time
And let it shine
Let the broken angel sing
From your guitar
One last Dark Star
But it all rolls into one
And one man gathers what another man spills
Thrills
The pills
The smoke
Laughing when their ain’t no joke
Was all part of the show
The magic show
The grateful scene
Best I’ve ever seen
Or ever will
The last rose has pricked our fingers
Its time for us to sing our own songs
But your music never stopped
For me it never will
I carry it with me always

Rock In Peace Jerry Garcia

Underneath the warmth and openness we all felt from Jerry lay a deep well of an understaning, that we all have a dark side. Jerry used that dark understanding like many atrists to create, and what jerry created was some of the most haunting, real, and downright ornery riffs and vocalizations in all of rock. There was a near eerie connection between Jerry and the collective consciousness of his fans which flowed through his fingers, dancing along his guitar strings and into our souls which lifted us up taking us away with him to wherever his trip was headed that particular evening. If only for a few hours we all existed in a utopian world led by the pied piper who tapped in to our every emotion, from the highest elations to the darkest corridors of our minds, pain and grief, fear and despair, or just plain euphoria and by the end of the evening returned us safely to our memories. It was an unexplainable esoteric bond that can only be wrapped up by saying because of Jerry‘s unique ability to convey through his essence how great life can be, there was nothing like a Grateful Dead concert, and sadly there will never be again. Rock In Peace Jerry, we miss you!

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