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A Tribute to Jerry Garcia




"An Elegy for Jerry" by Robert Hunter

Jerry my friend,
you've done it again,
even in your silence
the familiar pressure
comes to bear, demanding
I pull words from the air
with only this morning
and part of the afternoon
to compose an ode worthy
of one so particular
about every turn of phrase,
demanding it hit home
in a thousand ways
before making it his own,
and this I can't do alone
Now that the singer is gone,
where shall I go for the song?

Without your melody of taste
to lend an attitude of grace
a lyric is an orphan thing,
a hive with neither honey's taste
nor the power to truly sting.

What choice have I but to dare and
call your music who thought to rest
out of the thin blue air,
that out of the field of shared time,
a line or two might chance to shine.

As ever when we called,
in hope if not in words,
the muse descends.

How should she desert us now?
Scars of battle on her brow,
bedraggled feathers on her wings,
yet she sings, she sings!

May she bear thee to thy rest,
the ancient bower of flowers
beyond the solitude of days,
the tyranny of hours-
the wreath of shining laurel lie
upon your shaggy head,
bestowing power to play the lyre
to legends of the dead.

If some part of that music
is heard in deepest dream,
or on some breeze of Summer
a snatch of golden theme,
we'll know you live inside us
with love that never parts
our good old Jack O'Diamonds
become the King of Hearts.

I feel your silent laughter
at sentiments so bold
that dare to step across the line
to tell what must be told,
so I'll just say I love you
which I've never said before
and let it go at that old friend,
the rest you may ignore.




A Lovely View of Heaven by Stanley Mouse












Excerpt from "My Friend Jerry" by David Grisman

...Fun was always at the heart of the matter with Jerry, and now, three weeks and a thousand universes later, the notion that my world, and the world of countless others, will be decidedly less fun is painfully setting in. Of course, Jerry desperately wouldn't want me or us to feel this way. I'm certain of that. Every fiber of his being was dedicated to the awesome task of making us all feel better, and he always did. He had those special unique qualities that fused his great creativity with his even greater humanity, tempered always with that sense of humor...fun.

Let's not confuse the issue, though. Jerome Garcia was a great leader: musically, morally, and spiritually. He didn't want it, he didn't seek it, he didn't ask for it, he may not have even liked it, but he carried that enormous weight with grace, dignity, and a huge sense of responsibility to his fellow man, particularly those less fortunate. If you needed help, he was there. Of course, as we now know, it was Jerry himself who needed help. Although he was getting it, the years had already taken their toll, and that long, strange trip is over. But is it really? Not for us: Jerry's kids. We need to take his message to heart, find our own creativity and our own path, and help try and make this world a little better, which will be just a little harder for us now. This is our challenge, which I feel we can meet if we can all take a little piece of him with us. We all need to become a little more Jerry-like and move on down the road. Just one more thing I thought you'd want to know - Jerry died with a smile on his face.





Jerry with David Grisman











"A Certain Connection" by Bruce Hornsby

"To honor the Grateful Dead's wishes, I'd like to have a moment - a moment of silence - for somebody who brought a lot of love to the world, our dear departed brother, Jerry Garcia."

At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame I dedicated my perfomance to Jerry. It was hard to do, but I was so excited. It was a sad reason that I played, but Jerry was someone really special, and I was honored that the Grateful Dead wanted me to do this.

In September 1990, I came into the Dead just winging it off the streets for five nights at Madison Square Garden. There's nothing like the Grateful Dead audience, and it was incredible for me to bite off a small piece of that.

I always felt a certain connection with Garcia. At RFK, during the second night, the next to last song, Wharf Rat, there was a blue light on him. He was singing very soulfully, and I was getting chills up my body. I knew it was a special moment, and I drank it in.






Jerry with Bruce Hornsby



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