"It's a simple tale, really. A band of misfit guys fall in love, stumble blindly onward and defy gravity, then try to kiss the face of God! This truth is better than fiction. I hope you all enjoy this odyssey as much as I have." -Mickey Hart
"This is McNally's view of what went down. It's more often right than wrong and done with love, not a grudge, which goes a long way toward excusing another damned book about the Grateful Dead. Any view of us is necessarily a limited interpretation, like an aerial photo of Ground Zero. What Dennis loves and hates about us bears more weight than most interpretations because he took twenty years to get his facts straight. I'll miss him when we kill him." -Robert Hunter
"Dennis McNally knows the Grateful Dead as intimately as they know themselves. His historian's eye, his immersion as a Dead 'family member,' and his crazed hippie heart have made this the book to read about the life, times, and twisted, double-helix road of the band's evolution. It's a great read." -Peter Coyote
Dead stands for something -- it stands for a cosmic sense of humor, for a
spirit of adventure, for compassion for our fellow beings, for skepticism,
for some honesty...
Blair Jackson, executive editor at the audio trade magazine Mix who has written about the Grateful Dead for almost 30 years, is also author of Grateful Dead: The Music Never Stopped, and Goin' Down The Road: A Grateful Dead Traveling Companion
The admitted Deadhead and a veteran journalist, painstakingly details every musical turn that the Dead took and discusses every side project Garcia embarked on openly offers connections between Garcia's drug use and his music when they prove appropriate.
|Selected Jackson insights:
Jerry Garcia interview at 30 years old
1972 interview first published in Rolling Stone magazine. Republished in 2003
The two interviewers were Charles Reich a Professor of Law at Yale University and the author of The Greening of America and Jann Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stone magazine
"Garcia was just thirty-one years old but already viewed--to his lasting dismay--as a social avatar for the new sensibility sweeping the land, an anarchist streak with a populist undercurrent that had roots in Ken Kesey's pranksters, the writers of the Beat Generation, and the libertine tradition of the American transcendentalists. In this interview, Garcia reveals how he is a combination of these and other influences, a high-school dropout and autodidact blessed with a gift for eloquent turns of phrase and a refreshing directness. He speaks of the saga of the Grateful Dead and his hoodlum youth growing up in San Francisco's Mission district.
|DS DARK STAR:
An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia
By Robert Greenfield, William Morrow and Co., 374 pages.
Greenfield, who co-wrote rock impresario Bill Graham's oral autobiography, My Life Inside Rock and Out (LJ 9/1/92), gained access to virtually all of the people who knew Garcia intimately except the band members and employees.The ex-wives Sara Ruppenthal Garcia and Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Garcia -- along with Barbara Meier, an early lover who reappeared in his last years, add a surprisingly detailed emotional context. Among the 60 plus contributors are his older brother Tiff, the close friends who watched in helpless frustration as he battled a long-running heroin habit he tried again and again to kick, the children of fellow members of the Grateful Dead for whom he was the father he could never be to his own daughters and many musicians.
"It was not LSD or the sixties that made Jerry Garcia who he was," writes Greenfield. "Jerry was always Jerry. Seemingly, he came into the world not only fully formed, but, as Bruce Springsteen once sang, with 'the diamond-hard look of a cobra.' That never changed. In his beginning may well have been his end. More importantly, both were always cloaked in mystery, perhaps even to him."
"Dark Star I thought was at least pretty accurate, but it was done right after Jerry's death, so sex and drugs were 90% of the topics -- it almost forgets that he played music." Dennis McNally
Jerry Garcia's Musical Roots: The Banjo Years
Sandy Rothman has been a bluegrass musician and occasional writer for 35 years, a veteran of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys and the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band, among others. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Thanks to Sara Katz, Neil Rosenberg, Robert Hunter, David Nelson, Peter Thompson, Tom Ewing, and Janice Taylor for inspiration, information, quotes, and suggestions. (8/1/96, revised 5/12/98.)
Timeline for Jerry Garcia's life
Al Aronowitz,(AA) A professional
journalist since 1950,
founder, editor and publisher of THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST has
interviewed some of the greatest figures to have ennobled our
Dennis McNally credits Aronowitz as both mentor and bridge which led to hiring by Jerry Garcia. The two shared the view that the Grateful Dead were the vanguard of the next wave of the transformative cultural energy represented by the beat movement.
Their is a strong contrast to their views of Jerry Garcia as a person. Whereas Al saw Jerry as avatar for a higher level of human consciousness, Dennis pictures him as an artist with a soul troubled by childhood incidents.
THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST,SECTION THREE,COLUMN TWO,ST. JERRY OF ...
Dennis McNally: I met Jerry first in 1973 after an Old
and in the Way show in New Jersey, where I interviewed him about Neal
Cassady for a book I was editing for a man named
Al Aronowitz, once a columnist for the New York Post, an
amazing story in his own right who was then -- and always, I guess -- my
mentor. Then, to make a very complicated story
shorter, I met him again (having published my Kerouac book and having
sent it to Jerry and he having read it), I met him again in 1980 during
the Warfield run when they were looking for a "Jerry's kid" for a skit
with Franken and Davis. He allowed as he liked the book and things
proceeded from there.....
RICHEPAM: so anyway how did the book do?? Did it reach
out beyond the realm of the deadheads at all??
Sample chapter is about Jerry Garcia as a boy which had numerous discrepancies with the more authoritive versions here. This story of the Grateful Dead is primarily the story of its founder and lead singer, the late Jerry Garcia. The band's story is put into the context of the whole San Francisco hippie milieu and the Haight-Ashbury scene of the early `60s, a background that is important in understanding the group's roots and eventual impact.
HS jerrygarcia.com/excursions/harrington.html These are excerpts from 'Harrington Street', a an autobiography, written and illustrated by Jerry Garcia in 1995. Jerry refferred to this collection of stories from his childhood as "auto-apocrypha".
"The child who had his family split apart grew into the man who for thirty years created a happy family for millions of people, something they could belong to for the price of a ticket."
Deborah Koons Garcia
|DAY of the DEAD|