Each year fans of the Grateful Dead celebrate the first week of August as “Jerry Week.” There are movies, concerts and festivals all over the country honoring the late Jerry Garcia and the music and culture of the Grateful Dead.
Jerry Garcia was born on August 1, 1942. He died on August 9, 1995.
In his lifetime he was a singer, songwriter and a graphic artist. He played rock, blues and bluegrass. He had a passion for American music and with his best-known band, The Grateful Dead, was responsible for creating a new kind of American music that combines jazz, rock and blues, called “jam rock” or “psychedelic rock.”
Like some of his followers, Jerry struggled with the addictions throughout his life. Those addictions contributed to his death at age 53.
A branch of AA/NA specifically for Deadheads meets during set break at virtually every concert of every band that continues to play Jerry’s music.
One of my favorite Grateful Dead songs is “the Music Never Stopped.” When I am lucky enough to catch a show with one of the many national, regional or local bands that have sprung up since Jerry’s death I am always happy to know that the music won’t ever stop, no matter what.
I meet young people at these shows – kids who were too young to ever to have seen Jerry play. But they know the songs and they love the music as much as I do.
This week I am excited to be working in Connecticut where my love for the Grateful Dead was first engendered when I saw the Connecticut-based band Max Creek in my late teens. I won’t get a chance to see a show, but I will join my fellow Deadheads in appreciation of the life, music and art of Jerry Garcia.
To see a timeline of Jerry Garcia’s eventful life, visit http://jerrygarcia.com.