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Jerry Garcia’s prom photos, revealed!
05.30.2017
09:53 am
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Over the lengthy holiday weekend, a modest sheaf of photographs of the young Jerome John Garcia, more commonly known as Jerry, surfaced on the Internet. They date from 1959 and 1960 and depict a decidedly different man from the Haight-Ashbury counterculture hero who was so beloved by the Grateful Dead’s ardent fan base.

The photos depict Garcia surrounded by his family in San Francisco as well as hanging around with his buddies, who have a certain “Richie and Potsie” air about them. Although, you know, maybe that’s not the full picture. After all, it’s well documented that Garcia had been into weed for a couple of years by this time; he was into Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker, and Hank Ballard; and he was already in a band.

Garcia never graduated from high school—as he told Jann Wenner and Charles Reich of Rolling Stone in 1972, “I went to a high school for about a year, did really badly, finally quit and joined the Army.” In early 1960 Garcia had the numbskulled idea of stealing his mother’s car, and his recompense was enforced enrollment in the army, where he was (surprise, surprise) an indifferent soldier. Garcia was given a general discharge in December 1960.

In the same interview, Garcia told Wenner and Reich of his first guitar, which object Garcia is pictured playing in one of the pictures:
 

I go down to the pawn shops on Market Street and Third Street and wander around the record stores, the music stores and look at the electric guitars and my mouth’s watering. God, I want that so bad! And on my 15th birthday my mother gave me an accordion. I looked at this accordion and I said, “God, I don’t want this accordion, I want an electric guitar.”

So we took it down to a pawn shop and I got this little Danelectro, an electric guitar with a tiny little amplifier and man, I was just in heaven. Everything! I stopped everything I was doing at the time.

 
It is said that this is the earliest picture of Jerry Garcia playing the guitar.
 

 
At Analy High School, in Sebastapol, California, Garcia had his first experiences playing in a band. The group was called the Chords and specialized in big-band standards from the 1940s. In A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead by Dennis McNally, Garcia calls it “kind of easy-listening stuff. Businessman’s bounce, high school version.” (“Businessman’s bounce” is a jazz term for a particularly desultory two-beat played at a jumpy tempo.)

On May 27 ‎John Simpson‎ posted the interesting pictures on the I Love The Grateful Dead! Facebook page. He wrote: “A friend whose father was close childhood friends with Jerry had these personal pics. They’ve never been shared publically to my knowledge. But I received a copy and a ‘feel free to share.’ Enjoy!”

Eric Schwartz, host of the radio program Lone Star Dead, which airs on KNON every Friday, tweaked the washed-out originals on Photoshop and shared them publicly on Facebook.

The identity of Garcia’s prom date has not been disclosed, if, indeed, anyone knows it.
 

 
More pics after the jump…....
 

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
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05.30.2017
09:53 am
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She got straight LSDs on her report card: Mountain Girl’s ‘Acid Test’ diploma

Mountain Girl
 
A graduation is something to be proud of, a milestone, and the sometimes very expensive piece of paper you get in return for graduating, while clearly not the one-way ticket to paid employment that everyone told you it would be, is at least a tangible reminder of all that effort you put in and the money you spent. Rarely, however, does the signifying document itself hold any actual monetary value, unless of course your diploma stands as testament to your Acid Test graduation. Something to be proud of, indeed!

In 2012, a rare diploma granted to “Mountain Girl” went up for auction in San Francisco and ultimately took in $24,255. The diploma was of interest to collectors for two reasons. For one thing Mountain Girl, born Carolyn Adams, was a one-time Merry Prankster and significant other to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest author Ken Kesey. She had a daughter with Kesey and later married Jerry Garcia with whom she had two more girls. The diplomas, illustrated by fellow Merry Prankster and cartoonist Paul Foster were also a rarity, having been given out to only a handful of people by beat hero Neal Cassady himself at what turned out to be an unintentionally small gathering of heads. According to the auction house that sold the artifact, they have almost never shown up for sale for obvious reasons.
 
Mountain Girl and Jerry Garcia
Mountain Girl and Jerry Garcia
 
Anybody familiar with Tom Wolfe’s book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (or basically anybody who knows anything at all about the history of United States counterculture) knows that the Acid Tests were wild LSD-fueled parties thrown at Ken Kesey’s LaHonda ranch in the mid 60’s and I’m not going to get into any more description here. If you don’t already know about the whole trippy phenomena, use whatever device you’re currently on and look it up

The graduation ceremony was originally scheduled to be held on Halloween night, 1966 at Bill Graham’s Winterland in San Francisco with the Grateful Dead headlining, but the event was canceled when Graham caught wind of Kesey’s supposed plan to covertly dose every single person who showed up, either through the water supply or by coating all the surfaces in the building with LSD. The Dead took another gig at California Hall, which trumped the actual Acid Test Graduation that ended up taking place in a San Francisco warehouse with no running water. Mountain Girl was at the California Hall gig with the Dead and crew when the diplomas were handed out and she unceremoniously received hers after the fact. 

Here it is in all its glory. Click on the image to see it close up.
 
Mountain Girl Diploma
Mountain Girl’s Acid Test Diploma
 
Below, you’ll find footage of the Acid Test Graduation Ceremony from 1966. You can see the diplomas being handed out by Neal Cassady towards the beginning.
 

 
via Collector’s Weekly

Posted by Jason Schafer
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02.13.2015
04:29 pm
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Read a sweet 1982 love letter written by Jerry Garcia to Vogue cover model
12.22.2014
03:18 pm
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Jerry Garcia by Dean Russo

A two-part love letter written by Jerry Garcia in 1982 to an (unnamed) former Vogue cover model—who Garcia had met at a party in New York in 1980 while the Grateful Dead were playing Radio City Music Hall—will be offered up for auction next month. The first part was written between late May to early June 1982, but is not dated. Neither is the second part, but since it refers to the royal birth of Prince William on June 21, 1982 and was postmarked on the following day, that would seem to narrow it down a bit.

The letter also includes a sketch of a Dead show at the Greek Theatre. From a detailed description at RR Auction.com:

“Thank you really for sending that postcard, I feel like it’s sort of our first ‘official’ communication somehow. I’ve been hoping we could get together ever since we first met at Al’s that winter nite so long ago (sigh)…However it seems as tho…(Hey! My pen stopped writing) I’ve been ninety degrees off or out of phase or something whenever it might have been possible to get to know you a little better. I hope it doesn’t seem like I’ve been avoiding you, although I admit I’ve kind of been waiting for the opportunity (that is, the ‘right’ opportunity) for us to meet in some kind of neutral context that would be comfortable and relaxed and free of any pressure. Of course it could be years before any such opportunity arises, so…this is just a long winded way of saying thank you for writing. Oh! also in spite of never having been alone with you, I somehow feel close to you and I’ve looked forward to and enjoyed those times, however brief, that we have been in the same general vicinity and spoken slightly (New York, Germany, Calif etc.) you know—so…

The Grateful Dead just played our first outdoor show of the year at a place called the Greek Theatre (a nice amphitheatre in back of The University of Calif. in Berekley [sic] kind of like this).”

Here, Garcia draws a sketch of their performance at the Greek Theatre:
 

 
He continues, writing:

“A really nice site, we played for three days and the weather was really delicious although the last day (Sunday) was the beginning of a short hot spell and was a trifle uncomfortable but it was nice to play outdoors. I’m going to be playing in and around New York in June (while you’re in London naturally) and I’m sorry I’ll be missing you again: write me more, if you like that is, and thank you again for the card.”

Garcia adds “P.S., Pardon my handwriting, this is the first letter I’ve written in years.”

Then there is a second part, written on Hotel Parker Meridien letterhead. In full:

“Now, weeks later I’m in N.Y.C. Received your 2nd postcard (gasp) and I’m just getting (that is) around to mailing my first letter. Partly, it’s a sort of mail fright, like stage fright and partly editorial misgivings (Let’s see, is it legible? Spelled correctly? Am I constructing these sentences properly? God I hope she doesn’t think I’m an idiot for running off at the pen like this) Oh well—I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland. Hope you enjoyed it & I hope this letter finds you well. The whole Falkland thing here became really creepy (for me) when Begin explained & excused Israel’s invasion of Lebanon by comparing the situation to the British position in Falklands. The whole business scared the hell out of me. Latest news from England is of course the Royal birth. I’ll bet the locals are enjoying it immensly [sic].

I’m on the road again. This time with my own band & also doing some more of those two piece shows (me and John Kahn) (bass). I’ve done a few more of them since I last saw you and am starting to adjust to and become aware of the musical possibillitys [sic] of that acoustical format. It’s exciting tho still scary. I wish you were here now that I’ve got a little time here (for once) but… bye for now.”

There’s something quite endearing about Garcia sheepishly admitting to a form of stage fright with letter writing. He even waited so long to send it that he added a second part. Cute. The auction house claims that there is no other known letter by Garcia to be found in the marketplace, let alone one demonstrating his charming seduction technique.

You can see larger images of the entire letter at RR Auction.
 

 
Via MOJO4music

Posted by Richard Metzger
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12.22.2014
03:18 pm
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Henry Rollins covers the Grateful Dead
06.27.2014
12:09 pm
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At first blush, the linkage of Henry Rollins, who came out of D.C.‘s straight edge scene—he’s obviously tight buddies with Ian MacKaye, the man who wrote the song “Straight Edge”—and Jerry Garcia, one of the most drug-friendly musicians who ever lived, seems more than a little bit odd. But maybe that’s just your square categories, maaaaan! Artists go where artists wanna go, and there’s no predicting where they’ll end up.

It turns out that even though he desists from using drugs, including alcohol, Rollins doesn’t really identify as a straight edge. (In that interview, Rollins discusses the handful of times he’s used marijuana, LSD, and mushrooms, and it’s a pretty entertaining read.) Discussing his penchant for tangents in his spoken-word appearances—and the occasional necessity for the audience to guide him back to the original fork in the road—Rollins in a 2008 invoked the atmosphere at Grateful Dead shows as a comparison: “It reminds me of when I’d go see the Grateful Dead, and Jerry Garcia would make a mistake and everyone would applaud: ‘Yeah, nice one, Fat Boy!’ It’s a very friendly environment.” So Henry Rollins likes Grateful Dead shows—here’s hoping that he dispensed more miracles than he received!
 
Wartime
Wartime (Henry Rollins and Andrew Weiss)
 
Rollins former Black Flag band member Greg Ginn told Rolling Stone in 1985 that he dreamed of the group opening for the Grateful Dead and Dead tee-shirts were reportedly commonly seen worn by Black Flag’s roadies. As a working musician in California, it’s wouldn’t be all that unlikely that Rollins would meet Jerry—indeed, he probably did. In 1987, while working on Life Time, the first Rollins Band album, his studio was in the same building as the space the Grateful Dead was using when they remastered their back catalog for CD, and they hung out a little bit:
 

I was in L.A., mastering my first band album, Life Time, at a place I believe was called Digital Magnetics. The Grateful Dead were across from me, working on their first batch of CDs. I was told that all the way down at the end of the hall, a member of The Doors and their producer, Paul Rothchild, were working on remastering the band’s catalog for CD. ... I had someone relay a message to Paul and company that I was in the building. ... Moments later, Paul came into my small room and asked if I wanted to come in and have a listen to what they were doing. Uh, yeah!

 
Henry Rollins and Grateful Dead
 
In 1990 Rollins and his longtime bassist Andrew Weiss (who, incidentally, producer of several Ween albums) released an EP under the name Wartime called Fast Food for Thought. The EP’s fifth and final track was a cover of “Franklin’s Tower,” off of the Grateful Dead’s 1975 album Blues for Allah. Since Wartime consisted only of a vocalist and a bassist, it sounds very different from the Dead’s melodic guitar jamming. But the lyrics are entirely unchanged, and, at around eight minutes in length, it’s nearly twice as long as the original album cut, and honors the Dead’s jammy legacy.
 
Wartime
 
In 2009, asked in an email interview “What made you want to cover a Grateful Dead tune?” Rollins replied, “We thought it would sound good with a go-go beat.” As it happens, a block away from my Cleveland apartment is a building with the words “Franklin Tower” written prominently above the entrance, and I think of Wartime’s cover every time I walk my dog. Here’s the original cut and Wartime’s take on it. It’s not for everyone, but I enjoy it.

The Grateful Dead, “Franklin’s Tower”:

Franklin's Tower by Grateful Dead on Grooveshark

 
Wartime, “Franklin’s Tower”:

Franklin's Tower by Wartime on Grooveshark

 

Posted by Martin Schneider
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06.27.2014
12:09 pm
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The death of Jerry Garcia as it was reported on ABC’s ‘Nightline’
07.22.2013
07:26 pm
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Jerry Garcia was a tie-dyed human symbol of the survival of the ideals of the hippie generation. Accordingly, when he died, a lot of people were very cut up about it, as this report reminds us with its live shots of grief-stricken fans in Washington, DC, New York and San Francisco on August 9, 1995.

I remember the day it happened. A guy I was friendly with from taking cigarette breaks outside of my office building—a fellow who always wore a suit, crisp white shirt and a tie, maybe mid to late 50s at the time and the manager of a big Hollywood sound stage—told me that he’d locked the door of his office and cried like a baby behind it for 20 minutes before regaining his composure.

He’d gotten into following the Dead around (and ‘shrooms) as a way to stave off a mid-life crisis after a divorce blind-sided him. He had a sort of “On the Road” moment as a Deadhead and that was really a liberating thing for him. Jerry Garcia’s death represented the end to something that was of huge emotional importance in his life, something that obviously a lot of people also felt.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.22.2013
07:26 pm
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Headline: ‘Ozzy Pleads Guilty to Killing Jerry Garcia’
03.23.2012
04:34 pm
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image
 
Spotted on the North Platte Post site by Dangerous Minds reader Steven.

Posted by Tara McGinley
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03.23.2012
04:34 pm
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