It’s Jerry Garcia’s birthday. He’s been gone for nearly 28 years, but it feels like yesterday. I rarely take the deaths of famous people personally. I did with Jerry. I was a mess for several days and played his music relentlessly for weeks thereafter.
I felt a special connection with Jerry because we were both born in the first week of August and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. I did not, however, write songs with Robert Hunter. I’m not a beat poet turned lyricist either. Oops, that’s Hunter not Garcia. Never mind.
I give you Jerry Garcia By The Numbers:
1942: The year Jerry was born.
81: How old he would have been today.
1965: The first Grateful Dead show. They were called the Warlocks then.
175+: The number of songs composed by Jerry during his lifetime. This number is an educated guess.
75+: The number of times I saw Jerry with the Dead or solo. Another day, another educated guess.
6: The number of electric guitars played live by Jerry.
1995: A momentous year. The Dead played their last shows with Jerry in July. He died on August 9, 1995.
12: The number of Garcia-Hunter songs I’m posting. The dozens have been good to me, after all. The songs all have names in the title. Why? Why the hell not?
An alternate title for this post: Name That Jerry Garcia Tune.
On with the show, this is it.