jerry garcia – don’t let go

TYmANFMijxNryf7V6ocnI6Nc1CoKRbQfYi0_qhMvlDU,isg0v49tCOWVdvzpxyv571ZxAI3W5S_UDwXwUYHye88What a staple this guy has been in my life! My first exposure to the Grateful Dead was as a sophomore in high school while driving around aimlessly in the suburbs of Dallas searching for a party, drinking Mickey’s and stop 6 wine in the back of a wood-paneled Jeep Wagoneer. It wasn’t even a GD recording or live track but a cover of Casey Jones by Jane’s Addiction that caught my attention. I took the normal path of exploration like most folks my age, I ran out and got Skeletons in the Closet and listened to it on repeat. I listened to it so much that my Mom and sisters would shuffle around the house singing ‘truckin,’ not really any of the chorus or verses, just a call and response to each other. First my Mom sings ‘truckin’ and my sisters respond in unison with ‘truckin’ or some variation there of. I explored Europe ’72 and was absolutely hypnotized by Live/Dead’s St. Stephen>William Tell Bridge>The Elven. Explosive! The more that I listened to the Grateful Dead the more that I was pulled into the aura of the band and Jerry’s captivating guitar and delicate and emotional vocal delivery. The more I wanted the notes to wallow during Wharf Rat or to pop and bounce during China Cat Sunflower. The more that I read about the band and the acid tests and Ken Kesey and San Francisco and the band’s failure at Woodstock and the Deadheads and their love of Bob Dylan and their writing partnership with Robert Hunter and Barton Hall ’77 and all of ’77 really and listening to all of the shows and reading The Annotated Dead by David Dodd and being inspired to write by the China Cat Sunflower and the fan picture at 710 Ashbury and the friends who share my love of the band and the countless sing alongs and the long nights spent writing alone. Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead have been an unbelievable companion over the past 20 years.

Here is an excerpt from my book A Circus Mind titled “Jerry Garcia” illustration by Dushan Milic

“South of the Marin Headlands on a golden road
Holding heavy weight, bow and pray, I carry the load
Lessons learned in my presence, you wake in the light
Of dreams in a narrow circle flowing counter-clockwise

The wind of freedom blows high in the redwood trees
Under the city’s seal, I reached a deal to live outside reality
My eyes opened in surprise reading over the lives of the mad ones
I entered through the gate with access to pure fascination

That morning I woke to find an angel in my hand
Her neck and belly a wolf, she joined the band
Our hands together we stand bulletproof
With a metal slide fit to glide through the lessons of youth

I turned to see my reflection in the mirror of time
Reflecting an irony so deep I laughed and winked my open eye
I left my bones resting on a bed or red roses and walked home
I walked alone past falling stones to crumble my last song”

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