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Why was Jerry Garcia always the most famous member of the Dead?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Two-Spirit, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. I've been listening to their records and realized I knew who Jerry Garcia was in Kindergarten but no the others, 1982.
    macmanlou, rollie 55 and wesonbass like this.
  2. ElectroVibe


    Mar 2, 2013
    Grace Slick said that he always had people around, I guess because was a charismatic personality. I don't know, I'm just guessing on that. But he also had distinct musical skills that were often the highlight of their songs.
    eJake, macmanlou, CosmicRay and 7 others like this.
  3. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    You know the pedal steel guitar on teach your children? Jerry Garcia. I never knew that when I was a kid but of course I heard that song and that guitar just made that song. He was unbelievably talented. Also the lead singer and lead guitarist.
    You know, also because of the ice cream.
  4. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    Not a big fan of The Dead, myself, but I spent about 7 years surrounded by genuine Dead heads starting in the late 80s. The virtual worship Jerry's fans directed toward him had little to do with his musicianship compared to other band members, it was that they considered him to be the philosophical leader of the band and even as much as the spiritual leader of a way of life the band represented.

    Dead heads are fundamentally a breed apart from the fans of other bands. Typical music fans might see their favorite group multiple times on tour, gobbke up their merchandise and go gaga over every word of every interview. But then they go back to their regular jobs and blend in with everyone else.

    Not so with Dead heads. They adopted a hippy lifestyle that copied the sex, drugs, and rock and roll psychedelia of the late 60s. They lived in VW minivans and dressed in tie dye. The smoked pot, dropped acid and drenched themselves in patchouli oil. They wouldn't be caught dead in an office job or working for "The Man".

    Jerry Garcia was the guru of that lifestyle. I remember when he died. I knew many Dead heads at the time and every one of them went into a long period of mourning - as if one of their own close family members had died.
  5. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    Well that’s a much better explanation than mine :)
    rollie 55 likes this.
  6. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    Gotta be the hair, man. Fer Shure
    bassdude51, LowActionHero and craigie like this.
  7. A ship of fools can only have one captain.

  8. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Gosh, I can't imagine why. Lead guitarist, one of the principle vocalists and songwriters in one of the most popular bands of all time; incredible level of musical skill; laid-back and sweet personality; why was Jerry Garcia so famous?

    Just his guitar skills alone would make him a musical icon, but there are many of us who love his singing as well.

    Anyway, most Deadheads know darned well who Pigpen was, certainly know Bob Weir and Phil Lesch, Robert Hunter and drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. Real Deadheads also remember Keith and Donna Godchaux and the host of other keyboard players. I am far from being a Deadhead, but I know who all those people are. Jerry didn't consider himself the leader, but pretty much everyone else did/does.
  9. It is Pigpen who was the Grateful Dead. Jerry took the mantle reluctantly.

    And this is now the Year of the Pig :thumbsup:

  10. seilerbird


    Apr 12, 2012
    DJ Bebop, Yonni, AztecViking and 6 others like this.
  11. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I like classic rock and funk but never cared for the dead or jam bands in general. I know who Jerry Garcia is from pop culture references. I couldn't name a song besides shades of grey or a band member besides Jerry Garcia.
    BassikBrad, Gabbs, kobass and 5 others like this.
  12. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    Complete irony- The two biggest icons of the generation were the ones who least wanted the job. Jerry Garcia, and Bob Dylan.
  13. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    I always thought it was interesting that Jerry thought the only member of the band that was irreplaceable was Phil Lesh.
    brbadg, dannydabiker, Ferniff and 5 others like this.
  14. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    ^ Rock Scully was given the job of FIRING Bobby, and Pigpen. He didn't. Pigpen would be dead within months, and Bobby learned how to play guitar.
    Ekulati and jim nolte like this.
  15. Sharknose79

    Sharknose79 UNPAID greenboy/fEARful endorser Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2011
    South Cackalacky
    I have nothing to disclose at this time.
    I can give you 9 reasons.....

  16. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    Les Claypool to Phil Lesh- Look, Jerry's face in a tortilla. Phil- How do you know that's not Jesus?- Quest for Festeroo

  17. getrhythm


    Nov 2, 2015
    New Jersey
    True...even though Pig wouldn't do psychedelics (unless he got dosed...he preferred booze) and couldn't/wouldn't "jam" and take the musical "explorations" the other guys did.
    the harp unstrung likes this.
  18. the harp unstrung

    the harp unstrung What would Fred Rogers do? Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2014
    On The Bus
    seems there is ofttimes a sense of eye rolling and meanness that runs through folks who’ve never taken the time, or just don’t care for the music, when they comment on the Grateful Dead.
    I’m the first person to point out the they are an acquired taste, but the ‘soaked in pachouli’, ‘would never hold a straight job’ stereotype is just so obviously over the top that I can’t help but think:
    Judas Priest...
    Iron Maiden...
    I’ve heard some their combined catalogue...never found it attractive.
    It just ain’t my jam.:)

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be too busy soaking myself in pachili oil to go looking for the Heavy Metal thread...
    (said the guy who spent 20 years Teaching 6, and 7, and 8 year olds.) :thumbsup:
  19. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Gotta go with the ice cream theory, here.
  20. Vooter

    Vooter Supporting Member

    May 11, 2009
    Bronx, NY
    Well, whether he liked it or not, Jerry was the BL...but I certainly do think that Phil was the glue...I was never a Deadhead (saw them once, in '78), but I certainly think they produced many, many, many wonderful tunes, shows and moments--this one (a rare Phil vocal) being one of my favorites:

    123321, wncBass, macmanlou and 3 others like this.

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