Who was in the Jerry Garcia Band

Jerry Garcia

Laut.de biography

Jerry Garcia

There are some pop icons who were elevated to the rank of legends while they were still alive. Jerry Garcia, singer and guitarist of the band The Grateful Dead for three decades and a figurehead of the hippie movement, had long since risen to the musician Olympics when he was a drug rehab clinic in Forest Knolls, California on August 9, 1995, shortly after his 53rd birthday Succumbed to the heart attack. Not only in Garcia's hometown of San Francisco do the otherwise colorful hippies mourn on this day in memory of the bearded musician.

Jerry Garcia was born on August 1, 1942 in San Francisco, where he discovered the instrument of his life at the age of 15: the guitar. Two years later he was drawn to the military for a few months, which he soon turned his back on in favor of a career as a musician. Garcia moved to Palo Alto, a few miles south of San Francisco, played in local folk and bluegrass bands and met Robert Hunter, his future lyricist. At the same time, Jerry Garcia is upgrading his range of instruments and buying a banjo.

In 1962, the bluegrass band Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions, then quite well-known in the Bay Area, added him to their line-up. Here he met the guitarist Bob Weir and the keyboardist Ron 'Pigpen' McKernan, with whom he founded The Warlocks in 1965. The trio formed the nucleus from which The Grateful Dead emerged the following year. Still under the name The Warlocks, the trio moves to San Francisco, on the corner of Haight Street and Ashbury Street.

At that time, a liberal culture of dropouts was established there, which lived out its vision of a better world in public drug and music happenings. The Grateful Dead become the most popular ambassadors of the hippie movement and with their epic psychedelic tracks they deliver the perfect soundtrack for Love & Peace.

At the same time Garcia also gives guest appearances with other icons of the late 60s and 70s, such as Jefferson Starship or Crosby, Stills, Nash. As a solo artist he recorded a whole series of long players parallel to the countless The Grateful Dead albums from 1972, which reflect his preference for blues, folk and bluegrass. Ballad-like songs like "Must Have Been The Roses" from the 76 album "Reflections" show Garcia as a romantically dreamy musician with a knack for timeless melodies. At the beginning of the 80s, Garcia's drug addiction became very noticeable, his output slowed down significantly, which did not change again until the beginning of the 90s.

He regularly goes on tour with the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band, as well as with The Grateful Dead, which has come to life and is now already being covered by the veil of legend. By the middle of the decade, heroin regained the upper hand and is now causing Garcia's health problems too. In the summer of 1995 he decided to withdraw again and went to a drug clinic near San Francisco, where he died of a heart attack on August 9th. Numerous releases after his death preserve the musical legacy of the bearded musician.