Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Jerry Garcia (1942-1995)
Jerry Garcia died on this date 21 years ago in 1995, "Deadheads" around the world mourn. Here's Allen's photo of Garcia backstage on the concluding night of the Grateful Dead's historic five-night sold-out series of concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden September 15-20 1987
The Grateful Dead and Poetry - here's Nicholas Meriwether, official Grateful Dead archivist on "The Poetry of the Archive":
"Dozens of themes knit together the various sections and collections in the Grateful Dead Archive, but one of the most interesting and evocative is poetry… Poetry was a major form of artistic expression in the Haight-Ashbury, where the dividing line between the Dead and their fans was blurred from the beginning. Even in their early days the band attracted well-known poets such as Richard Brautigan, who wrote "The Day They Busted the Grateful Dead' as a surrealistic homage to their travails, and their neighbor Michael McClure, who gave Garcia a lyric that he tried to work up ino a song. Though that failed to come to fruition, both McClure and Brautigan remained lifelong fans of the band's music and lyrics. Brautigan made it a point to share his admiration for the band with other poets; one of his biographers recounts a memorable occasion when he played American Beauty for an appreciative Robert Creeley. The Dead returned the favor. Most of the band members, to varying degrees, had an affinity and respect for the Beats as bohemian elders and avatars, most fanously in their friendships with Neal Cassady, but the connection between the two generations of artists are more extensive and nuanced. Pigpen's library included seminal works by San Francisco poets, and he even tried his own hand at poetry: one of his Beat-inflected efforts appears in The Grateful Dead Family Album. Phil Lesh found Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" so inspiring he began to set it to music [sic]. .."