Tag Archives: Jerry Garcia

Valentine’s Day Advice

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Since today is Valentine’s Day and I’m not qualified to speak about romance, I’ll let the Grateful Dead offer advice in matters of love through the video for their song “Foolish Heart.”

If you want to follow along with the singing, here are the lyrics from https://play.google.com/music/preview/Tcu6tifbkyp3snodrbo6j7ijoym?lyrics=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=lyrics&pcampaignid=kp-lyrics&u=0#:

Carve your name
Carve your name in ice and wind
Search for where
Search for where the rivers end
Or where the rivers start
Do everything that’s in you
That you feel to be your part
But never give your love, my friend,
Unto a foolish heart

Leap from ledges
Leap from ledges high and wild
Learn to speak
Speak with wisdom like a child
Directly from the heart
Crown yourself the king of clowns
Or stand way back apart
But never give your love, my friend,
Unto a foolish heart

Shun a friend
Shun a brother and a friend
Never look
Never look around the bend
Or check a weather chart
Sign the Mona Lisa
With a spray can, call it art
But never give your love, my friend,
Unto a foolish heart

A foolish heart will call on you
To toss your dreams away
Then turn around and blame you
For the way you went astray
A foolish heart will cost you sleep
And often make you curse
A selfish heart is trouble
But a foolish heart is worse

Bite the hand
Bite the hand that bakes your bread
Dare to leap
Where the angels fear to tread
Till you are torn apart
Stoke the fires of paradise
With coals from hell to start
But never give your love, my friend
Unto a foolish heart

Unto a foolish heart [Repeats]

Built to Last
”Foolish Heart was released on the final Grateful Dead studio album Built To Last which came out in 1989.  It was written by Jerry Garcia (music) and Robert C. Hunter (words). The video was directed by Gary Gutierrez .

According to http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0349359/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm, Gutierrez graduated

from the San Francisco Art Institute, [and] apprenticed at John Korty’s Mill Valley studio as an animator of children’s films, creating and directing live action and animation for Sesame Street and The Electric Company.

(So there folks, is the connection between The Grateful Dead and Sesame Street I always suspected existed.)

[He] create[d] the 8 minute animated opening for The Grateful Dead Movie…

Gutierrez also directed the music video for the Grateful Dead song “Touch of Grey,” which was the introduction to the Dead for many people, especially those of the MTV generation.

The American Book of the Dead
The American Book of the Dead by Oliver Trager says the movie footage in the “Foolish Heart” video is from a 1903 film by Georges Méliès called Kingdom of the Fairies.

According to http://www.earlycinema.com/pioneers/melies_bio.html,

Maries Georges Jean Méliès was born in Paris in 1861…

Méliès’ principle contribution to cinema was the combination of traditional theatrical elements to motion pictures – he sought to present spectacles of a kind not possible in live theatre.

He pioneered the first double exposure (La caverne Maudite, 1898), the first split screen with performers acting opposite themselves (Un Homme de tete, 1898), and the first dissolve (Cendrillon, 1899)…He was also one of the first filmmakers to present nudity on screen with “Apres le Bal”.

Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kingdom_of_the_Fairies) says of the film,

…film historian Georges Sadoul suggested that the film was freely adapted from La Biche au Bois, a popular féerie by the brothers Goignard, which had been first produced in March 1845 at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin and which was frequently revived throughout the nineteenth century.[4] A publication on Méliès’s films by the Centre national du cinéma cites Charles Perrault‘s story “Sleeping Beauty” as the most direct inspiration for the film, with the seven fairies in that tale reduced to four.[4]

The film’s cast includes Georges Méliès as Prince Bel-Azor, Marguerite Thévenard as Princess Azurine, and Bleuette Bernon as the fairy Aurora.

I like the whimsical, but also slightly creepy vibe of this video.  Skeletons playing records, Victorian era toys, ghostly band members, black and white film footage of devils with pitchforks and torches, Bob Weir’s hair, I like all of these aspects of the video while they make me a bit uncomfortable too.

 

August 2016 Spending Report

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I apologize for being so tardy with this month’s spending report. As I’ve said before, I’m tired of this game and disappointed by the amount I am spending each month. However, I still think this exercise is a beneficial one. I continue to believe it is good to know how much I am actually spending, although it is rather depressing. I thought I was living on just a few hundred dollars a month. HA!

(If you are new to this blog, you can read about how this spending report project started here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2015/12/31/spending/. You can also find the spending reports from previous months by typing “spending report” in the search bar.)

8-1-16 I was in civilization today. It was the anniversary of Jerry Garcia’s birth. I ate an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream for breakfast in celebration. Total spent: $134.35

$5.59 to grocery store for ice cram and tortilla chips

$8.68 to Dollar Tree for batteries for my small fan

$43.14 for gas

$23.43 for groceries

$8 to Panera for breakfast, lunch, and internet access

$4.50 for laundry

$34.99 autopayment on phone

$6.02 to Little Caesar’s for a pizza

8-2-16 All I bought today was ice. Total spent: $2.69

8-3 through 8-8-16 I stayed out of civilization. Nothing spent

8-9-16 I picked up my mail today and sent off some items. Total spent: $10.01

8-15-16 Today I was back in civilization. Total spent: $152.06

$5.25 to Etsy shop for pendants to use in gifts

$2.17 to Taco Bell for breakfast

$7.50 for laundry

$8.71 to Panera for coffee, lunch, and internet access

$3.36 for groceries

$100 for dept repayment

$.70 to Wal-Mart for money order

$11.43 to Dollar Tree for supplies

$12.94 to Wal-Mart for laundry detergent (huge savings over buying those little boxes of detergent at the laundromat) and hair scissors (so I can trim my own bangs)

8-16-16 Today I finished my errands in town and did some more work on the blog. Total spent: $88.65

$31.17 for groceries

$51.04 for gas

$3.21 to the post office

$3.23 to Panera for coffee, a bagel, and internet access

(You will notice I successfully avoided buying a pizza during this trip to Babylon.)

8-17 through 8-21-16 On the mountain for five days and Nothing spent.

8-22-16 It was back to civilization today, and I succumbed to the siren song of the Asian buffet. Total spent: $34.73

$14 for buffet and tip (Believe me, I ate all I could.)

$11.23 for groceries

$9.50 for laundry

8-23-16 Today was another day in civilization. Total spent: $82.10

$13.14 for groceries

$43.92 for gas

$2.05 to Panera for coffee and internet access

$22.99 oil change

8-24-16 I spent an extra day in civilization due to fire on the mountain. I stupidly left my rug in the dryer on Monday night, so I went to the thrift store today to replace it. (I paid $6 for the rug last summer, plus I’d just spent money to wash and dry it. Grrrr!!!) Total spent: $12.39

$8.50 to thrift store for new rug ($4), necklace for a gift ($1), greeting cards (30 for $2.50), and four magazines ($1)

$2.70 for groceries (I bought hummus and cracker and yogurt at discount grocery store instead of eating lunch at a restaurant)

$1.19 to Panera for coffee and internet (Price reflects $1 discount I got using my loyalty card.)

8-25 through 8-27-16 I stayed on the mountain. Nothing spent

8-28-16 I prepared for the next day’s trip to a National Park. Total spent: $51.06

$42.89 for gas

$2.15 for ice

$6.02 to Little Caesar’s for a pizza

9-29-16 Today I visited a National Park, where I successfully spent no money. I did spend some money while I in civilization before and after. Total spent: $14.29

$1.62 to gas station for coffee

$2.62 to thrift store for yarn (I’ve been on a yarn bender.)

$10.05 for groceries, including food for dinner instead of eating out and $4.29 for calcium supplements, since I woke up with a leg cramp last night.

9-30-19 Today I cooked and ate breakfast in the park instead of eating at a restaurant. I also sent a big package to a friend before I went back up the mountain. Total spent: $27.35

$2.19 to Panera for drink and internet use

$2.92 for ice (I spent 12 cents per pound more on ice in the shopping center where I already was so I wouldn’t have to drive across town where ice is cheaper. Did I save or waste money by doing this? I have no idea. I did save time and aggravation. )

$22.24 to post office to send a package priority mail (including tracking and insurance) with four infinity scarves (gifts), plus ten bracelets and nine hats for my friend to sell. I ran out of tape as I was sealing the package, and apparently this post office doesn’t offer free priority mail tape any longer. I ended up paying the USPS $3.49 for a roll of tape. Ripoff! But again, I saved time and aggravation by not leaving the post office to make a special trip to Dollar Tree.

Total spent for the month: $609.68

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday, Donna Jean Godchaux!

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Did you know there was a woman in the Grateful Dead?

It’s true.

This is Donna Jean during the time she sang with the Grateful Dead. Image from http://www.biography.com/people/donna-godchaux-20900507

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donna_Jean_Godchaux, Donna Jean Godchaux was a member of the Grateful Dead from 1972 until 1979.

The aforementioned website says she was

a backup singer on at least two #1 hit songs: “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge in 1966 and “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis Presley in 1969. Her vocals were featured on other classic recordings by Boz Scaggs and Duane Allman, Cher, Joe Tex, Neil Diamond and many others[2][3]

before she joined the Dead.

Donna introduced [her husband] Keith to Jerry Garcia after Garcia’s performance at San Francisco’s Keystone Korner in September 1971.

Here’s what http://www.biography.com/people/donna-godchaux-20900507#early-life says about that fateful meeting with Jerry Garcia:

One night after a Grateful Dead show in San Francisco, she accosted Jerry Garcia and told him that she needed his home phone number because her husband was going to be his new piano player. Unbeknownst to her, the Dead’s keyboardist at that time, Ronald “Pigpen” McKernan, was sick and would soon have to stop touring due to his illness. Garcia handed over his phone number and soon after, both Keith and Donna, joined the Grateful Dead. Donna performed in the band as a back-up vocalist.

That website goes on to say,

Godchaux recorded and toured with the Grateful Dead for eight years, until, in 1979, both she and her husband left the band by mutual agreement. Keith was addicted to drugs and his playing suffered; Donna was an alcoholic, and had a violent temper when she drank. After Sex Pistols singer Sid Vicious died of an overdose in January 1979, Donna decided that she’d had enough, and flew home two days before the end of the band’s tour.

In a Rolling Stone (http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/grateful-dead-to-born-again-donna-jean-godchauxs-long-strange-trip-20140304) article, Donna Jean talked about the differences between being a studio singer and singing with the Dead.

Donna Jean Godchaux knows what you’re thinking, especially if you’re a Deadhead: that her voice wasn’t always spot-on when she was a member of the Grateful Dead in the Seventies. “I can’t defend myself very much,” says Godchaux, who sang on hits by Elvis Presley and Neil Diamond before she joined Garcia and Co. “I was a studio singer, never singing off-key. I was used to having headphones and being in a controlled environment.

“Then, all of a sudden, I went to being onstage with the Dead in Winterland,” she continues. “Everything was so loud onstage. And not to mention being inebriated. I can’t defend myself very much, but I can’t blame it all on that.” Godchaux lets out a laugh. “I’ve seen on Facebook people say, ‘Well, they didn’t always sing so great themselves!'”

Today is Donna Jean Godchaux’s birthday!

Here’s a video of Donna Jean singing in 1975:

It’s true that some Deadheads don’t appreciate Donna Jean’s voice, and she was screechy at times, but like the rest of the band, when she was on, she was really on. I like her singing more often than not, and appreciate what she contributed to the Grateful Dead.

Here’s what Donna Jean looks like more recently. Image from http://www.jambands.com/news/2015/03/04/donna-jean-godchaux-to-play-new-jersey-show

Happy Birthday, Donna Jean!

Deadheads

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]Say what you will, but I’m pretty sure I manifested those people.

Exhibit  A: I’d been reading The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test for about a week. I guess you could say I’d been savoring it. Oh man–Merry Pranksters and LSD! Just a day or so before, I’d gotten to the part where the Grateful Dead became the house band at the Acid Tests.

Exhibit B: Just the day before, I pulled out the hemp and began making necklaces between collecting parking fees. 

One Package of 400 feet 100% Natural Hemp Cord #20
I started with whimsical mushroom pendants sent to me by a friend. The necklace-making went so well (three necklaces made in a four hour shift), I figured I could do it the three slow days of my parking lot work week. I was working on a hemp necklace when the people pulled into the parking lot.

It makes perfect sensed to me: focus on Merry Pranksters + LSD + Grateful Dead, throw in the repetitive, meditative motion of making square knots from hemp, and Deadheads are bound to appear.

The people arrived in a puff of sage smoke, with maybe a bit of marijuana in the mix.

The car was banged up, a real beater, and was hauling a battered pop-up camper. I didn’t know who the people were at first. I thought maybe they’d mistaken the parking lot for a campground (as happens fairly often). I thought maybe they were just tourists in a scruffy car, regular people who wanted to see some trees.

When the car stopped next to me, the driver had to open his door to hear my rap. (My van’s driver-side window doesn’t go down, so I’m never surprised when I see other people in the same situation.)

Are y’all here for the trees? I asked, and the driver said yes.

There’s a $5 parking fee, I said.

At that point I looked into the car and began to see.

I noticed the driver first. He had a black mark on his forehead, above his nose. He looked like a Catholic on Ash Wednesday, but having been raised Catholic, I know Ash Wednesday doesn’t come in late July.

Then I noticed the child in the backseat. She was probably three and tiny and dirty and her hair was in ratty dreads that meant her mamma had quit fighting her about brushing it. Only hardcore modern hippies have kids with hair like that.

Next I glanced at the dashboard where a lot of papers were piled up. Peeking out from the pile–upside down– I was pretty sure that was Jerry Garcia on that poster.

WAIT! These weren’t tourists. These were maybe–possibly–oh, I hope!

These were the kids!

Is that a Grateful Dead poster on the dash? I asked.

The driver said it was.

I said, There’s no parking fee!

Kids don’t charge kids, man, and these were the kids, and I’m a kid too, under this brown polyester uniform, in my heart.

The driver asked the adult in the backseat (a man younger than I am, but probably the oldest of the bunch), Do you have…something…mumble…mumble…something?

I thought they were fishing around for five bucks, but instead of money, they produced a cardboard sign featuring the words I need a miracle and an awesome drawing of a skeleton.

Hell yeah! I miracled those kids right into that parking lot!

They’d been at a Dead & Company show the night before (or maybe the night before that), and they were heading to a Dead & Company show that night (or maybe the next) but I just had to take a detour and see some trees, the driver told me.

While they parked, I got some granola bars together for them. (Being on tour is hungry work.) The granola bars were met with enthusiasm by the two men, the tiny child, and the fourth person in the party, a young woman resplendent in bold face paint and a fuzzy tail swinging from the seat of her shorts.

They weren’t gone as long as I thought they might be.

When they returned to the parking lot, I asked them how they’d liked the trees.

There were many expressions of approval and thanks.

We’d stay longer, the driver told me, but we have a date with Bobby. (That’s  Bob  Weir of the Grateful Dead, Furthur, and now Dead & Company for folks not in the know.)

I wish I could go with you! I said.

Come on, the woman said immediately. Quit your job! Come with us!

It was the perfect answer, just what I wanted and needed her to say. I’d been dreaming of running away with them from the moment I realized who they were. The last week had been hard with the heat and the bugs and the idiots, and I’d really been wanting to leave.

Turns out just being invited to go with them was enough.

I didn’t go with them, not because I didn’t want to, but because that’s not the path I’m on at the moment. Also, the last time I cast my lot with Deadheads I didn’t even know–well, let’s just say the trip was longer and stranger than I’d ever imagined it could be, from the snow of Colorado to my Southwest Louisiana homeland. Getting out of that one mostly unscathed has made me less likely to run off with strangers.

In any case, when I said I couldn’t (wouldn’t, shouldn’t) go, the older (but still much younger than I) guy stopped and looked at me, told me he appreciated what I was doing keeping it locked down for these trees. That made me feel good too, even though I’m mostly just a parking lot attendant. But yeah, I’m here for the trees, and I’m here to recognize the kids who need a miracle every damn day. (I need those miracles too, and that day, those kids were my miracle.)

The crew headed back to the car, but a few minutes later, I heard a voice say, This is for you.

The woman had returned, and while she didn’t hand me the party favor I’d been trying to manifest, (but I understand, it’s not safe to hand sacraments like that to strangers in polyester-blend pants), I was very pleased with the bundle of California white sage she presented to me.

The car left as it arrived, in a puff of sage smoke, camper trailer in tow. On the back of the trailer was a heart, inscribed inside with the words Not Fade Away, as in a love that’s real not fade away.

Don’t even try to tell me I didn’t draw those people right to me.

For your viewing and listening pleasure, here’s the Grateful Dead performing “I Need a Miracle” in 1978.

 

Shakedown Street (Expanded & Remastered)

Dreaming of Jerry Garcia

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Today is the anniversary of the birth of Jerry Garcia.

For anyone who doesn’t know, Jerry Garcia was a musician: player of guitars, banjos, and mandolins and a singer too. He was famous as a founding member of the Grateful Dead, but was also in Jerry Garcia Band, Old and in the Way, Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band, and New Riders of the Purple Sage.

I dreamed about Jerry just as this year’s season as a camp host started.

A couple of days before Memorial Day, I dreamed I was outside somewhere with trees. I was not in a city.

Jerry Garcia was walking around this place of my dream, smiling and happy. He was giving out LSD.

I knew him, of course. I think he knew me, but I don’t think he knew me well, like maybe we’d met once or twice, but I didn’t think he’d consider me a close friend. I wondered if he’d remember me at all. I knew he’d probably give me a hit even if he didn’t remember me because he was passing it out freely, but it would certainly be nice to be remembered by Jerry Garcia.

When he came up to me, I opened my mouth, so he could lay a hit on my tongue. I thought he’d drop a hit, maybe two, into my mouth, but he fed me I don’t know how many hits. I had little bits of paper poking from between my lips.

My feelings were torn between Oh boy! and Oh no! I was excited and scared.

How much is just enough? How much is too much?

I wondered how many hits I’d just taken, considered asking Jerry about the numbers, then decided to just go with the flow.

I heard a woman ask him in a real suck-up tone, Are you getting tickets tomorrow, Jerry?

He said, I’ve got tickets right now.

If his looks left any doubts as to who he was, the unmistakable voice erased them. It was definitely Jerry Garcia right there.

Unfortunately, I woke up before I could feel the effects of the gifts from Jerry. I wonder if the Catholic Church would view Jerry getting me high from beyond the grave cause for canonization. I bet most Deadheads would. In any case, while I didn’t wake up high, I did feel happy and at peace.

It was the first time I dreamed of Jerry, although a few weeks earlier, I’d dreamed of hearing a Grateful Dead song I believe existed only in my brain.

A couple of weeks after my dream about Jerry, I was driving when “Attics of My Life” began drifting from my speaker.

I’d not listened to “Attics of My Life” much. It wasn’t in the repertoire of songs marking my relationship with the person who really got me listening to the Dead. Since I mostly listen to music when I’m driving and I want upbeat rhythms to keep me awake, I hadn’t heard the song often since I’d been on my own. But it somehow made it onto my phone with a recent importing of music, and now it was slowly swelling out of my speaker.

It’s a lovely, ethereal song, from the 1970 American Beauty album.

American Beauty

Why have I never really listened to this song before? I wondered.

Then the last verse hit and Jerry singing Robert Hunter’s words brought me to tears.

In the secret space of dreams

Where I dreaming lay amazed

When the secrets are all told

And the petals all unfold

When there was no dream of mine

You dreamed of me

I’m not even sure if I can explain how I felt when I heard this song after dreaming of Jerry.

The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
(In The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics, David Dodd says Robert Hunter was asked about the meaning of this very song  Hunter replied,

…If I could say it in prose, I wouldn’t need to write the song. Poetry is evocative–it’s meant to communicate to deeper levels and approach the levels of nonverbal experience.

So I suppose if I can’t express my reaction to the song in prose, Robert Hunter did his job as a poet-songwriter perfectly.)

I felt as if Jerry and I had some connection. I know that sounds trite and cliché . But if we realize we are all connected (even if in a state of chemical alteredness), does that make it untrue? If I hear this man sing twenty years after his death and his voice moves me so strongly that my tears begin to flow, well, I maintain that’s a connection.

I also felt as if my dream brought Jerry Garcia to life, if only in my REM state brain. There he was–living, moving, smiling, talking, feeding me all the LSD I could fit in my mouth, bringing me comfort and peace. I dreamed Jerry into existence again, for however brief a time.

When there was no dream of mine

You dreamed of me

Happy birthday, Jerry.

Click below to hear and see Jerry sing “Attics of My Life.” My favorite part of the video is at about 1:27, where he looks over at Bob Weir with “What the fuck?” written all over his face.

 

World Smile Day

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Today is World Smile Day!

According to http://www.worldsmileday.com/index.php/article-index/item/373-about-world-smile-day, World Smile Day was started in 1999, by Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts who created the smiley face in 1963.

As the years passed Harvey Ball became concerned about the over-commercialization of his symbol, and how its original meaning and intent had become lost in the constant repetition of the marketplace.  Out of that concern came his idea for World Smile Day®.

The World Smile Day homepage urges each of us to

Do an act of kindness. Help one person SMILE!

I hope this post has brought a smile to your face!

Jerry Garcia

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Jerry Garcia was born on this day in 1942. (He died on August 9, 1995.)

Most folks know Jerry (full name: Jerome John Garcia) as a singer and guitarist for the Grateful Dead. He also played pedal steel guitar and banjo and was part of Jerry Garcia Band, Old and in the Way, Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band, New Riders of the Purple Sage.

(Thanks to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Garcia for basic info.)

You can probably find out everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Jerry Garcia’s career at http://jerrygarcia.com/.

Of course, I wanted to share Jerry singing with you today. Picking a song to share proved a daunting task. So much to choose from! I settled on some bluegrass. Here’s Jerry and David Grisman doing “Shady Grove” for your Saturday pleasure.