“If we had any nerve at all, if we had any real balls as a society, or whatever you need, whatever quality you need, real character, we would make an effort to really address the wrongs in this society, righteously.”—Jerry Garcia
Today would have been Jerry Garcia’s 70th birthday!
As one of the most prolific and insanely talented guitarists of the 20th century—named by Rolling Stone as the 13th greatest of all time—you will seldom meet a human being alive who hasn’t at the very least heard of the Fat Man, and of course the Grateful Dead.
In his honor here are ten facts you may or may not have—depending on your love for the Captain—known about Mr. Garcia.
1. Jerry’s full name was Jerome John Garcia—named after the great Broadway musical composer Jerome Kern.
2. Jerry lost his middle finger of his right hand–his brother accidentally chopped it off splitting wood.
3. Garcia met Bob Weir and decided to assemble a jug band—Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions—featuring instruments such as the jug, wash tub bass,harmonica,washboard, and the kazoo.
4. Jerry didn’t read musical notes; rather he improvised by playing by ear and by feel.
5. One of Jerry’s favorite past times was scuba diving.
6. Half of Jerry’s remains were scattered in the ganges river in India, a country Jerry had never visited. The second half of Jerry’s remains were scattered beneath the Golden Gate Bridge.
7. Some of his early influences were Joan Baez and the New Lost City Ramblers; he incorporated and expanded their technique to create his own art.
8. Jerry performed in several groups that only existed for a gig or two:the Thunder Mountain Tub Thumper, the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers, the Wildwood Boys, and the Black Mountain Boys.
9. Jerry earned the nickname “Captain Trips” because of his interest in LSD excursions.
10. Jerry had his first art exhibit in 1991 at the Weir Gallery in Berkley, California—prices for these works of art ranged from $300 to $40,000.
And finally, some amazing pics through the years: