Fifteen years ago today, Jerry passed on...
This episode from Radio Free Fundi is a rebroadcast of a live radio show from August 9, 1995, the day the Jerry Garcia died. I was living in Bend, Oregon at the time, and was awoken out of bed with the bad news by someone pounding on our front door early in the morning. After hastily contacting beloved friends with whom I had shared many a Dead show, I tuned the stereo to KLCC 89.7 FM, the Dead-friendly college radio station broadcasting from Eugene. They were playing nothing but Jerry's music, and we listened through the day. Always the taper, I dropped a cassette tape in and hit record. This podcast is drawn from that dusty old tape, recently found in the archives deep in the garage and brought in to the 21st century by way of modern technology.
Eugene was intimately intertwined to Jerry and the Grateful Dead for me: I saw my first shows at Autzen Stadium with Waterdog in 1990, a month out of high school, and returned for several more glorious Autzen runs over the years -- every single show I saw there was stellar and my memories are vibrant with sunburnt faces on smiling friends, the lazy Willametter River, the distant green hills (Kesey Country to the south), road trips, hot veggie burritos, ice cold beer, camping in the tall grass and the best summer music I ever done heard.
The sound quality of this podcast ain't nothing to brag about, and many crucial Jerry tracks are not represented here -- Dark Star, Terrapin Station, Stella Blue, Scarlet to Fire, Standing on the Moon, Eyes of the World. What this recording does offer up is a historical document, a time capsule holding some of the wistful, loving grief that overtook hundreds of thousands of people around the planet on that day in early August way back in 1995.
You are missed, Jerry. Thanks for all the glorious music...
(At the last minute, I decided I had to throw in my own personal closing track -- couldn't leave the sad voices of listeners calling in to KLCC be the last note! “Fare thee well, fare thee well, I love you more than words can tell. Gonna listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul...”)
Check out another rebroadcast from KLCC celebrating the legacy of Jerry Garcia here.
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