He Must be Famous

Posted by on August 9, 2015

Jerry made it to the cover of the Rolling Stones…many many times.

In Issue 148, 11/22/73, he looked like this:DSCN1882[1]

..not very charitable, but they also gave him the centerfold:


He must have been famous, right? A good kind of famous, though: one which doesn’t put on airs or act like a star. One who is approachable and smiling.

Jerry was in love with the universe. It showed in his life, his creativity, his far-reaching  presence. Always that smile…


He musta been famous.

For me, reflections are colored with the realities of the times. It seems he was always there, because the music was always there. Does that make sense? It seems like even in the quiet time you could hear a riff or hear his voice. He wasn’t a stranger, or a public figure, or some big rock star…he was Jerry.

From the first notes in ’72, as a broke hippie hearing him at that free outside show in Nashville, to the last ones in 1994 Jerry smiled thru the love and pain. I never saw him any other way. Even the shows where he was “off”, for some reason came across as wonderful lifetime experiences and all I remember was that  we all had a real good time…except that one night in SF,  and recollections are hazy and my own memories fuzzy…

I Had the good fortune to hang around the JGB in the late 80’s and for some reason had a JGB all-access employee pass for 1989 which seemed to slide me into any show no questions asked when I wasn’t “working”. The guy who stood there in front didn’t seem to be in charge, he just seemed to be  kind the ringleader by default. It was a family…

Jerry’s 1991 show in Squaw Valley with Grisman and that banjo wizard Bela Fleck left an imprint in my mind, as we rode gondolas up the hill w Everything!


Not sure when this was taken, but the hairdo says hair-don’t…


He musta been famous, right?


For me, he could make the guitar sing. And when that crazy synthesizer stuff became popular, he would play and trumpets or flutes would tally forth. What a kick he musta got out of that!

He musta been famous, but he had his battles…


And we know how that ended…


…twenty years ago today…

All the deadheads in Tanzania lined up at the post office in November of ’95…not to buy Money Orders tho…


Was he famous? Yes…Did he care? No, me thinks not. And that is rare…

Thank you Jerry. Your music was simply part of the thread that held all of our quilts and blankeys and lives together…always was, always will.

He was Jerry.

…we love you, we miss you, we will never forget you…and the music will live on forever.




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