This is my absolute favorite video of Jerry Garcia ever. Weird huh? Has nothing to do with the Grateful Dead. This is Jerry, sitting in with Ruben Blades, in some random hotel ballroom. From the looks of it, it appears to be around 1989-90.
Not one person in attendance was there to see Jerry Garcia. I wonder how many even knew who he was? Fast forward to 5:45 in the video, when Jerry is introduced, and takes a solo. The pure joy of just playing, of being anonymous….I get goosebumps everytime I watch it.
I have a PH.D in Grateful Dead and have read many books about the band. Jerry felt trapped by his fame for much of his life. Being a God to an army of devoted Deadheads, was great for us, but not so great for him.
In this setting, none of that pressure. Just music, which is what he loved most. Playing music with great musicians. This is Jerry, as happy as I’ve ever seen him.
Again, if you are a Deadhead, fast forward to 5:45 and tell me the hair on your neck didn’t spring to attention. This is how I choose to remember him on his birthday.