A lot of people have been perplexed by the series of farewell concerts from The Grateful Dead the past few weeks. Perplexed because founder, leader, visionary and guiding light Jerry Garcia will have passed from the scene 20 years ago this coming August.
And in the same vein as those who believe the Rolling Stones were nothing without Brian Jones, The Who without Keith Moon or John Entwistle, Pink Floyd without Syd Barrett, there are legions of Dead fans who believe The Grateful Dead without Jerry Garcia just aren’t the Grateful Dead.
I’m not going to jump into the controversy, or even offer my two cents. I will however say that, some bands (I won’t say who) have gone past their sell-by date, and the only reason they continue touring is because of the money – their relevance has diminished over the years and, rather than cover new territory, have contented themselves with a certain aura of nostalgia which translates into ticket sales and an income stream.
That said – this is Jerry Garcia without The Dead, during his solo journey – one of many he made over the years. This one is from the Calderone Theatre in Hempstead New York and recorded for posterity by WLIR on February 28, 1980.
If you’ve been missing Captain Trips while you’re saying farewell, here’s a reminder.