Jerry Garcia, the lead guitarist and songwriter for the Grateful Dead, died on this day in 1995 after suffering a heart attack. Garcia spent 30 years playing with the Dead and was beloved by millions of fans. He (and the rest of the band) was also a bit of an environmentalist, talking about the need to protect the rain forests and making efforts to green up operations decades before "going green" went mainstream.
Jerry was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, and Rolling Stone magazine named him the 13th Greatest Guitarist of All Time. According to Bay Area guitarist Henry Kaiser
, Jerry could be "the most recorded guitarist in history. With more than 2,200 Grateful Dead concerts, and 1,000 Jerry Garcia Band concerts captured on tape — as well as numerous studio sessions — there are about 15,000 hours of his guitar work preserved for the ages."
Here's a great short clip of him jamming backstage at Woodstock.
In this video, an older Jerry warms up with "Crazy Fingers" for a show backstage.
In this beautifully bizarre clip, Jerry is interviewed by a young (29 years old) Al Franken during intermission of a Radio City Music Hall show.
Jerry was also a painter and released a line of high-end silk ties and jackets. In this interview, he talked about his work as a painter.
Jerry's bandmate Bob Weir was also an early environmentalist and talked about the importance of protecting the environment before playing "Ripple", a song Jerry originally sang on their wonderful album "American Beauty".
The world is a grayer place without Jerry Garcia.