Jerome John "Jerry" Garcia
(August 1, 1942 – August 9, 1995)
Jerry Garcia. Undeniably one of the most well known men in the history of rock 'n' roll. Both his image and his music are instantly recognizable to people the world over. And while the truly remarkable events and details of Jerry's life have been recorded over the years by fans and critics alike, there are some facts that are known only by the most dedicated Garcia followers. We bet there are some facts that you just may not have known!!!!!
1. As a high school student, Jerry studied art at the California School of Fine Arts in
2. Jerry's full name was Jerome John Garcia--named after the great Broadway musical composer Jerome Kern.
3. Jerry was surrounded by music as a child; his mother listened to opera, his father was a professional musician, and when his family got together, they would have sing-alongs.
4. Jerry lost his middle finger of his right hand--his brother accidentally chopped it off splitting wood.
5. His third grade teacher encouraged him to draw pictures, paint murals and make ceramics.
6. Having asthma as a child, Jerry spent a lot of his time in bed reading.
7. Jerry was an avid collector of comic books.
8. Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream named a flavor," Cherry Garcia," after him-the first ice cream to be named after a musical legend.
9. In jerry's first gig, his band won a contest and got to record a song. They chose Bill Doggett's "Raunchy".
10. Jerry enlisted in the Army at age 17, but was dishonorably discharged just nine months later.
11. Jerry's first paying gig came with his future songwriting partner, Robert Hunter. Named "Bob and Jerry," each earned $5.00.
12. Early in his life, Jerry was torn between music and art, but realized he couldn't concentrate on two art forms at once. he chose music, because he enjoyed the interaction and creativity of others working together.
13. Some of his early influences were Joan Baez and the New Lost City Ramblers; he incorporated and expanded their technique to create his own artistry.
14. Garcia loved to play the five string banjo, which inspired him to organize a bluegrass band in 1962- the Hart Valley Drifters, later called the Wildwood Boys.
15. In the spring of 1963, Jerry and Sarah Ruppenthal performed as "Jerry and Sarah," playing acoustic music front the 1920's and 1930's. Later that year, Sarah became Jerry's first wife.
16. Jerry performed in several groups that only existed for a gig or two: the Thunder Mountain Tub Thumpers, the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers, the Wildwood Boys, and the Black Mountain Boys.
17. Garcia met Bob Weir and decided to assemble a jug band- Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions- featuring instruments such as the jug, wash tub bass, harmonica, washboard, and the kazoo.
18. Jerry and Mother McCree's took their music in a different direction. They started using electric instruments, and then changed the name of their group to the Warlocks.
19. Jerry didn't read musical notes; rather he improvised by playing by ear and by feel.
20. The Warlocks realizing that there already was a band playing under that same name, decided to change it. after numerous that were no good, Jerry got a dictionary, opened it, and came across the words Grateful Dead.
21. Jerry's dad, Jose Ramon Garcia emigrated from
in 1919. Spain
22. Jerry, along with the likes of Janis Joplin, became known as one of the originators of the "San Francisco Sound."
23. Garcia often would develop intense themes in the middle of songs, making this improvisational style of playing the Grateful Dead's trademark.
24. Garcia produced Jefferson Airplane's second album, Surrealistic Pillow, but only got credit as being a spiritual advisor.
25. Jerry earned the nickname "Captain Trips" because of his interest in LSD excursions.
26. Garcia's love for bluegrass and old-time music led him to form a number of side groups over the years while playing in the Grateful Dead.
27. Garcia was not happy with both his and the Dead's performance at
, calling it a disappointment. Woodstock
28. Jerry started performing in a country-western band called the New Riders of the Purple Sage- the New Riders even opened for the Grateful dead for a while.
29. Jerry loved to play several types of music, including folk, bluegrass, country, rock 'n' roll, and acid rock.
30. Jerry played all the instruments except the drums for his first solo album, titled Garcia.
31. Jerry's second album was also titled Garcia, but later became known as Compliments of Garcia because there was a promotional sticker that said "Compliments of" on the cover.
32. The Jerry Garcia Band was his second longest-lived music group-- the Grateful Dead was his first.
33. Having a strong passion for the visual aspect of art, Jerry helped create The Grateful Dead movie, working on the sound track and editing.
34. Jerry's second wife, Carolyn Adams, was nicknamed Mountain Girl.
35. Born on August 1, 1942, Jerry was his parents second and final child.
36. Garcia was selected as the Bay Area Musician of the Year in 1980 through a readers' poll in Bay Area Music magazine.
37. Jerry collaborated with members of Saturday Night Live and developed skits around Grateful Dead folklore, including a bit entitled "Jerry's Kids."
38. Garcia helped to set up a foundation to help support various charities, the Rex Foundation, which made contributions to numerous social and environmental causes in need.
39. Garcia was once given an ultimatum by the Grateful Dead- to chose between the band and the drugs.
40. Jerry's gaining weight led to an inspired slogan amongst the fans," It's not over until the fat man rocks."
41. Jerry had a strong liking for red and black tee-shirts.
42. Jerry had long been a fan of Bob Dylan, and had covered many of Dylan's songs with both the Jerry Garcia band and the Grateful Dead.
43. Jerry's first commercial was a thirty second radio advertisement for
501 jeans-fittingly, a San Francisco-based company. Levis
44. Garcia won awards for Musician of the Year and Best Guitarist in 1988 at the Bay Area Music awards.
45. Jerry was a strong environmental activist-the album Blues from the Rainforest was a project he worked on to help create awareness for the diminishing rainforests.
46. While recovering from a diabetic coma in 1986, received over 65,000 calls on the Grateful Dead hotline.
47. Jerry's oldest daughter, Heather, became a first chair violinist for the Red wood Symphony.
48. Jerry had his first art exhibit in 1991 at the Weir Gallery in
prices for these works of art ranged from $300 to $40,000. Berkley, California-
49. Jerry published a book of his artwork entitled The Book J. Garcia; Paintings, Drawings, and Sketches.
50. A tie manufacturer was impressed with his artwork and began a production of J. Garcia Art in Neckwear.
51. Garcia put out more than 30 albums with either the Jerry Garcia Band, the Grateful Dead, or as a solo performer.
52. Jerry supervised and approved a comic of the Dead- Grateful Dead Comix, which featured interpretations of songs and band members as characters.
53. Garcia developed his fondness for country music while listening to the Grand Ole Opry broadcasts with his grandmother.
54. "Touch of Grey" was both Jerry's and the Grateful Dead's only top ten hit.
55. Jerry would often smoke as much as three packs of cigarettes a day.
56. Jerry received his first guitar at the age of 15.
57. While on a fishing trip in 1948, Jerry saw his father swept away to his death in a
58. Jerry believed his life began after a 1960 auto accident in which a close talented friend of his died.
59. Jerry's first idol on the guitar was Chuck Berry.
60. The science fiction writer, Ray Bradbury, was Jerry's favorite author.
61. His first guitar was a Danelectro electric with a tiny fender amplifier.
62. After his release from the Army, Jerry studied painting at the Art Institute in Son Francisco.
63. Garcia held a job as a music teacher at Dana Morgan's Music.
64. Jerry died of a heart attack on august 9, 1995, eight days after his 53rd birthday.
65. Jerry's last recording was a cover of Jimmy Rodger's" blue Yodel #9."
66. Four months after Jerry's death, in December 1995, the remaining band members stated they would never perform again as the Grateful Dead.
67. Jerry sang the national anthem for the San Francisco Giants on opening day in 1993.
68. Jerry did musical and sound effects for the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
69. Sting, the lead singer from the rock group the Police, called Garcia, "Father Christmas."
70. Jerry and the Dead played before more people and played more years than any other music combo in history.
71. Vice-president Al Gore gave Garcia a personal tour of the White House.
72. One of Jerry's favorite past times was scuba diving.
73. Jerry has four children-all daughters.
74. The Warlocks name was taken from an Egyptian prayer Garcia discovered in a dictionary.
75. Jerry played lead guitar and sang vocals for the Grateful Dead.
76. Jerry's parents owned a bar in
the Four Hundred Club, named for its San Francisco-
400 First Street.
77. Jerry earned three merit badges in the Boy Scouts: for knot tying, compass reading, and life saving.
78. Tiff was the nickname Jerry called his older brother Clifford.
79. Jerry was court marshaled twice while in the Army.
80. Jerry's mother Ruth Garcia was a registered nurse.
81. Jerry played several instruments including the saxophone, piano, banjo and the guitar.
82. One of Jerry's first jobs was picking apricots and beans in a local fields.
83. One person Jerry wanted to play with was the legendary Bill Monroe, but he never got the chance.
84. Jerry's mother really wanted Jerry to be a girl; she already had one boy and wanted a daughter.
85. Garcia became a regular on the radio broadcast of The Midnight Special, a folk music show in
. Berkley, California
86. Jerry had built up a repertoire of bluegrass tunes, ballads, mountain tunes, rags, and country blues that he performed on the five string banjo.
87. After seeing the Beatles film A Hard Days Night, Jerry was inspired to change his jug band into a rock band.
88. The first gig for the Warlocks was at Magoo's Pizza Parlor.
89. Jerry would practice at any location he could find, sometimes up to ten hours a day.
90. Jerry's close friend Ken Kesey wrote the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
91. Jerry got his first piece of national press in Sing Out magazine.
92. In 1966, the first Grateful Dead record was released- a 45 of "Stealin'." on the flip side was "Don'y Ease Me In."
93. In 1989, Garcia testified about the plight of the rainforests at the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.
94. Garcia was a fan of surreal art; some of his influences were Max Ernst and Paul Klee.
95. The album Deadicated, which featured various bands covering Grateful Dead tunes, was at tribute to the long-time team of Jerry Garcia and Bob Hunter.
96. At a sold out show on Garcia's 50th birthday, a fan distributed paper masks with Garcia's face and the crowd attempted to sing "Happy Birthday."
97. Jerry married his third wife, Deborah Koons, on Valentine's Day, 1994.
98. Jerry considered himself one of the best banjo players in
99. Half of Jerry's remains were scattered in the Ganges river in
, a country Jerry had never visited. The second half of Jerry's remains were scattered beneath the India . Golden Gate Bridge
From the website: http://members.tripod.com/~wharf_n_lace/99facts.html