Yesterday (August 1) would have been Jerry Garcia‘s 70th birthday. Sadly, the life of one of music’s most beloved and prized artists was cut short at the age of 53 in 1995 from a heart attack after decades of decadence.
Thankfully, not many remember Garcia for his shortcomings. Fellow musician – and a man who has dealt with demons of his own – David Crosby paid his respects to the former Grateful Dead frontman and guitarist by penning a poem in his memory, titled “Cause I’m Missing Jerry Tonight.”
“If I had to pick one of us to speak for us all; He would have done the job well,” Crosby begins, noting Garcia’s ability to speak for a generation. Crosby continues, eluding to Garcia’s issues with substance abuse by describing him as “an accelerator without the brakes,” but focuses on his ability as a guitarist, songwriter, unique outlook on life and being an exceptional human being.
“… but he had the brains and the heart and the spirit; Garcia really had what it takes,” Crosby closes the limerick.
You can read Crosby’s “Cause I’m Missing Jerry Tonight” in its entirety here. Happy belated 70th, Jerry!
– E.J. Judge, WCBSFM New York