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“He’s not only moving my mind. My mind is moving him!”


I started reading Robert Greenfield’s Dark Star: An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia a few days ago. Sixty pages in and I’m fascinated by how little I know. It’s an interesting thing to suddenly learn so much about someone or something you feel so close to. But, I’ll save my new facts and figures for a later post. Tonight, I want to talk about something I knew, but needed put into words. Ken Kesey does it well:

“With Garcia, it was not a one-way thing. Garcia was as well read as anybody I’d ever met. He understood Martin Buber’s I and Thou and that he was in a relationship with his audience. He was not playing at them. He was playing with them. Anybody who’s been on acid and has felt Garcia reach in there and touch them, all of a sudden they realize, ‘He’s not only moving my mind. My mind is moving him!’ You’d look up there and see Garcia’s face light up as he felt that come back from somebody. It was a rare and marvelous thing…” (Robert Greenfield’s Dark Star: An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia, pg 76)

I never did acid and I never saw Jerry perform, but even through the stereo you can feel Jerry and The Grateful Dead borrowing your soul and playing it back at you. It’s hard to describe the satisfaction you get when you find someone that somehow gets you. And not because they say they get you, but because they embody everything that runs through your veins. Music seems to be the perfect forum for such a feeling. That being said, it’s rare (especially nowadays) to find that genuine, unselfish give and take in music. So from all of us, thank you Jerry.

Now, think about those words of Kesey and put on your favorite Dead song… Amazing isn’t it? When you finish wondering where the hell your mind and soul just journeyed off to (take your time), share your thoughts in the comment box below. If you’ve seen Jerry live, tell us about it. I want to know what it was like to stand in front of him as he played to you. For those not so fortunate, I want your comments too. In the spirit of Jerry, let’s make this a give and take kind of relationship.

“If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung
Would you hear my voice come through the music?
Would you hold it near, as it were your own?”


2 Comments leave one →
  1. 04/09/2010 10:39 pm

    I just like the style you took with this article. It isn’t typical that you just find a subject so to the point and enlightening.

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