Jerry Garcia

Jerome John “Jerry” Garcia was ranked 13th as one of Rolling Stones greatest guitarist of all time. He performed with the band, “The Grateful Dead,” which he helped found, for their entire thirty-year career. He also founded and participated in many side-projects with other musicians along the way. Garcia had been influenced by music at an early age. His father was a retired musician and his mother enjoyed playing the piano. He took piano lessons for much of his childhood. Garcia lost two thirds of his middle finger in a wood chopping accident, but didn’t let that affect his playing. He often used it to his benefit as he showed it off to kids in the neighborhood.

Garcia and his family moved a lot during his youth. Often they moved to find a better neighborhood or to keep Garcia out of trouble. At a younger age, Garcia did not take his studies serious and would get into fights. He began to experiment with drugs and even stole his mom’s car, which afforded him a trip into the United States Army. He spent most of his time in the army being a slacker and often missed roll call. Ultimately, he was given a general discharge from the army. He spent much of his time after that living in his car or staying with his friends.

In 1961, Garcia was involved in a car accident with three other friends. The driver was fatally injured while the other three passengers were thrown through the windows. Garcia suffered from a broken collarbone and lost any recollection of being ejected from the window. This event served as an awakening for Garcia and he later commented that it was the moment his life began. He recognized that he had been gliding through life. This was his second chance. After the accident, he really focused on playing his guitar. He began to play for a progressive, community based radio show out of Berkley College. It came with huge success and continues to have ties to The Grateful Dead to this day. The name of the group was generally disliked by the members, but it quickly spread by word of mouth and became their official title. Garcia would also begin to play and teach acoustic guitar and banjo during this time.

“The Grateful Dead” was defined as a dead person, or his angel, showing gratitude to someone who, as an act of charity, arranged their burial. Garcia struggled with drug problems in the later side of his life and ended up in a drug rehabilitation facility where he would pass away due to a heart attack. I hope that Garcia would find satisfaction in the act of dedicating a star in his honor.

View or Dedicate a star near Jerry Garcia's Star at YourStarForever.com

Posted on May 25, 2015 by Ryan Hart

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