My son gave me this surprising book for Christmas 2011. I immediately started reading this revealing interview format, a testament to free thought.
The first part is a fantastic interview by Jann Wenner and Charles Reich. Jerry tells about his family roots, early childhood memories and his sense of self. He communicates his boredom with the straight fifties American scene. At seventeen he joined the Army, where he concentrated on playing the acoustic guitar. That gig lasted 9 months. When he got out Jerry found himself among a growing contingent of freaks ‘living off the fat of the land’
Through well thought out questions Jann and Charles let Jerry reveal his mindset in timely verbiage delivered in his unique style of speaking. A playful combination of California phrases and musical expressions adorn the pages of this cherished document to a high existence.
Remember, this slice of time is captured during 1972. Well before the advent of harder drugs in his diet. Here we find a sparkling mind, certain of the wide array of possibilities at his disposal. A sage who immediately realized the fruitless appetite for admiration, money and status did not interest him in the least. On the pages of this book he expresses a certainty of self awareness and how he relates to the world around him. He possesses a rare quality, high, cognitive potential, asserting itself through a combination of wit and sensitivity lacking in the majority of our population.
He answers questions with insight and sensitivity while acknowledging the irony of survival. ‘A Signpost’ reveals the mindset of a true prophet of inner space. In recent years negative portrayals of him circulate through the Media. Rumors of cult driven behavior (a God like persona). These accusations of course are inaccurate at best. Jerry from the time of this interview up until the day of his death, conducted himself in a benign manner, both personally and on stage. Yes, he had addiction issues, health problems; however he kept up his end of responsibility to his band mates and friends.
I recommend this book to those who are curious about the counter-culture’s mindset. Beyond Peace, Love and drugs. Jerry Garcia envisioned a world of cooperation and heightened awareness rising from the framework of the Industrial-Military Complex. In these interviews he speaks with optimism, and wonder. Enjoy GS