DrippingColors
Senior Boarder
Posts:314

One fan's story

#90129 2 years, 10 months ago
I first heard Jerry Garcia in 1979 on the radio. The song was Shakedown Street. I was surprised to find out it was an aging rocker since his voice was so youthful and fresh. Over the next six months I turned eighteen, graduated from high school, left home for college and, most importantly, saw my first Grateful Dead concert at Crysler Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan. During the next couple of years, I read about the band, bought albums and made the amazing discovery that virtually every Grateful Dead show was available on cassette, for free.

In 1981 I took my first road trip to a tiny, somewhat seedy theater in Chicago called the Uptown. There the true nature of the band, the genius of Jerry Garcia, and the intricate culture of the deadheads unfolded before me. These people, though freaky looking and sometimes unwashed, were the most genuine and truly happy people I had ever met. When Jerry took a 32 bar solo, the room lifted and the focus of the
crowd became intense. In the lingo of the deadheads, I “got it.”

Soon afterward I summoned the courage to drop out of the College of Engineering and try my hand at Art School. The movie of my life was undergoing huge changes in plot and the Dead quickly became the sound track. Art School opened up new ways of seeing and thinking. At the same time my friends and I were discovering vast treasure troves of music and deadlore while we made our own memories, traveling in junk cars on crazy all night drives with nothing but our wits, forty dollars between us and our tickets to the show to survive on.

The years passed, the people and places around me changed, but the Grateful Dead remained the one true constant in my life, outside of my immediate family. I developed an interest in urban landscape painting and would eventually choose the subject as the thesis for my graduate degree in painting. I also found that I could sell these paintings at art festivals. My Dead touring experience primed me for the cross country driving, sleeping in vans and living on peanut butter that was necessary to make the journeys. Some of the Jerry Garcia paintings I would make on tour also started selling well. For a few brief years, my summers were filled with art fairs, Dead concerts and constant travel. After sixteen years and 135 Dead shows in seventeen states from Maine to California, my experience with Grateful Dead concerts came to a close with Jerry's sudden death in 1995.

In the years after his passing it became apparent to me that my paintings of Jerry became especially important to people. Given his Santa Claus appearance, wild hair and emotional facial expressions, I found his portrait remained an interesting subject. Beyond his appearance, his spirit is one worth capturing in paint. Beneath his many flaws, there is still the brilliance of a determined artist. His hard work, commitment to craft and pure joy in the act of creation will always be an inspiring model, a beacon of light and a source of personal and artistic salvation. I hope my pictures of Garcia give you some of the same feelings, and don't forget, be kind, Jerry's watchin'.
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Chester
Moderator
Posts:33348
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Re: One fan's story

#90141 2 years, 10 months ago
Hey DrippingColors. Great story. It's heartfelt and unique, and yet one we are all personally familiar with.
We have an art thread, that could use an infusion of inspiration, if you'd like to post your work there.
www.furthur.net/forum/general-discussion...mit=20&start=920
I can't come down, it's plain to see.
I can't come down, I've been set free.
Who you are, and what you do,
don't make no difference to me.
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brokenarrow
Gold Boarder
Posts:1020

Re: One fan's story

#90201 2 years, 10 months ago
That's a sweet painting. Keep it coming
GOOD LOVE
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rockinbob
Platinum Boarder
Posts:1467

Re: One fan's story

#90337 2 years, 10 months ago
Dripping Colors, THANKS!!! My first show was with you in Ann Arbor in 89'! I just got chills reading your story and just wanted to say THANKS! I feel exactly the same way about the whole culture of the GD! So happy we have a guy like you carrying on with the goodness to help this ever darkening world of Hate. We ARE the hope of the future and this music is our guide and centerpiece for which to follow and treat each other with respect. I would have lost all faith in the goodness of Humans if not for The GD, & all the way to Furthur and the combinations in between. I am really extar GRATEFUL for your post as I love it when a friend opens his heart with such passion! You ROCK dripping Colors and NICE WORK!
Aint No Time To Hate, Barely Time To Wait.........
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iraqistatefair
Platinum Boarder
Posts:1970
The wheels are muddy, got a ton of hay

Re: One fan's story

#90352 2 years, 10 months ago
"Be kind, remember, Jerry's watchin."
Aint that the truth. WoW !!
What would you do if Jerry were here? LoL .
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Chuck_Woolery
Visitor

Re: One fan's story

#90442 2 years, 10 months ago
Great story. Great work.
23atwell
Platinum Boarder
Posts:4843
I love what I love and I want it that way

Re: One fan's story

#90655 2 years, 10 months ago
Very solid beautiful story. Thank god I get it. I love the part when you say peopl change but gd never does. That's why I keep coming back. I love jerry
And I'm going to sit right here until I die
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violetgoo
Junior Boarder
Posts:56
a full-blown deadhead

Re: One fan's story

#90821 2 years, 9 months ago
LOVE IT!
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scar1et_f1re
Platinum Boarder
Posts:4900
R U Kind?

Re: One fan's story

#92283 2 years, 9 months ago
Thanks for sharing one of the best narratives I've read on this site. It still amazes me that while we are all so different (I am a math guy, I can't draw to save my life) we all share a common love for the collective gatherings we call concerts. At these magical places we are all equals, all hoping to feel that magic once again. Where we can let down our hair, forget about all the crap in life and be free to do whatever makes us happy.

~Nothing left to do but smile, smile smile.
FFF! Family is Forever!!!

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
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killwhyT
Senior Boarder
Posts:482

Re: One fan's story

#93177 2 years, 9 months ago
Thanks for sharing.
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