Interview from Huff Post by Jamie Soja
I was able to interview Jason Roberts, guitarist for Norah Jones, to get a unique outlook from his "outsider perspective." Below also includes my interview with Stanley Mouse, a psychedelicposter and album artist who has worked with the Grateful Dead for a number of years. Stanley holds a unique "insider perspective."
Jamie Soja: "How and when did you start listening to the Grateful Dead and Jerry?
Has Jerry influenced your style? Have you played with members of the Dead
Jason Roberts: "When I was about 12, I found out that Jon Fishman from Phish was my cousin. His mom, Mimi, gave me and my brother a copy of 'Rift' and we quickly became life-long fans. I discovered the Dead through Phish, but it took me awhile to REALLY appreciate them. A couple of years later, my uncle gave me 'Europe 72' and I realized how incredible they were and how unbelievable Jerry's playing is. The older I get, I find myself really incorporating Jerry's style into my own playing. I mean - no one can ever sound just like Jerry, but I've spent some time studying his playing and now I find some of his licks naturally creeping into my own playing. This past weekend was the first time I had played with members of the Dead and it was really a very surreal moment for me."
Jamie Soja: "What was your favorite moment from the night?
Jason Roberts: "I actually had two favorite moments of the night. One was playing "Tennessee Jed." I just really love this song so much and having the opportunity to play it with Bob Weir and Mike Gordon and everyone else was such a thrill. My other favorite moment was when the band played "Terrapin Station." It came at a moment in the night where I had about an hour before I was going to play another song, so I was able to stand in the front and watch it as a fan. It's such an unbelievably special song and the band really did it justice. I was blown away!"
Jamie Soja: "How was this different than playing with Nora Jones?"
Jason Roberts: "I think that you have to approach every musician and band that you play with in a different way because everyone is different and everyone has their own style. Norah is one of a kind and playing with her is such a special experience for me because she has that unexplainable thing that people like Jerry, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, etc. have. She is able to tap into something that a lot of musicians can't or don't tap into. She is such a well-respected, talented and beautiful musician and I feel so grateful to get to play her songs every night with her."
Art has always been a huge part of the Grateful Dead, including post Jerry projects. TRI Studios continues with that tradition by utilizing the art of video, lighting, ambiance, and audio recording. I was able to speak with one of the most famous 60's psychedelic artists, Stanley Mouse, a favorite of the Dead, Bill Graham, and many other bands, etc.
Jamie Soja: "What do you believe Jerry would think of TRI studios?"
Stanley Mouse: "Jerry would be off his rocker if he didn't love TRI studios. TRI has the same look and feel of the old practice space on Front street in San Rafael, though TRI is a truly state of the art space. I think that Jerry would have had a ball in TRI."
Jamie Soja: "How was this different from when Jerry was alive?"
Stanley Mouse: "When the friends and family of the Dead get together these days there's a mellower atmosphere that didn't exist in the days of Jerry."
Jamie Soja: "What is one of your most cherished memories of Jerry that you have?"
Stanley Mouse: "When I was in the Haight, I had a studio in one of the Dead houses. I was around Jerry a thousand times but never connected with a meaningful conversation. He was always busy playing or talking with someone. One night at a Dead concert when my son Yuri was about twenty, they got into this big conversation back stage. They were talking furiously. A lot of people tried to get in on it or distract jerry, but they were so into it. I loved it because I knew Yuri was delivering and receiving everything that I had always wanted to and The time he said " Give Mouse a LIVER!" [See Stanley Mouse Grateful Dead benefit for his liver transplant.
Jamie Soja: "What was your favorite part of the night at TRI studios either musically or socially?"
Stanley Mouse: "Spending time with Annabelle, Trixy and Keelin was truly the highlight. Seeing Jerry alive in his children is wonderful. It was great that so many people came out to take part."
This was certainly a perfect way to throw an all-star party, for what would have been, Jerry Garcia's 70th birthday celebration.