Sunday, November 15, 2020

"As American as lynch mobs": Jerry Garcia, politics, and The Grateful Dead

In a 1989 interview in "Rolling Stone", Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead was asked by Fred Goodman about the political perspectives of Deadheads: "So do you feel it’s possible for someone to like the Grateful Dead and the Republican party?" Garcia's answer suddenly turns dark: "Yeah. We’re American, too. What we do is as American as lynch mobs." The music of The Grateful Dead emerged from a blend of blues, jazz, bluegrass, country, and rock-and-roll and contributed to the history of American music and culture. But Garcia is honest about that history, which also includes lynch mobs and nuclear weapons (which he sang about in the post-apocalyptic cover "Morning Dew"). (Andrew Shields, #111words, 15 November)


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