Garcia, righteous revolutionary

GREAT ADVICE FROM THE DEAD

“If we had any nerve at all, if we had any real character, we would make an effort to address the wrongs in this society, righteously.” — Jerry Garcia

ART BY NICOLAS ROSENFELD
Art by Nicolás Rosenfeld

Counterculture icon of the 1960s

Jerry Garcia, lead guitarist of the legendary rock band The Grateful Dead, died of a heart attack on this day, August 9, 1995, at the age of 53.

“I think The Grateful Dead represents the spirit of being able to go out and have an adventure in America at large,” said Jerry Garcia. “We didn’t invent the Grateful Dead, the crowd invented the Grateful Dead. We were just in line to see what was going to happen.”

GETTING HIGH


“You need music, I don’t know why. It’s probably one of those Joe Campbell questions — why we need ritual. We need magic, and bliss, and power, myth, and celebration, and religion in our lives, and music is a good way to encapsulate a lot of it.” — Jerry Garcia


RIPPLE


WHARF RAT


RAMBLE ON ROSE


LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL

Demarcation

The final salute to Jerry by thousands of friends and fans at his memorial service was to stand as one and roar and applaud just like at a Grateful Dead concert.


“What a long, strange trip it’s been.”

Demarcation

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Screw it, man!

GOIN’ BACK TO THE ‘70s

To hell with 2021, it’s turning out worse than 2020.

Screw that, man, I’m going back to the 1970s — the ‘Me Decade,’ as novelist Tom Wolfe called it. He meant it disparagingly, taking a swipe at the self-absorbed baby boomers.

So we were self-absorbed — big deal. At least we had fun, unlike the current misery of endless ‘variants’ of the pandemic lined up like planes at LaGuardia, lockdowns and shut-ins, jabs and masks, despots trying to herd us all into sheep pens and control our every move and our minds and our bodies. Pardon my French, but, putain cette merde, mec.

The 1970s was a decade of free spirits, uninhibited sex, drugs, sweet, stoned flowing love, and some of the best songs.

Let’s start with the music.

MONTHLY HITS

Compiled by Top Culture (thanks, man)

PART 1: January 1970 — December 1974

 

PART 2: January 1975 — December 1979


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‘Tears are falling and I feel the pain’

DID PROZAC KILL DEL SHANNON?

I’m walking in the rain

Tears are falling and I feel the pain

Wishing you were here by me

To end this misery

On February 8, 1990, Del Shannon, whose megahit ‘Runaway’ had rocketed to the top of the Billboard charts, shot himself in the head with a .22 caliber rifle. He was 55.

His wife, LeAnne, returned to their home in Santa Clarita, Califoria, at 11:30 pm from shopping to find him slumped in a chair, the rifle next to his body.

Del Shannon, whose real name was Charles Westover, suffered from depression and alcoholism. Shortly before killing himself he had started taking the antidepressant Prozac.

HIS WIDOW SUED THE DRUG COMPANY

LeAnne sued Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of Prozac, alleging it contributed to his suicide. The lawsuit claimed the company did not properly test the drug and failed to warn doctors of its possible side effects.

His behavior became erratic when he started on Prozac, his wife said, drastically altering his moods and personality.

Del Shannon suicide questioned

The suit was eventually dropped, but the case brought attention to the possible connection between suicides and drugs like Prozac.

CRIME STORY

Del Shannon’s 1961 hit ‘Runaway’ sold at a rate of 80,000 singles a day, and became the theme song for the NBC drama series Crime Story that ran for two seasons from 1986 to 1988.

Del Shannon, who was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, and into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame in 2005.

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