The Day the Music Died I: A Tribute to Jerry Garcia

This Radio Free Fundi episode features a rebroadcast of a live radio show by KLCC 89.7 FM in Eugene from August 9, 1995, the day the Jerry Garcia died.

I was living in Bend, Oregon at the time, and was awoken out of sweet slumber with the bad news by someone pounding on our front door early in the morning. I rolled over and tuned my clock radio on to KLCC, the Dead-friendly college radio station broadcasting from Eugene. I heard the silver-shimmery notes from Jerry's guitar over the airwaves and burst in to tears knowing then that the news was true. Always the taper, I dropped a cassette tape in and hit record to capture the moment. This podcast is drawn from that dusty old tape, recently found in the archives deep in the garage and brought in to the 21st century by way of modern technology.

Eugene was intimately intertwined to Jerry and the Grateful Dead for me: I saw my first shows at Autzen Stadium with Waterdog a month out of high school, and returned for several more glorious Autzen runs over the years -- every single show I saw there was stellar in its own way and my memories are vibrant with sunburnt faces on smiling friends, the lazy Willametter River, the distant green hills (Kesey Country to the south), road trips, hot veggie burritos, ice cold beer, camping in the tall grass and the best summer music I ever done heard.

The sound quality of this podcast ain't nothing to brag about, and many crucial Jerry tracks are not represented here -- Dark Star, Terrapin Station, Stella Blue, Scarlet to Fire, Standing on the Moon, Eyes of the World. What this recording does offer up is a historical document, a time capsule holding some of the wistful, loving grief that overtook hundreds of thousands of people around the planet on that day in early August way back in 1995.

You are missed, Jerry. Thanks for all the glorious music...

(For another Jerry Garcia KLCC tribute that occurred a few days later,
click here.)

To download MP3 version, option/right-click on the "Listen Now" icon.