Jim Shelley & Book Of Kills


It's 7:15 A.M. and workers are outside on our roof, hammering away. In another month, we will have had someone (some incompetent, some very competent) working on this house for a year. I'm hoping that by late next week, our roof will be done. After that, we will still have to have further work done but compared to everything else, it should be relatively minor. 

On this day in 1995, Jerry Garcia died at a rehab facility in San Francisco. It's funny...I don't remember where I was that day or how I heard Garcia had passed away. John Lennon...I remember vividly. I even wrote a song about that night. Kurt Cobain...I was riding in a car with my 8 year-old son when the news came on the radio. But Jerry's death draws a blank. I'm saddened to this day that he had to leave this world without the company of family and friends, but few of us get our choice of how and when to die. Garcia's guitar playing shaped my own--just listen to SO FAR IN EVERY DIRECTION'S "This Time (Maybe)" or ALL ABOUT YOU'S "What Never Was" for examples--though of course it would be ludicrous to suggest that I am even in the same galaxy when it comes to comparable fretboard skills.

Something I do remember, is seeing Jerry and the rest of the Dead in Oklahoma City on August 1, 1982 when Jerry turned 40. The temperature that evening was 105 when the Dead came on and I recall after about an hour of playing Jerry looked like he was going to collapse from the heat. They took about an hour break and came back out for a good, if not great, second set, but even then it seemed obvious that Garcia was not in great health.

The next two weeks are going to be quite busy with one thing or another. I'll try to find the time to do whatever it is I'm going to do for the final single. I've tossed around a few ideas in my mind, but I don't really have anything concrete to focus in on.

"You have to get past the idea that music has to be one thing. To be alive in America is to hear all kinds of music constantly: radio, records, churches, cats on the street, everywhere music. And with records, the whole history of music is open to everyone who wants to hear it." -- Jerry Garcia