Hi there friends- I have been trying to develop a series of posts- all of which wait on the back burner in editing. This is not to say that I am working hard at them, just to say that they are not yet ready for public consumption. However, this week a very special reason to post has popped up and I am just going to offer you all a set of daily posts wrapped inside one theme- The Grateful Dead.

Aug. 1st is Jerry Garcia’s birthday and this period of time, the run from Aug 1 to Aug 9th the date that Jerry died, have become special to most deadheads. We call  days between his birth and his death “the days between” in line with a song of the same name.

The song in question is a very special song to me and perhaps to many deadheads. While it never had that soaring Jerry vocal that it could have had with a great deal of practice in concert. Bob Weir, rhythm guitarist for the Grateful Dead and heir apparent for picking up the Deads heavy mantel, has made this song his own. When I hear the song in concert from Furthur (the revamped vehicle for Grateful Dead music), it brings Jerry to mind. I can remember being in Simpsonville South Carolina 2 summers ago during a Further tour. We were on this nice thick flat lawn. The sun had heated things up all day but now we were near the end of the show. It was quite a show and perhaps one of my favorite from that year- but that is another story. Bobby brought this song up and sang it with such passion and zeal that it was a fitting tribute to the big man. And I and my newfound pals, (as everyone becomes temporary brothers and sisters at a dead show), were also wailing away. It was hard not to feel Jerry’s presence.

The Days Between- Garcia/Hunter

There were days
and there were days
and there were days between
Summer flies and August dies
the world grows dark and mean
Comes the shimmer of the moon
on black infested trees
the singing man is at his song
the holy on their knees
The reckless are out wrecking
The timid plead their pleas
No one knows much more of this
than anyone can see anyone can see
There were days
and there were days
and there were days besides
when phantom ships with phantom sails
set to sea on phantom tides
Comes the lightning of the sun
on bright unfocused eyes
the blue of yet another day
a springtime wet with sighs
a hopeful candle lingers
in the land of lullabies
where headless horsemen vanish
with wild and lonely cries lonely cries
There were days
and there were days
and there were days I know
when all we ever wanted
was to learn and love and grow
Once we grew into our shoes
we told them where to go
Walked halfway around the world
on promise of the glow
Stood upon a mountain top
Walked barefoot in the snow
Gave the best we had to give
How much we’ll never know we’ll never know
There were days
and there were days
and there were days between
polished like a golden bowl
The finest ever seen
Hearts of Summer held in trust
still tender, young and green
left on shelves collecting dust
not knowing what they mean
Valentines of flesh and blood
as soft as velveteen
hoping love would not forsake
the days that lie between lie between

Even today, 18 years after the death of Jerry Garcia, I mourn his absence. No musician that I know of has had the kind of impact on me that he and The Grateful Dead have had. So I wanted to communicate my love for his music and wisdom in a series of posts that will fill The Days Between. In the next few days I will write about the ways in which The Grateful Dead have changed my life. Hopefully, it will resonate with those who have been on the journey with me, and it will give some vision of the journey that the band took me on from 1989 to now.


Today I am simply going to post one of my favorite songs from Jerry Garcia. This one comes from Workingman’s Dead- an album of folk acoustic brilliance that took me away to some never imagined place. The album itself was a modern folk masterpiece offering up a mythology cast in the irons of the industrial revolution and speaking of the woes of the peoples that were crushed by the sweeping changes that the industrial age cast upon the common people, the folk. The Grateful Dead took the simple folk melodies and made them sing for me, more than any other folk artist had done. To this day, the album still speaks to me. But this was one of the greatest values in the songwriting of the Dead, every song could be reinterpreted by the listener, a tilted rorschach of personal information waiting to be discovered over and over again by each individual listener. Sure the songs have meaning, but where the Grateful Dead made the most headway was when they could stitch together verse and song to reveal a scaffold of the listener- you can find yourself in almost every song. So here I present to you, “High Time”- a song that has gotten me through many bad times and helped my spirit soar at times when it most needed it. I hope you will enjoy it as well. This one is from 1977 one of my favorite years of live material from the band.