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Jerry Garcia Exhibit – Bluegrass Hall of Fame (Owensboro, KY)

March 28 March 30

Pete will join a host of bluegrass pickers for this special opening of a new exhibit exploring Jerry Garcia’s bluegrass career.

“In the summer of ’63, I sure had no idea that the friendly and talented banjo player I met and played with in Palo Alto would not only become an icon of U.S. music culture, but would help kindle interest in bluegrass among untold numbers of people.

A big exhibit honoring Jerry’s bluegrass contributions and influence would no doubt have touched him, and I’m honored to be part of the exhibit’s opening — including reminiscing and playing with two fine musicians (David Nelson and Eric Thompson) whom we played with that summer.”

Pete Recalls Time Spent with Jerry Garcia

I met and played a bunch with Jerry during the summer of 1963 in Palo Alto. By weird coincidence, I was out there with my family for the summer (my first time west of Pennsylvania), at the age of 17, due to my dad working on writing a math book at Stanford. I fell in with the bluegrass crowd, which I found surprisingly developed considering the distance from the source. Jerry, David Nelson, Eric Thompson and others were as deeply steeped in bluegrass records available then as anyone I knew back east.  Read the Full Article

August 1963: Onstage jam at Camp Meeker, Russian River CA

Since this photo is a relic from what were no doubt “the early days of bluegrass” (just 18 years after 1945), it’s gotten special attention from Deadheads interested in Jerry’s bluegrass life — he’d just turned 21. In the red vest at right that’s Peter Albin, later Janis Joplin’s bandmate in Big Brother & the Holding Company. As Wendell Mercantile used to say, San Francisco is “where much of the 60s actually took place.” No long hair for men yet, just pre-Beatles.