August 1, 1942 – August 9, 1995
Jerry Garcia is best remembered as a co-founder of influential jam band, the Grateful Dead who will forever be linked to the San Francisco rock and hippie scenes of the late ’60s and early ’70s. Although a democratic band with multiple “lead” singers, Garcia was considered the leader of the group by most outside the band. Garcia was extremely busy outside the Dead as well, recording and playing with New Riders Of The Purple Sage (with John Dawson), Old and in the Way, Legion Of Mary, as well as his own Jerry Garcia Band. He also had numerous collaborations with David Grisman. His unique guitar playing found its way on to numerous albums as a guest artist also, likely leading to Rolling Stone magazine placing him at #13 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Players Of All Time. During the summer of 1995, Garcia checked into a rehabilitation center; he had struggled with drug addiction. On August 9, his lifeless body was discovered at the facility, dead of a heart attack. It was likely the result of his addictions as well as his heavy weight sleep apnea. Four days later, a public memorial was held in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Over 25,000 people attended.