The Days Between

In addition to being a Grateful Dead song, Deadheads also know that the “Days Between” are August 1 (the date of Jerry’s birth in 1942) and August 9 (the date of his death in 1995).

Jerry would have been 80 on August 1, but obviously he passed away at age 53 in 1995. I never met Jerry but I did meet his wax likeness. Despite his passing at age 53, Jerry’s passing was not “premature” as he had many health issues, many self-inflicted, which led to his demise. He was a flawed genius. Regardless, he was one of my childhood heroes, the other being Mickey Mantle, also flawed in his own way, who ironically died the same week in 1995 as Jerry, a bad week for my childhood idols.

As I recently wrote (The Dead Still Live) their music continues to play an important part of my life even as I turn 70 in October. The feeling of joy of attending any show of the band’s remnants, or even a cover band, is uplifting.

I’ve also recently finished listening to the 5 podcast seasons of the Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast. Per the website:

“The Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast,” the official Grateful Dead podcast, is a series devoted to exploring the music and mythology behind one of the most enduring, progressive, and influential bands in the history of recorded music. The podcast’s tagline is “For The Committed And The Curious,” as episodes will invite new fans to explore the band’s enormous mythology in digestible chunks and enlighten life-long Dead Heads about corners of the band’s history they never knew existed. No topic will be off limits on “The Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast” as hosts Rich Mahan and Jesse Jarnow explore the band’s outrageous history, innovations, and impact from 1965 to today.

There are roughly 50 episodes in total of various lengths. The 5 seasons break down as follows:

Season One (2020)—Workingmans’s Dead 50th anniversary exploration of each song. The first episode is Uncle John’s Band. Great song.

Season Two (2020)—American Beauty 50th Anniversary exploration of each song (BTW, American Beauty is the best album of all time, says me)

Seasons Three & Four (2021)–The episodes explore the Skull & Roses album, Garcia’s solo album, different venues the band played, and the “new” members, Keith & Donna Godchaux.

Season Five—Europe 72. The episodes explore each show of the legendary concerts (and the ultimate album) from their first European tour in 1972

Hearing Jerry, Pig Pen, Robert Hunter, tons of guests, crew, managers and others on these is not to be missed. I learned so much, and for music aficionados the discussion around the composition and recordings of their classic songs is incredibly interesting. My thanks to my buddy (and fellow Deadhead) Bill Kneller for turning me on to the podcast. Truth is I missed the initial shows in 2020, and binge-listened to all the episodes over the past few months. A MUST listen for anyone with any interest in the Grateful Dead.

Jerry has been long gone (and nothing’s gonna bring him back), but his inspiration and creativity live on and provide joy to countless people. I am happy to be among them.

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