Read David Crosby’s Poem For Jerry Garcia

Videos by American Songwriter

Jerry Garcia, the iconic Grateful Dead guitarist/vocalist, would have been 70 today, which is the new “50” for aging rock stars. To mark the occasion, David Crosby has shared a poem he wrote in Garcia’s honor, “Cause I’m Missing Jerry Tonight,” reprinted here.

Cause I’m missing him tonight
If I had to pick one of us to speak for us all
He would have done the job well
Coming from some crazy angle
He’d have known which story to tell
he’d tell the truth about real music
he knew the truth long before he fell

His fingers would touch his guitar neck
My axe would be pressed to my chest
A chord and a melody would walk in the door
Closely followed by all of the rest
Magic and tragic and triumph and storm
and all the things we had sought on our quest

You get your ego out of the way of your hearts
The whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts

A sort of field pops into existence
Everything lifts off the ground
You know that you’re doing what you were born to do
That you’re using the gift that you’ve found
To create some lift and break all the chains
with which all our people are bound

he did it for all the right reasons
and made all of our mistakes
a more human man you could not find
an accelerator without the brakes
but he had the brains and the heart and the spirit
Garcia really had what it takes

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