Luis Garcia, no relation.

How did you become a Deadhead?
I'm a young Deadhead, I'm only 19. As I was growing up one of the things I had to figure out was my music taste and overall style. While most friends were listening to "Lil' whatever" and tryin to be a "gangsta" I knew that was not my style, I knew I liked listening to instruments not beats. So where do you start to find your music style? You start as far back as possible but I didn't want to go to far to where I'm waggin my finger and dancing with a flapper girl. So the 60's seemed to be a decent time period to look into. I started by listening to the most obvious, the Beatles, they were a good start and I like their style but it I mean they made great music in the decade they were making music but you can only make so much music in a decade, I needed more than a decade of music. The next thing I looked into was Frank Zappa. Now if you look at his discography you can see he had alot of music quantity and his music skills are phenomenal but I thought, "how do I model myself from that?" In one of Zappa's songs he blatently disses the Grateful Dead and I thought, "Should I hate them too? But I never heard their music, no way I can just say they are bad without even a listen." So first I did a little research. I found the name of their first album, it's self-titled of course, and a few songs off the album then I said to my self, "Hey the lead guitarist name is Jerry Garcia, my last name is Garcia and I'm sure I heard that name before." So it was settled I was gonna youtube a couple song names off the first album. That was somewhat of a mistake because if you search anything GD on youtube you find pages of live videos. So after searching for a while I finally found the "Cold Rain and Snow" version off the album and I fell in love. After that I had to go searching everywhere on the internet hoping to find...I didn't know what I was looking for but what I found was more than I bargained for. I found out they let people tape the shows and not only that there was websites dedicated to sharing the tapes. I listened forever until I finally went out and found a used "Europe '72" cd and used all the money I earned that day cleaning out a house to buy it. It was my first album I ever bought and it is still to this day my favorite.
What is your favorite Dead show and why?
Well I was born in '93 and I didn't even come to this country until '94. By that time Jerry only had a few moments before he passed, bless his soul. So I never got to attend a show and everytime Further, The Dead or whatever family band went on tour my money was tight so again, never got to attend a show. The only thing close to a GD show I got to experience was the gathering at the movies where they played "The Grateful Dead Movie" in theatres nationwide. It was a one night event that wasn't costly and was close to home so I had to go with my best friend. The closest theatre that was playing it was a town away so I got a ride there and had a ride planned to go back. As the movie played all I could do was close my eyes, hear the music and pretend I was there and I swear I wanted to cry my eyeballs out when I heard "Morning Dew." The movie ended and it was the greatest music and cinematic event I had experienced. When I walked out of the theatre my friend had to payphone our ride back but so happens our ride's phone got disconnected while we were enjoying the movie. We spent all our money on snacks and we were strangers in the town so we had no way of getting home. We had to take our only option and walk. I believe the movie ended at 10-11 pm, we didn't get home until 3-4 in the am. On the way we passed some gang members, somebody trying to sell us a gun and what I believe was a prostitute asking for a cigarette and the only thing on our minds was "Playin' In the Band," to this day my friend thinks that song brings too much "bad" walking memories. I always tell him, "No, those are good Deadhead memories."
What is your favorite Dead song and why?
Written by the Dead song? If not "Cold Rain and Snow" It was the first Dead song I heard and the Solo is great, live or not.If so "China Cat Sunflower/ I Know You Rider" It was my favorite song on my first album, "Europe '72." The imagery of that song is beautiful and the music wow, all I have to say is when I here the intro to "China Cat" I just want to get up and shake my hair in the wind. As I listen to any live version of it I always try to figure out when "China Cat" ends and where "Rider" begins. One night while I was in such a deep state of sleep Jerry visited me in a dream and played for me the most perfect "China Cat" I had ever heard and he played it just for me. What felt like a few minutes lasted the whole night and when I woke up I was in tears.
What is your favorite aspect of the Dead scene?
I've only met a few Deadheads but never one I didn't like and everyone has his stories and they won't mind to give you lunch just to tell you the stories.
What, if anything, do you think is important about the Dead, and about the Dead phenomenon?
Musical developement. I have heard many taped shows and it's always different. You listen to "Good Lovin'" sung by Pigpen and it's a very different tune less than a decade later when Bobby sings it. Both are great and both have their signature feel to it. Or when you here Bill going solo on drums it gets your heart racing but when you add Mickey it's whoa! Where did this four armed drumming machine come from and where do I begin listening to the drums? Then we have vocal parts of Brent, Pigpen and Donna that come and go leaving their own imprint in the songs they sang.
Do you have anything else related to the Dead that you'd like to share?
The Grateful Dead is the band most responsible with the developement of my music taste. By the way I was born with the name Garcia, it's a common mexican name but as far as I know I have no relations to Jerry.
Copyright Information
I am the copyright owner. I believe my submission is fair use. This work is available from the UC Santa Cruz Library. This digital copy of the work is intended to support research, teaching, and private study. This work is protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Use of this work beyond that allowed by Fair Use requires written permission of the copyright holder(s). Responsibility for obtaining permission, and for any use or distribution of this work, rests exclusively with the user and not the UC Santa Cruz Library. If the work itself or our research has indicated that one or more individuals or entities is a current copyright holder, that information may be included in the Copyright Information field. Other sources for copyright information include the Creator field or copyright statements on the work. When available, contact information for requesting permission from copyright holder(s) will be linked from the Copyright Information field. If you have additional or conflicting information about ownership of rights in this work, please contact us at


What a great story, Luis! Many thanks for posting. Contributions like yours are what makes the Archive a genuine reflection of the community it serves, and documents. Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a good and thoughtful posting!

Sep 10, 2012