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Author Topic:  Who might have influenced Jerry Garcia?
James Quillian


From:
San Antonio, Texas, USA
Post Posted 25 Jul 2012 7:39 pm     Reply with quote

Does anyone have an idea as to what if any steel player Jerry Garcia might have been influenced by to play the kind of licks he used in Teach Your Children Well? Those lines are incredibly simple and useful in a lot of other contexts. A lot of his licks sound as if he sound like he took some of Buck Trentís electric banjo sounds and converted them to the steel.
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Pete Finney


Post Posted 25 Jul 2012 7:53 pm     Reply with quote

Two players that I think I remember Garcia naming as favorite players and influences are Tom Brumley and Lloyd Green...
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post Posted 25 Jul 2012 8:01 pm     Reply with quote

Listening to his playing, I have always assumed that West Coast players like Tom Brumley and Ralph Mooney were big pedal steel influences for him. He also played an early ZB, as did Tom in the mid-late 60s with Buck Owens. I seem to recall him also mentioning other players in interviews back then - Emmons, Green, and so on. Possibly also Clarence White's Tele playing. You may be right about Buck Trent - Jerry did play banjo. I think it's safe to say he took in a lot of different musical influences throughout his life.
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post Posted 25 Jul 2012 8:44 pm     Reply with quote

To my ears, a lot of Buck's licks sound like steel transcribed to banjo, but they don't sound the same when ported back to steel
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richard burton


From:
Britain
Post Posted 25 Jul 2012 8:58 pm     Reply with quote

When I listen to his playing, I hear Les Dawson's influence
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Per Berner


From:
Skövde, Sweden
Post Posted 25 Jul 2012 10:04 pm     Reply with quote

Under the influence of something most of the time, no doubt. Wink
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Bud Angelotti


From:
Larryville, NJ, USA
Post Posted 26 Jul 2012 5:06 am     Reply with quote

Brumley for sure. Also in the non-steel world, Miles Davis. I read Miles' auto-biography and he talked about how he and the dead really hit it off musically when they shared the bill at the Fillmore East. Ornette Coleman as well.
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Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post Posted 26 Jul 2012 5:33 am     Reply with quote

Banana from the Youngbloods. He played steel on the second Youngbloods record, Earth Music, and I believe Jerry Garcia bought his guitar.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV_R_O8V79U
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Last edited by Joachim Kettner on 26 Jul 2012 5:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post Posted 26 Jul 2012 5:35 am     Reply with quote

I know that he and Pete Grant were steel pickin' buddies. Not sure if they started around the same time or if Pete had a few years on him, though...
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Allan Kelly


From:
Watford, United Kingdom
Post Posted 26 Jul 2012 5:40 am     Reply with quote

Was this the Les Dawson lick you were thinking of Richard?
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David Mason


From:
Cambridge, MD, USA
Post Posted 26 Jul 2012 6:03 am     Reply with quote

He and Duane Allman had a mutual admiration society going. Though Garcia rarely played slide, he would take one out for "It Hurts Me Too" and once in a while for some interstellar transport during "Dark Star." I've actually thought that he may have cut back on slide from hearing Allman, in the same way he thought he wasn't a good enough steel player. He would've had no idea that every tiny little minutiae of that period would be sacrilized, and incessantly picked over - imagine what you could sell "Garcia's lost steel guitar tapes" for! The later 70's Grateful Dead slide playing was usually Bob Weir, somewhat painfully learning while earning. They'd both break one out once in a while, "Little Red Rooster" comes to mind but I'm not going digging for it.

Garcia was not a blues guitarist, and the Dead were not a blues band. They could swing like crazy, but it was more like a straight up 6/8* than a way-backbeat dotted eighth - if that makes sense. It's actually kind of odd - they played the Fillmores with the various black Kings any number of times and Garcia's in-tune bending skills were strong, but they almost played blues like a guilty white folkie. Maybe they figured that enough other people were taking care of it, a sentiment which has proven to be overwhelmingly true.

http://deadessays.blogspot.com/2009/08/allmans-dead.html

*(or 7/8, or 11/8....) Mr. Green
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Chris Dorch


From:
Wisconsin, USA
Post Posted 26 Jul 2012 8:08 am     Reply with quote

To my ears I hear Mooney, Brumley and Emmons... But I don't know for sure...
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David Nugent


From:
Gum Spring, Va.
Post Posted 26 Jul 2012 8:41 am     Reply with quote

This may be pure conjecture, but it seems possible that Buddy Cage may have been an early influence. Before replacing Jerry as the 'New Riders' steeler, I believe that he was working with Ian and Sylvia Tyson in their group, 'The Great Speckled Bird'. During that time period, both groups routinely traveled in many of the same circles. I also seem to remember both of them being on that ill fated train tour through Canada where (according to the documentary), there were incessant jam sessions among musicians from different bands.
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Mark van Allen


From:
Watkinsville, Ga. USA
Post Posted 26 Jul 2012 9:13 am     Reply with quote

Timothy Leary? Winking
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Dave Grafe


From:
Portland, Oregon, USA
Post Posted 26 Jul 2012 10:46 am     Reply with quote

He was listening to all the top players from an early age, probably studied a lot of the same recordings many of us grew up with. Besides those already listed here he gleaned licks from Jimmy Day, JayDee Maness, Buddy Emmons and Bobby Black.

Bobbe tells a revealing tale of his first meeting Jerry in a nightclub bathroom.. http://pedalsteelmusic.com/?p=131

Jerry Garcia on playing pedal steel, interviewed by Bonnie Simmons on KSAN radio, January 23, 1976:

Simmons: [A listener asked] whether you plan to do a lot more steel work.
Garcia: I donít think so. The instrument is too difficult for me, frankly. Iíd have to play it an awful lot, and Iíd need about ten years to get to where I would want to be in relation to some control over it.
Simmons: Do you still practice at all?
Garcia: No. You canít really practice it; itís too hard. I can only play it, yíknow.
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Mark Eaton


From:
Sonoma County in The Great State Of Northern California
Post Posted 26 Jul 2012 12:22 pm     Reply with quote

Jim Cohen wrote:
I know that he and Pete Grant were steel pickin' buddies. Not sure if they started around the same time or if Pete had a few years on him, though...


If Pete chimes in on this thread he could give the definitive answer. The way I remember the story (and it's been a number of years so I don't claim 100% accuracy) from Peter was that he and Garcia were driving somewhere in Jerry's "legendary" Corvair, and they heard a Buck Owens song on the radio, which no doubt had Brumley on steel and they both decided they needed to learn how to play the thing. Don't know the time frame of who started first.

At a regional steel jam I was telling Pete that one of my favorite concerts of all time was in 1973 on a beautiful sunny San Francisco day. It was at Kezar Stadium, next door to Haight/Ashbury and the original home of the 49ers back in the day. Opener: New Riders, Buddy Cage on steel at that point. Middle act, Waylon Jennings and The Waylors. Headliner: Grateful Dead.

Peter told me that he and Garcia were off to the side backstage near Mooney and watching everything he did with rapt attention.

Waylon said in an interview that he was a little concerned how he and the Waylors would go over with the largely hippie crowd. No need to worry - the crowd ate it up. After Ralph would take a solo the place went nuts and you could see ol' Moon grinning from ear-to-ear.

Kindred spirits.
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Pete Burak


From:
Portland, OR USA
Post Posted 26 Jul 2012 12:25 pm     Reply with quote

Here is the link to Pete Grant's site with that essay:
http://www.petegrant.com/flash_garcia.html
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Mark Eaton


From:
Sonoma County in The Great State Of Northern California
Post Posted 26 Jul 2012 12:54 pm     Reply with quote

Well, I guess my memory is still reasonably okay!
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John Billings


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 26 Jul 2012 1:32 pm     Reply with quote

The Zig Zag Man?
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Joerg Hennig


From:
Bavaria, Germany
Post Posted 27 Jul 2012 12:13 pm     Reply with quote

If you listen to Jerry's various recordings on steel, you'll notice that he used the 4th string E to F# raise (on it's own without the 5th string) quite a lot, which of course was also a trademark of Ralph Mooney.
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DeWitt Scott


From:
St. Louis, Missouri, USA * R.I.P.
Post Posted 27 Jul 2012 12:33 pm     Garcia Reply with quote

I was at my store, Scotty's Music" in St. Louis and whole bunch of long haired people came in and all I said to them was "Howdy". I didn't know who they were.They got really riendly and in fact invited me to the Keil Auditorium in St. Louis for their sound check. I went and there was a ZB steel guitar sitting on stage with a Sho Bud amp and a guy was playing on it. He asked me to sit down and play some on it. I did and and this guy was sitting on the floor looking up and when I hit a lick he would say, "far out" and asked how I played that. Of course I showed as I would any other person. I still didn't know who the band was. I went to the concert that night and I then found out it was the Gratedful Dead and the steel player was Jerry Garcia. Jerry set me in a chair a few feet from him ON STAGE. I was ejoying the show until a guy tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and it was Bob Heil from Marrisa, Il. He said to me, "Scotty, turn around". I did and there was no one behind the stage anymore. Bob said nobody is allowed behind stage when the Dead are playing. I got so embarrassed I got off the stage. The net time that the Dead came to St. Louis and the New Riders were with them and both bands came to the store and we had a kind off the wall jam session. Somtimes Buddy Cage would play the steel and then I would play. I owned Lloyd Green's old double neck Sho Bud with the yellow streak on the front and that is the guitar we played on. They came to the store one more time and anytime they would get within 200 miles of St. Louis they would call me and I would take my reel to reel tape recorder to the motel and took several tapes of the Steel Guitar Convention with me and after their concert we would listen to them the rest of the night. I took pictures and even put up a mike and recorded that jam session. I sold Jerry a double neck MSA and when it came time to pay for it the manager said to me, "Whats our price"? Jerry put his hand on his shoulder and said, You pay this man full price"! Wow! Jerry and I coresponded for awhile and we exchanged LP's with each other. He sent me every LP the Dead and New Riders had and I sent him all of my Midland steel guitar records. Its odd - a guy devoted to pure country and one of the most respected guys in rock and roll getting together and being so friendly with each other. Jerry Garcia and DeWitt "Scotty" Scott Bob Weir and the rest of the band were very friendly too! Scotty
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Frank Freniere


From:
Chicago, IL
Post Posted 27 Jul 2012 12:44 pm     Reply with quote

OFF-TOPIC ALERT:

Can't wait for that autobiography, Scotty!

Now back to Garcia...
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Fred Glave


From:
McHenry, Illinois, USA
Post Posted 27 Jul 2012 12:45 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks for telling that story Scotty. I was told by Don E. Curtis that Jerry Garcia had come to the store and met with you. I didn't know the details until now.
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DeWitt Scott


From:
St. Louis, Missouri, USA * R.I.P.
Post Posted 27 Jul 2012 12:47 pm     Garcia Reply with quote

I notice that I made a few type written mistakes in my article but I don't know how to correct them. I don't see the word "edit". Sorry - Scotty
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Alfred Ewell


From:
Virginia, USA
Post Posted 27 Jul 2012 2:17 pm     Reply with quote

Wonderful story! Thanks, Scotty - you just can't make this up, as they say.
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