In Celebration of Jerry, Without the Gathering

This week, the man himself would have turned 78.

As the troops marched down through the glens and moors of old Scotland, hundreds of years before our time, they came upon a lass so fair, the captain was compelled to propose. Give her hand in marriage, he begged, and her cities would be freed. But when he’s rebuffed by the girl, the petty captain swears to return and burn the cities, instead.

That’s how the story goes in The Bonnie Lass o’ Fyvie, a song as ancient as the Scottish craigs themselves. The variations of the tune go by other names, “Fennario” or “The Maid of Fife”. But many know it best as Peggy-O, a staple of the Grateful Dead since its debut in December of 1973. And like Peggy-O (or whichever name you choose), The legacy of Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia is an enduring one.

He was born on August 1st, 1942. August 9th, will mark the 25th anniversary of his death. The man who formed one of the most influential bands in history, and in turn, helped create the entire hippie counterculture would have been 78.

Each year, fans celebrate his birth and honor his passing during the days of early August. From festivals to campfires, it is an annual time of gatherings in remembrance and joy. And that sentiment hasn’t changed, but this year is different. The 25th anniversary of anything is considered special. But, the global health crisis is particularly grim for Americans right now. There are no festivals or large gatherings. We don’t get to dance with brand new friends that we’ve somehow known for a lifetime.

So, to celebrate this nine day span with proper pomp and circumstance, the Rex Foundation is presenting Daze Between, a livestreaming marathon event that features musical performances, film screenings and panel discussions to extol our fallen hero.

The Rex Foundation was founded in 1983 as a charitable extension of the Grateful Dead family. Their mission “aims to help secure a healthy environment, promote individuality in the arts, provide support to critical and necessary social services, assist others less fortunate than ourselves, protect the rights of indigenous people and ensure their cultural survival, build a stronger community, and educate children and adults everywhere”.

Perhaps the most highly anticipated feature of the event is a special Shakedown Stream of the previously unreleased Grateful Dead concert from Tinley Park, IL, July 21st, 1990. The showing (like all Shakedown Streams) will be Friday night, and you won’t want to miss this one.

Jerry’s legacy has spread far and wide and will endure for many years to come. Let’s build on that legacy by donating to causes that were truly important to him. And just maybe, hundreds of years from now, people will still recall the beauty of Jerry’s life, like he did the ol’ bonnie lass.

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