My only true friend/tour buddy (and in all reality he’s been like a brother since our early teens) were talking about how fast it has gone by just yesterday.
I worked as a head chef many many moons ago. As usual I got up and walked the 2 to 3 miles to work. All the while having no clue what had happened. There was this one guy that worked for the prep crew, who despised them. He would always make these little digs when I’d come in about being a Dead Head. It never bothered me, I learned early in life not to concern myself with how others perceived me, imho life isn’t a popularity contest.
The “family staff” consisted of about a dozen people, all of us were really close and would always hit the bar after the last guest was gone and whatnot. Well the night before was the Head waitress’s BDay, so we hit it a lot harder than usual. I was struggling with a huge hangover, and by the time I got to the restaurant I was in no mood for snarky remarks from (his name atm escapes me)
So I come in, walk past the prep stations to go clock in and sit in the cool bar before we opened. He came out to take stuff up to the line and immediately goes “hey Chris”. I stopped him and said as little as I care what you think of me being a Dead Head, I’m not in the mood today. To which he says, you haven’t heard then and though his demeanor had changed I still thought here it comes. Then he said, of all people I’m sure I’m the last you want to hear this from, and I’m like hear what? He then says as politely as possible, Jerry Garcia died last night. I was about to lay him out, but the radio was on in where the rest of the prep crew was. He had no sooner got it out of his mouth, when they started talking about it on the radio.
I felt like a horse kicked me in the gut, he said he was sorry to be the one to tell me, and kind of went back to what he was doing.
It was no secret to the “family staff” I was a Head, my boss came out of his office about 15min later And told me to take the night off.
I remember walking home and thinking how surreal it all was. My above mentioned friend came over that evening, we were up till sunrise listening to a wide variety of songs from all the way back to 65 through a 3 night run we caught in Charlotte 3/22-24/95
As I’m sure all of you guys were too, we felt crushed. Knowing that there would never be a new inspired variation coming from the big man ever again. As well as all the other things that would never truly happen again, with him gone. The only man on earth/in combination with the rest of the boys that could bring both tears to my eyes and joy to my heart with a song was gone forever.
Wow got all sentimental just typing that out.
In closing, my Dad a WWII/Korean war vet. once told me. “In this life there are moments/events in time that both build up and rip you to pieces.”Sometimes referred to as before and after events, they are the sign posts that separate everything before said events to everything after, and how they will be forever changed. Sometimes for the good sometimes for the bad. This was for me one of those events.
Sorry didn’t mean to write a book!