After the sudden death of longtime Grateful Dead keyboardist Brent Mydland, Bruce Hornsby offered his temporary services to the band until they found and trained someone to be their new permanent keyboardist. Jerry always seemed jazzed when guests sat in with the band and Hornby’s presence really seemed to thrill and inspire Garcia and, as a result, the rest of the band as well. This short but sweet period in the Grateful Dead’s history may well have been their last hurrah before Garcia’s health problems and drug addiction sent him on a downward spiral that eventually led to his premature death.
I’m thankful for Hornsby’s desire and opportunity to sit in with the band and his positive effect on Garcia and the music they created together.
“To honor the Grateful Dead’s wishes, I’d like to have a moment – a moment of silence – for somebody who brought a lot of love to the world, our dear departed brother, Jerry Garcia.”
At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame I dedicated my performance to Jerry. It was hard to do, but I was so excited. It was a sad reason that I played, but Jerry was someone really special, and I was honored that the Grateful Dead wanted me to do this.
In September 1990, I came into the Dead just winging it off the streets for five nights at Madison Square Garden. There’s nothing like the Grateful Dead audience, and it was incredible for me to bite off a small piece of that.
I always felt a certain connection with Garcia. At RFK during the second night, the next to last song, Wharf Rat, there was a blue light on him. He was singing very soulfully, and I was getting chills up my body. I knew it was a special moment, and I drank it in.
This passage is an excerpt from GARCIA – A Grateful Celebration, originally published in 1995 by Dupree’s Diamond News. To learn more about Dupree’s Diamond News or how to obtain a copy of GARCIA – A Grateful Celebration, click here.
The following is Hornsby’s induction of the Grateful Dead into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I think, in many ways, he nails it. Both from the perspective of a fan and then as someone who had the opportunity to play with them and experience a Grateful Dead concert from the inside. It’s a fun, truthful, and heartfelt induction speech and well worth watching.
And now here’s the Dead’s take on Dylan’s IT TAKES A LOT TO LAUGH, IT TAKES A TRAIN TO CRY from Madison Square Garden with Hornsby and Vince Welnick on keyboards and Branford Marsalis on horns.
And finally, a STANDING ON THE MOON from Madison Square Garden also with Hornsby, Welnick and Marsalis. Enjoy!