Jerry Garcia Week 2011 Day 3: The Movie That Changed Jerry’s Life


Back in 1995, the year of Jerry’s passing, AMC ran a series titled THE MOVIE THAT CHANGED MY LIFE. Garcia was interviewed for this series and the movie he chose to discuss was ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN. Yes, you heard me right.

It is so heartwarming and comforting to see Jerry discussing this film at this late stage in his life with such animation and exuberance. In his final years, Jerry’s onstage presence was seen as somewhat immobile. Gone was the rocking and rolling visage of a man uncontrollably and joyfully moved by his own music. This little 7:45 minute interview shows us another side of the later-years Garcia. With his beloved giggle and unabashed ebullience, watching Jerry in this interview brings a smile to my face.

Jerry Garcia Week 2011 Day 3: The Movie That Changed Jerry’s Life

Jerry Garcia Week 2011 Day 2: The Interview


When the Grateful Dead Movie screened theatrically a few months back, it was preceded by a recently discovered 15 minute “interview” with Garcia. The footage was shot on 16mm and was part of the footage originally intended for the movie back in 1974. However, none of this footage actually made it into the film. Though called an “interview,” the footage more accurately shows Garcia hanging out smoking and chatting about all kinds of subjects from David Bowie to personal growth to his amazing journey to becoming a “professional” musician. It’s all very loose and casual. An amazing snapshot of time and place. And of the incredible man so many of us fell in love with.

Click HERE to watch the interview.

Jerry Garcia Week 2011 Day 2: The Interview

Long Lost, Alfred Hitchcock Interview Returns


In the fall of 1973, Tom Snyder devoted a full hour of his then brand-spankin’ new THE TOMORRROW SHOW to an interview with legendary director Alfred Hitchcock. The show was then repeated on Memorial Day 1980. Since that time, the footage was thought to be lost or destroyed.

Well, it seems sometime last year, a copy was discovered from the Memorial Day repeat. According to the Youtube poster:

The VHS (SP) tape itself was found to be in excellent condition. While properly stored in a climate controlled environment it apparently had not been played in decades. Great care has been taken to make the digital transfer.

Regardless of the story behind this tape (I have yet to find any information to counter this story, but if I do, I’ll be sure to post it here!), the interview itself is fantastic. A rare and wonderful look into the mind behind decades worth of masterful filmmaking.

The interview is broken up into 6 parts, the first part of which you can watch below. The others I have linked for you.

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Long Lost, Alfred Hitchcock Interview Returns

Jerry Garcia Week 2010: Day 8 – Jerry Speaks


We’ve been listening to the music of Jerry Garcia all week, now lets listen to some of his words. Not lyrics (most of which were written by Robert Hunter anyway), but interviews.

Hulu has a program titled NBC News On Stage: Grateful Dead: Jerry Garcia Speaks, Vol. 1. In it are a couple of fantastic Jerry Garcia interviews in their entireties. The first is with Rona Elliott from June 16th 1987 (this is the longer of the two and, without question, the better), the second is with Gene Shalit from March 12, 1981. You’ll have to sit through a couple of short commercials before each segment, but the interviews themselves are clean, clear roads from start to finish. However, it seems once you pause it, you may have to watch a commercial again before reentering the program. So be warned.

And enjoy.

The entire program runs approx. 40 minutes:

You can watch and listen HERE.

Jerry Garcia Week 2010: Day 8 – Jerry Speaks

The Dead Arisen: The Grateful Variety From 1977-10-29


Another amazing show to coincide with today’s celebration of the return of Jesus Christ (which is, of course, the sequel to “Jesus Christ”). What? An atheist Jew can’t celebrate, too? Hogwash! I spent the bulk of the day doing my taxes and listening to the Grateful Dead from Evans Field House at Northern Illinois University on October 29, 1977. That’s both patriotic and spiritual all at the same time!

And while my taxes certainly leave a lot to be desired (namely money) this particular Dead show doesn’t. As I’ve said many times before, when Jerry Garcia was on, the whole band was on! And this is one of those nights. Straight outta the gate, Garcia is on fire and the rest of the band are keeping time and slamming their instruments right there with him. It’s a powerful display of energy.

This soundboard is a beautiful sounding puppy with only a few intermittent audience splices to cover those pesky reel flips. And luckily the audience recording is solid and gives us a welcome flavor of the crowd’s don’t-stop-now enthusiasm.

There are few things on this earth I enjoy more than hearing Jerry rip it up and this journey made my 2010 Easter Sunday a memorable one. I hope you find the time to enjoy it as much as I did!

And for the love of Jesus, don’t forget to turn it up real loud! And then check out the informal backstage interview with Garcia from the Paramount Theatre in Portland, Oregon from October 2nd, 1977. Unusually personal and casual. Just some guys hangin’ and chattin’ (and snortin’). A rare treat!

Just click the links below…

Evans Field House, Northern Illinois University, October 29, 1977

Paramount Theater interview, October 2, 1977

The Dead Arisen: The Grateful Variety From 1977-10-29

Backstage With Jerry: The Interview, Portland, Oregon, 1977.


The following is an informal pre-show backstage interview with Jerry Garcia from the Paramount Theatre in Portland, Oregon, October 2, 1977. Unusually personal and casual. Just some guys hangin’ and chattin’ (and snortin’). There’s a reason they opened with Casey Jones that night!

Jerry discusses the upcoming Egypt trip, his newest guitar, the politics of playing abroad, and just about any other subject that happens to arise.

What a joy!

And listen to the show that followed HERE!

Backstage With Jerry: The Interview, Portland, Oregon, 1977.

New Hal Masonberg PLAGUE Interview


It’s all about grass-roots.

In my ongoing campaign to get the proper cut of my film THE PLAGUE released, I agreed to do an interview for a gentleman by the name of Michael L. King. Michael hosts a series of Youtube film reviews. It’s a small and very personal series, but filled with charm and a love of film. Based on Michael’s sincerity and genuine interest, I agreed to be interviewed on camera for his “series”. In doing so, I was given an opportunity to talk in detail about my experiences writing and directing THE PLAGUE and the subsequent horror of having the film taken away from me in post-production and completely re-cut by the producers and distribution company. It is, in many ways –and for such a limited audience– the most comprehensive telling of this tale to date.

In truth, I fully expected Michael to edit down my answers to the most important/interesting elements, but he chose to post them in their entirety. So while I do repeat myself occasionally, I hope that the story I’m sharing here is somewhat interesting nonetheless. It’s certainly A tale of low-budget filmmaking in Hollywood that I’m sure mirrors many other very similar (if less articulated) experiences.

The purpose of my being so open about my experiences is twofold for me. One is to let folks know that the version of the film out there is not representative of the creative team involved (and that includes the outspoken cast and crew) and to hopefully get the proper cut released, but also to offer this cautionary tale to other filmmakers who may be able to avoid a similar situation. Or, for those whose films have already been re-cut beyond recognition by folks who didn’t care about the integrity of the film itself, to show that it is not only okay to speak up, but is, in fact, important if we hope to change the attitude in Hollywood that this kind of behavior is okay and comes without consequence. I’m not talking vengeance here, just letting the audience know that many of the films they’re seeing are not the films as they were intended, and that filmmakers need not be victims of these situations and should stand up for what they believe in and not be bullied into silence for fear that they’ll be ostracized or blacklisted. For me, if you believe in the film you’re making, then believe in it enough to stand up for it.

That’s the path I have chosen. Granted, it’s not for everyone, but I have personally found it to be extremely empowering and it has helped me define for myself exactly who I am as a filmmaker and what is most important to me. It is, like all things in life, an ongoing journey.

Here are links to all 7 parts of MLK’s (freakin’ epic) video interview:

Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5; Part 6; Part 7 .

New Hal Masonberg PLAGUE Interview