Volume #17, Issue #5 -- October 1990
The death of Brent Myland thrust the Grateful Dead into a most unwelcome arena of speculation and rumor. Had I kept a journal of all the "news" I'd heard, it would have filled this issue.
To set the record straight, Brent Myland died of an accidental overdose of cocaine and morphine on July 26, 1990. Initial reports held that his will left his estranged wife and two daughters destitute. This was reported by an irresponsible journalist with no knowledge of legal technical jargon. The media scooped up this bit of news and ran with it. Few noticed the retraction that followed, stating that Myland had left his estate, estimated at $2.8 million, in trust for his daughters, Jennifer, 2, and Jessica, 5. The remainder of the estate went to Lisa, Brent's wife, which included a house in Novato, California, valued at $7000,000, and a $400,000 hillside house in Lafayette. She was also the beneficiary of his life insurance policy, worth more than $600,000. Of course, these facts never made it to the media's attention. Instead, man irresponsible radio and newspaper reporters dwelled on the negative initial report, and never corrected their error.
As the outpouring of mail to Relix has shown, Brent will be sorely missed. His soulful spirit may have been too deep for some of the more light-hearted Deadheads, but for many, his words and music now strike chords of premonition and irony.
John Barlow, who has created so many lyrical masterpieces with Bob Weir, found new vitality when working with Brent. On a recent Dead Hour, hosted by David Gans, Barlow confirmed that by saying, "Going over to Brent's house to work on some songs was so intense, like looking forward to an afternoon of great sex." They worked well together, as we all now realize after going back and pouring over the many incredible songs Brent performed with the band.
As the saying goes, "You don't know what you've got till it's gone." Many of us valued the treasures that Brent brought to us, though some found him an intrusion. I'm sure that no one can now deny his incredible contributions to the band. And I recommend seeing the video made for "Just a Little Light." It will bring it all home for you.
It is requested that donations in Brent's honor be made to Greenpeace or the ecological group of your choice. Lisa Myland has also approved that donations be made to the Center for Plant Conservation, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 -- 617-534-6988. The sponsorship money being raised will save the endangered flower, the Yellow Lakespur, in Brent's memory. The Yellow Lakespur is a native flower to Sonoma County, California.
Now, on to some matters of business. You have probably heard about the impending postal rate increases due early next year. The results to us are a 30% increase in mailing Relix to our subscribers. This also results in higher shipping costs on all levels. We will have to increase our subscription rates and the cover price of Relix accordingly. We hope you will understand that we have looked into many options--going down in paper stock weight (which reduces are availability of recycled paper as well as our quality); lessening the number of pages per issue (again, a loss in overall quality and content); changing the sizing format; or taking a one-way trip to Antigua. I'm sure you've guessed what our option is… our only option. Our rates will increase, but we guarantee that Relix will continue to be the best you and I can make it to be. Only quality ingredients and lots of love go into making Relix all that you want from a magazine.
As always, your correspondence is welcome. Write us with anything you'd like to share with your fellow readers. We welcome freelance material. Your suggestions and (gasp!) criticism are very helpful in our continued growth. Your artwork is inspirational, and your photos are sacred moments captured. Through you, I gain knowledge. With you, I gain insight. Without you, I lose the light. Let's continue to shine on… together.
With prayers for peace,
Toni A. Brown, Publisher
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