Volume #19, Issue #5
The week of August 10th had many people worrying over the health of Jerry Garcia. A pervasive feeling of dread was growing as dates were cancelled for upcoming shows. Rumors were held at bay as the news slowly came out that Garcia was suffering from exhaustion. The Grateful Dead issued a press release on August 14th. I’ll share it with you here…
As the week has passed, we’ve learned that Jerry Garcia’s recuperation will take longer than we initially hoped. We remain certain that he will return to full good health, but the rest and care he needs will require us to cancel the fall east coast tour. Jerry is in the care of a physician at home and is on the mend, but it will take time.
According to Jerry’s physician, Dr. Randy Baker, “Jerry Garcia’s health problems are primarily chronic rather than acute. He has some lung disease related to years of smoking—this has put some stress on his heart, which has become slightly enlarged. He doesn’t have and has not had fluid in the lungs or kidney failure…and he didn’t suffer from a collapse. He does have borderline diabetes, which should readily resolve with weight loss. His current problems are being managed with mild medication and he’s at home and experiencing no discomfort. Jerry has agreed to a program of stopping smoking, losing weight, exercise and dietary changes. As this is accomplished, he should regain good health and continue performing for many years.”
We realize that this comes as very disturbing news for many people, so let us be clear—he’s ill, but the right steps are being taken.
As Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh commented, “I talked to Elvis this morning myself and he said they already have too many guitarists up there…he also doesn’t need any competition in the postage stamp market.” More seriously, Lesh added, “We expect to be performing with Jerry before the end of the year, even though right now, he’s dead tired.”
Thank you for your love and prayers,
We’ll continue to keep you as updated as our publication schedule allows. Everyone at Relix wishes Jerry a thorough and speedy recovery.
Now that the Dead won’t be touring for a little while, some of you will have some free time on your hands. The current financial crunch is affecting clubs nationally. Support your favorite local bands by getting out to see them while they still have someplace left to play.
With love and hope,
Toni A. Brown