On August 9th, 1995, Jerry Garcia died, and I was on vacation with my new stepfamily in Provincetown, Cape Cod. It was the summer before eighth grade, probably the apex of my awkward period: oversize t-shirts, assorted yin-yang jewelry, a relentlessly troublesome T-zone.
The mourning Deadhead vibes were surely low-key in P-Town that August when compared to, say, San Francisco or Burlington, VT, but I nonetheless found the avalanche of dead-Jerry merch overwhelming. His lion’s mane silhouette was everywhere, along with the drugged-out anthropomorphic rainbow animals and threadbare lyrics about the long strange trip. I had only the vaguest notion of the music itself, but I was certain, thanks to [...]