50 Distinctive Jerry Garcia Quotes

Jerome John Garcia (August 1, 1942 – August 9, 1995), famous as the lead guitarist and vocals man in the Grateful Dead, was born in San Francisco. He was a founding member of the band, and was with it through its entire 30-year career, from 1965 until his death in 1995. He was a principal figure in the 1960s counterculture, and some remember him as a spokesperson of the movement.

Jerry Garcia’s incredible guitar skills are especially amazing when you know that two-thirds of his right middle finger was cut off in a wood-chopping accident when he was four years old. He had a fondness for both improvisations with his band and drugs that are now illegal. An outstanding musician and artistic individual who played a number of instruments, Garcia left his mark on American culture.

Jerry Garcia Quotes

Here are 50 quotes that are distinctively Jerry Garcia.

“For me, the lame part of the Sixties was the political part, the social part. The real part was the spiritual part.”

“Nothing left to do but smile.”

“Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.”

“Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see. Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.”

“America is still mostly xenophobic and racist. That’s the nature of America, I think.”

“We’re like licorice. Not everybody likes licorice, but the people who like licorice really like licorice.”

“We didn’t invent the Grateful Dead, the crowd invented the Grateful Dead. We were just in line to see what was going to happen.”

“Truth is something you stumble into when you think you’re going someplace else.”

“I read somewhere that 77 percent of all the mentally ill live in poverty. Actually, I’m more intrigued by the 23 percent who are apparently doing quite well for themselves.”

“There is a road, no simple highway, between the dawn and the dark of night, and if you go, no one may follow, that path is for your steps alone.”

“Done time in the lock-up, done time on the streets. Done time on the upswing, and time in defeat. I know what I’m askin’. I know it’s a lot. Just to say that I love you. Believe it or not.”

“If we had any nerve at all, if we had any real balls as a society, or whatever you need, whatever quality you need, real character, we would make an effort to really address the wrongs in this society, righteously.”

“Our strong suit is what we do, and our audience.”

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“If the thunder don’t get ya then the lightning will.”

“The alternate media are becoming important and viable alternatives to playing live. Records, videos, that kind of thing. They’re going to start to count for something. Because there’s only a limited amount of us-time available to us.”

“Every mind is at least as heavy as mine.”

“You ain’t gonna learn what you don’t wanna know.”

“To get really high is to forget yourself. And to forget yourself is to see everything else. And to see everything else is to become an understanding molecule in evolution, a conscious tool of the universe.”

“What’s been great about the human race gives you a sense of how great you might get, how far you can reach.”

“I’m not Beethoven!”

“It’s all part of it, man.”

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“I’m shopping around for something to do that no one will like.”

“Seems like everythinglead up to this dayand it’s just like every daythat’s ever been.Sun goin’ upand then the sun

it goin’ down.”

“All I know is, if you listen to society, you’ll never get anywhere!”

“We’re sort of like the town whore that’s finally become an institution. We’re finally becoming respectable.”

“Stuff that’s hidden and murky and ambiguous is scary because you don’t know what it does.”

“Lady finger,dipped in moonlight,writing what foracross the morning sky.”

“I don’t know why, it’s the same reason why you like some music and you don’t like others. There’s something about it that you like. Ultimately I don’t find it’s in my best interests to try and analyze it, since it’s fundamentally emotional.”

“Whistle through your teeth and spit cuz, it’s Alright.”

“I Don’t Think There’s A Good Excuse For Being Unhappy. I’m Not Particularly Unhappy, But I Know What Pain Is. I think That Life Is Characterized By Pain, Partly. Part Of The Way You Can Tell You’re Alive Is By How Much Pain You’re Experiencing, Or How Little.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever actually written from inspiration, actually had a song just go, ‘Bing!’ I only recall that happening to me twice – once was with ‘Terrapin’ and the other was ‘Wharf Rat.’ I mean, that’s twice in a lifetime of writing!”

“It’s pretty clear now that what looked like it might have been some kind of counterculture is, in reality, just the plain old chaos of undifferentiated weirdness.”

“To me, that’s the key thing, the pursuit of happiness. That’s the basic, ultimate freedom.”

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“And there’s a lot of that stuff with people bringing their kids, kids bringing their parents, people bringing their grandparents – I mean, it’s gotten to be really stretched out now. It was never my intention to say, this is the demographics of our audience.”

“Yeah, I think we have to. If we want our shows to be – if we want the quality of the shows to be good, and we want the energy to be high, and if we want to be in good enough physical shape to do them, and not exhaust ourselves on the road, and not get stale, we have to pace.”

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“If you’re able to enjoy something, to devote your life to it or a reasonable amount of time and energy, it will work out for you.”

“We would all like to be able to live an uncluttered life, a simple life, a good life.”

“I have one custom guitar which I play almost exclusively. I have others – sometimes you want a little texture, kind of a different sound or something.”

“The great thing is the thing of being able to see things through many points of view. That’s enlarging. I mean, it saves you from ultimately from the boredom of having one point of view, like being locked in a room with nothing but your own point of view, your own references.”

“I mean, just because you’re a musician doesn’t mean all your ideas are about music. So every once in a while I get an idea about plumbing, I get an idea about city government, and they come the way they come.”

“What is life but being conscious? And good and evil are manifestations of consciousness. If you reject one, you’re not getting the whole thing that’s there to be had.”

“Every silver lining has a touch of grey.”

“And for me there’s still more material than 20 lifetimes that I can use up.”

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“Somebody has to do something, and it’s just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.”

“We’re involved in a society which is undergoing some really weird changes now.”

“Music goes way back before language does. And music is like the key to a whole spiritual existence which this society doesn’t even talk about. We know it’s there. The Grateful Dead plays at religious services essentially. We play at the religious services of the new age. Everybody gets high, and that’s what it’s all about really. Getting high is a lot more real than listening to a politician. You can think that getting high actually did happen – that you danced, and got sweaty, and carried on. It really did happen. I know when it happens. I know it when it happens every time.”

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“We’re not uncomfortable with it, and we’ve already been through enough of the music business where I’m not really worried that commercial success is going to in some way – we’re already past saving, you know what I mean? It’s too late for us.”

“What we need is something, a definition of a human, starting from the ground up, so that the suitable moral structure that goes around it makes sense. The context has to come from the human first, rather than bits and pieces of fragments of old religion and all of the old moral superstructure, whatever it used to be.”

“I’m not trying to clock scores in this lifetime, it’s just that things are better now than they were like five, ten years ago. Music has gotten a lot better. There’s a lot of people who are committed to – soulfully.”

“There’s a need for a ritual and for real joy and real bliss. Real fun.”

Our Amazing Collection of Grateful Dead Quotes

Jerry Garcia Video – With Bob Weir on David Letterman Show

If you are a fan of Jerry Garcia or a “DeadHead” you will Love this classic video. This is their FIRST appearance on the Letterman show from April 13, 1982. Really fun to watch 15 minute clip. They talk about their life and music with David Letterman and also play some songs.

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Jerry Garcia’s work is a distinctive part of the American music industry.

Those who loved his music will be forever Deadheads and will remember his legacy always. We hope you have enjoyed these quotes.

Image Credit: Carl Lender, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


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