Cassi Creek: There is a real disconnect, sometimes, between the demise of the Grateful Dead as a structural entity playing seemingly endless tours, and the rearrangement of reality subsequent to the death of Jerry Garcia 18 years ago.
Part of the reason that we sometimes think of the band as if they were still an active organization such as existed until 9 July 1995 is the availability of nearly every note they ever played together in nearly any format you might wish to access and listen to it. Another is the remaining member’s long habit of spinning off his or her own performing groups and continuing to actively play music and tour.
I enjoyed their music more than any other band of that nature – jam band, improvisational, however you choose to describe it. 18 years after they final show I still enjoy it.
There is a real, if small. Connection between Gloria, me, and the band. Had it not been for a late night on-line search for tickets, I’d perhaps, have never met Gloria. So the band is partly responsible for the last 20 years of happy marriage and a whole lot of musical magic.
We miss the shows, we miss the changes in the music that made it unique and always different. But a fix is only as distant as the nearest stereo, tape deck, CD player, or electronic storage and playback device.
About once a week, I get some sort of correspondence offering me new copies of vault material, cover groups, t-shirts, etc. The Grateful Dead may have played their last show. The parking lot and the Merchandising unit are still following us. That’s as it should be.