Move Me Brightly: Mike Gordon, Neal Casal, Luke Wilson, Craig Finn and More on Tonight’s Jerry Tribute…
LUKE WILSON (ACTOR – The Royal Tenenbaums et. al.)
So you are a Dead and Garcia fan?
Luke Wilson: Yeah, both, longtime Dead fan and of course Jerry Garcia.
So you went to some shows?
Luke Wilson: I actually only went to two, me and my brother Andrew went two years in a row to the Sam Boyd Silver Bowl in Las Vegas, but it’s one of those things you kick yourself for not going more.
Why do you think Garcia’s legacy is still so strong?
Luke Wilson: It’s been interesting talking to his family today, I think he’s just one of those people that’s incredibly genuine and for some reason it comes across. There are some people that you can’t quite figure them out, they’re still great like Dylan or somebody, but you don’t have a sense of him as a person, and not that you know what Jerry Garcia was like, but that is one of the draws, you feel like this guy is a great guy, he’s not only a great musician but I feel like we’d really get along, so I think he has that quality where he draws you in.
What made you want to be a part of this?
Luke Wilson: I had met Justin [Kreutzmann, producer of the event and Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann’s son] a couple years ago and had kept in touch with him and when he said he was doing this I jumped at the chance. It’s one of those things where you feel like, I shouldn’t be here, but I am here, and it’s been really fun and really interesting talking to Mountain Girl, who he [Garcia] was married to, and his daughters and getting to meet Bob. It’s one of those things where people say, “You don’t want to meet your heroes because you can get disappointed,” but just always reading about the Dead and their organization, I always thought they were probably great, really cool guys, turns out that they are.
Favorite Garcia song?
Luke Wilson: Lately it’s been “Standing on the Moon.”
CRAIG FINN (THE HOLD STEADY)
I don’t know that many people would think of The Hold Steady guy as a Dead fan, are you one?
Craig Finn: I came up through punk rock but I graduated high school in ’89 and that was a huge part of high school life, and college, all of my friends were into the Dead so by osmosis it was something I came to really love. I went to a handful of shows and as I’ve gotten older and in a band, really come to appreciate the improvisational nature of it and what they built, so I’ve always had a steady fascination with the Dead. In fact, the main guitar I play in The Hold Steady has a dancing bear on it.
How has being in a band added to your appreciation of the Dead?
Craig Finn: The way of making a show different every night and also playing for themselves rather than just playing the same songs to an audience. It’s very admirable and you realize how cool it was to put their efforts towards that.
Why does Garcia’s light continue to shine so bright so long after his death?
Craig Finn: I think there’s a really unique part of America that his music gives to people that gets a reaction, maybe the depth of it all, you can listen to his songs your whole life. Dylan would be the other guy, someone that it’s not like “oh I liked that band when I was 15,” I can keep putting on these songs and these records and they might mean something new to me every time I hear them.
JASON ROBERTS (NORAH JONES)
Why is Garcia special to you and to the world at large?
Jason Roberts: How many people he influenced for so many years, and it’s such its own thing nobody can redo it, and he was at the helm of it. Plus, he’s one of those guys, there’s a couple guys who are like that, that are just on another planet or something, but only a couple, maybe Garcia, Dylan and Young.
Most folks might not think of Norah Jones and the Grateful Dead together, what’s your history with the Dead?
Jason Roberts: I wasn’t born until ’82, so I kind of missed that, but I started seeing Phish shows when I was 12. Our cousin is John Fishman and when I was like 11 his mom was at a Bar Mitzvah and she was like “you gotta hear my son’s band,” and we went to a show, I was like 12 and my brother was 10, and we’ve been totally hooked on them ever since and that kind of led us down the path to everything else.
TRIXIE GARCIA (ONE OF JERRY GARCIA’S DAUGHTERS)
Why do you think Jerry’s light continues to shine so bright?
Trixie Garcia: There was something about his personality that was endearing and deeply soulful that people relate to, they find guidance in his lyrics and his songs and when they’re having hard times and I think his music is uplifting to a lot of people.
Favorite Jerry song?
Trixie Garcia: It sounds really cheesy, but “Touch of Grey” really means a lot to me. It was a memorable time in our life, I was there when we filmed the music video at Shoreline, it’s an inspirational song; it’s about being okay and surviving.
Why is now the right time and TRI the right place for this?
Trixie Garcia: He was born in San Francisco, the band spent all they’re years in the Bay, great runs at the Oakland Coliseum, they’re hideout was always Marin; Front Street is just down the road. Time wise I think a lot of people are ready to stop being hurt and sad that Jerry is gone and start to really celebrate, that’s the theme of this event, all about Jerry’s brightness and brilliance and the light he brought to the world.