Current Issue Details

Buy Current Issue


Published: 2010/08/04

Jerry Garcia Film Hits Snag

Just over a week ago week we reported on the proposed Jerry Garcia biopic. Amir Bar-Lev, director of the documentaries My Kid Could Paint That and The Tillman Story has signed on for the project written by Topper Lilien (whose last credited film was, ahem, Dungeons & Dragons in 2000). The script is said to be based on Robert Greenfield’s Dark Star an oral-history of the guitarist. Grateful Dead Productions and Jerry Garcia Family LLC have now weighed in with two thumbs down on the film.

The two organizations have released a joint statement which reads, “We want to make clear that neither Grateful Dead Productions nor the Jerry Garcia Family LLC are in any way working with — or are in any other way affiliated with — the supposed upcoming Amir Bar-Lev-directed biopic about Jerry Garcia. Furthermore, we will not be licensing any recordings from Grateful Dead or Jerry Garcia’s music library for this production nor will we provide the producer/director with access to any Garcia family members.”

The film as announced was to focus on the years before Garcia joined the Dead (perhaps in anticipation of such a problem) and the filmmakers acquired the rights to Greenfield’s book, so the cameras still may roll, it will just be all the more challenging.


There are 11 comments associated with this post

Justin November 24, 2010, 10:40:26

Jerry’s life will never make a commercial movie. His music, his legacy and his life are too varied, complex and not well enough known to make a film. At this point, very few people even know his “real” music, which is a catalog that far surpasses the Dead in variety, quality and interest. But that’s not what films are made of. Any movie that satisfies true Jerry fans, likely the only people interested these days, would never sell. Any movie that would sell these days would disgust any real fan of Jerry’s music. Who cares anyway, that’s the only thing that matters. =)

mark November 22, 2011, 19:35:58

My suspicion is that the family and dead productions have their hands out for part of the proceeds. Its all about the money once again as they have proven time and time again since Jerry’s passing. No major money means no cooperation, guys aren’t you rich enough ? I think its a shame. before you strongly disagree and attack my statement realize that I am a dead head and do your homework go investigate the business moves made since Jerrys death and you will see a clear path chasing and maximizing the mighty dollar , this is in sharp contrast to pre-Jerrys passing. PEACE !

Lee February 17, 2012, 18:06:37

Jerrys gone,unless you where there it would be hard for a movie producer to be able to capture the real Jerry.We all have our own image and memories of him,some true things and maybe things that we interpret to be reality.Me ,I’m gonna stick to the movie in my head of Jerry’s life,listen to my collection,maybe catch a bar band just so i can sing along,and not be negative to others attemps at life,however misdirected by the almighty dollar, peace love and a chunky nugget to all!

Coconut Phil August 5, 2010, 10:48:54

I’m sure if no one is going along with this, there is a good reason. Fans like myself do not want a half ass release, I’ll wait for the right one to come along. If the vibes are bad right out of the gate then, I’m sure this movie would have sucked. How can you have a Jerry movie without the music? All good things in time.

Derek V August 5, 2010, 13:33:12

Agreed. Frankly it looked like this thing had lame all over it.

John J. Wood August 5, 2010, 15:27:35

The last thing we need is another Hollywood butchering of another great artist — a la “The Doors” film by Oliver Stone. Just hire Ken Burns, have him interview various folks in the GD family, and let him make a documentary that would surely paint Garcia and the GD Family in a positive light — and without the completely unnecessary Hollywood melodrama!

Grubber August 5, 2010, 20:03:31

Considering that both of these organizations are fueled by $$$, I wouldn’t be surprised if their primary objections stem from not receiving a cut of the potential profits.

Cloudy Knight August 5, 2010, 21:00:13

That book was kind of trashy. The best book about Jerry was Blair Jackson’s “Garcia: An American Life”. THAT’S the book that they should get the rights to. Any movie without the family’s (real & extended) participation is a non-starter. This is a life that is just crying out for a good bio-pic, like Johnny Cash or Ray Charles.

melissa August 8, 2010, 15:33:29

I’m with Grubber. I think it has more to do with money, than anything else.

dick hurts August 9, 2010, 20:27:09

KOOOONs is an evil woman none the less I would like to PIIHB though

tallboy August 10, 2010, 20:07:26

While Dark Star was a tough read, and mind, I read it at 19 years old and still very impressionable, it’s the truth. I love Jerry and hate the fact that I missed my 1 chance to see him, but, the plane we often put him on isn’t necessarily where he belongs. The music and his personal life were two very different, seperate things.

Note: It may take a moment for your post to appear

(required) (required, not public)