Dancing bears, roses and skeletons, lightning bolts — all things to describe timeless rock and roll band the Grateful Dead, with Jerry Garcia, lead guitarist missing a middle finger, at the forefront. The band was born in San Francisco, specifically at the legendary cross streets Haight and Ashbury, the neighborhood now being dedicated to the Dead’s legacy, tie-dye-covered stores speckling the six blocks. And on August 1, Garcia’s birthday, San Franciscans celebrate “Jerry Day” in honor of the musician.
This August 1, Jerry Day is coming to Santa Barbara’s SOhO for the third time, courtesy of S.B.’s Deadhead community Heads All Happy Hour. A variety of bands, all dedicated to preserving Grateful Dead’s and Garcia’s sound will be playing at the celebration — No Simple Spoonful, JG Mystery Band, East San Roque Deadfolk, Dawg Goners, and Ace Gonzalez & the Surfilm Sound. Playing a range of Dead music, from rock and soul to jazz, blues and Americana, the bands carry Garcia’s musical legacy on and inspire Grateful Dead music in people across all walks of life.
“Playing his music and bringing people together, bringing our community together, our Santa Barbara Deadhead community together. That, to me, is exactly how we honor Jerry. What you’ll hear a lot of this evening is ‘Thank you, Jerry,’” said Heads All Happy Hour founder Chris Ulep, who also plays keyboard in the tribute band No Simple Highway (playing with the band Spoonful at the celebration this year).
Making the show completely free, Santa Barbara’s own Jerry Day will be sponsored by Canopy Club (medicinal marijuana dispensary), Carp Events (event management support), and STP Screen Printing (custom textile printing). The celebration encourages donations, the entirety of which will go to Community Environmental Council (CEC), a local organization working to combat climate change.
If you once were or are a Deadhead, or if you’ve even just heard of the band, treat yourself to a show surrounded by people who just really love the music being played. Join Jerry Day at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club on Tuesday, August 1, from 6-11 p.m. See sohosb.com for details.
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