Archive Page - 08/16/13 40 years, 2,168 covers and 54,870 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Prince William, Kate & George Make Their Way to Buckingham Palace for Christmas Party
- Read the Cover Story: Family and Friends Remember Robin Williams
- Pennsylvania Shooting Suspect Never Saw Combat, Says Marine Who Served with Him
- Sony Cancels Release of The Interview
- American Horror Story's Naomi Grossman: 'Viewers Will be Satiated' by Pepper's Backstory
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LAST UPDATE: Wednesday December 17, 2014 06:10PM EST
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The Grateful Dead's Heart and Soul, He Became the Beloved Free Spirit Behind Rock's Great Odyssey
It's no surprise that the death of Garcia—of a heart attack, at 53—provoked elaborate displays of grief from hordes of his tie-dyed fans. But millions who wouldn't ordinarily be counted among the Grateful faithful were touched too. Stockbrokers. Politicians (Sen. Patrick Leahy recalled taking Garcia to the Senate Dining Room as his guest). Lithuanian athletes. Teenagers who think of psychedelia as a style, and not a path to heightened consciousness. In ways obvious or tangential—as a musician, bemused '60s' icon, guerrilla entrepreneur or shambling philosopher—Jerry Garcia made people happier.
He was, as his concerned family and friends had been aware for years, all too human. With a guitar in hand, playing the music he loved, Garcia seemed like a wise, grinning Buddha. Privately, he struggled for much of his adult life with drug problems. In the end, his weakened heart gave out.
Wherever Jerry Garcia is now, he's probably dumbfounded by all the hoopla. Despite recognition from his peers, he was modest about his talent and amazed by the Grateful Dead's 30-year ride. "I feel like we've been getting away with something," he once said, "ever since there were more people in the audience than there were onstage."
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