December 3, 2010

Jerry Garcia Interview Links

For some time I’ve lamented that there isn’t a complete archive of Jerry Garcia interviews online. Many interviews in old publications are now more or less inaccessible – a few have been reprinted; a few others have been transcribed online; a few circulate in audio.
So I’ve decided to at least take a small step and try compiling links to the various interviews available to read or hear online. This list is just a start, and is meant to be a work in progress – I hope readers can suggest other interviews I’ve missed, so I can make additions.

This list is not meant to cover what’s available in books or DVDs – it’s a list of weblinks, not a bibliography. I was hesitant to include youtube videos; but there’s a lot of good material there. I drew the line, though, at listing every ten-second snippet!
I also (somewhat arbitrarily) decided not to include downloads, only things that can be streamed.
This is arranged by date – I tried to list the actual interview dates, but sometimes had to settle for publication date.

UPDATED August 1, 2013 with some youtube interviews added (and others deleted). I'm sure I've missed or forgotten other items online, so it would be appreciated if people could point out some of those!

July '64 - (Mother McCree's interview)

Summer ’67 - (Audio)

10/11/70 - (by Jay Itkowitz, for Action World)

Feb ‘71 - (by David Bromberg)

6/21/71 (has French voiceover) - taken off youtube; may be available elsewhere?

Summer ’71 - (by Charles Reich & Jann Wenner; published in Signpost to New Space)

4/11/72 -

April ‘72 - (very short, only a minute)
5/7/72 - (brief preshow interview)

Oct ’73 -
Jan ’74 - (by Cameron Crowe - not straight interviews, but use lots of Garcia quotes)

October '74 - (unreleased interview done for the Grateful Dead Movie) [ also had an unedited clip of this interview on a "Celebrating Jerry" page a couple years ago]

3/23/75 - (Audio - preshow interview by James Cameron included)

8/6/75 (Audio - by Mary Travers) - used to be on, but gone now

4/1/76 - (by Steve Weitzman, for Relix - also published in Rolling Stone's Garcia tribute book)

1976 - (Audio - by Ben Fong-Torres for Rolling Stone; in 5 parts, follow links)

10/2/77 - (audio)

3/10/78 - (Audio - radio interview w/ John Kahn about punk & new-wave bands – great music excerpts) (longer, unedited)

3/11/78 - (audio - radio interview by Andy Gefen, w/ the JGB)

'79 - (Robert Klein radio show)

Oct ‘78 - (by Jon Sievert; excerpts from Guitar Player interview)
( had a few short excerpts from later Guitar Player interviews, but the page is now gone)

Oct ‘80 Radio City press conference w/ Weir - (pt 1) (pt 2)

5/7/81 - (by Tom Snyder on Tomorrow TV show, with the band) (with Ken Kesey, about LSD)

7/10/81 - (Audio)

Oct ’81 - (“In Search of the X Factor” – also includes other Dead interviews from Musician issue)

4/9/82 (Audio - by Lisa Robinson) - used to be on, but gone now

4/13/82 - (Letterman TV show w/ Weir)

1/21/83 - (Audio - Santa Rosa 101.7 KVRE FM radio interview)
also here:

6/2/83 - (MTV interview, part 1) (part 2) (part 3)
30-minute clip also here:

Fall ’84 - (Video - “PM Magazine” TV interview by Dennis Elsas)

12/31/84 - (by Guido Sarducci)

1/12/85 - (complete Jas Obrecht interview for Frets; excerpt was used on

Sep ’85 - (by Paul Krassner, for Realist)

10/14/86 - (by Steven Marcus)
also here:

April ’87 - (Audio - brief)

’87 - (by Justin Kreutzmann, about the Touch of Grey video)

’87 (video) - used to be on, but gone now

9/17/87 - (Letterman TV show w/ Weir)

11/12/87 - (by Mary Eisenhart, for BAM – full transcript)

12/31/87 - ("Garcia's backstage kitchen" comedy bit w/ Tom Davis)
also here:

9/13/88 - (by Legs McNeil for High Times, on rainforests)

7/3/89 - (by Jeremy Alderson, for Relix)

Oct ‘89 - (by Steve Peters, for Relix)

Nov ’89 -

May '90 - (in Hawaii, on a boat)

Oct '90? - (GD press conference)

2/27/91 - (Headliners TV)

3/1/91 - (w/ Elvis Costello, for Musician)

9/13/91 - (by Scott Muni)
(Same as and )

spring ’92 - (by Barbara Meier, for Tricycle)

5/20/93 - (w/ Bob Weir - by Jon Sievert, for Guitar Player)

’93 - (retrospective)

Jan ’94 – (for Magical Blend)
(Different edits of this interview also available at and and )

3/31/94 - (short interview on art)

5/2/94 - there used to be a two-part interview on youtube, but it's gone now - this seems to be part 2

’94? (outdoors, backstage) - (part 2)

'94 - (phone interview about comic-book artist Will Elder)

'95? - (History of Rock & Roll unedited interview)

May '95 - (a brief reminiscence about the old Palo Alto days)

'95 - (Jerry talks about Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein) (a brief clip of Jerry talking about playing on Merl Saunders' Blues From the Rain Forest) (brief audio on 1970 drug bust; don't know what interview it's from)

?? - ("a talk with Jerry," part 1) (part 2) (part 3) (part 4)

'80s - (Don Fass "Reaching Up Radio" show, part 1) (part 2)

Nov ’91 - (some interesting Garcia comments used in this CNN news report from Aug '95)


  1. Sadly, due to lack of time, this may be the last post I make here until late January. (Unless I can think of some really short topics... The things I want to write about, though, are all big time-intensive projects, so they'll have to wait for now.)

  2. Thanks for this post! Turns out, I just so happened to be looking for a collection of Garcia interviews, and here they were! Thanks a lot, enjoy your break.

  3. Thank-you LiA . This is from the '92 Tricycle article . It demonstrates of of the aspects of Garcia that I respect and appreciate the most .
    Barbara Meier: You don't impose any political message.

    Jerry Garcia: I couldn't do it. The power is frightening.

    Barbara Meier: Are you ever tempted?

    Jerry Garcia: No. I thought, if I'm going to be onstage I'm not going to say
    anything to anybody or address the crowd, because it doesn't matter what you
    say, sometimes just the sound of your voice might inadvertently set somebody
    off. The situation with psychedelics is so highly charged that you never
    know what's leaking in. I don't mind doing it in the music, because that's
    where I divest myself of ego. It's egoless, something I trust. If the band
    has something to protect, it's the integrity of the experience, which
    remains shapeless and formless. As long as it stays that way, everything's

  4. Garcia interviews from 10/2/77 and 3/28/81 are also available as downloads here & there.

  5. How could I have forgotten this short Garcia interview from July 1964? He talks about the different musical elements of the Mother McCree's jugband, and what the future holds for the bandmembers. Prophetic.

  6. What I have found is so many good resources are now gone. Many of the old sites just faded away.
    Great list you tube seems to be where so much of the information has gone.

  7. I've updated this with a few more youtube interviews. Are there other interviews I've missed? Let me know!

  8. Another one to add -
    (12-31-84, with Father Guido Sarducci)

  9. The '73/74 Cameron Crowe links don't work anymore; his page has changed.

    The '73 article:

    The '74 article:

  10. Jay Itkowitz wrote:

    "I am so pleased to see my interview with Jerry from 1970 archived. I always felt it was special but I don't think I dreamed that 41 years later people would still find it of interest, yet they clearly do.
    The interview was kind of a blind shot in the sense I had no connections to the Dead. I got the interview because they played my college (Queens) and as an editor on the college newspaper I was able to get on stage while they were tuning up. I went directly up to Jerry at an opportune moment, handed him four reefers and asked him for an interview. He gave me the name of the band's manager and told me to call the next day. I called and they let me come up later in the afternoon.
    When I got to the room at the hotel, there were quite a few people hanging out while Jerry just sat there and played riffs for about a half hour or so. When he finished, he turned to me and said okay, what do you want to know.
    I had prepared for the opportunity by reading The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe and had a lot of questions about the formation of the group and how they got together with the Merry Pranksters. Jerry patiently answered every question I had.
    The rest is, as they say, history. The interview was featured in Action World and was snapped up the moment it came out. The interview was periodically reissued by Action World over the years and was always very popular.
    Ironically, about nine months later I was across the country in Oregon and thought I could get an interview with Ken Kesey. I located his number and actually got him on the phone. I asked him for an interview and his response was as follows: "I don't do interviews."
    Jerry could have certainly taken the same position inasmuch as he was very sought after. He didn't."

    1. I've always wondered about that interview. It seems like a fairly clumsy interview. I mean, starting off with "what happened last night?", asking if he ever jammed with Hendrix -- asking if they still hand out acid at concerts! Was this your first interview? Some of Garcia's responses seem as if he was fairly well ticked-off. Did he give that impression to you at the time?

      And Garcia's long "You know, I think everybody should take one step backwards and two steps sideways and let the whole thing collapse" response is classic... Do you remember what kind of he had on his face at that time?

  11. I am trying relentlessly to get in contact with my aunt. She was the housekeeper/ maid for jerry in the 80's i believe. I think she is maybe be involved in the 1/12/85 interview titled "Nora's house". However, when i click on it the link is dead. If anyone could help me i would be so thankful..

    1. Unfortunately, it looks like some guitar site has taken over Jas Obrecht's site, but that interview is still available here:

      Nora isn't mentioned; I've read that the interview took place at Nora Sage's house, but all Obrecht wrote was that it was at "the home of a Grateful Dead supporter who, it turned out, was letting Jerry Garcia live in her basement." (I wonder if this was Rock Scully's place where Garcia was staying, & Obrecht was misinformed.)

      Dennis McNally has some negative comments about Nora Sage in his book Long Strange Trip, p. 524 & 589, basically categorizing her as a Garcia-stalker "who'd been incessantly sending mail and gifts to Garcia since 1976" and had been removed from a JGB show once at Garcia's request, but "managed to entrench herself" and became his housekeeper & drug connection. In 1991 Garcia apparently asked NY artist Vince Di Biase to "take over his art business from Nora Sage, who annoyed Garcia with her aggressive commercial instincts."

      Blair Jackson interviewed her for his Garcia bio and has a more positive portrayal, basically presenting her as his caretaker who more or less saved his life in the '80s & got him turned around from the depths of his drug addiction, but got shut out afterwards - see p.337-38, 344-46, 350, & 413-14. (There are also a few comments in Robert Greenfield's Dark Star bio, p.207-08.)

      Though she seems to have been very close to Garcia in the early '80s, she had some enemies among Garcia's other friends, and Garcia eventually kicked her out of the house after his coma in 1986. At some point after that, she became his art agent, but by '91 he wanted someone else to do that too.
      So it seems to have been an off-and-on relationship - which wasn't uncommon at all with people who knew Garcia; various factions formed around Garcia, and he could often fall out with someone for years & then reconnect.

      The aftermath: (As of 1995 she lived in Bend, Oregon.)

  12. I updated this post with a few new links to youtube clips; also corrected many old dead links.
    Unfortunately, things online have a way of disappearing, so some of these interviews appear to have vanished for now.

    As always, I'm sure this list is very incomplete - there are probably many more Garcia interviews scattered across the Web - so more additions are welcome.
    I'm debating whether to include torrent links as well.

  13. I added this recently surfaced 50-minute interview from 1994/95, for the History of Rock & Roll series -

    1. This is a fantastic interview.

      I had a hard time figuring out when it took place: '94 or '95 makes sense. You know it's pretty late because his hair is extremely white: but, he seems a whole lot healthier than I thought he would be at that time. He's pretty damned chipper, actually, in this interview, which makes his death all the more semi-incomprehensible.

      I wish the questions being put to him were a little more audible. His reactions to them are pretty funny -- it's as if he can't believe he has to answer the same damned questions he's answered for thirty years now. But, he does his best, and soon has us (or at least me) spellbound with his interpretation of what it all meant...

    2. Sometimes he'll be grumpy at the start of an interview, and then quickly warm up. And many times we can see his reaction to being asked the same questions for the hundredth time - "arggh, again?" He always graciously answers, though. It's very rare to see him uncooperative through an interview; he usually musters up some enthusiasm, and in many of these late interviews he is very chipper.

  14. One quick question:

    In a 1991 interview with both Garcia and Hunter (by Blair Jackson, which apparently isn't on the web anywhere), Jerry talked about the origins of "Uncle John's Band":

    "At that time I was listening to records of the Bulgarian Women's Choir and also this Greek-Macedonian music, and on one of those records there was a... little turn of melody that was so lovely... I thought, 'Gee, if I could get this into a song it would be so great.' So, I stole it."

    Well, OK -- it's nice to know where at least some of the otherness of "Uncle John's Band" is coming from. But -- in the Stoned Sunday Rap, the interview between Charles Reich and Garcia (which also is hard to find on the web), there are also two separate mentions of Bulgaria -- in particular, Bulgarian cuisine. Reich mentions Bulgarian cooking in passing, and Garcia talks about chestnut puree -- "a Bulgarian dessert that's fantastic".

    So I guess my question is: What's all this about Bulgaria? Did Garcia have a Bulgarian friend, perhaps? Was there a substantial Bulgarian cultural presence in the Bay area at the time -- e. g., a Bulgarian restaurant or two?

  15. I updated the three Relix interview links here (one in '76 & two in '89). It seems Relix links frequently get taken down or changed.

  16. The Bulgarian connection: Back in the 50s, Nonesuch Records put out an album titled the Folk Music of Bulgaria. David Crosby listened to it, turned lots of other people on to it, and the modal tunings and droning minor key melodies of Bulgarian music thereby made their way, piecemeal, into West Coast folk rock: the music of the Byrds, Jefferson Airplane, CSN and Jerry Garcia. Jerry would have been familiar with Bulgarian music through his friendship with David Crosby. Since both guys liked to eat, they might have checked out Bulgarian food, too. I don't know, but I'd guess there might have been a Bulgarian ethnic enclave somewhere in the Bay Area.

    1. Yeah, I knew there had to have been something like that... Thanks a lot...

  17. New to youtube: Garcia's last interview from 4/28/95, 48 minutes:

    Some other older short TV bits:
    Philadelphia TV show 11/6/79 (with Weir) -
    Good Morning America 10/29/80 (with Weir) -
    Don Bleu's Weekend, 1982 (talking about Run for the Roses) -
    Good Morning America 9/15/88 (talking about rain forests) -
    ABC Studios 10/10/89, interviewer Kurt Loder (with Weir, on the growing audience at recent tours) -
    Today Show, October '89 (with Weir, a similar interview) -
    and Garcia with Grace Slick & Bill Graham on a San Francisco TV show in 1984, interviewer Bill Kurtis (talking about changes in the music scene since the '60s) -

    And an alternate copy of the May '90 Hawaii boat interview -

    There are probably others I've missed.... The appearances with Weir are all pretty funny.