Jay Jay French Considers Jerry Garcia’s Playing The Worst Part Of Grateful Dead
Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French wrote to Gold Mine about his 13 favorite guitarists he witnessed in 1969. Being the last name on the list, French mentioned Jerry Garcia. Though the original title says ‘guitar god performances’, he stated not being a fan of his playing. French said:
“Garcia is listed last because I was never a fan of his playing. I get the fact that he was perfect for the band, but his style and his guitar tone were never particularly interesting to me. All these other players on my list were very heavy with blues chops. Garcia was not — at all.”
Though French disliked the way Garcia plays the guitar, he still loved his band, Grateful Dead. He continued:
“I never liked his guitar tone or his meandering scales. But I really loved the band, and especially the rhythm section of bassist Phil Lesh and drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart. The band also went through keyboard players like Spinal Tap has gone through drummers!”
He explained further about the band and how they performed:
“The Dead were more like an improv jazz band, too. Every night was different, and they went where the music (and drugs) took them. For four years I was hooked on the music as an ensemble performance machine. As weird as it sounds, I got them but just never got Garcia’s feel. Many, of course, have — and I respect that he may be a god to some of you. I saw them five times in 1969.”
The two had connections many years before too. In an earlier interview with Metal Injection, he mentioned seeing The Grateful Dead more than 20 times and sharing acid with Garcia. See the interview down below.