Posted 3 years ago
Tonight, August 9, 2010, is Jerry Night at ATT Park, in remembrance of the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia, who passed away on this day 15 years ago. I didn't have the heart, stomach, or wallet to attend the game (bassist Phil Lesh and guitarist Bob Weir were scheduled to sing the Star Spangled Banner, while drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann were slotted to do something percussive to get the crowd on its feet during the 7th-inning stretch), but I did stop off on the way to the train to check out the mob scene inside the Public House, a sports bar at the park.
A line snaked out the door, as people clamored for a chance to raise a cold one to the memory of one of the greatest rock guitarists who ever played a note. Live, and loud, Jerry Garcia Band standards such as "Waiting for a Miracle" blared over the PA system, bathing the crowds around the Willie Mays statue in Garcia's signature sound.
Inside, a small display of Garcia and Grateful Dead memorabilia, available for silent auction, greeted people as the walked in the door. Among the pieces for sale (proceeds went to the Bill Graham Foundation, while a portion of ticket sales for certain seats benefited the Dead's Rex Foundation) was a photograph of Garcia the way many fans like to remember him—bearded and smiling, against a backdrop of tie-dye. On the countless screens within the bar, which normally hum with the drone of play-by-play announcers, videos of Garcia playing with his solo band and the Dead dominated. In one montage, I caught repeated images of Garcia and bandmate Weir. If you didn't know better, you'd think you were in the bar upstairs at the Fillmore between sets.
Back outside, I met Dave, who runs the merch stand for the Giants. Black shirts branded with both the Giants logo and the Dead's "Steal Your Face" lighting-bolt skull were selling briskly at 30 bucks a pop. Obligingly, he agreed to pose with one (that's him on the left). Other people (see photo at right) wore their own.