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Memorable Jerry Garcia Quotes On Life and Music

Enjoy these Jerry Garcia quotes from the member of the Grateful Dead.

Jerry Garcia was born in San Francisco, CA in 1942 and passed away in 1995 at the young age of 53. Jerry Garcia was an extremely talented musician. In particular, he was a great guitarist and is perceived as one of the greatest guitar players of all time.

Although he did not want the title, Jerry Garcia was often seen as the “leader” of the Grateful Dead. He had natural charisma and was always good for a quote.

After the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia went on to lead or play in many other bands or duos and even did some solo work. Enjoy these Jerry Garcia quotes!

Jerry Garcia Singing

Don’t forget to also check out these Stevie Nicks quotes from the singer/songwriter.

Wise Jerry Garcia quotes

1. “Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.” – Jerry Garcia

2. “Nothing left to do but smile.” – Jerry Garcia

3. “If the thunder don’t get ya then the lightning will.” – Jerry Garcia

4. “Once in a while, you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look it right.” – Jerry Garcia

5. “Every mind is at least as heavy of mine.” – Jerry Garcia

6. “You ain’t gonna learn what you don’t wanna know.” – Jerry Garcia

7. “You do not merely want to be considered just the best of the best. You want to be considered the only one who does what you do.” – Jerry Garcia

8. “Every silver lining has a touch of grey.” – Jerry Garcia

9. “All I know is, if you listen to society, you’ll never get anywhere!” – Jerry Garcia

10. “If we had any nerve at all, if we had any real balls as a society, or whatever you need, whatever quality you need, real character, we would make an effort to really address the wrongs in this society, righteously.” – Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia quotes about life

11. “We would all like to be able to live an uncluttered life, a simple life, a good life.” – Jerry Garcia

12. “We’re involved in a society which is undergoing some really weird changes now.” – Jerry Garcia

13. “I read somewhere that 77 percent of all the mentally ill live in poverty. Actually, I’m more intrigued by the 23 percent who are apparently doing quite well for themselves.” – Jerry Garcia

14. “Run faster, jump higher, reach farther, and you’ll always win!” – Jerry Garcia

15. “Some things may work, but they definitely won’t work every time. Some things may work at various times.” – Jerry Garcia

16. “The alternate media are becoming important and viable alternatives to playing live. Records, videos, that kind of thing. They’re going to start to count for something. Because there’s only a limited amount of us-time available to us.” – Jerry Garcia

17. “You need to have many points of reference; many places to touch down and make contact with.” – Jerry Garcia

18. “The pursuit of happiness is such a large of concept.” – Jerry Garcia
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of the pursuit of happiness quotes that will make you smile.

Jeremy Garcia quotes about music

19. “You have to get past the idea that music has to be one thing. To be alive in America is to hear all kinds of music constantly: radio, records, churches, cats on the street, everywhere music. And with records, the whole history of music is open to everyone who wants to hear it.” – Jerry Garcia

20. “In folk music, I’ve always been fond of the fragment. The song that has one verse. And you don’t know anything about the characters, you don’t know what they’re doing, but they’re doing something important. I love that. I’m really a sucker for that kind of song.” – Jerry Garcia

21. “Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul.” – Jerry Garcia

22. “It’s much too late to do anything about rock & roll now.” – Jerry Garcia

23. “Hunter can write a melody and stuff like that, but his forte is lyrics. He can write a serviceable melody to hang his lyrics on, and sometimes he comes up with something really nice.” – Jerry Garcia

24. “For me, I think the only danger is being too much in love with guitar playing. The MUSIC is the most important thing, and the guitar is only the instrument.” – Jerry Garcia

25. “I mean, just because you’re a musician doesn’t mean all your ideas are about music. So every once in a while I get an idea about plumbing, I get an idea about city government, and they come the way they come.” – Jerry Garcia

26. “I’ll try any guitar just to see if it’s different in an effort to see if it will lead me anywhere. I’m trying to have a guitar built. What’s needed is better instruments, better amplifiers, better hardware for electric music to get better.” – Jerry Garcia

27. “I like all the kinds of music I’ve been into. I’m certainly not a purist in that I will only play country licks in a country song or blues licks in blues stuff. The thing I would like to be able to do is to make the music sound right no matter what it is. If somebody else wants to have a label for it, then that’s their business.” – Jerry Garcia

28.“Listening. That’s what music is about. You hear it. And I’d listen to it and something would move me one way or another, and I would try and play it.” – Jerry Garcia

29. “As a musician, you fall into certain patterns that you’re not conscious of unless you start listening to yourself on tape a lot. If you do that you start recognizing habits; then you have to try and break them.” – Jerry Garcia

30. “Now there is no place you can go where you don’t hear certain types of music.” – Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia quotes about live shows

31. “And the live show is still our main thing.” – Jerry Garcia

32. “So it’s one of those things where we have to – our problem is pacing ourselves and still reaching a large enough number of our audience. Because we don’t want to burn the audience. And we don’t want to be excluding anybody.” – Jerry Garcia

33. “And there’s a lot of that stuff with people bringing their kids, kids bringing their parents, people bringing their grandparents – I mean, it’s gotten to be really stretched out now. It was never my intention to say, this is the demographics of our audience.” – Jerry Garcia

34. “The alternate media are becoming important and viable alternatives to playing live. Records, videos, that kind of thing. They’re going to start to count for something. Because there’s only a limited amount of us-time available to us.” – Jerry Garcia

35. “So we are pretty convinced we don’t want to play huge stadiums unless we can play them well.” – Jerry Garcia

36. “I’m shopping around for something to do that no one will like.” – Jerry Garcia

37. “But audio is a component of video, so there’s always been that anyway, and although we’ve never expressed a visual side apart from the Grateful Dead movie, I don’t find it that remote, you know what I mean? It’s a departure of sorts, but it’s like a first cousin.” – Jerry Garcia

38. “I don’t think that Slaughterhouse-Five was successful movie material. In fact, Vonnegut’s books mostly I don’t feel are movie material.” – Jerry Garcia

39. “Our strong suit is what we do, and our audience.” – Jerry Garcia

40. “And Warner Bros. seems to be pretty much into re-releasing all of their catalog. So there’s the Warner Bros. stuff and the stuff that we have control over, we’re gradually re-releasing it. Some stuff we don’t have control over.”- Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia quotes and sayings

41. “Well, you know Tom, I’m no health nut.” – Jerry Garcia

42. “Oh well, a touch of gray kind of suits you anyway.” – Jerry Garcia

43. “I sat down to my supper, was a bottle of red whiskey.” – Jerry Garcia

44. “The sun will shine in my back door one day..” – Jerry Garcia

45. “What a long strange trip it’s been.” – Jerry Garcia

46. “We’re like licorice. Not everybody likes licorice, but the people who like licorice really like licorice.” – Jerry Garcia

47. “I could have made the film a lot more disturbing than it is, … But my whole point was to inspire people to take action.” – Jerry Garcia

48. “Somebody has to do something, and it’s just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.” – Jerry Garcia

49. “The bigger issue was the whole takeover of the food industry by big corporations.” – Jerry Garcia

50. “We didn’t invent the Grateful Dead, the crowd invented the Grateful Dead. We were just in line to see what was going to happen.” – Jerry Garcia

You might also like these Ozzy Osbourne quotes from one of the Godfathers of Metal

More Jerry Garcia quotes

51. “There is a road, no simple highway, between the dawn and the dark of night, and if you go, no one may follow, that path is for your steps alone.” – Jerry Garcia

52. “Whistle through your teeth and spit cuz, it’s Alright.” – Jerry Garcia

53. “We’re sort of like the town whore that’s finally become an institution. We’re finally becoming respectable.” – Jerry Garcia

54. “For me, the lame part of the Sixties was the political part, the social part. The real part was the spiritual part.” – Jerry Garcia

55. “Live life expecting the worst, hoping for the best, and living for the future!” – Jerry Garcia

Did you enjoy these Jerry Garcia quotes?

Now that you have had the chance to enjoy some quotes from Jerry Garcia, hopefully, you will choose to listen to some of his music.

Jerry was a very ambitious man who always had something going on. Besides, starting or playing in bands, he contributed to other bands as a “Session musician.”

Ultimately living the Rock and Roll lifestyle cost him his life at too young of an age. He had a serious cocaine and heroin addiction and was overweight.

Combine those serious factors with living a lifestyle of a famous musician with late nights and wild partying and unfortunately, Jerry passed away early. Even though he is gone, his legend and much of his musical work live on.

Which of these Jerry Garcia quotes and sayings resonated with you best? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.

Stephanie Kirby
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1 Comment
  1. david Jordan

    January 30, 2021 at 8:59 AM

    ‘Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world.’ (Possibly Robert Hunter)

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