Thanks, waldo. Fair feedback, well intended, and equally well appreciated. Never say never! You’re pulling my chain of course on the mc and jbls but as I eventually came around to those, now, I will not condemn you nor yet will I deny.
There may, though, be a more significant qualitative difference when it comes to personal style and technique. I love and respect Jerry’s musicianship and tone. And I do want to sound like
Jerry. But I don’t want to be
him (not that that’s possible anyway but hopefully you know what I mean). I’ve borrowed so much from Jerry and owe him more than I can articulate but, in the end, I’m myself. And it’s far more than just my hands not being like Jerry’s (or my not using them as he did). My phrasing and note choices are not Jerry's either. Influenced by? Absolutely. Identical - not close. Before I got so much into Jerry, my first guitar hero was Dickey. To this day, I'm sure I’ve borrowed as much from Dickey as Jerry and everywhere I play people tell me the same so I believe it's true. (I’ll try to post a lead excerpt from my band on Eyes that may help illustrate what I mean about how much Dickie I’ve also "stolen" over the years.) And hopefully, I’ve developed and thrown a few original ideas into the mix, too. The result, highlights and warts and all, is me. That’s who I most want to be ...my musical goal, as challenging or limited as it may be. Someone else might hold my guitar and say, this ain’t like Jerry’s: the strings are too light; the action is too low; the guitar weighs too little. And I might reply, hey, Jerry looked to me, in those end years, to be literally in pain – physical, spiritual, or both. I’ve already dealt with and addressed (successfully) tennis elbow, debilitating lower back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. You think I want more of those?! No thanks, I’ll keep my own strings, action, and guitar. So I know I’ll never be spot on. Maybe not even really close. This I accept. But I will be happy to be playing in the band, bringing more of Jerry’s music and spirit out into the world, helping in my own small way to keep his legacy alive and evolving. That’s what I really want from my singing and playing guitar (and I didn’t even get into my singing – I’ve been told I can do a fairly decent vocal Bobby but Jerry? forgetaboutit!). My one significant resulting concern is that, sometimes when I post shit like this, people may misconstrue it as saying Jon doesn’t really appreciate Jerry or the focused assistance and advice of the good folks here on how to sound authentically like him. But I do. I really do. If I’ve failed to express this clearly in the past and I know I have, I apologize for missing the target. In the end, my aspiration is to gather more than I spill but at the same time to fill in the spilt parts with other gatherings and also a part of myself.
"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