Pigpen was Heart and Soul of Grateful Dead

Ron “Pigpen” McKernan was born Sept. 8, 1945 and died from alcohol abuse on March 8, 1973.  His father had been a San Francisco radio DJ who played deep blues, soul and R&B, which greatly influenced his son. Ron had always had a wild streak, but was also known to be a really nice guy.  He could definitely play harmonica and and sing the Blues better than most white kids.  In fact, even growing up in the San Francisco Bay area he proved to be a true rebel, with an attitude and approach to the world that inspired many people (especially wanna-be hoods like me.)  He thrived off of African-American culture – just like his contemporaries Brian JonesJim Morrison, and  Janis Joplin did.  In many ways, Pigpen is the forgotten Grateful Dead co-founder – just like Brian Jones became the forgotten founder of the Rolling Stones.  Both were treated quite badly at the end by their respective band mates who were in their defense young and ambitious at the time.Click Below to learn about his contributions, roots, lifestyle, and unfortunate early death.

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We Owe Much to Jerry Garcia’s Wit and Wisdom

Jerry Garcia 69346-7One of my favorite BLOGs are the tributes that I pay to musicians and others who have had an enormous influence on my life. This BLOG was originally posted on May 17, 2007 at my MySpace Blog. As well as being a great musician, Jerry Garcia was an inspiration and role model for many people – particularly those known as “Deadhead.”  He was also very smart and aware of the world (i.e., hip.)  He had a sarcastic sense of humor, as well as a wise and witty way with words.   Hope you enjoy the lessons and share love!!

Click below to read about the Wit and Wisdom of Jerry Garcia.

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Jimmy Buffett Works to Save Gulf of Mexico

Truly successful and socially conscious musicians create and perform great music — not just to do well (make money) but to also do good (help the world)Jimmy Buffett has consistently displayed a strong and deep connection to and conviction for the oceans and the Gulf coast.  This ethic is conveyed to his fans in a credible and creative manner. Sunday (July 11, 2010 @ 7:00 EST) Jimmy’s rescheduled Gulf benefit concert will be carried live on CMT.  He recently gave a wonderful interview with Anderson Cooper of CNN (watch it here.)  He also has opened up his long-planned hotel in Pensacola, Florida. Read about his sister’s successful restaurant (LuLu’s) and the surprise show he plays.  Also included are some of his most relevant lyrics and quotes.

Click Below to read these and other stories.

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Bob Marley Would Say “Occupy Yourself First”

The Occupy Movement has focused on occupying physical spaces to draw attention to important issues.  However, it is even more important that each of us work hard to get our own lives together.  We need to free our minds and resist the outside forces of capitalist consumption.   Be ready to live with less and avoid entrapment by credit schemes.  As the system continues to melt down, only those who are resilient and self-sufficient will be able to thrive.  One of the best ways to do this is to understand and practice the Rastafarian lifestyle as modeled by Bob Marley.   His words that inspired this title are “Judge not, before you judge yourself.”   Get your own life in order if you want to be able to challenge the Babylon system.  He summed it up perfectly:  “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery.  None but ourselves can free our minds.”

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Chuck Berry Helped Create Rock and Roll

Rock and roll set a whole generation free and on fire during the 1960’s.  I have written before about how much influence the blues had on British and American rock and roll.   We also need to appreciate where rock and roll came from.  One of the leading innovators – Chuck Berry – is still alive and deserves our deep respect and appreciation.  He taught us all how to have fun and enjoy life.  He helped young people shake off their shackles and get happy.  He sang about cars, girls and wild music.  He was also one of the most gifted guitar players.  He directly influenced all the best sixties bands – Beach Boys, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, the Animals and countless others who covered his songs.  He is likely the most studied and admired musician we have known.

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