From The Desk Of Oneida’s Kid Millions: Jerry Garcia

In 2008, Oneida began the Thank Your Parents triptych with Preteen Weaponry. Since, the Brooklyn band—Kid Millions, Bobby Matador, Baby Hanoi Jane, Showtime and Barry London—has completed it with 2009’s Rated O and the new Absolute II (Jagjaguwar). The quintet is touring Europe in August and is also playing the Asbury Park, N.J.-based All Tomorrow’s Parties in October. In addition, Millions will be guest editing all week. Read our brand new Q&A with him.

Millions: JGB in Albany, N.Y., Nov. 16, 1991. I was in a carload heading back to Vermont after the show. There were five of us, and we hit a patch of black ice on the road. The car spun out of control and came to a stop in the grass. I banged my head but was unharmed. None of us was wearing seatbelts. The guy who was sitting in the middle of the car flew out of the back windshield and was lying on the grass in front of us twitching. What’s fucked up about the internet is that when I entered this date into a search engine, I pulled up some videos from that show. I checked out the version of “Forever Young” from that show. As per usual, Jerry’s playing is incredible, but a little subdued. It didn’t bring back any memories. By the way, our friend woke up a few minutes later, but we had an ambulance take him to the hospital. He was released the next day. He was fine.

I learned that Jerry died while I was hiking on the Appalachian Trail in 1995. Though that doesn’t seem to make a ton of sense. Where was I? I had graduated from college. It was August. It did seem like a significant moment. I always loved Jerry’s playing. Have you ever read Dark Star? The oral history of Jerry? It seemed clear that he was only really whole when he was playing, so he played a lot. When the Dead came off the road, Jerry went back out—with JGB, Old And In The Way and other projects.

I saw the Dead a few times—nothing crazy. Maybe four times? Once at Foxboro—a terrible show. I went to the stadium without a ticket and wandered around for hours looking for a miracle, as they say. I think I spent $60 for a ticket off a really drunk guy. He wasn’t going to make it into the show. There was an excruciating moment when it wasn’t clear that I was going to get his ticket. He was too far gone. But then I got it. I remember that Sting opened up the show, but it looks like it was Edie Brickell. Either way, that sounds about right. People could have cared less. I walked in as the opener was finishing up. I had finally scored my ticket. I was finally seeing the Grateful Dead. A band I didn’t even really like that much. I remember thinking that the show was absolutely terrible. But the day was exciting.

Perhaps you’ve tried to improvise with a bunch of people live onstage before. If you have and think something like “Dark Star” from Live/Dead is unremarkable, hats off. You’ve reached another level …

Video after the jump.