Talk about breaking new ground! The late Jerry Garcia—who would have turned 68 years old this Sunday, Aug. 1—had sky-high hopes for his famously peripatetic band, the Grateful Dead.
“I’ve never had a heart attack. Let me clear that up right now. But I have been ill and was on drugs, yeah,” said the Casey Jones singer, who died of a heart attack on Aug. 9, 1995 at Serenity Knolls, a substance-abuse treatment center in Forest Knolls, Calif.
“But those things are kind of normal nowadays, a lot of people went through those things. They don’t represent good excuses as far as I’m concerned.”
Jerry went on to talk about what inspired him to try and clean up his act.
“I think the idea that, well, it looks like I’m going to live past 40 and if I’m going to stay alive I’d like to be comfortable, rather than being in pain.
“At some point or another you start to pay attention to your physical self. That’s something I never use to do. Ever. For me, that’s kind of a new thing to do. I’m certainly not a health nut,” he said.
Jerry went on to chat about his family life—or lack thereof.
“I don’t get a whole lot of it because I’m mostly out working one way or another. Luckily, my family—my extended family so to speak—they’re all pretty much forgiving.
“I’ve spent a lot of time as an absentee parent, sort of. But the time I do spend with my kids… They’ve all turned out pretty good, they’re pretty neat. So it apparently hasn’t hurt them very much.”
And when Robin asked Jerry what his next step would be, he said:
“The Grateful Dead would love to play on Mars. But it probably won’t happen in the next 10 years.”
Unfortunately not. Happy birthday, Jerry—wherever you are.
Click here to hear Jerry Garcia’s full lost interview, which debuts Sunday, Aug. 1 at 12pm ET.