"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 17 June 1999. Updated every WEEKDAY.




Great rockers never truly die,

and it's probably no surprise

that Jerry Garcia is still

communicating from beyond the

Dark Star. Wendy Weir, sister of

Grateful Dead second guitarist

Bob Weir, has, in fact, been in

regular telepathic contact with

the rotund showman since hours

after his death in 1995, and now

she's compiled her conversations

with Garcia's Oversoul in a new

book titled In the Spirit:

Conversations with the Spirit of

Jerry Garcia. For the enduring

Dead entourage, it's got to be

encouraging to know that Garcia

is still yielding new material

in the Beyond. And if the book's

pan-galactic spiritlord lacks

the self-effacing wit that made

Garcia charming in life, people

in the know seem to appreciate

this new brand of oracular

hocus-pocus: Dead keyboardists

Keith Godchaux and Brent

Mydland, who both died before

Garcia himself, posted favorable

reader reviews of Weir's

book at Amazon, before being

exorcised by Amazon ghost-bots.

And Weir entertained AOL members

at a chat session last night.

We, however, weren't willing to

go miracling with the chat-room

riffraff and got directly

in touch with Weir for

what we hoped would be Suck's

first post-death interview

with Jerry Garcia:


We're hoping we might be able
to do an interview with

Unfortunately, I can't
do that. The conversations
described in the book are
telepathic conversations, and
that's done by entering a
state of meditation and
raising my energy to a place
where it's really clear and
safe. Then I can reach out to
him telepathically. It's sort
of like a radio station; each
individual has their own
frequency. And you can tune
into their frequency and reach
out your intent to communicate.
And they can either respond
or say, "Hey, I'm busy," or
not say anything at all.

Is Jerry ever busy when you

Oh yeah, he's got a lot of stuff
going on up there.

What's something he might be
doing when you call?

Sometimes he's just been off
working on his own stuff. The
idea is As above so below. In
our spirit world, we also have
a lot of things that we're
working on. Growing, helping
others. There are a lot of
things a spirit can be doing.
So depending on what he's
doing, he might say, "I'll talk
to you next week."

Is he playing with Jimi Hendrix
and stuff like that?

Where he is, which is where we're
all going, basically, music is
everything. Sound is all. It's
light, it's energy, it's
sound, it's color, it's all
interwoven. It's just
incredible. So is he playing
music? Not necessarily. Is he
creating music with his
energy? Oh, definitely.

Does he have information on
other people who have moved
on to the next level? For example,
Kurt Cobain's mom didn't want
him to join "That Stupid
Club." Did Kurt make it up

When we communicate, Jerry's
greatest concern is with
people who are still on
Earth. It's not with people
who have passed on, but people
who are still living. So
that's where most of our
conversations are focused.

Suck.com was started in August
of 1995, right after Jerry
died. Is there any chance that
Jerry's spirit may have
infused Suck? Is there
transmogrification like that?

His spirit infuses the people
involved. So it depends on
those who are part of the
project and how they feel
about him. It's an individual

You know, the opening
riff to "China Cat Sunflower"
is really simple, but I can
never make it sound as
"bright" as Jerry did. Do you
think you might get some tips
from him?

Each one of us is unique. Jerry
has his sound, and you have yours.

Yeah, but nobody's interested in
my sound. They're interested in

Well, you need to explore that
too. And don't be like Jerry:
Be like yourself.

Speaking of which, what does
Jerry think of imitator bands
like Phish or, more
specifically, of Dead cover
bands like Solar Circus, where
these guys who are kind of
overweight and wear glasses
grow beards so they'll all
look like Jerry?

He supports the expression of
the music, and his spirit is
in the music. He wouldn't say,
"This band does this, and that
band does that." It's the essence
that's important; it's the
spirit that's important. So if
a band supports that essence
and can really lift people up
and make them happy, then
that's positive.

One of the book's most intriguing
claims is that the Dead's best days
are ahead of them.

That's my feeling.

What's in the cards?
Is the band's next success going to
be on this plane or the next?

I feel it'll be here. Time is
irrelevant, so I don't know
when it will be. But the
spiral has gone full circle,
and they're able to start anew,
at a higher level of awareness.

Mickey Hart got involved with
a lot of Joseph Campbell–type
philosophy. Is that the kind
of higher awareness you're
talking about?

No, it's more of an individual

Jerry always wore a black
T-shirt, except on special occasions
when he would wear a red
T-shirt. Does he wear a white
T-shirt now?

It all depends on what he's doing;
he can wear anything he wants.
A lot of times I'll see him in
different forms, and sometimes
I'll just see him as a beam of
bright light.

How often do you communicate?

Right now, all the time,
because we're doing
publicity on the book and
because he's the co-author —
or as some people have
said, the "ghost writer" —
we're talking all the time.

So can't you do a quick
co-interview, where you get in
your energy state, where Jerry
might be able to field some
questions from the media?

No, that's not a place where I'd
feel comfortable.

Are you speaking for Jerry?

I'm speaking for myself in that
regard. In the book, I
communicate what he says, but
I do it in a really safe place
energetically. But to be on
stage or out in an environment
where there are a lot of
people and I have to open up
energetically, that's taking a
real risk, and I'm not willing
to do that at this point.


In the Spirit: Conversations

with the Spirit of Jerry Garcia

debuts this week.



"Whither new media?" In this

blighted age, the only reporter

with the courage to ask this

poignant yet bold question is

Dan Kennedy, the poignant yet

bold columnist for the Boston

Phoenix. In a jeremiad we got

about halfway through, DKBP

railed against the benighted

state of online journalism. But

somehow, he failed to convince

us that we need to join up for

his particular rehabilitation

project. Part of the problem may

be Kennedy's penchant for what

A. J. Liebling called, "On the

one hand this and on the other

hand this and on the other hand

that" news writing. The Web's

new wave of independent

journalism may be "a future that

will never arrive," but it also

"may be no exaggeration to

suggest ... that the Web is the

most important advance in

publishing since the Gutenberg

press." Salon is bold but too

erratic; Slate is consistent but

too controlled. It may be too

early for webzines to reach

financial stability, but "even

so, it's rather amazing" that

more webzines aren't financially

viable. While the strenuous

shilly-shallying set us back,

Dan's definition of who is and is

not doing real journalism really

threw us for a loop. The

Atlantic Unbound apparently

doesn't qualify, but Consortium

(with a reported 500 to 1,000 "hits"

per day) apparently does. Honest

efforts like Online Journalism

Review and original ones like

The Smoking Gun don't even get a

mention; and while Feed's mix of

interviews, analysis, and fact

gathering is "thoughtful," it's

just not journalism the way,

say, Larry King is journalism.

And the Susan Lucci–like saga

of whether Matt Drudge is a "real

journalist" goes on and on. In

the end, while we know that

Slate and Salon (and those two

only) passed Dan's sniff test,

we're not entirely sure which

nostril he was using. But we

know we should be paying

attention, because his name's

Kennedy and he has something to

do with Boston, so he must be,

like, the president or something.



Then again, maybe Dan Kennedy

should have gotten an eyeful of

Ron Rosenbaum's latest Dispatch

at Slate. During the past few

weeks, the Edgy Enthusiast (and

Dizzy Dylanologist) has been

regaling Slate readers with the

story of his experiences on the

Internet. As You've Got Mail

viewers may know, Rosenbaum

firmly believes that laboriously

typing and retyping manuscripts

helps him hone his not-quite

inimitable style. And after a

couple weeks of this stuff,

we're starting to believe him.

Because apparently when you let

the man near a word processor,

he poops out screeds so tedious,

blithering, and self-indulgent

that we're expecting any day now

to see Ron's Homepage on

Geocities, featuring KMFDM

lyrics, photos of his homies'

trip to New Orleans, and the Top

Ten Reasons Why Jar Jar Binks

Must Die. In his latest

long-winded caper (and when we

say we quit reading halfway

through this one, we mean it),

Rosenbaum gripes that his Mac

keeps crashing (!) and gets into

a flame war with some unlucky

Slate reader, whom the

ungracious essayist repeatedly

slams as a "Chat-room Poseur."

Sadly, there are no editors in

chat rooms, so while we see a

full dose of New York

Observer –brand bile directed at

the hapless poseur, we never

quite figure out what's driving

the humorless rant. Apparently,

the poor schmuck facetiously

suggested Rosenbaum wasn't as

techno-unsavvy as advertised —

a remark the columnist, who

apparently harbors a Howard

Hughes–like dread of technogeek

germs, couldn't allow to pass.

Don't worry, Ron, we believe

you're new to the Web! But

Christ Almighty, we're trying to

stay awake over here! Just send

the guy that Vonnegut

commencement speech and

be done with it.

courtesy of the Sucksters


[Purchase the Suck Book here]