Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

At The Hop

“How do you stay so skinny, Nicky?”

“By being a sickly alcoholic.”

This is Nicky Hopkins, who Corry writes about with affection over at Hooterollin’. He was in Jerry Band during its brilliant Legion of Mary phase, but not for too long. The carousing could have been forgiven, but when Nicky got drunk, Nicky fucked up the time, and Ronnie Tutt was about to murder him. Ronnie was contractually obligated to put up with Garcia only playing three beats in a random measure because Garcia was signing the checks, but Ronnie Tutt will not abide the goddamned piano player losing the one.


  1. Nicky probably telling Jerry about different Kinks and Rolling Stones records he played on, also “Revolution” (the single version, medium tempo, Nicky played Fender Rhodes) and Jerry clearly cannot get enough. Keep in mind, that the 1975 JGB had the Grateful Dead guitar player, Elvis’ drummer and the Rolling Stones go-to piano player. Plus, Maria Muldaur’s boyfriend.

    When Nicky played with Jerry, he had his back to the band. However, he had a gigantic 3 foot-by-3-foot mirror and he would look at Jerry and John in reverse. Really, it sounds like a ToTD post, but it’s not.

  2. Ehem…it has taken me over a year to finally post in this fabled comment section…..
    The great Merl Saunders was on keys for LOM…our sickley alcoholic friend Mr. Hopkins was invited by Garcia to join the first incarnation of JGB after Jer disbanded the Legion in August ’75. Different catalog of songs and everything.

  3. Nicky is the man.

    If you have a keyboard part stuck in your head from the stones.. it is Nicky’s fault.

    My favorite is Monkey Man, the keys on that just kill me.

    He was in Zero for a stretch with Kimock Vega and a bunch of Bay area folks.

    *Other stuff…
    Are you using plain ole wordpress comments or jetpack-comments?

    I see jetpack comments iframe, but the comments are outside of that, so maybe it is installed but not enabled?

    Not encouraging you to enable jetpack-comments, just trying to help figure out how to help you get inline images in comments to show up.*


  4. yeah Nicky Hopkins has nothing to do with Legion of Mary

    These ’75 JGB shows are way too uneven for me mostly. There’s a lot of brilliant stuff scattered throughout but also a lot of sloppy, meandering bullshit. I rarely listen to them any more, especially in comparison to LoM which was peaking right when Garcia pulled the plug on it for whatever reason

    I certainly agree Nicky was amazing and brilliant, this was just a bad fit at the time…considering Kahn also sometimes had a, shall we say, oblique relationship to the beat this left Tutt totally on his own in terms of rhythm

    He fit better than James Booker though, I will say that

  5. I think Jerry and John were actually quite difficult to play with. I don’t mean that personally, just that the odd way both of them played, and the constantly shifting music, largely unrehearsed, was far less easy to accomplish successfully. Hopkins was unequivocally great (I saw him with JGB and many other bands) and yet he couldn’t make it happen consistently.

    It makes you appreciate what Keith Godchaux brought to the table, even when his soloing wasn’t memorable, and the same with Merl and Ozzie.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.