I finally figured out Garcia’s guitar tone: it’s happy. You know how you can tell the person on the other end of the phone is smiling, just by how their voice tightens up and brightens up? That’s what I hear in all these shows they left us: Garcia’s guitar is smiling.
He would have made such a good old man, too. Still gigging, sitting on the little stool he’s been using since the diabetes took his foot in 1997. Playing with Merl on a Tuesday night. Merl’s stone-blind but won’t admit it, so Garcia keeps fucking with him by moving stuff around real quiet-like. Fun old-guy shit. He would have enjoyed being an old man.
Didn’t happen that way.