gone down in smoke

My mother in law gave me for Christmas “an extraordinary illustration”:http://dead.net/merchandising/movie_folder/index.html of the evils of heroin. It wasn’t meant like that. But the Grateful Dead movie was the last sustained piece of work Garcia did before he started smoking “Persian opium”; in fact I believe he got the habit while editing the film. The band was already damaged artitistically as well as in other ways by cocaine. You can hear this in the frenzied repetitive tuneless competence of a lot of the early Seventies jams, though, to be fair, it seems to have improved Billy Kreutzman’s drumming enormously. But in 1974, when the film was made Garcia still listened to the others, still bubbled, and still looked alive on stage. By the time he died, twenty years later, he looked and acted like the harvested giant on Cordwainer Smith’s planet “Shayol. (Amazon inside the book link; may not work)”:http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/1590300068/ref=sib_rdr_prev1_65/103-9874949-8283821?%5Fencoding=UTF8&keywords=shayol&p=S024&twc=2&checkSum=XQKHfMg5jkNs4ZwsW%2BjUjP3kfnWXeBn6KAVETZ0klSk%3D#reader-page
That wouldn’t perhaps have mattered, except for my feeling that after about the end of 1977 he never played another note that sounded sincere.

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