• 149 WESTCHESTER AVENUE, PORT CHESTER, NY 10573-4549 · (914) 937-4126

  • August 1st, 2017

    Happy 75th Birthday, Jerry Garcia! “Once in a While You Get Shown the Light.”

    If you look close enough, you can find the Grateful Dead’s influence all over the globe in the most unique and unusual places. From Port Chester to San Francisco and everywhere in between, the Dead has inspired great things in places you’d never think to look.

    “Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.”

    Robert Hunter

    “See, there’s only two theaters, man… that are set up pretty groovy all around for music and for smooth stage changes, good lighting and all that – the Fillmore and The Capitol Theatre. And those are the only two in the whole country.”

    Jerry Garcia

    Port Chester, New York has showed a lot of love for the Grateful Dead, and the Dead has expressed their love back to them. Jerry Garcia once stated that The Cap was one of his two favorite venues in the country to perform in. Back in 1970 and 1971, the Dead played 18 shows at The Capitol Theatre alone, and since the reopening of The Cap in 2012, Phil Lesh has played a whopping 68 times!

    Photo: Joe Sia for Wolfgang’s Vault.

    The Cap has also paid tribute to the Grateful Dead’s late guitarist by naming our lobby bar Garcia’s. According to Jerry Garcia’s daughter Trixie, Garcia’s continues a Garcia family tradition. Jerry’s parents owned a bar when he was young.

    The Port Chester Fire Department also supports the Grateful Dead, and has for years. Back in 1992, a lone Deadhead joined the department and stitched a Dead logo on his jacket. Before long, the department changed their logo to resemble the Grateful Dead’s Steal Your Face logo. Now, the firefighters wear this patch with pride, and their firehouse and truck continue the tradition.

    A popular spot to hit up before or after a show is Taqueria La Picardia. Taqueria’s owner Pedro Najera says that their customers refer to the restaurant as the “hippie house.” The walls are covered in Grateful Dead collectibles and a beautiful wooden logo of the Grateful Dead head with “Taqueria” engraved in it.

    Full Port Chester Story

    George R.R. Martin, author of the bestselling A Song of Fire and Ice series, has proclaimed his love for the Grateful Dead, saying that their lyrics are always in his head. In the fantasy world that he created, there is a location called The Weirwood Trees, named after — you guessed it — guitarist Bob Weir. He has also referenced other songs such as Dire Wolf, Cassidy, and Dark Star. He refers to his home as Terrapin Station.

    Full interview

    On June 24, 2017 as Dead and Company broke into “Touch of Grey” at Citi Field, The Empire State Building lit up with colors in sync with the music. The Empire State Building also danced to the beat while the Grateful Dead played their 50th anniversary celebration on the Fourth of July in 2015 during the Fare Thee Well concert at Chicago’s Soldier Field.

    The Grateful Dead has also inspired many restaurants and businesses across the country. Down in St. Petersburg, Florida, you can find the Grateful Fed Pub, a Grateful Dead themed bar.

    Travel down to Hochatown, Oklahoma to Grateful Head Pizza, where an old school house was built into a groovy pizzeria and tap room with décor and a menu all inspired by the Dead. Grab a Shakedown Salad or even a Pig Pen pie, inspired by Ron “Pigpen” McKernan.

    During the Fare The Well celebration over the summer of 2015, Giordano’s pizzeria in Chicago honored the Dead by giving away Dead inspired pizza boxes with all takeout and deliveries.

    Grateful Dead Pizza Box

    During the same celebration, Chicago’s DryHop Brewers released a Dead inspired farmhouse beer rightfully named “Steal Your Face” in honor of the Grateful Dead.

    DryHop Brewers

    The Baron Hills Choir of Baron Hills Elementary School in Austin, Texas honors the Dead with their youthful covers of Grateful Dead songs.

    In 2016, inspired by the music of the Grateful Dead, Sunshine Daydream Playground opened in Chicago. The city’s first entirely music-themed playground is complete with toy drums, xylophones, and swinging basses.

    Sunshine Daydream Park

    While using the music of the Grateful Dead as motivation, in the late summer of 2016, 48-year-old hiker, Karl Meltzer broke the record for fastest time to complete the Appalachian Trail. How did he keep going? He spent his 45 days, 22 hours and 38 minutes running from Maine to Georgia listening to the music of the Grateful Dead and Phish.

    Full Story

    Along the James River in Richmond, Virginia sits the famous Dead Rock. This year, after 40-some years, the city had it painted over. Now it’s just a big touch of grey. The mural of the famous Steal Your Face logo that used to adorn the rock has many different origin stories. One story explains that there were brothers who were huge fans of the Grateful Dead and used to frequently hang out by that rock. The youngest brother, the biggest Deadhead of them all, was diagnosed and later passed of leukemia. To honor their brother, the older brothers decided to paint the Steal Your Face logo on their favorite hangout spot. With the help of many artists, the mural was frequently touched up and repainted over the years to keep it alive.

    Dead Rock

    Jerry Garcia’s Doug Irwin guitar Wolf, first appeared in a 1973, and over the next 2 decades, the guitar was played countless times. Fittingly, last year, the San Francisco Zoo acquired Mexican Wolves and decided to name them in honor of some late rock legends, “Bowie,” “Prince,” and “Garcia.” Mexican wolves are the most endangered species of wolves and “Bowie, “Prince,” and “Garcia” are among only 300 left in the world.

    In the spirit of the Grateful Dead and their many charitable projects, this year, Jerry’s guitar “Wolf” was recently auctioned off at Brooklyn Bowl. Brian Halligan, Chief Executive of software company HubSpot and a self-proclaimed Deadhead purchased the guitar at auction to benefit the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Halligan’s bid was also matched with a $1.6 million donation, raising $3.2 million total.

    Full Story

    Paleontologist, Kari Prassack is a huge Deadhead and decided to honor Bob Weir in the naming of an extinct Otter species, Lontra weiri. Prassack attended over 100 Dead shows all over the country, and was surely inspired by the Dead to pursue her career. In an interview with the Idaho Press-Tribune, she said “I have been a fan (Deadhead) of the Grateful Dead for over 25 years. Traveling the country to see them play helped to instill my sense of adventure and gave me the confidence to pursue a career in paleontology. Naming this new species after Bob Weir seemed like a great way to say ‘thank you’, both to the Grateful Dead and to my Grateful Dead tour ‘family’ for being such an important part of my life.”

    Full Story

    Thanks to Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, the free-spirited ideology of the band and their music is forever embedded in our DNA. Deadheads everywhere, young and old, have been touched by the music, the message, and the song. In honor of Jerry Garcia, let’s keep being inspired to do great things in this world!