Today is Jerry Garcia’s birthday, so it’s only right to spend some time with him. I’ve actually been spending a good deal of time with him of late, but nothing of his solo projects. It’s remarkable how much an artist can impact your life from beyond the grave. Because it’s his birthday, Jerry was on my mind, but really, as I think more about it, there have probably been as many dead artists to have an impact on me as living ones. It really speaks to some universal truths about humanity that similar themes and concepts can be found throughout the history of artwork. The way that the earliest dramatizations pulled at people’s heartstrings is through the same emotional appeals that we see in our current mediums. That, I think, is what differentiates the truly great artists from the rest. There is no contextualization required for them to reach an audience, regardless of their remove from the work. You can have the same experience with it anytime, anywhere. That’s why people still pay big money to see a performance of their favorite Beethoven symphony. The work has a life of it’s own and lives on as long as people will still pay attention.