Friday, 12 December 2008


That dude with the beard is Jerry Garcia! The guiding light of the Grateful Dead. I couldn't find a photo of him actually gardening, but just listen to this snippet on Jerry's near-death experience, excerpted from Dennis McNally's fine 2002 social history of the band, "A Long Strange Trip", which sets a discussion of their work and music into a vivid consideration of the wider landscape of American culture at the time:

"The summer of 1986 was meltingly hot, especially in Washington DC. It was a standard-issue DC summer day, with the temperature over one hundred and the humidity nearly that high. Garcia was only outside his air-conditioned dressing room for three hours, but he was intensely dehydrated when he left the stage. He flew home the next day, July 8, and once there complained of thirst. 

He began to slip into a coma. 'I started feeling like the vegetable kingdom was speaking to me. It was communicating in comic dialect with iambic pentameter. So there were these Italian accents and German accents and it got to be this vast gabbling. Potatoes and radishes and trees were all speaking to me,' he said, laughing. 'It was really strange. It finally just reached hysteria and that's when I passed out.'

In a deep coma of initially unknown origin, he resisted the doctors' efforts to give him a CAT scan, so they injected him with liquid Valium. Unfortunately, he was allergic to it, and his heart stopped. The doctors zapped him back to life in a Code Blue response, and placed him on a respirator for forty-eight hours before he was able to breathe on his own."

The vegetable kingdom were speaking to him! Trust him to even have a more exciting coma than anyone else. 


Anonymous said...

Oh dear
i've posted twice on this but it's not showing.
It was only drivel anyway

HappyMouffetard said...

It does make you wonder what different accents the plants had. I have quite elaborate theories about the different accents of bird species, but hadn't even considered extending it to the vegetable kingdom. Now, there's a challenge!
Carrots undoubtedly have a Norfolk accent.

emmat said...

ha ha ha
Cavolo nero probably talks very seductive Italian-man-in-a-bar talk