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Wayback Wednesday: Death of a counterculture icon

In an era that produced rock gods like Jim Morrison, John Lennon and Janis Joplin, Jerry Garcia stood out on his own as one of the era's most colorful characters.

Few bands have inspired loyalty the same way The Grateful Dead has but they didn't do it through walls full of gold records and chart topping hits, they did it by putting on great live shows that kept fans coming.

But the music stopped, at least temporarily, on August 9, 1995 when Jerry Garcia died unexpectedly at a drug rehabilitation clinic in California. Drugs had been a problem for Garcia since the 1960s. He also struggled with diabetes and sleep apnea among other ailments. 

The Dead played Woodstock and when many of those acts were dead or long out of the spotlight, Jerry and the gang kept on playing. The Dead became perhaps the most successful touring band in music history. In the last five years of Garcia's life alone they did 340 shows.

And in death Garcia's legend carried on. In 1987 Ben and Jerry's introduced Cherry Garcia ice cream. It's still available today, 22 years after his death.

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Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun.... Read more ›