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Tuesday, July 26

26 Years Ago Today We Lost Brent Mydland To His Battle With Addiction.

26 Years Ago Today We Lost Brent Mydland To His Battle With Addiction.

    Many talented musicians sat behind the ivories for the Grateful DeadBut none had the effect on the band's sound and heart than Brent. He came along for the band at the perfect time musically to shake up the band. Jerry Garcia was almost reinvigorated the very moment he sat in that chair. His soulful voice was one of a kind and his ability to harmonize transformed the band. He also had his share of demons, goddamn, most genius' do. Brent was facing some criminal charges and it was a rumor the od was suicide but clearly it was just a mistake. He made one misstep and it cost him his life. He wasn't a full-on junkie like Jerry. He was just a partier in the machine that was the Grateful Dead.The pain in his voice was starting to be mirrored in his home life but no one doubts the truth and honesty in "I Will Take You Home". The fact that he sat down in the "hot seat" and fell victim to the curse that took so many great musicians was just a sad irony in the man's life that had it's share of sadness. You could hear it in his voice.  His organ playing and voice fell right in with the Dead but he never got over "the new guy" syndrome. 

Still he was the kick in the pants the band needed after Keith and was a part of the one time that the band had a top 40 hit, which was a new reality for the whole band. Maybe he had to much too fast but he played his heart out and in a way kept the band viable through the whole 80's decade. I was never lucky enough to see a Brent show. But I am fortunate enough to have heard that raspy voice on countless bootlegs. Today let's celebrate such a significant life.
Written by: Kevin Long and Greg Heffelfinger