Rare Interview with Jerry Garcia Donated to Grateful Dead Archive

John Zorn, “A Conversation with Jerry Garcia.” Radio Smithsonian #1034, n.d. (1) 7-in. reel, 7-1/2 ips, stereo, 28:38 min. Gift of Michael Bryant, KZSC radio.

This remarkable interview recording was just donated to the Grateful Dead Archive by Michael Bryant, Broadcast Advisor for the UC Santa Cruz campus radio station, KZSC.

Bryant found it, along with a large cache of other reels, when a faulty HVAC system revealed the tapes—blocking the air vents. Like a good archivist, he vetted the tapes for unique content and for preservation challenges, and when he invited Nicholas Meriwether, Grateful Dead Archivist, to tour the station recently, he pointed them out.

“I was impressed at what KZSC students and staff recorded over the years,” Meriwether commented. “These tapes span the gamut, from interviews such as this to a wealth of local performances by noted jazz musicians, blues singers, and rock bands.”

Although no unique Dead performances surfaced, a rare interview with Garcia is even more valuable to the Archive and its mission. Once it is digitized, it will be made available to researchers as part of the interview and oral history materials being curated in the Archive.

“Even broadcast interviews don’t necessarily survive,” Meriwether explained, “which makes gifts like this all the more vital.” The Archive is most grateful to Michael Bryant for his stewardship and generosity, and plans are underway for the Archive to collaborate with KZSC to help them preserve this treasure trove of material .