Back for the bash |

Back for the bash

Eileen Joyce
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

There will be few surprises at the sixth annual Jerry Bash Friday and Saturday at North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center.

The event will feature the DeadBeats both nights, playing Grateful Dead covers and originals, and other musical acts and entertainment.

Vendors, food and drink, liquid lights and optional camping will be other components of the Jerry Bash.

“The bash is going to be the same … a damn good time for everyone,” said Paul Kamm, the DeadBeats’ rhythm guitarist and vocalist. “It’s an all-ages event. Families are encouraged.”

As organizers of all six of the events, the DeadBeats have not become bored.

“Why would we be tired of having a good time?” Kamm asked. “It’s one of our favorite gigs, and we get to honor Jerry Garcia and other members of the Dead family who have passed on.”

This year’s bash doubles as a release party for the DeadBeat’s second CD, which was recorded live at the fourth Jerry Bash.

Formed in 1994, the DeadBeats consist of Kamm; Tom Menig on lead guitar and vocals; Dave Smith on keyboards, effects and vocals; Eric Menig on bass guitar; Gary Campus on drums and percussion; and Robby Kopp on drums. All members are from Nevada County and play in several area bands.

Other Jerry Bash performers include Kipchoge Spencer, Izzi Tooinsky and special guest Pete Grant joining the acoustic DeadBeats on Friday. Bodhi Busick and the New West, Shekina Sehar and Evergreen share Saturday’s bill with the electric DeadBeats.


WHAT: Sixth annual Jerry Bash

WHEN: Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center, 17894 Tyler Foote Crossing Road

ADMISSION: $15 for one show or $25 for both shows, and free for children age 12 and under. Tickets at Herb Shop Records, Mother Truckers, BriarPatch and at the door.

INFORMATION: 265-2826 for show information or 265-5728 for off-site camping information

Friend of Garcia playing with the band during acoustic show

The annual two-day Jerry Bash festival-like tribute on the San Juan Ridge will take on more authenticity this weekend.

Pete Grant, who played pedal-steel guitar on the Grateful Dead’s gold record “Aoxamoxa” and was a friend of Jerry Garcia from the group’s beginning days, will sit in during Friday’s acoustic set by the DeadBeats.

The Jerry Bash honors Garcia, the Grateful Dead’s founder. His birthday and death were both in early August.

Grant had several other connections to the Dead. He said Monday from his Auburn home that from 1963 to 1964, Garcia taught him how to play the banjo in Palo Alto and later gave Grant his ZB Custom double-10 pedal-steel guitar. Some 25 years later, Grant still uses the guitar in recording studios.

In addition, Grant was in a country-oriented band with Dave Nelson and the Dead’s keyboardist, Tom Constantan. He roomed with Constantan and Dead guitarist Bob Weir in 1969.

A founding member of the New Riders of the Purple Sage, Grant now performs with Fast Idyll, an all-in-one Celtic, bluegrass, folk and country band. He also teaches banjo, guitar, Dobro and pedal- steel guitar, and is an animator. (See for more info.)

Grant contacted the DeadBeats when he saw the group perform a year ago at the California WorldFest at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.

“I wanted to play with them because they sounded great,” he said. He sat in with the band a few months later at Miners Foundry and again in San Rafael.

“I just like them and their style,” he said. “I get that they like each other a lot. That comes out in the music.”

That’s of utmost importance to Grant; he pointed out that Grateful Dead band members highly respected each other.

Grant left the Dead scene to hone his skills on the pedal-steel guitar.

“But I always wanted to come back and play with Jerry. He was my teacher-mentor. He gave me such support that I wanted to come back and play some really good music with him,” Grant said.

Garcia died before Grant could jam with him again.

“I didn’t get back. That didn’t happen, but now I get to play Jerry Garcia music Friday as a tribute to him,” Grant said.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User