A bluegrass band formed in 1973 when Jerry Garcia of the Dead took up playing banjo. Other members include David Grisman, John Kahn, and bluegrass legends Sandy Rothman and Vassar Clements.

Also makers of some kick-ass bootleg tapes.

Spudboy Jerry took up playing the banjo in '63 or '64, in a folk band with his first wife. John Kahn followed Jerry to the grave in 1996.

David Nelson:
We have a banjo picker in this band who uh, who is a uh, deep person, and multifaceted in his expressions in life and he could give nicknames, he gave good nicknames.

He gave one to Vassar here, Vassar smokes a pipe a lot, so he was called clamp (pause), or clem, depending.

Me of course, I was called Red for Panama Red.

John Kahn played the bass and both he and the bass were called Mule.

And the mandolin picker, he was known as David Dawg Grisman, he was called the Dawg, by the man who gave us the names.

His nicknmame was Spud. Spudboy. Jerry Spud Garcia.

And when we first me Jerry, David said, "you know Garcia lives up the hill."

And I said, "Jerry Garcia?"

And he said "yeah, he likes to play banjo."

I said, "you're kidding."

We went up there, we walked up there and there was a little sign above his door that said San souci, which I think in French means "no problem."

And there was this guy with a beard and a big head of hair and a blue dungaree shirt, and some jeans on and sandals, pickin' a banjo coming to the front gate to greet us.

And that's when the band was born and uh, I think after a few hours of picking he turned to us and said,

"we're old and in the way."

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