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Jerry Garcia Deserves More Respect

As a working jazz and classical musician, I was disappointed by the author's treatment of Jerry Garcia's musical legacy in the article "Deadheads Keep on Truckin'," Aug. 11. While she says a few praising things, the author seems more interested in judging the artist by the behavior of some of Mr. Garcia's followers, rather than by his great work. The author spends most of the article displaying her distaste for the culture of her undergraduate experience at Middlebury College.

I was never a "deadhead," but the three times I saw Garcia play he impressed me tremendously, and many of his diverse recordings are truly great. Unlike most popular musicians, he was devoted to his art and to the public, rather than to his own stardom or bank account. I was among those who shed a few tears on learning of Garcia's death, and I think that American music is diminished by his loss. He deserved better treatment in the Monitor.

David Rothman

Crested Butte, Colo.

Artistic director

Western Slope Chamber Music Series

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to "Readers Write" and sent by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by Internet e-mail (200 words maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM

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