What’s going on in the world when the name of a building which honors Jerry Garcia is threatened with being renamed? That’s what Grateful Dead fans have been asking themselves this week after a recent turn of events in San Francisco.
In his native city, Garcia’s name has graced the ‘Jerry Garcia Amphitheater’ since 2005 when it was renamed in his honor. Now however, it seems San Francisco’s Recreation and Park Department wants to change the name under a partnership with Los Angeles-based nonprofit Levitt Pavilions. The theater may instead become the “Levitt Pavilion San Francisco at Jerry Garcia Meadows.”
The proposed change has ignited the ire of DeadHeads, almost 1,500 of whom have signed an online petition on change.org. The venue is just a few blocks from Garcia’s childhood home, and in the words of one petitioner “Jerry was a beautiful soul and deserves to have something named after him that is built to last”.
Meanwhile New York is all about showing its appreciation for Garcia this week, as the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester has just announced it will name its lobby bar ‘Garcia’ after the late great. Along with the Grateful Dead, Garcia played several shows at the venue in the 70’s and considered it among his favorites to perform in. It was Jerry’s daughter Trixie who made the announcement during a Furthur concert at the venue, expressing how happy she was about it;”Jerry’s parents ran a bar, so this is really continuing a family tradition for us. I love all of you and it’s so nice to have a hub on the east coast”. Pete Shapiro, owner of the Capitol Theatre (and a HeadCount board member), explained “This is why we brought this place back”.
Of course DeadHeads aren’t the only ones who need to worry about the legacy of their favorite band. Here’s a look at some other musicians who will live on forever, and not just in our hearts and minds.
Sometimes naming places after musical icons is more trouble than it’s worth. In New York City, the Bowery and East 2nd street corner was designated ‘Joey Ramone place’ in honor of the band’s late lead singer.
The only hitch? The sign became the third most stolen in the city, ultimately leading to its repositioning 20 feet high. As Marky Ramone, former Ramones drummer pointed out; “Maybe they should find a better way to attach it; Now you have to be an NBA player to see it.”
“Hoboken’s gift to the world” Ol’ Blue Eyes was honored in his home city of Hoboken, NJ in 1998 when one of the city’s parks was renamed ‘Frank Sinatra Park’.
Who wouldn’t want to hear they are flying into ‘Liverpool John Lennon Airport’ on a trip across the pond. The fab four have all been recognized in a more down to earth tribute too with the naming of these four streets in Liverpool– John Lennon Drive, Paul McCartney Way, George Harrison Close and Ringo Starr Drive.
Even oft-forgotten original Beatles drummer Pete Best had two Liverpool streets named in his honor in 2011 after a petition garnered 10,000 names in favor of the move.