The Jerry Garcia Shrine (Aspen Mountain)

According to an article in the Aspen Times newspaper of February 18, 2006 (http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20060218/RECREATION01/60222004), the Jerry Garcia Shrine actually started as a shrine to Bob Marley.  But when Jerry Garcia died in 1995, Grateful Dead memorabilia was added and Jerry Garcia eventually took over Bob Marley.  According  to an article ("Monumental" by Anita Rosenberg, see http://www.anitarosenberg.com/pdfs/writings-by/aspenpeak.pdf) in the Summer/Fall 2006 issue of AspenPeak magazine, "'The Jerry Garcia dashboard kit from Ruby's in Moab started it all,' explains Heidi Hat Wade.  'There already was a spot with a bench--my husband Paul went over there one day and left some roses.'"

In June 2009 the author was very grateful to receive a communication from renowned Aspen skiing instructor, Paul Wade, and his wife Heidi.  In it, Paul stated that he was a 32-year Aspen Mountain Ski School Pro, and that over the years he had attended numerous Grateful Dead shows, including the 1990 Europe tour, as a guest of Mike Klein and Bob Weir.  (Of course, Bob Weir was one of the leading members of the Grateful Dead band, and Mike Klein was Bob's best friend and also a 25-year ski school client and good friend of Paul Wade.)  With regard to the present location of the Garcia shrine, he said, "People may have called it the Bob Marley Shrine, but, there was no memorabilia, just a log bench with a great view."  He went on to say, "When Jerry died, I felt it was important to create a shrine on the mountain.  I went to the patrol to get feedback on a good spot.  I spoke with Dead Head patrollers, John Armstrong (also a Pitkin Co. deputy at the time), and Tim Cooney.  Both agreed that the log bench with the view was a good spot. My wife had purchased a car dashboard shrine kit from a store in Moab, Utah.  The kit contained photos, beads, and small skulls, in order to decorate your car dashboard with a Jerry shrine.  We decided to start the shrine with the shrine kit, some cool photos (which we laminated) and some fake red roses.  John Armstrong helped me install the first memorabilia in the winter of 1995-6.  Within one week stuff started showing up from everywhere.  Photos, letters, signage….Someone was even leaving their favorite show CDs over Xmas, as gifts."  Finally, he stated, "It has become an amazing shrine.  People of all ages cruise through constantly and consider it an integral part of their Aspen Mountain experience.  Some even taking their family photo for Xmas cards in the shrine.  One summer, when Bob Weir was in Aspen performing, we drove Bob and Natasha up to visit the shrine.  They loved it and were blown away by the whole scene.  I'm proud to have started the shrine and am amazed by its popularity.  We are hopeful it will live on just like the music!  Paul and Heidi Wade."  Thank you very much to Paul and Heidi for this information.

Jerome John "Jerry" Garcia (August 1, 1942 – August 9, 1995) was an American musician, songwriter, artist, and lead guitarist and vocalist of the psychedelic rock band the Grateful Dead.  Garcia was viewed by many as the leader or "spokesman" of the group.  Performing with the Grateful Dead for its entire three decade career (which spanned from 1965 to 1995), Garcia participated in a variety of side projects, including the Jerry Garcia Band, Old and in the Way, the Garcia/Grisman acoustic duo, and Legion of Mary.  Garcia co-founded the New Riders of the Purple Sage with John Dawson and David Nelson.  He also released several solo albums, and contributed to a number of albums by other artists over the years as a session musician.  He was very well known by many for his highly distinctive guitar playing and was ranked 13th in the Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time cover story.  Later in life, Garcia was sometimes ill due to his unstable weight, and he experienced a diabetic coma that nearly cost him his life in 1986.  Although his overall health improved somewhat after that, he also struggled with heroin addiction, and was residing in a drug rehabilitation facility when he died of a heart attack in August of 1995.  (From Wikipedia)

The Shrine includes many bouquets of artificial red roses, and a street sign that says “Stoner Avenue” on it.  This sign is from Great Neck, New York and was put up in 1997, compliments of the Fells Brothers.  There used to be another street sign in the shrine that said “Greatful Dead Ave" (obviously should have been "Grateful" not "Greatful"), but that sign is not there any more.  See this article in the Aspen Times of December 19, 2012, about the removal of this sign from the Shrine:  http://www.aspentimes.com/news/5242308-113/alpineskiing-snowboarding  "We'd be 'Greatful' if sign returned to Garcia shrine."  The shrine also includes photos and drawings of Jerry Garcia, a ski attached to a tree that says “Grateful Dead” on it, a hand painted portrait of Jerry, a sign that says “No cells phones allowed,” and a photo that says “Haagen-Dabong”, as well as a number of other items.  Someone attached a few leaves of genuine marijuana to one of the trees.  There is a also a sticker that says "hashoil."  Some of the lyrics from "Scarlet Begonias" has been posted in the shrine:  "Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right."

A plaque in one of the Silver Queen gondola cars at Aspen states that "The shrine in honor of Grateful Dead front-man Jerry Garcia, created in the early 1970's, is believed to be the first."  There is a web site that covers all of the 73 plaques in the Aspen gondola cars including this plaque; see:  http://www.rachelcgoddard.com-a.googlepages.com/GondolaPlaque3_27.pdf and advance to plaque #60.   For an Aspen Daily News article of December 23, 2006 about these plaques, see this link:  http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/home/aspen-history-now-pa    A person named Rachel Roberts designed the layout and compiled the historical facts and photographs for the plaques which are featured in all of the 147 gondola cars at Ajax.  Each plaque is featured twice in two different gondola cars.  See:  http://www.rachelcgoddard.com-a.googlepages.com/#Scene_1.  Others think the Elvis Presley Shrine was the first one.  See the page on this site which covers the Elvis Presley Shrine for more information on this question.  Presley died in 1977, Marley in 1981, and Garcia in 1995.  See:  http://www.aspensnowmassshrines.com/index.php?12-The-Elvis-Presley-Shrine-Aspen-Mountain.)

The following quote is from an article by Deborah Frazier ("SHRINES ON THE MOUNTAIN ASPEN HAS UNSANCTIONED TRIBUTES TO JERRY GARCIA, MARILYN MONROE, OTHERS.") in the Rocky Mountain News March 16, 1998:  "Jerry Garcia's shrine evolved a few dozen feet downhill from a dense woods known as the Opium Den.  The concealed site once was favored by marijuana-smoking skiers."  http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-67603112.html?key=01-42160D517E1E136F1309031E04224E263C4D3C437779710F720E0B61651A617F137155

A person named "Corey Menscher" is working on a device he calls "The JerryPlayer" which is a crank-powered audio amplifier to play Jerry Garcia music in the Shrine.  A photo of the JerryPlayer is below.  If and when The JerryPlayer is installed in the Shrine, it will be the only Shrine with recorded music.

For a panoramic/360 degree photo of the Jerry Garcia Shrine, see:  http://www.aspenportrait.com/jerry-garcia-shrine/garcia.html  This photo was taken April 9, 2005.

"SHRINE SHIHAN" Tim Mooney conducts a tour of three of the Aspen Mountain Shrines in this Aspen 82 video (2:47):  https://vimeo.com/channels/aspen82/61424611.  "Aspen Mountain | Shrine Tour part 2."  Included in this part 2 tour are these Shrines:  Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix, and Michael Houser. 

This January 2014 video with Martha Lee and Tony Vagneur contains views of the John Denver, Michael Houser, Jimi Hendrix, and Jerry Garcia Shrines on Aspen Mountain. Click this link and advance to the 12:30 mark in the video:  http://snowsportsculture.com/episode-5-aspen-colorado/.

See this Vimeo video (6:06), On the Hill - Aspen Times - Monday, February 3, 2014, "In Memory of Stewart "Stewy" Oksenhorn, 1963-2014."  Much of it is filmed in the Jerry Garica Shrine on Aspen Mountain.  http://vimeo.com/85749092.

See this Snowmass Sun article dated November 23, 2011, "Shrine to Jerry Garcia may be one of most popular," By David Wood, http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20111122/NEWS/111129993.  (This article is set out below at the bottom of this page.)

See this March 27, 2013 article, " Aspen/Snowmass Tree Shrines: Jerry Garcia Shrine" by Amanda Rae, http://www.onthesnow.com/news/a/584534/aspen-snowmass-tree-shrines--jerry-garcia-shrine

See this article about Paul Wade in the Aspen Daily News issue of April 6, 2013, by Carolyn Sackariason, "A couple instructors bummin’ around." It includes a photo of Paul and Heidi Wade standing in the Jerry Garcia Shrine. http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/home/157395.  This article and the photo are set out in full in a section below.  Photo credit to Chris Council.

August 2014.  Both Aspen and Snowmass made the Travel+Leisure list of "America's Quirkiest Towns." The Snowmass write-up mentions the Golf Shrine, the Snoopy Shrine, the Jerry Garcia Shrine, and has my photo of the Hunter S. Thompson Shrine. http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/americas-quirkiest-towns/2?xid=TLDaily082314QuirkiestTowns.

In this interview Tommy Chong said his favorite place to smoke weed is in the Jerry Garcia Shrine.  http://www.thcmag.com/chongs-choice-an-interview-with-a-cannabis-legend/

THC Question:  Where’s your favorite place to smoke weed in Colorado?

 

Tommy Chong Answer:  In the mountains. In Aspen there’s a little grove they call the Jerry Garcia [Shrine], there’s a little shrine, I think Jerry Garcia’s picture is up there. The skiers come down and we meet there and we smoke. That’s one of my favorite places.

 
The Aspen Chamber lists this Shrine in its March 10, 2016 article as a "must-see" Shrine.   http://www.aspenchamber.org/blog/7-must-see-shrines-aspen-mountain  "7 Must-See Shrines on Aspen Mountain."

See this for a video tour of the Jerry Garcia Shrine:  http://www.aspentimes.com/news/15524853-113/on-the-hill-take-a-long-strange-trip-through-the

The Jerry Garcia Shrine is the most popular of all the Aspen/Snowmass shrines, and the Stoner Ave. sign in the shrine is the oldest item in the shrine. Adam Fells, brother of Marc Fells, acquired the sign in 1986 or 1987 in Great Neck, New York. Adam is well known in Aspen due to his connection with the band "Monkey Train." Later Adam gave the sign to Marc, and Marc put the sign up in the Jerry Garcia Shrine the last day he skied Aspen Mountain before he moved from Aspen back to New York in 1995. Marc returned to Aspen in February 2015 with his three brothers and father and visited the Shrine on February 5, 2015, with the author.  To see photos from this visit, see this Facebook photo album (you do not need a Facebook account in order to view the album):  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.419833364755300.96780.100001859201674&type=1&l=416c6f87d5   Marc told the author that this was the first time he had been back in the Shrine since that day in 1995 when he put the sign up in the tree.  The Aspen Times also wrote an article about this 2015 visit of the Fells to the Shrine.

The Jerry Garcia Shrine is on Aspen Mountain.  Photos of it are below.  To see even more photos of it, see this Facebook photo album (you do not need to have a Facebook account in order to view the album):  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.419833364755300.96780.100001859201674&type=1&l=416c6f87d5

If you have any photos of or information about this item that you would like to share for use on this page, please send to the author at AspenShrines@aol.com.

This shrine is covered in the book, "Sanctuaries in the Snow--The Shrines and Memorials of Aspen/Snowmass."  The book may be purchased on this page on this site:  http://www.aspensnowmassshrines.com/index.php?The-Book

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The creator of the Jerry Garcia Shrine:  Paul Wade, shown in the photo below in the Shrine with his wife Heidi.  See this article in the Aspen Daily News issue of April 6, 2013, by Carolyn Sackariason, "A couple instructors bummin’ around."  http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/home/157395.  Photo credit to Chris Council.  This article is set out in full in a section below.  Below the photo of Paul and Heidi Wade are various photos of the Shrine.

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Paul and Heidi Wade

Click on images to enlarge.

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:: This painting by Michelle Montany; see more information below.
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The JerryPlayer ::
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Michelle Montany (mmontany@gmail.com) of Taos, New Mexico, Hollywood, California, and other places, created a beautiful painting of Jerry Garcia (shown below) and in the spring of 2000 strapped the painting to her chest, underneath a backpack containing a hammer and nails, and skied down to the Jerry Garcia Shrine and nailed it up to a tree. It remained in the shrine for a number of years, but disappeared sometime around 2009.  Does anyone know the whereabouts of this painting?  If so, please return it to the shrine.  Thank you.  Five photos of Michelle's painting are shown below.  The last two photos in this section were taken on December 31, 2005, credit Br. Keith.  CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE.  
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The photos in the section below were taken in March 2012.

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See this Aspen Times article of December 18, 2012 about a sign missing from the Shrine:

We'd be 'Greatful' if sign returned to Garcia shrine
Staff report, The Aspen Times, Aspen, CO, Colorado

December 18, 2012

ASPEN - One of Aspen Mountain's famed shrines is missing an important piece that added to its mystique, the Facebook page for Aspen Shrines is reporting.  The Jerry Garcia Shrine used to have a street sign that misspelled the name of the legendary guitarist's band. The sign read, "Greatful Dead Ave." and was adorned with one of the famed dancing bears that were a symbol of the band.  "Maybe someone removed it because they did not like the misspelling(?)," wrote David Woods, the keeper of the stories at Aspen Shrines.  Who knows - the sign could have had dual attraction to the person or persons who took it. It honors the Grateful Dead but in a sloppy, comical way.  Former Aspen Times reporter Kimberly Nicoletti wrote in a Feb. 18, 2006, article that the site of the Garcia shrine off the top of the FIS chairlift once was a party spot to honor Bob Marley. After Garcia died in 1995, Deadhead memorabilia was added to the Marley site.  "Eventually, Garcia took over Marley. It must have been the roses," Nicoletti wrote.  Nicoletti and Woods reported that the shrine includes roses and pot-leaf necklaces strung through branches; sketches, paintings and drawings of Garcia tacked onto tree trunks; and a cow skull with a signature red, white and blue Deadhead sticker on its forehead. Old concert tickets and some other memorabilia are surrendering to the elements, but Garcia and the Grateful Dead are so immensely popular that new stuff is added all the time. A pair of K2 Grateful Dead skis was added to the shrine at some time, according to the article. Woods reported in his book "Sanctuaries in the Snow: The Shrines and Memorials of Aspen/Snowmass" that one ski is attached to a tree. Woods noted the site includes a sticker that says, "hashoil" and a sign that says, "No cell phone allowed."  Whatever the reason for making off the "Greatful Dead Ave." sign, it's regarded in these parts as inviting bad, instant karma to remove anything from a shrine on Aspen Mountain.

http://www.aspentimes.com/news/5242308-113/alpineskiing-snowboarding.

A similar article appeared in the Denver Post on December 20, 2012, copy below.

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Below is the Snowmass Village Sun article by David Wood.  http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20111122/NEWS/111129993

Shrine to Jerry Garcia may be one of most popular

By David Wood
Snowmass Village Sun November 23, 2011

Shrine to Jerry Garcia may be one of most popular

The Jerry Garcia shrine on Aspen Mountain is one of the most popular of all the shrines.

According to an article in the Aspen Times of February 18, 2006, this shrine actually started out as a shrine to Bob Marley but was then converted over to a shrine to Jerry Garcia after Garcia's death in 1995.

However, Aspen ski instructor Paul Wade told this author a different story: “People may have called it the Bob Marley Shrine, but, there was no memorabilia, just a log bench with a great view . . . When Jerry died, I felt it was important to create a shrine on the mountain.

“I went to the patrol to get feedback on a good spot. I spoke with Dead-Head patrollers, John Armstrong (also a Pitkin County deputy at the time), and Tim Cooney. Both agreed that the log bench with the view was a good spot.

“My wife, Heidi, had purchased a car dashboard shrine kit from a store in Moab, Utah. The kit contained photos, beads and small skulls, in order to decorate your car dashboard with a Jerry shrine.

“We decided to start the shrine with the shrine kit, some cool photos, which we laminated, and some fake red roses.

“John Armstrong helped me install the first memorabilia in the winter of 1995-1996.

“Within one week, stuff started showing up from everywhere. Photos, letters, signage . . . Someone was even leaving their favorite show CDs over Christmas, as gifts . . . It has become an amazing shrine.

“People of all ages cruise through constantly and consider it an integral part of their Aspen Mountain experience, some even taking their family photo for Christmas cards in the shrine.

“One summer, when Bob Weir was in Aspen performing, we drove Bob and his wife, Natasha, up to visit the shrine. They loved it and were blown away by the whole scene.

“I'm proud to have started the shrine and am amazed by its popularity. We are hopeful it will live on just like the music!”

The shrine includes many bouquets of artificial red roses, and a street sign that says “Stoner Avenue” on it. There used to be another street sign in the shrine that said “Greatful (sic) Dead Ave.” The shrine also includes photos and drawings of Jerry Garcia, a ski attached to a tree that says “Grateful Dead” on it, a hand painted portrait of Jerry, a sign that says “No cells phones allowed,” and a photo that says “Haagen-Dabong,” as well as a number of other items. There is also a sticker that says “hashoil.”

Some of the lyrics from the song “Scarlet Begonias” has been posted in the shrine: “Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.”

Occasionally visitors will see marijuana leaves attached to some of the trees in the shrine.

David Wood (AspenShrines@aol.com) is the author of the best-selling book about the Aspen shrines, Sanctuaries in the Snow-The Shrines and Memorials of Aspen/Snowmass. He donates all of his profits from book sales to charity, The Roaring Fork Valley Scholarship Fund. The book can be purchased in Snowmass Village at Snowmass Sports, the Stew Pot, Sundance Liquor and Gifts, and the Village Market, as well as at various locations in Aspen.
Sanctuaries in the Snow
The Shrines of Aspen/Snowmass
(Including plaques, memorials, displays And miscellaneous items)

All rights reserved. No part of this site may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the express written permission from the author. For any such permission contact AspenShrines@aol.com