Jerry Garcia - A Survivor?
Added March 2, 2001

What follows is a series of emails between a person at Rolling Stone and myself.

They seemed to have thought I would not find their offer offensive. They were
very wrong, I did find it very offensive.  But what struck me more, was just how
far Rolling Stone people have descended into their corporate role now.  And what
is even more telling, is the fact that they truly seem to be blind to this fact.

Rolling Stone's first email to me. . .

Hey There!
My name is Erin Smolinski and I work for I was surfing
the web today and saw your Grateful Dead web site- it looks great!!!
Here at (, we are running a new game
called "Rock and Roll Survivor"- and one of the musicians we're currently
featuring is Jerry Garcia! I think this is something that you and your
users might enjoy playing.

The object of the game is to "vote off" a rock star from your rock and roll
stage, until there is one remaining "survivor" (of course we want Jerry to
win!). Here are some details:
Check it out!

- You can vote once per day
- This is just the first version or "challenge" -- there are more to come!
- You can sign up for free daily R&R Survivor email updates
- Future challenges include old school albums vs. new school albums, old
school biz vs. new school biz, old school singers vs. new school singers and
- We will archive all the results for everyone to see

I'm including a link and banner for you to use at your Grateful Dead fan
site. This would be a great way to drive traffic to and from our respective
Here is the URL and some graphics to use as links. I'd be happy to put up a
link to your site as well.{Bad enough I have to give them this much ad}

In addition, has some excellent photos and content for the
Grateful Dead. Feel free to browse around and check out everything. Let me
know if you would like me to link to you and if you have any questions, do
not hesitate to drop me an email.
Thank you!
Erin Smolinski

My first reply. . .

I didn't believe it when I was told that RS had sold-out years ago...
Guess I was wrong.  Do you all wear white starched shirts and ties
and work in cubicles now too?

Erin's reply-back to me. . .

Well, well...
I didn't mean to OFFEND YOU. So sorry!
We just thought it was a fun game!
For your information, I'm wearing jeans and a t-shirt here at the offices.
There was absolutely no need to be insulting. Do you think your hero Jerry
would endorse your
completely rude and nasty comments? You don't know anything about me or my
coworkers, so please
keep ignorant, judgemental statements like that TO YOURSELF.


My re-reply back to Erin. . . .

You didn't mean to offend me, and I only speak for myself,
but you did offend me, quite a bit.

1. Jerry was not my hero, he was a man, and a very talented
musician, that loved to play the music I loved listening to.
- I respected his talent and his art, I did not condone his
addiction, but neither did I judge him for it.

2. Your offense to me was started with the commercial use of
his memory for a "survivor" clone marketing tool.
- Understand, I am one of those Americans that finds the whole
concept of the "Survivor" t.v. series insulting at best, and
mind-bendingly destructive at its worst.
- Rolling Stone, in more credible times, exposed, and fought
this type of crass commercialization of artists in the past in
its pages.  But that was then - This is now.  Right?

3. The other part of the insult for you to me, was your excellent
corporate/marketing/bullshit remark of. . . "(of course we want
Jerry to win!)"  You and I both know the sincerity behind that
statement came right out of marketing corporate speak 101.

I do apologize for my immature remark about the clothing thing,
as I have openly stated on my web site. . .  "It is not the appearance
outside, but rather the soul within that defines."  I am sorry for that.
That was spoke from the anger I felt it the moment I replied to the
original email from you.

But if you truly believe any knowledgeable, mature, sincere fan of
Jerry Garcia would find your email as anything other than the crass
marketing spam it was - Then you truly have my sympathy, but not
my empathy.

I wonder if Rolling Stone/Erin will answer?  If so - I will post it here. .



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