Fry You Well, Fry You Well, I’ll Cook You More than Words Can Tell…

21 Jul


Greetings, Fellow Catfish Enthusiasts,

We at The Denver Catfish Festival pride ourselves on being respectful to any and all cultural milieus, regardless of creed, religious affiliation, politics, whatever.  We are especially mindful of the various sects and cults devoted to the appreciation of all of the wonderful and sumptuous forms of music that we are so fortunate to have at our disposal.  (Except for Phish, ironically.  Can’t stand Phish. Or Libertarians.)

With that in mind, we’ve recently been notified that the 2015 Denver Catfish Festival happens to fall on the same day as the birth date of one Jerome Garcia, a popular American musician from the twentieth century who toured with a band of loveable ragamuffins known in popular culture as The Grateful Dead.

More specifically, the news was broken to us thusly:

“Duuude, you’re not really gonna have the Catfish Fest on Jerry’s Birthday, are you?  All ‘e won do, messin’ up Jerry’s birthday.  Dude, I see how you are.”

Whoa, now, hold on there, my bewhiskered and tie-dyed confidant; tap the brakes, don’t kick over your liquid.  Have we not forgotten that Jerry Garcia performed “Catfish John” with acclaimed folksters Old & In the Way in 1973?  Then recorded the same snappy tune with The Jerry Garcia Band in 1975?  Or that Mr. Garcia is remembered as something of a fried food aficionado himself?

Have you not listened to the lyrics of one “Brokedown Palace,” a popular and oft-cited Grateful Dead ditty?

Make myself a bed by the waterside
In my time, in my time, I will roll, roll, roll

Is it not obvious that he is singing as a catfish, by the waterside, making a bed of cornmeal in which to roll, roll roll?  To deny this connection is “…so closed-minded, bro.”

And would Mr. Garcia (and more specifically, lyricist Robert Hunter) not have loved our famed Catfish-inspired Haiku Contest?  According to this fella, the Grateful Dead’s “Ripple” has a Haiku for a chorus!  (I disagree due to syllable placement, but still…)

We at The Denver Catfish Festival offer every assurance that we are mindful and respectful of Mr. Garcia’s birthday, and feel that if Mr. Garcia were with us today, he would give his every blessing to our marriage of Catfish and cornmeal.

To that end, I, your Dear Chairman, am in negotiations to have a portion the middle finger of my right hand amputated just before the festival begins as an homage and a show of respect; furthermore, we’re planning to hire some CU students to dirty up the scene at the festival gates and request “a miracle” for entry into the 2015 Denver Catfish Festival.  Also, an online ticket seller will be offering Denver Catfish Festival tickets at $10 grand a pop if you really want to get in the mood.

Heck, we might even play Truckin’, Sugar Magnolia, Touch of Grey, and/or a compilation of live songs (in which Donna wails her agonizing wail for hours on end) over the Catfish Festival Hi-Fi!

(Or, once Your Dear Chairman is sufficiently full of Catfish and Hush Puppies and Ice Cold Miller Lite and lively conversation, we might be persuaded to throw on that 8/1/73 Roosevelt Stadium show as an entry point to Catfish Festival After Dark.)

Rest assured, Happy Festivalgoers, this will be the Cornell ’77 of Denver Catfish Festivals!


Joe T., Chmn.


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