R.I.P. Gary Duncan (1946-2019)

Driving Force Behind Quicksilver Messenger Service Dies at 72:

Merlin 157350675 0ba6199b a2bb 4c45 8bb2 ed02781e6a7f superJumbo’Mr. Duncan’s jazz-rooted improvisations and his intricate interplay with the guitarist John Cipollina were crucial elements in Quicksilver Messenger Service’s eclectic chemistry. Although Mr. Cipollina, who died in 1989, was nominally the lead guitarist and Mr. Duncan played rhythm, they constantly traded and blurred those roles.

David Freiberg, the band’s original bassist, called Mr. Duncan Quicksilver’s “engine.” “He was what was holding the band together,” Mr. Freiberg said in an interview. “If he was there, it would work. If he wasn’t, it wouldn’t.”…’
Via The New York Times

In their heyday prior to getting more poppy in the ’70’s, Quicksilver was the hidden gem in the San Francisco psychedelic holy trinity along with the better-known and longer-lived Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. I have always been wistful that I never got to see them perform their intricate ‘snake music’ live (they were not at Woodstock, unlike the Dead and the Airplane). I could listen to the ecstatic sinuous interweave between Cipollina and Duncan forever. My commute to work lasts almost exactly long enough to play the “Who Do You Love?” suite from “Happy Trails” start to finish.

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