Somebody Has To Do Something. . . It Seems Pathetic That It Has To Be Us

Jerry Garcia? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: Celebrities often use their charisma to highlight social or environmental movements. The prominent guitarist Jerry Garcia of “The Grateful Dead” rock band advocated for the preservation of the world’s rain forests, and he apparently spoke with a mixture of candor, humility, and sadness about his involvement:

Someone has to do something. It’s just incredibly pathetic it has to be us.

Would you please help me to find an exact quotation and citation?

Quote Investigator: On September 13, 1988 members of “The Grateful Dead” participated in a press conference in New York promoting a benefit concert supporting organizations working to preserve rain forests. The lead guitarist delivered a slightly garbled version of the statement specified in the inquiry. YouTube has a short video from the press event, and Garcia speaks the line starting at 47 seconds. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1

Jerry Garcia: Somebody has to do something. It seems incredibly, in, in fact, it seems pathetic that it has to be us, you know.

The description supplied by the YouTube uploader states that the clip was selected from the personal collection of filmmaker Len Dell’Amico.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Somebody Has To Do Something. . . It Seems Pathetic That It Has To Be Us


  1. YouTube video, Title: Grateful Dead Press Conference, Uploaded on Oct 28, 2010, Uploaded by: EverythingMustGoFilm, Description: Press conference of Grateful Dead members held at United Nations in New York on September 13, 1988. (Location and date from superimposed text on video). Description from uploader: Clip from Len Dell’Amico’s personal collection. Quotation begins: 0 minutes 47 seconds of 2 minutes 22 seconds. (Accessed on on March 23, 2019) link