Tiff Garcia Tells The Story of Chopping Off Jerry Garcia's Finger With an Axe [Video Interview]

"I wasn't thinking about the consequences, I was just playing the game he wanted me to play"
Brad Bershad

by Brad Bershad

Published October 28, 2013

As every deadhead knows, Jerry Garcia's middle finger on his right hand was a nub. What they may not realize is that the finger was chopped off with an axe by his brother Tiff when the two were kids. In the video above, Tiff explains how it happened, as the two engaged in a dangerous game that children will sometimes play without thinking of the consequences.

As if the story weren't strange enough to begin with, he tells it to actor Luke Wilson. In the end, it didn't prevent Jerry from becoming one of the greatest guitar players the world has ever known, so we can all look back and laugh at an incident that was surely traumatic for the Garcia family at the time.

The interview is part of a DVD titled Move Me Brightly, put together by fellow Grateful Dead guitarist and vocalist Bob Weir for Jerry's 70th birthday. Bobby hosted a concert at his studio that was filmed, and interviews like the one above were taken with people who were close to Jerry Garcia.

Move Me Brightly is scheduled for release on October 29th. You can order the DVD at



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