Jerry’s Girl

Enter Laguna Beach, exit Cosmo. Up the coast in Santa Cruz, she met a new love, who was “one of the biggest producers of windowpane acid.”

“That didn’t last long—because it was no place to raise a child,” she said. “But I had a quick education in drugs. By the end of that relationship, I pretty much knew what every drug existing was, and I started going to Grateful Dead gigs.”

Ms. Iaccaci said she became close friends with the Grateful Dead “family” almost from the minute she met them.

“She was one of the people that came from New York,” said Jerilyn Lee Brandelius, who was the longtime love of Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart and wrote the Grateful Dead Family Album. “You could tell she was a bit of an aristocrat, but she really got into our reality pretty quickly. … The Grateful Dead attracted a large number of trust-fund babies. But Thayer was more than that—she’s interesting and intelligent and engaging.”

(Ms. Iaccaci insisted she never had a trust fund, but did allow that the family business, Aiken Industries, with real estate holdings and various businesses in Chicago and Ecuador, helped provide for her concert-going life; the farm she bought in Marin County in 1971—on which she raised llamas and other wildlife; and the apartment she currently owns on Lexington Avenue and 73rd Street.)

Her friendship with Jerry Garcia—who was married three times—did not become intimate until the “mid-70’s.”

“He was just always really nice to me, and I was always very nice to him,” she recalled.

Was it love?

“Oh, I’m sure I loved him. I don’t know if he was in love with me. I was awed by him. He was such an incredible musician. And a really interesting person, and funny! He read everything he could get his hands on.”

Up to Mr. Garcia’s death in 1995, Ms. Iaccaci attended 500 or so Dead shows. Among her rivals for Mr. Garcia’s attentions was Carolyn Adams, or “Mountain Girl,” a likewise lissome flower girl who would become Mr. Garcia’s second wife. Ms. Iaccaci said of Mountain Girl, “She was very protective of Jerry and she could be very mean … And she liked to keep Jerry nice and fat.”

(Reached by The Observer, Mountain Girl said of Ms. Iaccaci, “I really don’t have anything nice to say.”)

One of the best Dead shows, Ms. Iaccaci recalled, was a gig at the Winterland Ballroom right before the Dead took a two-year hiatus in 1974. “The last night of those gigs—the start of their hiatus—the Hells Angels came from all over the world,” she said. “Hundreds of them. And they were all backstage. And the band couldn’t even get off the stage. On a break, they couldn’t even get off! So I was taking orders, running back to the kitchen. That was just a wild night. You had to take a drop of acid if you went on the stage. There were so many blissed-out people, it was so much fun. I unfortunately had to baby-sit this girl I brought, who’d never taken acid before, but she wanted to go on the stage, so … I sat her on a trunk on the stage, and said, ‘Now you’ll be fine—just don’t move.’ And then she sees the Hells Angels, I guess she totally flipped out. I found her in a cabinet, in the kitchen, all curled up, poor dear, after the show was over. She’s forgiven me—but I told her not to move.”

Nevertheless, Ms. Iaccaci is a proponent of LSD.