Minter Dialogue with Greg Koerner

Greg Koerner, a friend and fellow Fiji from my days at Colgate, is a seasoned and practical lawyer in New York who handles a diverse variety of complex civil litigation and other legal matters for clients of all sizes and levels of sophistication. But more importantly, for this episode, he’s spent a lifetime playing Grateful Dead music, including DSO and Unlimited Devotion. He’s toured with music titans, Vince Welnick, the Dead’s last keyboardist, Charles Neville, Henry Butler and The Band’s Garth Hudson. And next with the legend, Stanley Jordan. He also started his own project, Gent Treadly and The Joint Chiefs. We discuss his career, what playing the Dead has taught him and brought to him, some fun stories as well as his favourite and most meaningful songs.

Please send me your questions — as an audio file if you’d like — to Otherwise, below, you’ll find the show notes and, of course, you are invited to comment. If you liked the podcast, please take a moment to rate it here.

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Music credit: The jingle at the beginning of the show is courtesy of my friend, Pierre Journel, author of the Guitar Channel. And, the new sign-off music is “A Convinced Man,” a song I co-wrote and recorded with Stephanie Singer back in the late 1980s (please excuse the quality of the sound!).

Full transcript via

SUMMARY KEYWORDS: grateful dead, playing, people, band, songs, musician, bass player, music, greg koerner, love, live, bass, stanley, started, great, grateful, lawyer, years, vince, podcast

SPEAKERS: Greg Koerner, Minter Dial

Minter Dial  00:05

Hey and welcome to the Minter Dialogue. Today’s episode is a doozer different from every other one I’ve ever had before. Episode number 565. My name is Minter dial and I’m your host for this podcast, a proud member of the Evergreen Podcast Network. For more information or to check out other shows in this wonderful network, go and visit their site, So this week’s interview is with my old friend, Greg Koerner. Greg is a fellow Fiji for my days at Colgate and is a seasoned and practical lawyer in New York who handles a diverse variety of complex civil litigation, and other legal matters for clients of all sizes and levels of certification. But much more importantly for this episode, anyway, he spent a lifetime playing the Grateful Dead music, including with Dark Star Orchestra and Unlimited Devotion. He’s toured with music titans like Vince Welnick, the Dead’s last keyboardist, Charles Neville, Henry Butler, and The Band’s Garth Hudson. And next, he’s going with the legend himself, Stanley Jordan. Greg’s also started his own project, Gent Treadly and the Joint Chiefs. In this discussion, we talk about his career, what playing the Dead has taught him and brought to him, some fun stories, as well as his favorite and most meaningful songs. A whole lot of passion. You’ll find all the show notes on And as usual, I request go ahead and drop in your rating and review. And don’t forget, subscribe to catch all the future episodes. Now for the show. Greg Koerner, who would have thought?!

Greg Koerner  01:50

Minter Dial!

Minter Dial  01:52

30 years, man, 30 years at least?

Greg Koerner  01:55

Well, I think I’ve seen you since?

Minter Dial  01:58

Since we’ve known each other! Since we’ve known one another, I mean, for sure. I have always wanted to go and see you know, see your Tread Gently. Lovely.

Greg Koerner  02:10

Gent Treadly!

Minter Dial  02:13

Of course!  You know, that’s what happens when you smoke a little too much.

Greg Koerner  02:17

Yeah, we got to make it challenging for the listener.

Minter Dial  02:22

Absolutely. So, let’s start with just you know, we started we met each other probably in the basement of Fiji at Colgate University. And we have so many wonderful friends in common. And we have a couple of joint passions so to say, one of which is around the Grateful Dead and I probably haven’t had like a bona fide full-on Deadhead friend on the show much less one of the best bass players who knows how to cover everything of the Dead. So, in your own words, Greg, how do you like to describe yourself?

Greg Koerner  02:58

Oh, yeah, I’m a bass player. Been playing bass since I was 13 years old, also a lawyer.

Minter Dial

And you have been a Deadhead!

Greg Koerner

Pretty much the whole time. I was the bass player kind of coincided with that. I think I started playing bass a couple years before I started getting into the Dead. And, yeah, just kind of keep following me around. The Dead cover band called Crimson Rose. Back when I was 13 years old, in Westchester County grew up right in New York. And you know, that was that was probably the most success I’ve ever had as a musician back then, you know, as far as just playing, we had a real weekly residencies, you know, in the 80s, mid 80s, late 80s and covering Grateful that we were kind of one of the first actually it’s not true I know there are other there were isolated, Grateful Dead cover bands going back as far as like the mid 70s. But the Grateful Dead bands were they were they weren’t really that there weren’t that much there weren’t that many of them back then. Now it’s you know, there’s just there’s so many Grateful Dead cover bands of every kind of permutation. But back then, it was kind of a unique thing for us, certainly for a lot of the people who were coming come out to see us and so I got really got hooked at a young age with that and then go on to shows you know, growing up Westchester, the Grateful Dead would come are one of their all, you know, Jerry bander come through 50 times a year and you get a chance to go see him within the tri state area. So, I went to tons of shows, you know, from 1980 onwards, and throughout that whole time, you know, just always play and play music, and other contexts too, but kind of all like I said Grateful Dead music kind of always coming back and follow me even when I tried to actually try to get away from it. And then in around 2001 I had kind of stopped playing when I had my son Miles was born. I kind of stopped playing for a year or two and 2000 more on I got crowded The blue to play with Dark Star orchestra and briefly played with those guys. And that kind of got me back into it. I got the bug again, I met a guy who introduced me to Vince Well, Nick, I started playing with him quite a bit. And then played a lot with Vince for, I guess from like 2001 until he died, which was not to look up when that was probably 10 years ago, but did hundreds of shoulders advance and then got even deeper into the Grateful Dead scene. And so, then yeah, just kept plug kept playing music and in that context, and then, in 2020, COVID, shut down to New York. I’ve been I’m a New Yorker. And I was living in New York and 2020 Everything got shut down. I came down my family in Florida, I came down here, started playing with a couple of cover bands down the Grateful Dead cover bands out here. Unlimited devotion person out and playing with Uncle John’s band, like the biggest Grateful Dead cover band in Florida. They’ve been around for 30 years themselves. And so, filling in in that band, and so just staying busy with it. And then always this is an incredible opportunity came about recently, which is I think, what prompted, you know, your invitation to join the podcast, which is playing music with Stanley Jordan, my godson project, he has Stan Stanley plays today, which is a complete game changer. For me. It’s just an incredible stroke of luck for me to get that gig. And so, you know, just again, just this music keeps following me and new opportunities keep being presented. Because of it, I love that music deeply. And yes, so I’m just grateful for it.

Minter Dial  06:43

It reminds me a little bit about a is like a phish concert where they’re playing and the guy and Trey. Trey says there’s a riff I can’t get away from, and it’s a tribute to the Grateful Dead, to Jerry Garcia.

Greg Koerner  06:59

Oh, he’s what he said that one of his concerts? Well, a few times. Oh, really? Okay. I’ve never heard him say that.

Minter Dial  07:05

Well, maybe I got it wrong. But in any event, this idea of it, it comes back.

Greg Koerner  07:11

There’s a bumper sticker that says a lot of the Grateful Dead. Who are the Grateful Dead and why do they keep following me?

Minter Dial  07:17

That is great. So, let’s go back to the young Greg, who’s 13. Picking up a bass. Why the bass?

Greg Koerner  07:25

Because the short answer is my twin brother Jonathan, who was you know, really a prodigious guitar player at a very young age. And I think he’s picked it up and when he was 10, or 11, and got really good really fast. And I kind of saw the attention it was kind of garnering for him and kind of wanted a piece of that myself. Bass was kind of an obvious choice. The guided tour, you know, I think it was 12 Actually, when I started, my mom said she would give me my first bass, Carlo Robelli electric bass cost 130 bucks, but it was a big deal back then. Sure. And so, I had to join those school orchestra playing classical music in order for her to do that. So, then got, I got me going, and I’m really glad I did that gave you the underpinnings of the theory. But so, that’s how I got into it. Yeah, that’s, that’s why I chose the base basically, is my twin brother, Jonathan Turner, who’s still a great jazz guitar player just played with him recently. Yeah, but it’s bad to say why the bass it’s the short answer.

Minter Dial  08:25

And when you play with your brother, it must be sort of a fun extra chemistry.

Greg Koerner  08:31

Oh, yeah. It’s intense. Because we’re twin brothers. Were you able to paternal twin brothers? And like I said, we were playing the, in our first band, Crimson Rose back when we were pre-teens, or maybe 13. But so, we’ve been playing for a long time. And we’re, you know, we’re really competitive as twins. And so, yeah, it’s, you know, it’s intense. It’s a lot of fun. He’s a great guitar player. Yeah, It’s awesome.

Minter Dial  08:54

Yeah. And so, playing the bass. Who are your Do you have bass players that you look at?

Greg Koerner  09:03

Of course, of course. Yeah, of course. Yeah, Phil Lesh, is obviously huge influence. Even though he may not be technically the most proficient bass player. I think it is freezing. You know, his musicality. His tone is equivalent to also just a huge influence on me. But as far as other technical players, obviously, Jaco Pastorius is a huge influence on me and probably anybody picks up the electric bass. And then, you know, there’s all the other obvious influences any serious bass player knows all about, like Stanley Clarke. You know, I could go through them all, you know, but the guys like Victor Wooten. Oteil Burbridge. There are tons of great bass players.

Minter Dial  09:45

Of course, at some level, there’s a little bit of the weedy… not to mix metaphors, but there’s the weediness of listening to bass players. You got to be dialed in to listen to the bass.

Greg Koerner  09:59

That is what’s f**ked up and I was talking about this with my son recently. It’s like, he’s like that nobody besides you cares about the bass. And the reality is for me, that’s my ear, just when it goes to automatically. That’s what I’m listening for. And if you know, nothing happened with the baseline, music really loses a lot of its appeal to me. Unfortunately, I’m kind of shallow in that way. I do need a good base. And I hear it I think more than most average people unless you’re a bass player, I think. So. Yeah, what was your question?

Minter Dial  10:32

No. it’s just a comment. And it reminds me of when I listen to classical music. I want to get back to that in a moment. But when I listened to classical music when I’m tripping, I got so I can get so dialed into the second violinist, any thing….

Greg Koerner  10:50

Any specific part? Okay. Yeah. Yeah.

Minter Dial  10:54

And so, when you are sort of attuned that way, of course, you’re going to listen to it more. And it’s kind of a nifty perspective for me to think about. If I were playing the bass, how much more connected would I be into that line as it’s being played?

Greg Koerner  11:12

Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s something I’d kind of take for granted. But it’s, I think it is something that you’re not aware of. But yeah, it’s there. If you have one instrument that you really, you know, and I am I’m not a multi-instrumentalist. So, so but your play one instrument, that’s what you’re going to be attuned to. I really think that that’s a case. Yeah.

Minter Dial  11:31

And the thing that’s interesting, as I was listening to you, Greg, is that lash also studied classical music to begin with, yeah. Do you think that is a link into him in a higher way?

Greg Koerner  11:45

Well, I mean, certainly, yeah. It certainly is freezing, you know, knowledge and classical use of contrapuntal thing we had going on? Jerry, I think was definitely informed by his, you know, his classical upbringing. And his is theory and so that’s definitely that. You know, I think that was a huge influence for him. And I just, you know, really said he was a huge influence on me. And also I studied classical music, not nearly as extensively as Phil Lesh but, you know, in high school, basically a little bit in college, but like Phil, I think, a major I think he got a master’s in classical composition. Yeah. And so. But yeah, that’s certainly one of the reasons why I admire Phil Lesh is for resources, as a musician, and really as a composer, as a bass player.

Minter Dial  12:34

Alright, so for I mean, you know, regular deadheads, I mean, people in general, the Grateful Dead, they’re going to be thinking probably a lot of we’re in the weeds. But for someone who’s a regular deadhead, I’ve my own up, I’m a musician, but not a qualified one. I listened to the music, and I love the music, but you who have played so many Dead songs, which means and learn them and experience them with so many different bands, and wondering which songs are the most titillating for you? Which ones?

Greg Koerner  13:11

Yeah, there’s certain songs that are more. Yeah, that I like more than are more meaningful for me than than other songs. And it’s just a very subjective thing, obviously. And I think that that’s the appeal for Deadheads. A lot of it’s just, you know, sentimentality that you have for these tunes that you associate with your life experiences and obviously the deep lyrical content of them. You know, I think some of the some of the best lyrics and you know, modern American music or Robert Hunter lyrics and Barlow, too. So, yeah, if I have attachment to the lyrics, that will have a huge you know, factor of whether I’m really going to connect with the Grateful Dead song.

Minter Dial  13:52

Is there one in particular that stands out?

Greg Koerner  13:57

I mean, Jack Straw is a great example. I love that song. I love that I love the music and I also love the lyrics. Yeah, then Cassidy is a great song, Ripple, Brokedown Palace, the Jerry ballads all the most all the Jerry ballads.

Minter Dial  14:14

Brokedown Palace.

Greg Koerner  14:16

Yeah. So, many so many have such a reached and that’s why and then when I was playing with Stanley Jordan, when he when he talks to the audience, you know at the shows one of the things he says and one of the things I think is it’s on his mind because Stanley is a very high intellect. And he said he thinks about these about everything a lot. And you know, I think basically the songs are part of the American you know, the American Songbook now, like the modern American song, but obviously, that was, you know, these are, you know, part and parcel of the American Songbook now and for Stanley who’s coming from a jazz background, you know, and all the jazz players they have a body of songs you know, the standards. And I think Stanley in his career, not just the Grateful Dead, but with other kinds of music, I think, one of his earlier records after he, but yeah, he’s always played that that kind of music. Like he played Eleanor Rigby on his first record, but I think he got a lot of sh*t for I think played Stairway to Heaven. And one of his, one of his records, and the jazz police are giving him grief about it. And it’s like, oh, this is these are my standards, you know, this is my, my way of playing them. Well, my boy, obviously, anything he does is just going to be Stanley Jordan, but like, as far as what, what, what songs you’re going to choose to perform? And what your I didn’t, you know, I never got the memo that, oh, I have to choose from these songs. I can’t, you know, choose. So, but so I got so Grateful Dead songs. I mean, they really are, I think they become the new kind of songbook for, you know, for, for guitar players. You know, there’s, I mean, and then there’s a lot, you know, there’s, I think a lot and I, sorry, through that phase myself, where you kind of just wanted to kill mommy phase where you’re like, I don’t want to, I’m sick of the Grateful Dead. 

Minter Dial  16:10

This is the End.

Greg Koerner  16:11

Yeah, just I mean, I just think that, as far as, you know, tying up the topic of like, where the Grateful Dead catalog sits amongst, amongst, you know, the American Songbook, I just, yeah, yeah, the pantheons I mean, it’s right up there. So, as far as, like I said, what songs are the most meaningful for me there? You know, I pretty inexplainable why they wouldn’t be I guess, The Other One. I love that, you know, Cryptical Envelopment, just because I love the baseline. And you know…

Minter Dial  16:47

All right. Sure.

Greg Koerner  16:50

Yeah. And then the just the jam and Dark Star to the exploratory, you know? Yeah. jams that they that they. So, different songs for different reasons. But almost all of my like, all of them. Also, you know, there’s some people. Yeah, my girlfriend actually was saying she hates Donna. She has to turn it off. And I’m just like, really? No, I mean, which is yeah, this is something else to compare it to. And I love I love those recordings. I never got to see them when Donna was in the band. But yeah, but yeah. Oh, and yeah, so look, there’s yeah, there’s, it’s all good. There’s some songs I like more than others, but I don’t hate any of their songs.

Minter Dial  17:26

So, in your career of playing music, I want to I one point, we’re going to talk about law, but in your career of playing music, with so many different bands, it makes me think of how the Dead were able to onboard very different musicians. Whether was Bob Dylan, or Keith Godchaux. Or then Bruce Hornsby? I mean, and so on. They had they always, they were frequently able to meld in and add other people. For you. Do you feel like it’s also a part of you this ability to adapt into the music, the musicians around you?

Greg Koerner  18:10

Well, I mean, well, first of all, I mean, kind of disagree as far as how many different guest musicians that the Dead had over the years. I mean, really, it was the core four guys, you know, I mean, Lesh, Weir, Garcia and Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart. And then you had a Yeah, then you had the concentric circles, and you had to obviously the all the different keyboard players pick them?

Minter Dial  18:29

Sure. You know, that was a rotating. Very dangerous need to be.

Greg Koerner  18:33

Yeah. The Curse of the keyboard player. But yeah, Bruce Hornsby is kind of, he was in the band for a while. But they didn’t happen. They didn’t have that many guests. I mean, occasionally did for a special occasion, but they, you know, when I was seeing those, they don’t, I can recall on just a couple of fingers, how many times it’s special guests come and sit with them. Suddenly sit in with them. I think like, you know, now we’d like Phil Lesh and what is going on now? And well, that’s your industry and yeah, right. Well, there’s a lesser extent with Weir, they’re just completely again, it’s the whole thing about how it’s become the American Songbook. So, they just choose from the best players in the world. They get you know, they just get you plug them in. And yeah, that’s the other that’s another topic which is blows my mind about the Grateful Dead music and how it’s so ever present is it’s like you’ve got some of the some of the best musicians period on the planet choosing to you know, to cover this song, not just got to dabble in it, but really get into it like Stanley Clarke. Like I mean, Stanley Jordan, I’m sorry. Like Oteil Burbridge. He got the gig with the Dead & Company. And now he’s out playing his own music like Oteil and friends, but he’s playing Grateful Dead music. He can be playing any kind of music you want to do, but he’s choosing to play that music. I mean, is it because he’s the audiences are going to come? Probably but not exclusively, and he really obviously I think he really loves the music and he wants to play it. Y

Minter Dial  19:57

I believe Taylor Swift is even doing the Dead.

Greg Koerner  20:01

Yeah, just I haven’t heard that. I’ve actually looked for that and on iTunes and I couldn’t find it. But it’s got to be. Well,

Minter Dial  20:06

She’s quite particular about which channel she goes with. But you I remember a cover…

Greg Koerner  20:12

Have you heard it? Have you? Have you heard of it? No, yeah, I want to listen to that, but I always listen that stuff. Yeah, no different artists covered the Grateful Dead. And there’s so many different collections now. of that stuff. You know, there’s a book that I can remember a couple years ago, the like, all these indie artists came out and it was a compilation of like, 50 different artists doing Grateful Dead cover songs.

Minter Dial  20:31

Another one I liked was the reggae covers from…

Greg Koerner  20:34

Right. They had that whole they had a whole record of that. Yep, it’s all been done it now. It’s like it’s so crazy. I’d like every single angle the Grateful Dead covered thing, because I see it and it’s all been done. The Grateful Dread. Yeah, that’s been done. The Digital Dead done, you know, the all-female there’s a band in Nashville, all transgender people playing. There’s some brown-eyed women all female, there’s a couple of those now. It’s just f***ing it’s f***ing crazy.

Minter Dial  21:08

Well, I married a brown-eyed woman, but I’m not sure that’s why. But um, if we have to project into the future, I mean, the Grateful Dead. I’m going to go see them in June and at the Sphere with John Mayer, who I’ve seen separately, who, by the way, is another great musician, or wholly handling his is own within that. It I mean, basically, you and I know that this is it’s a state of mind as much as music. It’s sort of this combination of community. It’s culture. Sure. In 50 years’ time, is there going to be sort of like the John Mayer joins another group and plays with another and then guess the next 20-year-old, guess the next one? What do you think?

Greg Koerner  21:52

I think it will continue in some form or another. I don’t think John Mayer because he’s pretty huge on his own. I don’t think you’ll continue doing that. But maybe he knows he does scam. But yeah, but yeah, it’s definitely going to continue. I mean, Dark Star Orchestra, for example, those guys are going to keep doing it till they drop, and they’re going to get younger guys. Yeah. And then I’m sure they’re going to franchise it and get younger guys to come in when they can’t do it. And that, that, that that band, you know, they play all over the country. You know, amphitheatres at this point, they’re huge.

Minter Dial  22:23

I’m seeing them. And I’ve seen them in London last year. I’m seeing them again in September, so they keep on fire.

Greg Koerner  22:31

That’s not going to stop. And yeah, even. Yeah, it’s not, it’s not, it’s not going to stop, what form it’s going to take, hopefully, will continue to be creative. And at this point, you’ve got all kinds of different level you got being played at the highest level, you know, the best musicians in the world, world class venues. And then you’ve also got the shitty garage bands playing down the street, you know, you’re all playing Grateful Dead music.

Minter Dial  22:54

What do you think? Is the is there a benefit of the Grateful Dead in society? Is it something more of society needs? What do you think?

Greg Koerner  23:05

In question? I mean, then you got to get into drugs. I think it can really, I can do disentangle that. But yeah, I mean, I think I think for me, the Grateful Dead, kind of when it started, as it was kind of phenomenon was definitely the, you know, directly linked to LSD. And that experience out in the late 60s and Ken Kesey. Yeah. And Owlsley, you know, he made me the acid, and he was he financed the band, you know, the early years. And I think, like at Bobby, I was he’s very powerful drug, you know, be careful with it. But I do think that’s a good I think, if you’re going to do a drug, it’s probably in a controlled environment. It’s, that’s, I think, a lot of people could get something out of that. So, in that respect, I think your grateful letters are complicated, like, Okay, you had that aspect of it. But then also, I mean, the Grateful Dead scene has permeated by drugs and like, a lot of people, you know, didn’t things didn’t work out well for them because he got our drugs. And it was all part of the Grateful Dead culture. So, you know, it’s a mixed bag. I don’t think it’s all good. It’s all bad. But there’s definitely at the at the communal aspect of First of all, just the idea of everybody getting together, and, you know, rallying around, something that you all love and all enjoys. How can you feel proud you say there’s anything wrong with that. And it’s, for a lot of people, you know, the Grateful Dead, it’s become almost like a it’s like a religion, you know, they really kind of live their whole life by some of the platitudes expressed in the lyrics and the whole communal. At those it’s supposed to be what the Grateful Dead is about not necessarily what they were about as actual human beings, you know, but from what I know, but you know, it’s complicated. They were they were very complicated band and I think it was dear friends with Vince Wallach and He was a very complicated person. And from what he told me, the other guys in the band, they were all very complicated people and they live during Yeah, incredibly complicated love lives, you know, prolific lives. So, it’s hard for me to kind of also disentangle, you know, what the Grateful Dead means to, to one on one person, what it means to me, you know, so having gotten played this music, and gotten close to the music in that way, and gotten to know some of the guys who were in the Grateful Dead, it totally changed my view of what the Grateful Dead is, you know?

Minter Dial  25:38

What sort of changes? Would you like to share with us that, you know, in terms of because I’m just an outside guy, and I didn’t ever, I never did anybody’s hand in the group.

Greg Koerner  25:50

Yeah, I shook the hand and shook their hand… and basically everybody what, but there’s also this primarily, that’s the guy getting the stories from but from what he told me and what other people I know, everybody just loved Garcia, he was like Santa Claus. And he was incredibly generous and always wanted to, like, give people money in advance. When Vince came in the band, he was in pretty bad shape. And they cut him in as an even member, you know, and it’s like, that was Jarrett and I, I’m pretty sure that was Jerry’s decision. I think the big decisions in the band were Jerry’s was kind of the de facto leader. But okay, so he’s a great guy, and everybody loved them. But I mean, he’s also obviously he’s a heroin addict, you know, probably an absentee father. Yeah. So, I mean, I don’t I’ve known some heroin addicts, and not a heroin addicts. I’ve known that nice all the time. You know.

Minter Dial  26:38

It’s messy. The narrative that I have, Greg that I’ve sort of Lent into is the origin. And there’s your wonderful little dog in the background. The narrative that I have is this notion of being grateful by embracing your death, which is the National folk tale. And I just finished a podcast with a guy called Chris Kerr, who is a doctor up in Buffalo who’s done 25 years of hospice care. And we were talking about hallucinogenics as a way to embrace or accept death on the side of his work, which is generally non hallucinogenic. But that’s, that’s what I think, is the most powerful gift that the Dead is brought to me in terms of embracing it, and accepting my mortality.

Greg Koerner  27:30

Right on that, that’s pretty deep. And that’s yeah, definitely. I mean, that’s psychedelic drugs, you know, you know, he that’s the great word. But you know, the origin story of the of the name repo, of course, yeah, I think just randomly picked from the dictionary, right.

Minter Dial  27:46

Yeah. But it was so serendipitously, randomly, right, right. Right.

Greg Koerner  27:51

Yes. Yes. And for me that well, yeah.

Minter Dial  27:54

That’s, that’s the way I got going for you. You’ve mentioned grateful a few times. Right. But being grateful about being on the journey, I think of a grateful as a gift is given to me. And, you know, through life experiences. Yeah, when you have to deal with stuff. You know, there’s solace in the words and you know, oh, your community, but at the end of the day, we have to make our you know, we have to make some kind of peace with our, our end. And towards that journey I have loved and, and for me, the song that stands out is ripple. Oh, yeah. That’s because it was.

Greg Koerner  28:33

That’s that I mean, yeah, that is the song as far as the lyrics. You’ve got to….

Minter Dial  28:39

That was a song that was played at my best friend’s funeral.  Yeah, I played it at a dear friend’s funeral last summer. Not a dry eye in the house.

Greg Koerner  28:51

Good stuff. It was in the Big Chill, wasn’t it?

Minter Dial  28:55

Oh, possibly. They didn’t borrow it from there. The idea of playing with Vince Welnick. That must have been such a kick?

Greg Koerner  29:07

There was a lot of fun. And Vince was such a great, great guy and yeah, missing a lot. And yeah, I’m really fortunate to have gotten to know him and just Yeah, it’s such a just a legendary life, you know, from starting to love grew up in Phoenix. And, you know, once the hippie moved out the Haight Ashbury in like, mid 60s, like he was part of it. He’s not the warms, I didn’t know what notes stand before the tubes that can space and I don’t what today but yeah, he was he lived that whole lifestyle, you know, that, you know, got into the tubes or the founding member of the tubes and had that whole career that was kind of on the down and out after that, you know, he also was taught run rooms. He’s in Todd Redmond span produced with him for a number he had like a whole career but that career had kind of ended and he was in kind of bad shape. I think he’s living in like kind of garage back slash guest house of his back A house that he had that he visited for us bill, and he was kind of in bad shape, but he’s going to have to sell his house. And that’s when he got the gig from the Grateful Dead. And so, and then yeah, just hearing all the stories from when he was in the Grateful Dead, that he’s dead. It was it was it and he was, he was kind of the guy who would tell you stories. So, yeah, it was great to get to know him and I have to play with them. Yeah.

Minter Dial  30:27

For all the Grateful Dead. I’ve think I’ve only made one quote about the Grateful Dead in any of my books. Yeah, it was from Phil Lesh. And so, ironically, if you will, because bass guitarist, but he said, “The only thing that matters is you’ve got to listen.”

Greg Koerner  30:47

Yeah, he’s a good listener, for sure. For sure.

Minter Dial  30:52

When you’re playing with others from different musical denominations, when you’re playing with people you’ve never played with before. That’s what I was getting back to before. Yeah, you’re mixing it up with all these other different things and people and different musical backgrounds, different ways you got into the Grateful Dead. You, when you’re in the play, when you’re actually jamming, and figuring it out. You’ve got to listen.

Greg Koerner  31:16

Absolutely. I mean, definitely. I mean, you got to have facility with your instrument, you got to know the material. But that means that if you want to have anything special happen, you got to listen. Yeah. For sure.

Minter Dial  31:27

I want to talk about Stanley Jordan. So, in mind, I know Stanley in a very different way than you do. And I have to imagine he’s, he’s quite demanding.

Greg Koerner  31:40

You know what surprised me? I mean, he, he is demanding when he wants something a certain way. He’s like he is yours are super, super fine tune and they’ll tell you exactly what he wants. But he’s incredibly, you know, not demanding as far as allowing different band members to you know, express themselves and yeah, so and yeah, he’s a super sweet dude. He’s just a great, great person. And, and yeah, and it’s weird because my relationship with Stanley it’s like he was when I first you know, became more recently Jordan was at the same time everybody else was when he first came out. He was a sensation must have been in 1997 I think on the sixth. And I would just ward that first record out Magic Touch.

Minter Dial  32:27

I’ve got ya.

Greg Koerner  32:28

Yeah, so he’s an idol. He’s just also just unapproachable as far as music you know, musical genius. He’s a genius. I don’t use that word. either. You know, I am other people do I hate it. But he really is. And so, I never thought I’d ever be playing with him. And now I’m playing with him. And that’s it’s amazing. And as a musician, I’m in awe of his of his musicianship but then also he’s like you said he’s my boss, too. And then for you know, when I’m when I play with him, and he’s just like the super latest boss, you can you know, ever want it’s so easy to get along with them.

Minter Dial  33:16

So, I mean, yeah, so I’m a small part musician, but he plays bass and solo. I mean, he always rhythm and solo.. He is capable, sometimes doing trills down the bass line, anyway, other regular guitar. Sometimes. Necker. And I’m just wondering how that fits with you. And how do you have to adapt to the his style?

Greg Koerner  33:41

Yeah, I don’t, I’m not doing a whole lot of adapting to the truth above. I shouldn’t be but I’m not. I mean, one of the reasons because it’s like the songs I know them. And that’s the other thing interesting, like Stanley and in this project is he just changed the keys and the arrangements around completely to when he wants to be there don’t do it that we six pretty close to the kind of the arrangements actually, but he changes the keys a lot, which is a challenge for me, it’s I’m just so used to the keys that they’ve been playing. But as far as like trying to, like trying to figure out what he’s playing as far as the baseline on his guitar, and moderating my bass. I’m not really doing that so much. It’s what the way he plays in this project. When I’m listening. I’ve loosened it a little bit the recordings that we’ve done, and he’s more he just kind of, he’s more of a solo voice. He’s not he’s he’s he’s also creating some room in the set, you know, where he does the, you know, the traditional kind of tapping technique. And some of the material mostly improvisation. But for the bulk of the show, when we’re playing the songs, he’s playing pretty much like, like a like a kind of a conventional way from one of a better word guitarist. He’s not doing the whole, you know, the same routine he would you’d see it over.

Minter Dial  35:00

Ready he’s role kind of when I whenever I speak about him, listen to this. This is one guy doing all this.

Greg Koerner  35:07

Yeah, I’ve seen him play like guitar and piano and at the same time it’s insane. He’s not he’s next level for sure.

Minter Dial  35:14

He’s from another orbit. And you’re in your career, Greg, what’s been the highlight of your career?

Greg Koerner  35:22

There’s I got to say Stanley’s play with Stanley’s definitely. Up there I play with dance. Yeah, it’s also weird. Like, I also played with Charles Neville, one time, one time I was shot. Right? Yeah, yeah, just actually for the no brothers, for man. That God rest his soul. And he was always talking about oh, yeah, I remember the time I was playing with this guy, like LSU. That’s for him. That’s how he measures his home. At least, you know, this is towards the end of his life. And he’s 70 some odd years old. And he’s played with everybody. And he’s gotten one degree at Brooks one, Grammy Awards are pretty big in their day. And still, for him, the thing that he really got off on was who he played with? And that’s yes, then that’s kind of, that’s for me. That’s where, you know, those are the highlights. I looked at Yeah, not the famous people also, like dear friends who I’ve had who are no longer here. And people I play with now. I really love him. Yeah, I mean, those are the highlights, especially as a bass player. It’s like, you’re collaborating with other people. So, but yeah, I mean, you know, in general, with the highlights, as far as gigs, generally, the bigger the better. You know, but not always, you know, it’s, I just love to play, you know, it’s really not the best bass player, you know, but I’m, I’m good, you know, and it’s just, I feel really lucky that this will you know, I’m older now. You know, I don’t really worry about other shit, you know, like two months down. That’s all grown up. And yeah, he can play a lot. And I am and so I’m just really enjoy it.

Minter Dial  36:56

In my conversation with this doctor about death, and everything, the overriding conclusion, as he interviews these individuals, just before they die, the only thing that counts are relationships.

Greg Koerner  37:10

Wow. Yes. It’s true. Yeah, I would say relationships and experiences, you know, every relationship. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. For sure. Yeah. Yeah. As Yeah, I was you feel the aperture closing? It’s definitely the case.

Minter Dial  37:31

You and I presumably have the same kind of well, you know, issue of now we’re onboarding, more and more legalized cannabis more and more legalized psychedelics, with your family? And with in general, from a societal standpoint, where do you stand on and as a lawyer, should I say, where do you stand on that? I mean, I don’t have to worry. Because I I’m an independent, you know, numbskull. And I say I’ve probably dosed I don’t know, 300 times, and I’m good. I’m, you know, I’m good on that. But you, you haven’t you also are a lawyer. I mean, so it’s hard. No, it’s hard enough being a parent, and then telling my son and my daughter, this stuff. Where are you on all that?

Greg Koerner  38:19

Well, my son obviously knows I smoke pot. Just as anybody who ever hangs out with me for more than an afternoon.

Minter Dial  38:29

Well, the good news is not by morning.

Greg Koerner  38:33

Yeah, right. Yeah. Never dust. But, um, but, uh, you know, I went through my wedding when he was a teenager trying to pretend I didn’t smoke pot, you know, and he would just totally futile he knew. But as far as the other drugs, you know, I just say stay away from cocaine and heroin. We will fucking destroy your life because it will. And I know he’s, yeah, I mean, I just had the one son and I tried to be honest with him. Yeah, to be honest with him, but I mean, it’s not something we discussed at great length. You know, I mean, it’s…

Minter Dial  39:10

a tricky topic.

Greg Koerner  39:13

The thing of it is, is just like, I want him to be clear that you know, and I think he and I’m really grateful that he is clear that there’s a big, big, big, big difference between marijuana and other drugs, in my opinion. And thank God, I think he’s kind of internalized that. But as far as the law goes, yeah. And I’m not really practicing that actively. These days. Most of us don’t give a fuck. But um, yeah, I should probably be careful Be more careful about like letting people know like, where’s this podcast’s going to end up? I don’t figure anybody watching this podcast isn’t going to you will fuck with but…

Minter Dial  39:52

I don’t think there are going to be any clients on the line. But you never fucking know.

Greg Koerner  39:57

You never know what and if so, I lose a client. I don’t have that many clients anymore. And if I lose one well, I can…

Minter Dial  40:02

You know what the thing is, this here, Greg,

Greg Koerner  40:06

Most of my most of my clients I smoke pot with, so it’s not a big deal.

Minter Dial  40:12

We don’t need to name them. But we have an I feel like maybe as we get older or both, you know, near, I’m going to be 60 in a couple of months. What the fuck, you know, like this whole idea of the of the image that we want to portray? I mean, honestly, the, the being real is what’s more important and if I didn’t inhale, if I didn’t do anything wrong, Do I like you? Is it even possible that I like you? Because yeah, they’re just perfect.

Greg Koerner  40:53

Yeah, my, my, my social circle these days, there’s nobody even close to being like that. So, you know what I mean?

Minter Dial  41:00

We vote. We vote for people like that we like, you know, Pops. Oh, my gosh, I’m going to scandalize you.

Greg Koerner  41:07

I’m going to vote for you then. But yeah, I mean. Yeah, I mean, it’s that as you get older, the idea of like, caring what other people think of you, it’s just like, it doesn’t make any sense anymore. You know, they’re just and then when you’re young. I mean, I totally obsessed with that. consumed with that at a younger age. And I guess I’m sort of level I still I still am. But yeah, it’s just like, the whole pretense of like, Oh, look at me. Yeah. It’s like, at a certain point can fuck up your old doesn’t make any sense. And you can’t like, hold on to it now. Yeah, yeah, I mean, it sounds like you’re doing a lot more soul searching than I am. Because, but I’m just, you know, trying to enjoy every day. I’m super, super aware that like, we’re all about to die, maybe not today or tomorrow, but like, next year, five years. 10 years? Yeah.

Minter Dial  42:03

So, that’d be great.

Greg Koerner  42:05

Trying to live my life, like, with that awareness, you know, and it’s not, I don’t do it, you know, it’s frustrating. I would, I would definitely have a much different life by actually live that way.

Minter Dial  42:15

Well, it’s, it’s a journey, Greg and subject to my new book, which is called The Avatar Trap. How we get stuck. The idea of re-presenting ourselves in ways that are different and distant from who we really are.

Greg Koerner  42:31

Well, both thought, it just blows my mind. Holy Shit.

Minter Dial  42:36

I like to do that kind of thing, Greg. But, um, so yeah, I want to take a little bit of a commercial side to things. You know, playing music. Usually, when a kid says I want to be an actor, I want to be musician, like, oh, boy, you happy to be a starving artist? You’re a lawyer on the side. You play music? How? What’s the music? Business model for you? And is it even like a scenting? Like a percentage of your overall life? Or just for fun?

Greg Koerner  43:09

Oh, no, no, it Oh, no. I mean, like, yeah, I made a living as a lawyer for 30 years. So, and I’m really glad I did. Because a lot of musicians at my level, now we’re doing it because they need the money. And it’s not a pretty picture. But at this point, now, I’m making money, basically, with the blue-collar lifestyle, you know, and blue-collar income, you know, playing music, and that’s fine. And but I don’t have to live the blue-collar lifestyle, because I was a lawyer for 30 years. So, and I still think I’m still practicing law. But as far as Yeah. If you want to try to be a performer, and you’re young person trying to go into it, yeah, just be I mean, you have to go in if it’s, it’s something that it’s not something that you would want to choose, it has to be something that you have to do you know, if it’s a choice that don’t do it. But if you aren’t going to do it yet, give it your all. Because I feel that for me, it’s not like I’m glad, like I said, I’m glad I was lawyers really allowed me, you know, some financial, you know, backup, so I don’t have to worry about money. Like I would have thought if I hadn’t become a lawyer. But it’s also it’s, you know, it’s kind of like the brass handcuffs, you know, I’m sure I never really fully explored music, the ultimate level, because I did have that backdrop. And I mean, and I know, even know if that’s really being honest with myself, because I wouldn’t have gone into the law unless it had already become clear to me that it was not going to happen, you know, as a musician, and it was clear at that point when I was 23. At that point, I went along. So, at that point, when I was 23. At that point, I’d already had a lot of friends who would try to do music and we’re failing completely and again…

Minter Dial  44:51

I mean, excuse me, fuck, Greg. I mean, the way I’m looking at you, I’m thinking you played with Charles Neville. You played with Henry Butler up with Greg Hudson, you played with playing with Stanley effing Jordan. Yeah. How was that not success?

Greg Koerner  45:09

Well, I mean, again, so and that’s why it’s okay. I know. I know, some guys in Phish. That is success, you know, it’s all relative. Yeah. And there’s always going to be someone more successful in you. And that’s okay, that’s bigger go bigger house. Yeah, the guys are officially stupid, but they won the lottery, you know, I mean, they’re not, you know, you can’t you can’t compare yourself to that. But it’s just like, I mean, you can’t compare yourself to any anyone because that’s not that’s just, you know, a guarantee that you’re not going to be happy. You know, whether it’s like fishing, you just feel inadequate, like I wish I could have one tiny piece of that, or some one of your friends is even less successful than you where it’s, you know, you feel sorry for them. So, it’s Yeah, can’t you just like I said, You can’t compare yourself to other people. And you got to again, like, appreciate what you have, if you can play music, and you can enjoy that. If you can do it on any level where you’re, you know, first of all, if you have the drive where you want to go out at your door and play for other people, that’s a that’s a blessing. And if you have any kind of success on it, yeah, just be grateful for that. But yeah, I mean, yeah, as far as how can you say you’re not successful? And so, it’s I’m not saying I’m not successful, which is like, I could have been part maybe more successful if I really focused on that. But if I’d done that, I probably would have been less, you know, much worse husband and father, you know, you know, so, yeah, life’s a balance. And, you know, no, no, I try not to do regret, you know. But, uh, know, people ask you, it’s like, how do you do? How do you like your lawyer? And you’re also, how do you have, which is, how do you do it? And like, just don’t do either of them very well.

Minter Dial  46:45

That sounds like me. I’m going to Yeah, but I’ve definitely touched a lot. If I had a feeling of a closing statement is when I play for other people. There’s the notion of play. And for other people, it’s not about me, it’s about being with others. The other ones…

Greg Koerner  47:06

Right. Yeah. When would you when you play music you’re saying for an audience?

Minter Dial  47:10

But I mean, you know, I have a sport I play called Padel Tennis. It’s a very social sport. And, and the idea of being with others in Doctor Kerr’s ideas, when he talks about how before dying, what it’s all about is who I was with… that matters most.

Greg Koerner  47:28

Of death? At the moment of death or through life, you mean, at the moment of death, talking about your life?

Minter Dial  47:34

In their visions, as they look back on their lives. They connect back into the people with whom they had meaningful relationships, experiences to use your word. And, and that’s what it’s all about, as opposed to the sort of narcissistic look at me how big my house is. And the social road? Yeah, yeah.

Greg Koerner  47:57

Right. It’s kind of a paradox, because it’s not going to have a big house, probably. But you are like, looking at me, you know? What I mean? There’s nothing wrong with that. But I mean, if you’re going to be, you’re going to try to be like popular movies, music, you’re going to try to be popular. So, let’s go through the territory. But um, yeah, the whole thing about Yeah, I definitely spent part of my life chasing money and, and it’s, I don’t have any money. Super important. You know,

Minter Dial  48:24

Well, in New York City. You’re screwed. Yes.

Greg Koerner  48:27

Well, that’s why that’s why I don’t live there anymore. But I’m going anywhere. You know, I mean, in order to really, I mean, you know, there was a Peace Corps volunteer for several years. I’m used to like living very spartan lean setup, and even now, I don’t live. But that’s a choice. You know, it’s like it’s I’ve never really, yeah, so. Yeah, to get caught up in material things is, it’s a big problem for a lot of people. I don’t know.

Minter Dial  48:57

I think the word is it’s my choice. I’m not a victim.

Greg Koerner  49:02

Yes, yes. And I’m again, gratitude thing, which I keep that’s my motto is be grateful. I’m grateful. I have that choice. It’s not a lot of people don’t especially look over the planet.

Minter Dial  49:14

So let me tell you, I am heading to New York in July. I hope I get a chance to share with you and

Greg Koerner  49:24

with you. Yeah, I’m going to be there. I’m going to be glad to be there.

Minter Dial  49:27

And it’s been great having you on the show. Greg. I’ve absolutely it was worth this moment. Man.

Greg Koerner  49:32

Love you, man. Yeah, great. Really glad to connect with you, buddy.

Minter Dial  49:35

Let me know how, let people know how they can, you know, check your music out once Yeah,

Greg Koerner  49:42 is where I give my live dates. And we’re going to do some recording. Actually, I’m playing with this. This kid Doug South, and we’re going to start playing a lot over the next year probably in New York, outside Florida and New York.

Minter Dial  49:56

And you’re based in Florida.

Greg Koerner  49:57

So, where do you think Florida is? Based in St. Pete, but yeah, we’re going to be doing dates all the way down to Key West and all the way we, you know, we have trips in New York, trips to Colorado. Yeah, so we’re starting …

Minter Dial  50:12

I certainly have a few friends I need to send this to. Hey, Greg, talk to you soon!

Greg Koerner  50:16

Minter, all the best brother.

Minter Dial  50:19

So, a really heartfelt thanks for listening to this episode of The Minter Dialogue podcast. If you liked the show, please remember to subscribe on your favourite podcast service. As ever, rating and reviews are the real currency of podcasts. And if you’re really inspired, I’m accepting donations on You’ll find the show notes with over 2100 blog posts on on topics ranging from leadership to branding, tech and marketing tips. Check out my documentary film and books including my last one, the second edition of “Heartificial Empathy, Putting Heart into Business and Artificial Intelligence” that came out in April 2023. And to finish here’s a song I wrote with Stephanie Singer, “A Convinced Man.”


I like the feel of a stranger

Tucked around me

Precipitating the danger

To feel free

Trust is the reason

Still I won’t toe the line.


I sit here passively

Hope for your respect

Anticipating the thrill of your intellect

Maybe I tell myself

There’s no use in me lying.


I’m a convinced man,

Building an urge

A convinced man,

To live and die submerged.

A convinced man,

In the arms of a woman


I’m a convinced man

Challenge my fate

I’m a convinced man

Competition’s innate

A convinced man

In the arms of a woman.


Despise revenges

And struggle to see

Live for the challenge

So life’s not incomplete

What’s wrong with challenge

I know soon we all die


I’m a convinced man

Practicing my lines

I’m a convinced man

Here in these confines

A convinced man

In the arms of a woman.


I’m a convinced man

Put me to the test

I’m a convinced man

I’m ready for an arrest

I’m a convinced man

In the arms of a woman.


I’m a convinced man… so convinced

You convince me, yeah baby,

I’m a convinced man

In the arms of a woman…

Minter Dial

Minter Dial is an international professional speaker, author & consultant on Leadership, Branding and Transformation. After a successful international career at L’Oréal, Minter Dial returned to his entrepreneurial roots and has spent the last twelve years helping senior management teams and Boards to adapt to the new exigencies of the digitally enhanced marketplace. He has worked with world-class organisations to help activate their brand strategies, and figure out how best to integrate new technologies, digital tools, devices and platforms. Above all, Minter works to catalyse a change in mindset and dial up transformation. Minter received his BA in Trilingual Literature from Yale University (1987) and gained his MBA at INSEAD, Fontainebleau (1993). He’s author of four award-winning books, including Heartificial Empathy, Putting Heart into Business and Artificial Intelligence (2nd edition) (2023); You Lead, How Being Yourself Makes You A Better Leader (Kogan Page 2021); co-author of Futureproof, How To Get Your Business Ready For The Next Disruption (Pearson 2017); and author of The Last Ring Home (Myndset Press 2016), a book and documentary film, both of which have won awards and critical acclaim.

👉🏼 It’s easy to inquire about booking Minter Dial here.

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