Latest Grateful Dead Articles
Bassist Phil Lesh turns 78 today, celebrate by revisiting highlights of performances by the Grateful Dead in 1978.
On the anniversary of his death, stream a Spotify Playlist featuring the Ron “Pigpen” McKernan era of the Grateful Dead.
Listen to the Grateful Dead debut “Terrapin Station” and “Estimated Prophet” at Swing Auditorium San Bernardino, California on this date in 1977.
Celebrate the birthday of late Grateful Dead keyboardist Vince Welnick with the “Baba O’Riley” > “Tomorrow Never Knows” encore featuring Steve Miller from May 31, 1992.
Check out some of what went down this past Saturday at Wings Event Center when the Kalamazoo Wings hosted minor league hockey’s first Grateful Dead Night.
Full Show Friday presents a Grateful Dead concert held 45 years ago today featuring the debut of several songs including “Eyes Of The World.”
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About Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead was an American psychedelia-influenced rock band. Formed in 1965 in San Francisco from the remnants of another band, “Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions,” the Grateful Dead were known for their unique and eclectic songwriting stylewhich fused elements of rock, folk music, bluegrass, blues, country, and jazzand for live performances of long modal jams.
Some of the band’s fans followed the band from concert to concert for years. These Deadheads were renowned for their dedication to the band’s music. Many followers referred to the band simply as The Dead.
The Grateful Dead’s career began under the name “The Warlocks” in Palo Alto, California. Eventually, they moved to the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco. Many bands from this area, such as Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother & the Holding Company, and Santana, went on to national fame, giving San Francisco an image as a center for the hippie counterculture of the era. (Also see entry for the San Francisco Sound.) Of these bands, the Grateful Dead had the most “musicianly” background, including banjo and guitar player Jerry Garcia, blues musician “Pigpen” McKernan, the classically trained Phil Lesh and drummer Bill Kreutzmann. The Grateful Dead most embodied “all the elements of the San Francisco scene and came, therefore, to represent the counterculture to the rest of the country.”
The name “Grateful Dead” was chosen at random from a dictionary. Some claim it was a Funk & Wagnalls, others an Oxford Dictionary, but according to Phil Lesh, in his biography (pp. 62), “…Jer (Garcia) picked up an old Britannica World Language Dictionary…(and)…In that silvery elf-voice he said to me, ‘Hey, man, how about the Grateful Dead?'”
The Grateful Dead became the de facto resident band of Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters, with the early sound heavily influenced by Kesey’s LSD-soaked Acid Tests, as well as R&B. Their musical influences varied widely with input from the psychedelic music of the era, combined with blues, jazz, rock and roll, and bluegrass. These various influences were distilled into a diverse and psychedelic whole that made the Grateful Dead “the pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world.”
courtesy of wikipedia.org