The Grateful Dead in 1970, from a promotional photo shoot. Left to right: Bill Kreutzmann, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh.
|Origin||Palo Alto, California, U.S.|
The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California.Ranging from quintet to septet, the band is known for its eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, country, bluegrass, blues, gospel, modal jazz, reggae, experimental music, psychedelia, and space rock, for live performances of lengthy instrumental jams, and for their devoted fan base, known as "Deadheads". "Their music", writes Lenny Kaye, "touches on ground that most other groups don't even know exists". These various influences were distilled into a diverse and psychedelic whole that made the Grateful Dead "the pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world". The band was ranked 57th by Rolling Stone magazine in its The Greatest Artists of All Time issue. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and a recording of their May 8, 1977, performance at Cornell University's Barton Hall was added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in 2012. The Grateful Dead have sold more than 35 million albums worldwide.
Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.
Palo Alto is a charter city located in the northwest corner of Santa Clara County, California, United States, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Palo Alto means tall stick in Spanish; the city is named after a coastal redwood tree called El Palo Alto.
Folk music includes traditional folk music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted orally, music with unknown composers, or music performed by custom over a long period of time. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. The term originated in the 19th century, but folk music extends beyond that.
The Grateful Dead was founded in the San Francisco Bay Area amid the rise of the counterculture of the 1960s.The founding members were Jerry Garcia (lead guitar, vocals), Bob Weir (rhythm guitar, vocals), Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (keyboards, harmonica, vocals), Phil Lesh (bass, vocals), and Bill Kreutzmann (drums). Members of the Grateful Dead had played together in various San Francisco bands, including Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions and the Warlocks. Lesh was the last member to join the Warlocks before they became the Grateful Dead; he replaced Dana Morgan Jr., who had played bass for a few gigs. Drummer Mickey Hart and non-performing lyricist Robert Hunter joined in 1967. With the exception of McKernan, who died in 1973, and Hart, who took time off from 1971 to 1974, the core of the band stayed together for its entire 30-year history. The other official members of the band are Tom Constanten (keyboards; 1968–1970), John Perry Barlow (nonperforming lyricist; 1971–1995) , Keith Godchaux (keyboards; 1971–1979), Donna Godchaux (vocals; 1972–1979), Brent Mydland (keyboards, vocals; 1979–1990), and Vince Welnick (keyboards, vocals; 1990–1995). Bruce Hornsby (accordion, piano, vocals) was a touring member from 1990 to 1992, as well as a guest with the band on occasion before and after the tours.
San Francisco Bay Area is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun Bay estuaries in the northern part of the U.S. state of California. Although the exact boundaries of the region vary depending on the source, the Bay Area is generally accepted to include the nine counties that border the aforementioned estuaries: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, and San Francisco. Other sources may exclude parts of or even entire counties, or expand the definition to include neighboring counties that don't border the bay such as San Benito, San Joaquin, and Santa Cruz.
The counterculture of the 1960s was an anti-establishment cultural phenomenon that developed first in the United Kingdom (UK) and then the United States (US) and then spreading throughout much of the Western world between the mid-1960s and the mid-1970s, with London, New York City, and San Francisco being hotbeds of early countercultural activity. The aggregate movement gained momentum as the Civil Rights Movement continued to grow, and would later become revolutionary with the expansion of the US government's extensive military intervention in Vietnam. As the 1960s progressed, widespread social tensions also developed concerning other issues, and tended to flow along generational lines regarding human sexuality, women's rights, traditional modes of authority, experimentation with psychoactive drugs, and differing interpretations of the American Dream. Many key movements related to these issues were born or advanced within the counterculture of the 1960s.
Jerome John Garcia was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, best known for his work as the lead guitarist and as a vocalist with the band Grateful Dead, which came to prominence during the counterculture era in the 1960s. Although he disavowed the role, Garcia was viewed by many as the leader or "spokesman" of the group.
After the death of Garcia in 1995, former members of the band, along with other musicians, toured as the Other Ones in 1998, 2000, and 2002, and the Dead in 2003, 2004, and 2009. In 2015, the four surviving core members marked the band's 50th anniversary in a series of concerts that were billed as their last performances together.There have also been several spin-offs featuring one or more core members, such as Dead & Company, Furthur, the Rhythm Devils, Phil Lesh and Friends, RatDog, and Billy & the Kids.
The Other Ones was an American rock band formed in 1998 by former Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, and Mickey Hart, along with part-time Grateful Dead collaborator Bruce Hornsby. In 2000, Bill Kreutzmann, another Grateful Dead alumnus, joined the group, while Phil Lesh dropped out. In 2002, Lesh rejoined the band, and Hornsby left. At different times the shifting lineup of The Other Ones also included Mark Karan, Steve Kimock, John Molo, Dave Ellis, Alphonso Johnson, Jimmy Herring, Rob Barraco, Jeff Chimenti, and Susan Tedeschi. In 2003, The Other Ones changed their name to The Dead.
The Dead was an American rock band composed of some of the former members of the Grateful Dead.
Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead was a series of concerts which were performed by most of the surviving members of the Grateful Dead: Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, joined by Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead. The performances took place at Santa Clara's Levi Stadium on June 27 and 28, 2015 and Chicago's Soldier Field on July 3, 4 and 5, 2015. These performances marked the first time Weir, Lesh, Kreutzmann and Hart had performed together since the Dead's 2009 tour and was publicized as the final time the musicians would all perform together.
The Grateful Dead began their career as the Warlocks, a group formed in early 1965 from the remnants of a Palo Alto, California jug band called Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions.The band's first show was at Magoo's Pizza located at 639 Santa Cruz Avenue in suburban Menlo Park, on May 5, 1965. They continued playing bar shows as the Warlocks, but quickly changed its name after finding out that the Velvet Underground had put out a record under the same name. The first show under the name Grateful Dead was in San Jose on December 4, 1965, at one of Ken Kesey's Acid Tests. Earlier demo tapes have survived, but the first of over 2,000 concerts known to have been recorded by the band's fans was a show at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco on January 8, 1966. Later that month, the Grateful Dead played at the Trips Festival, an early psychedelic rock concert.
A jug band is a band employing a jug player and a mix of conventional and homemade instruments. These homemade instruments are ordinary objects adapted to or modified for making sound, like the washtub bass, washboard, spoons, bones, stovepipe, and comb and tissue paper (kazoo). The term jug band is loosely used in referring to ensembles that also incorporate homemade instruments but that are more accurately called skiffle bands, spasm bands, or juke bands because they do not include a jug player.
Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions is an American folk music album. It was recorded live by the band of the same name at the Top of the Tangent coffee house in Palo Alto, California in July, 1964, and released in 1999.
Menlo Park is a city at the eastern edge of San Mateo County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, in the United States. It is bordered by San Francisco Bay on the north and east; East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, and Stanford to the south; Atherton, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City to the west. Menlo Park is one of the most educated cities in the state of California and the United States; nearly 70% of residents over the age of 25 has earned a bachelor's degree or higher. Menlo Park had 32,026 inhabitants according to the 2010 United States Census, which had grown to an estimated 34,357 inhabitants by 2017. Menlo Park is the site of Facebook's main campus.
The name "Grateful Dead" was chosen from a dictionary. According to Phil Lesh, in his autobiography (p. 62), "... [Jerry 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 definition there was "the soul of a dead person, or his angel, showing gratitude to someone who, as an act of charity, arranged their burial." According to Alan Trist, director of the Grateful Dead's music publisher company Ice Nine, Garcia found the name in the Funk & Wagnalls Folklore Dictionary, when his finger landed on that phrase while playing a game of Fictionary. In the Garcia biography, Captain Trips, author Sandy Troy states that the band was smoking the psychedelic DMT at the time. The term "grateful dead" appears in folktales of a variety of cultures.
Grateful dead is a folktale present in many cultures throughout the world. The most common story involves a traveler who encounters a corpse of someone who never received a proper burial, typically stemming from an unpaid debt. The Grateful dead spirit may take many different physical forms including that of a guardian angel, animal or fellow traveler.The traveler's encounter with the deceased comes near the end of the traveler's journey.The traveler then either pays off the dead person's debt or pays for burial. The traveler is later rewarded or has their life saved by a person or animal who is actually the soul of the dead person; the grateful dead is a form of the donor.
The Encyclopædia Britannica, formerly published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia. It was written by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 contributors. The 2010 version of the 15th edition, which spans 32 volumes and 32,640 pages, was the last printed edition.
Funk & Wagnalls was an American publisher known for its reference works, including A Standard Dictionary of the English Language, and the Funk & Wagnalls Standard Encyclopedia.
Other supporting personnel who signed on early included Rock Scully, who heard of the band from Kesey and signed on as manager after meeting them at the Big Beat Acid Test; Stewart Brand, "with his side show of taped music and slides of Indian life, a multimedia presentation" at the Big Beat and then, expanded, at the Trips Festival; and Owsley Stanley, the "Acid King" whose LSD supplied the tests and who, in early 1966, became the band's financial backer, renting them a house on the fringes of Watts and buying them sound equipment. "We were living solely off of Owsley's good graces at that time. ... [His] trip was he wanted to design equipment for us, and we were going to have to be in sort of a lab situation for him to do it", said Garcia.
Rock Robert Scully was one of the managers of the rock band the Grateful Dead from 1965 to 1985.
Stewart Brand is an American writer, best known as editor of the Whole Earth Catalog. He founded a number of organizations, including The WELL, the Global Business Network, and the Long Now Foundation. He is the author of several books, most recently Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto.
Augustus Owsley Stanley III was an American audio engineer and clandestine chemist. He was a key figure in the San Francisco Bay Area hippie movement during the 1960s and played a pivotal role in the decade’s counterculture. Under the professional name Bear, he was the soundman for the rock band the Grateful Dead, whom he met when Ken Kesey invited them to an Acid Test party. As their sound engineer, Stanley frequently recorded live tapes behind his mixing board and developed their Wall of Sound sound system, one of the largest mobile public address systems ever constructed. Stanley also designed the band's trademark skull logo.
One of the group's earliest major performances in 1967 was the Mantra-Rock Dance—a musical event held on January 29, 1967, at the Avalon Ballroom by the San Francisco Hare Krishna temple. The Grateful Dead performed at the event along with the Hare Krishna founder Bhaktivedanta Swami, poet Allen Ginsberg, bands Moby Grape and Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin, donating proceeds to the Krishna temple.The band's first LP, The Grateful Dead , was released on Warner Brothers in 1967.
Classically trained trumpeter Phil Lesh performed on bass guitar. Bob Weir, the youngest original member of the group, played rhythm guitar. Ron "Pigpen" McKernan played keyboards and harmonica until shortly before his death in 1973 at the age of 27. Garcia, Weir, and McKernan shared the lead vocal duties more or less equally; Lesh only sang a few leads, but his tenor was a key part of the band's three-part vocal harmonies. Bill Kreutzmann played drums, and in September 1967 was joined by a second drummer, New York native Mickey Hart, who also played a wide variety of other percussion instruments.
1970 included tour dates in New Orleans, Louisiana, where the band performed at The Warehouse for two nights. On January 31, 1970, the local police raided their hotel on Bourbon Street, and arrested and charged a total of 19 people with possession of various drugs.The second night's concert was performed as scheduled after bail was posted. Eventually, the charges were dismissed, except those against sound engineer Owsley Stanley, who was already facing charges in California for manufacturing LSD. This event was later memorialized in the lyrics of the song "Truckin'", a single from American Beauty which reached number 64 on the charts.
Mickey Hart took time off from the Grateful Dead beginning in February 1971,leaving Kreutzmann once again as the sole percussionist. Hart rejoined the Grateful Dead for good in October 1974. Tom "TC" Constanten was added as a second keyboardist from 1968 to 1970, while Pigpen also played various percussion instruments and sang.
After Constanten's departure, Pigpen reclaimed his position as sole keyboardist. Less than two years later, in late 1971, Pigpen was joined by another keyboardist, Keith Godchaux, who played grand piano alongside Pigpen's Hammond B-3 organ. In early 1972, Keith's wife, Donna Jean Godchaux, joined the Grateful Dead as a backing vocalist.
Following the Grateful Dead's "Europe '72" tour, Pigpen's health had deteriorated to the point that he could no longer tour with the band. His final concert appearance was June 17, 1972, at the Hollywood Bowl, in Los Angeles;he died on March 8, 1973 of complications from liver damage.
The death of Pigpen did not slow the band down, and they continued with their new members. They soon formed their own record group, Grateful Dead Records.Later that year, they released their next studio album, the jazz-influenced Wake of the Flood . It became their biggest commercial success thus far. Meanwhile, capitalizing on Flood’s success, the band soon went back to the studio, and the next year, 1974, released another album, From the Mars Hotel . Not long after that album’s release however, the Dead decided to take a hiatus from live touring.
In September 1975, the Dead released their eighth studio album, Blues for Allah . Their hiatus was short-lived, though, as they resumed touring in June 1976.That same year, they signed with Arista Records. Their new contract soon produced Terrapin Station in 1977. The band's tour in the spring of that year is held in high regard by their fans, and their concert of May 8 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York is often considered to be one of the best performances of their career.
Keith and Donna Jean Godchaux left the band in February 1979.
Following the departure of the Godchauxs, Brent Mydland joined as keyboardist and vocalist and was considered "the perfect fit". The Godchauxs then formed the Heart of Gold Band before Keith died in a car accident in 1980. Mydland was the keyboardist for the Grateful Dead for 11 years until his death by narcotics overdose in July 1990,becoming the third keyboardist to die.
Shortly after Mydland found his place in the early 1980s, Garcia's health began to decline. His drug habits caused him to lose his liveliness on stage. After beginning to curtail his opiate usage in 1985 gradually, Garcia slipped into a diabetic coma for several days in July 1986. After he recovered, the band released In the Dark in July 1987, which became their best selling studio album and produced their only top-10 single, "Touch of Grey". Also that year, the group toured with Bob Dylan, as heard on the album Dylan & the Dead .
Mydland died after the summer tour in 1990 and Vince Welnick, former keyboardist for the Tubes, joined as a band member, while Bruce Hornsby, who had a successful career with his band the Range, joined as a touring member. Both performed on keyboards and vocals – Welnick until the band's end, and Hornsby mainly from 1990 to 1992.
Jerry Garcia died in August 1995 and the remaining band members decided to disband.Since that time, there have been a number of reunions by the surviving members involving various combinations of musicians. Additionally, the former members have also begun or continued their individual projects.
In 1998, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, and Mickey Hart, along with several other musicians, formed a band called the Other Ones, and performed a number of concerts that year, releasing a live album, The Strange Remain , the following year. In 2000, the Other Ones toured again, this time with Kreutzmann but without Lesh. After taking another year off, the band toured again in 2002 with Lesh. That year, the Other Ones then included all four living former Grateful Dead members who had been in the band for most or all of its history. At different times the shifting lineup of the Other Ones also included guitarists Mark Karan, Steve Kimock, and Jimmy Herring, keyboardists Bruce Hornsby, Jeff Chimenti, and Rob Barraco, saxophonist Dave Ellis, drummer John Molo, bassist Alphonso Johnson, and vocalist Susan Tedeschi.
In 2003, the Other Ones, still including Weir, Lesh, Hart, and Kreutzmann, changed their name to the Dead.The Dead toured the United States in 2003, 2004 and 2009. The band's lineups included Jimmy Herring and Warren Haynes on guitar, Jeff Chimenti and Rob Barraco on keyboards, and Joan Osborne on vocals. In 2008, members of the Dead played two concerts, called "Deadheads for Obama" and "Change Rocks".
Following the 2009 Dead tour, Lesh and Weir formed the band Furthur, which debuted in September 2009.Joining Lesh and Weir in Furthur were John Kadlecik (guitar), Jeff Chimenti (keyboards), Joe Russo (drums), Jay Lane (drums), Sunshine Becker (vocals), and Zoe Ellis (vocals). Lane and Ellis left the band in 2010, and vocalist Jeff Pehrson joined later that year. Furthur disbanded in 2014.
In 2010, Hart and Kreutzmann re-formed the Rhythm Devils, and played a summer concert tour.
Since 1995, the former members of the Grateful Dead have also pursued solo music careers. Both Bob Weir & RatDogand Phil Lesh and Friends have performed many concerts and released several albums. Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann have also each released a few albums. Hart has toured with his world music percussion ensemble Planet Drum as well as the Mickey Hart Band. Kreutzmann has led several different bands, including BK3, 7 Walkers (with Papa Mali), and Billy & the Kids. Donna Godchaux has returned to the music scene, with the Donna Jean Godchaux Band, and Tom Constanten also continues to write and perform music. All of these groups continue to play Grateful Dead music.
In October 2014, it was announced that Martin Scorsese would produce a documentary film about the Grateful Dead, to be directed by Amir Bar-Lev. David Lemieux supervised the musical selection, and Weir, Hart, Kreutzmann and Lesh agreed to new interviews for the film.Bar-Lev's four-hour documentary, titled Long Strange Trip , was released in 2017.
In 2015, Weir, Lesh, Kreutzmann, and Hart reunited for five concerts called "Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead".The shows were performed on June 27 and 28 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, and on July 3, 4 and 5 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The band stated that this would be the final time that Weir, Lesh, Hart, and Kreutzmann would perform together. They were joined by Trey Anastasio of Phish on guitar, Jeff Chimenti on keyboards, and Bruce Hornsby on piano. Demand for tickets was very high. The concerts were simulcast via various media. The Chicago shows have been released as a box set of CDs and DVDs.
In the fall of 2015, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir joined with guitarist John Mayer, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, and bassist Oteil Burbridge to tour in a band called Dead & Company. Mayer recounts that in 2011 he was listening to Pandora and happened upon the Grateful Dead song "Althea", and that soon Grateful Dead music was all he would listen to.The band has played three tours, and is currently embarking on a fourth: October–December 2015, June–July 2016, and May–July 2017. Fall tour was shortly announced after summer 2017. November–December 2017. Summer Tour 2019 was announced in November 2018.
The Grateful Dead formed during the era when bands such as the Beatles, the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones were dominating the airwaves. "The Beatles were why we turned from a jug band into a rock 'n' roll band", said Bob Weir. "What we saw them doing was impossibly attractive. I couldn't think of anything else more worth doing."Former folk-scene star Bob Dylan had recently put out a couple of records featuring electric instrumentation. Grateful Dead members have said that it was after attending a concert by the touring New York City band the Lovin' Spoonful that they decided to "go electric" and look for a dirtier sound. Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir (each of whom had been immersed in the American folk music revival of the late 1950s and early 1960s), were open-minded to electric guitars.
The Grateful Dead's early music (in the mid-1960s) was part of the process of establishing what "psychedelic music" was, but theirs was essentially a "street party" form of it. They developed their "psychedelic" playing as a result of meeting Ken Kesey in Palo Alto, California, and subsequently becoming the house band for the Acid Tests he staged.They did not fit their music to an established category such as pop rock, blues, folk rock, or country & western. Individual tunes within their repertoire could be identified under one of these stylistic labels, but overall their music drew on all of these genres and, more frequently, melded several of them. Bill Graham said of the Grateful Dead, "They're not the best at what they do, they're the only ones that do what they do." Often (both in performance and on recording) the Dead left room for exploratory, spacey soundscapes.
Their live shows, fed by an improvisational approach to music, were different from most touring bands. While rock and roll bands often rehearse a standard set, played with minor variations, the Grateful Dead did not prepare in this way. Garcia stated in a 1966 interview, "We don't make up our sets beforehand. We'd rather work off the tops of our heads than off a piece of paper."They maintained this approach throughout their career. For each performance, the band drew material from an active list of a hundred or so songs.
The 1969 live album Live/Dead did capture the band in-form, but commercial success did not come until Workingman's Dead and American Beauty , both released in 1970. These records largely featured the band's laid-back acoustic musicianship and more traditional song structures. With their rootsy, eclectic stylings, particularly evident on the latter two albums, the band pioneered the hybrid Americana genre.
As the band and its sound matured over thirty years of touring, playing, and recording, each member's stylistic contribution became more defined, consistent, and identifiable. Lesh, who was originally a classically trained trumpet player with an extensive background in music theory, did not tend to play traditional blues-based bass forms, but more melodic, symphonic and complex lines, often sounding like a second lead guitar. Weir, too, was not a traditional rhythm guitarist, but tended to play jazz-influenced, unique inversions at the upper end of the Dead's sound. The two drummers, Mickey Hart and Kreutzmann, developed a unique, complex interplay, balancing Kreutzmann's steady beat with Hart's interest in percussion styles outside the rock tradition. Hart incorporated an 11-count measure to his drumming, bringing a dimension to the band's sound that became an important part of its style.Garcia's lead lines were fluid, supple and spare, owing a great deal of their character to his training in fingerpicking and banjo.
The band's primary lyricists, Robert Hunter and John Perry Barlow, commonly used themes involving love and loss, life and death, gambling and murder, beauty and horror, chaos and order, God and other religious themes, travelling and touring.[ citation needed ] In a retrospective, The New Yorker described Hunter's verses as "elliptical, by turns vivid and gnomic", which were often "hippie poetry about roses and bells and dew", and critic Robert Christgau described them as "American myths" that later gave way to "the old karma-go-round".
Hal Kant was an entertainment industry attorney who specialized in representing musical groups. He spent 35 years as principal lawyer and general counsel for the Grateful Dead, a position in the group that was so strong that his business cards with the band identified his role as "Czar."
Kant brought the band millions of dollars in revenue through his management of the band's intellectual property and merchandising rights. At Kant's recommendation, the group was one of the few rock 'n roll pioneers to retain ownership of their music masters and publishing rights.
In 2006, the Grateful Dead signed a ten-year licensing agreement with Rhino Entertainment to manage the band's business interests including the release of musical recordings, merchandising, and marketing. The band retained creative control and kept ownership of its music catalog.
A Grateful Dead video game titled Grateful Dead Game – The Epic Tour was released in April 2012 and was created by Curious Sense.
After Lithuania gained its independence from the USSR, the country announced its withdraw from the 1992 Olympics due to the lack of any money to sponsor participants.But NBA star Šarūnas Marčiulionis, a native Lithuanian basketball star, wanted to help his native team to compete. His efforts resulted in a call from representatives of the Grateful Dead who set up a meeting with the band members. The band agreed to fund transportation costs for the team (about five thousand dollars) along with Grateful Dead design for the basketball jerseys and shorts for the team to wear in the competition. The Lithuanian basketball team won the bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics and the Lithuanian basketball / Grateful Dead T-shirts became part of pop culture, especially in Lithuania. The incident was covered in a documentary The Other Dream Team.
The Grateful Dead toured constantly throughout their career, playing more than 2,300 concerts.They promoted a sense of community among their fans, who became known as "Deadheads", many of whom followed their tours for months or years on end. In their early career, the band also dedicated their time and talents to their community, the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco, making available free food, lodging, music, and health care to all. It has been said that the band performed "more free concerts than any band in the history of music".
With the exception of 1975, when the band was on hiatus and played only four concerts together, the Grateful Dead performed many concerts every year, from their formation in April 1965, until July 9, 1995.Initially all their shows were in California, principally in the San Francisco Bay Area and in or near Los Angeles. They also performed, in 1965 and 1966, with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, as the house band for the Acid Tests. They toured nationally starting in June 1967 (their first foray to New York), with a few detours to Canada, Europe and three nights at the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt in 1978. They appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and the Festival Express train tour across Canada in 1970. They were scheduled to appear as the final act at the infamous Altamont Free Concert on December 6, 1969 after the Rolling Stones but withdrew after security concerns. "That's the way things went at Altamont—so badly that the Grateful Dead, prime organizers and movers of the festival, didn't even get to play", staff at Rolling Stone magazine wrote in a detailed narrative on the event"
Their first UK performance was at the Hollywood Music Festival in 1970. Their largest concert audience came in 1973 when they played, along with the Allman Brothers Band and the Band, before an estimated 600,000 people at the Summer Jam at Watkins Glen.The 1998 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records recognized them with a listing under the heading, "most rock concerts performed" (2,318 concerts). They played to an estimated total of 25 million people, more than any other band, with audiences of up to 80,000 attending a single show. Many of these concerts were preserved in the band's tape vault, and several dozen have since been released on CD and as downloads. The Dead were known for the tremendous variation in their setlists from night to night—the list of songs documented to have been played by the band exceeds 500. The band has released four concert videos under the name View from the Vault .
In the 1990s, the Grateful Dead earned a total of $285 million in revenue from their concert tours, the second-highest during the 1990s, with the Rolling Stones earning the most.This figure is representative of tour revenue through 1995, as touring stopped after the death of Jerry Garcia. In a 1991 PBS documentary, segment host Buck Henry attended an August 1991 concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre and gleaned some information from some band members about the Grateful Dead phenomenon and its success. At the time, Jerry Garcia stated, "We didn't really invent the Grateful Dead, the crowd invented the Grateful Dead, you know what I mean? We were sort of standing in line, and uh, it's gone way past our expectations, way past, so it's, we've been going along with it to see what it's gonna do next." Furthermore, Mickey Hart stated, "This is one of the last places in America that you can really have this kind of fun, you know, considering the political climate and so forth." Hart also stated that "the transformative power of the Grateful Dead is really the essence of it; it's what it can do to your consciousness. We're more into transportation than we are into music, per se, I mean, the business of the Grateful Dead is transportation."
Their numerous studio albums were generally collections of new songs that they had first played in concert. The band was also famous for its extended musical jams, which featured both individual improvisations as well as distinctive "group-mind" improvisations during which each of the band members improvised individually while simultaneously blending together as a cohesive musical unit. Musically, this may be illustrated in that the band not only improvised within the form of songs, but also with the form. The Grateful Dead have often been described as having never played the same song the same way twice. The cohesive listening abilities of each band member made for a transcendence of what might be called "free form" and improvisation. Their concert sets often blended songs, one into the next (a segue).
The Wall of Sound was a large sound system designed specifically for the Grateful Dead.The band was never satisfied with the house system anywhere they played. After the Monterey Pop Festival, the band's crew 'borrowed' some of the other performers' sound equipment and used it to host some free shows in San Francisco. In their early days, soundman Owsley "Bear" Stanley designed a public address (PA) and monitor system for them. Stanley was the Grateful Dead's soundman for many years; he was also one of the largest suppliers of LSD. Stanley's sound systems were delicate and finicky, and frequently brought shows to a halt with technical breakdowns. After Stanley went to jail for manufacturing LSD in 1970, the group briefly used house PAs, but found them to be even less reliable than those built by their former soundman. On February 2, 1970 the group contacted Bob Heil to use his system. In 1971, the band purchased their first solid-state sound system from Alembic Inc Studios. Because of this, Alembic would play an integral role in the research, development, and production of the Wall of Sound. The band also welcomed Dan Healy into the fold on a permanent basis that year. Healy would mix the Grateful Dead's live sound until 1993.
Like several other bands during this time, the Grateful Dead allowed their fans to record their shows. For many years the tapers set up their microphones wherever they could, and the eventual forest of microphones became a problem for the official sound crew. Eventually, this was solved by having a dedicated taping section located behind the sound board, which required a special "tapers" ticket. The band allowed sharing of tapes of their shows, as long as no profits were made on the sale of their show tapes.Sometimes the sound crew would allow the tapers to connect directly to the sound board, which created exceptional concert recordings.
Recently, there have been some disputes over which recordings archive.org could host on their site. Although all the recordings are hosted at present, the sound board recordings can only be streamed and not downloaded.
Of the approximately 2,350 shows the Grateful Dead played, almost 2,200 were taped, and most of these are available online.The band began collecting and cataloging tapes early on and Dick Latvala was their keeper. "Dick's Picks" is named after Latvala. After his death in 1999, David Lemieux gradually took the post. Concert set lists from a subset of 1,590 Grateful Dead shows were used to perform a comparative analysis between how songs were played in concert and how they are listened online by Last.fm members. In their book Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead: What Every Business Can Learn From the Most Iconic Band in History, David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan identify the taper section as a crucial contributor to increasing the Grateful Dead's fan base.
Over the years, a number of iconic images have come to be associated with the Grateful Dead. Many of these images originated as artwork for concert posters or album covers.
Fans and enthusiasts of the band are commonly referred to as Deadheads. While the origin of the term may be unclear, Dead Heads were made canon by the notice placed inside the Skull and Roses (1971) album by manager Jon McIntire:
|“||DEAD FREAKS UNITE: Who are you? Where are you? How are you?|
Send us your name and address and we'll keep you informed.
Dead Heads, P.O. Box 1065, San Rafael, California 94901.
Many of the Dead Heads would go on tour with the band. As a group, the Dead Heads were considered very mellow. "I'd rather work nine Grateful Dead concerts than one Oregon football game", Police Det. Rick Raynor said. "They don't get belligerent like they do at the games".
On April 24, 2008, members Bob Weir and Mickey Hart, along with Nion McEvoy, CEO of Chronicle Books, UC Santa Cruz chancellor George Blumenthal, and UC Santa Cruz librarian Virginia Steel, held a press conference announcing UCSC's McHenry Library would be the permanent home of the Grateful Dead's complete archival history from 1965 to the present. The archive includes correspondence, photographs, fliers, posters, and several other forms of memorabilia and records of the band. Also included are unreleased videos of interviews and TV appearances that will be installed for visitors to view, as well as stage backdrops and other props from the band's concerts.
Blumenthal stated at the event, "The Grateful Dead Archive represents one of the most significant popular cultural collections of the 20th century; UC Santa Cruz is honored to receive this invaluable gift. The Grateful Dead and UC Santa Cruz are both highly innovative institutions—born the same year—that continue to make a major, positive impact on the world." Guitarist Bob Weir stated "We looked around, and UC Santa Cruz seems the best possible home. If you ever wrote the Grateful Dead a letter, you'll probably find it there!"
Professor of music Fredric Lieberman was the key contact between the band and the university, who let the university know about the search for a home for the archive, and who had collaborated with Mickey Hart on three books in the past, Planet Drum (1990), Drumming at the Edge of Magic (1991), and Spirit into Sound (2006).
The first large-scale exhibition of materials from the Grateful Dead Archive was mounted at the New-York Historical Society in 2010.
In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked the Grateful Dead No. 57 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
On February 10, 2007, the Grateful Dead received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was accepted on behalf of the band by Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann.
In 2011, a recording of the Grateful Dead's May 8, 1977, concert at Cornell University's Barton Hall was selected for induction into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.
Twelve members of the Grateful Dead (the eleven official performing members plus Robert Hunter) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and Bruce Hornsby was their presenter.
Lead guitarist Jerry Garcia was often viewed both by the public and the media as the leader or primary spokesperson for the Grateful Dead, but was reluctant to be perceived that way, especially since he and the other group members saw themselves as equal participants and contributors to their collective musical and creative output.Garcia, a native of San Francisco, grew up in the Excelsior District. One of his main influences was bluegrass music, and he also performed—on banjo, one of his other great instrumental loves, along with the pedal steel guitar—in bluegrass bands, notably Old & In the Way with mandolinist David Grisman.
Bruce Hornsby never officially joined the band full-time, because of his other commitments, but he did play keyboards at most Dead shows between September 1990 and March 1992, and sat in with the band over one hundred times in all between 1988 and 1995. Jerry Garcia referred to him as a "floating member" who could come and go as he pleased.
Robert Hunter and John Perry Barlow were the band's primary lyricists, starting in 1967 and 1971, respectively, and continuing until the band's dissolution.Hunter collaborated mostly with Garcia and Barlow mostly with Weir, though each wrote with other band members as well. Both are listed as official members at Dead.net, the band's website, alongside the performing members. Barlow was the only member not inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Keith Richard Godchaux was a pianist best known for his tenure in the rock group the Grateful Dead from 1971 to 1979.
Sunshine Daydream is a music documentary film starring the rock band the Grateful Dead. It was shot at their August 27, 1972 concert at the Old Renaissance Faire Grounds in Veneta, Oregon. Unreleased for many years, the movie was sometimes shown at small film festivals, and bootleg recordings of it circulated on VHS and DVD, and as digital downloads. A digitally remastered and reedited official version of the film was released on August 1, 2013, showing only one time in selected theaters as that year's edition of the Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies. It was screened with Grateful Days, a new documentary short that includes interviews with some of the concert attendees. Sunshine Daydream was released on DVD and Blu-ray on September 17, 2013.
Download Series Volume 10 is a live album by the rock band the Grateful Dead. It was released as a three-disc digital download on February 7, 2006. In contains almost all of the concert the band performed on July 21, 1972 at the Paramount Northwest Theatre in Seattle, Washington.
Ace was the first solo album by Grateful Dead rhythm guitarist Bob Weir, released in 1972.
Dick's Picks Volume 1 is the first live album in the Dick's Picks series of releases by the Grateful Dead. It was recorded on December 19, 1973 at Curtis Hixon Hall in Tampa, Florida, and contains a rare recording of the band playing the blues standard "Nobody's Fault but Mine".
Dick's Picks Volume 23 is a three-CD album by the rock group the Grateful Dead. It is the 23rd installment in the Dick's Picks series of live archival recordings. It was recorded on September 17, 1972 at the Baltimore Civic Center in Baltimore. It contains the complete concert, except for the encore, which was "One More Saturday Night".
Dick's Picks Volume 29 is an album by the rock band the Grateful Dead. The 29th installment of the "Dick's Picks" archival series, it was recorded May 19, 1977, at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, and May 21, 1977, at the Lakeland Civic Center in Lakeland, Florida. The six-CD release is the longest album in the series and the only one with more than four CDs.
Backstage Pass is a music documentary video by the Grateful Dead. It was directed by Justin Kreutzmann, the son of Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann, and produced by Gillian Grisman, the daughter of musician David Grisman. It was released in 1992, and is 35 minutes long.
Rocking the Cradle: Egypt 1978 is a live album by American rock band the Grateful Dead. It contains two CDs and one DVD and was released in 2008. The album was recorded September 15 & 16, 1978, at the Giza pyramid complex in Giza, Egypt. This was the third continent on which the band performed, having previously performed in Europe.
The Grateful Dead were an American rock band known for their lengthy, partially improvised performances, as well as for a loyal fan base who often followed the band for several shows or entire tours. They disbanded in 1995, following the death of de facto bandleader Jerry Garcia. Since then remaining members have reunited for a number of concert tours and one-off performances, often in very different configurations. The following is a list of instances where former Grateful Dead members have reunited.
Dave's Picks Volume 3 is a three-CD live album by the rock band the Grateful Dead. It contains the complete concert recorded on October 22, 1971 at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, Illinois, with bonus tracks from the previous night's show at the same venue. It was released on August 1, 2012.
Dave's Picks Volume 4 is a three-CD live album by the rock band the Grateful Dead. It contains the complete concert recorded on September 24, 1976 at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. It was released on November 1, 2012.
May 1977 is a live album by the rock band the Grateful Dead. It contains five complete concerts, on 14 CDs. It was recorded at five consecutive shows, from May 11–17, 1977. Packaged as a box set, it includes a booklet with a historical essay and photos from the concerts, along with individual liner notes for each show. Produced as a limited edition of 15,000 numbered copies, it was released on June 11, 2013.
Dave's Picks Volume 7 is a three-CD live album by the rock band the Grateful Dead. It contains the complete concert from April 24, 1978, at the Horton Field House, Illinois State University, in Normal, Illinois. It was produced as a limited edition of 13,000 numbered copies, and was released on August 1, 2013.
30 Trips Around the Sun is an 80-CD live album, packaged as a box set, by the rock band the Grateful Dead. Announced for the celebration of their 50th anniversary, it consists of 30 complete, previously unreleased concerts—73 hours of music—with one show per year from 1966 through 1995. The box set is individually numbered and limited to 6,500 copies. It was released on October 7, 2015.
Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead is a live album consisting of audio and video recordings from the Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead concerts. These shows were performed by former Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart, along with Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby, and Jeff Chimenti. The album was recorded on July 3, 4, and 5, 2015, at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The other two Fare Thee Well concerts, played on June 27 and 28 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California are not included. The album was released on November 20, 2015.
Dave's Picks Volume 18 is a three-CD live album by the rock band the Grateful Dead. It contains the complete concert recorded on July 17, 1976 at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco, California. It was produced as a limited edition of 16,500 copies, and released on May 1, 2016.
July 1978: The Complete Recordings is a live album by the rock band the Grateful Dead. Packaged as a box set, and produced as a limited edition of 15,000 copies, it contains five complete concerts on twelve CDs. It was released on May 13, 2016.
May 1977: Get Shown the Light is a live album by the American rock band the Grateful Dead. It contains four consecutive complete concerts, recorded on May 5, 7, 8, and 9, 1977, on eleven CDs. It was released on May 5, 2017.
Dave's Picks Volume 29 is a three-CD live album by the rock band the Grateful Dead. It contains the complete concert recorded on February 26, 1977 at Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino, California, and three bonus tracks from February 27, 1977. It was produced as a limited edition of 20,000 copies, and released on February 1, 2019.
When the Dead’s music was working best, it always sounded like a healthy argument among old friends — one that could spark new ideas.
'In all likelihood, without the Grateful Dead and without Bob Weir, there would not be an Americana community', said Jed Hilly, executive director of the Americana Music Association...
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