The Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead is one of only a handful of rock bands that have been going at it for nearly two and a half decades. But, unlike their contemporaries, the Dead have built their reputation on noncommercial music dedicated to the art of improvisation. “I would never have thought I’d be interested in something for twenty-five years,” band leader Jerry Garcia told Rolling Stone. “That’s a long time for anything. But if we never get to that place, the process itself stays interesting, so the trip has been worth it.”
The group began as an acoustic unit, Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions, with Bob Weir, Bob Matthews, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, John Dawson and Garcia. Pigpen convinced the band to go electric and in 1964 they added Bill Kreutzmann on drums and bassist Phil Lesh, a classically trained trumpet player who had never before touched the four-stringed instrument. They were known briefly as the Warlocks before pulling the moniker Grateful Dead out of an Oxford dictionary. Based in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco—the center of the peace-love-flower-power-drug
Band formed in San Francisco, Calif.; original members included guitarist-vocalist Jerry Garcia (full name, Jerome John Garcia; born August 1, 1942 in San Francisco, Calif. ; father was a jazz musician); guitarist-vocalist Bob Weir (Full name, Robert Hall Weir; born October 16, 1947 in San Francisco, Calif.); bass guitarist Phil Lesh (born March 15, 1940 in Berkeley, Calif.); drummer Bill Kreutzmann (born June 7, 1946, in Palo Alto, Calif.); and vocalist-harmonica player Ron “Pigpen” McKernan (born September 8, 1946; died of a liver ailment, March 8, 1973). Drummer Mickey Hart (born in Long Island, New York) joined the band in 1967;
McKernan was replaced in 1974 by keyboardist Keith Godchaux (born July 19, 1948, in San Francisco, Calif.; killed in a car accident July 22, 1980; husband of band member Donna Godchaux) and vocalist Donna Godchaux (born August 22, 1947, in San Francisco, Calif.; wife of band member Keith Godchaux; left band shortly after husband’s death in 1980); Keith Godchaux was replaced by keyboardist Brent Mydland (died July 26, 1990 of a morphine and cocaine overdose); Mydland was replaced in 1990 by Vince Welnick.
Addresses: Office— P.O. Box 1566, Main Office Station, Montclair, NJ 07043.
movement in the mid-1960s—the Dead became the house band for Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters’ parties at the author’s pad in La Honda (documented in Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test book).
The band’s influences were not other musicians, but rather the Beat Generation writers, including Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, and the infamous LSD chemist Owsley Stanley, who encouraged the Dead to experiment freely with the then-legal drug and extremely loud volumes of music (at one point the Dead’s arsenal included twenty-three tons of equipment!) “Garcia and company were the hippie band, playing music for getting stoned, seeing God, dancing, singing along, blowing bubbles, mellowing out, or whatever,” wrote Jon Sievert in Guitar Player, “good-time music without rock star pretensions.”
In 1967 they added a second drummer, Mickey Hart, and signed a record contract with Warner Bros. Their debut LP, Grateful Dead, was recorded in Los Angeles in a mere three days. Its hurried sound prompted the band to slow down and experiment with various studio techniques on their follow-up, Anthem Of The Sun. “We were thinking more in terms of a whole record, and we were also interested in doing something that was far out,” Garcia said in The Rolling Stone Interviews. “For our own amusement—that thing of being able to do a record and really go away with it—really lose yourself.” The Dead went a little overboard on their third album, Aoxomoxoa, which was, as Garcia continued in Interviews, “Too far out, really, for most people.”
Their forte has been, and continues to be, live performances which free the band to explore and improvise on blues, jazz, rock and country genres in a very loose setting without the use of set lists. “They are essentially a ‘live’ band, the masters of the ‘vibe,’ the electrical flow between them and their audiences,” stated Rock 100. “The Dead, it has been said ‘play their audience,’ and their performances are studies in synergy and the dynamics of sounds massing tension in titanic jams … until the ballroom seems ready to explode, and then cooling everything out at that breathtaking moment with a trickling steel guitar solo on a Merle Haggard shitkicker special.”
The Dead encourage their fans, known affectionately as Deadheads, to freely record their concerts, which are of marathon length and sometimes include hourlong instrument tunings. “We have an audience which allows us to be formless. The Grateful Dead can go into any venue and play anything, and the audience will have experienced the Grateful Dead show,” Garcia told Rolling Stone’s Fred Goodman. “The audience has allowed us that luxury.”
The Deadheads’ allegiance is almost as phenomenal as the band itself. The club formed in 1971 and has grown to such large proportions that it now includes “The Deadhead Hour” radio show, the Golden Road fan magazine, and two 24-hour phone lines that constantly report concert dates. “I couldn’t hold down a full-time job and do this,” one Deadhead stated in Rolling Stone. “The Dead tour eight months out of the year.” “I think our greatest appeal is to somebody who’s a bright kid, in late high school or college,” Dead lyricist John Barlow told Rolling Stone. “There aren’t any initiations or requirements or membership tests or anything else to become a Deadhead; you just have to like it and feel like you’re part of it, and then you’re a brother to them all.”
After 1970’s Live Dead, which included the two Dead classics “Dark Star” and “St. Stephens,” the band went back to their roots with an emphasis on vocals for a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young-style folk flavor on Workingman’s Dead. During the recording the group endured a sticky situation when Mickey Hart’s father was fired for embezzlement of band funds. American Beauty, from the same year, was also vocal-oriented and recorded with very simple studio techniques. The LP included one of their signature tunes, “Truckin’,” and was followed by their first gold LP, The Grateful Dead, in 1971. A year later they recorded the live three-record Europe ’72.
The Dead lost one of their key members in 1973 when Ron “Pigpen” McKernan died of a liver ailment after a long history of substance abuse. The band issued a compilation LP in his honor, and then formed their own label and began working on Wake Of The Flood with new members Keith Godchaux and his wife Donna. Tragedy has continued to haunt the band’s keyboardists: Keith himself was killed in a 1980 auto accident (Donna Godchaux left the band shortly after her husband’s death) and his replacement, Brent Mydland, died as a result of a drug overdose in 1990. Mydland was replaced by former Tubes keyboardist Vince Welnick.
Weir played with both the Dead and Kingfish for the next few years and Garcia worked on various other projects as the band shifted directions for 1975’s Blues For Allah. “I’ve always been happy with our albums but I’ve rarely listened to them after they’re finished,” Lesh said in Rolling Stone. “This one’s different. It indicates a new point of departure for our music. We wanted to free ourselves from our own cliches, to search for new tonalities, new structures and modalities.” They recorded one more LP on the Grateful Dead label before signing with Arista and releasing Terrapin Station and Shakedown Street, both of which smacked more of contemporary marketing than the usual Dead punch. Shakedown Street “was produced by twits and plumbers,” Hart told Rolling Stone, “it was a shame and a travesty.”
After 1980’s Go To Heaven, the Dead took an eight-year hiatus from recording. Garcia delved heavily into cocaine and heroin in the meantime, resulting in an arrest in January of 1985. While performing in a backup band for Bob Dylan, Garcia collapsed into a diabetic coma following one of the shows and regained consciousness twenty-four hours later. By December 15, 1986, the Dead were back together and working on their highly acclaimed In The Dark LP. “The arrangements are real,” Garcia said in Guitar World. “The mix is my understanding about how Grateful Dead music works… There’s real structure to it, there’s real architecture to it and there’s real conversation, like in a string quartet, to it.”
The Dead scored their first Top 10 single, “Touch of Grey,” which seemed to sum up Garcia’s brush with death and the future of his band: “I will get by/I will survive.” The Dead were suddenly being discovered by new audiences as their video So Far shot up the charts and they were trying to figure out ways to cope with their newfound success and popularity.
“I’m excited about it, and I have misgivings,” said Robert Hunter, longtime Dead lyricist and Army pal of Garcia, in Rolling Stone. “I would like the world to know about the Grateful Dead; it’s a phenomenal band. But I don’t think the Grateful Dead is going to be as free a thing as it was. That’s the devil we pay.”
On Warner Bros. Records
Grateful Dead, 1967.
Anthem of the Sun, 1968.
Live Dead, 1970.
Workingman’s Dead, 1970.
American Beauty, 1970.
The Grateful Dead, 1971.
Europe ’72, 1972.
Bear’s Choice: History of the Grateful Dead, Volume 1, 1973.
Best of the Grateful Dead—Skeletons From the Closet, 1974.
What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been: The Best of the Grateful Dead, 1977.
On Grateful Dead Records
Wake of the Flood, 1973.
From Mars Hotel, 1974.
Blues for Allah, 1975.
Steal Your Face, 1976.
On Arista Records
Terrapin Station, 1977.
Shakedown Street, 1978.
Go To Heaven, 1980.
Dead Set (live 2-record set), 1981.
In The Dark, 1987.
The Dead Zone: The Grateful Dead CD Collection, 1977-1987 (available on compact disc only; six-CD set contains six digitally remastered albums: Terrapin Station, Shakedown Street, Go To Heaven, In the Dark, Reckoning, and Dead Set ), 1987.
Built To Last, 1989.
Without a Net, (double live album), 1990.
down beat, November 1987.
Guitar Player, November 1977; October 1978; August 1981; October 1987; July 1988; June 1989.
Guitar World, November 1985; December 1987.
Musician, September 1987.
Rolling Stone, November 6, 1975; February 26, 1976; May 6, 1976; June 16, 1977; October 6, 1977; April 20, 1978; March 8, 1979; August 28, 1986; July 16-30, 1987; August 13, 1987; November 30, 1989.
Rolling Stone’s College Papers, Winter, 1980.
Dalton, David, and Lenny Kaye, Rock 100, Grosset & Dunlap, 1977.
The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll, edited by Jim Miller, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1976.
The Rolling Stone Interviews, 1967-1980, by the editors of Rolling Stone, St. Martin’s Press/Rolling Stone Press, 1981.
The Rolling Stone Record Guide, edited by Dave Marsh with Jim Swenson, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1979.
—Calen D. Stone
Grateful Dead, The
Grateful Dead, The
Grateful Dead, The, the ultimate head-trips band of the 1960s-mid- 1990s, spawners of the Dead-head movement, and one of the most successful live acts in the history of rock. MEMBERSHIP: Jerome “Jerry” Garcia, gtr., voc. (b. San Francisco, Calif., Aug. 1, 1942; d. Forest Knolls, Calif., Aug. 9, 1995); Bob Weir (Robert Hall), gtr., voc. (b. Atherton, Calif., Oct. 16, 1947); Ron “Pig Pen” McKernan, kybd. (b. San Bruno, Calif., Sept. 8, 1945; d. Corte Madera, Calif., March 8, 1973); Phil Lesh, bs. (b. Berkeley, Calif., March 15, 1940); Bill Kreutzmann, drm. (b. Palo Alto, Calif., May 7, 1946). The band’s full-time lyricist beginning in 1969 was Robert Hunter (b. Arroyo Grande, Calif., June 23, 1941).
Other members included drummer Michael “Mickey” Hart (b. N.Y., Sept. 11, 1943); Tom Constanten, kybd. (b. Long Branch, N.J., March 19, 1944); Keith Godchaux, kybd. (b. Concord, Calif., July 19, 1948; d. Ross, Calif., July 23, 1980); Brent Mydland, kybd. (b. Munich, West Germany, Oct. 21, 1952; d. Lafayette, Calif., July 26, 1990); Vince Welnick, kybd. (b. Phoenix, Ariz., Feb. 21, 1951); and vocalist Donna Godchaux (b. Sheffield, Ala., Aug. 22, 1947).
Jerry Garcia grew up in San Francisco and Menlo Park, obtaining his first guitar, an electric guitar, at the age of 15. Dropping out of high school, he served a brief stint in the Army in 1959 before returning to the Palo Alto area and meeting Robert Hunter. He took up banjo in 1960 and formed a series of folk, jug-band, and bluegrass music groups with Hunter for local engagements beginning in early 1962. These included the Thunder Mountain Tub Thumpers, the Asphalt Jungle Boys (with John “Marmaduke” Dawson), and the Hart Valley Drifters (with David Nelson), which won an amateur bluegrass contest at the Monterey Folk Festival in 1963. The group subsequently became the Wild wood Boys and, by 1964, Garcia had formed Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions with harmonica player Ron “Pig Pen” McKernan and guitarists Bob Weir and Bob Matthews. By April 1965, Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions had gone electric and reemerged as the Warlocks, with Garcia, Weir, and McKernan. Adding drummer Bill Kreutzmann, the group replaced their first bassist with Phil Lesh, a classically trained trum-peter and composer of 12-tone and electronic music, in June.
Taking the name the Grateful Dead, the group played at Bill Graham’s first rock event at the Fillmore Auditorium in November 1965 and, beginning in December, at author Ken Kesey’s infamous “acid tests,” chronicled in Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. With financial benefactor and LSD manufacturer Augustus Stanley Owsley III acting as manager, the group performed at local venues such as the Fillmore Auditorium and the Avalon Ballroom, as well as for free in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park with the Jefferson Air-plane and other area bands.
Moving into 710 Ashbury Street in the heart of the Haight-Ashbury district in June 1966, the Grateful Dead recorded a single for the local Scorpio label before briefly signing with MGM Records, which issued the live albums Vintage Grateful Dead and Historic Dead in the early 1970s. In January 1967, they appeared at the first “Human Be-In” in Golden Gate Park with the Jefferson Airplane and Quicksilver Messenger Service, soon signing with Warner Bros. Records.
Already a huge cult band, the Grateful Dead’s debut album featured Pig Pen’s gruff lead vocals on blues-based material such as “Good Morning, Little School Girl” and “Morning Dew,” as well as group favorites such as “Beat It on Down the Line” and “New, New Mingle wood Blues.” Performing at the Monterey Inter-national Pop Festival in June 1967, the group added percussionist-drummer Mickey Hart in September, thus freeing Lesh from his strictly rhythmic function on bass. The Grateful Dead recorded their second album, Anthem of the Sun, over a six- month period, augmented by keyboardist Tom Constanten. By early 1968, Hart’s father Lenny had become their manager.
The Grateful Dead added Robert Hunter as full-time nonperforming lyricist for 1969’s Aoxomoxoa. It contained several band favorites such as “St. Stephen,” “China Cat Sunflower,” and “Mountains of the Moon,” with lyrics by Hunter. The group performed at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in August and the ill-fated Altamont Speedway affair in December. Also recorded that year was their first official live set, Live Dead, regarded as one of their better live recordings. It featured a 23-minute rendition of “Dark Star” and a rousing version of “Turn on Your Lovelight.”
In 1970, the Grateful Dead dropped their blues- and improvisatory-based approach for a country-flavored, vocally rich, and much simplified sound that resulted in what many consider as the group’s finest two albums, Workingmaris Dead and American Beauty. Indeed, these two albums featured some of Robert Hunter’s most striking efforts as a songwriter. Recorded with the assistance of old associates John Dawson and David Nelson, Workingman’s Dead contained the group’s first (albeit minor) hit, “Uncle John’s Band,” as well as “Easy Wind,” “Casey Jones,” “Cumberland Blues,” and “New Speedway Boogie,” their “official” statement about the December 1969 debacle at Altamont. American Beauty, recorded with the assistance of David Grisman and the New Riders of the Purple Sage, featured Garcia on pedal steel guitar. The album included a number of Grateful Dead classics such as Pig Pen’s “Operator,” Weir and Hunter’s “Sugar Magnolia,” Lesh and Hunter’s “Box of Rain,” and the Hunter-Garcia collaborations “Candyman,” “Ripple,” and “Till the Morning Comes,” as well as “Truckin,”’ the group’s second minor hit and one of their major anthems. Their next Warner Bros, album, entitled simply The Grateful Dead, was a live set. It contained favorites such as “Bertha,” “Wharf Rat,” and “Playing in the Band,” as well as Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried,” John Phillips’s “Me and My Uncle,” and Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.”
By 1970, the remarkably diffuse outside activities of the members of the Grateful Dead had started. While performing and recording with keyboardists Howard Wales and Merl Saunders, Jerry Garcia played sessions for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and the Jefferson Airplane. Garcia also played pedal steel guitar and banjo with Dave Torbert and former associates David Nelson and John “Marmaduke” Dawson in the countrified New Riders of the Purple Sage that spring. He remained with the New Riders into 1971, appearing on their debut Columbia album. The album included “I Don’t Know You,” “Whatcha Gonna Do,” “Henry,” “Dirty Business,” and “All I Ever Wanted,” all written by Dawson. The New Riders of the Purple Sage continued to record for Columbia with Garcia’s replacement, Buddy Cage, through 1975. Their Adventures of Panama Red featured Peter Rowan’s title song and “LonesomeL.A. Cowboy,” and Robert Hunter’s “Kick in the Head.” The New Riders switched to MCA Records in 1975 and A&M Records in 1981. By 1983, Dawson was the only original member in the lineup, yet they continued to tour and record albums into the 1990s.
Mickey Hart quit the Grateful Dead for a solo career in February 1971. During the year, Pig Pen fell ill and seldom toured with the band. He was replaced by keyboardist-vocalist Keith Godchaux in October 1971. In 1972, Garcia and Weir each issued solo albums that served as effective companions to Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty. Garcia played all instruments except drums on Garcia, which included “Sugaree” (a minor hit), “Deal,” and “The Wheel,” with songs credited to Garcia, Hunter, and drummer Bill Kreutzmann. Weir’s Ace, essentially a Grateful Dead album, was recorded with Garcia, Lesh, Kreutzmann, Godchaux, and his vocalist wife Donna. It contained “Walk in the Sunshine” and “Mexicali Blues,” written by Weir and John Barlow, Weir’s own “One More Saturday Night,” and the classic Weir-Hunter collaboration, “Playing in the Band.” Hart’s 1972 Rolling Thunder was recorded with Garcia, Weir, Grace Slick, and Stephen Stills.
The Grateful Dead’s two-month European tour of 1972, with Keith and Donna Godchaux (who had joined in March), yielded the multirecord set Europe 72. The album served as a live compendium of the songs of the Grateful Dead. In addition to featuring songs such as “China Cat Sunflower,” “Sugar Magnolia,” and “Truckin,”’ the album introduced “Jack Straw,” “Tennessee Jed,” “Ramble on Rose,” and “Brown-Eyed Woman.” The album proved a best-seller, remaining on the album charts for nearly six months. However, “Pig Pen” died of liver failure on March 8, 1973, at the age of 27.
In 1973, the Grateful Dead financed the establishment of their own independent record label, Grateful Dead Records. The label’s first release, Wake of the Flood, contained more Hunter-Garcia songs such as “Row Jimmy,” “Stella Blue,” and “Mississippi Half- Step,” as well as “Weather Report Suite,” written, in part, with folk singer Eric Andersen. The following year, Round Records was founded for outside recordings by members of the group. By May, Round Records had issued Garcia’s second solo album, with Peter Rowan’s “Mississippi Moon” and Doctor John’s “What Goes Around,” and Robert Hunter’s first, Tales of the Great Rum Runners, which included “It Must Have Been the Roses” and “Keys to the Rain.”
During 1973 and 1974, the bluegrass aggregation Old and in the Way played around the San Francisco Bay Area. Comprising Jerry Garcia (banjo), Peter Rowan (guitar), David Grisman (mandolin), Vassar Clements (fiddle), and John Kahn (bass), the group recorded Old and in the Way for Round Records in October 1973. A modern bluegrass classic and one of Garcia’s most successful endeavors, the album included Peter Rowan’s “Land of the Navajo,” “Midnight Moonlight,” and “Panama Red.” A second and third volume were issued in 1996 and 1997, respectively.
During 1974, the Grateful Dead utilized a massive $400,000 state-of-the-art sound system that emitted a loud, clear, and clean sound, rather than the usual distorted, bone-crushing noise normally associated with such a powerful system. That June, the group issued Live from Mars Hotel, which featured “U.S. Blues,” “Unbroken Chain,” “China Doll,” and the Dead classic “Ship of Fools.” Following a European tour, the Grateful Dead played five consecutive nights at San Francisco’s Winterland in October before “retiring” from live performance for over a year. The shows later yielded the poorly mixed and poorly received Steal Your Face album. Filmed by seven camera crews, edited performances from this run were eventually released in film form in June 1977 as The Grateful Dead Movie.
In 1975, Round Records issued the Godchaux’s Keith and Donna, Seastones (by Phil Lesh and composer-synthesizer wizard Ned Lagin), and Robert Hunter’s Tiger Rose. Bob Weir assisted in the recording of the debut Round album by Kingfish, formed by Dave Torbert, a former member of the New Riders of the Purple Sage. In 1976, Round issued Diga by The Diga Rhythm Band, featuring Mickey Hart and tabla player Zakir Hussain, and Garcia’s third solo album Reflections, again essentially a Grateful Dead album, which featured Hunter’s “It Must Have Been the Roses”
In June 1975, the Grateful Dead signed an agreement with United Artists for worldwide distribution of both Round and Grateful Dead Records. With the return of percussionist Mickey Hart, the Grateful Dead recorded Blues for Allah, a decidedly jazz-oriented venture that included the minor hit “The Music Never Stopped,” by Weir and John Barlow, and the Hunter-Garcia-Kreutzmann collaboration “Franklin’s Tower.” In 1977, the Grateful Dead switched to Arista Records for a series of commercially oriented albums. For the first time, they used an outside producer, Keith Olsen of Fleetwood Mac fame, for Terrapin Station. Prominently featuring horns, strings, and vocal choruses, the album included “Estimated Prophet,” “Samson and Delilah,” and the extended cut “Terrapin.”
Bob Weir’s Heaven Help the Fool, produced by Olsen and recorded with guitarist Bobby Cochran and keyboardist Brent Mydland, was issued on Arista in early 1978, yielding the minor hit “Bombs Away.” Soon thereafter, the Jerry Garcia Group’s Cats under the Stars was released on Arista, again showcasing the lyrics of Robert Hunter. In September, the Grateful Dead spent $500,000 to ship 25 tons of equipment to Egypt so they could play at the foot of the Great Pyramids in a benefit performance for the Egyptian Dept. of Antiquities and the Faith and Hope Society, a charitable organization. Before year’s end, the group’s Shakedown Street was issued. Produced by Lowell George of Little Feat, the album evinced a sophisticated, almost discofied sound, as did Go to Heaven, produced by Gary Lyons. It included “Feel Like a Stranger” and “Althea,” and yielded a minor hit with the Garcia-Hunter composition “Alabama Getaway.”
In February 1979, Keith and Donna Godchaux left the Grateful Dead to pursue solo projects. Keith was replaced in April by keyboardist Brent Mydland, a former touring and recording partner of Bob Weir. Godchaux died on July 23, 1980, in Ross, Calif., of injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident two days prior.
Mickey Hart scored, in part, the music for the epic yet equivocal 1979 Vietnam War movie Apocalypse Now. Other recordings that were not used in the film (featuring exotic percussion instruments from Hart’s extensive collection) surfaced in late 1980 as The Rhythm Devils Play River Music. Bobby and the Midnites, fronted by Bob Weir, debuted in June 1980 and signed with Arista Records. With guitarist Bobby Cochran, Dead keyboardist Brent Mydland, and jazz fusion drummer Billy Cobham, the group recorded two albums and toured through 1984. In 1981, the Grateful Dead issued two live sets, the acoustic Reckoning and the electric Dead Set, recorded in October 1980.
The Grateful Dead concentrated on live performing during the 1980s, as Jerry Garcia slipped into heroin addiction. By the mid-1980s, they had become one of the top-grossing touring rock acts and expanded their audience to a new, youthful generation of fans. During this time, Garcia recorded Run for the Roses, Weir recorded a second album with Bobby and the Midnites, and Hart recorded Dafos with percussionist Airto Moreira and vocalist Flora Purim. For a time, Robert Hunter performed in the Dinosaurs with Barry Melton, John Cipollina, Peter Albin, and Spencer Dryden, all veterans of psychedelic San Francisco bands. In July 1986, Jerry Garcia nearly died after collapsing in a diabetic coma. The Grateful Dead resumed touring in December, and Garcia and friends staged a three-week run at N.Y.’s Lunt-Fontaine Theater in October 1987 with “Garcia on Broadway.”
The Grateful Dead emerged spectacularly in 1987. Their first studio album in seven years, In the Dark, was hailed as perhaps their best work since Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty. It contained Weir’s “Throwing Stones” and Mydland’s “Tons of Steels,” and yielded their first major hit with “Touch of Grey.” The engaging MTV video of the song helped introduce them to a whole new generation of fans. They performed with Bob Dylan at six concerts in June, and recordings from the shows were issued in early 1989. Later that year, Rolling Stone magazine declared the Grateful Dead the single most successful touring band in rock history.
In 1984, the Grateful Dead set up the nonprofit philanthropic Rex Foundation to oversee contributions to environmental lobbies, social causes, and private ventures. By 1993, the organization had distributed over $4 million. The group’s Sept. 24, 1988, concert at Madison Square Garden in N.Y. heralded their commitment to the issue of rain forest preservation, raising $500,000 for Cultural Survival, Greenpeace, and the Rainforest Action Network. In 1993, the Grateful Dead contributed about one-half of the cost of a liver transplant for legendary poster artist Stanley Mouse, who, with Alton Kelley, created the Grateful Dead skull-and-roses logo.
On July 26, 1990, keyboardist Brent Mydland was found dead of a drug overdose in his Lafayette, Calif., home. He was replaced temporarily by Bruce Hornsby and permanently by Vince Welnick of the Tubes in September 1990.
At the beginning of the 1990s, the Grateful Dead began releasing vintage live material on their own label, available only through mail-order. In 1991, they were honored with Deadicated, a benefit album of their songs by such artists as Los Lobos, Midnight Oil, Elvis Costello, Jane’s Addiction, Dr. John, and Lyle Lovett. The Grateful Dead became the top concert attraction of 1991 and 1993. In 1992, The Grateful Dead had canceled an 18-date East Coast tour when Jerry Garcia was reported suffering from “exhaustion.” He subsequently adopted a new vegetarian diet and initiated weight loss and exercise programs that improved his health significantly. In 1993, Grateful Dead Merchandising began issuing live material assembled by Grateful Dead archivist Dick Latvala as Dick’s Picks. The Grateful Dead were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
During the 1980s, Mickey Hart had immersed him-self in the music of non- Western cultures and initiated a study of the myth and meaning of drumming. He presented and recorded the chants of Gyuto Tibetan Buddhist Monks, released in 1987, and produced albums by Babatunde Olatunji and Kitaro. In 1988, he released six discs of exotic music on Rykodisc as The World. The recordings included Sudanese folk music, traditional Jewish music, and the music of Egypt and India. Recognized as one of the world’s leading ethnomusicologist by the late 1980s, Hart supervised the transfer of the entire catalog of Folkways Records to CD for the Smithsonian Inst. In the 1990s, his drum studies produced two books, Drumming at the Edge of Magic, a chronicle of his personal quest, and Planet Drum, a collection of world drum lore and legend. Each of the books had a companion CD, released on Rykodisc. Bob Weir also became an author in the 1990s, writing two children’s books with his sister Wendy.
During the 1990s Jerry Garcia recorded Blues from the Rainforest with keyboardist Merl Saunders and accompanied David Grisman for “beat” wordsmith Ken Nordine’s Devout Catalyst. He also performed and recorded with mandolinist Grisman and his own band, while continuing to perform with the Grateful Dead. He died unexpectedly on Aug. 9, 1995, in a Forest Knolls, Calif., treatment facility at the age of 53. After four agonizing months, the remaining members of the Grateful Dead officially disbanded the group.
During 1996, a number of Grateful Dead tribute albums were released, including Fire on the Mountain (by reggae artists such as the Wailing Soul, Toots Hibbert, and Steel Pulse), Long Live the Dead (by country artists Billy and Terry Smith), and jazz saxophonist David Murray’s Dark Star. Before Garcia’s death, Grateful Dead keyboard technician Bob Bralove had formed Second Sight with Vince Welnick, guitarist Henry Kaiser, and others, releasing an album on Shanachie Records. Also in 1995, Bob Weir had formed Ratdog with Welnick, harmonica player Matthew Kelly (from Kingfish), bassist Rob Wasserman, and drummer Jay Lane. Bill Kreutzmann moved to Kauai, where he formed the trio Backbone with guitarist-vocalist Rick Barnett and bassist Edd Cook. Mickey Hart became the first former member of the Grateful Dead to release an album of his own, Mickey Hart’s Mystery Box, recorded with Weir, Bruce Hornsby, percussionists Airto Moreira and Zakir Hussain (among others), and the female vocal sextet the Mint Juleps, with lyrics by Robert Hunter.
Former members of the Grateful Dead launched the Furthur Festival in the summer of 1996, with Mickey Hart’s Mystery Box and Bob Weir’s Ratdog. By then Ratdog included Weir, Kelly, Wasserman, and Chuck Berry’s longtime pianist Johnnie Johnson. That year, Vince Welnick formed the Missing Man Formation with guitarist Steve Kimock, bassist Bobby Vega, and former Tubes and Starship drummer Prairie Prince, releasing their debut album on Arista Records in 1998. The 1998 Furthur Festival tour featured the Other Ones, with Weir, Hart, Kimock, Phil Lesh, Bruce Hornsby, and saxophonist Dave Ellis, among others.
The Grateful Dead (1967); Anthem of the Sun (1968); Aoxomoxoa (1969); Live/Dead (1969); Workingman’s Dead (1970); American Beauty (1970); Vintage Dead (rec. 1966; rel. 1970); Historic Dead (rec. 1966; rel. 1971); The Grateful Dead (1971); Europe 72 (1972); Wake of the Flood (1973); History of the Grateful Dead—Bear’s Choice (rec. Feb. 1970; rel. 1973); From the Mars Hotel (1974); Blues for Allah (1975); Steal Your Face (rec. 1974; rel. 1976); Terrapin Station (1977); Shakedown Street (1978); Go to Heaven (1980); Reckoning (rec. 1980; rel. 1981); Dead Set (rec. 1980; rel. 1981); Reckoning (1986); In the Dark (1987); Built to Last (1989); Without a Net (rec. 1989, 1990; rel. 1990); One from the Vault (rec. 1975; rel. 1991); Infrared Roses (1991); Two from the Vault (rec. 1968; rel. 1992); Dick’s Picks Vol. 1 (rec. 1973; rel. 1993); Dick’s Picks Vol. 2 (rec. 1971; rel. 1994); Dick’s Picks Vol. 3 (rec. 1977; rel. 1995); Hundred “Year Hall (rec. 1972; rel. 1995); Dozin’ at the Knick (rec. 1990; rel. 1996); Dick’s Picks Vol. 4 (rec. 1970; rel. 1996); Dick’s Picks Vol. 5 (rec. 1979; rel. 1996); Dick’s Picks Vol. 6 (rec. 1983; rel. 1996); Dick’s Picks Vol. 7 (rec. 1974; rel. 1997); Fallout from the Phil Zone (1997); Fillmore East (rec. 1969; rel. 1997); Fallout from the Phil Zone (rec. 1969-95; rel. 1997); Dick’s Picks Vol. 8 (rec. 1970; rel. 1997); Dick’s Picks Vol. 9 (rec. 1990; rel. 1997); Dick’s Picks Vol. 10 (rec. 1977; rel. 1998). The Grateful Dead/John Oswald: Gray folded (1995). BOB DYLAN AND THE GRATEFUL DEAD: Dylan and the Dead (rec. 1987; rel. 1988). JERRY GARCIA AND HOWARD WALES: Hooteroll (1971). JERRY GARCIA : Garcia (1972); Compliments of Garcia (1974); Reflections (1976); Almost Acoustic (1988); Cats Under the Stars (1978); Run for the Roses (1982). JERRY GARCIA BAND : Jerry Garcia Band (1991); How Sweet It Is (1997). JERRY GARCIA AND MERL SAUNDERS : Live at the Keystone (1973); Live at the Keystone, Vol. 1 (1988); Live at the Keystone, Vol. 2 (1988); Keystone Encores, Vol. 1 (1988); Keystone Encores, Vol. 2 (1988); Blues from the Rainforest (1991). OLD AND IN THE WAY: Old and in the Way (1974); That High Lonesome Sound (1996); Breakdown (1997). JERRY GARCIA AND DAVID GRISMAN : Garcia/Grisman (1991); Not for Kids Only (1993); Shady Grove (1996). KEN NORDINE, JERRY GARCIA, AND DAVID GRISMAN : Devout Catalyst (1992). BOB WEIR: Ace (1972); Heaven Help the Fool (1978). BOBBY AND THE MIDNITES : Bobby and the Midnites (1981); Where the Beat Meets the Street (1984). MATTHEW KELLY : A Wing and a Prayer (rec. 1973; rel. 1985). KINGFISH : In Concert (rec. 1976; rel. 1996); Kingfish (1976); Live ’ri Kickin’ (1977); Live at the Roxy (1981); Alive in ’85 (1985); A Wing and a Prayer (1986); A Night in New York (rec. 1977; rel. 1997); Relix’s Best of Kingfish (1997). MICKEY HART: Rolling Thunder (1972); Diga (with the Diga Rhythm Band; 1976); Music to Be Born By (1989); At the Edge (1990); Planet Drum (1991); Mickey Hart’s Mystery Box (1996); Supralingua (1998). THE RHYTHM DEVILS: Play River Music (1980); The Apocalypse Now Sessions (1989). MICKEY HART, AIRTO, AND FLORA PURIM : Dafos (rec. 1982,1983; rel. 1989). MICKEY HART, HENRY WOLFF, AND NANCY HENNINGS : Yamantaka (1983). ROBERT HUNTER : Tales of the Great Rum Runners (1974); Tiger Rose (1975); Jack O’ Roses (1979); Amagamalin Street (1984); Rock (1984); The Flight of the Marie Helena (1985); Liberty (1987); Promontory Rider (1989); A Box of Rain: Live (1990); Sentinel (poetry; 1993). KEITH AND DONNA GODCHAUX : Keith and Donna (1975). PHILLESH AND NED LAGIN : Seastones (1975). SILVER (WITH BRENT MYDLAND) : Silver (1975). SECOND SIGHT (WITH VINCE WELNICK AND BOB BRAL OVE): Second Sight (1996). VINCE WELNICK AND THE MISSING MAN FORMATION : Vince Welnick and the Missing Man Formation (1998). BACKBONE (WITH BILL KREUTZMANN) : Backbone (1998).
Mickey Hart, with Jay Stevens and Frederic Lieberman, Drumming at the Edge of Magic: A Journey into the Spirit of Percussion (San Francisco, 1990); Robert Hunter, A Box of Rain (N.Y., 1990); Mickey Hart, and Frederic Lieberman, with D.A. Sonneborn, Planet Drum: A Celebration of Percussion and Rhythm (N.Y., 1991); Bob and Wendy Weir, Panther Dream (N.Y., 1991); Jerry Garcia, Paintings, Drawings and Sketches (Berkeley, Calif., 1992); Bob and Wendy Weir, Bam Bay, Australia (N.Y., 1995).
Charles Reich and Jann Wenner, Garcia: A Signpost to New Space (San Francisco, 1972); Hank Harrison, The Dead Book: A Social History of the G.D. (N.Y., 1973); Hank Harrison, The Dead (Millbrae, Calif., 1980); Paul Grushkin, Cynthia Bassett, and Jonas Grushkin, G.D.: The Official Book of the Dead Heads (N.Y, 1983); Blair Jackson, G.D.: The Music Never Stopped (London, 1983); Jerilyn Lee Brandelius, G.D. Family Album (N.Y, 1989); Herb Greene, Book of the Dead: Celebrating 25 Years with the G.D.(N.Y, 1990); Hank Harrison, The Dead: A Social History of the Haight-Ashbury Experience (San Francisco, 1990); Jamie Jensen, G.D.; Built to Last: Twenty-Five Years of the G.D. (N.Y, 1990); William Ruhlmann, The History of the G.D. (N.Y, 1990); David Cans and Peter Simon, Conversation with The Dead: The G.D. Interview Book (Secaucus, N.J., 1991); Sandy Troy, One More Saturday Night: Reflections with the G.D. Family and Dead Heads(N.Y, 1991); Tom Constanten, Between Rock and Hard Places: A Musical Autobiodyssey (Eugene, Ore., 1992); Blair Jackson, Coin’ Down the Road: A G.D. Traveling Companion (N.Y, 1992); David Shenk and Steve Silberman, Skeleton Key: A Dictionary for Deadheads (N.Y, 1994); Sandy Troy, Captain Trips: A Biography of Jerry Garcia (N.Y, 1994); David Cans and Peter Simon, Playing in the Band: An Oral and Visual Portrait of the G.D. (N.Y, 1985,1996); Robert Greenfield, Dark Star: An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia(N.Y, 1996); Rocky Scully with David Dalton, Living with the Dead: Twenty Years on the Bus with Garcia and the G.D. (Boston, 1996); David G. Dodd and Robert G. Weiner, The G.D. and the Deadheads: An Annotated Bibliography (Westport, Conn., 1997); Oliver Trager, The American Book of the Dead: The Definitive Encyclopedia of the G.D. (N.Y, 1997); Eric Wybenga, Dead to the Core: An Almanac of the G.D. (N.Y, 1997); Carol Brightman, Sweet Chaos: The G.D.’s American Adventure (N.Y, 1998).
Grateful Dead, The
THE GRATEFUL DEAD
Members: Jerry Garcia, guitar, vocals (Jerome John Garcia, born San Francisco, California, 1 August 1942; died Forest Knolls, California, 9 August 1995); Michael "Mickey" Hart, drums (born Brooklyn, New York, 11 September 1943); William "Bill" Kreutzmann, drums (born Palo Alto, California, 7 June 1946); Phil Lesh, bass (Philip Chapman, born Berkeley, California, 15 March 1940); Bob Weir, guitar, vocals (Robert Hall, born San Francisco, California, 16 October 1947); Vincent Leo "Vince" Welnick, keyboards (born Phoenix, Arizona, 21 February 1951). Former members: Tom Constanten, keyboards (Thomas Charles Sture Hills, born Long Branch, New Jersey, 19 March 1949); Donna Godchaux, vocals (born San Francisco, California, 22 August 1947); Keith Godchaux, keyboards (born San Francisco, California, 19 July 1948; died Marin County, California, 22 July 1980); Ronald C. "Pigpen" McKernan, keyboards, vocals, harmonica (born San Bruno, California, 8 September 1946; died Corte Madera, California, 8 March 1973); Brent Mydland, keyboards (born Munich, West Germany, 21 October 1952; died Lafayette, California, 26 July 1990).
The Grateful Dead was the longest-running major American rock act that came to prominence in the 1960s and performed continuously throughout its three-decade career. Only the death of its unofficial leader, Jerry Garcia, in 1995 succeeded in pulling the plug on the thirty-year party that the band had hosted with its legions of followers—called "Deadheads"—virtually nonstop since late 1965.
Origins, Acid Tests, and Early Recordings
In 1963 bluegrass banjo and guitar player Jerry Garcia, blues vocalist and harmonica player Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, and washtub bass and jug blower Bob Weir formed Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions in East Palo Alto, California. Constantly recruiting new players, the group was looking to be more improvisational and spontaneous than the highly structured and formulaic bluegrass San Francisco Bay area bands of the era. Group attitudes and early attempts at lyrics were influenced by the cynicism of the poets and authors of the 1950s Beat generation that were still hanging around San Francisco clubs. After the British Invasion of 1964, however, McKernan suggested that the acoustic band should go electric and get a rhythm section. Both Garcia and Weir picked up electric guitars, McKernan obtained a portable electronic organ, and drummer Bill Kreutzmann and an electric bassist were added. When the original bass player did not work out, Garcia friend and avant-garde composer Phil Lesh was recruited for the spot. Called the Warlocks until Lesh discovered that another band was already using the name, some early demos were recorded under the name Emergency Crew; the name Grateful Dead was found by Garcia in a dictionary.
Having moved into a single house in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, the group was introduced to the hallucinogenic powers of LSD (lysergic acid diethyl amide) by author friend Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, as his party group was known. Early Grateful Dead appearances were as a house band for Kesey's infamous "acid test" challenges, where audience members were encouraged—along with the band, of course—to share a common exploration of "inner space" together. This psychedelic phenomenon peaked in early 1966 with an audience of five thousand tripping along with the Dead and other Bay area acts at the Trips Festival. Such spectacles helped contribute to LSD's becoming illegal, however, and by late 1966 whatever official or unofficial acid tests might accompany future Dead gigs were left unspoken.
A Warner Bros. record executive heard the group in San Francisco and persuaded it to come down to Los Angeles to record its first album, The Grateful Dead (1967). Recorded in three days with the band nervous and away from home, the record failed to convey the full sense of wonder and excitement that accompanied the group's live performances. This, in fact, would be a common observation from the band and from Deadheads throughout its long career, which is why there is such an uneven ratio of "live" over studio Dead albums. An audience was not simply a sounding board for the Dead: It was the synergistic component necessary for completing its improvisational sound sculptures. The group's second effort, Anthem of the Sun (1968), was a collage of studio and live performances and by Live Dead (1969), the entire album was recorded live, a rare occurrence at the time.
Personnel Changes and Band Losses
In late 1967, Garcia friend and Beat generation poet Robert Hunter began collaborating with Garcia on lyrics and Kreutzmann drummer and percussionist friend Mickey Hart sat in with the band and was added to the lineup. Hunter's lyrics gave Garcia's music a profundity and introspection that had been lacking and Hart's presence added a polyrhythmic vitality and groove to the Dead sound. Lesh composer and pianist friend Tom Constanten was brought into the lineup in 1968, playing John Cage–inspired prepared piano and adding other avant-garde touches until his 1970 departure, when keyboardist Keith Godchaux and his wife and vocalist Donna joined the band. The Dead's best-known studio albums of the time—Workingman's Dead and American Beauty (both 1970)—saw a return to acoustic instruments and brought a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sense of vocal harmonization to such highly polished and radio-friendly songs as "Uncle John's Band" and "Truckin'" that would become timeless band classics.
By the time of the Dead's first tour of Europe that would be documented on the three-disc Europe '72 (1972) set, McKernan's alcohol abuse was catching up with him, and his participation was limited; he would die of a stomach hemorrhage in 1973 at age twenty-six, the band releasing History of the Grateful Dead, Vol. 1 (Bear's Choice) (1973) in his memory. Meanwhile, Hart had departed from the band in 1971 in embarrassment after his father, who upon his son's recommendation became the band's business manager, disappeared to Mexico with a large Dead recording company advance; Hart would return in 1974.
The formation of Grateful Dead Records in 1973 was a group attempt to have more artistic control over its recorded product, but the experiment was a financial disaster and in 1975 the company needed to be bailed out by United Artists. The Dead signed with Arista Records in 1977, but stopped recording altogether in 1980 after being dissatisfied with Arista's overproducing and under-marketing of Terrapin Station (1977), Shakedown Street (1978), and Go to Heaven (1980). The Godchauxs were planning to leave the Dead in 1980 when Keith Godchaux was killed in a car accident and was replaced by German keyboardist Brent Mydland. Garcia's health was also deteriorating with increased substance abuse, and when he fell into a diabetic coma in 1986, there seemed little hope of his emerging. When he did, Garcia was able to recover and put his near-death experience into perspective with "Touch of Grey," recorded for In the Dark (1987), the first new Dead album in seven years. "Touch of Grey" became the Dead's first-ever Top 10 single, and In the Dark the best-selling album of its long career. By 1991 the Dead had become—to its own amazement as well as that of industry observers—the highest-grossing touring attraction in the music business. After twenty-two years, the Dead had finally become something it never had been before: mainstream.
Following in the footsteps of McKernan and Keith Godchaux, Mydland became the third Dead keyboardist to die prematurely when he was found dead in his home from a drug overdose in July 1990. Bruce Hornsby sat in for gigs as he was able, but it was Vince Welnick, keyboardist for the Tubes, who would join the band later that year and remain with the Dead for the final five years of its existence.
The End of an Era
Garcia himself would continue to experience health problems in the early 1990s, but Deadheads had become used to this by now. When Garcia could not make it to the band's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, the group brought along a cardboard cutout of him to stand alongside band members while they accepted the award, and even for the extended jam session that followed. By the record-breaking hot summer of 1995, the Dead were getting more media attention for the raucous behavior of Deadheads than for Garcia's health. Traffic jams and halted highways had always been routine accompaniments to Dead concerts, but when three thousand ticketless fans crashed the gate of a concert in Indiana and caused a riot, the band posted a scolding message on its Internet site and cancelled its next day's show at the same venue in protest of the behavior. After performing what would be its final concert on July 9, 1995, at Soldier Field, Chicago, the group took a hiatus while Garcia went to a rehabilitation center in Forest Knolls, California. It was there that Garcia was found dead in his room on August 9, 1995, having celebrated his fifty-third birthday just days before; the cause of death was heart failure.
The standard line that was used in reporting Garcia's death was the much overused yet apt cliché that it represented "the end of an era." Such insights would be expected from MTV and Rolling Stone, but it was unprecedented to see CNN offer hours of coverage of a rock performer's death and to see veteran network news anchors pontificating about that performer's "cultural significance." Surviving band members reminded fans that Garcia would have been the first one to say not to read anything into his death, except that people should take better care of themselves. That was the message that President Bill Clinton, a longtime Dead admirer who used to sport Garcia-designed ties, publicly read into the death. Given Garcia's drive to keep playing even in the wake of no less than three band deaths over the years—including that of the group's then-frontman in 1973—it was surprising that surviving group members made a formal announcement in December 1995 that the Grateful Dead would be no more.
Legacy and Future of the Dead
With the Grateful Dead having passed into history, Dead-inspired jam-based bands that had emerged in the 1990s such as the Dave Matthews Band and Phish became more popular than ever. With the Dead's liberal policy of allowing fans to tape record its live shows, die-hard Dead-heads had more recordings to trade and pore over than most could possibly fully absorb in a lifetime. And now that the party really was over, the overall meaning and significance of that party could be pored over in books, documentaries, and recording compilations: The 1960s had finally passed into memory.
With the Grateful Dead, it was never about the music in and of itself; it was music being used as a rallying point for a common experience. What died with Garcia was a thirty-year continuum of a shared experience of musicians and audiences bonding together to be part of something bigger than they were individually. Neither the band nor its legions of followers forgot this aspect of 1960s counterculture, and both became the torchbearers of this ongoing tradition, passing it on to entire new generations of fans as time went on. Encountering the Dead live was, above all, an experience, and an experience that became an obsession for many who had to keep on having it. This remained true right through the band's final 1995 performances in a way that was not true of the handful of 1960s acts that were still performing in the 1990s. The Rolling Stones, for instance, toured infrequently even into the 1990s, and always needed a new album to promote to do so. Even so, the big hits were the bread and butter of these tours, and most went to see the Stones for nostalgia. Audiences would look back, with fondness and a smile, at a time when they were young and happy, and then most would go back home to the present. Not Deadheads. They were not recalling anything: Most had never left the 1960s. Many still had lava lamps and colored light organs, black lights and bell-bottoms tucked away, along with rubber bands and blocks of dye.
In 1998 surviving Dead members Lesh, Weir, and Hart, along with keyboardist Hornsby, saxophonist Dave Ellis, and guitarists Mark Karan and Steve Kimock, made appearances billed as the Other Ones. A double live CD called The Strange Remain (1999) was subsequently released, which includes favorites from the Dead canon along with five new songs. During the summer of 2002, Lesh, Weir, Hart, and Kreutzmann reunited for two concerts in Wisconsin along with guitarist Jimmy Herring and keyboardists Rob Barraco and Jeff Chimenti. Called "Terrapin Station: A Grateful Dead Family Reunion," thirty thousand fans descended on the event. That success saw the group embark on a national tour of seventeen venues during the late fall of 2002. The enthusiastic response from Deadheads and the media was so overwhelming that the band announced it would re-form on a permanent basis. After a seven-year hiatus, however, and without Garcia, it would not be called the Grateful Dead; henceforth, the group would be formally known by the nickname that had been applied to it for years: the Dead.
Built to Last (Arista, 1989); Without a Net (Arista, 1990); Steal Your Face (Arista re-release, 1990); Terrapin Station (Arista re-release, 1990); Shakedown Street (Arista re-release, 1990); Go to Heaven (Arista re-release, 1990); In the Dark (Arista re-release, 1990); Reckoning (Arista re-release, 1990); Wake of the Flood (Arista re-release, 1995); Grateful Dead from the Mars Hotel (Arista re-release, 1995); Blues for Allah (Arista re-release, 1995); Infrared Roses (Arista re-release, 1995); Dozin' at the Knick (Arista, 1996); Dick's Picks, Vol. 9: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, 9/16/90 (Arista, 1997); Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions (Grateful Dead Records, 1999); So Many Roads (1965–1995) (Arista, 1999); Dick's Picks, Vol. 17: Boston Garden, Boston, MA, 9/25/91 (Arista, 2000); View from the Vault (Grateful Dead Records, 2000); Ladies and Gentlemen . . . The Grateful Dead: Fillmore East New York April 1971 (Arista, 2000); View from the Vault II (Grateful Dead Records, 2001); Grateful Dead: The Golden Road (1965–1973). (Warner Bros./Rhino, 2001); Steppin' Out with the Grateful Dead: England '72 (Arista, 2002); Go to Nassau (Arista, 2002); Postcards of the Edge: Grateful Dead Perform the Songs of Bob Dylan (Arista, 2002); Birth of the Dead (Rhino, 2003); The Grateful Dead (Warner Bros./Rhino re-release, 2003); Anthem of the Sun (Warner Bros./Rhino re-release, 2003); Aoxomoxoa (Warner Bros./Rhino re-release, 2003); Live Dead (Warner Bros./Rhino re-release, 2003); Working-man's Dead (Warner Bros./Rhino re-release, 2003); American Beauty (Warner Bros./Rhino re-release, 2003); Grateful Dead (Skull and Roses) (Warner Bros./Rhino re-release, 2003); Europe '72 (Warner Bros./Rhino re-release, 2003); History of the Grateful Dead, Vol. 1 (Bear's Choice) (Warner Bros./Rhino re-release, 2003).
D. Brook, The Book of the Dead (London, 1972); H. Harrison, The Dead Book (New York, 1973); B. Jackson, Grateful Dead: The Music Never Stopped (New York, 1983); P. and J. Grushkin, C. Bassett, Grateful Dead: The Official Book of the Deadheads (New York, 1983); D. Shank and S. Silberman, Skeleton Key: A Dictionary for Deadheads (New York, 1994); M. M. Getz and J. R. Dwork, The Deadhead's Taping Compendium (New York, 1998); M. M. Getz and J. R. Dwork, The Deadhead's Taping Compendium, Volume II (New York, 1999); S. Peters, What a Long, Strange Trip: The Stories Behind Every Grateful Dead Song 1965–1995 (Berkeley, CA, 1999); M. M. Getz and J. R. Dwork, The Deadhead's Taping Compendium, Volume III (New York, 2000); D. Gans, Conversations with the Dead: The Grateful Dead Interview Book (New York, 2002); D. McNally, A Long, Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead (New York, 2002); D. McNally, Grateful Dead: The Illustrated Trip (New York, 2003).
Grateful Dead, The
The Grateful Dead, American rock music group formed in 1965 by guitarists Jerry Garcia, 1942–95, and Bob Weir, 1947–, harmonica player Ron Pigpen McKernan, 1945–73, bassist Phil Lesh, 1940–, and drummer Bill Kreutzmann, 1946–; later members included keyboardists Keith Godchaux, 1947–80, and Brent Mydland, 1953–90, and, on and off, drummer Mickey Hart, 1950–. One of the formative acid-rock bands, the Grateful Dead became known in San Francisco as the house band for author Ken Kesey's LSD
They altered rock music by incorporating into their sound elements of country music, bluegrass, and blues. The band's most important recordings (Anthem for the Sun, 1968; Workingman's Dead, 1970; American Beauty, 1971) were made before 1972; thereafter they sustained their reputation through extensive concert tours. The remaining members of the Grateful Dead disbanded in 1995 following Garcia's death, but toured as the Other Ones in 2002 and as, simply, the Dead (with the addition of Jimmy Herring) beginning in 2003. The group is also noted for their ardent fans, or
who strive to preserve the communitarian spirit associated with the band's origins in the 1960s counterculture.
See R. Greenfield, Dark Star: An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia (1996); C. Brightman, Sweet Chaos: The Grateful Dead's American Adventure (1999); B. Jackson, Garcia: An American Life (1999); S. Peters, What a Long, Strange Trip (1999); R. G. Adams, ed., Deadhead Social Science (2000); D. McNally, A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead (2002); P. Lesh, Searching for the Sound: My Life with the Grateful Dead (2005).