Artist Biography For Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead Was An American Rock Band Formed In 1965 In Palo Alto California. The Band Is Known For Its Eclectic Style Which Fused Elements Of Rock Folk Country Jazz Bluegrass Blues Gospel And Psychedelic Rock For Live Performances Of Lengthy Instrumental Jams And For Its 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. 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. The Name "Grateful Dead" Was Chosen From A Dictionary. According To Phil Lesh " 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. Live Performances
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. Around Concert Venues An Impromptu Communal Marketplace Known As 'Shakedown Street' Was Created By Deadheads To Serve As Centers Of Activity Where Fans Could Buy And Sell Anything From Grilled Cheese Sandwiches To Home-Made T-Shirts And Recordings Of Grateful Dead Concerts. 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. 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." One Of The Band's Largest Concerts Took Place Just Months Before Garcia's Death — At Their Outdoor Show With Bob Dylan In Highgate Vermont On June 15 1995. The Crowd Was Estimated To Be Over 90 000 Overnight Camping Was Allowed And About A Third Of The Audience Got In Without Having Purchased A Ticket. 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 Improvisations Having Been Described As Having Never Played The Same Song The Same Way Twice. Their Concert Sets Often Blended Songs One Into The Next Often For More Than Three Songs At A Time. Tapes
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 Sound Crew. Eventually This Was Solved By Having A Dedicated Taping Section Located Behind The Soundboard Which Required A Special "tapers" Ticket. The Band Allowed Sharing Of Their Shows As Long As No Profits Were Made On The Sale Of The Tapes. 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. 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.