Portal:Grateful Dead

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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.

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 unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, psychedelia, experimental music, modal jazz, country, folk, bluegrass, blues, gospel, reggae, 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.

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 nonperforming 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.

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Bob Weir Jay Lane RatDog 2009.jpg

Bob Weir and Jay Lane of Ratdog playing at the PNC Bank Arts Center in New Jersey, 2009

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Europe '72 is a 1972 live triple album of performances by the Grateful Dead, recorded during their tour of Western Europe in early 1972. This was the third live double or triple album in the Dead's past five releases, revealing how the group's reputation rested on their live performances. Indeed, the liner notes simply stated: "There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert." The album contained considerable new material in addition to versions of tracks found on previous studio albums.

The tour represented by this album was Ron "Pigpen" McKernan's last with the Dead before he died in 1973, and the last album he would feature on as an active member. It was the first album to feature Keith Godchaux and his wife Donna Jean Godchaux. Originally a triple album on vinyl, Europe '72 was later reissued as a two-disc CD in 1990 and again in 2001 with bonus tracks as part of the band's box set, The Golden Road (1965–1973).

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"Truckin'" is a song by the Grateful Dead, which first appeared on their 1970 album American Beauty. It was recognized by the United States Library of Congress in 1997 as a national treasure.Written by band members Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, and lyricist Robert Hunter, "Truckin'" molds classic Grateful Dead rhythms and instrumentation with lyrics that use the band's misfortunes on the road as a metaphor for getting through the constant changes in life. Its climactic refrain, "What a long, strange trip it's been," has achieved widespread cultural use in the years since the song's release.

"Truckin'" was considered a "catchy shuffle" by the band members. Garcia himself commented that "the early stuff we wrote that we tried to set to music was stiff because it wasn't really meant to be sung ... the result of [lyricist Robert Hunter getting into our touring world], the better he could write ... and the better we could create music around it.

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The Grateful Dead Movie, released in 1977 and directed by Jerry Garcia, is a film that captures performances from the Grateful Dead's October 1974 five-night stand at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. This end-of-tour run marked the beginning of an extended hiatus for the band, with no shows planned for 1975. The movie also faithfully portrays the burgeoning Deadhead scene. The film features the "Wall of Sound" concert sound system that the Dead used for all of 1974.

"There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert" was a saying popular among Deadheads, as the loyal fans of the band are known. During their performances, the Dead valued musical improvisation, jamming extensively, and they changed their set lists nightly. As a result, their music was best appreciated at live concerts. But beyond that, Dead shows generally had a positive, happy atmosphere, as the band and the audience interacted with each other to create a special environment of musical celebration. Capturing this phenomenon on film is the admittedly paradoxical goal of The Grateful Dead Movie.

Selected biography - show another

Jerry Garcia at the Hart Civic Center in New Haven, Connecticut on May 10 1980
Jerome John "Jerry" Garcia (August 1, 1942–August 9, 1995) was an American musician best known for his lead guitar work, singing and songwriting with the band the Grateful Dead. Though he vehemently disavowed the role, Garcia was viewed by many as the leader or "spokesman" of the group.One of its founders, Garcia performed with The Grateful Dead for their entire three-decade career (1965–1995).

Garcia also founded and participated in a variety of side projects, including the Saunders-Garcia Band with longtime friend Merl Saunders, Jerry Garcia Band, Old and in the Way, the Garcia/Grisman acoustic duo, and Legion of Mary. Garcia co-founded the New Riders of the Purple Sage with John Dawson and David Nelson. He also released several solo albums, and contributed to a number of albums by other artists over the years as a session musician.

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