Portal:Grateful Dead

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Grateful Dead at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, October 9, 1980
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The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The band was known for its unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country, jazz, psychedelia, and space rock as well as live performances of long musical improvisation. "Their music," writes Lenny Kaye, "touches on ground that most other groups don't even know exists."

The fans of the Grateful Dead, some of whom followed the band from concert to concert for years, are known as "Deadheads" and are known for their dedication to the band's music. Many referred to the band simply as "the Dead."

The Grateful Dead's musical influences varied widely; in concert recordings or on record albums one can hear psychedelic rock, blues, rock and roll, country & western, bluegrass, country-rock, and improvisational jazz. These various influences were distilled into a diverse and psychedelic whole that made the Grateful Dead "the pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world." They were ranked 55th in the issue The Greatest Artists of all Time by Rolling Stone.

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Phil Lesh & Bob Weir, The Dead, June 17, 2003.jpg

Phil Lesh and Bob Weir of The Dead performing on June 17, 2003

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Workingman's Dead is the fourth studio album by the Grateful Dead. It was recorded in February 1970 and originally released on June 14, 1970. In 2003, the album was ranked number 262 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

The album was reissued in 2003 in three different ways; as part of the The Golden Road (1965-1973) 12-CD box set, as a remastered and expanded CD, and as a DVD-audio release. The first two contain eight exclusive tracks not found on the original 1970 release while the latter contains just the original tracks rendered in DVD-audio.

The title of the album comes from a comment from Jerry Garcia to lyricist Robert Hunter about how "this album was turning into the Workingman's Dead version of the band," a play on the fact the band had recently been covering Merle Haggard's song "Workingman's Blues" in concert.

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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.

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Mickey Hart at the Web 2.0 Conference in 2005
Mickey Hart (born Michael Steven Hartman; September 11, 1943) is an American percussionist and musicologist. He is best known as one of the two drummers of the rock band the Grateful Dead. Before joining the Grateful Dead, Mickey Hart and his father, Leonard Hart, a champion rudimental drummer, owned and operated Hart Music, selling drums and musical instruments in San Carlos, California.

Hart joined the Grateful Dead in September 1967, and left in February 1971. During his sabbatical, in 1972, he recorded the album Rolling Thunder. He returned to the Dead in 1974, and remained with the group until their official dissolution in 1995. Collaboration with the remaining members of the Grateful Dead continues, under the band name The Dead. Alongside his work with the Grateful Dead, Mickey Hart has flourished as a solo artist, percussionist, and the author of several books. In these endeavors he has pursued a lifelong interest in ethnomusicology and in world music.

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Behind the stage at Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead at Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California on June 27, 2015

Behind the stage at Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead at Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California on June 27, 2015

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