Formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Ron McKernan, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmman founded a band that would change the music industry in a dynamic way. They called themselves the Grateful Dead and deemed their ever-growing, loyal fanbase “deadheads.” The band featured many members who came and went, but the fanbase remained loyal because the music being produced by the band was that fantastic. Their main years active were 1967-1995, when the band suffered the loss of the legendary guitar-great Jerry Garcia. After his death, the band took some time off before reuiniting to play their iconic music, but out of respect for the loss of one of the primary founding members, they never again played under the band’s name.
THE MUSIC AND FOLLOWING
If you have ever heard a song by the Grateful Dead, you understand why they had a cult following. Even if you are not a huge Dead fan, you must appreciate and acknowledge the work the band did in quite literally all genres of music. Some of their music has an incredibly country-feel (think “Truckin'” ), while some of their music reflects the rock ‘n’ roll pieces of their time (think “Let it Rock). Regardless of the genre, the band performed the music incredibly well. In addtion to the music, the image put forth by this band pioneered the “psychadelic” movement of the 1970s. The band has several trademark logos, such as the Sugar Skull, the Dancing Bears, the Skeleton with the Flower Crown… The band literally swept the nation with their music and their image.
The reason for the band’s loyal following is rather interesting. The Grateful Dead was one of the first bands to experience “groupies” and the reason for people following them across the nation was that the band never once played the same set. Deadheads went wherever the band went out of fear of them performing a set at their next venue that was better than the one they attended before. I thought that was very cool!
SOME FUN FACTS ABOUT TGD
Guitarist Jerry Garcia was missing 2/3 of his middle finger on his right hand.
Between 1965 and 1995, the band played 2,318 shows.
The famous theme song of the popular TV series “Twilight Zone” was written by the Grateful Dead.
Their hit song “Truckin'” is a United States National Treasure. (Look it up)
AM I A DEADHEAD?
While I do not STAN the band, I am without a doubt a huge fan of theirs and would consider myself to be a deadhead. I don’t understand how someone could listen to their music and NOT enjoy it. It really just has a feel-good vibe about it and always improves my mood.
Their lyrics hold great substance for me. My favorites include:
“There ain’t nothing wrong with the way she moves, or scarlet begonias, or a touch of the blues. There’s nothing wrong with the look that’s in her eyes. I had to learn the hard way to let her pass by.”
“Standing on the moon with nothing else to do- A lovely view of Heaven, but I’d rather be with you.”
“Gone are the days we stopped to decide where we should go- we just ride.”
“I knew without asking- she was into the blues. She wore scarlet begonias tucked into her curls. I knew right away she was not like other girls.”
So yeah. I hope everyone had a great Wednesday!
Love and Light ❤