Grateful Dead | Artist

Grateful Dead | Artist

Tags: Era_1960s, Gender_Male, Genre_Country, Genre_Psych, Origin_USA, Type_Artist

The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed 1965 in Palo Alto, California, by original members Jerry Garcia (lead guitar, vocals), Phil Lesh (bass), Bob Weir (guitar, vocals), Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (keyboards, harmonica, vocals) and Bill Kreutzmann (drums). Mickey Hart joined as the second drummer/percussionist in 1967. Poet and lyricist Robert Hunter, who penned many of the Dead's song lyrics, was regarded as an unofficial member of the band. The 'Dead blended psychedelic rock, country, blues and improvisational jamming to become one of the best loved bands from the 1960's. Originally named The Warlocks, the band changed names and played their first show under the new name the Grateful Dead in San Jose on December 4, 1965, at one of Ken Kesey's Acid Tests. Owsley Stanley the so called "Acid King" whose LSD supplied the Tests became the band's financial backer, renting them a house and providing their sound equipment. They soon became one of the central players of the West Coast counter-culture movement, along with bands such as Moby Grape, Quicksilver, Country Joe and Big Brother & The Holding Company. The Dead became famous for their three hour long stoned-out improvisational performances, but despite the looseness of the live playing, the individual band members were all excellent musicians, songwriters and arrangers. Phil Lesh had classical music training and his loping jazzy bass style, coupled with the double drum Kreutzmann/Hart percussion combo, gave the Dead a distinctive rhythmic platform over which Garcia and Weir could weave their guitar and vocal magic. Jerry Garcia, the band's de-facto spokesman, is recognised as one of rock music's greatest guitarists. His style, which eschewed the fire & brimstone of most rock guitar slingers, was much more restrained, intricately weaving melodic threads throughout the Dead's songs, and giving them much of their characteristic sound. The band's first self-titled album was released in 1967 and their final studio album Built to Last was released in 1989. In all they released 13 studio albums, standouts include their run of classic albums between 1969-75: Aoxomoxoa (1969), Workingman's Dead (1970), American Beauty (1970), Wake of the Flood (1973), From The Mars Hotel (1974), and Blues for Allah (1975). Regarding their live works, there is a wealth of material to choose from because, remarkably, every performance the Dead ever did was recorded. Standout live albums include Live/Dead (1969), Grateful Dead [skull and Roses] (1971), and Europe '72 (1972). Jerry Garcia died on August 9th 1995, and the Grateful Dead were finished on that day. Garcia released many excellent solo and collaborative works, as did Bob Weir as a soloist and with his band Kingfish. Mickey Hart also carried on with a successful solo career. 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 centres of activity where fans could buy and sell anything. The Martin Scorsese produced, Amir Bar-Lev directed four-hour documentary film, entitled "Long Strange Trip" was released in 2017.

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Featured Albums: Grateful Dead

Related Artists: Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, New Riders of the Purple Sage

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