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THE GRATEFUL DEAD BRIEF BIOGRAPHY
Dead are one of the most famous of all American rock
bands. From Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco, and evolving,
in 1965, out of the bizarrely named Mother McCree's
Uptown Jug Champions, The Dead became mainly known as a
famous psychedelic rock band of the 1960s. But they also
infused psychedelia with a lot of musical genres,
including blues, folk, country, jazz, bluegrass, and rock
'n' roll, and mixed it all together in a unique sound.
The Grateful Dead became renowned for long jams, which
were de rigueur
for a lot of groups from the mid-'60s onwards, including
Cream and Iron Butterfly. Originally more folk
orientated, it was after seeing folk rock stars The
Lovin' Spoonful that The Grateful Dead decided to follow
the likes of Bob Dylan and go electric.
Jerry Garcia's death in 1995 saw the group disbanding, though Weir, Lesh, Kreutzmann, and Hart got together in 2003 as The Dead. Sadly, the remaining members of The Grateful Dead have been embroiled in controversy, regarding trying to stop free internet downloads of their concerts from Archive.Org. Fans retaliated by boycotting official Grateful Dead products, and the concerts were made available again. So there was either a climbdown, or a misunderstanding. The Grateful Dead were a group which actually encouraged fans to tape their music, and were also famous for their free concerts, so were probably the least capitalistic and opportunistic of all the famous rock bands. Yes, they were earning millions of dollars a year at the height of their fame, but they could have earnt a lot more if they had gone down the traditional narcissistic rock star route. Whether this sad state of affairs would have happened with Garcia around is open to question. It made the band look grasping and money-grabbing to some, to others, some old rock stars trying to look after their futures. Whatever the truth, it was a monumental PR disaster.
The Grateful Dead were very famous in the United States, but, surprisingly, weren't so successful in the UK - a country more liberal than most of the states of their homeland. Maybe it was because of their famed, long, rambling concerts - it often helping if The Grateful Dead audience were stoned!
The Dead's place in rock and social history is pretty secure. The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane were probably the two most famous groups to embrace and embody the counter culture of the 1960s.
- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.
* A few months after this article was written, Vince Welnick died at the young age of 55, on June 2nd, 2006... "Vince passed from this earth on 2 June 2006... after a decade of battling tragedy while creating beauty and light around him," said The Dead website at the time.
GRATEFUL DEAD CDs available from booksmusicfilmstv.com - in association with Amazon.co.uk
GRATEFUL DEAD CDs available from booksmusicfilmstv.com - in association with Amazon.com
The Grateful Dead Albums Discography
The Grateful Dead 1967
There has also been three dozen 'Dick's Picks' albums, which were albums made from selected live recordings of The Grateful Dead.
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