The Grateful Dead


The Grateful Dead are viewed by many as the pioneers of Jam music. Emerging in the mid-60's, they became hugely popular for their "different sound," which combined rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, country, jazz, and psychedelic/space rock. Much of their shows involved long segments of improvisation, which came to be known as "jam."

Over time, the Grateful Dead developed a massive counter-cultural following, who referred to themselves as "deadheads." They can be defined by their huge dedication, almost religious in nature, to the Dead, by their smell characterized by a lack of showering (as they would follow the band from show to show without stopping at places to wash themselves), and by their rabid psychedelic drug-usage. The Dead became synonymous with LSD. As one fellow once told me, "You can't really understand the Dead until you've seen them on acid."

In 1995, frontman Jerry Garcia died due to poor health, including diabetes, cocaine and heroin addicition. The Grateful Dead disbanded, and there was widespread mourning throughout the Deadhead community. Years later, band members decided to continue touring as "the Dead," with Warran Haynes from the Allman Brothers in the place of Jerry.

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