History Music / TheGratefulDead

3rd Feb '17 7:56:16 AM MarkLungo
Is there an issue? Send a Message


The Grateful Dead were a six-piece group formed in San Francisco in the [[TheSixties mid-1960s]], best known for their improvisatory style of rock music, taking elements of [[PsychedelicRock psychedelia]], country, folk, blues and whatever else they thought would fit. Essentially, they were the godfathers of the Jam Band genre. They appeared at the now famous Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, and the even more famous original {{Woodstock}} festival in 1969 (however, band members admit they weren't at top form at either festival), and have a reputation for long tours and musically exploratory shows where one song often blends into another.

The line-up was Jerry Garcia (lead guitar), Bob Weir (rhythm guitar), Phil Lesh (bass), Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann (drums - yes, two drummers, folks!) and a succession of keyboardists starting with Ron "Pigpen" [=McKernan=]. Garcia and Weir were the primary vocalists in the group and were as different as night and day; while Garcia had a wispy, almost fragile sounding voice, Weir was best known for some of the group's most raucous rock and roll "shouters" and his fondness for "cowboy songs." Most of the band's songs were collaborations between Garcia and lyricist Robert Hunter, though Weir contributed many as well, particularly with the help of lyricist John Perry Barlow. They also had an enormous library of covers, especially traditional Americana and blues, plus more modern country and rock pieces.

The Dead are probably as famous for their fanbase as they are for their music. The [[FanCommunityNickNames Deadheads]], as they're known, were so dedicated that many of them would follow the band on tour for extended stretches of time, and [[KeepCirculatingTheTapes trade tapes of past concerts]]. This latter practice was encouraged by the group. Since the Dead never worked from a show-to-show set list, trading tapes became to the Deadheads the ideal way to experience the music short of attending a concert live. Compounding this is that many consider the recordings of their songs from the original albums often pale to live versions of the same song, though some albums, notably ''Music/AmericanBeauty'' and ''Workingman's Dead'', are still considered classics. The Dead toured every year of their existence except 1975, drawing millions of fans, both hardcore touring "heads" and casual listeners across the country. In spite of this cult popularity, the Grateful Dead were never quite as famous or mainstream as many of their peers of the period. In 1987, the band scored the sole US Top 40 hit in their long career, "[[BlackSheepHit Touch of Grey]]", a catchy pop tune that had the odd side effect of turning their erstwhile cult into a stadium-filling circus for the rest of their career. This later period was a time of ups and downs, as the band were playing bigger shows than ever, but the influx of new fans led to some unfortunate incidents at shows. Keyboardist Brent Mydland died of a drug overdose, and Garcia's own health and addictions fluctuated wildly.

The band formally dissolved in 1995 in the wake of Jerry Garcia's death, though members will occasionally reunite for special occasions. Culturally, outside of their music, the band's most famous impact is arguably the Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor "Cherry Garcia," the company's best-selling flavor, which was briefly made with black cherries after his passing. Selected songs from their studio albums are also available for download in the video game RockBand (incidentally, several programmers have expressed that Grateful Dead songs in particular are a serious pain to chart).

to:

[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/grateful_dead_1970.png]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Truckin', circa 1970. Left to right: Bill Kreutzmann, Ron "Pigpen" [=McKernan=], Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh.]]

The Grateful Dead were a six-piece group formed in San Francisco UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco in the [[TheSixties mid-1960s]], best known for their improvisatory style of rock music, taking elements of [[PsychedelicRock psychedelia]], country, folk, blues PsychedelicRock, CountryMusic, FolkMusic, {{Blues}} and whatever else they thought would fit. Essentially, they were the godfathers of the Jam Band genre. They appeared at the now famous Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, and the even more famous original {{Woodstock}} festival in 1969 (however, band members admit they weren't at top form at either festival), and have a reputation for long tours and musically exploratory shows where one song often blends into another.

The line-up was Jerry Garcia (lead guitar), Bob Weir (rhythm guitar), Phil Lesh (bass), Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann (drums - yes, two drummers, folks!) and a succession of keyboardists starting with Ron "Pigpen" [=McKernan=]. Garcia and Weir were the primary vocalists in the group and were as different as night and day; while Garcia had a wispy, almost fragile sounding voice, Weir was best known for some of the group's most raucous rock and roll "shouters" and his fondness for "cowboy songs." songs". Most of the band's songs were collaborations between Garcia and lyricist Robert Hunter, though Weir contributed many as well, particularly with the help of lyricist John Perry Barlow. They also had an enormous library of covers, especially traditional Americana and blues, plus more modern country and rock pieces.

The Dead are probably as famous for their fanbase as they are for their music. The [[FanCommunityNickNames Deadheads]], as they're known, were so dedicated that many of them would follow the band on tour for extended stretches of time, and [[KeepCirculatingTheTapes trade tapes of past concerts]]. This latter practice was encouraged by the group. Since the Dead never worked from a show-to-show set list, trading tapes became to the Deadheads the ideal way to experience the music short of attending a concert live. Compounding this is that many consider the recordings of their songs from the original albums often pale to live versions of the same song, though some albums, notably ''Music/AmericanBeauty'' and ''Workingman's Dead'', are still considered classics. The Dead toured every year of their existence except 1975, drawing millions of fans, both hardcore touring "heads" and casual listeners across the country. In spite of this cult popularity, the Grateful Dead were never quite as famous or mainstream as many of their peers of the period. In 1987, the band scored the sole US Top 40 hit in their long career, "[[BlackSheepHit Touch of Grey]]", a catchy pop tune that had the odd side effect of turning their erstwhile cult into a stadium-filling circus for the rest of their career. This later period was a time of ups and downs, as the band were playing bigger shows than ever, but the influx of new fans led to some unfortunate incidents at shows. Keyboardist Brent Mydland died of a drug overdose, and Garcia's own health and addictions fluctuated wildly.

wildly until his [[AuthorExistenceFailure death]] in 1995.

The band formally dissolved in 1995 in the wake of Jerry Garcia's death, demise, though members will occasionally reunite for special occasions. Culturally, outside of their music, the band's most famous impact is arguably the Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor "Cherry Garcia," the company's best-selling flavor, which was briefly made with black cherries after his passing. Selected songs from their studio albums are also available for download in the video game RockBand ''VideoGame/RockBand'' (incidentally, several programmers have expressed that Grateful Dead songs in particular are a serious pain to chart).
20th Jan '17 10:13:26 AM Xtifr
Is there an issue? Send a Message


!!Tropes featured include:

to:

!!Tropes featured include:!! What a long, strange trope it's been:
20th Jan '17 10:12:50 AM Xtifr
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Studio Album Discography

to:

!! Studio Album Discography



Live Albums released during the band's career

to:

!! Live Albums released during the band's career



Notable live albums released after the band's disbandment

to:

!! Notable live albums released after the band's disbandment
4th Dec '16 7:58:13 PM Xtifr
Is there an issue? Send a Message


'''The Grateful Dead''' were a six-piece group formed in San Francisco in the [[TheSixties mid-1960s]], best known for their improvisatory style of rock music, taking elements of [[PsychedelicRock psychedelia]], country, folk, blues and whatever else they thought would fit. Essentially, they were the godfathers of the Jam Band genre. They appeared at the now famous Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, and the even more famous original {{Woodstock}} festival in 1969 (however, band members admit they weren't at top form at either festival), and have a reputation for long tours and musically exploratory shows where one song often blends into another.

to:

'''The The Grateful Dead''' Dead were a six-piece group formed in San Francisco in the [[TheSixties mid-1960s]], best known for their improvisatory style of rock music, taking elements of [[PsychedelicRock psychedelia]], country, folk, blues and whatever else they thought would fit. Essentially, they were the godfathers of the Jam Band genre. They appeared at the now famous Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, and the even more famous original {{Woodstock}} festival in 1969 (however, band members admit they weren't at top form at either festival), and have a reputation for long tours and musically exploratory shows where one song often blends into another.
30th Jul '16 2:07:36 AM Smapti
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* EpicRocking: Most of their songs are epic jams of several minutes of length.

to:

* EpicRocking: Most of their songs are epic jams of several minutes of length. length; in concert, the group often strung several songs together into a single jam that could run nearly an hour in length.
30th Jul '16 2:05:29 AM Smapti
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* {{Mascot}}: The group has several, most notably a group of rainbow-colored dancing bears, a skeleton draped in roses, and "Stealie" the red-white-and-blue skull.
30th Jul '16 1:59:12 AM Smapti
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* TheBandMinusTheFace: After Jerry Garcia's death.

to:

* TheBandMinusTheFace: After The "Grateful Dead" name was retired after Jerry Garcia's death.death, but various surviving members have continued to perform the band's music under other names since then, including "The Dead", "The Other Ones", "Furthur", and "Dead & Company", an incarnation fronted by Music/JohnMayer.
19th Jun '16 11:32:38 AM CassandraLeo
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* UncommonTime: "Uncle John's Band" contains a riff in 7/4 (including the passage that closes off the song), and also frequently skips a beat during the verses, inserting a measure of 3/4 into passages that are otherwise in CommonTime.
16th Jun '16 12:36:24 AM WretchedThunder
Is there an issue? Send a Message


After Garcia's death and the Dead's disbandment, a band from Vermont called Music/{{Phish}}, which had existed for about ten years and had already started to become popular with college crowds, became [[SpiritualSuccessor the de facto jam band for people to follow]]. However, Phish and The Dead have very different sounds as fans of either band will point out - while both psychedelic bands, the Dead was more country and folk influenced, while Phish found their influences in jazz and alternative rock.

to:

After Garcia's death and the Dead's disbandment, a band from Vermont called Music/{{Phish}}, which had existed for about ten years and had already started to become popular with college crowds, became [[SpiritualSuccessor the de facto jam band for people to follow]]. However, Phish and The Dead have very different sounds as fans of either band will point out - while both psychedelic bands, the Dead was more country country, blues and folk influenced, while Phish found their influences in jazz and alternative rock.
23rd Apr '16 10:51:06 AM Goldfritha
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* OurGhostsAreDifferent: The story that they found their name by one of them opening a dictionary are true. It was a folklore dictionary. "The grateful dead" or "the grateful dead man" occurs in fairy tales where the hero arranges for a stranger's funeral, usually with the last of his money, and is joined by a companion who saves the day and often marries him off to a princess before revealing that he is the ghost of the man who was buried.
This list shows the last 10 events of 45. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Music.TheGratefulDead