YMMV: The Grateful Dead

  • Archive Panic
  • Awesome Music: An awful lot of it, given the band's Long Runner status. American Beauty is usually cited as the band's studio Magnum Opus, with Workingman's Dead and Anthem Of The Sun being a close second. As for the band's live output, fan opinions are divided (as would be expected with a band that toured as long and was as thoroughly documented as the Dead; the band played some 2,350 shows), but frequently cited contenders for Best Show Ever include:
    • February 13 & 14, 1970 at Fillmore East, New York, NY (parts of these were released on Dick's Picks Vol. 4 and Bear's Choice; the 13th is usually cited as the superior show due to the half-hour-each versions of "Dark Star" -> "That's It for the Other One" -> "Turn on Your Love Light")
    • May 2, 1970 at Harpur College, SUNY, Binghamton, NY (almost the entire performance was released as Dick's Picks Vol. 8, but the electric set is unfortunately in mono)
    • August 27, 1972 at Old Renaissance Faire Grounds, Veneta, OR
    • May 8, 1977 at Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (compounding this show's reputation is the fact that it was the first A+-quality soundboard bootleg many fans heard, but it's still a very good performance from one of the band's best years)
  • Deader Than Disco: Most depictions of the band these days only portray them to make fun of their scarily devoted fans.
  • Face of the Band: Jerry Garcia, no matter how much he insisted that he wasn't. In fact, after Garcia died, the remaining bandmates toured a few times as The Other Ones before changing their name to "The Dead".
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks: The surprise success of Touch of Grey was a mixed blessing for the band and longtime Deadheads who were known for their peaceful, mellow hippie attitudes with nothing seriously bad happening at shows to...Maybe this video will explain it a little better.
  • Magnum Opus: Among their studio recordings, American Beauty is the most frequently cited, with Workingman's Dead usually regarded as a close runner-up. Anthem Of The Sun is another candidate for this title. As for their live shows, see Awesome Music above.
  • Mainstream Obscurity and Pop-Cultural Osmosis: If you have to name a cult rock band they are perhaps the best example, due to their fanbase even having a special nickname ("Deadheads") and many of them religiously attending their concerts. They are also most people's idea of hippie music. Yet, when all of that is said and done: how many songs or albums can you name by this group? That's right, the Grateful Dead are actually more famous as an iconic hippie band,stoner band and/or concert experience than for their songs or albums.
  • Newbie Boom: "Touch Heads", the fandom name for those who became fans of the band because of the success of "Touch of Grey" in the late 80's.
  • The Scrappy: Vince Welnick, the last keyboardist often saw himself as this, even after he was excluded from several of the post-Garcia reunion concerts.
  • Signature Song: Almost certainly "Truckin", although "Box of Rain", "Casey Jones", and "Touch of Grey" also have strong claims.