View Full Version : Featured Artist 3: The Grateful Dead

06-05-2004, 05:53 PM
The Grateful Dead

Band (Over the years)

Jerry Garica - Guitar/Vocals/Banjo/Pedal Steel
Bob Weir[/URL] - Guitar/Vocals
Pigpen - Organ/Harmonica/Vocals
Phil Lesh - Bass/Vocals/Piano
Mickey Hart- Drums/Percussion
Billy Kreutzmann - Drums/Percussion
Keith Godchaux- Keyboard/Vocals
Donna Jean Godchaux- Vocals
Brent Mydland - Organ/Vocals
Vince Welnick- Piano
Tom Constanten - Piano
Bruce Hornsby - Piano

Around the time when the second English invasion was taking place, which was around 1964 - 1965, there were was a odd genre, and odd bands brewing in northern California. Bands that where strongly based around influence and new experiences. And for a short time they would take over the world, and would be soon carved into Rock n Roll history. At the for front of this movement was The Grateful Dead. Each member of this psychedelic, acid indused, highly influenced band were connected before the formation of The Grateful Dead.

The band's leader and soon loved Rock figure Jerry Garcia grew up in northern California where he was raised as a Bluegrass musician. Jerry's father was a well trained clarinet player who died when young Jerry was only five, and Jerry's mother, died at his birth. Through the years, Jerry was living at his grandparents home where he would practice various instruments with his close friend, and well known Gratefu Dead songwriter Robert Hunter. Jerry over the years gained a great practicing habit. Which would help him greatly through out the years, being that his understanding of Rock helped the band gain there sound and originality. Soon, Jerry grew great skills at the guitar, banjo, and the pedal steel guitar, and would also soon get a job at a local music shop teaching lessons. At this music shop he would meet fellow worker Ron McKernan. Ron, who grew up in an Black neighborhood grew a great understanding of The Blues, through neighbors playing it, and his father who was one of the first Blues and Rock 'n' Roll DJ's. Ron's odd style of clothing, and lack of cleanliness would make Jerry give him the nickname "Pigpen".

Through this music shop Jerry also started teaching guitar to aspiring Folk guitarist Bob "Bobby" Weir. Over several months Bobby started to become a overall great guitarist. Soon, Jerry would ask him and Pigpen to start a jug band, named Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Band Champions. It would not be Garcia's first band, but it would be his most important at time.

After a short amount of time, they gave up on the band and decided to start a Rock 'n' Roll band. They would recruit young Billy Kreutzmann who was a great friend with Bobby, and was a well trained Jazz drummer. Jerry and the crew would also ask college student Phil Lesh to join and play bass. Phils was the only member of the soon to be Grateful Dead who actually finished college. Phil at the time wasn't that great at bass, but had a great knowledge for musical theory and music in general. They would soon call themselves The Warlocks.

Soon, the band would soon rename themselves to The Grateful Dead. They would then be invited to "Acid Tests" (Which are parties based upon drugs and music) by their friend and well known drug lord Owesley Stanley. Stanley would also introduce The Grateful Dead to their two managers, who were Rock Scully and Danny Rifkin. Those two and the rest of The Grateful Dead family would move into a house at 710 Ashbury, San Fransico, California.

In time, (1967) The Grateful Dead would release their debut and self titled album. The album was based around the Blues, in a slightly Elvis Presley manner. In other words, with a good amount of atitude and aggressivness. The album didn't gain much attention, but it did show off a poor, more dedicated to the music than ever, side of the band that would not been seen to that degree again.

The next release by The Grateful Dead was Anthem of The Sun, which isn't exactly anything really special. The album is mediocre in my opinion, and worse in many others'. Quickly following the second album came Aoxomoxoa, which had some great psychedelic tracks. It also spawned a well known Grateful Dead hit, which is "St. Stephen".

Following Anthen of the Sun albums, The Grateful Dead would pick up percussionist Mickey Hart. Who would remain with them for several years, till a hiatus, and then he would return. The also would get help from pianist Tom Constanten while Pigpen was in and out of sickness. The Dead would then release two live albums, and then finally get just what they were looking for in the year of 1971.

In 1971, The Grateful Dead would release two albums within a few months. Each album is now reviered as the best The Grateful Dead put out. The first of these two was a Country, Folk, Blues and Blugrass influenced album. That was titled Workingman's Dead (http://www.musicianforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=161430). The album included a good number of well known Dead songs. Some being "Uncle John's Band", "Casey Jones", and "Black Peter". Workingman's Dead also just happens to be my favorite album :).

Quickly following Workingman's Dead was America Beauty (http://www.musicianforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=160209). American Beauty is pretty much thought by all to be The Grateful Dead's masterpeice. I myself cannot find one bad song on the album. It contains many well known tracks. Some being "Box of Rain", "Friend of the Devil", "Sugar Magnolia", "Ripple", and "Truckin'" :thumb: . The album incorporates so many feelings, tempos, and some great playing. 10/10 album, no doubt.

That same year in 1971, Pigpen passed way from what I believe was alcohol poisoning :upset:. The odd thing about that, is that Pig was the only member of The Dead was did not do drugs. He was said to be far to afraid. From that day on, The Blues played would never be as good as it was when Pigpen alive.

Over the years, The Grateful Dead would release some great albums, and they would lose some members. After, Pig died, Tom Constanten replaced him, then left. The Grateful Dead would then add singer Donna Jean Godchaux and keyboardist Keith Godchaux. Then death strikes again when Keith died.

After another sad moment, they found a breath of fresh air when they recruited Brent Mydland who brought the band back to the organ. Which would slightly bring the band back to their roots with Pigpen. Sadly enough, Brent died soon after joinging.

Of course, The Grateful Dead would then find another pianist, this time was man going by the name of Vince Welnick. Who would be with them till the end.

During August 19, of 1995, Jerry Garica passed away from a heart attack. The Grateful Dead would sease to exist after that blow. The leader of The Grateful Dead was gone, and there was no use to keep going. (With the exception of what they're doing now).

EDIT: many of sources used to research the band when I was a fan early on had some incorrect information. If you have problems with that, sorry. It would take a long time to change them.

06-05-2004, 09:00 PM
GREAT FA mi amigo :)

Tangy zizzle
06-05-2004, 09:34 PM
Bloody nice job man!

06-05-2004, 11:42 PM
WOW!!!! Great job...I think you should post some reccomended tracks though.

06-05-2004, 11:47 PM
Great job of condensing such a huge band background and output into a (relatively) small space. Kinda surprised to see no mention of Dead-heads though.

06-06-2004, 12:10 AM
i REALLY learned quite a bit from this :)

also i suggest some of you check out mickey hart's solo stuff. he ventured into ethnic percussion projects, really really good stuff

06-06-2004, 12:24 AM
Nice job moon. That's a pretty good introduction to The Dead in a nutshell. When I read about Jerry passing away it made me relize again just how important he was in the whole music world. I feel so bad about never seeing them all together. Oh and here are some starter songs you beginer dead-heads could start with:

Alabama Getaway
Box of Rain
Brown Eyed Woman
Casey Jones
China Cat Sunflower
Estimated Prophet
Eyes of the World
Fire on the Mountain
Franklin's Tower
Friend of the Devil
Hell in a Bucket
One More Saturday Night
Scarlet Begonias
Shakedown Street
Sugar Magnolia
Sunshine Daydream
Terrapin Station
The Golded Road to Unlimited Devotion
The Music Never Stops
Till the Morning Comes
Touch of Gray
U.S. Blues
Uncle John's Band

Those are all I got in my head right now. Alphabetical order, took me a while beyotches...

06-06-2004, 06:58 AM
I want the next one please.

Great job man, I thought you were going to do Phish, but no. I should check out this band, they sound cool enough.

06-06-2004, 08:19 AM
that was good badmoon!

06-06-2004, 12:14 PM
great job dude

06-06-2004, 04:54 PM
Grateful dead are the best f uckin group ever... JERRY RIP

06-06-2004, 08:46 PM
who's doing the next one?

06-07-2004, 12:57 AM


pedro durruti
06-07-2004, 01:02 AM
When did this featured artist come to being? Is it just doing a biography of a band?

06-07-2004, 01:15 AM
yes, sort of, but there are very specific rules...go back and look for the original thread i made :)

06-07-2004, 05:11 AM
It would be cool if someone did one on Bjork (either or Orb or talk show host) just a suggestion anyway ;)

Tangy zizzle
06-07-2004, 05:28 AM
I'd like to do one.

I got dibs after manuscriptreplica.

06-07-2004, 09:45 AM
Does it have to be on a band that falls in the "other" category? Or just any band? I have a metal band in mind, and a band that falls in the 'other' category in mind, but want to do the metal band more.

Will post about the 20th of June.

06-07-2004, 10:23 AM
other band. sorry hun.

and tangy to get to do the one after MR you have to call dibs in his thread. sorry, if it wasnt done that way we'd have a waiting list 20 strong and never get one posted and etcetcetc.

you can post as early as the 12th or 15th, MR, if you'd like. anytime between a week and two weeks :)

06-09-2004, 08:03 AM
Way to go on the FA man!

Good idea bringing the whole FA thing to the Other forum Josh, looks like it's working out pretty well.


06-09-2004, 09:34 AM
Little known fact= The Jerry in Ben and Jerry's ice cream is in fact Jerry Garcia.....

Nice job by the way :thumb:

06-09-2004, 10:30 AM
Who's Ben?

06-09-2004, 11:05 AM
Dunno, apparently he started the company with his friend Ben because he was incredibly short on money though.

*Watched a program about Jerry Garcia on Channel 4 a while back*

06-10-2004, 11:11 AM
Okay, sorry I havent been here to answer back, because I´m in Mexico, and I have just found out that there is an internet cafe here.

Thanks for all the feedback :thumb:

06-11-2004, 11:36 AM
the dead is the best thing to ever happen.

if any of you arent into it already, you should check out david grisman/jerry garcia stuff. nothing beats it

06-11-2004, 12:32 PM
^that is great great great stuff. for sure.

06-11-2004, 12:36 PM
david grisman/jerry garcia stuff

They did some great stuff together, especially The Pizza Tapes, but the best thing those two did together was Old and In the Way. That was a terrific jug band.

06-14-2004, 03:13 PM
Grateful Dawg is some great Grisman/Garcia.

But no, Ben and Jerry's was started by two hippies in Vermont. The only connection to the Dead (as of yet) is the flavor Cherry Garcia

06-16-2004, 03:08 PM


get on it, man!

Per Ardua Ad Astra
06-17-2004, 07:49 PM
I'll be sure to check these guys out. I knew who Jerry Garcia was and such, i just never checked them out. Excellent FA!

06-17-2004, 08:41 PM
get on it, man!

Ease up turbo. I'm nearly done. I unfortunately have exams and recitals coming up as well, so that slowed me down a bit. And it isn't the 20th yet!!! :smoke:

06-17-2004, 09:33 PM
I actually did mine the last day I had :lol: I was on vacation the day after I asked to do one.

EDT: Actually it was about 2 days before I was done.

06-18-2004, 09:01 AM
Yeah... it's much harder than I expected. Though, if i sat down and did it, it would probably be done in about 15 mins.

06-23-2004, 09:54 AM
The Grateful Dead are so awesome :thumb: .

06-24-2004, 02:28 PM
**** fine job, the dead would be proud

Son of Skywalker
09-19-2004, 04:32 PM
On behalf of Jerry, "Good job, and nice avatar."

09-22-2005, 08:23 PM
Great job. The Grateful Dead are just an amazing band who will live on forever.

10-22-2005, 07:54 PM
The Grateful Dead are so awesome :thumb: .

Yea i agree. I like their hip-hop influence

Delay Pedal Boy
10-25-2005, 03:38 PM
Yea i agree. I like their hip-hop influence
When sarcasm goes bad...

12-15-2005, 10:16 PM
When sarcasm goes bad...

When humour fails to turn up to work...

07-15-2006, 12:22 AM
Has anyone here read the book Steve Parish (Jerry's main rodie for the Dead/Jerry Garcia Band manager) wrote Home Before Daylight:My Liife on the Road with the Grateful Dead?