50 Best Grateful Dead Band Facts

“They have lost 3 keyboard players. McKernan died of cirrhosis, Godchaux was killed in a car accident (The Dead fired him a year earlier), and Mydland died of a drug overdose.”


“But Garcia was beloved by countless fans, “”a benevolent Buddha”” who played the guitar “”not with his hands, but his heart,”” as People wrote.”


” Throughout his life and career, Garcia was interested in various genres of music. In 1963, he formed a jug band with future Dead bandmates Bob Weir and Ron McKernan”


“Jerry had his first art exhibit in 1991 at the Weir Gallery in Berkley, California”


“Garcia stumbled across a perfect band name — Grateful Dead — while thumbing through a folklore dictionary.”


“After seeing The Beatles film’ “”A Hard Days Night,”” Jerry was inspired to change his jug band into a rock band”


“Mickey Hart invented “”The Beam,”” the giant stringed bass sound monster he uses during Drums, while he and Bill Kreutzmann were working on the soundtrack for Francis Ford Coppola’s “”Apocalypse Now.””


“One of Jerry’s first jobs was picking apricots and beans in a local field”
“In 1947, young Garcia lost most of the middle finger on his right hand in a wood-chopping accident. His handprint, with the mostly missing finger, would become a signature logo.”


” The 1987 single “Touch of Grey” was the band’s first and only Top 40 offering, hitting No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100″


“Throughout their career the Grateful Dead played 317 cover songs and 184 original tunes”


“Bill’s grandpa Clark Shaughnessy is a HOF football coach. He got to see his grandson make it big before passing”


“When the boys went to In-Ear monitors in ’91 or ’92 they had Mickey turned completely down in the mix so only Billy was driving the bus”


“The Dead performed “Touch of Grey” live for the first time on September 15, 1982, at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland– almost five years before the song appeared on any Grateful Dead studio album.”


“Phil had never played bass before he joined the band.”
“Bob weir is dyslexic. His approach to guitar playing reflects this. He often plays chord voicings that are,. “”unusual””. That’s what gives him his unique sound as a guitarist.”


“Garcia was in the army for nine months in 1959 before meeting longtime collaborator Robert Hunter in Palo Alto.”


“Soon after Kesey’s son passed, the Dead played Brokedown Palace in his honor in Eugene.”

Kesey later said he felt that art was about ‘raised fist in the air’, but after that night knew art was about ‘made a hugging motion’.”


” Garcia was accomplished on the banjo, an instrument he first picked up as a child.”


” In 1968, Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign released a commercial called “”American Youth,”” which featured a photo montage of young people, including Garcia”


“Jerry was the pedal steel player on “”Teach Your Children”” by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, on their album “”Deja Vu.””


“In the late-80’s rumors started circulating the scene about Phil leaving the band. The hysteria reached its peak on Spring Tour in ’90. When the Dead played Cal Expo on 6/10/90 Phil (and Jerry) put those rumors to rest.”


“Pigpen’s last show with the band was at the Hollywood Bowl on June 17, 1972. He died of liver disease a year later.”


“Garcia first met his longtime friend—and future Grateful Dead band member—Robert Hunter in the spring of 1961”


“The first part of the Terrapin Station suite, “”Lady With a Fan,”” is based on the old English folk song “”Lady of Carlisle.”” A number of other Dead songs are based on old folk songs, including “”Peggy-O”” and “”Jack-A-Roe.””


“The band’s concert on August 27, 1972 in Veneta, Oregon, is considered to be one of the very best concerts in the band’s long history.”


“July 10, 1986: Grateful Dead lead singer Jerry Garcia falls into a coma. Even though Garcia’s drug use is legendary, the coma is caused not by drugs, but by the singer’s diabetes. He remains in the coma for five days. When Garcia emerges, he has to relearn how to play guitar (as well as how to do other minor activities, like eat and walk). Fans fear the Dead is… well, dead.”
“John Perry Barlow, who co-wrote a number of Grateful Dead songs with Bob Weir, went on to found The Electronic Frontier Foundation.”


“Kreutzmann loves diving and has filmed a fifty-minute documentary called Ocean Spirit.”


“The 13th eyeball on the cover of In The Dark is Bill Grahams”
“One of Jerry’s favorite hobbies was scuba diving”


“Hart and Kreutzmann composed percussion-heavy music for the Apocalypse Now soundtrack in 1979.”


“In his early years, Jerry Garcia harbored a sense of fatalism”
“The legendary “Acid Test” scene was surprisingly small”


“Jerry was an avid collector of comic books”


“More than 20 years into its career, the Dead hit the Top 10 on the album charts with 1987’s “In the Dark.”


“There was only one time when the Dead and Led Zeppelin personally crossed paths. It was for picture sessions in 1969 or 1970. However, the members of Zeppelin were scared off when Pigpen started shooting shit with his revolver”


“Garcia’s use of LSD earned him the nickname “”Captain Trips”


“Jerry played on Jefferson Airplane’s 1967 landmark psych-rock album ‘Surrealistic Pillow,’ but is only credited in the liner notes as “”musical and spiritual advisor””


” The Dead members were capable of doing some lovely harmony vocal work, especially on the two aforementioned classics from 1970. Reportedly, the Dead spent time listening to Crosby, Stills & Nash for inspiration.”
“The “Twilight Zone” featured theme music by the Grateful Dead.”


“The band’s Haight-Ashbury pad was the scene of a high-profile drug bust in late 1967, which drew the above-the-masthead, front-page, all-caps headline, “ROCK BAND BUSTED,” in the San Francisco Chronicle.”


“The Grateful Dead played “”Me and My Uncle”” more than any other song. They played it 616 times according to Deadbase.”


” Garcia enlisted in the Army at age 17 in 1960. He was discharged a few months later, reportedly due to “lack of suitability to the military lifestyle.””
“The Grateful Dead’s 1974 “Wall of Sound” weighed 75 tons”


“When The Dead were touring with Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers in 1986, Garcia was recovering from drug addiction and fell into a diabetic coma for 5 days.”


“Garcia fell in love with country music while listening to Grand Ole Opry broadcasts with his grandmother”

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