preview

Report on the Grateful Dead

Better Essays
Report on the Grateful Dead I have chosen to do my report on the Grateful Dead. They were a rock and roll band from the sixties that stayed popular and still influenced rock and roll until 1995 when the lead singer, Jerry Garcia, died and the band dissolved. The Dead remained popular for so long because of the style of their live concerts that made people keep coming back. In 1959 when Jerry Garcia was thrown out of the army, he picked up his guitar and started playing music with his friend Robert Hunter. Robert Hunter would later become the Grateful Dead's non- performing song writer. Robert and Jerry lived in San Francisco, California. On one New Year's Eve party, Garcia and Hunter met Ron "The Pig Pen" McKerman, who played harmonica, keyboard and was also a vocalist. Pig Pen was the janitor at the music shop where Jerry gave banjo lessons. During the concert of that night, they also met guitarist Bob Weir and together they formed a band called Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions. A few weeks later Bob Matthews,who later became a part of the Grateful Dead electronics and recording family,joined the group along with John "marmaduke" Dawson,who later joined the New Riders of the Purple Sage. Work was scarce for the Jug Champions until Dana Morgan, owner at the store where Jerry taught banjo and Pig Pen worked,provided the money and equipment for them to become electric. After they had become electric they renamed the group the Warlocks. Dawson and Matthews were soon to leave and they were replaced by drummer Bill Sommers (Krentemann) and Phil Lesh, who was a trumpet player who learned to play bass guitar in a very amazing two weeks just to get the spot. This completes the now familiar Dead line up. The Warlocks played their first concert in July 1965 and they played pretty straight rock and roll music until the "acid tests." In early 1965 a state hospital in the Palo Alto area was conducting experiments with hallucinogenic drugs. This was still legal at the time. Robbert Hunter and others volunteered to try them. Before long the whole music group was participating in "acid tests" and their music became more diffused, the numbers stretched out and the volume turned up. Jerry Garcia became known as "Captain Trips" and they played at the Ken Kesey organized trips festival. In February 1966 the Warlocks had to change their... ... middle of paper ... ...e group members that he was going to a rehabilitation center. He had told them that he was taking a trip to Hawaii with his wife. It was a shock to the rest of the group to find out that Jerry Garcia had died in a drug rehabilitation center. "Garcia's last performance with the Dead, was July 9, 1995 in Chicago", that night will not be forgotten by anyone who attended that last show. Jerry Garcia was fifty-three years of age when he died. Jerry was the Grateful Dead's singer, song writer, gutaitariest and many believe the heart and soul of the Grateful Dead. This tragedy has left many to wonder if the Grateful Dead will ever play again. One thing is sure about the Grateful Dead, "The Grateful Dead are the best-known and longest lasting of all the San Francisco bands,..". In conclusion, the Grateful Dead is a very unique group and has vary unique followers. it is one of the longest lasting bands and has played for over three generations of people with their own style and creativeness. They have had a long journey and there have been many bumps in the road. There is only one phrase that can wrap up the Gratefuldeads career, "What a long strange trip it's been".
Get Access