03 April 2010
Grateful Dead - originally called The Warlocks, Jerry Garcia found out that another band had the same name.
Though sometimes mistakenly identified as coming from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the phrase appears in the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
"In the land of the night the ship of the sun is drawn by the grateful dead."
Supposedly, Jerry was intrigued by the story of a troubled soul who is put to rest by a traveler. The spirit then repays the favor by helping the traveler with his own quest.
The Grateful Dead were a symbol of the 1960s counterculture. Though they never achieved mainstream commercial success, their legion of Deadheads followers brought them financial success.
They are forever part of the Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco scene where they regularly played at Ken Kesey’s acid tests.
In their earliest incarnation, they were a jug band/country/blues band which they returned to to some degree in their acoustic American Beauty/Workingman's Dead period. Over their 40 year career, they played many musical genres including rock, folk, R&B, jazz and psychedelic.
They are best known as a live band and toured almost continually during the 60s and early 70s. (There are many more live recordings - legitimate and bootleg - than studio releases.)
The band have never sought out commercial success, but hit the charts in the late 80s with “Touch of Grey.”
The band essentially ended with the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995, though members of the band still tour and release tracks as part of other ventures.
The Very Best of the Grateful Dead
Grateful Dead Scrapbook: The Long, Strange Trip in Stories, Photos, and Memorabilia
Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses)
The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
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