Grateful Dead Biography

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Grateful DeadGrateful Dead was an American rock band that hailed in San Francisco, California. The band, formed in 1965, was popular for its unique musical style that fused together rock, bluegrass, blues, country, jazz and folk elements into their song among the many other influences and styles. The band was also popular for their long musical improvisations during their live performances.

The band originated from a band known as the Warlocks that played live shows at Kepler’s Books. The band discovered that there was another group that went by the same name and they have to change it to Grateful Dead in order to have any chances of signing a recording contract.

The band came together at a time when the hippie culture hit San Francisco and eventually became its center. It was also an era when the sounds of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were the popular fare. Originally a band that makes use of non-electric musical instruments, they slowly began to embrace electric guitars and acquire a more electric sound that has become more popular.

The band also was different in that its band members were influenced by different genres of music. Phil Lesh was schooled in classical music. Ron "Pigpen" McKernan was influenced heavily by the blues sound along with Jerry Garcia. Drummer Bill Kreutzmann meanwhile was influenced by rock and R&B. These varied influences are noticeable in the way they played as well as on their subsequent albums.

The early music of the Grateful Dead encompassed a variety of musical genres, with each of their songs ably fitting a number of different musical categories. Their early records also reflected on their preference of doing lengthy instrumental jams and improvisations.

The band achieved commercial success a good five years after they formed. They released two albums in 1970, Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty that sold well and displayed the band’s impressive acoustic musicianship using more traditional song structures.

The band became known for their rigorous touring schedule all around the country that was zealously followed by their very loyal fan base. It was their fan base that continued to give the band long lasting appeal as well as making their music stretch out and linger for decades. It was also in part because of their loyal fans, often called the "Deadheads" that the band also began to achieve some notoriety.

The band spanned over thirty years that saw the band ever maturing with their years of touring, recording and playing eventually give some added life into their music. The band somehow was brought to a standstill with the death of erstwhile leader Jerry Garcia of coronary failure in august of 1995.

The band dissolved from that time on although some of the members eventually did their solo projects and also reunited to do live performances under a different band name. In February of 2007, the band was given with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in honor for their contributions in the field of music.

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