The musician is mostly remembered for founding the San Francisco band Grateful Dead
Remembering the Psychedelic Rock pioneer and 1960’s counterculture icon Jerry Garcia
Leader of San Francisco’s most notorious Psychedelic Rock band the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia was born in San Francisco on August 1, 1942. During the mid 1960’s the band, who lived in a Hippie community house in the epicenter of the Hippie movement, Haight-Ashbury, took form and was officially founded in 1965. Already a very popular act in San Francisco, they released their first album “The Grateful Dead” in 1967. The band was notorious for their long live jams that would often divert into several music styles such as f rock, folk, country, jazz, bluegrass, blues and gospel, which would culminate into a psychedelic signature sound, having their almost steady place in several popular concert halls at the time such as the Filmore and The Avalon Ballroom. Garcia, often considered the pioneer of the 1960’s West Coast Psychedelic Rock was one of the songwriters in the band, aside of being the lead vocalist and also guitarist. Among their most notable songs are “Dark Star”, “China Cat Sunflower”, “Truckin'” and “Rosemary”. As the 1960’s came to an end and the hippie movement started to dissipate, the Grateful Dead carried on as a band, and with a cult following of fans that became known as “deadheads”. The Grateful Dead had a popular resurgence during the 1980’s scoring two hits with the 1987 songs “Touch of Grey” and “Throwing Stones”, both with music videos that aired on heavy rotation in MTV. The band remained together with most of the core members intact until Jerry Garcia’s dead in 1995 at age 53 from a drug induced heart attack, after decades of struggle with obesity, smoking, and longstanding heroin and cocaine addiction. Garcia was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Grateful Dead in 1994 but declined to attend the ceremony.
Watch the 1987 music video for one of the Grateful Dead’s most popular songs, “Touch of Grey”
Also take some time to experience the Grateful Dead famous live jams with this 1978 performance of “Dark Star”, live at the Winterland, San Francisco
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