Grateful Dead

As flower power took hold in 1960s San Francisco, the Grateful Dead were at the centre of the movement providing the soundtrack as America's counter culture experimented with drugs and free love. Formed in 1964 by Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir as The Warlocks, the band grew into a loud, free-form, psychedelic rock band that encapsulated the hippy spirit and made them the ultimate cult group to their loyal fans, who became known as "Deadheads". Funded by wealthy benefactor Owsley Stanley, they became known as the first jam band due to their improvised grooves and impromptu free gigs, but by 1967's Summer of Love they were key figures in the Bay Area scene alongside the likes of Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin. From the tripped out album Anthem to the Sun (1968) to the classic American Beauty (1970), the band made some of the most experimental, hallucinogenic sounds of the era, playing at the legendary Woodstock festival and becoming something of an institution on the live circuit. Singles Truckin' and Casey Jones stand out as the Dead's most memorable hits, but it was their surprise resurgence thanks to 12th studio album In The Dark (1987) that brought them most success, reaching Number 6 in the US and going double platinum. They split in 1995 after the death of Jerry Garcia but occasionally reform for reunion shows.

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