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Grateful Dead (1970)

The Grateful Dead in 1970, from a promotional photo shoot. Left to right: Bill Kreutzmann, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh.

The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California amid the rise of the counterculture of the 1960s. The founding members were Jerry Garcia (guitar, vocals), Bob Weir (guitar, vocals), Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (keyboards, harmonica, vocals), Phil Lesh (bass, vocals), and Bill Kreutzmann (drums). Ranging from quintet to septet, the band was known for its unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of country, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, rock, improvisational jazz, psychedelia, space rock, for live performances of lengthy instrumental jams, and for their devoted fan base, known as "Deadheads". The band was ranked 57th in the issue The Greatest Artists of all Time by Rolling Stone magazine. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and their Barton Hall Concert at Cornell University (May 8, 1977) was added to the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry. The Grateful Dead have sold more than 35 million albums worldwide.

The band and its fans ("Deadheads") are closely associated with the hippie movement and were seen as a form of institution in the culture of America for many years. Former members of the Grateful Dead, along with other musicians, toured as the Dead in 2003, 2004, and 2009 after touring as the Other Ones in 1998, 2000, and 2002. There are many contemporary incarnations of the Dead, with the most prominent touring acts being Furthur, Phil Lesh & Friends, RatDog, and the Rhythm Devils with drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. The group performed together again for their fiftieth anniversary, with Trey Anastasio of Phish, in what the band announced would be their final concerts.

Fare Thee Well[]

In 2015, Weir, Lesh, Kreutzmann, and Hart reunited for five concerts called "Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead". The shows were performed on June 27 and 28 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, and on July 3, 4, and 5 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. It was stated that this would be the last time that the so-called "core four" would perform together. They were joined by Trey Anastasio of Phish on guitar, Jeff Chimenti on keyboards, and Bruce Hornsby on piano. Demand for tickets was very high. The concerts were simulcast via various media. The Chicago shows are slated to be released as a box set of CDs and DVDs.

Dead & Company[]

In August 2015, it was announced that Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, and Bob Weir would join with guitarist John Mayer, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, and bassist Oteil Burbridge in a band known as Dead & Company. The band has scheduled more than 20 concert dates for October through December 2015, and announced a second tour for the summer of 2016 with about 20 shows scheduled.

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