Are fans who appreciate the music and lifestyle of a band called ‘The Grateful Dead’. They also hold in high esteem the lead guitarist ‘Jerry Garcia’.
The phrase ‘The Grateful Dead’ as the story goes was picked at random from a dictionary by opening a page and pointing at an entry. Jerry Garcia was given the onerous responsibility of finding a name for their newly formed electrical ensemble.
Turns out the phrase described a potent ‘motif’ found in numerous folktales recounted in various forms across Europe in centuries past.
A prince or nobleman on a quest to save a kingdom performs a righteous deed by paying a debt that allows a corpse a decent burial. Later on his trek a stranger helps him to accomplish his undertaking. We learn at the end of the tale the stranger was ‘the grateful dead’ the corpse’s spirit repaying the prince’s kindness.
From humble beginnings. The Grateful Dead managed to become an iconic band of mythical proportions. Their followers self-titled ‘Deadheads’ are numbered in the millions Other Rock and Roll groups sold more records in their heyday. 0
Other bands received worldwide adulation. But, for sheer devotion, over a period of fifty years there are no fans as loyal as Deadheads.
They started performing as ‘The Grateful Dead in 1965. Beginning in the early-seventies fans followed the band from city to city and set up tents in parking lots near the concert halls they played in. Unlike other groups of musicians The Grateful Dead never performed the same songs night after night. In fact no two shows were the same. They constantly changed their set list. This is one of the reasons Deadheads travelled from show to show and became life-long friends with other fans. They joined a community of like-minded participants empowered by a feeling of belonging to an extended family.
I am proud to be a Deadhead. The anticipation when the band appeared on the stage, reminded me of a rocket ship poised for take-off. A smile conquered my face and I was certain the people standing around me had smiles plastered to their faces also. As the first notes or chords drifted from the stage, a feeling of unbridled joy erupted from my center. Sending waves of cosmic communication outward. Populating the galaxy with healing modulation.
When I had to decide on a title for a Sci/Fi novel I’ve written, featuring Jerry Garcia’s Spirit as a character, my first choice was “Deadhead Prophet” Unfortunately, in direct contrast to these feelings the Mega Corporation who now owns the term ‘Deadhead’ denied my request. They confiscated recordings that rightfully belonged to us Deadheads. When I asked their company representatives if I could use the term ‘Deadhead’ in the title of my novel, they responded absolutely not. That got me to wondering what Jerry would think about Rhino Records owning The Grateful Dead Archives
Disclaimer: This website is not affiliated with or authorized by Grateful Dead Productions or Rhino Entertainment Company.
COPYRIGHT 2016 GLENN A SEGAL