I enjoy listening and dancing to music. Many kinds of music. However, one band captured my undivided attention for over forty years. The Grateful Dead has given me pure delight. When I hear Bob Weir banging out thunderous chords it rocks my body, quenches my soul. Old Dead featuring Pig Pen on organ, harp and vocals highlights the Blues. Keith Godchaux, leaned toward boogie-woogie jazzy piano riffs. Then we met Brent Mydland, a wizard on piano, organ and toting some mean vocals, during his tenure. I researched each band member’s roots, influences, childhood ambitions. An eclectic group of musicians to say the least.
Born into a Spanish/Irish & Swedish Clan, his father’s family’s roots are Galician. He learned some rudimentary piano and had a keen interest in musical pursuits. In 53 Tiff turned him onto RockNRoll. Soon after he discovered Jazz, Bluegrass and the Blues.
Raised in Atherton, Cal, Bob started playing guitar at the age of thirteen. He had trouble in school because of dyslexia, and was expelled from multiple high schools. At age sixteen he stumbled upon a part time music teacher picking banjo on a faithful...
Phil Lesh started out on violin (but soon hit the harder stuff) in high school he switched to trumpet. Always showed a keen interest for Avant Garde, classical and Free Form Jazz arrangements. He studied under ...
Kicked out of sixth grade music class by a teacher who said “Billy can’t keep a beat”. He hopped on his bike and headed into downtown Palo Alto to find a drum instructor. He spotted a sign on a house ...
A dynamo who powered the early evolution of the band. The hard edged blues front man, capable of laying down righteous vocals then breathing a heart wrenching measure or two on the harp.
Raised in Long Island N.Y. attended Lawrence High School. Dropped out as a senior and traveled to Europe. Mickey’s parents were Champion Rudimentary
Robert Hunter met Jerry Garcia in early 1960. They became good friends because of their mutual love for music. They both left the US Army in 1961 and started hanging out together. They lived for a while in two broken down cars just outside Palo Alto.
Known as TC,
He met Phil Lesh at University of Cal, Berkeley in 1961. They both held a fascination of orchestral composition. With TC’s help, Lesh attended courses at Mill Valley College taught by Luciano Berio, which would send Phil in a completely new direction.
Is my favorite of the Dead’s Keyboardist. His Ragtime/bluesy chops always get my spine tingling, not so much to dance, as to recognize the melodies surrounding me. His innate grasp of the fundamental building blocks of boogie-woogie astounds me to this day.
Had her first audition for backing vocals at age 12. When she was 15 started her career as session singer. She performed backing vocals for Elvis Presley Percy Sledge and Boz Scaggs at Muscle Shoals in Alabama. Met Keith in San Francisco and in 1970 they were married.
Known as ‘Bear’
This was a true renaissance man who changed the world by manufacturing a far superior product than an established pharmaceutical company working in conjunction with the CIA. His White Lightning, Blue Cheer and Monterey Purple are considered the cleanest LSD ever produced.
He was raised a Christian Scientist. Studied music at University Of Miami. He played in his brother’s bands called, Bobby Hi Test and the Octane Kids. When he returned to Va. He performed in local clubs and bars. In 1980 he and his younger brother went to L.A. They found employment working for Twentieth Century Fox.
His father was a U.S. Army Chaplain.
He spent childhood in Antioch, Cal, a Bay area suburb. As a youngster he took piano lessons because his sister seemed to enjoy banging away on the ivories. Brent spent his teens performing with various Bay area bands namely Batdorf and Rodney, and Silver in 1978 he joined the Bob Weir Band then Bobby and the Midnights. When Keith Godchaux left the Dead, Brent was asked to take the hot seat and join the celebration.
He started playing keyboards as a teen with a San Francisco band called The Beans that evolved into the Tubes. They were a sight and sound experience much like The Merry Pranksters a decade before. The Tubes as a Theatrical ensemble changed the topography of Rock & Roll. They combined pornography with anti-establishment lyrics ridiculed Capitalism and the Media of that era. The Tubes took advantage of MTV and early Video’s which propelled the group to instant notoriety.
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