Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Lead guitarist Jerry Garcia was often seen both by the public and the media as the leader or primary spokesperson for the Grateful Dead, but was reluctant to be seen that way, especially since Garcia and the other group members saw themselves as equal participants and contributors to their collective musical and creative output.[citation needed] Garcia, a native of San Francisco, grew up in the Excelsior District. One of his main influences was bluegrass music, and Garcia also performed—on banjo, one of his other great instrumental loves, along with the pedal steel guitar—in the bluegrass band Old and in the Way with mandolinist David Grisman. Classically trained trumpeter Phil Lesh played bass guitar. Bob Weir, the youngest original member of the group, played rhythm guitar. Ron "Pigpen" McKernan played keyboards, harmonica and was also a group vocalist until shortly before his death in 1973 at the age of 27. All of the previously mentioned Grateful Dead members shared in vocal performance of songs. Bill Kreutzmann played drums, and in 1967 was joined by a second drummer, New York native Mickey Hart, who also played a wide variety of other percussion instruments. Hart quit the Grateful Dead in 1971, embarrassed by the financial misdealings of his father, Dead money manager Lenny Hart, and leaving Kreutzmann once again as the sole percussionist. One of the Dead's concert staples, "He's Gone" was written about Lenny Hart, and his dishonesty with money. Hart rejoined the Dead for good in 1975. Tom "TC" Constanten was added as a second keyboardist from 1968 to 1970, while Pigpen also played various percussion instruments and sang. After Constanten's departure, Pigpen reclaimed his position as sole organist. Less than two years later, in late 1971, Pigpen was joined by another keyboardist, Keith Godchaux, who played grand piano alongside Pigpen's Hammond B-3 organ. In early 1972, Keith's wife, Donna Godchaux, joined the Dead as a backing vocalist.


Pols said...

Following the Grateful Dead's "Europe '72" tour, Pigpen's health had degenerated to the point that he could no longer tour with the Dead. His final concert appearance was June 17, 1972 at the Hollywood Bowl, in Los Angeles, California. Keith and Donna left the band in 1979, and Brent Mydland joined as keyboardist and vocalist. Keith Godchaux died in a car accident in 1980. Mydland was the keyboardist for the Dead for 11 years until his death in 1990. He became the third Dead keyboardist to pass away. Almost immediately, former The Tubes keyboardist Vince Welnick joined on keyboards and vocals. From September 15, 1990 to March 24, 1992, Welnick was joined by Bruce Hornsby on piano; Hornsby had previously appeared as an irregular sit-in player beginning in 1988 and continued as such from 1992 until 1995. Welnick died on June 2, 2006, reportedly a suicide. Robert Hunter and John Perry Barlow were the band's primary lyricists. Owsley "Bear" Stanley was the Grateful Dead's soundman for many years; he was also one of the largest suppliers of LSD.[citation needed]. All eleven members of The Grateful Dead were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

Zooomabooma said...

Heya, another darn good GD link is www.deaddisc.com.

Could also include:

Might as well, Might as well, Might as well include www.thejerrysite.com . . . no, not the Dead but come on, Jerry & The GD go together like hippies and patchouli!