This subset grew in number, soon giving birth to a community with its own set of rules and even slang. S., where the demand to see the foursome live gave rise to stadium rock.
This is disappointing news for those of us obsessed with rock and roll's occult nature.But thanks to a new book by Jesse Jarnow, Heads: A Biography of Psychedelic America, we have new Deadhead-LSD stories to replace the old.When the Dead are at their best, the vibrations that are stirred by the audience is the music that they play.”And if you couldn’t get a ticket to the show? When the Dead were in town, parking lots outside of their concerts were transformed into small villages, with vendors selling tie-died shirts, burritos and of course, drugs.Many of these vendors never attended a single concert, but would camp out, hoping to earn enough money to pack up their painted Volkswagen bus and follow the band to their next stop.“The Long, Strange Trip Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead forged a completely unique musical identity, playing thousands of concerts over a 30-year period.
Though Garcia's death in August 1995 effectively ended the band's touring days, the Dead's music and cultural influence have continued to grow.
As Jerry famously sang, “every silver lining’s got a touch of grey”—more than a touch, actually.
With the proliferation of drugs at Dead concerts, it was not uncommon to spot fans who had overdosed.
The Dead were the first rock band with a group of fans who formed a 12-step program to keep the lure of drugs at bay during concerts, where temptation is everywhere.
These Wharf Rats—named after a Dead song—gathered under an arc of yellow balloons during concert breaks, finding strength in numbers as they maintained sobriety “one show at a time.”Over the years, the fan base changed and evolved, but one thing remained constant.
In the drug lore surrounding LSD, there exists an esoteric "hippie mafia" called the Grateful Dead Family.