In Grateful Dead FAQ, Tony Sclafani examines the band's impact and influence on rock music and pop culture. This book ventures into unexplored areas and features a host of rare images, making it a must-have for both Deadheads and casual fans.
The Grateful Dead rose out of San Francisco's '60s underground rock scene with an unprecedented sound and image. Its members, steeped in rock, folk, classical, and blues; their instrumental prowess; and their refusal to bow to commercial conventions helped originate jam band music.
Unapologetic in its advocacy of drug use as a means toward mind expansion, The Grateful Dead helped catapult psychedelic music. After performing at the Monterey International Pop Festival and Woodstock, the group became iconic without ever scoring a hit single.
A large, devoted fan base – “Deadheads” – began to follow the band everywhere. The group suffered a tragedy when bandleader Jerry Garcia slipped into a coma in 1986, but returned the next year with a top-selling album and surprise hit single, “Touch of Grey.” By 1993, the The Grateful Dead were the top-grossing live act in the United States. The band ended when Garcia died in 1995, but the music lives on with a stream of live releases.