Grateful Dead was founded in the San Francisco Bay Area amid the rise of counterculture of the 1960s. The founding members were Jerry Garcia (guitar, vocals), Bob Weir (guitar, vocals), Ron “Pigpen” McKernan (keyboards, harmonica, vocals), Phil Lesh (bass, vocals), and Bill Kreutzmann (drums). Members of the Grateful Dead had played together in various San Francisco bands, including Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions and the Warlocks. Lesh was the last member to join the Warlocks before they became the Grateful Dead. Drummer Mickey Hart and nonperforming lyricist Robert Hunter joined in 1967. With the exception of McKernan, who died in 1973, and Hart, who took time off from 1971-1974, the core of the band stayed together for its entire 30-year history. Ranging from quintet to septet, the band was known for its unique and eclectic style and for their devoted fan base, known as “Deadheads.” These various influences were distilled into a diverse and psychedelic whole that made the Grateful Dead “the pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world.”
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