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Grateful Dead Disbands After 30 Years Of Truckin’

Sat., Dec. 9, 1995

The Grateful Dead - R.I.P.

After 30 years of making music, the Grateful Dead, once the house band of the 1960s counterculture, is breaking up.

The move came four months after the death of its founder and guiding spirit, Jerry Garcia.

“After four months of heartfelt consideration, the remaining members of the band met yesterday and came to the conclusion that the ‘long strange trip’ of the uniquely wonderful beast known as the Grateful Dead is over,” the group said in a statement Friday.

The Grateful Dead, which Garcia and other members formed in 1965 in San Francisco, was one of rock ‘n’ roll’s top-drawing acts for three decades.

The band combined rock, bluegrass and folk influences in its songs, which included “Truckin’,” “Casey Jones,” “Sugar Magnolia” and “Friend of the Devil.” Its only top 10 hit was 1987’s “Touch of Grey.”

The group rarely recorded in recent years, and the last Grateful Dead studio album, “Built to Last,” was released in 1989.

Other groups had more hits, but the Dead attracted a doggedly devoted cult following that brought together Haight-Ashbury dropouts, weekend hippies and establishment stalwarts. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Massachusetts Gov. William Weld were among those who identified themselves as fans.

Legions of Deadheads followed the group around the country and overseas to attend the long, free-form concerts that became the Grateful Dead’s trademark.


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