To call the Grateful Dead a band seems a bit insufficient. It's as if the general moniker for a group of musicians playing in unison is not enough in this instance. The Grateful Dead are more than a band, they are an international icon and brand recognized in all corners of North America and beyond. As director Martin Scorsese put it, “The Grateful Dead are their own planet.” Many people who have purchased Grateful Dead tickets over the years and traveled with the band on the road call themselves Deadheads, and the connection among them is stronger than any bond in any group of music fans. The Grateful Dead represented the essence of 1960s counterculture, plucking at the main nerve of social change through peaceful yet gripping and addictive music
The Grateful Dead were initially formed in Berkeley, California in 1964 after appearing on a late-night radio program. After tinkering with a name they would later find out had already been copyrighted by another band, they performed their first set as the Grateful Dead in early December 1965 during a Ken Kesey Acid Test. It was the beginning of a career that would span several of the most important decades in American history, bringing joy and love to folks who purchased tickets for the Grateful Dead and watched their amazing live shows. A gigantic mosaic of speakers dubbed the Wall of Sound was ever present at Grateful Dead concerts by the 1980s, creating a wave of audio greatness that made its way into the souls of many fans.
With Jerry Garcia passed away in August 1995, the Grateful Dead effectively died. The other band members quickly and collectively decided to pull the plug on a group that had experienced an amazing 30 year run. After a couple years off to rest and reflect on their unparalled accomplishments, three of the longtime bandmembers dusted off their guitars and founded a band called the Other Ones, releasing a live album in 1990 and touring in 2000 for appreciative fans interested in purchasing cheap Grateful Dead tickets.
They have stayed active in the years since, and it was recently announced that they will be reuniting in the summer of 2015 for at least three shows in Chicago. It will represent the 50th anniversary of the band/brand/planet, and it will be a bittersweet situation for many Grateful Dead ticketholders who know that this may, indeed, officially be the end of the Dead.