Over the years, the cannabis movement has enjoyed champions across culture, politics, art and business. And while the contributions of each has helped legalize and normalize marijuana use, live music—and particularly the jam-band scene spearheaded by the Grateful Dead—holds a special place in many hearts, especially for those first exposed to this magical plant at concerts.
With the festival culture exploding in recent years, the communal nature of enjoying cannabis with like-minded people in a safe and welcoming environment has become somewhat commonplace today, but it’s important to remember that this has become the norm because of the Grateful Dead. Before it was normal to smoke joints or hit pipes out in the open, and before festivals were happening every weekend all summer long, the Dead were blazing that trail. And now the community built by the legendary Bay Area band is being carried on by Dead & Company, which unites former Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart with guitarist John Mayer, bassist Oteil Burbridge and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti.
Dead & Company carry on the touring tradition started by the Grateful Dead/ KFOX The Grateful Dead formed in Palo Alto, CA, in 1965, ultimately evolving out of several bands that had played throughout San Francisco in the early 1960s, including Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions and the Warlocks. Originally comprising Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, Phil Lesh and Bill Kreutzmann, the band is celebrated for its diverse musical styles—they were just as comfortable playing folksy American standards and bluegrass as they were playing psychedelic rock—but they are best known for their epic, marathon live performances and improvisational jams.
These live performances, sometimes accompanied by acid tests in the early days, soon drew a loyal fan base. Those that came out to …
Author: Mike Hughes / High Times