Rock Hall Major Exhibit to Showcase The Grateful Dead
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has once again created a major exhibit that not only should draw attention from the locals, but bring music fans from across the country to Cleveland as Grateful Dead: The Long, Strange Trip will open on April 12thas part of the 2012 Rock HOF induction week festivities honoring the original “jam band” whose concerts were a legendary happening.
Starting their career as the Warlocks, the band formally changed names in 1965 with original members Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, Phil Lesh, and Bill Kreutzmann. About the same time as their first LP, The Grateful Dead was released 1967, Mickey Hartbecame part of the band as a second drummer and percussionist.
The Grateful Dead have constantly toured throughout their career, playing more than 2,300 concerts. They promoted a sense of community among their fans, who became known as Deadheads, many of whom followed their tours for months or years on end. While most rock and roll bands rehearse a standard show for their tours that is replayed night after night, the Dead never did. Their live shows highlighted their improvisational approach to music, with each song never really played the same twice. The band drew material from an active list of original songs, but was also known for covering a Bob Dylansong as the fourth one performed for good measure. Following Garcia’s death in August 1995, the remaining members formally decided to disband although there have been a number of reunions by the surviving members involving various combinations of musicians. All of these groups continue to play Grateful Dead music.
The new exhibit will include sections devoted to the band, the fans, the tapers who recorded and traded bootleg copies of the shows, manuscripts, notes, and an unprecedented collection of artwork. Over the years, a number of iconic images have come to be associated with the Dead including the“Steal Your Face” skull, dancing bears, skull and roses, dancing terrapins, Uncle Sam skeleton, and the jester all of which either appeared on album covers or tour posters.