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The Grateful Dead played together for over thirty years quite a remarkable feat by any standards Over the course of that thirty years they amassed a huge group of fans known as the Deadheads These fans followed the Grateful Dead with unparalleled devotion Deadheads are not like other rock roll fans They are the only fans that are as essential and charismatic as the band members are themselves They transformed a subculture that is all their own You cannot think of the Grateful Dead without thinking Deadheads From the very beginning the group attracted a cult following that was much more than just a fan club The two entities were brought together through a mixing of chemistry karma good vibes and the aura of mid-Sixties San Francisco The odyssey known as the Grateful Dead experience all began in the California town of Palo Alto just south of San Francisco This was the town where Jerry Garcia the bands enigmatic leader taught guitar by day and played the clubs at night de Curtis and Henke 372 It was in these clubs that Garcia first began playing his brand of folk blues bluegrass and jug-band music These are also the clubs where Garcia first played with legendary band members Ron Pigpen McKernan Bob Weir and first collaborated with legendary Dead songwriter Robert Hunter Early in 1965 Garcia Weir and Pigpen teamed up with drummer Bill Kreutzmann in a rock roll band called the Warlocks The group exchanged their jug band instruments for loud electric axes But often times their music was too loud and formless Bay Area club patrons often left a Warlocks performance feeling confused Nonetheless the Warlocks did establish a name for themselves with the local Bay Area gigs and it was under this name that the band first took part in Ken Keseys famed Acid Tests Later that same year Garcia asked a friend named Phil Lesh to join the band as
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