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Evolution of the Grateful Dead

All dates are mm/dd/yy


3/15/40 - Phil Lesh born Philip Chapman Lesh in Berkeley, California

6/23/41 - Robert Hunter born in Arroyo Grande, California

8/1/42 - Jerry Garcia born Jerome John Garcia in San Francisco, California

9/11/43 - Mickey Hart born in Brooklyn, New York

9/8/45 - Ron "Pigpen" McKernan born in San Bruno, California

5/7/46 - Bill Kreutzmann born in Concord, California

8/22/47 - Donna Jean Godchaux born

10/16/47 - Bob Weir born Robert Hall Weir

7/19/48 - Keith Godchaux born in Concord, California

2/21/51 - Vince Welnick born

10/21/52 - Brent Mydland born in West Germany

1960-64 - Jerry Garcia plays in a succession of bluegrass and jug bands with various members of the future San Francisco scene

1964 - Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions, featuring future GD members Jerry Garcia (5-string banjo and vocals), Bob Weir (Washtub bass) and Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (harmonica and vocals)

4/65 - Mother McCree's decide to play electric R&B under a new moniker, "The Warlocks". Personnel: Ron McKernan (organ, harmonica, vocals), Jerry Garcia (lead guitar, vocals), Bob Weir (rhythm guitar, vocals), Bill Kreutzmann (drums) and Dana Morgan, Jr. (bass)

5/5/65 - The Warlocks play their first gig, at Magoo's Pizza Parlor in Menlo Park

6/65 - Phil Lesh joins the Warlocks on bass. He has never played a fretted instrument before

The early R&B band

12/4/65 - First show as the Grateful Dead, at Big Nig's house (San Jose Acid Test)

5/19/66 - First show at the Avalon Ballroom

7/66 - The Dead's first single, "Don't Ease Me In"/"Stealin" is released on the Scorpio label

9/66 - The Dead move into 710 Ashbury Street, S.F.

10(?)/66 - The Grateful Dead sign a recording contract with Warner Brothers

10/6/66 - LSD becomes illegal in California

12/31/66 - The Dead's first New Year's Eve show, at Fillmore Auditorium, S.F.

The Summer Of Love - and the Fall

3/17/67 - The band's debut album, Grateful Dead, is released

6/1/67 -  First show outside California (Tompkins Square Park, New York, N.Y.)

6/18/67 - Monterey Pop Festival in Monterey, California

7/31/67 - 8/6/67 First tour outside the U.S: Eight shows in Toronto and Montreal

9/29/67 - Mickey Hart joins the Grateful Dead and plays the Straight Theater

10/2/67 - The Grateful Dead's residence at 710 Ashbury Street is raided and authorities arrest some band members and friends for possession of marijuana and hashish

12/13/67 - First known performance of "Dark Star" at Shrine Auditorium, L.A.

7/18/68 - The Dead's second album, Anthem of the Sun, is released

11/68 - Tom Constanten joins the Grateful Dead on piano, organ, and harpsicord

6/20/69 - Aoxomoxoa is released

8/16/69 - The Grateful Dead play Woodstock in a thunderstorm that threatens to electrocute the musicians

11/10/69 - Live/Dead is released

12/69 - Hell's Angels stab a concert-goer to death at Altamont Speedway, during a show featuring the Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead

Back to the roots

1/31/70 - The band minus Pig Pen and Tom Constanten are arrested for drug posession in New Orleans; the charges are eventually dismissed

1/70 - Tom Constanten leaves the band

5/12/70 - Workingman's Dead is released

5/24/70 - First European appearance (Newcastle-under-Lyme, England)

11/70 - The band's sixth album, American Beauty, is released

At home and abroad

2/71 - Mickey Hart leaves the band

6/21/71 - One-shot show at Chateau d'Herouville, France

6/27/71-7/3/71 - "Trans-Continental Pop Festival" - the Dead, Janis Joplin, Delaney&Bonnie, NRPS and many more board a train and party, party, party all the way across Canada 

10/71 - "Grateful Dead" (aka. "Skullfuck") is released

10/19/71 - Keith Godchaux debuts with the Grateful Dead

10?/71 - First deadhead newsletter is mailed out to fans

12/31/71 - Donna Godchaux joins the band

4/7/72 - 5/26/72 - The Grateful Dead tour Europe

6/17/72 - Pig Pen plays his last show at the Hollywood Bowl

11/72 - Europe '72 is released

3/8/73 - Pig Pen dies of a stomach hemorrage brought on by alcoholism

7/13/73 - History of the Grateful Dead (Bear's Choice) is released

Psychedelic jazz

11/15/73 - Wake of the Flood is released on Grateful Dead records, first release on the new label

3/23/74 - The Wall of Sound debuts at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California

6/74 - From the Mars Hotel is released

9/9/74 - 9/20/74 - European mini-tour of England, Germany and France

1016/74 - 10/20/74 - The "Final Run" at Winterland; Mickey Hart rejoins the band

Touring pause and a fresh new sound

1975 - The year of lying low: Only four shows played, all of them in San Francisco

8/75 - Blues for Allah is released

4/76 - Grateful Dead records begins to fold

6/26/76 - Steal Your Face is released

76 - The Grateful Dead sign to Arista Records

6/77 - The Grateful Dead Movie is released featuring footage of the final shows at Winterland in October 1974

7/27/77 - Terrapin Station is released

9/14/78 - 9/17/78 The Grateful Dead play at the great pyramids in Egypt, during a lunar eclipse

11/78 - Shakedown Street is released

2/79 - Keith and Donna Godchaux leave the Grateful Dead

New kid on the bench

4/22/79 - Brent Mydland's first show with the Grateful Dead

4/28/80 - Go to Heaven is released

7/23/80 - Keith Godchaux dies in a car accident in Marin County, California

10/22/80 - 10/31/80 - The eight-show run at Radio City Music Hall, New York yields material for two double albums (one acoustic and one electric) and a video

4/1/81 - Reckoning is released

8/81 - Dead Set is released

9/30/81 - 10/19/81 - European tour 

1/18/85 - Jerry Garcia is arrested in Golden Gate Park while freebasing cocaine in his car; he is ordered into a rehab program and agrees to play a benefit show for the Haight-Ashbury Free Food Program

Starting over

7/10/86 - Jerry Garcia falls into a diabetic coma

12/15/86 - Jerry's first show after his recovery at the Oakland Coliseum

7/6/87 - In the Dark is released and climbs the charts. The single "Touch of Grey" is the first ever Grateful Dead song to reach Top Ten.

1/31/89 - Dylan and the Dead is released

10/31/89 - Built to Last is released

More changes

7/26/90 - Brent Mydland dies of a drug overdose in his home in Lafayette, California

9/90 - Without a Net is released

9/7/90 - Vince Welnick plays his first show with the Grateful Dead at Richfield Coliseum, OH.

9/15/90 - Bruce Hornsby first gig as a member of the Grateful Dead, Madison Square Garden, N.Y.

10/13/90 - 11/1/90 - European tour 

The vault opens

4/15/91 - One from the Vault is released, featuring a show from 8/13/75 at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco

10/25/91 - Bill Graham (concert promoter) dies in a helicopter crash while returning from a Huey Lewis concert at the Concord Pavillion in Concord, California

11/91 - Infrared Roses is released

5/92 - Two from the Vault is released, containing recordings from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles from 8/23/68 and 8/24/68

11/93 - Dick's Picks, Volume 1 is released, featuring a show from 12/19/73 in Tampa, Florida

1/19/94 - The Grateful Dead are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; since Garcia can't make it, the other band members take along a cardboard cutout of the guitarist

3/94 - Dan Healy (sound technician) leaves the Grateful Dead

The end of an era

6/25/95 - Three fans are struck by lightning at a show in Washington, DC

7/9/95 - Jerry Garcia plays his last show at Soldier Field in Chicago

8/9/95 - Jerry Garcia dies of heart failure at a drug rehab center in Forest Knolls, California; communication on the Internet reaches such proportions that many addresses are forced to shut down

8/12/95 - Fans gather at the Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park for a mass wake; surviving band and family members share their memories of Garcia

12/8/95 - The band announces they will no longer be touring as the Grateful Dead

Vital statistics:
2317 shows performed between 1965 and 1995
a total of 37149 songs played

Source: T-shirt CT008

Life after the Dead

9/97 - Terrapin  Station project is announced

9/97 - Terrapin Special Edition is released

/98 - First 'Phil and Friends' show in San Francisco

6/98 - The Other Ones join the FURTHUR tour

12/98  - Phil Lesh undergoes a successful liver transplant

4/15/99 - Phil Lesh returns to live performance: 'Phil and Friends' play three nights at the Warfield Theatre, S.F.

5/26/99 - Mickey Hart is appointed trustee of the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress, in honor of his contributions to the Endangered Music Project (see the World Music section of the Dancing Bear Shop)

7/15/99 - Bob Weir (last one to give in) marries Natascha Muenter

7/25/99 - Mickey Hart performs at Woodstock'99 with Planet Drum. He is the only musician there who also played at the original Woodstock Festival in '69

8/6/99 - Dick Latvala (tape archivist and driving force behind the Dick's Picks series) dies of heart failure in his home in Petaluma, California

10/99 - Phil Lesh and Friends tour with Bob Dylan

11/99 - So Many Roads (1965 - 1995) is released

7/2000 - The "View from the Vault" series of concert videos is launched, edited from footage from the stage video screens. First release with VHS/PAL option.

8-9/2000 - The Other Ones tour again with FURTHUR. Bill Kreutzmann is onboard, while Alphonso Johnson has replaced Phil Lesh on bass

10/2001 - "The Golden Road" Box Set is released, all the WB albums remastered with outtakes and live material added

6-7/2002 - Bob Weir's band Ratdog tour Europe, performing mostly in clubs and other small venues.

7/2002 - The Dick's Picks series reaches volume 25

8/3-4/2002 - The surviving founding members of the Grateful Dead (including Robert Hunter) perform in various formations at the "Grateful Dead Family Reunion" in East Troy, Wisconsin.

2/10/2003 - The Other Ones (Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Bob Weir, Jeff Chimenti, Rob Barraco, Jimmy Herring) declare their decision to tour and record under the name "The Dead".

4/2003 - The Dead announce the "Summer Getaway 2003" tour, june thru september. Joan Osborne joins the band on vocals, and they perform with Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and others on parts of the tour.Official recordings of all shows are sold at the shows and on the www.

6/2004 - The Dead embark on the "Wave That Flag 2004 tour" with Warren Haynes as the newest member of the lineup.

8/2005 - "The Live Dead Box Set", Fillmore West 2/27 - 3/2 1969, is finally released on 10 CDs. The 10,000 numbered sets are sold out more than 2 months before the release date.

2006 - Rumours abound about the sale of GD Marketing, DNC, etc. Rhino Records is mentioned. No new music releases have surfaced in the first half of 2006, except a few downloads.

5/17/2006 - Ramrod - long-time roadie and president of Grateful Dead Productions - dies from lung cancer.

6/2/2006 - Vince Welnick dies by his own hand.

10/2006 - The takeover by Rhino Records is made official. A new Vault release is announced for release in January 2007.

10/31/2006 - Phil Lesh and Friends release a DVD and a 2-CD set from two shows at San Francisco's Warfield Theatre.

11/27/2006 - www.dead.net introduces a new format. "Tapers' Section" is a new feature where every Monday, vaultkeeper David Lemieux presents selected tidbits from shows played during that week throughout the Dead's career. Song segments are in downloadable MP3 format and the reactions from deadheads are overwhelmingly positive.

1/23/2007 - The first Vault release after the takeover is "Grateful Dead Live at the Cow Palace, New Year's Eve 1976". The release date just misses the 30 years anniversary of the show.

6/2007 - www.dead.net is reborn in yet another design with many new features and promise of more to come.

6/26/2007 - Rhino releases "Three From The Vault" (2/19/71), 15 years - and many other multitrack releases - after volume Two.

8/20/2007 - All music files in the "Tapers' Section" are suddenly changed to a streaming-only, non-downloadable format. The reason given is that "some users" have been downloading the files! General outrage follows.

11/5/2007 - Announcement of "Road Trips", a new series of archive releases. Vol.1 No.1 is a 2CD compilation from the "Eastern Swing" Fall tour of 1979.

2/4/2008 - Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bob Weir, together with members from Phil's solo band, play "Deadheads for Obama", a fundraising concert held at S.F.'s Warfield Theatre. Sen. Barack Obama delivers a videotaped address.

3/17/2008 - Pre-announcement of "Winterland 1973", a 9-CD box set of three complete concerts from November 1973, to be released in April.

4/24/2008 - In a broadcast "Grateful Dead Press Conference" from the Fillmore Auditorium, Mickey Hart and Bob Weir announce the transfer of the Grateful Dead archives to the University of California at Santa Cruz.

9/30/2008 - Rhino releases "Rocking the Cradle" (9/15-16/78), a 2CD+DVD set from Cairo, Egypt, 30 years after the event.

10/13/2008 - The Dead (with members of ABB and others) perform at the "Change Rocks" fundraiser for the Obama campaign.

10/24/2008 - Merl Saunders dies at age 74.

01/18/2009 - The Dead play at the Inaugural Ball in Washington D.C.

02/09/2009 - Mickey Hart takes his second World Music grammy for "Global Drum Project".

03/25/2009 - The "Pure Jerry" series is back on track with the Garcia/Kahn acoustic show at Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 2/28/86.

03/30/2009 - The Dead, in preparation for their spring tour, do 3 free shows and a TV appearance on the same day.

04/07/09 - Rhino releases "To Terrapin", a 3 CD album from Hartford Civic Center, May 28, 1977.

07/21/2009 - John "Marmaduke" Dawson, founding member of the New Riders of the Purple Sage, dies at age 64.

9/13/2009 - The second 9-CD box set from Winterland is pre-announced. This time it's 3 complete shows from 7-9 June 1977, to be released on the 1st of October.

1/19/2011 - Dead.net announces "Europe 1972 - the complete recordings" mega box set for release in September. The 7200 numbered sets are sold out in less than 4 days.

3/13/2011 - Bear (Augustus Owsley Stanley III) is killed in an auto accident near his home in Australia, at age 76.

2/1/2012 - Start of a new series of archival releases - Dave's Picks. There will be 4 releases per year, each limited to 12000 copies. Subscribers receive a bonus CD with the May release.

8/31/2012 - "Spring 1990" is released, 18 CDs, 6 complete shows from the celebrated spring tour, in a lavish box set. Once again, a 9000 copies limited edition release.

6/11/2013 - Release of "May '77" box set; 5 previously unreleased shows from the oft-visited month of May 1977. A limited edition of 15,000 copies.

9/17/2013 - "Sunshine Daydream", the much-bootlegged 8/27/72 concert film, is finally given an official release in another combined CD- and DVD/Blu-Ray package. A limited de luxe edition of 12,500 copies is released on dead.net. Two weeks after the general release hit the shops, it reached #5 on Billboard's rock album hit list.

9/7/2014 - "Spring 1990 - The Other One" is released, 23 CDs, 8 more shows from the spring tour, which is now available in its entirety on various releases. Limited to 9000 copies.

12/16/2014 - Rock Scully, b. 8/1/41, co-manager of the Grateful Dead 1967-1984, dies from lung cancer.

2015 - the 50th anniversary year of the Grateful Dead.

6/2015 - The Anniversary Boxed Set is announced: A crate of 30 shows (80 CDs), one hitherto unreleased show from each year from 1965 to 1995.

7/3-5/15 - "Fare Thee Well - a celebration of the Grateful Dead". The Core Four, Weir, Lesh, Hart and Kreutzman, aided by Hornsby, Chimenti and Phish's Trey Anastasio, return to Soldier Field, Chicago, for three sold-out shows. This will, purportedly, be the last time the Core Four will play together, ever. The event is documented on DVD/B-R/CD boxed sets, plus compilations.

8/2015 - "Grateful Dead & Company" announce a mini-tour in the Fall. That is, Weir, Hart and Kretzmann perform with celebrated blues guitarist John Mayer.

5/13/2016 - "July 1978: The Complete Recordings" is released, five complete shows culminating in the legendary first two shows at Red Rockds, Colorado, 7/7/78 and 7/8/78. Limited to 15,000 copies.

5/5/2017- Release of "May 77: Get Shown The Light" limited edition boxed set; the "Big Four" missing shows from May 5, 7, 8 and 9, 1977.
Barton Hall, Cornell U. 5/8/77 is also released separately as 3CD and 5LP sets.

2/6/2018 - Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow dies after prolonged illness.

9/7/2018 - The boxed set "Pacific Northwest 73-74" is released. Two complete (mini-)tours, 3 cities, 6 shows, 19 CDs.

11/9/2018 - "Long Strange Trip", the 4-hour documentary directed by Amir Bar-Lev, hitherto available only on Amazon Prime, is released on DVD and Blu-ray.


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