Thursday, May 11, 2017

On Tours With the Grateful Dead: 25 Candid Snaps of Deadheads From Between the 1970s and Early 1990s

Deadhead is a name given to fans of the American psychedelic rock band the Grateful Dead. In the 1970s, a number of fans began traveling to see the band in as many shows or festival venues as they could. With large numbers of people thus attending strings of shows, a community developed. Deadheads developed their own idioms and slang.

By the late 1970s, some Deadheads began to sell tie-dye T-shirts, veggie burritos, or other items at Grateful Dead concerts. This allowed many Deadheads a way to follow the band on its tours. During the early 1980s, the number of Deadheads taping shows increased, and the band created a special section for fans who wished to record the show. These tapes are still shared and circulated today via websites such as the Live Music Archive and bt.etree.org.

In the earlier days of the Grateful Dead, there were questions as to whether or not it was in the best interest of the band for fans to tape concerts. As legend has it, when someone asked what Garcia thought about it, he replied, "When we are done with it [the concerts], they can have it." The practice of taping has evolved with the digital age, and the rise of the Internet has made it extremely easy to share concerts through unofficial channels.

Deadheads, 1989. (W. Marc Ricketts/Grateful Dead Archive Online)

Deadheads from around the country gather in Oakland for an annual series of concerts over New Years, 1991. Many camped out for days in the parking lot of the Oakland Coliseum. (Brooks Kraft/Getty Images)

Deadheads looking for concert tickets outside a 1987 concert in Colorado. (Jay Dickman/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

A parking lot merchant strums a guitar while waiting for customers outside a three day engagement by the Grateful Dead in Rosemont, Illinois, 1989. (AP Photo/Fred Jewell)

Grateful Dead parking lot at Buckeye Lake, Ohio, 1994 (Wikimedia)

Dead fans at Rancho Olompali, Marin County, in 1966. (Herb Greene/Grateful Dead Archive)

Driving into the parking lot before a show at Park City, Utah, 1983. (Anonymous/Grateful Dead Archive)

Driving into the parking lot before a show at Park City, Utah, 1983. (Anonymous/Grateful Dead Archive)

Driving into the parking lot before a show at Park City, Utah, 1983. (Anonymous/Grateful Dead Archive)

Outside J.F.K. Stadium in Philadelphia, 1989. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

A fan pleads for a “miracle”—Deadhead code for a free ticket— in 1987. (Lynn Goldsmith/Getty Images)

(Michael A. Conway/Grateful Dead Archive)

Deadheads in the parking lot, Oakland, 1994. (Jim Jarboe/Grateful Dead Archive)

Deadheads in the parking lot, Oakland, 1994. (Jim Jarboe/Grateful Dead Archive)

(Grateful Dead Archive)

A young fan sleeps in the trunk of his car outside the Watkins Glen Rock Festival in 1973. (Richard Corkery/NY Daily News via Getty Images)

A police officer speaks with a concert goer at the Watkins Glen Rock Festival in 1973. (AP Photo)

Deadheads outside the Knickerbocker Arena, Albany, 1982. (William “Bill” Smythe/Grateful Dead Archive)

Deadhead parking lot campground, University of Oregon, 1990. (Bruce Gregory/Grateful Dead Archive)

Deadhead parking lot campground, University of Oregon, 1990. (Bruce Gregory/Grateful Dead Archive)

(Grateful Dead Archive)

Alpine Valley Music Theatre, Wisconsin, 1988. (Bill Steinmetz Jr./Grateful Dead Archive)

Deadheads, 1989. (W. Marc Ricketts/Grateful Dead Archive Online)

Deadheads, 1989. (W. Marc Ricketts/Grateful Dead Archive Online)

Oakland Coliseum Arena, 1988. (Kirsten Michel/Grateful Dead Archive)

(via Timeline)

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