I’ve had many friends who were Dead Heads. I once rode on an Amtrak train north of NYC that was full of Dead Heads going to Syracuse, if I remember correctly, for a giant show at the Orange Dome. Beautiful people, but not me.
But I also think that the Dead, and Garcia and Lesh and no doubt others I’m not thinking of now, are great American rockers. Two drums? That’s good. More guitars? Can’t hurt. They did that early in the game.
They were always loud, always rhythmic, but they did move from innovative surrealism to smart social satire, as the years passed. And they got famous for two perfect albums of restrained country rock (Working Class Blues, American Beauty) and exquisitely long live jams that lent themselves to derangement via whatever hallucinogen was nearby.
I think those two albums are close to perfect, and while I write this I wonder why that happened then (and didn’t happen before or after). But for tonight: