Legendary guitarist and singer Jerry Garcia was born on 1st August 1942 in San Francisco. For 30 years, he led the Grateful Dead, one of the most iconic American bands to emerge out of the 60s counterculture movement. When he passed away in 1995 at the age of 53, he left behind a rich body of work that will never be forgotten.
Garcia was nicknamed Captain Trips for his famous use of psycehdelic drugs, and Uncle Jerry for his pleasant stage persona. He helped define the musical and spritual atmosphere of Haight-Ashbury. Crowds of loyal fans celebrated him while the mainstream failed to appreciate his unmistakable, extended guitar improvisations and heartfelt vocals. His eclectic playing style and personality have inspired many generations of musicians, and his influence continues to be felt to this day.
The Grateful Dead had earned a considerable cult following, adding new Deadheads to their existing fan base at every step of their long career. Still, surprisingly, only one of their albums, 1987’s ‘In the Dark’, had made it into the top 10 on the Billboard 200 Chart. Indeed, it seems that they were one of the most popular bands in music history whose success wasn’t acknowledgd by conventional charts, despite four of their 13 studio albums having been ceritifed Platinum in the United States.
While being a continuous member of the Grateful Dead, Garcia also participated in various side projects, most notably the Jerry Garcia band, which he founded in 1975 and toured with regularly until his death. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Grateful Dead in 1994. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him 13th in its “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” list.
After Garcia’s death, the remaining members of the Grateful Dead have reunited a number of times, using a few different names over the years, including the Other Ones and the Dead. Most recently, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzman have joined forces with guitarist John Mayer, bassist Oteil Burbridge and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti to form the band Dead & Company. Together, they have toured extensively since 2015.