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3 Facts about the band:
1- It was unlikely the Grateful Dead existed at all: “I learned how weirdly miraculous it was that this band even came together,” Browne says. “In researching their backgrounds you learn how different they were from each other, both in terms of their personalities and musical backgrounds: You had Phil Lesh who didn’t like rock ‘n’ roll; you had Jerry who came from a folk/bluegrass background; you had Bob Weir who was kind of a preppy kid into folk music; and [Bill] Kreutzmann who was a jazz drummer. Some of them hadn’t even played electric instruments until they were the Warlocks. You throw them all together in a room and you think, ‘How in the world did this happen?’ You realize how haphazard a band it was on every level and yet it worked for 30 years.”
2- The band’s concert on August 27, 1972 in Veneta, Oregon, is considered to be one of the very best concerts in the band’s long history.
The Dead threw a benefit show for the Springfield Creamery in Springfield, Oregon. Tickets were printed on the backs of the Creamery’s yogurt labels. It was one of the hottest days of the year, and mostly everybody was naked. A film and audio recording of this show is finally being released as SUNSHINE DAYDREAM and is available at the band’s official website, dead.net.
3-In his early years, Jerry Garcia harbored a sense of fatalism: “That was something I didn’t know about going into writing the book and I didn’t know until I interviewed his girlfriend at the time,” Browne says of an evening Garcia spent with his then-girlfriend during the Cuban Missile Crisis thinking the world was about to end. “That one night is something that hadn’t come up in any previous book. It was an example of something that informed my sense of the way Jerry could look at the world. He’d already by that point been through a lot of changes and a lot of setbacks. He’d seen, most dramatically through the death of his father, how the world could change on a dime. And the Cuban Missile Crisis was another example of that. Obviously the world didn’t end on a dime then, but I think moments like that led him to think that you might as well just live in the moment because it could all go away at any minute. And you see that throughout his life.”