June 10, 2015
A reunion tour has Deadheads re-emerging for one last summer of love. See the Grateful Dead in San Francisco or Chicago, and explore deadhead territory in the Bay Area’s Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood.
Ready yourself for the second coming of the Deadheads. For those not familiar with a Deadhead or the psychedelic rock group that reared them, the Grateful Dead, where have you been hiding? Among the tribe is former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Led by charismatic guitarist Jerry Garcia, the band played a weighty part in the American counterculture movement of the 1960s. They were at the heart of the famous Summer of Love (1967). They helped define San Francisco as a place for free spirits and free thinkers, to the tune of their bluesy, sometimes-folksy music. They were the original hippies. And their fans became just as famous, following them from show to show, like a moveable hippie-commune spreading a message of peace, love, and liberation.
Even with Garcia’s passing 20 years ago, the Deadheads never died. They took to the Web, starting fan blogs, recounting past experiences, and sharing fan art. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream created Cherry Garcia. Haight-Ashbury’s Magnolia Pub & Brewery plays their music and names brews after lyrics. Dogfish Head released American Beauty, an IPA, in their honour.
Now, the living members of the Grateful Dead are commemorating the anniversary of Garcia’s passing with a reunion tour, “Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead.” They will take the stage at Chicago’s Soldier Field (where they last performed together with Garcia), and in the San Francisco Bay Area, back to their roots, in late June and early July.
For those deadheads out there, here are some of the best places to discover the legacy of the Grateful Dead in Dead San Francisco:
Catch the reunion tour at Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara (San Francisco Bay Area) on 27th and 28th June, or at Soldier Field in Chicago on 3rd, 4th and 5th July 2015.
Virgin Atlantic operates direct flights from London Heathrow to San Francisco, bringing your Deadhead adventure well within reach.
Have you delved into the history of the Grateful Dead in San Francisco? Where are your favourite Deadhead haunts in the Bay Area? Let us know in the comments section below.
Written by Christine Ciarmello