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The Grateful Dead were an American psychedelia-influenced rock band formed in 1965 in San Francisco.
The band was known for its unique and eclectic songwriting style—which fused elements of rock, folk music, bluegrass, blues, country, jazz, psychedelia, and gospel—and for live performances of long modal jams. "Their music," Lenny Kaye wrote "touches on ground that most other groups don't even know exists."
The Grateful Dead's fans, some of whom followed the band from concert to concert for years, were known as Deadheads and were renowned for their dedication to the band's music. Many followers referred to the band simply as The Dead.
The Grateful Dead became the de facto resident band of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, with the early sound heavily influenced by LSD-soaked Acid Tests, as well as R&B. Their musical influences varied widely with input from the psychedelic rock of the era, combined with blues, jazz, rock and roll, and bluegrass.
These various influences were distilled into a diverse and psychedelic whole that made the Grateful Dead "the pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world."