GRATEFUL DEAD JULY 8/90 THREE RIVERS STADIUM, PITTSBURGH SET II
PART 7 OF 10
The Grateful Dead are well-known for constantly touring throughout their long career. They promoted a sense of community among their fans, who became known as Deadheads, many of whom followed their tours for months or years on end. In their early career, the band also dedicated their time and talents to their community, the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco, making available free food, lodging, music and health care to all comers; they were the "first among equals in giving unselfishly of themselves to hippie culture, performing 'more free concerts than any band in the history of music'. The Dead also toured with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters as the house band for the Acid Tests, where Neal Cassady of "On the Road" fame, served as the "Furthur" bus driver.
With the exception of 1975, when the band was on hiatus and played only four concerts together, the Grateful Dead toured regularly around the USA from the winter of 1965 until July 9, 1995—with a few detours to Canada, Europe and three nights at the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt in 1978. They also appeared at the legendary Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and the even more famous Woodstock Festival in 1969; their largest concert audience came in 1973 when they played, along with The Allman Brothers Band and The Band, before an estimated 600,000 people at the Summer Jam at Watkins Glen.
Their numerous studio albums were generally collections of new songs that they had first played in concert. The band was also famous for its extended jams, which featured both individual improvisation as well as a distinctive "group-mind" improvisations during which each of the band members improvised individually, while still blending together as a musical unit.