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Music – 1978 – The Grateful Dead – If I Get My Way + Keep on Trucking

The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California….with a group ranging from quintet to septet….as the band is known for its eclectic style….which fused elements of rock, folk, country, bluegrass, blues, gospel, modal jazz, reggae, experimental music, psychedelia, and space rock for live performances of lengthy instrumental jams….and for their devoted fan base, known as “Deadheads”. “

“Their music”, writes Lenny Kaye, “touches on ground that most other groups don’t even know exists”….as their various influences were distilled into a diverse and psychedelic whole that made the Grateful Dead “the pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world”.   

The Grateful Dead was founded in the San Francisco Bay Area amid the rise of the counterculture of the 1960’s….with the founding members being Jerry Garcia (lead guitar, vocals), Bob Weir (rhythm guitar, vocals), Ron “Pigpen” McKernan (keyboards, harmonica, vocals), Phil Lesh (bass, vocals), and Bill Kreutzmann (drums)…..whereby with the exception of McKernan, who died in 1973, and Hart, who took time off from 1971 to 1974, the core of the band stayed together for its entire 30-year history.   

In this video seen herewith….The Grateful Dead perform two of their greatest hits of all time with If I Get My Way and Truckin’.

Truckin’ is a song by the Grateful Dead….which first appeared on their 1970 album American Beauty….and was recognized by the United States Library of Congress in 1997 as a national treasure…..which was written by band members Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh and lyricist Robert Hunter….whereas “Truckin'” molds classic Grateful Dead rhythms and instrumentation. The lyrics refer to a drug raid of the band’s hotel lodgings in New Orleans during a concert tour earlier in 1970 as evidenced by this verse in the song….

Busted, down on Bourbon Street
Set up, like a bowling pin
Knocked down, it gets to wearing thin
They just won’t let you be.

The song’s climactic refrain, “What a long, strange trip it’s been”, has achieved widespread cultural use in the years since the song’s release.


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