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Jerry Garcia: 1942-1995: Musician

Settled In San Francisco

After learning that another band was also called the Warlocks, the group changed its name. A number of names had been suggested when Garcia picked up a dictionary, opened it, and singled out the phrase "grateful dead." The name would stick for the next 30 years. Garcia left his wife and child when he moved into the band's communal house at 710 Asbury Street in San Francisco. There, Carolyn Adams, known as Mountain Girl, joined him and the couple eventually married and had two children, Annabelle and Teresa. Over the next two years, the band developed a reputation in San Francisco, performing frequently at the Avalon Ballroom and at the Fillmore. In 1967 the band recorded its self-titled debut for Warner Records.

Garcia's views about music evolved rapidly during this time period, primarily due to his first experience with LSD in April of 1965 when the drug was still legal. While Garcia would later have multiple problems due to heroin addiction, he believed his early experiences with marijuana and hallucinogenics were mind expanding. "All you have to do is take this little pill, and it's a different world," he told Fong-Torres. "As far as I was concerned, it was tremendously liberating."

In 1970 Garcia and Hunter's songwriting matured on two of the Grateful Dead's most enduring albums, Workingman's Dead and American Beauty. A number of Garcia/Hunter songs—"Uncle John's Band," "Ripple," "Casey Jones," and "Friend of the Devil"—remained staples in the band's repertoire for the remainder of its career. "Workingman's Dead remains the crucial studio work in the band's entire oeuvre," wrote Joel Selvin and Gary Graff in Music Hound Folk. McNally wrote of American Beauty, "The songs were not only exquisite, their performances were illuminated by an inner light born of sorrow." Some observers believed that Garcia's emotional vocals on the latter album reflected his response to his mother's death in 1970.

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: E(mily) R. Frank (1967-) Biography - Personal to Martha Graham (1893–1991) BiographyJerry Garcia: 1942-1995: Musician Biography - Traded In Accordion For Guitar, Developed Love Of Folk Music, Settled In San Francisco, Life With The Grateful Dead