A Long, Strange Trip: The Grateful Dead’s Psychedelic Journey to Fame

The Deadheads Are Born

Do you know what Whoopie Goldberg, Will Arnett, Carlos Santana, Nancy Pelosi, and, yes, Ann Coulter all have in common? They are all members of the community of Grateful Dead fans, affectionately and commonly known as Deadheads. Urban Dictionary defines Deadhead as “a person who greatly enjoys music of the Grateful Dead and particularly the genius of Jerry Garcia.”


Photo by Everett Collection / Shutterstock

But as everyone knows, these fans aren’t like regular fans. Decades ago, these fans cranked up their level of devotion to an entirely different level. They began following the band on tour from city to city, and, as their numbers grew, a community was born. They even have their own set of rules and special slang.