Welcome to the infamous Grateful Dead house in San Francisco!

710 Ashbury was the communal home and “headquarters” of the Grateful Dead from October 1966 to March 1968; which at the time was being taken care of financially by LSD guru Owsley Stanley

Owsley met the Grateful Dead during an Acid Test held by Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters, and he eventually became their lead sound man. Owsley was the first private individual to mass produce LSD – personally supplying many in this groovy San Franciscan scene.

Many non-band members stayed at the house during this period including Neal Cassady.

The Grateful Dead house is currently a private home, and therefore is gated from hooligans like myself who come to visit the building for its spectacular history.

The Dead hangin’ outside their digs in 1967.

The Grateful Dead was a jam band whose founding members were Jerry Garcia, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan and Bob Weir. They infused together many genres and their live performances would often include lengthy instrumentals. The band became known for their embodiment of the early hippie movement and for their ever-travelling fans, aptly named “Deadheads“.

The building made headlines on October 2, 1967 when narcotics officers, along with reporters and TV crews, stormed the house. Well, no shit there were drugs in that pad, and as a result Bob Weir along with 10 others were arrested for possession of pot. The charges were eventually dropped, but not before it was covered in the first ever issue of Rolling Stone.

 

The Grateful Dead inside 710 Ashbury.

Owsley Stanley (left) with Jerry Garcia in 1969.

Photo Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-03-14/lsd-chemist-leaves-lasting-legacy/2657914

Due to the commercialization of Haight-Ashbury and the increase in use of hard drugs in the area, the Dead left 710 in March 1968.

Essential Watching:

The Other One: The Long, Strange Trip Of Bob Weir (2014)

Essential Reading:

A Long Strange Trip : The Inside History of The Grateful Dead (By Dennis McNally)(2003)

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (by Tom Wolfe)(1968) – A novel about Ken Kesey and The Merry Pransters. Includes info about Owsley and The Grateful Dead. One of the best novels I’ve read about the scene.

Essential Listening:

Grateful Dead “American Beauty” (1970)

Grateful Dead “Workingman’s Dead” (1970)

Grateful Dead “Grateful Dead” (1971)

Information Sources:

http://www.ic.org/wiki/710a-ashbury-st-grateful-dead-house/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grateful_Dead

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owsley_Stanley

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