Welcome to the infamous Grateful Dead house at 710 Ashbury, San Francisco. The communal home and “headquarters” of the Grateful Dead from October 1966 to March 1968, this home saw a lot of action, including many famous residents and visitors, and the infamous drug bust of 1967. The house is an absolute must-see on for any Grateful Dead fan headed to San Francisco.
Visiting The Grateful Dead House in San Francisco
About The Grateful Dead
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“.
What to Expect at the Grateful Dead House
Well, to be completely honest with you, the house is a private residence – a gated private residence. As in, going inside would require you to know the owners. However, that doesn’t mean that the house isn’t worth a visit on your way to or from Haight Ashbury, as it’s just around the corner from this famous intersection.
Not only is the house a great photo op, it’s a great place to go when you’re reading say, The Electric Kool-aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe. This book details what it was like to be at the house during the late sixties; especially given that the house was financially taken care of by LSD guru, Owsley Stanley, and was frequented by characters such as author Ken Kesey and Jack Kerouac muse, Neal Cassady.
Owsley Stanley 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.
The Drug Bust
The Grateful Dead House made headlines on October 2, 1967 when narcotics officers, along with reporters and TV crews, stormed the house. Well, you’d bet your bottom dollar that 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.
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.
Learn More About The Grateful Dead House
The Other One: The Long, Strange Trip Of Bob Weir (2014)
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.
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