The Long Strange Trip Continues: Aging Deadheads

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Rebecca G. Adams, Professor (Creator)
Justin Harmon, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: The community surrounding the Grateful Dead, a San Francisco-based psychedelic rock band that had played together for thirty years when its lead guitarist Jerry Garcia died in 1995, still persists. For many Deadheads, as these fans are called, membership in this community has been a major component of their identity and following the band from place to place had provided structure and meaning to their everyday lives. Many older Deadheads continue to participate not only via online, recorded, and print media but also by attending performances of bands including surviving members of the Grateful Dead, cover bands, and other jam bands. This chapter examines the challenges to identity maintenance and community participation faced by Deadheads as they age, the ways in which the community has addressed the aging of its population, and how fans have adapted the ways in which they participate in the community to allow continuity in their identity as Deadheads.

Additional Information

C. Lee Harrington, Denise D. Bielby, and Anthony R. Bardo (Eds), Aging, Media, and Culture, Lexington.
Language: English
Date: 2014
Grateful Dead, Deadheads, aging, identity, musical community

Email this document to