or Dead Head
is a name given to fans
of the American jam band
, the Grateful Dead
In the 1970s, a number of fans began travelling to see the band in as many shows or festival venues as they could. With large numbers of people thus attending strings of shows, a community developed. Deadheads developed their own idioms and slang.
By the late 1970s, some Deadheads began to sell tie-dye t-shirts, veggie burritos, or other items at Grateful Dead concerts. This allowed many Deadheads a way to follow the band on its tours. During the early 1980s, the number of Deadheads taping shows increased, and the band created a special section for fans who wished to record the show. These tapes are still shared and circulated today, and never sold.
In the earlier days of the Grateful Dead, there was question as to whether or not allowing concert-taping was in the best interest of the band, to which Garcia replied something similar to, "When we are done with it [the concerts] -- they can have it." The practice of taping
has continued into the digital age; and the rise of the Internet has made it extremely easy to share new shows as well as older.