The essential Grateful Dead History -- A 1946-1992 timeline of the band's defining moments

By Benjamin Svetkey
Updated March 12, 1993 at 05:00 AM EST

Summer: Tiff Garcia accidentally chops off half of 4-year-old brother Jerry’s right middle finger with an ax.

Dec. 31: Garcia meets Bob Weir, 16, in Palo Alto, Calif.

Garcia and pals begin hanging out with Ken Kesey in La Honda, Calif., experimenting in ??purposeful hedonism.”

April: First gig for the warlocks (Garcia, Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Ron ??Pigpen?? McKernan, and Dana Morgan Jr.) in Menlo Park, Calif.
June 7: Phil Lesh replaces Morgan on bass.
Dec. 4: Band members attend first acid test, a bacchanalia organized by Kesey in San Jose. Strobe lights enter zeitgeist.

Jan. 21-23: Dead attend the trips festival, a San Francisco dance concert-cum-Acid Test organized by Bill Graham, Stewart Brand, and the Pranksters.
July 1: The Dead release their first single: ??Don’t Ease Me In??/ ??Stealin?.??
September: Dead and families move into 710 Ashbury Street in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district.
Oct. 6: California legislature criminalizes LSD.

Jan. 14: The great Human Be-In, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. Rock meets anti-Vietnam movement. Dead join Jefferson Airplane and Quicksilver Messenger Service before 20,000.
March 17: First album, The Grateful Dead, released on Warner Bros. and disappears.
June 18: Monterey International pop festival. Performing between Jimi Hendrix and the Who, the Dead are bummed by the commercial nature of the event .
Sept. 29: Mickey Hart joins the band as second drummer.
Oct. 2: McKernan, Lesh, and Weir busted for marijuana possession at 710 Ashbury. Charges dropped on technicality.

Feb. 4: Spiritual godfather Neal Cassady dies in Mexico. Lesh: ??He showed by example how to live in the weirdest possible way.??
April: Dead flee the Haight’s crime and hard-drug scene for Marin county.

June 7: Janis Joplin joins Pigpen for duet on ??Turn On Your Love Light??at Fillmore West.
July 10: Band appears on Playboy After Dark. Sid Caesar is among Hef’s other guests.
Dec. 6: Altamont: Dead criticized for their role in hiring Hell’s Angels after one kills a gun-toting spectator. End of the hippies.

Jan. 31: ??Busted down on Bourbon Street??in New Orleans for marijuana (entire band except for McKernan). Case dismissed on technicality.
March: Hart’s father, Lenny, the band’s manager, is caught embezzling roughly $150,000 from their coffers. No charges are filed.

Winter: ”Truckin”’hits no. 64 on Billboard charts.
Feb. 18: Hart leaves the band to pursue his own music.
Oct. 19: With Pigpen’s alcohol-battered health failing, Keith Godchaux joins on keyboards.

March 25: Keith’s wife, Donna, joins band on vocals. Lesh: ??you know how difficult it is having a husband and wife in the same band???
June 17: Pigpen’s final show, at the Hollywood Bowl.
Aug. 27: Concert at old Renaissance Faire Grounds in Veneta, Ore., an acid-laced reunion with Kesey, regarded by tape connoisseurs as one of the Dead’s finest.

March 8: Pigpen dies of liver failure and internal bleeding. Hart: ??he was just living the blues life, singin?the blues and drinkin?whiskey.??