One of the most important bands that appeared during the counterculture of the 60s were the Grateful Dead. The band’s co-founder, singer and guitarist Jerry Garcia was one of the driving forces of the group that helped them to become one of the most influential American bands from the 20th century.
They were active for 30 years, releasing 13 studio albums and touring mainly across United States and Canada, until his death in 1995 at the age of 53. During his career, Garcia always was sincere when he talked about other artists and even revealed which band that appeared in the 70s that he loved.
The 70s American band that Jerry Garcia said was great
The Grateful Dead was formed in 1965 and by the late 70s already was a very influential band. They were touring across the United States playing for thousands of fans. During that period Rock and Roll music had already evolved, creating countless sub-genres. So many new bands were appearing on the scene.
In an interview with WCMF back in 1978, Garcia was asked about which new bands he was listening at that time. One of the ones he mentioned was the American band Cheap Trick. (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage): “Some of that stuff I really like a lot. The so called New Wave music. Well, I really like the band Cheap Trick.”
“I like them a lot. They’re great. I think they’re really great. What I like about it is the spirit, you know. I mean, the guys are putting out and trying hard. The whole American heavy-duty production, the slickness, the glib slickness of all. It’s gotten to be so mechanical and so predictable and so safe, you know.”
“It’s a formula trip, it’s almost a formula trip. So this other music is real raw and real nasty and the players are not very good. But the spirit, the spirit is there. I think that young people can always dig that” Jerry Garcia said.
Although Cheap Trick was labeled by Garcia as a group that came from the New Wave, they really weren’t much part of that movement. The band was formed in 1973 in Rockford, Illinois and had the chance to release their debut album only four years later in 1977. But that first record still had a raw sound that could be compared to the Hard Rock and still didn’t had their later famous polished Power Pop sound.
It was only on the second album “In Color” and on the third “Heaven Tonight” that the band found their path and became more known. Those records had famous tracks like “I Want You to Want Me”, “Surrender” and “Heaven Tonight”.
Since their inception, the band released 20 studio albums and 8 live records, selling an estimated amount of more than 20 million copies worldwide. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016 by Kid Rock. During his speech, the musician said: “So loud, so fast that it took a live album to capture their fury”.
Nowadays their current line-up has three classic members: Robin Zander (Vocals and guitar), Rick Nielsen (Guitar) and Tom Petterson (Bass). Their most recent album is “In Another World” released in 2021. They continue to make successful tours especially across the United States and recently have toured as Rod Stewart’s opening act.