FEATURE 15

HAVE A GRATEFUL DAY.

‘GRATEFUL DEAD is a band that was born in the '60s but also thrived as a mixed band of the '90s in terms of fusing various genres such as country, folk, reggae, and jazz. A live concert would last for hours and could be the origin of the style “Jam Band” of recent years. They were far from promoted or being on the hit charts, instead, focusing on live performances, and are well supported by the fan community, also known as DEADHEADS. It's known that they are a band that holds the highest number of audiences' attendance in the United States.’

‘The first time I listened to the GRATEFUL DEAD was in '92. I was introduced to their music by a coworker at a pizzeria I was working part-time. We would discuss topics to get to know each other, topics such as movies and music, “What do you like to listen to?” “Hip Hop and Country.” “I see, if you like Willie Nelson, you should check out the GRATEFUL DEAD,” and that's how I first was introduced to the album “AMERICAN BEAUTY.” I used to jump back and forth, listening to hip hop and country during that time. I decided to go back to the GRATEFUL DEAD's older albums, and while I began listening to them in chronological order came across a clip of the 1987 making of “Touch of Gray,” and it caught my eye. We didn't have access to many information sources on them, just old pictures, videos, magazines, books, and bootlegs were the only ways to know more about the band at that time. Watching videos of the then “current” members of the HEADS was very impactful on me.’

‘Besides their main work of music, the band allowed me to explore a part of the culture rooted in the United States, so I was also paying attention to the HEADS' fashion. Of course, iconic items such as tie-dye were always there, but I was satisfied to see fleece from outdoor brands as well as New Balance shoes, both, that represented American casual at that moment. Those memories have affected DESCENDANT's lineup since the brand's conception.’

‘I went to a related live concert that was held in Ventura in 1996, seeing the existence of DEADHEADS traveling along the tour venues was amazing. Outside of the venue, there were food vendors, self-made T-shirts, and goods. Mixtapes traded here, and there, I felt the passion from the HEADS' community that walks their lives along with the band, and it was great to see both the band and fans going beyond era and generations to keep creating something unprecedented. Hope people who don't know about the GRATEFUL DEAD, become interested in them through this collaboration, and join their magical trip.’

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