Mention the word jam, and the Grateful Dead immediately come to mind.
Heralded for their lengthy sessions of musical exploration in live concert--and assisted in that endeavor by no small amount of psychedelic drugs ingested by both band and onlooker--the band's concerts could oftentimes last for hours and hours. On a good night, fans would be taken on a harmonic journey of beautiful music.
On a bad night, they'd be subjected to hours of uninspired music performed by underwhelming musicians.
Dead's sonic experimentations with the jam, an entire sub-culture was formed. In his well-documented and researched book, author
Peter Conners talks about that movement: how and when it developed and why.
Interviews in this oral history with key players in the movement include Jono Manson, David Graham
and John Popper. Many bands are collectively interviewed, including Widespread Panic, Dave Matthews Band and Phish.
This conglomeration of bands all in pursuit of the perfect jam have created a festival and touring scene every bit as valid--and financially viable--as the Lollapalooza shows and other metal fests.