Episode #29 | 4.16.19

Grateful Dead: Freedom's Just Another Word For...

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The Grateful Dead became one of the most influential bands of all time and propelled themselves with improvisation, LSD and an ethos of “freedom”. Through drug busts and CIA surveillance they thrived and created one of the largest, most fervent and commercially consequential fan bases of all time. Freedom, LSD and improvised blues in the key of bummed the fuck out on this episode of Disgraceland.

Extra Credit

Editorial and writing assistance by Pat Healy. Research assistance by Russell Chudnofsky.


The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe

Bear: The Life and Times of Augustus Owsley Stanley III, Robert Greenfield

Long Strange Trip

People: A Grateful Man

The New Yorker: Deadhead, the Afterlife

LA Times: Police Say Rock Star Was Free-Basing in Car

Rolling Stone: Owlsey Stanley, The King of LSD

SFGATE: Grateful Dead Drummer, How 710 Ashbury St, levitated into legend

The Vintage News: Ken Kesey was part of psychedelic drugs experiments before he wrote “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

Salon: Backstage at Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead’s final shows

Disgraceland is a podcast about musicians getting away with murder and behaving very badly. It melds music history, true crime and transgressive fiction. Disgraceland is not journalism. Disgraceland is entertainment. Entertainment inspired by true events. However, certain scenes, characters and names are sometimes fictionalized for dramatic purposes.


Score by Jake Brennan.

Mixed and engineered by Sean Cahalin.

Disgraceland theme song, “Crenshaw Space Boogie” written and produced by Jake Brennan. Performed by Jake Brennan, Jay Cannava, and Evan Kenney. Mixed and engineered by Adam Taylor. Additional music and score elements by Ryan Spraker. Ad music by Ian Kennedy.

*illustrations by Avi Spivak @avispivak