House band for Ken Kesey's acid parties, the Warlocks were the larval stage of the butterfly which became the Grateful Dead. Jerry Garcia had already undergone several career metamorphoses-as a folk/bluegrass enthusiast he'd done stints with the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers, Hart Valley Drifters, Wildwood Boys and Black Mountain Boys--to name a few. By July '64, he, Bob Weir and Ron (Pigpen) McKernan-formerly of the Second Story Men--were playing together as Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions at the Tangent in Palo Alto, CA. At McKernan's insistence, Mother McCree's "plugged in" and by July '65 were performing as the (electrified) Warlocks. On November 3rd, with bassist Phil Lesh and drummer Bill Kreutzmann in tow, the Warlocks entered San Francisco's Golden Gate Studios to record an LP for Autumn Records tentatively titled, "The Emergency Crew." The Six songs were committed to tape: I Can't Come Down [2:59] ; Mindbender [2:39] ; The Only Time Is Now [2:47] ; Caution (Do Not Stop On The Tracks) [3:14] ; I Know You Rider [2:37] ; and Early Morning Rain [3:14]. The session was never released, though bootlegged soundboard recordings have circulated (e.g. Mason's Children). After Lesh claimed he'd encountered another group of musical "Warlocks," the moniker was dropped. With the new year came a new name-the Grateful Dead.
Stansted Montfichet, Rovi

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