O'Reilly logo

Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead: What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History by Bill Halligan, Brian Halligan, David Meerman Scott

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 2. Choose Memorable Brand (and Band) Names

The Grateful Dead.

If you stop to think about it, the name is sorta weird. Even a little scary.

But, boy, is it memorable.

Originally calling themselves the Warlocks when they formed a band in 1964, the musicians realized they needed to come up with a new name a year later when they found out that there was another band by the same name that had recorded a single. The guys debated names, coming up with ideas such as "Mythical Ethical Icicle Tricycle" (Garcia) and "His Own Sweet Advocates" (Weir). When they were unable to find a name they agreed on, they gathered at Phil Lesh's house around a copy of Bartlett's Quotations, read out a thousand possible names, but couldn't agree on anything. Then Jerry Garcia opened a copy of Funk and Wagnall's New Practical Standard Dictionary (1956 edition) and randomly pointed to a page. There, staring back at him, was grateful dead. Several members immediately fell in love with the name and wanted to use it. Others were a bit wary. But all agreed it was memorable, so they decided to use it.

The dictionary defines the term as a type of ballad involving a hero who helps a corpse who is being refused a proper burial, a theme found in many cultures. For the Grateful ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required