If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." – Henry David Thoreau In 1967, Timothy Leary persuaded America's youth to "tune in, turn on, and drop out." Thousands of young adults literally heard the "far away music" and, to the dismay of their parents, marched away. America's children grew their hair, burned their bras and draft cards and permanently changed their wardrobes.

To their delight, these individual cultural refugees discovered they were not alone. These countercultural groups coalesced, establishing norms and values so attractive, flexible and adaptive that finally, society could not deny them a place in the American landscape. Because Deadheads typify how mainstream American society generates groups of people with divergent core ideals, ultimately making room for them, the Deadhead phenomenon can be shown to illustrate counterculture as well as subculture, and even a latter-day assimilation into mainstream American society.

Deadheads form a group with an identifiable onset and about which there is substantial literature. Also, A Deadhead, according to the authors of Skeleton Key: A Dictionary for Deadheads, is "someone who loves — and draws meaning from — the music of the Grateful Dead and the experience of Dead shows, and builds community with others who feel the same way" (Shenk 60). To elaborate on this in more objective terms, research shows the top four characteristic influences on the life of Deadheads are (in order): The Dead, Friends, Love, and Family.

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In this same survey, below the mean are: Money, Work, and Sex, (Scott 343). From 1965 to 1995 the rock group, The Grateful Dead, has attracted a group of people known as Deadheads who follow the band everywhere they go. Large numbers of them live in their vans and cars and travel from show to sh…

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