Formed in 1969, the New Riders Of The Purple Sage was initially envisaged as a part-time spin-off from the Grateful Dead. Group members Jerry Garcia (Jerome John Garcia, 1 August 1942, San Francisco, California, USA, d. 9 August 1995, Forest Knolls, California, USA; pedal steel guitar), Phil Lesh (b. Philip Chapman, 15 March 1940, Berkeley, California, USA; bass) and Mickey Hart (b. 11 September 1943, New York, USA; drums) joined John Dawson (b. San Francisco, California, USA; guitar/vocals) and David Nelson (b. San Francisco, California, USA; guitar), mutual associates from San Franciscos once-thriving traditional music circuit. Although early live appearances were viewed as an informal warm-up to the main attraction, the New Riders quickly established an independent identity through the strength of Dawsons original songs. They secured a recording contract in 1971, by which time Dave Torbert had replaced Lesh, and Spencer Dryden (b. 7 April 1938, New...
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