The Grateful Dead’s unique blend of remarkably talented musical skill with playful improvisational stylings has appealed to generations of music-lovers since the band formed in 1965. Along with their playful musical style, the group also accrued a fun iconography followed by fans of their work, such as the“Lightning Skull,”“Skull and Roses,” and“Dancing Bears.”
Like the band’s“Lightning Skull” logo, the Dead’s“Dancing Bears” have their origins on the cover of History of the Grateful Dead, Volume One(Bear's Choice). Rendered by artist Bob Thomas as a reference to Owsley“Bear” Stanley, the bears are actually meant to be marching, not dancing - but fans added a more joyous meaning than the intended high-stepping stomp.
Bob Thomas’ iconic“Dancing Bears” performing a high-step march
Grateful Dead logotext
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