The band members are almost always involved in a side project.
Although Jerry died in 1995, the band members have done their part to keep the tradition of the Dead alive. Side projects like Ratdog, Phil Lesh and Friends, The Dead, and The Other Ones are only a fraction of these.
This may seem odd to some people, but the Dead are a LIVE band, which means that their live sound is almost always better than their studio work.
The mutual devotion between the fans and the band.
Throughout the Dead’s career, many people have dropped out of school/ work to go on the road and tour with the Dead.
The Dead, in return, play music that is constantly improving. And to top it off, for most of their career, the Dead were on tour for most of the year which meant people had a lot of opportunities to see a show by them.
With this, “Deadheads” have made hundreds of websites and books. Most notably, DeadBase, which is like the bible for deadheads.
DeadBase is a huge, 1000 page book which has every setlist from every show the Dead had ever played and specific statistics like how much each song has been played.
Although I have never seen the Grateful Dead in concert (and never will), I still love them because the availability of their live shows, the various side projects and the fact that each show is different from the next.
Without the Grateful Dead we may not have had bands like DMB, or Phish and other bands who tend to “jam” out their songs.
For this, I am eternally grateful to be a “deadhead”.