He had apparently been dead for two days. Ronald C. "pigpen" Mckernan (September 8 1945- March 8 1973) Ronald C. "Pigpen" McKernan, a serious, but sweet and considerate child, was born on September 8, 1945 in San Bruno, California to a boogie-woogie piano playing father, Phil, and a loving mother, Esther. Want more Rolling Stone? That is all I can tell you, and it is a fact. That was his trip . American Singer Janis Joplin was born Janis Lyn Joplin on 19th January, … . In 1964 the two of them formed Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions with Bob Weir. On March 8, 1973, he was found dead from a stomach hemorrhage stemming from health problems brought about by his dependency on intoxicating vices. See more ideas about Greatful dead, Grateful dead, Pigpen grateful dead. Ron McKernan, Soundtrack: The Dreamers. 3. Share. (Original post) OAITW … Ron "Pigpen" McKernan; Grateful Dead; Item Number BWP0037-FP; PHOTOGRAPHER. At least a dozen Hell’s Angels, including New York Angels president Sandy Alexander, attended. There is a lot to be said for that. From his biker good looks to his gruff, dusty voice, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan managed to work that combination into one of the '60s most encompassing jam bands. His love for gospel and blues led him to be one of the founding members of the Grateful Dead. . Ron “Pigpen” McKernan was an American, singer, songwriter, and musician. There was lots of booze and no reminiscing. There was also a tiny handful of conservatively dressed older people in attendance at the traditional Roman Catholic funeral. Ironically, about that time we all started to drink.”. Ron Pigpen McKernan was born in in September 8, 1945. Back to top Alert abuse. Wikipedia. Ron McKernan — better known as “Pigpen” — was born on Sept. 8, 1945, in San Bruno, Calif. His father was one of the first white rhythm and blues disc jockeys, and so McKernan grew up amidst black music and culture, which would influence him later on. From his biker good looks to his gruff, dusty voice, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan managed to work that combination into one of the '60s most encompassing jam bands. Remembering Ron ‘Pigpen’ McKernan With 10 Early Grateful Dead Performances. I wasn’t in school, I was just goof-in’. I’ve always been singing along with records, my dad was a disk jockey, and it’s been what I wanted to do.”, His parents and his young brother and sister, Kevin and Carol, followed his career with the Grateful Dead and, according to Kevin McKernan, “attended every concert the Dead played on the peninsula.”, “You can quote me as saying this,” Kevin also said: “I plan to follow in his footsteps.”. After being expelled from high school, he officially began his musical career by picking out tunes on the piano and playing in bars. On the tape he plays slow, gospel/blues piano and sings in an eerie, frail voice. There were lots of roast fowls around, turkeys and other kinds; and ham, roast beef, salad. Born in San Bruno, California, he was a vocalist, organist and harmonica player best known for being a member of The Grateful Dead. His father, Phil McKernan, was a disk jockey who had a daily blues program on radio station KRE in Berkeley from 1951 to 1956. McKernan was found lying on the floor beside his bed, half-dressed as if about to get into bed. One of the songs is extraordinary for the way the lyrics and phrasing shift in and out of stanza form, and the melody likewise seems to be making its own way independent of any repeating pattern. Read Full Biography. Ronald Pigpen McKernan, (September 8, 1945 – March 8, 1973), was a founding member of The Grateful Dead. Thanks Dead Head 81 … The organist and singer, a founding member of the Grateful Dead, was 27. Add to Cart. He was never quite sober, even when he woke up in the morning; he’d wake up drunk. He was a member of the rock band Grateful Dead, in which he sung and played the keybord. From his biker good looks to his gruff, dusty voice, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan managed to work that combination into one of the '60s most encompassing jam bands. Ronald Charles McKernan, known as Pigpen, was an American singer and musician. The jug band became the nucleus of the Grateful Dead. He is most remembered for The Grateful Dead. “It’s hard to say,” suggests the discoverer of the tape, “who the song is addressed to. At press time the Marin County Coroner’s Office had not issued a final autopsy, but the suspected cause of death was hemorrhaging of blood vessels around the liver and the point where the esophagus enters the stomach. Artist Biography by Rachel Sprovtsoff From his biker good looks to his gruff, dusty voice, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan managed to work that combination into one of the '60s most encompassing jam bands. His contributions to the band live on in live recordings released from that time and on the countless bootlegged tapes of Deadheads everywhere. Lots of people I haven’t seen in years, like Jason, the eight-year-old orphan of the Haight, whose mother lived with the Dead. In 1994, Pigpen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with all of the other members of the Grateful Dead. In the next evolutional step in band formation, the two decided they could work together and picked up a few other musicians to form Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions, with Pigpen mostly covering keyboard, harmonica, and vocals. And even after he was making some money, the highest-grade lush he ever drank was Bourbon Deluxe. Starting a rock band was actually Ron McKernan's idea, and he was its first front man, delivering stinging harmonica, keyboards, and beautiful blues vocals in the early years of the Warlocks/Grateful Dead. Baron Wolman; DATE 1969; VENUE Belvedere Street Studio (San Francisco, CA) $1,732. because in the jugband scene we used to do blues numbers, like Jimmy Reed tunes.” When the group went electric, McKernan switched from harmonica to organ, and his singing, which owed something to Chicago blues, something to Lightnin’ Hopkins, was featured. Ron "Pigpen" McKernan is similar to these musical artists: Grateful Dead, Bob Weir, Jerry Garcia and more. “He drank junk — Ripple and Thunderbird, even Thunderbird mixed with raspberry Kool-Aid. See Wikipedia for complete details. “They had him laid out in an open casket — dressed in his leather jacket and his brown cowboy shirt, with his hat on the pillow.” The funeral service did not include a eulogy, but the Rev. 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