Monday, September 8, 2008
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, a founding member of the Grateful Dead, was born on September 8th, 1945.
McKernan was the high-energy bluesman of the band, and he could rant improvised lyrics incessantly.
While his fellow band members experimented with psychedelics, Pigpen stuck to the booze (mainly Thunderbird, and Southern Comfort).
In 1970, McKernan began experiencing liver problems, likely exacerbated by his years of excessive drinking.
He continued to tour with the band until June of 1972.
On March 8th, 1973 Pigpen would die at the age of 27.