The Grateful Dead can be credited for a number of different counter-culture trends which rose in popularity during the latter half of the 20th century. Psychedelic rock? Most certainly. Mushrooms? Probably. LSD? of course. However, you can add one more on to that because The Grateful Dead made yoghurt cool, and you know it.
Well, you might not know it. However, back in the seventies, Americans were pretty wary of yoghurt. They deemed the dairy product as omething that only hippies and Europeans ate and, while both statements are true, America was about to get their first proper taste of yoghurt courtesy of The Grateful Dead.
The author, Ken Kesey’s brother Chuck, owned a very small and struggling yoghurt company based in Oregon. With Kessey in the helpful position of being friends with one of the biggest bands of the moment, Chuck knew he had to ask a favour. And so, cap in hand, the writer asked The Grateful Dead to perform at Chuck’s creamery and give him a much-needed cash injection.
So, in 1972, the band along with thousands of Deadheads, trucked their way up the west coast and found themselves a field capable of holding them all—and all in the name of yoghurt. Price of entry was remarkably priced cheap and at $3 each. The entrance ticket was made from the labels of Nancy’s Honey yoghurt pots and up to 20,000 have been reported to have attended the show.
The band arrived in one of the hottest days of the year, breaking nearly 107°F, and it meant that many of the cows in the creamery were wearing more clothes than the crowd. “The Grateful Dead said it was the stark naked-est scene they’d ever attended,” says Chuck Kesey.
The creamery transformed their fields into a house for The Grateful Dead to make yoghurt cool. The creamery managed to stay open and Nancy’s Yogurt is still trading today. And, (possibly) because of it, yoghurt is cool, thank you, Grateful Dead – you made yoghurt cool.