Bobby Brady was a Deadhead

Mike Lookinland loved the Grateful Dead.

Love or hate them, the Grateful Dead have infiltrated popular culture for over a half-century. From their Haight/Ashbury beginnings to their globe-conquering tours, The Dead appealed to many for their free-spirit vibes and uplifting lyrics. Their shows were legendary, and their albums continue to appeal today. 

A lot of those same things can be said about The Brady Bunch. It was a feel-good show that brought people together. It even inspired a series of musical specials and albums. 

So, did ever the two paths cross? According to a 1995 article in The Salt Lake Tribune, Mike Lookinland, who played Bobby Brady, was quite the Deadhead.

"There have been two phenomena in my life — The Brady Bunch, which I starred in from 1968 to 1974 as Bobby Brady, and the Grateful Dead, whom I discovered four years after the show ended.

"The Dead opened an avenue I was searching for. They allowed me to live a childhood I never had, even though I was in my 20s. To me, the Grateful Dead is all about having fun."

Anyone who has experienced the joy of a Dead show — whether it be back when Jerry was still alive, or even today with Dead & Co. or a cover band — will agree that it's all about a good time. The party at the shows often overshadowed what happened onstage at the Dead's peak in popularity in the wake of "Touch of Gray." But that never stopped the true fans from bearing the torch, something that Lookinland seemed to take pretty seriously.

"I have spent much of the last 16 years listening to the Grateful Dead and have gone to 114 concerts. By next week, it will be 117. My wife, Kelly, and son, Scott, will be there with me. So will my mother and 20,000 of my best friends. It should be fun to break in a new building.

"Even though the music is the draw, the show does not stop at the stage. The comings and goings, the antics of the faithful Heads are a show in itself."

Lookinland understood that fun was at the core of both of the foundational experiences in his life.

"People often ask me how I account for the enduring success of a television show like The Brady Bunch. I tell them that it was a good thing, a fun thing, and that as the original fans get older, they remain fans, and there is a constant supply of new kids who discover it, love it and become fans themselves.

"Funny, you could say the same thing about the Grateful Dead."

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7 Comments

hardcharger75 4 months ago
It's not like Bobby Brady was a Dead head - the actor who played Bobby became a fan of the Dead in '78, probably after their appearance on Saturday Night Live that year....

Like anyone needed to know that!
Coles 4 months ago
Huh? Did we really need to know this?? 🤣
harlow1313 5 months ago
I have remained somewhat neutral toward The Dead, but I will tell you this, inside my head I frequently sing, "Oh well, a touch of gray, it kind of suits me anyway..."

Sadly, I am well past "...a touch..."
Steve67 5 months ago
Great story, Got to close out my Dead live experiences at Dead & Co. Hampton 2019. Only got to see the 1st night as my long time road cat concert companion was sufferering from Cancer (found this out later the next week) so took her home after the show. She only lasted a couple more months...R.I.P. Savannah
Bapa1 5 months ago
Have never seen The Dead, had tickets two years ago for Dead and Co., but they cancelled. Still, a big fan, have a bunch of their live CDs.
Bapa1 5 months ago
That episode where he met Joe Namath would have been better if he had met Jerry Garcia.
hardcharger75 Bapa1 4 months ago
No it definitely would not! Joe Namath was cooler and more popular than any rock star at that time! People didn't even know who Jerry Garcia was until much later, after the show ended.
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