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The "Deadlot" was the parking lot at Grateful Dead concerts. For people who lived on the road touring with the band, it served as a meeting point. For locals of the towns where the band was playing, it was a place to experience a unique subculture, buy drugs, or find recruits for their religion of choice.

The Deadlot had an organic quality to it, specific locales would appear naturally - most notably, "Shakedown Street", which was named after one of the band's songs. Here is where the open market would naturally form full of people selling their wares, ranging from clothes to food (vegetarian: burritos, stir-fry, etc.) to, of course drugs, most openly LSD, Mushrooms, and Marijuana, although heroin and works could be easily obtained if one knew where to look.

The various cliques of Deadheads were easily observed in the lot, as were many painted schoolbuses (including Elsewhere, Alluvus, and others, a reference to Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters' Furthur bus) and communal drum circles.

Over time, more and more undercover cops/DEA would be on the lot trying to bust the LSD rings that passed through town leaving tripping schoolkids in their wake. Towards the end of the Grateful Dead phenomena, beatings and arrests were not uncommon. A number of people on the lot were runaways, fugitves and bail jumpers, so rumors of bounty hunters on the lot would sometimes surface. The rise of heroin corresponded with more problems, including panhandling, arrests, rip-offs, and the occasional overdose. As the Dead became more popular (mostly in the wake of the single Touch of Grey) more violent fans emerged from college frat houses and introduced problems like gate crashing, fights, and riots.

While it lasted, the Deadlot represented a meeting ground of many interesting slices of American subculture and themes, including the "free love" optimism left over from the sixties, the beat's yearning for life "on the road", the destruction of drug addiction, the outlaw life, and, of course, the curious onlooker.

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