Reviewed & updated: November 29, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
Consider this a call to all Deadheads to assemble, because we′ve gathered some of the coolest Grateful Dead Tattoos just for you to craze over.
In the 1960s, a budding rock band broke onto the scene known as the Grateful Dead.
They expertly incorporated a fusion of sounds from space rock to blues and psychedelia. There stardom and fan-following exploded and with it came die-hard fans who called themselves “Deadheads”
These die-hard Grateful Dead fans showcased their love for the band by being loyal and faithful fans. Some bought tee-shirts while others memorized lyrics from their music. Day after day their popularity grew and they were thriving in their prime-time.
After Jerry Garcia′s demise, the other members of the band disbanded. However, the Deadheads remained and they continue to thrive.
To pay homage to this legendary band and their music, loyal Deadheads continue to show their love for the men by getting Grateful Dead Tattoos.
These Grateful Dead Tattoos have become so popular that we′ve decide to scour the internet and find some of the coolest Grateful Dead tattoos for the ever-loyal Deadheads who continue to commemorate the legendary band and their quality work.
The Grateful Dead Skull And Roses Tattoo
This stunning neo-traditional work is sure to tickle your fancy. The artist delicately recreated the famous album cover from the Grateful Dead.
The design itself is so stunning that it had to become a popular choice among many of the Grateful Dead tattoo ideas. The beautiful contrast of the black and red tones provide a tasteful look.
The placement choices are in abundance, ranging from the forearm to the chest and the back.
Dire Wolf Grateful Dead Tattoo
This Grateful Dead tattoo finds its inspiration from one of their famous music ever made, called the Dire Wolf.
Here, the artist created a quirky and fun and rather mischievous looking wolf commemorating the band′s music. The tattoo has been done in neo-traditional work and its vibrancy is sure to catch lots of attention and collect compliments,
A great opportunity for Deadheads to talk about all things Grateful Dead with their peers when they ask about such a fun little tattoo.
The Famous Grateful Dead Bear Tattoo
Deadheads choose to mark their love for the band in a unique way, by getting their album covers tattooed on them.
Granted these album covers are unconventionally aesthetic in their own rights.
Like the notorious and popular “Dancing Bear” tattoo. The artist created a replica on the inner bicep of the “History of the Grateful Dead, Volume One (Bear′s Choice)” album cover. This multicoloured bear makes for a pretty and vibrant tattoo, ideal for fans of the Grateful Dead.
The bears have been profoundly embedded in the culture around the Grateful Dead, taking on layers of metaphorical meaning throughout the years.
The Brokedown Palace Lyric Grateful Dead Tattoo
The famous lyrics “Mama, mama, many worlds I′ve come / Since I first left home” to Brokedown Palace makes for an ideal Grateful Dead tattoo and Deadheads are fawning over this beautiful design.
This time it′s a forearm work placed inside the lightning bolt that we famously find in the Grateful Dead band logo. The lyrics are in the midst of the lightning bolt and makes for a fun little design for fans of that particular song.
While the song in itself is famous in its own rights, fans of the band tend to appreciate the lyrics more than the music, seeing as many of them find resonance to the words. So if you are one of the Brokedown Palace or even Dire Wolf fans, then lyric tattoos like this one will definitely get your boat sailing.
A Jerry Garcia Tattoo For Grateful Deadheads
No Grateful Dead tattoo collection is ever complete without a Jerry Garcia tattoo.
This animated little portrait is sure to pull at your heartstrings and we recommend you get his face tattooed so that you can pay homage to the fallen member and his cherished life.
It is a favourite choice for many Grateful Dead fans.
Grateful Dead Bear Bent Back With Mushroom Tattoo
This sweet little tattoo gives the famous dancing bear a fun twist. Literally.
The bright yellow colour of the tattoo gives it a vibrant and fun look and we assure you that you′ll not regret getting it.
For the most daring Grateful Dead enthusiasts, the infamous ‘dancing bears’ remain a popular option as it continues to be one of the most iconic symbols of the Band.
Grateful Dead Lightning Bolt Tattoo
The ‘deadbolt’ with a unique twist is presented in this quirky and aesthetically pleasing tattoo design from the Grateful Dead.
A symbol that references the logo of the Grateful Dead makes for a tasteful tattoo for Grateful Dead enthusiasts and we have brought you this floral designed version. The outline is created in the shape of a lightning bolt, the famous logo, while the insides are designed with flowers, rainbows, mountains and cute little mushrooms.
Realism Grateful Dead Skeleton Tattoo
This beautiful skeleton tattoo is inspired by the Bertha Album Cover of the Grateful Dead.
We see a standing skeleton, and the artist created a realistic illusion that further enhances the beauty of the tattoo despite it being a simple design.
The artist used the Fineline method to create the artwork and the dark tone gives the tattoo a sketched look. The gothic aesthetic of the tattoo will surely appeal to many Grateful Dead fans and you men from all walks of life can note the gothic beauty this unconventional design presents.
Fun Skeleton On A Bicycle Grateful Dead Tattoo
Bertha- The Skeleton is having a great time riding a bicycle and we can′t get enough of how fun and hilarious this quirky tattoo looks.
If you are someone who enjoys tattoos that are eccentric and funky like this piece, then we assure you that this version of the skeleton will not disappoint you.
Here′s your chance to stop contemplating your next tattoo and face your fears. Because this cute little tattoo is totally worth it and so is the Grateful Dead.
The Terrapin Turtles Grateful Dead Tattoo
The ‘Terrapin Turtles’ are one of the lesser-known but still cherished Grateful Dead emblems. The symbol, which first appeared on the cover of the 1977 album ‘Terrapin Station’, is reported to have been inspired by the words of the album’s title tune, the iconic live jam “Terrapin Station.”
The logo definitely makes for a cute tattoo design and does not fail to commemorate the legendary band.
Other than that, turtles hold a deeper meaning of their own and their symbolism can be considered separately in this version of the tattoo, together with the Grateful Dead reference.
One of the amazing things about the Grateful Dead was how their wide variety and distinct style drew admirers from many layers of society. There is a phrase or work of art that might symbolize something different to all of us.
It′s remarkable to witness the Grateful Deads presence and influence on American mainstream culture, both through their music and the tie-dye tinged art linked with it. The culture is still alive and well more than 25 years after the band′s final concert, and it looks set to continue.
We′ve also gathered a few more Grateful Dead Tattoo ideas for you to explore further:
- Dancing Bertha- The Skeleton Grateful Dead Tattoo
- Grateful Dead Logo Tattoo
- Grateful Dead Butterfly Tattoo
- Large Grateful Dead Back Tattoo
- Grateful Dead Wolf And Turtle Finger Tattoos
- Jerry Garcia Portrait Tattoo
- Steal Your Face Tattoo
Feature image from Pinterest
What is the meaning of a Grateful Dead tattoo?
The Grateful Dead tattoo is a symbol of loyalty, appreciation, and celebration for the iconic rock band. It is a representation of one’s steadfast commitment to the music and lifestyle that have been popularized by the legendary group for over fifty years. A Grateful Dead tattoo can also be used as a tribute to the late Jerry Garcia, who was the lead guitarist and vocalist of the band. The Grateful Dead’s iconic lightning bolt skull logo or “Steal Your Face” symbol is commonly used in tattoo designs, as well as other symbols related to the group such as roses and dancing bears. This type of tattoo is a reminder of the timeless music that brought people together and the legacy of joy and happiness that it has left behind.
What are some popular Grateful Dead tattoo designs?
Popular Grateful Dead tattoo designs typically include the iconic lightning bolt skull logo or “Steal Your Face” symbol, as well as roses and dancing bears. Other popular designs may incorporate song lyrics, quotes from Jerry Garcia, or musical notes. Some people have also been known to get a portrait of Jerry Garcia on their body to commemorate the late musician. The “Bertha” skull and roses design, which was created for the band in 1971, is another popular Grateful Dead tattoo design that has been used for decades. Other songs from the band have also been immortalized in tattoos such as the eternal “Ripple” or the classic “Uncle John’s Band.” Ultimately, individuals can choose any design they want to honor the memory of The Grateful Dead and its members.
How much will my Grateful Dead tattoo cost?
The cost of a Grateful Dead tattoo will vary depending on several factors such as the size, complexity, and placements of the design. Generally speaking, it is not an inexpensive tattoo to get due to its intricate detail, especially when customizing a specific symbol or portrait. On average, most tattoos in this style range anywhere from $100-$500 USD. Prices can also increase significantly if you choose to get a larger design that covers more of your body or add additional details or colors. It is important to consider the cost before committing to any tattoo, as it should not be taken lightly and you want to ensure that it will last for years to come.
Who usually gets a Grateful Dead tattoo?
Grateful Dead tattoos are usually chosen by individuals who have a deep appreciation for the band and its legendary music. The wide range of unique designs makes it easy for anyone to find something specific to them, regardless of their age or style. Additionally, these tattoos can be used as a way to honor the late Jerry Garcia or show your commitment to the music and lifestyle that have been popularized for over fifty years. Ultimately, the Grateful Dead tattoo is a representation of one’s loyalty to an iconic rock band that has inspired millions of people around the world.