From Blair Jackson's book "Garcia: An American Life"
"We represent some part of the modern adventure in America -- like Neil Cassady and Jack Kerouac -- and just hit the road," Garcia told the British rock magazine Q. "You need an excuse to be out there, and I guess the Grateful Dead is a pretty good excuse. It also provides a lot of support; there are always a lot of Deadheads traveling around, and they represent a kind of moving community. They've become more sophisticated through the years, with the older Deadheads hanging in there, and younger Deadheads coming in and discovering all this stuff. I guess in the '30s, when people used to ride the rails, you'd have to learn from the old hobos how to do it, and the Deadhead traveling thing is sort of along those same lines. It's one of the last American adventures you can have -- to follow the Grateful Dead on the road somewhere."