Were they ever here at all?
They came. They saw. They conquered the hearts of generations of fans. With the close of the Fare Thee Well 50th Anniversary Shows at Chicago's Soldier Field - site also of the final show where the late Jerry Garcia performed - the Grateful Dead move on into the stuff of memory - and legend.
Lots of parting shots -
The New York Times on the Final Show:
The Grateful Dead Close Out Their Final Concert With Music and the Words ‘Please, Be Kind’: http://nyti.ms/1KJAkPL
10,173 free archived GD performances on the Internet http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/8976_free_grateful_dead_concert_recordings_in_the_internet_archive_explored_by_the_inew_yorkeri.html
Annotated hyperlinked compendium of Grateful Dead song lyrics via Open Culture http://artsites.ucsc.edu/GDead/agdl/#songs
A recent Rolling Stone interview earlier this year with Robert Hunter, GD lyricist, in house poet, songwriting collaborator with Jerry Garcia http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/grateful-deads-robert-hunter-on-jerrys-final-days-we-were-brothers-20150311?page=2