For what its worth, here's my take on playing in the band.
1. Playing in a band is all about playing chamber music--the essence is musicians playing together. This requires listening, putting aside egos, having fun, and taking personal responsibility for your role in the group.
2. Most chamber music ensembles require a leader, although over time, every one takes on an emergent leadership role. This is what listening is all about.
3. Rehearsals are essential. The six P's should be a band's maxim--Proper Practice and Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.
4. Being too stoned or drunk will derail a band .
5. Playing in GD tribute band is extremely hard because the Dead knew how to swing, and most recreational musicians need to learn how to play GD swing--thus, rhythm and tempo can be a struggle.
6. Listening to recordings of your band should be done with the understanding that you will always hear stuff that bums you out.
7. You've got to have fun--as soon as you stop having fun, its time to move on.
My story involves playing in one GD tribute for 6 months (The Grateful Society Band), and now I'm playing in my current band going on 9 months (Deadicated). The first band broke up because of #6 and #7 above, but the musicians mastered #1-5. My current band is working through the 7 steps, and we've got a long way to go, but #7 is super strong so its totally worth it.
I hope things work out for you, MattMan