Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead: Now Playing at the New York Historical Society

Grateful Dead Hour by David Gans

The sidewalks of New York take a historic turn, as the New York Historical Society launches The Grateful Dead: Now Playing at the New-York Historical Society. The exhibition, on view from March 5 to July 4, 2010, represents the first large-scale exhibition of materials from the Grateful Dead Archive, housed at the University of California Santa Cruz.  

Through a wealth of original materials, the exhibition will explore the musical creativity and influence of the Grateful Dead from 1965 to 1995, the sociological phenomenon of the Deadheads and the enduring impact of the Dead’s pioneering approach to the music business. Among the objects in the exhibition will be documents, instruments, audio and video recordings, album art, photographs, platinum records, posters, programs, newsletters, tickets, and t-shirts and other merchandise. Highlights will include the band’s first record contract, tour itineraries, backstage guest lists, decorated fan mail, rare LP test pressings, drawings for the fabled Wall of Sound amplifier array, scripts for the Grateful Dead ticket hotline, notebooks of Dead archivist Dick Latvala,  life-size skeleton props used in the band’s “Touch of Grey” video and large-scale marionettes and other stage props.

“Despite the Grateful Dead’s close association with California, the band and New York have been an important part of each other’s history from the first time the Dead played here in 1967 to the band’s year-on-year performances in New York from the late 1970s through 1995,” commented Dr. Louise Mirrer, President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society.  “This exhibition not only celebrates the band’s relationship with New York but its tremendous impact on American culture.”

"The Grateful Dead Archive is one of the most significant popular cultural collections of the 20th century," said Christine Bunting, the head of Special Collections and Archives at the University Library at UC Santa Cruz.  "We are delighted that the Historical Society is presenting this unprecedented exhibition, providing the public and the thousands of fans with such an exciting overview of the band’s musical journey.”

The Grateful Dead: Now Playing at the New-York Historical Society provides unique glimpses into the political and social upheavals and artistic awakenings of the 1960s and 1970s, a tumultuous and transformative period that shaped our current cultural and political landscape, and examines how the Grateful Dead’s origin in northern California in the mid-1960s was informed by the ideology and spirit of both the Beat Generation and the burgeoning Hippie scene, including the now-legendary Acid Tests. The exhibition also explores how the band’s refusal to follow the established rules of the record industry revealed an unexpected business savvy that led to innovations in a rapidly changing music industry, and also to a host of consumer-driven marketing enrichments that kept fans in frequent contact with the band.

Co-curated by Debra Schmidt Bach, Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts, and Nina Nazionale, Director of Library Operations at the New-York Historical Society, the exhibition will be organized thematically, beginning with an examination of the Grateful Dead’s early days in the Bay Area and its first performance in New York City. Other major exhibition themes include the band’s musical artistry, the business of the Grateful Dead, and the band’s special relationship with its fans.

Materials in the exhibition will be drawn almost exclusively from the extraordinary holdings of the Grateful Dead Archive, established in 2008, along with a small number of objects on loan from Grateful Dead Productions and private collectors. A series of public programs will complement the exhibition.

For more information, go to visit nyhistory.org.

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marye's picture
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Oakland, CA
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Joined: May 26 2007
fear not folks...

today's (May 26) installment is in the works as we speak. Technical issues etc. Soon come. Thanks.

tejastiger61's picture
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Austin
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30° 16' 1.7508" N, 97° 44' 35.0196" W
Joined: May 19 2008
Best hour I spent in a long time ............

Now I want the book ... Who's got a copy to lend me ... ? Let me restate that.
Who's got a copy ... and will lend it to me, and then forget they lent it to me.. Ten years will geaux past before you will remember ... but you will not be hung up on me forgetting ... to return said book... And you will receive good karma for the next 20 college football seasons ...... For your good wiil and gift of a book that was never returned. It's that simple..... its a win win situations..... plus all that and good karma ... to boot. ......

En art comme en amour, Ii'nstinct suffit.

shwack's picture
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United States
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SUMMER '82... WICKED GOOD

Hey David,
Thanks for bringing this fine recording to us. What fun!
Could you say a little bit about the source?
Not who, but what?
Warmest,
shwack in nh

cactuswax's picture
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MI
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on the way

Just placed my order for "Confessions..." - all it took was this brief interview and I'm sold. Looking forward to the read. Thanks D Gans (and Starburst Commander)!
Also thanks for the two-fer this week...!

woodyinthebasement's picture
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Banks, OR 97106
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Joined: Jun 6 2007
Maybe just, The way it was meant to be...

Maybe the mistake is exactly as how it was meant to be....
Like some version of a song that the Dead played on any given night....
Some would say... They messed up the words in that one... or
they played the second verse first....
But I'd say, well that is just the way it was meant to be played.....
this time.....

Hay!!! "The way it was meant to be" .... Maybe there is a song in there
somewhere.... Like the Two Djinn....

Woody

www.myspace.com/woodyinthebasement

lethedoom's picture
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CA
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right show

Thank you David and Dead.net for fixing this so quickly.

lethedoom

cactuswax's picture
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MI
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crossed wires - crossed weirs?!

yup, wrong show - but I'm enjoying the hell out of it anyway. I guess I kinda forgot how good the Evening Moods album is, I'll have to pull that one out soon. Thanks again and looking forward to hearing the "real" 1114 sometime!

ps - this could be the start of a new nickname for Bobby - the Starburst Commander kinda fits him anyway...!

lethedoom's picture
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CA
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wrong show

The 'Listen Now' link plays GDH 632 rather than GDH 1114. You should change the page text or the music file so that they are about the same thing.

lethedoom

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