Grateful Dead

The Dead as Alternate Reality

Grateful Dead Hour by David Gans

As probably the only person to have managed both the Stones and the Dead, Sam Cutler, as you may imagine, tells some great tales in his book. But also, in a chapter called Yin and Yang, he talks about the profound differences between the two bands, and I was especially struck by this bit:

...Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were supremely gifted media manipulators. These two ostensibly unlikely promo-tarts were experts at self-promotion and publicity, masters at dealing with and manipulating the straight world. In some respects, the straight world had made them.

The Dead adamantly refused to believe that they actually needed the straight world and the media to make their whole trip a success. The resolutely aimed themselves at a minority and were unfazed by mass-market tastes or opinions. The Haight-Ashbury district from which the Dead had evolved had been an attempt to create an alternative to straight society.

The Rolling Stones were interested in exploiting straight society, not in coming up with a viable alternative. They were a show band whose onstage delivery had all the razzmatazz and glamour the world expects from its superstars. Like most of the superstars I have known they were basically interested in producing a spectacular performance, being as successful as possible, loved by one and all, making tons of money, and putting the cash in a Swiss bank where they shared it with no one. Can't say I ever blamed them for that.

The Grateful Dead were the polar opposite--despising the music industry and all that it represented. They were cooperative, sharing and caring, directly supporting an extended family of more than forty people and dedicated to getting high at their concerts with like-minded souls.

Thoughts?

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ejjd's picture
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1403 Valley Stream Road
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39° 31' 11.2008" N, 76° 19' 21.7452" W
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DG, Hope your felling

DG,
Hope your felling better. Good job and keep up the good work you do!
Ed D

"You can't go back and you can't stand still"

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Wonderful instrumental

Wonderful instrumental reunion near end of "Friend of the Devil". Had to check out lyrics for "Let it Grow." Then I say to myself, "One of the very best of all Dead songs." Barlow did it all in Grow.. Great rendition here. This kind of song is what kills me about The Dead. The change of pace...the lyrics with the music are, to me, exquisite.

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Great White North

Most excellent! Love the AK shows!

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The Dead as Alternate Reality