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The Dead: Captains of Industry

Friday, March 19, 2010

As New York hosts the first large-scale display of materials from the University of California-Santa Cruz's Grateful Dead archive, we look at how this hazy jam band sparked new ideas in the music business. Joshua Green of The Atlantic magazine explains their savvy innovations in fan relations. And Rebecca Adams, a University of North Carolina-Greensboro sociology professor and co-editor of Deadhead Social Science, tells us what be learned from studying Dead fans.


Rebecca Adams and Joshua Green

Comments [6]


Gerry, that's an interesting point. I've known people to attend Phish concerts just for the experience, rather than to actually see Phish. Some don't even have tickets but go to the parking lot before the concert just to live the atmosphere that comes with these shows.

Mar. 19 2010 02:43 PM
Dina from manhattan

The reason why other bands haven't been able to replicate the band's success is because of the MUSIC. The music was magical and exceptional enough to endure through time. The power of a great song should never be underestimated - Robert Hunter is a gifted writer and the chemistry between the band members is inimitable - beyond analysis.

Mar. 19 2010 02:40 PM
Gerry G from Easton, PA

They always understood that they were part of the community. they just happened to be the house band.

Mar. 19 2010 02:36 PM
Derek Jeter from Bronx

This reminds me of conductor Roger Nierenberg's project in which he brings management executives into an orchestra setting to get them to learn principals of teamwork and cooperation. Much of what he emphasises is spontaneity and improvisation.

Mar. 19 2010 02:35 PM
Cynthia from long island

i think you are approaching this from maybe the wrong angle. Doesn't the fact that other bands haven't been able to do what GD did, lend credence to the idea that it has more to do with a lifestyle than just the business approach or even the music?

Mar. 19 2010 02:34 PM
NewJerseyNick from NJ

File sharing is a widespread practice, whether major label execs like it or not. Following The Dead's lead, artists and industry heads should learn to embrace this music sharing as an opportunity to greatly expand an artist's fanbase and not see it as a loss of profit. It's a short term investment for a long term gain.

Mar. 19 2010 02:25 PM

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