Re: Grateful Dead Tribute
- From: "Alfred Trautweiler" <atrautweiler@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2007 05:38:53 -0600
Ahhh... my Alma mater, do you know where on campus this was held???
"theothr1" <theothr1@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
Grateful Dead Tribute
By: Coby Kalter, Collegian Correspondent
Issue date: 11/20/07 Section: Arts & Living
It's hard to sum up the lives, experiences and thoughts of a community
hearts have been touched by the Grateful Dead, but this weekend's
Chain: The Grateful Dead in Music, Culture and Memory" public symposium
The symposium was a phenomenal experience that took attendees on a journey
through the life of the band as well as through the life of its fans and
culture it spawned. Through different aspects of the Grateful Dead's life
and culture, a vast amount of lessons in the arts, social sciences,
engineering and business fields were to be learned. Dean John Mullin said
best when he explained how he was trying to "cross-fertilize" different
academics through the Grateful Dead in order to bring a new type of class
the University of Massachusetts.
Rebecca Adams, professor in sociology at the University of North Carolina
Greensboro and co-author of "Deadhead Social Science: You Ain't Gonna
What You Don't Want to Know," helped start off the weekend with a look
the Deadhead society. With firsthand experience in the field from
the Grateful Dead around the country on tour, she was able to give
reasons for their difference from any other band. She also gave insight
the different kinds of fans there were and included a map of what areas
can be found in at shows.
One panel during the weekend was about the media and its perception of the
Grateful Dead of "hardly ever cool," as Steve Silberman, co-author of
"Skeleton Key: a Dictionary for Deadheads," explained.
David Gans, host of the Grateful Dead hour radio show, explained that some
journalists would sometimes only go to the parking lots of shows and find
story there and never actually go into the show. This often led to bad
criticism of the band.
A solution to this problem was creating media by Deadheads that would go
to other Deadheads. John Dwork, a Hampshire College graduate, helped to do
just that as the creator of Dupree's Diamonds, a magazine that reported on
happenings within the Deadhead community.
Further into the symposium, Dan Healy, the band's tech specialist, spoke
about his time with the Grateful Dead and how his understanding of sound
technology affected the band. He explained that what he and his crew were
doing with the band was "frontier work" because they were trying to
incorporate many different visions with one sound system, which had never
been done before.
He went on to say that the "audience was always part of the show" because
they were trying to put them on the same "sound trip" that they were on.
Healy said that Jerry Garcia, the lead guitarist of the band, would call
sound they produced "quintaphonic sound" which is now known as surround
Other panels during the symposium included a deeper look into the lyrics
the band's works, a breakdown and search for meaning in the band's
improvisational style and an introspective into 1960s counterculture and
society. These panels further helped piece together what the Grateful Dead
were truly all about.
Another keynote speaker was the Grateful Dead's own publicist and a UMass
graduate, Dennis McNally. He described the Grateful Dead experience as
dionysian and improvisation." These two terms really capture the essence
what the Grateful Dead were all about.
A "rich and complex phenomenon" is how McNally described the Dead's
and musical effects on America. He then went into his experience with the
members of the band, saying that they "prized thought" and were "a cult of
"We were all the Grateful Dead," he said.
The highlight of the conference was a panel consisting of Carolyn Adams
Garcia (Mountain Girl), Jerry's first wife, Dan Healy and former NBA great
and notable Deadhead Bill Walton. They discussed their trip to Egypt and
other memorable times they shared on tour. As they reminisced, the
felt the joy of these experiences and laughed right along with the
panelists. It was this highlight event that really echoed the presence of
the Deadhead family that had gathered on campus.
Throughout the conference, galleries were open, displaying photographs
by Susanna Millman, Herb Greene and Lloyd Wolf of the band and fans at
concerts; paintings commemorating the essence of the Grateful Dead by
Kennedy and Mike Dubois and Jerry Garcia's own paintings.
The array of panels, speakers and galleries really captured the Grateful
Dead's impact on many peoples' lives. Learning from different experiences
how they encountered the band and how they affected the Deadhead community
was truly inspiring to any fan. These presentations also displayed the
effect the band itself had on American culture. For any Deadhead, this was
truly a historic weekend.
Coby Kalter can be reached at ckalter@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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