Thursday, December 01, 2005

DEAD CHANGE THEIR MINDS - SORT OF

Having taken heat - and facing a boycott - from their fans (and a couple of their members) Bob Weir and the breadhead Dead have relented a little and allowed Grateful Dead fan recordings to be restored to the Live Music Archive. As part of the deal, it looks like Archive.org have volunteered to try and make themselves, rather than the corporate band, look bad:

"We at archive.org now realize that our mistaken attempts to move quickly were based on what we thought the Grateful Dead wanted. For this we apologize both to the Grateful Dead and their community. There has been a great deal of reaction, our actions have caused more than necessary."

Dead bassist Phil Lesh and lyricts John Perry Barlow didn't support Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann's demands for the recordings to be expunged from the internet - indeed, they seem to have been out of the whole picture, according to Lesh:

"I was not part of this decision-making process and was not notified that the shows were to be pulled. I do feel that the music is the Grateful Dead's legacy and I hope that one way or another all of it is available for those who want it," he wrote.

"We are musicians not businessmen and have made good and bad decisions on our journey. We do love and care about our community as you helped us make the music. We could not have made this kind of music without you," he continued.

"Your love, trust and patience made it possible for us to try again the next show when we couldn't get that magic carpet off the ground. Your concerns have been heard and I am sure are being respectfully addressed."


The band used to make about fifty million bucks a year on tour; admittedly, since Garcia's death they've not been pulling anything like that, but you would have thought Bob Weir might have put enought away for his retirement without the need to piss off the few people who might pay to see his band without Jerry.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is such a slap in the face to Jerry's memory and to John Perry Barlow, who besides being one of the lyricists for the Dead is a founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization that has fought tooth and nail to keep the internet free and open, created the notion of "creative commons" and helped establish the internet archive.

This is Bob Weir's doing, not Phil Lesh's.
Being that Bob was raised in Atherton, Ca., an enclave for the superrich next to Palo Alto (Larry Ellison lives in Atherton), Bob is just coming home to roost.

Many hippies would like to think that because the Dead made the music that they love, that the Dead are hippies too. That might have been the case for Jerry and Phil (an artist with an honorary PhD from Stanford), but Bob was born with a diamond-encrusted silver spoon up his rectum. Of course, they were all wealthy because of the band, but they were artists first and foremost. I know a few folks that know Bob, including somebody from RatDog, his solo band. Bob Weir is and always was a spoiled rich kid for whom this whole "strange trip" always was about the money. He has the arrogance to match. Of course now that they are taking a hit on concert tickets, they (Bob) are trying to monetize their recordings.

As is, Bob Weir is just milking the last of the Dead legacy dry, and touring with Jerry "sound alikes" as opposed to really moving forward with his music. He could easily live for years on end on the money he has and never feel a pinch or keep on making a name for himself as an artist with current art. He'd rather
rest on his often coked-out (this I say from talking to folks that know) ass and rehash old songs that will never be the same because Jerry isn't alive to give those songs (even Bob's songs) their magic. He just doesn't have the creative juice to be original and relevant anymore, if he ever did. Without Jerry's tutelage, it's not obvious he would have lasted long enough in public memory to have the option of pissing on his fans 30 something years later.

Bob betrayed his fans years ago, and only now they are catching on.

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