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Rock Hall Sets Grateful Dead Exhibit Tie-Ins

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 15, 2012

Or should that be tie-dye-ins? Anyway, the official word:

In conjunction with its newest exhibit, Grateful Dead: The Long, Strange Trip powered by McIntosh, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has announced a range of free public programs that explore the significance and legacy of the Grateful Dead, including interviews with Hall of Fame Inductees Donna Godchaux and Tom Constanten, films, and special lectures. The Grateful Dead were the most important band of the psychedelic era and among the most groundbreaking acts in rock and roll history. They broke all the rules while slowly and steadily building a career that carried them from the ballrooms of San Francisco in the Sixties to arenas and stadiums all over the country in the decades that followed. The Grateful Dead and their followers did much to keep the spirit of the Sixties alive in modern times.

 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 7 p.m. in the Rock Hall’s Foster Theater

FILM SCREENING: The Grateful Dead Movie (1977, 132 minutes) was filmed in October of 1974 during a run of five shows at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco as the band was about to go on hiatus from touring. Directed by Jerry Garcia and Leon Gast, The Grateful Dead Movie captures the Dead at one of the peaks of their performing career. Dennis McNally, the band’s biographer, describes it as a “superb concert movie, a mind-bending and adventurous experimental film, and an incredibly perceptive and hip portrait of the Dead Head fan base and their unique relationship to this ‘band beyond description.’” Performances include “U.S. Blues,” “Playing in the Band,” “Casey Jones,” and “Morning Dew.”

 

This event is FREE with a ticket reservation online at http://tickets.rockhall.com or in-person at the Rock Hall Box Office. Tickets will become available to Rock Hall Members on Thursday, May 17 at 10 a.m. EST and will become available to the general public on Friday, May 18 at 10 a.m. EST. A limited number of tickets will be available for those without internet access through the Rock Hall’s RSVP phone system by calling (216) 515-8426.

 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 7 p.m. in the Rock Hall’s Foster Theater

Multimedia presentation by Paul Grushkin, author of Dead Letters, and Steven Marcus, longtime ticket manager for the Grateful Dead. At the core of the Grateful Dead experience was the world’s most devoted fan base: Dead Heads. Dead Heads went to extraordinary, often inspiring, lengths to get their hands on concert tickets by mailing the band and its staff. These letters and envelopes featured personalized artwork the likes of which the U.S. Postal Service had never seen. Since the band’s earliest days, Grateful Dead staff saved tens of thousands of decorated ticket-request envelopes sent to them by Dead Heads hoping to capture the ticketing staff’s attention with their designs. These envelopes are inspirational and hugely insightful, not to mention brilliantly illustrated and unique within the world of rock.

 

Dead Letters: The Very Best Grateful Dead Fan Mail collects more than 300 of these mind-blowing envelope masterpieces, all presented 14 thematic chapters. Fully authorized by the Grateful Dead, Dead Letters also includes many rare historical photos and memorabilia, all creating a trip, as it were, down memory lane.

 

Paul Grushkin has been at the forefront of rock merchandising for over twenty five years. As VP of Sales and Marketing for Signatures Network, Sony Signatures, and Winterland Productions, he designed and led the retail merchandising campaigns for hundreds of artists. He is the author and co-author of many books on rock and roll, including Grateful Dead: The Official Book of the Deadheads, Rockin’ Down the Highway: The Cars and Stars that Made Rock Roll, and The Art of Rock: Posters from Presley to Punk.

 

Steven Marcus is the former and founding Manager of Grateful Dead Ticket Sales and was one of America’s top concert ticket-fraud investigators. He’s been uniquely close to the Dead’s inner-circle.

 

This event is FREE with a ticket reservation online at http://tickets.rockhall.com or in-person at the Rock Hall Box Office. Tickets will become available to Rock Hall Members on Thursday, May 17 at 10 a.m. EST and will become available to the general public on Friday, May 18 at 10 a.m. EST. A limited number of tickets will be available for those without internet access through the Rock Hall’s RSVP phone system by calling (216) 515-8426. This event will be streamed on rockhall.com.

 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in the Rock Hall’s Foster Theater

FILM SCREENING: The Closing of Winterland (2003, 190 minutes) was filmed on December 31, 1978 at the Winterland Ballroom. The band had performed nearly sixty shows at the venue, and so Bill Graham considered them the perfect act for a farewell party. The mammoth three-set show features classics like “Sugar Magnolia,” “Fire On the Mountain,” “Dark Star” and “St. Stephen” and a special appearance by Ken Kesey.

 

This event is FREE with a ticket reservation online at http://tickets.rockhall.com or in-person at the Rock Hall Box Office. Tickets will become available to Rock Hall Members on Thursday, May 17 at 10 a.m. EST and will become available to the general public on Friday, May 18 at 10 a.m. EST. A limited number of tickets will be available for those without internet access through the Rock Hall’s RSVP phone system by calling (216) 515-8426.

 

Saturday, July 7, 2012 2 p.m. in the Rock Hall’s Foster Theater

HALL OF FAME SERIES FEATURING Donna Jean Godchaux

Donna Jean Godchaux sang with the Grateful Dead from 1972 to 1979. By the time she was 15, she was singing back-up vocals on sessions at Rick Hall’s Fame recording studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. She sang on numerous songs recorded at Fame, including Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds” and Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman.” She headed to San Francisco in the summer of 1970 where she met keyboardist Keith Godchaux, and they married shortly thereafter. In 1971 Keith joined the Dead, and Donna joined a short while later. She recorded with the band on Wake of the Flood, From the Mars Hotel, Blues for Allah, Terrapin Station, and Shakedown Street. During their tenure with the Dead, the Godchauxs released the album Keith and Donna, with Garcia on guitar. They also appeared with the Jerry Garcia Band. After leaving the Dead, they formed the Heart of Gold Band. Then, after the death of Keith in 1980, Donna remarried and moved back to Alabama to work at Muscle Shoals. In 2009, she formed a new band, the Donna Jean Godchaux Band, with Jeff Mattson and other members of the Dead cover band the Zen Tricksters.

 

This event is FREE with a ticket reservation online at http://tickets.rockhall.com or in-person at the Rock Hall Box Office. Tickets will become available to Rock Hall Members on Thursday, June 14 at 10 a.m. EST and will become available to the general public on Friday, June 15 at 10 a.m. EST. A limited number of tickets will be available for those without internet access through the Rock Hall’s RSVP phone system by calling (216) 515-8426. This event will be streamed on rockhall.com.

 

Wednesday, August 15 at 7 p.m. in the Rock Hall’s Foster Theater

Rock and Roll Night School: “The Road to the Dead: The Grateful Dead and their Musical Roots.”

This class will explore the musical and philosophical roots of the Grateful Dead, from bluegrass, folk and blues to the experiments of the San Francisco Tape Center and composers like Terry Riley and Steve Reich, to the poetry of Neil Cassidy and the philosophy of Ken Kesey and Timothy Leary.

Rock and Roll Night School is a monthly series of educational, discussion-based evening classes offered free of charge. The award-winning education department leads the classes, which are geared towards adults interested in gaining more knowledge about rock and roll history. The program explores the history of rock and roll from its roots to its current incarnations. Special attention is given to the music’s impact on society, its reception by fans, and its most innovative practitioners. Each class includes a presentation, music and video clips, and group discussions.

This event is FREE and RSVPs are not required. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. This event will be streamed on rockhall.com.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 7 p.m. in the Rock Hall’s Foster Theater

HALL OF FAME SERIES FEATURING Tom Constanten

Tom Constanten joined the Grateful Dead as their keyboard player during the recording of the band’s second album, Anthem of the Sun, in 1968. Called T.C. by his bandmates, Constanten studied music at the University of California at Berkeley, where he met Phil Lesh. The two became friends and roommates, and they enrolled in a graduate-level course taught by Luciano Berio, an Italian modernist composer, at nearby Mills College in Oakland. After graduation, Constanten went to Europe to study with avant-garde composers Karlheinz Stockhausen and Pierre Boulez. He then joined the U.S. Air Force and was a sergeant stationed in Denver when the Dead asked him to help them record Anthem of the Sun. Constanten played with the Dead on Aoxomoxoa and Live Dead. He left the group in January 1970. Constanten went on to a long career, composing music, and teaching piano.

 

This event is FREE with a ticket reservation online at http://tickets.rockhall.com or in-person at the Rock Hall Box Office. Tickets will become available to Rock Hall Members on Thursday, June 14 at 10 a.m. EST and will become available to the general public on Friday, June 15 at 10 a.m. EST. A limited number of tickets will be available for those without internet access through the Rock Hall’s RSVP phone system by calling (216) 515-8426. This event will be streamed on rockhall.com.

 

About Grateful Dead: The Long, Strange Trip

Grateful Dead: The Long, Strange Trip explores the band from a non-linear point of view. Individual sections within the exhibit will be devoted to Grateful Dead as a recording group and a touring band, the fans who devotedly followed them, tapers and fellow travelers (people who were important to the band). It will include finished and working manuscripts for classic songs, handwritten notes from legendary taper Dick Latvala, artifacts from original sound designer Owsley “Bear” Stanley, and promoter Bill Graham’s Father Time robe and Grateful Dead Hotline answering machine.

Art and design have always been closely associated with Grateful Dead, and this exhibit included an unprecedented collection of original artwork that is immediately recognizable from the band’s album covers and posters. It features numerous instruments used by the Grateful Dead over the years, including keyboards, drums, percussion, guitars and elements from the legendary Wall of Sound PA system. The Grateful Dead Archive at the University of California-Santa Cruz has loaned a significant number of items from their extraordinary collection, which will open to the public in Spring 2012.

 

This exhibit will be open through December 2012. Additional programming will be announced in the coming months.

 

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