Saturday, June 30, 2012

Grateful Dead Archive Opening

The Grateful Dead Archive had its public opening yesterday at UC Santa Cruz. I went down for the event and was able to catch the first couple of hours. Beautiful day and setting, Moonalice sounded great, and the exhibit looked swell.

During that brief time, I visited with archivist Nick Meriwether (who was very busy), Rosie McGee (whose e-book on her years with the Dead is about to appear), Paul Grushkin (author of the recent Dead Letters), and Steve Parish (Jerry Garcia's key roadie).

Parish, who wrote Home Before Daylight, gave a short talk between Moonalice sets. He and I have the same editor (Marc Resnick) at St. Martin's Press, and Marc recently signed Bill Kreutzmann's memoir, too. Not sure if he acquired Playing in the Band by David Gans and Peter Simon, but either way, St. Martin's has sponsored a great deal of Dead lit over the years.

The event was well attended--and well covered, if the early rushes are any indication. I've already seen articles from the Santa Cruz Sentinel, the Los Angeles Times, and the Atlantic. I'm sure there will be more.

Many thanks, and heartiest congratulations, to Nick and his colleagues at UC Santa Cruz for their good work and a delightful event.


Jeff Lustig RIP

Jeff Lustig--professor, activist, and founder of the California Studies Association--died of cancer on June 14.

I came to know Jeff primarily through CSA, which he helped create in 1989. At that time, there were few organizations devoted to the study of California. Over the years, CSA's annual conference has drawn and honored notables such as Mike Davis, Patty Limerick, Kevin Starr, Luis Valdez, Richard Rodriguez, Robert Gottlieb, Malcolm Margolin, James Houston and Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, Wilson Carey McWilliams, Maxine Hong Kingston, Gerald Haslam, Delores Huerta, and Peter Schrag.

Many of these folks received CSA's Carey McWilliams Award, which recognizes those "whose artistic vision, moral force and intellectual clarity give voice to the people of California, their needs and desires, sufferings, struggles and triumphs." Jeff was one of those people.

Pia Lopez wrote a piece on Jeff for the Sacramento Bee. I would only add that Jeff's deep and firsthand knowledge of Ramparts magazine, Carey McWilliams, and the Free Speech movement were a huge benefit to me over the years. Also that his colleagues at CSA are saddened by this loss and grateful for his work, friendship, and spirit.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Mickey Hart--and the Archive

Jason Hoffer emailed me this week and called my attention to this conversation with Mickey Hart. In it, Hart discusses his interest in the sonic aspects of deep space and his new album, "Mysterium Tremendum." Very trippy. Also very timely for those of us in the Bay Area, since his band is playing the Fillmore tomorrow.

Speaking of timely, the Grateful Dead Archive at UC Santa Cruz opens today, and I'm planning to be there. Yesterday Krista Almanzan of KAZU, an NPR affiliate in Monterey, stopped by my office in Berkeley to tape an interview. (She wanted to hear from someone who will use the archive for research purposes.) Not sure when the story will air, but it was fun to chat with her.