Monday, July 27, 2015

No Simple Highway on "The Tony Basilio Show"

I had a substantial and relaxed chat about the Grateful Dead and No Simple Highway with radio host Tony Basilio a while back. That interview is now up at Tony's site. He posed some thoughtful, open-ended questions that allowed us to go a bit deeper than usual. Delighted with the way it turned out. Many thanks, Tony.


Friday, July 24, 2015

Making It Happen at the Bank

Forbes magazine has taken a keen interest in the Grateful Dead and their enterprise over the years, but Fare Thee Well takes the cake. Why? It probably has something to do with the $52 million in ticket sales, plus the largest pay-per-view audience (400,000 viewers) for a musical event ever. As the Forbes article notes, that turnout dwarfs the second biggest PPV musical event, a Backstreet Boys concert that drew 150,000 paying viewers.

That's serious coin, but consider this other fact: Last night, while attending a Willie Nelson & Alison Krauss concert at the Greek Theatre, I noticed Phil and Jill Lesh strolling to their seats in the section next to ours. No one made any sort of fuss, and they were buttonholed by friends only when they headed backstage during intermission. It's hard to imagine another musician who helps generate that much revenue moving as freely through a crowd as Phil.

Those two facts--record-breaking rock concerts and no fuss over the musicians--don't seem to go together, but I'm glad they do.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Fare Thee Well

Catching up: David Ulin turned his gaze to Fare Thee Well just before the Chicago shows. His LA Times piece ran in the Chicago Tribune as well. Lots to think about, but I'm especially glad he mentioned No Simple Highway--and quoted the blog! Interesting, too, that he mentioned the Dead in connection with what Greil Marcus calls the Old, Weird America. That was part of the argument in No Simple Highway.