Friday, December 02, 2005

Grateful Dead release grip on fans swapping concert recordings

From Political Gateway:

Grateful Dead release grip on fans swapping concert recordings

SAN FRANCISCO- New-age technology has given the Grateful Dead a change of heart regarding the longtime practice of fans swapping bootleg recordings of the band's concerts. A recent decision to bar free exchanges of Dead audience recordings online at the Internet Archive website triggered so much vitriol from its cultish fan base that the band relented. Dead fans can once again download audience recordings from the website, but higher-quality sound-board recordings will only be available for listening in a streaming format, Archive said in an apology posted on Thursday. "It makes the band happy and it makes 99 percent of all deadheads happy," Dennis McNally, the band's spokesman and biographer, told AFP. "There is the one percent who will never be happy until the band shows up in their living rooms." McNally agreed that the Dead gave birth to a cult of bootleg music-traders by sanctioning the practice during the 1960s-era band's glory days. Those were days of cassette tape recorders and friends sharing favorite concerts, McNally said. "We certainly created it," McNally said of the practice. "We didn't create a giant one-stop place for swapping the music online. That happened behind our back and was presented as a fait accompli." The Internet and MP3 files turned prompted concerns that rampant music-swapping could eat into sales of Dead songs being sold in music stores as well as online at websites such as iTunes, according to McNally. "There is an order of magnitude difference between people swapping tapes and downloading 2,000 shows," McNally said. "It started raising questions." The band toured almost constantly from 1965 until worshipped lead singer Jerry Garcia died of heart trouble in 1995. Surviving members were left with sales of recordings and solo careers instead of lucrative Dead concert tours for income. "We do need to live," McNally said. "This is about the band's legacy and they feel the need to take responsibility for it." Dead fan feedback on the Archive website was mixed on Friday, with many thankful they could get back to swapping "auds," audience recordings, but grumbling about being cut off from sound-board versions of concerts. "It seems to have calmed down, for which I am grateful," McNally said. "If there is a show you just have to have, find a deadhead and ask him, he'll probably have it." "We are not being cops. It is just a question of being reasonable."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too little, too late now that they pissed on their fans

You know, I turned on to them when I was 14. It used to be that you would see entire families at shows...3 generations sometimes despite the negative (druggie) elements in the scene.

I'm 40 now. I have a 13 year old now. Nobody that she knows in school know anything about The Grateful Dead except those few that have parents that still like the Dead... and of course, many have moved on.
Many folks my age don't have CD buying on thier list of priorities like they might have when they were young. Most kids aren't running to buy Grateful Dead CD's like we did.

So at this point, when and if they buy a Dead CD over something like John Mayer or something else current their kids will like too or whatever, it is a function of returning the good will of the joy the Dead brought them back in the day. They drop the cash even if they know there's bootleg soundboards out there, even if they have bootlegs themselves. They drop the cash exactly because they know the Dead are so cool as to allow their shows to be online for free. It's all about good will at this point. What a beautiful paradox. A Dead CD is no longer a "must have" item. They spend the money because they still support the idea of them.

The Dead lost the good will by doing this... and you can still find soundboards easy enough in other places. By losing the good will, they are nothing now. The magic has left and they are no longer special beyond the nostalgia value.

If the members of the band can't see this function they have always played and now it's all about money it's because they are as out of touch as George Bush at a NAACP dinner. Yeah, and Bob has just become that pathetic aging rock guy whose addictions cloud him from seeing that he's no longer relevant and has become nothing more than a bad cliche. Worse yet, I know that his personal wealth finds him with too many sycophants in his circle to tell him otherwise.

So have another line Bob, and pay people to tell you that you still matter and still are special because of some originality you had in your youth. You are just as ordinary as the next guy now. Nothing is more common and pedestrian than greed...and this from a band that once was special? Quite pathetic indeed. Nothing's gonna bring them back.

Friday, December 02, 2005  
Blogger a.j. said...'ve posted the same thing on like 3 different threads. we get it. you're not happy. here's the thing...the auds are back. if you really need the sbds you're gonna have to trade for them. attacking bobby will not change anything. i don't really care what kind of inside information you have. just take 3 deep breaths, relax, and stop being annoying. thanks.

Friday, December 02, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post as for me. I'd like to read more concerning that topic. Thanx for giving that data.
Joan Stepsen
New technology gadgets

Monday, January 18, 2010  

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