Grateful Dead Jumps the Shark?

“Revolutionaries get vilified, and then, once they get older, they just become cute…Think of Oscar Wilde. Once they’re not dangerous anymore, it’s okay to discuss them in serious ways.”
-Philosophy professor quoted in The Atlantic‘s “Management Secrets of the Grateful Dead.”

This is a thought provoking article that points out many areas in which the Grateful Dead were ahead of their time – not just in musical improvisation, but in business savvy, social networking, and customer value. My question is, with this permanent Dead archive at the University of California Santa Cruz, does this mean that Grateful Dead has jumped the shark (sold out), serious academic study has gone down the toilet, we are showing our true obsession with the exaltation of pop culture, or are the Dead really a valid subject to be researched by a wide variety of scholars (to the chagrin of many of their antiestablishment, hippie fans)?

3 thoughts on “Grateful Dead Jumps the Shark?

  1. By the time I was about 16, I had absorbed into my system about every 60's band the Rolling Stone Record Guide told me demanded my attention. My favorite bands were on the edge of obscurity. But for some reason…I never, ever listened to the Grateful Dead.Incidentally, I believe the Atlantic jumped the shark when they printed as their cover story "Did Christianity Cause the Crash?" — Not their only piece of grasping journalism, but a shark jumper for sure.

  2. oes this mean that Grateful Dead has jumped the shark (sold out),No. The Grateful Dead established themselves and culture formed around the band. They didnt change their values to get put in a library. Instead, they stuck to their values and did it for 30 years and now people are studying those values.serious academic study has gone down the toilet, maybe? though there is probably something worth looking at in a cultural phenomenon that has been thriving for 45 years now. Furthur has sold out every show they've played in 2009 and 2010.we are showing our true obsession with the exaltation of pop culturenot pop culture so much. what other parts of pop culture have created such a tight knit community of people around the country that has lasted for so long? i think Jerry said it best:"Our audience is like people who like licorice. Not everybody likes licorice, but the people who like licorice really like licorice," are the Dead really a valid subject to be researched by a wide variety of scholars (to the chagrin of many of their antiestablishment, hippie fans)i dont think their antiestablishment fans would have any problems with the academic world studying the band. if anything, they have won. they created a sub culture that is now being studied for its values to our current times.

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