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Ungrateful Dead?

Two new exhibitions about band the Grateful Dead have just opened at the New York Historical Society and the University of California, proving the dead live on. The New York Times reports: “’The Grateful Dead: Now Playing at the New-York Historical Society,’ which continues through July 4, includes only a tiny part of the material that the band donated to the university in 2008. But as the first large-scale public showing of artifacts from the collection, it offers a tantalizing glimpse of material that is stirring the interest not just of hard-core Deadheads but also of scholars. The items on display include instruments, letters from Deadheads, memos from the band’s business meetings, newsletters, concert programs and T-shirt designs. There is also a rare original poster from one of Ken Kesey’s mid-1960s Acid Tests, and even the 1968 letter in which Warner Brothers Records renewed the band’s recording contract, with a paltry 8 percent royalty rate for domestic releases (and 5 percent abroad). Though the Grateful Dead were based in the San Francisco Bay area and were closely identified with the psychedelic movement that emerged in the mid-1960s there, Louise Mirrer, president of the historical society, justified the exhibition by referring to the band’s ‘great New York pedigree’.”
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