Tonight there's a private, members only, soiree for the opening of the new Grateful Dead exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum here in Cleveland. It's called Grateful Dead: The Long, Strange Trip and it's part of the festivities leading up to the 2012 induction ceremony this Saturday night at Cleveland Public Auditorium. The preview party includes a performance by Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart and his band, featuring bassist Dave Schools of Widespread Panic.
The Plain Dealer's John Soeder did a nice write up on the exhibit including some quotes from Hart in Sunday's paper, Grateful Dead's long, strange and suprisingly well-organized trip is focus of exhibition at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
A few of Jerry Garcia's guitars have been on display at the Rock Hall for years. The stipulation was that they be in the non-ticketed portion of the building so that anyone could admire them. That certainly reflects the Grateful Dead aesthetic and is one of the many reasons I love the band.
I consider myself a Deadhead having seen the band around 20 times. That's nothing compared to friends of mine who's show count often surpasses the one hundred mark.
People sometimes ask me what artist I listen to most often. Without hesitation I can say it's the Grateful Dead. I listen to at least one live show per week, mostly via the Dead Podcast. Add to that the collection of bootlegs I own and both box sets of all their official releases with bonus material. Oh, and there's the fact that every one of the Dick's Picks live series is available on Spotify.
I love the quote from Mickey Hart in Soeder's piece in regard to their live shows, "This was supposed to be a spiritual kind of thing where one would exalt the consciousness, if you will. This wasn't entertainment at all. I mean, I'm glad people liked it. But that wasn't its primary mission. It was to alleviate pain and suffering and to bring joy, all those good things.". It's so true. If I'm feeling down, either mentally or physically, there's no better cure than listening to one of their live shows.