October 7, 2009

Toni Brown

Relix: The Book - Music for the Mind has just been released in paperback from Backbeat. Compiled by Toni Brown with Lee Abraham, it's a compilation and commentary on the first 27 years of Relix Magazine. It's got a foreword by Jorma Kaukonen and an afterword by Dennis McNally. The publisher is saying the book is "much more than an anthology, it is an event." Find more about it at www.ToniBrownBand.com.

Relix founder Toni Brown gives a great interview on deadheadland.com. She talks about the history of the magazine, interviewing band members, and coming to write the Relix story.

Grateful Dead Scrapbook

Ben Fong-Torres speaks tonight at 7:30 pm about the Grateful Dead Scrapbook at one of our favorite places:
Booksmith (http://www.booksmith.com/)
1644 Haight St.
San Francisco

Here's the info:
Grateful Dead fans are legendary for their Dead-ication to the band and its enduring legacy of freewheeling musical exploration. Grateful Dead Scrapbook collects rare removable memorabilia and evocative images culled from the Grateful Dead Archives at the University of California, Santa Cruz, including never-before-published photos, flyers, fan letters, and other ephemera. To accompany the eye-popping visuals, renowned journalist Ben Fong-Torres draws on his personal knowledge of the San Francisco music scene in a rich text that conveys the Grateful Dead's story in a fresh way, centering each chapter on a pivotal song that encapsulates a certain era of the group's songwriting, performance, and community. An attractive slipcase and an audio CD round out the book's beautiful design, delivering a richly illustrated volume as colorful as the band itself.

Ben Fong-Torres is the author of Becoming Almost Famous: My Back Pages in Music, Writing, and Life, The Doors, Not Fade Away: A Backstage Pass to Twenty Years of Rock and Roll, and Hickory Wind: The Life and Times of Graham Parsons, among other books. He began writing for Rolling Stone with its 8th issue in 1968, and his writing has been published in numerous other magazines. He contributed the main biography of Jerry Garcia for People Magazine's tribute issue on the occasion of the singer's death in 1995. Ben lives in San Francisco.

October 6, 2009

So Grateful

Culture wars? Yes, they are still going on. Just examine the criticism being directed at our receipt of a federal grant given to support the Grateful Dead Archive. It's not surprising that those at FutureOfCapitalism and Club for Growth can't understand the value of anything beyond "their canon." But editors blogging in the Chronicle of Higher Education? Come on.

Past, present and future, the Grateful Dead continues to be a dynamic presence and a lightning rod for significant shifts in culture. We're excited by (and so grateful for) opportunities the IMLS grant gives us to create and blaze the trail for popular archives that provide virtual accessibility and incorporate the power of the Internet and social networking tools.

And don't forget, the 2008 winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics said: "It won’t all happen immediately. But in the long run, we are all the Grateful Dead."