Steal Your Face Right Off Your Head

Grateful Dead, or what’s left of it, just made a terrible move. By demanding that their live and unreleased music be taken off sites like and, they discarded their principles and turned on their fans, or “brand evangelists” as we like to call them in Adlandia.
Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing:

This is pretty disappointing. Deadheads made the Grateful Dead some pretty substantial fortunes over the years by acting as unpaid, volunteer evangelists for their commercial offerings. This is a genuine betrayal of the audience from a couple of greedy people who would line their pockets at the expense of the memory of the generous, mutually beneficial relationship between the band and its supporters.

And what timing (something musicians are supposed to be good at). We’re in the age of mainstream media meltdown. A time of citizen empowerment–particularly in the media shpere–inspired by the very ethos Grateful Dead embodied in their taper-friendly policy, which allowed for tapers to capture live shows and then distribute them to fellow freaks for no financial gain. So it’s all the stranger that an enlightened group of people would fight against this current.
To think that the band’s live music will now be contained in a store seems as far-fetched as it is wrongheaded and mean-spirited.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.