"Grateful Dead: The Long Strange Trip" has gotten longer. The largest collection of the Marin-based band's artifacts and historical documents ever displayed has been extended through March 24 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, it was announced Thursday.
"Everyone at Grateful Dead Productions is thrilled," said David Lemieux, the band's legacy manager and namesake of the "Dave's Picks" CD series. "The museum's curatorial team has collected historical items from the band members themselves, the UC Santa Cruz Grateful Dead Archive and from private collectors to create a two-story display that shouldn't be missed by any Deadhead or music lover."
The exhibit opened on April 12 during the hall's induction
week festivities. It capped a long negotiation with the band that had been ongoing since the hall opened in 1995, the year guitarist Jerry Garcia, the Dead's paterfamilias, died and the group stopped touring.
"They finally said yes," Curatorial Director Howard Kramer said before the opening.
In being the latest group to have a major exhibit at the hall, the Dead join a short list of rock legends that includes Elvis Presley, U2, the Who, the Clash, the Doors and the Supremes.
A highlight of the exhibit is a showcase of iconic instruments band members played on stage, including Garcia's Travis Bean TB5 guitar, Bob Weir's Ibanez "cowboy" custom guitar and a bass from Phil Lesh. The band's famed "Wall of Sound" concert system
has been incorporated into the exhibit's graphic design.
No Grateful Dead exhibit would be complete without documenting the band's legions of Deadhead fans. The Deadhead section features a collection of homemade marijuana pipes and other paraphernalia that reflects the parking lot scene that sprouted outside the band's shows.
"In a 30-year career, this group wrote their own rules and created a community unlike any band before or since," Kramer said.
Since the exhibit opened, several band members have toured the exhibit and participated in various programs.
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