The ghost of Jerry Garcia looms large this week. As the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead's formation approaches, we got news of a handful of reunion shows — billed as their last — with all four living members, set for Chicago July 3, 4 and 5 at Chicago's Soldier Field, where Garcia played his last-ever show.
But for those of you who feel like that's a kind of a thumbed nose at the Bay Area (the band was formed in Palo Alto, with its first shows in Santa Cruz, San Jose, and Berkeley; it would take about three years to list all the other S.F.-centric Dead lore here), there are a couple of pretty solid consolation prizes.
[jump] The California Historical Society will host a panel discussion this Thursday, Jan. 22 called “Creating a Lasting Cultural Community: The 50th Anniversary of the Grateful Dead,” featuring author Dennis McNally, Grateful Dead archivist Nicholas Meriweather, and Peter Richardson, author of No Simple Highway: A Cultural History of the Grateful Dead. On view will be rare issues of the short-lived Mojo Navigator R&R News, one of the Bay Area's first rock 'n' roll magazines, containing some of the earliest interviews with the band.
Not enough for ya? Need more stuff? Berkeley listener-supported radio stalwart KPFA has just announced its 29th annual Grateful Dead Marathon, with items up for auction available to view here. Highlights: $150 will get you a Jerry Garcia bobblehead; a handful of iconic Jim Marshall photographs go for $100 each. Those who donate also get a “Dead to the World” commemorative T-shirt.
Yeah, so it's not exactly a reunion show. But hey, Chicago, do you get Phil Lesh showing up to play at your symphony hall unannounced? Or, you know, playing at his own club just one picturesque drive away? We'll deal.