Five Things to Know About the Grateful Dead's New Licensing Efforts

After years of keeping the band's considerable legacy on the down-low in terms of merchandise and licensing, the surviving members of the Grateful Dead are ramping things up. As the L.A. Times explains today, that doesn't mean you'll see Dead-emblazoned maxi pads or rolling papers — and it doesn't mean you'll hear “Truckin'” in every goddamn car commercial ever.

What it does mean is that you'll see things like Grateful Dead snowboards and Grateful Dead wine, and hear its songs more in films. In a lengthy piece today, Times writer Melinda Newman goes behind the scenes to band members themselves and the guys at Rhino Records who manage the era-defining San Francisco group's commercial presence. There's a lot of good stuff in the story, but here are five things any Dead fan should take away from it:

1. Unlike Kiss — which Newman says has licensed over 3,000 pieces of merchandise –there will never be a Grateful Dead casket. The band members will only allow items that, as member Mickey Hart says, “promote life.” (Which means no sanitary napkins, either.)

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