Unbroken Chain: Revisiting The Grateful Dead at UMass
It's often been said that "there is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert," and this multi-day affair including photo and art exhibits, its efficient organization still prey to technical difficulties that prevented recording of some speeches and panel discussions, would fit that summary. And while there may not have been true epiphanies to convince a naysayer, there were enough enlightening moments to lend credence to the philosophy behind the event. For instance, to hear a twenty-year-old, in the midst of a spirited discussion of Robert Hunter's lyrics, state that her curiosity was been piqued about music recorded before she was born, was more than a little provocative.
More important, perhaps, is how this symposium planted and nourished the seed of inquiry about how the Grateful Dead evoke such passion, and in so many diverse demographics, more than a decade after the band's demise with the death of figurehead Jerry Garcia. The first intellectual enterprise of its kind, Unbroken Chain, would ideally only set the stage for reprise and, by extension, regular recurrence. In that respect, as with a concert by the group itself, 2007 would constitute only the first set...
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