Grateful Dead Pull Their Music From the Internet Archive

Get in the groove and let the good times roll. We’re gonna stay here till we soothe our screeecchhhhhhhh.

Recently Cory Doctorow blogged that Archive.org has been forced to take down over 1000 Soundboard Grateful Dead recordings by, ” Jerry’s wife and a few (perhaps one) remaining member of the band.”

Now John Perry Barlow, EFF Co-Founder and former Grateful Dead lyricist, has this to say: “It’s like finding out that your brother is a child molester. And then, worse, having everyone then assume that you’re a child molester too. I’ve been called a hypocrite in three languages already.

How magnificently counter-productive of them. It’s as if the goose who laid the golden egg had decided to commit suicide so that he could get more golden eggs.

This is just the beginning of the backlash, I promise you.

This is worse than the RIAA suing their customers.”

The Grateful dead had a unique magic and were largely successful because they learned to love and embrace their fans. They always had a sound section for tapers and never objected to the tapes that ardent fans would trade with each other while still supporting the band as they played live in a way that no band has ever seen.

It is unfortunate that “Jerry’s greedy widow” has decided that this is the best path for the band to take. I’d imagine upon hearing this news himself Jerry Garcia would be rolling in his grave.

Ironically it was just at this year’s Web 2.0 that Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart had the following to say: “[The fans] didn’t steal it, we gave it away”

“If we ever make a good album, they’ll buy that.”

“I’ve probably been recorded more than anyone else.”

“We played in the park and we always played better when we played free. I think it’s a good thing to share and give people something. Whets their appetite too…if they go to the trouble to bring a machine and tape it, they should have it.”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s a crying shame. I’m glad I went on the 6 month downloading bender last year!

  2. Anonymous says:

    The GD did leave the audience recordings up on lma so anyone can still reap the benefit from the audience tapers. Only the soundboards were pulled. Not that I’m happy about it, but I think this distinction is glossed over.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is such a slap in the face to Jerry’s memory and to John Perry Barlow, who besides being one of the lyricists for the Dead is a founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization that has fought tooth and nail to keep the internet free and open, created the notion of “creative commons” and helped establish the internet archive.

    This is Bob Weir’s doing, not Phil Lesh’s.
    Being that Bob was raised in Atherton, Ca., an enclave for the superrich next to Palo Alto (Larry Ellison lives in Atherton), Bob is just coming home to roost.

    Many hippies would like to think that because the Dead made the music that they love, that the Dead are hippies too. That might have been the case for Jerry and Phil (an artist with an honorary PhD from Stanford), but Bob was born with a diamond-encrusted silver spoon up his rectum. Of course, they were all wealthy because of the band, but they were artists first and foremost. I know a few folks that know Bob, including somebody from RatDog, his solo band. Bob Weir is and always was a spoiled rich kid for whom this whole “strange trip” always was about the money. He has the arrogance to match. Of course now that they are taking a hit on concert tickets, they (Bob) are trying to monetize their recordings.

    As is, Bob Weir is just milking the last of the Dead legacy dry, and touring with Jerry “sound alikes” as opposed to really moving forward with his music. He could easily live for years on end on the money he has and never feel a pinch or keep on making a name for himself as an artist with current art. He’d rather
    rest on his often coked-out (this I say from talking to folks that know) ass and rehash old songs that will never be the same because Jerry isn’t alive to give those songs (even Bob’s songs) their magic. He just doesn’t have the creative juice to be original and relevant anymore, if he ever did. Without Jerry’s tutelage, it’s not obvious he would have lasted long enough in public memory to have the option of pissing on his fans 30 something years later.

    Bob betrayed his fans years ago, and only now they are catching on.