Reading time, Enthusiasts, but also looking. Reading is lovely, but exhausting, and sometimes you’d rather just look.
Let’s see what we’ve got in the sack: there’s the indispensable Lost Live Dead with a chronology of the Dead’s free shows, but not just a dry recap, no: Corry wouldn’t do that to us. There’s stories and subtle sarcasm, and as always a grounded reading of the Dead’s actions, rather than any airy-fairy “the music should be free” bullshit: the Dead certainly enjoyed playing surprise shows in the park as a goof, but they mostly did it to build a fanbase, and the moment they realized that broadcasting their shows on FM radio was even more efficacious and required less effort, they did that.
Dressing up in spangled clothing and rehearsing your dance moves is the opposite of the Grateful Dead, but pretty much everything Prince did was the opposite of the Dead. (Prince did not allow a Taper’s Section, and if some hippies had named an ice cream flavor after him without his permission he would have had his lawyers firebomb Vermont.) The Purple Rain tour was massive–stadiums only–and FoTotD David Browne has assembled the recollections of all involved and shared them with us. Lucky us.
For your looking pleasure, there are photos included in both of the articles. Did you think I was going to find things for you to look at? Jesus, you’re lazy.