The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced the new exhibit Grateful Dead: The Long, Strange Trip, which will open on Wednesday, April 11 during induction week. The exhibit will be open through December.
"The Grateful Dead is a band that is identified with a remarkable era in American history, and, inasmuch as they embody that era, their work is timeless," says Jim Henke, vice president of Exhibits and Curatorial Affairs. "They've inspired many performers and bands, but none has exhibited their musical depth and cultural resonance. In a 30-year career, this group wrote their own rules and created a community unlike any band before or since."
Grateful Dead: The Long, Strange Trip explores the band from a non-linear point of view. Individual sections within the exhibit will be devoted to Grateful Dead as a recording group and a touring band, the fans who devotedly followed them, tapers and fellow travelers (people who were important to the band). It will include finished and working manuscripts for classic songs, handwritten notes from legendary taper Dick Latvala, artifacts from original sound designer Owsley "Bear" Stanley, and promoter Bill Graham's Father Time robe and Grateful Dead Hotline answering machine.
Art and design have always been closely associated with Grateful Dead, and this exhibit will include an unprecedented collection of original artwork that is immediately recognizable from the band's album covers and posters. It will feature numerous instruments used by the Grateful Dead over the years, including keyboards, drums, percussion, guitars and elements from the legendary Wall of Sound PA system. The Grateful Dead Archive at the University of California-Santa Cruz has loaned a significant number of items from their extraordinary collection, which will open to the public in spring 2012.
Additional highlights include:
Five Jerry Garcia guitars, including his Travis Bean TB5
Mickey Hart's custom-painted drum kit
Two Bob Weir guitars, including his first Ibanez "cowboy" custom guitar
Several original lyric manuscripts, including Truckin', Box of Rain and Sugaree
Several original Grateful Dead-related artworks, including images from Workingman's Dead, Without a Net and Fillmore Auditorium poster art
Bill Graham's "Father Time" robe
At the exhibit opening event on the 11th, the Mickey Hart Band will perform new songs from his forthcoming album to be released this spring as well as Grateful Dead classics. Hart will be touring this spring in support of his new album which he told Rolling Stone features samples of "light waves from the cosmos, starting 13.7 billion years ago with the Big Bang."