I was lucky enough to be invited to the press announcement of the Grateful Dead Archives being given to UC Santa Cruz. Well, it wasn't really an announcement, given that the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle jumped the gun a day early. But the gathering was a lot of fun anyway.
A few notes:
- There were a lot of press there even though the story had gotten out the day before. Fortunately, they sounded pretty excited by the idea of the Grateful Dead archives being made accessible.
- My role, which got me an invite to the event, was to acquire some button-down tie-dyes (thanks, Mindy!), and a hand-made tie-dye tie (thanks, Lisa!), for the Chancellor in case he wanted to dress for the occasion. As you can see from the pictures, he didn't. In fact, I was the only one in the room in a tie-dye. On the other hand, people there appreciated "the Deadheads" giving the tie-dyes to him. Update: the AP photographer got a much better picture than I did, and the photog from the Santa Cruz Sentinel got another good one.
- UCSC has a goal of raising $2 million to fund the archives. This will cover a full-time archivist in perpetuity, as well as housing the archives, putting on special events, making them easy to get at, and so on.
- There were multiple, partially conflicting, stories about how individuals will be able to contribute their own relics to the archives. It sounded like UCSC would accept some of them at some point in the future, but wants to get their arms around the current gift first.
- It's not clear how much individual band members will be contributing on their own. For example, a press person asked Bobby if he still had those short-shorts he wore on summer tour so often and if he would contribute them to the Archives, but Bobby sounded hesitant to part with them. This will probably evolve over time.
- The Archives will be a living, growing beast being cared for by UCSC for both academic research and general appreciation.
- When I lived in Berkeley, I was walking distance from two wonderful Dead venues (the Greek and the BCT); now I will live walking distance (with a bit of huffing and puffing) from the Dead Archives.