The Dead live.

Jerry & LonnyLast evening “I saw Dead people”. 5000 of them at the Carpenter Center at the University of Delaware. I was one of them. And I was thrilled to be there.

It was a Furthur concert, the Bob Weir/Phil Lesh band. Doesn’t get much more Dead than that. OK, no Hart or Kreutzman, but no biggee. And the band’s lead guitarist is Jerry reincarnated.

But since this blog is about marketing, here’s a marketing observation. The Dead are, have been, and will continue to be brilliant marketers. They have understood “social media” long before PCs, blogs and twitter. The have always believed in building a community, sharing, the influence of others, and the power of belonging to something bigger than oneself.

If want to appreciate and understand the brilliance of Dead marketing I encourage you to read Joshua Green’s: Management Secrets of the Grateful Dead in the March 2010 Atlantic

It’s an incredibly insightful, well written article. I learned a ton.

Last night’s show was great. I’ve seen the Grateful Dead, Other Ones, Garcia Band, Kingfish, Rat Dog, Furthur, et al maybe 40-50 times. On the Dead Head scale that makes me a novice, but still puts me into the lower tier of serious fan. They make me feel good. Always did. Always will.

As I write this Furthur is playing at Radio City in New York. I wish I were there. I leave every Dead concert smiling, but yearning for the songs they didn’t play that evening. I will never be fully satisfied and therefore never have enough.

This August it’ll be 15 years since Jerry’s passing , the same week as Mickey Mantle’s death–a really bad week for my boyhood idols. Though Jerry’s been gone almost 15 years (yeah he lives at wax museums where you can take hoaky photos like the one above), the music of the Dead lives. Nothing better than that.

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