Friday, November 25, 2005

Wo-oh What I Want To Know...

These past few days, I have, like many others, gone through a myriad of emotions. Since the decision to remove SBDs from The Archive and allow only streaming of AUD recordings, those emotions have ranged from anger to sadness to disappointment to shock to disbelief, and even for some, indifference. From the initial firestorm on the Live Music Archive Forum, to the 1200+ petition 'signatures' to date, to the almost 70 comments on the subject at David Gans' blog, to the several insightful comments on my blog, this issue has created such negative feelings overall, that all I can ask now is WHY?

That's all I want to know. The Archive has their cryptic explanation, but you have to feel that they are probably bound legally by what they can and can't say. I doubt it was their decision anyway. The real explanation needs to come from The Grateful Dead organization. They need to say something, anything! Did they do this so that they can sell every show on I-Tunes? If so, fine, so-be-it. If that's the case, then when will these shows be available, will they still charge $15-20 per show? If that's not the case, then what other explanation is there. We just want to hear something. There is a sense of entitlement amongst alot of Deadheads, deserved or not. If we deserve anything right now though, it is some sort of communication. And we want it now.

Justin, you read this blog, do have any light you can shed on this? Can you pass the word of our discontent along? Do the responsible parties even realize the shit-storm they have created over this decision?

I'm finishing up Garcia: An American Life, and there was something I read last night that really struck a cord in me. After Jerry died, Mountain Girl was quoted as saying:
"From the beginning to the end he (Jerry) always wanted the music to be available to the people. He didn't want the funky people shut out. He hated being shut out because of money, status or class"

The Archive was one of the best examples of the spirit of making the music "available to the people". Will people be shut out? Maybe. One thing's for sure, the music won't be as 'available' any more. If all the music will be for sale now, some people will be shut out "because of money, status or class". So then, is that spirit gone or irrelevant now? Is there something else driving this change in methodology? If someone would just tell us, we may just understand.

Wo-oh what I want to know... Don't you want to know too?

8 Comments:

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Ben - Have you given any thought to my suggestion about writing a second, more reasonable petition?

 
At 10:52 AM, Blogger Ben said...

There actually was a second petition lined through David Gans' blog. The orginal petition seems to carry the most weight so far, so I would just assume let that one carry the momentum, whether I fully agree with it or not. Thanks for the suggestion though.

 
At 8:30 PM, Blogger allison said...

Another thing that has gotten me in a huff is the fact that GDP has started to downsize....according to David's blog, they even let Ram Rod go. If you're not familiar with this guy, let's just say...he's been around a lot longer that many of us who call ourselves deadheads. What a shame!!!!

 
At 8:39 PM, Blogger Ben said...

I saw that on Gans's blog. That is truly a shame. If they are having financial difficulty, I can certainly understand their need to take actions that will better support their business.

I don't understand the 'silent-treatment' though. Maybe we'll get an explanation in the next day or two. I just want to hear something.

I have to admit that I'm curious what Ram Rod was doing for them recently.

 
At 4:20 PM, Anonymous US Blues said...

I think one big irony is that many Archive denziens (I count myself in that group) also bought GDM product. I was worried that I'd miss out on the Fillmore West box-set! So the argument, if GDM makes it, that the Archive was costing them money is false.

I'm with you Ben that a simple explanation is required at this point. I'm happy to pony-up for soundboards, because not everything on the Archive was "just exactly perfect" in terms of sound quality and lineage. Of course, I won't buy everything they put out (only partly cause of the money), but there's a lot I would pay for in all it's digital glory. As an aside, I have noticed that both etree and dimeadozen are featuring LOTS more GD downloads since last week.

This also points to some of the deeper ongoing problems within the Dead organization that Phil documented in his book. They suffered an internal lack of communications, and difficulty in coming to grips with the nature of their revenue stream- live shows. That Ram Rod was let go, although he's almost ready for Social Security (provided the Preznit doesn't trash that program), is a sign of these problems.

 
At 7:13 PM, Anonymous Helen said...

I can't believe they haven't said anything yet. They've already closed a door. Now it seems they have thrown away the key. Or maybe they've just lost it and are looking for it. Perhaps they never knew it would be such and upset. I am finding it hard to believe they just don't care.
More Peace..................

 
At 8:35 PM, Blogger Ben said...

3200 signatures on 3 running petitions, 89 comments on David Gans' blog, continuing conversations on the Live Music Archive Forum, as well as on this blog and others. If GDM thought that doing this over the long holiday weekend would make minimal impact or that things would of cooled off by now, they were sadly mistaken.

This will only end when they say something. The silence is insulting.

 
At 6:10 PM, Anonymous US Blues said...

The waiting is the hardest part...

PS- I love the timing of my last post. ;-)

 

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