goodbye dead

Out on the road today I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac A little voice inside my head said “Don’t look back you can never look back – Don Henley, Boys of Summer


Last Saturday (Feb 28) all 210,000 tickets to the Grateful Dead’s Fare Thee Well Tour sold out within minutes. Billboard reported that 500,000 people were waiting online when the “box office opened at 10 a.m. and that requests for tickets number in the millions.

Today Stubhub is offering tickets for the three-day show starting at $1,350 and soaring to $116,000. It’s rumored that someone even tried to sell a ticket for a cool million. It might be true that nobody will actually buy a ticket for $116,000 but a lot of tickets do seem to be selling in the $5,000 range. I’m going to put away my old tie die shirt. These days fans that can afford tickets have their Deadhead stickers on a Mercedes-Maybach S600 not a Cadillac.



Back in the day, when I was out in Syracuse, if you hung around looking pathetic you could almost always get a free ticket after the band started playing. The scalpers were mostly trying to pay for gas so the VW Microbus could get to the next show. Even so I still have a ticket somewhere in a box that has: “Scalpers are Scum” printed right on it. It seems like a quaint notion now that the scalpers are running the ticket business.

If Jerry Garcia showed up, himself, in the flesh, I still wouldn’t pay $116,000 to see the show. Now, if he played DEAD, as a skeleton, I might ante up. – Comment on the Daily KOS

I’m not sure when concert tickets went insane. It’s not just music. Parasitic middlemen are gaming the entire ticket system. For the third year in a row tickets for the Great American Beer Festival were snapped up by pros when they went on sale. Tickets for that event were in online sales queues before the official sell-out was declared 32 minutes after sales began.

Deadheads Dancing at Show

Spinners on the concourse at a Grateful Dead show


This is about the Grateful Dead though. They’re not just another geriatric band trying to pay the rent playing at a State Fair. It’s just that it’s been so long that I’m not sure those fans showing up in jets and limos actually remember the experience: Barefoot gypsies who spent the entire show spinning on the concourse. The hippie girl with the five gallon bucket of spaghetti who served it up by the not so clean handful. That smoky haze, the mushrooms and Snoopy blotters. You don’t get any of that with a VIP package.


Grateful Dead – Bertha 4-12-78

April 12 1978
Duke University
Cameron Indoor Stadium