rock and roll

Gratefully Dead by Dean Belder

Full disclosure, I was never a fan of the Grateful Dead.  The music never appealed to me, but it doesn't mean I never appreciated what they stood for.  

Today they would have a very hard time existing considering monopolous ticketing systems, strong worded contracts, copyright protections and boatloads of cash. It's the very seam reason I think Jerry Garcia would be turning in his grave this weekend.  

At the outset, he and the rest of the band embraced their fans. They embraced the technology that allowed sharing.  For them it wasn't about getting paid but about being heard.  It's the debate that's raging music today, what is more important?

The Dead as it seemed were pirate pioneers. Enabling a generation of youth in the 60s and 70s to share the music freely, and it placed an immense value on those recordings, it also ensured a dedicated and loyal fan base, they were connected to the band they loved so much, and the band was rewarded with sold out concerts for the next four decades.  

This weekend however is a complete money grab.  The remaining members ceding to corporate interests. Selling extra concerts, exclusive pay-per-view, and limiting concert goer's ability to make the recordings that helped keep the bands fans loyal. 

Jerry was never a sell-out. To the end he remained true to his ideals of artistry, performance and the bands fans.  

Even though I've never been a fan, I can't help but comment as it's a reflection on the industry today. A band having a final concert not for a send off to their fans, or a tribute to their band-leader, but as a way to make one quick final buck.

In my experience the way that usually turns out is a realization that the fans are willing to be milked for more, and it explains why so many bands have multiple retirement tours.  

Jerry's dead.

Youngblood Hawke at Bumbershoot by Dean Belder

Okay, so I missed posting to my blog on saturday, got wrapped up in good times, and good tunes.  Here's Youngblood Hawke playing the End Zone Stage at Bumbershoot Saturday August 30th 2014

Nada Surf at Bumbershoot by Dean Belder

Last show of my weekend was Nada Surf on the Fountain Lawn stage at Bumbershoot, Monday September 1st 2014, at 7pm

The Reverend Horton Heat at Bumbershoot KEXP Music Lounge. by Dean Belder

Reverend Horton Heat plays the KEXP Music Lounge at Bumbershoot Monday, September 1st, 2014, 2:30pm

Have some grace, an open letter to Shawn Hamm. by Dean Belder

Fuck off. Seriously just go fuck off. If you had paid attention to the thing that started this all, you’d have noticed that the photographer Rohan Anderson, simply wanted credit for his work, not payment.

We photogs know very well that the majority of bands get paid very little, and have to deal a lot with people downloading the music, but for the vast majority of photographers life is even worse. We often shoot shows for free, or for next to nothing, like the bands we don’t have the luxury of doing this outside our day jobs.

It’s not a privilege to shoot a band in concert, often times depending on the venue, stage setup, and lighting it can be a pain in the ass, doubly so when we have to deal with prima donna dicks like you.

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