David Gans On The Shitstorm

by | Dec 1, 2005

David Gans, musician, author and host of the syndicated radio show, Grateful Dead Hour, has weighed in on his blog, Playback, about the controversy swirling around Deadlandia.

At first, he attemped to sound reasonable and take the band’s side.

The howling has begun, and the sense of entitlement that has always concerned me is in full flower.

A couple of weeks ago there was another round of layoffs at GDP. A few more people – friends and fellow Deadheads – lost their jobs because GDP isn’t making enough money to keep them on board. I heard that one of the casualties of this last downsiziing was Ram Rod, who was a member of the GD road crew from the beginning. I really don’t think anyone took lightly the decision to let that brother go.

I don’t really have a dog in this fight. I have a job on the periphery of the Grateful Dead organization, but I am not privy to their decision-making process and I don’t depend on them for my income. I help to promote their official releases by playing them on the radio, obviously, but I also play a lot of unreleased music (and I’ve gotten some of that unreleased music from archive.org).

There’s a petition online directed at GDM and promising a boycott. “Now it appears doing the right thing for the fans, has given way to greed.”

I think it is worthwhile to ask ourselves if there isn’t some greed on the other side of the equation.

After enduring a barrage of comments about his take on his site and other sites, Gans updated his original to post to better clarify his position.

Given the violence of the response my post has gotten (on other blogs, on rec.music.gdead, etc.) – which to a certain extent proves my point about the bad attitudes of some Deadheads – I suppose I need to make explicit what I thought was pretty clear: I am not blindly supporting the GD organization’s decision here. I think they’re within their rights to shut off the high-speed free download service, but I also think it is not likely to give them the result they seem to be looking for.

To those who have blithely asserted that I have no right to comment since I can get whatever I want from the vault, my “collection is complete,” and I have no need for archive.org myself, I need to say: sorry, none of those things is true. I have gotten lots of great music from the archive for the radio show, and I haven’t had access to the vault since Dick Latvala passed away six years ago.