Tag Archives: grateful dead

Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir Go All Night Long

“We gonna pitch a Wang Dang Doodle all night long…”

I had heard the song a number of times, but I had no idea what it meant. One night at Hunt’s in Burlington, Vermont I got my answer.

Koko Taylor, had just finished a smoking set at Hunt’s closing with “Wang Dang Doodle”. Her band was heading outside for a quick break. As the drummer passed me, I asked him, What was a “wang dang doodle”.

“A fight” he answered. “It’s when a bunch of guys mix it up and start swinging.”

That song was one of Koko’s signature tunes. Now you know.

Here’s a great version with Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir on acoustic guitars. Bob Wasserman plays bass. Neil Young is playing harp.

The following was part of Neil Youngs annual fundraiser for the Bridge School.



Grateful Dead Internet Marketing Lessons, Part 3

In case you missed Part 1 and Part 2 of this series you can read them here:

Part One: The Grateful Dead’s Niche Marketing Concept

Part Two: The Grateful Dead’s Unique Selling Position (USP)

Now let’s talk about how the Dead were able to form relationships.

One of the best techniques The Grateful Dead used was that they freely gave away their music.

This allowed the Grateful Dead to build a strong relationship with their fans.

They knew how to cultivate relationships. They realized the importance of relationship marketing.

Early on in their career they were involved in a number of free concerts.

At one point, they pulled a flatbed truck into the middle of San Francisco, unannounced. They set up a sound system with all of their instruments, on the back of the truck, and they played a set of music. The entire area was shut down.

They also palyed a number of free concerts in Golden Gate Park.

Grateful Dead Free Concert Golden Gate Park

This was a way for them to share their passion for their music. Their fans loved them.

Early on the Dead had no problem with people recording their music during live shows. As Jerry Garcia explained, to David Letterman, once they were done with the music, “they can have it”.

In spite of allowing fans to record all of their concert and trade tapes, the Grateful Dead, still sold plenty of albums. They sold out huge arenas. toward the end of their touring days, the Dead would play arenas for two and three consecutive nights.

The Grateful Dead were masters of relationship marketing. They built a wildly loyal fan base, by giving of themselves. And by giving away their music.

The lesson here is clear, for all Internet Marketers. Give away something of value. Give part of yourself. Then build a relationship with your customers.

You can listen to some Grateful Dead, here:

Find more Grateful Dead stuff, here.

Wolfgang's Vault - Bargain Bin

Respectfully submitted,
Albert Grande
Junior Dead Head

Grateful Dead Internet Marketing Lessons, Part 2

For Part 2 of Internet Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead, let’s look at their Unique Selling Position.

This is a recording of The Grateful Dead from the Filmore East 4/29/71.

You can hear them doing a version of Uncle John’s Band, right, here:

The Grateful Dead offered their own, USP (Unique selling position).

As promoter Bill Graham said: “They’re not the best at what they do, they’re the only ones who do what they do”.

Like most performers, the Dead did tours of multiple cities, during the Spring and Fall. Most performers will bring the exact same show to each city. That is the same exact song list for each concert. Even the encore is the same.

Not so with the Dead. Each show was different and unique. You can hear the New York crowd go wild after this tune. Even Bill Graham asks: “Is there anyone like the Grateful Dead?”

The Dead’s USP was that they were different from most every other rock band. Their best shows were totally spontaneous. They would not play the same songs night after night, they mixed things up.

Not only were the songs different, each concert was a virtual marathon. Dead shows lasted an average of 4 hours (with a break between sets.)

When you attended a Grateful Dead concert, you knew you were getting you money’s worth.

You were not only going to a concert, you were going to an event.

So much so, that the crowd became a part of the concert. The fans of the Grateful Dead even named themselves Dead Heads. Some fans became so fanatical, they would follow the band from city to city for an entire tour.

The Dead knew this, and realized that this was part of their USP as well. Not that every concert was spectacular, because it wasn’t. With the Dead, sometimes the magic worked and sometimes, it didn’t.

So what’s your USP? Are you trying to define your self as different or are you just like everyone else?

Here’s the encore from the same show:

You can find additional concerts and Grateful Dead information, here:

Wolfgang's Vault - Where live music lives

Any Jimmy Buffet fans?
Jimmy Buffett Live at Record Plant, October 24, 1974 – Available for Download

Respectfully submitted,
Albert Grande

Internet Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead Part 1

Wolfgang's Vault

The Grateful Dead knew their niche.

The Grateful Dead was a rag-tag bunch of misfits and malcontnets. They weren’t the best musicians. They weren’t slick. They never had a “hit” record. And yet they were (and still are), wildly popular.

They became friends with famous artists such as Salvador Dali. Their fan base consisted of U.S. Senators, lawyers, doctors, professionals, and working people.

They went from giving free concerts to a multi-million dollar organization that employed several hundred staff members.

At one time, the Grateful Dead sold out the largest music venues in the country. Generally for two to three days at a time. Sometimes, twice a year.

The organization still makes a bundle to this very day, and yet they have not released any new music.

Lesson 1: Know your niche.

The Grateful Dead did not try to become all things to all people.

They knew early on, their appeal was very limited. While they released music albums, they got very little commercial radio air play.

They understood their audience and their audience understood them. The Dead’s model was to take their music to the people.

They become known through word of mouth. One person would go to a Grateful Dead concert, and they would tell their friends. Soon, they would tell their friends. And on and on.

Their shows became viral messages, as more and more people attended their concerts.

Through it all, they concentrated on their fans. They never tried to appeal to everyone.

The Grateful Dead understood their niche and put their energies in devloping that niche.

you can listen to a great version of Truckin”, right here. (Song starts after 20 second intro…)

End of Part One: Internet Marketing Lessons from The Graeful Dead.

Discover some other Dead music here:

Have a Jerry Christmas and a Happy New Weir,

albert grande
Pizza for Dead Heads