Posts Tagged ‘Grateful Dead’
BEN SAYS: That’s interesting. So these people who call themselves the “Tea Party Patriots” see this as a business enterprise more than as a way to save the country. It’s amazing how quickly the scheisters gravitate to success and try to cash in. I don’t remember anything in the history books about Sam Adams trying to trade mark his Tea Party, probably because he was a true patriot. Sickening.
MOTHER JONES: In April 2009, Barry Cole attended the Tax Day Tea Party in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas. An entrepreneur whose ventures include a company that calibrates police radar guns, he immediately “saw there’s a potential market developing here.” Within a week, he’d applied for a trademark (PDF) for the name “Teaparty Patriot” and arranged to sell T-shirts, flags, pins, license plates, and other gear on eBay and another website.
Eight months later, he got a cease-and-desist letter from a lawyer representing Tea Party Patriots—a group that now claims to be one of the largest tea party groups in the country—who accused Cole of committing a trademark violation.
NOTE: I don’t make a habit of citing a leftist publication like MOTHER JONES often. But this is a revealing piece.
What the Tea Party can learn about success from . . . the Grateful Dead
By Ben Hart
These money-grabbing scheisters who are trying to trademark the “Tea Party” name could learn a lot about how to be successful from the Grateful Dead.
The Grateful Dead might be the most profitable rock band in history even though it has never had a #1 single or a #1 album.
Despite the death of its leader Jerry Garcia in 1995, Grateful Dead Productions continues to generate about $60 million a year in sales and licensing fees. Pretty good for a group that no longer exists.
Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead never pursued the top spot on the pop charts—or any ranking on the pop charts.
Instead, they dedicated themselves to pursuing a distinct style of music and cultivating a face-to-face relationship with their fans, building a loyal, even fanatical community of hundreds of thousands of Dead Heads by feeding this community exactly what it wanted, never deviating from its brand, for more than 35 years.
The Grateful Dead built its following by playing an average of more than 80 concerts a year for nearly four decades.
As the years and decades rolled on, the Grateful Dead’s following never waned, but actually strengthened. In the early 1990s, until Garcia’s death in 1995, the Grateful Dead were probably the only band that could sell out major professional football stadiums on consecutive nights with no mass-market advertising.
Except for the fact that I am a follower of the Dead, I might never have known when the Grateful Dead was coming to Washington, D.C. because they did no mass-market advertising. But every summer when the Dead came into town, the 70,000 seats at RFK stadium would be sold out for both nights instantly plus all the seats on the football field, as soon as the tickets went on sale.
Unlike other rock bands, the Dead would allow the Dead Heads to record their concerts and even sell the bootleg copies. In fact, a special area was set up at every concert specifically for the bootleggers, complete with sound equipment, so the recordings would be of decent quality.
Why would the band allow this?
They allowed it because a bootleg copy of a concert was free advertising for the band. The Dead believed there were no better marketers of the band than their fans. So why not let them record the concerts and distribute the tapes even if the band did not receive one cent from the sale of the tapes and CDs?
The band did not mind at all if its hippie Dead Head fans made a few bucks by making their own Grateful Dead tie-dye shirts and products, even though not licensed by the band. It did not matter to the band that it made nothing on the “counterfeit” Grateful Dead T-shirts.
The Grateful Dead also delivered more free concerts than any major rock band in history.
In so doing, they created a devoted community of hundreds of thousands of Dead Heads who followed them from concert to concert. You were not considered a Dead Head unless you had attended at least 100 Grateful Dead concerts.
There was also a kind of vague philosophy connecting the band and its Dead Head following. Their philosophy was intensely non-political and non-doctrinaire and went something like this: everyone should love each other or at least be nice to each other; and if more people listened to music (presumably the Dead), the world would be a much happier, less angry, more peaceful place. Kind of a naive philosophy perhaps, but it certainly worked for its fans.
Jerry Garcia and the Dead did not care one wit about being at the top of the pop music charts. They did not seem to care about money. They cared about staying true to their unique style of folk rock music that had a touch of bluegrass and jazz underscored by a driving beat behind every song. They cared about their fans and giving their fans one song after another that had the unmistakable Grateful Dead beat and lengthy Jerry Garcia electric guitar riffs. And they turned their fans into a community.
As a result, the other bands, even the Beatles and Rolling Stones, have pretty well faded away. Young kids today don’t listen to the Beatles or the Stones much. But the Grateful Dead brand remains strong. You’ll see 14-year-old kids today wearing Grateful Dead tie-dye T-shirts because they think the Dead are “cool.”
How uncool will the Tea Party become if it becomes bogged down in lawsuits over trade marking the name? . . . which can’t be done anyway.
The power of the Tea Party (like the power of the Grateful Dead) is not in the name, it’s in the message and the tune.
If the tune becomes a sour note, the crowd will drift away.
Here’s Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead Playing “Ripple”
(And they’re not going to sue me for copyright violation for posting this video)
NOTE: By the way, Bob Weir, the other singer (not Jerry) was a registered Republican. Jerry described himself as a “reactionary.”