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Last Updated: Friday, 9 November 2007, 16:08 GMT
Grateful Dead fans get academic
Grateful Dead
The band's following built up around their live shows
Fans of cult 1960s band The Grateful Dead will gather for an academic conference to analyse the group's influence later this month.

About 400 fans are expected to attend the three-day event at the University of Massachusetts.

More than 50 historians, authors and critics will take part but former band members are unlikely to attend.

The psychedelic group, which formed in 1965, split 30 years later following the death of frontman Jerry Garcia.

Grateful Dead tribute bands will play two concerts during the conference, which is titled Unbroken Chain: The Grateful Dead in Music, Culture and Memory.


"We have the opportunity to do something a bit more unique than have a bunch of people sitting around talking about favourite concert memories," said Rob Weir, a visiting lecturer at the university.

Former band members were invited but they have other commitments when the conference takes place on 16, 17 and 18 November.

However, Carolyn Garcia, Jerry Garcia's second wife, will be taking part in a discussion on gender and counter-culture.

"The Grateful Dead kind of entered the national consciousness in a broad way," she said.

"So people of a scholarly nature find things to explore there," she added.

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