It's going to be a good year for the members of the Grateful Dead
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, drummer Mickey Hart has revealed that the band have an enormous amount of projects on the horizon in 2012.
There's a band sanctioned movie on the way, as well as two unsanctioned films. There's a new series of quarterly unreleased live albums from the vaults on the way called Dave's Picks (that will pick up where the late tape-head Dick Latvala's Dick's Picks left off in 2005 after 36 volumes).
There's a computer game on the way called the Epic Tour in which players get to "travel" to Dead concerts as a dancing bear (or something - it's not quite clear what you have to do. Maybe this trailer will help:
Then there's a range of merchandise on the way, including skateboards, luggage tags, mugs etc PLUS they have a branded version of Monopoly and some Grateful Dead wine.
"People would bring us suggestions for merchandise and we used to run 'em out of town every time," says Hart. "You didn't want to turn the Dead into a knickknack-trinket business."
However, "Times and attitudes have changed," he adds. "It was collectively decided we should be more aggressive. We want people to know that the Grateful Dead are open for business. We agreed we shouldn't hold it too tight. A key chain isn't the Grateful Dead. But there are memories triggered from these things."
But it's about more than money, says Mark Pinkus, who is the general manager of Rhino Records' Grateful Dead Properties division.
"Every generation discovers the Beatles and Pink Floyd, and every generation should discover the Grateful Dead. It's our responsibility to make sure they do."