Home Music Useless and Firm has concluded last tour in California : NPR

Useless and Firm has concluded last tour in California : NPR

Useless and Firm has concluded last tour in California : NPR


The Grateful Useless’s offshoot band, Useless and Firm, concluded its last tour in California on Sunday. For followers and distributors who’ve been following the bands for many years, it is the tip of an period.


The Grateful Useless’s offshoot band, Useless and Firm, performed its last reveals in San Francisco over the weekend. It is the tip of an period for followers like Colorado Public Radio’s Vic Vela, who’ve been following the Useless’s music for many years. It is also a giant change for distributors and retailers who journey with the band and thrived on a scene referred to as Shakedown.

VIC VELA, BYLINE: When the pandemic shutdowns had been lifted and dwell concert events returned, Tony Seigh did one thing downright loopy. He left a profession at Tesla to promote Grateful Useless bumper stickers in parking tons. However in case you’re a Deadhead, you completely get it.

TONY SEIGH: It virtually was like for, like, two years, once you’re pondering, like, oh my gosh; it is the tip of the world; we’re all going to die – like, we higher go on tour with the Grateful Useless earlier than it is over, you realize?


DEAD AND COMPANY: (Singing) Properly, the primary days are the toughest days. Do not you are worried anymore.

VELA: Useless and Firm has been probably the most profitable Grateful Useless spinoff since Jerry Garcia died virtually three many years in the past. Now that the band is asking it quits, a number of people whose livelihoods actually rely on Useless reveals are questioning what is going on to occur to a spot referred to as Shakedown.


GRATEFUL DEAD: (Singing) Nothing shaking on Shakedown Avenue.

VELA: Named after the Grateful Useless tune “Shakedown Avenue,” the epic touring emporium of merchandise, music and insanity is just often called the Shakedown lot.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: I bought marigolds.


VELA: It is slightly bit farmers market, slightly bit county truthful, slightly bit “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.” It is the place a fan should purchase a Grateful Useless hoodie, a grilled cheese sandwich and, sure, even LSD. With this band’s demise, distributors on Shakedown have some anxiousness over what’s subsequent for the music they love and their very own financial institution accounts. Seigh says a big chunk of his revenue is from promoting merchandise on Useless excursions.

SEIGH: I do not know – possibly, like, half.

VELA: That is lots.

SEIGH: Oh yeah, yeah. Oh no, it is a complete gamble. However, you realize, it takes lots to win, however much more to lose.

VELA: Coleus Langer of Los Angeles sells clothes on Shakedown. He says dropping that buyer base goes to harm.

COLEUS LANGER: It undoubtedly makes me very unhappy as a result of there isn’t any different place like a Grateful Useless Shakedown lot. , so far as merchandising and simply assembly individuals and networking and hanging, you realize, there’s simply – it is such a particular place.

VELA: These days, a number of distributors promote their items on-line, so their incomes aren’t completely depending on Useless reveals. However for a lot of, there’s nothing like that non-public reference to different Deadheads. Stephen McMennamy is the proprietor of Grateful Fred, an organization named after his canine. He sells steel stickers with Useless imagery.

STEPHEN MCMENNAMY: It’s extremely totally different once you’re standing throughout from any individual and so they have tears of their eyes speaking about how a lot this factor meant to them as a result of it was the identify of a pet or a beloved one or a grandmother or one thing like that.

VELA: Some distributors say they will proceed to promote outdoors Phish reveals or different jam bands the place there’s a number of crossover enchantment. And here is the factor. A variety of people on Shakedown firmly consider there will be a brand new Grateful Useless offshoot to comply with post-Useless and Firm. In any case, there’s been a number of variations of the Useless over the past couple many years. So the hope is that the music of Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir will proceed to thrive alongside recent faces, or within the phrases of the Grateful Useless, the music by no means stops. For NPR Information, I am Vic Vela in San Francisco.


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