ABC 7: San Jose State Features Conference on the Grateful Dead

Posted Nov. 5, 2014 by ABC 7.

By Wayne Freedman

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) –Counterculture is going mainstream at San Jose State University this week, as an academic conference on The Grateful Dead is underway. The band actually played its first gig in San Jose and it’s now become a topic of rigorous study.

When you know a subject well enough, you can use it to make a name for yourself. Rock and roll photographer Jay Blakesberg certainly did after years of following The Grateful Dead.

When asked if he ever thought this would turn into a Ph.D.-type of subject, Blakesberg replied, “No. When we were following The Grateful Dead, we were just there to have fun.”

But the Ph.D.’s will be listening on Thursday at San Jose State University where for four days academics from around the world will study papers about this iconic traveling band, its influences, history, music and lyrics.

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