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Letter: Alum is Grateful for now-Dead musical memories

letter to the editor

I enjoyed reading Olivia Bokesch's article, "No one at Duke knows the Grateful Dead," but it was hard to think about how times have changed. When I was at Duke in the mid-late 80's, I was the chair of Major Attractions, the committee responsible for bringing concerts to campus. We hosted many shows in Cameron and on the quad in those years. In doing so, I worked with people from sound crews to Duke Public Safety officers who told stories of the many times the Grateful Dead played at Duke (five, to be exact). Legend has it that for the 1982 show many Deadheads camped out in the gardens and as a result, not everyone was excited about the band returning any time soon. By the time I arrived on campus, the Dead were playing much bigger arenas, making Greensboro or Charlotte their North Carolina tour stops. Even so, Grateful Dead music was alive and well on campus, and the legacy of their frequent appearances on campus in the 70s still resonated. New music seems to have taken its place (I hope!) but speakers pointed out of windows blaring Grateful Dead music onto the quad will always be part of the soundtrack to my days at Duke. 

Neil Rigler is a member of the class of 1989. 

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