David Lemieux spoke to us about his experiences as a Legacy Manager for the Grateful Dead from 1999 to the present.
David is a host on Sirius radio and also a podcaster. He completed a Master's Degree in film archiving and then moved to Victoria and joined the BC Archives as an intern.  He contacted the Grateful Dead to arrange to visit their archives and when their archivist died , David got the job. 
The Grateful Dead was founded by five musicians in Palo Alto in 1965.  By 1970 they were playing in big arenas and stadiums. They didn't sell a lot of records but their big live concerts were successful for years. They were known for their eclectic style and devoted fan base , the Deadheads. In the 90's the Rolling Stones and the Eagles toured only about once a year but the Dead toured all the time and were very successful in merchandise sales. They had 40 staff supporting the tours and the sales.They could play 4 shows in a city and not repeat a song.  They played 2,300 shows over the years and most were recorded. When Gerry Garcia died suddenly in 1995, the remaining members went on playing under different names. Although it has been 25 years since the last live performance, there is still interest in their merchandise.  
David manages the archival CD's and they release 8-10 every year.  They create special edition boxed sets that sell for up to $500. We saw a special edition bentwood box designed by Roy Henry Vickers that was nominated for a Grammy.  Although you can download the music for free, fans like to collect the amazing box sets.  There is also a good business in merchandising high end lifestyle items such as skis, snowboards, beer, paddle boards and essential oils. The dancing bears are very popular in Japan where the people who buy the items are not necessarily "deadheads". The lightning bolt image has been sold on everything from sneakers to baby clothes.  
Thanks to David for a fascinating talk.