School of Rock

Inside The Grateful Dead Archive

Deadheads rejoice! The meticulous archive for the Grateful Dead will open up at the University of California Santa Cruz this spring. Sure, the collection should be a boon to musicologists and historians, but could the ‘60s rock band also teach management scholars about how to run a business? Joshua Greene writes in this month’s Atlantic magazine that “the band pioneered ideas and practices that were subsequently embraced by corporate America.” The group established practices that prized loyalty to their brand. They gave away live recordings, while becoming some insanely profitable. “Revolutionaries get vilified, and then, once they get older, they just become cute,” one Dead scholar told The Atlantic. “Think of Oscar Wilde. Once they’re not dangerous anymore, it’s OK to discuss them in serious ways.”