When Julie Taymor manipulated the song catalog of The Beatles into the soundtrack for her fantasy musical Across the Universe, reactions were strongly polarized. Never mind that there have been more terrible covers of Beatles songs than there is time in the day to play them all; people don’t always like to see a grand re-working of a big chunk of the band’s songbook all at once.

I don’t expect that there will be similarly angry responses to a movie that does the same thing for the songs of the Grateful Dead. After all, the Dead reinterpreted their own songs night after night in their famously rambling, freestyle live shows. The spirit behind those live shows, and the devoted roadtripping audience that followed the band, could actually be a good thing to channel into a history of the 60’s and early ’70s as seen though the prism of the band’s music. And that’s exactly what a few people are trying to put together. Read More »