DeadBase: Rex Musical Caravan Pioneers!
For most of us, DeadBase needs little introduction: it’s been the go-to resource and reference for tapers, historians, archivists and other serious students of the Grateful Dead for decades. Perhaps less well known is DeadBase’s long support of the Rex Foundation, which continues with the latest edition, DeadBase 50.
Co-author and longtime Rex supporter Stu Nixon explains, “When the Grateful Dead founded the Rex Foundation in 1983 to be an advisory board for their charitable giving, I thought it was a great idea. Over the years Rex has provided a means for thoughtful consideration of which charities and causes were the most important to support. So when we first formed DeadBase and put out our first edition, it was easy for us to agree to donate a portion of the sales of the book to the Rex Foundation. Back in 1987, we were one of the first non-concert sources of funding for Rex.”
Ever since the previous edition, DeadBaseXI, was published in 1999, authors Nixon, Mike Dolgushkin, and John W. Scott have had many requests for updates. As planning went on for the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary celebrations, a new DeadBase was waiting to be born — all in the extended Rex family.
Rex Board member Freddy Hahne says, “In the spring of 2014, Tim Duncan, current president of Rex Foundation, referred Stu Nixon to me in regard to assisting with the reprinting of DeadBase XI and creation of what would be DeadBase 50. After all, to support my enormous art habit since 1970, I had been in the business of representing large commercial printers, and I’d first met Stu through the Well in the late 1980s. When the Fare Thee Well shows were announced, Stu called again, and we kicked into high gear.
“When we started the project, Stu said 24 pages would be added to the front of DeadBase XI to create DeadBase 50. After two weeks, I’d finished DeadBase XI and phoned to say I was ready to receive the material for DeadBase 50. Without a hiccup in his voice, Stu said, ‘Well, it has grown a little.…’ DeadBase 50 was now 384 pages of new material plus the 16 pages of color photos. Once again, because I love the subject, and with the awareness that some the proceeds would be donated to the Rex Foundation, DeadBase 50 was produced into reality in remarkable time. All the while, Stu Nixon was a delight to work with, displaying a countenance that is steadfast.”
The final 992-page opus, now on bookshelves and at Amazon, includes DeadBase XI plus updates to the master list (DeadBase) of Grateful Dead shows, as well as updates to GarciaBase and WeirBase, and new sections for NedBase, Phil Lesh and Friends, The Dead, and Furthur. Also added: New reviews, analysis, a brand new discography, and new photos from Jay Blakesberg, Herb Greene, Bob Minkin, Rosie McGee, Susana Millman and others. Dennis McNally, David Lemieux, Nicholas Meriwether, David Dodd, Blair Jackson, David Gans and Rob Koritz contributed forewords.
And, once again, a portion of each book’s sale price goes to Rex.
“Now more than ever, we want to show our support for what the Rex Foundation does,” says Stu. “We have always been impressed with the good judgment the Rex board has shown in where the money would be best spent, and really appreciate the variety of environmental, cultural, social and educational causes that receive support from the Rex Foundation. DeadBase is proud to be a long-time supporter and participant in this great tradition of giving.”