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Throughout the 1980s, members of the Dead continued to explore the various practical, logistical, and financial aspects of producing live concert recordings. Following the release of “Touch of Grey” in 1987, the Grateful Dead were introduced to a new generation of fans, many of whom were just learning about the era of the hippies and the associated (and increasingly romanticized) ideals of the San Francisco countercultural movement of the 1960s. Even as the band’s recent studio records and concerts introduced newer fans to the history of the Dead and the band’s legacy of liveness, an enormous trove of previously unavailable live concert recordings known among traders and collectors as the “Betty Boards” began to circulate among tape traders in the spring of 1987. The remarkable history of this batch of tapes—their production, provenance, rediscovery, and resurrection—reaffirmed the significance of live recordings within an established discourse of liveness among Dead Heads.

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