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Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead: What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History by Bill Halligan, Brian Halligan, David Meerman Scott

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Chapter 19. Do What You Love

In preparing to write this book, we both watched lots of footage of the Grateful Dead. One thing that stood out was how happy Jerry Garcia was on stage—he had a big smile on his face while his fingers danced up and down his guitar fret. Similarly, when we listened to interviews of him and other members of the band, they often talked about how they loved what they did. This passion helped them overcome serious odds to become a huge success.

As is often the case for people starting out in a career pursuing their passion, some of the Grateful Dead members had very humble beginnings. Jerry Garcia, for example, was really passionate about music and playing guitar, so much so that prior to starting the band, he was a guitar teacher making such meager wages that he had to live out of his car! Rather than get a "job," he stuck with it, and his passion fueled his eventual success.

Since they were so passionate about what they did, the Grateful Dead were also able to persevere through some very rough times. On the first gig they booked, they were contracted for performances two nights in a row. They were so bad the first night that the owner of the joint replaced them with three elderly gentlemen in a jazz band! The band members were so embarrassed ...

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