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News October 27, 2015

Grateful Dead ink publishing deal with UMPG

Former Editor

The Grateful Dead’s publishing company Ice Nine has inked a global deal with Universal Music Publishing Group to resurrect the iconic rockers’ catalogue.

Announced at the weekend by UMPG North America President Evan Lamberg, the deal marks the first time in history the Grateful Dead have chosen to work with a music publisher in the US.

UMPG will handle global administration for the band’s back catalogue, which is currently owned by six band members and the heirs of three deceased members.

Currently, Warner Music imprint Rhino Entertainment handles the Dead’s recorded masters.

Lamberg said in a statement: “The Grateful Dead are one of the most iconic bands and songwriters of any generation. They epitomize the essence of free spirit and rock & roll, and I would consider lyricist Robert Hunter one of the greatest poets of our time.

“It’s an honor that the band, and their representatives, have entrusted us with administering their entire catalog. We look forward to working with them, as well Rhino Entertainment President Mark Pinkus and his wonderful team.”

Speaking with Billboard, Lamberg said UMPG will look toward film and TV synchs during the partnership but placements in commercials will be drawn from the catalogue of tracks not written by primary collaborator, Robert Hunter. Hunter co-penned tracks like Dark Star, China Cat Sunflower and St. Stephen and has veto power.

“Young people may know the name Grateful Dead, but not be as familiar with their music,” Lamberg told Billboard. “If you’re not putting yourself into relevant areas where your music can be discovered, your music could be lost to the younger [generation].”

In 2015, the Dead celebrate their 50th anniversary; the band has sold over 35 million albums, and achieved 20 Gold and Platinum albums in the US alone.


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