Dear Dead Heads:
In 1980, the Grateful Dead needed a director to shoot the planned multi-city broadcast of their Halloween show from Radio City Music Hall. They brought a guy named Len Dell’Amico out to San Francisco for an interview, and he managed to navigate through one large Hell’s Angel and some fat, potent spliffs sufficiently well to persuade Jerry Garcia that he was the guy for the job. The result was Dead Ahead, which went on to become a platinum home video.
A couple of years later, Garcia reached out to Dell’Amico to suggest that they do another video, which evolved into a second major success, both commercial and critical, So Far.
By then, 1988, it was clear that the band would be needing video reinforcement at their larger shows, and Len signed on as the band’s “video guy” into the early ‘90s. His first major show was the band’s Madison Square Garden benefit for the Rainforest, and the experience left Len thinking about the environment for a good long while.
After finishing his work with the Dead, he went on to produce concert films and music videos for people like Sara Vaughan, Herbie Hancock, the Allman Brothers, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Ray Charles, and Carlos Santana.
But like any filmmaker, what he really wanted to do was to make a story-type movie. And now he has, a rough little beast of a story called Everything Must Go, which combines slacker comedy and a looming environmental disaster, one consequence of that 1988 benefit.
Everything Must Go is yet another weird installment in the ongoing saga of the Grateful Dead’s larger impact on America. Watch it! …and tell folks about it.
For more information and to buy the DVD, go to www.everythingmustgothemovie.com