David Lemieux breaks down the authenticity behind the Grateful Dead and their devoted fans

Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux talks about the history of the iconic band, his own experiences with their music, and the new documentary on the band's devoted following.
David Lemieux and Tom Power in the q studios in Toronto, Ont. (Melody Lau/CBC)

David Lemieux first fell in love with the Grateful Dead when he was 14 years old.

"It was authentic," Lemieux says, describing the appeal of the band to him and likely many others. "You could listen to 20 live shows and nothing was the same; everything was different and you can't help but put your fists in the air and freak out."

Since listening to his first Grateful Dead album, Lemieux has become what some may describe as a Deadhead, the official title of the band's devoted fan base, but he is also now an official archivist of the Grateful Dead.

Today, he joins Tom Power in the studio to discuss a new four-hour documentary called Long Strange Trip, that looks at the band's complicated relationship with their loyal, dedicated and somewhat obsessive followers. 

Long Strange Trip is currently screening at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. For more information, head over to the festival's website.

— Produced by Ben Edwards


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