28th Annual KPFA Grateful Dead Marathon, Hosted by David Gans, Set for Today

28th Annual KPFA Grateful Dead Marathon, Hosted by David Gans, Set for Today
David Gans. Photo by Jamie Soja.

Berkeley's pioneering listener-supported radio station, KPFA, presents its annual Grateful Dead fund-raising marathon today, February 8, 2014 from 9:00 am to 1:00 am. Host David Gans promises a bounty of unreleased and previously-unheard music by the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia, and related artists. There will be a live performance (musicians TBA) from the KPFA studio.

David Gans is a well-known expert in Grateful Dead music. He has produced a nationally-syndicated radio program, TheGrateful Dead Hour, since the mid-'80s, and he has been a programming consultant and on-air host on SiriusXM'sGrateful Dead Channel since its inception in 2007. He has published three books on the subject and is at work on a fourth, and he has produced several important boxed sets and compilations of Dead-related music. He has hosted a weekly program (known as "Dead to the World" since 1995) on KPFA since 1990. "I did my first Grateful Dead fund-raiser at KPFA in 1986," Gans recalls. "I think the first few were four hours or so, but somewhere along the line we decided that this musical world - and this generous audience - merited a whole day. And if you're gonna do 12 hours, you might as well do 16!

Gans is a KPFA listener as well as a KPFA programmer: "I listen to Letters and Politics, Visionary Activist, America's Back 40, and many more," he notes. He has served on KPFA's local station board for several years, and is active in station governance. "I am as passionate about the importance of community radio as I am about the music I play in my two unsupervised hours of air time. I see this annual marathon as a gift of service to both the station and to the listening community, and I am deeply thankful to the Dead organization and the Garcia family for the opportunity to broadcast unreleased music from their archives."

In the weeks leading up to the 2014 marathon, as in 2013, Gans will auction photos and other desirable objects via the Facebook page of his weekly program Dead to the World:

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