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Sold Out Grateful Dead Chicago Concerts Attract High-End Scalpers

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FRIEND OF THE DEVIL")

GRATEFUL DEAD: (Singing) I set out running, but I'll take my time. A friend of the devil is a friend of mine.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

People may be cooking all sorts of things when the Grateful Dead hold their reunion this summer. The band, minus the late Jerry Garcia, plans three concerts in Chicago in July, among other events. The concerts are sold out. Some sellers offered three-day packages to that event for more than $100,000. And we have a response to that from Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann. In an NPR interview, we told him tickets were being offered for six figures.

BILL KREUTZMANN: That sad. That's all I can say. It's just so sad. Why'd you say that?

INSKEEP: (Laughter) Just mentioning it.

KREUTZMANN: Six figures - what's that - a hundred grand?

INSKEEP: Yeah, yeah - hundred and more.

KREUTZMANN: If I was Jerry right now, this is what Jerry would say. He'd say music isn't worth it. There's no band in the world that's worth that much. Something else is driving those people, you know (laughter).

INSKEEP: What you think would drive people to pay thousands and thousands of dollars to see you guys play again after all these years?

KREUTZMANN: You're probably really asking the wrong person that question, which is funny. But I would guess because they would be thinking it's the last time we're going to play or ever be seen together - would be one of the things. You know, it's like stamp-collecting. You've got to have that stamp.

INSKEEP: That'd be a good opening to the show. If you walk out on stage, you know, first night...

KREUTZMANN: Yeah.

INSKEEP: Just say what is the matter with you people?

KREUTZMANN: (Laughter) Yeah. You don't do that (laughter). You know what you do instead?

INSKEEP: What?

KREUTZMANN: Is you play your damnedest best. You give them 10 times the amount that they paid. That's all I can do. They'll get a really good Bill Kreutzmann, I guarantee you.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FRIEND OF THE DEVIL")

GRATEFUL DEAD: (Singing) I ran into the devil, babe. He loaned me 20 bills.

INSKEEP: Bill Kreutzmann of the Grateful Dead. Due to high demand, their three-day return in Chicago has already been extended elsewhere. And elsewhere in today's program and at npr.org, Kreutzmann tells us about his life with Jerry Garcia.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FRIEND OF THE DEVIL")

GRATEFUL DEAD: (Singing) I just might get some sleep tonight. I ran down to the levee, but the devil caught me there. He took... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.