Relix Editor Lands Message from President Obama in Fare Thee Well Program

July 16, 2015

Relix is offering fans the chance to pick up copies of the official program from each of the three Chicago Fare Thee Well shows.

Among the content featured in each program include a special introductory message. Relix editor Dean Budnick also served as the editor of the special daily programs that Relix created. The opening night included a salute from President Barack Obama, who contributed a brief quote of congratulations to the band. His message reads as follows, ““Here’s to fifty years of the Grateful Dead, an iconic American band that embodies the creativity, passion and ability to bring people together that makes American music so great. Enjoy this weekend’s celebration of your fans and legacy. And as Jerry would say, ‘Let there be songs to fill the air.’”

Budnick explains, “The whole thing was a surprise. I wanted to keep it from the band members until they saw it in the program.” He approached the White House and found that the President was quite willing to lend his voice. Budnick adds, “It all happened rather quickly. It made perfect sense to me since Chicago is the President’s town and the ‘Core Four’ had been supportive of his initial campaign. Back in October 2008 Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart reunited to perform at the Change Rocks event for then-candidate Barack Obama. They later took the stage at the Mid-Atlantic Inaugural ball in January 2009. So I contacted the White House, described the event, although they seemed quite aware of it, and received the message a day later. They even sent along the official image to run with the President’s words.”

 Other features include thoughts from Bill Walton, Mike Gordon, Jorma Kaukonen, Keller Williams, photos from Jay Blakesberg and much more.