Despite a fascinating topic, “Tie-Dyed: Rock ‘n Roll’s Most Deadicated Fans” is just a mildly interesting docu that follows the Deadheads as they travel from coast to coast, during the 1994 Grateful Dead summer tour. Lack of a clear center and in-depth analysis of what’s undoubtedly a peculiar subculture results in a rather shapeless docu that holds slight theatrical prospects.
“Tie-Dyed” is meant to celebrate the communal spirit of the “Deadicated” fans , who have been part of this unique cultural phenomenon for close to three decades. First segments survey the diverse membership: college students, yuppies , homeless teenagers, aging hippies. An 11-year-old Deadhead explains, “the best thing about going on tour is just being there,” and another claims people do it to find “a love vibe that you can’t find anywhere else.”
Docu also reports on greedy vendors who clean up selling tie-dyed shirts and other products, as well as on how newly enforced drug laws have affected a community heavily associated with drugs.
“Tie-Dyed” is somewhat enlivened by original songs by Deadheads, including guitar-and-harmonica blues, a digiridoo concert, bagpipes and drum circles. But pic isn’t particularly well crafted or edited, and after a half-hour or so, uninventive structure, with its snippets of interviews and one-liners, becomes repetitive and tedious.