According to a college friend of Steve Bannon, the presidential advisor was a big Grateful Dead fan during his undergrad days at Virginia Tech. Such a big fan that when Arnold Toynbee, a favorite historian of his passed away, he went to down to the university radio station and requested that they dedicate a spin of the Dead tune “Unbroken Chain” to the late historian. Interestingly, this news broke on Phil Lesh’s birthday, the writer of and singer on Unbroken Chain.
As you could imagine, some folks in the partisan media sphere had some fun with this story. The original Daily Beast article had this line, “It’s a Steve Bannon who the Steve Bannon of his formative college years would likely see as barely recognizable.” Relix Magazine titled their piece “Yes, Steve Bannon was a ‘passionate’ Grateful Dead Fan Before Being Consumed by Evil.” New York Magazine headline focuses on other claims made by the collegiate classmate, “Steve Bannon Was Reportedly a ‘Ladies’ Man’ in College, Say Sources Who Are Surprisingly Not Steve Bannon.” Unsurprisingly Philly.com focused on the other musician Bannon reportedly like, Bruce Springsteen. But by far the most aggressive headline came from Death and Taxes, which can be seen in the embedded tweet below.
— deathandtaxes (@DeathAndTaxes) March 15, 2017
Former Barack Obama Chief-of-Staff and HeadCount Board Member Peter Rouse also is a Deadhead. US Senators Al Franken and Pat Leahy are known to take in Grateful Dead concerts. And former presidential candidate John Kasich had an interesting run in at a Dead show in the 1990s. So Steve Bannon isn’t the first Deadhead on Capitol Hill. He probably won’t be the last.